Edgar Allen Poe and God and 2 Timothy 1 – Appeals for Faithfulness

November 25, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
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Edgar Allan Poe and God

A common, almost automatic, assumption about Poe is that he was an irredeemable atheist. As with so many other aspects of Poe’s life, however, the truth is far less simplistic.

954-1Unfortunately, nowhere in Poe’s writings do we find a straightforward and definitive statement of his position on this topic. (Nor, perhaps, should we expect one.) We are, therefore, left to difine it for ourselves.

Those who knew Poe and were quick to recall him as having no religion, such as R. W. Griswold and J. H. Hopkins, were often themselves quite zealous in their views. Effusive enthusiasm was likely to raise Poe’s sense of the contrary.

Poe loved to startle or surprise, and was likely to say something merely for effect. Others assume his position based on the negative evidence that there is no overtly moral preaching and relatively little mention of religion in his writings. Some have suggested, rather dramatically, that Poe’s only god was Art.

Poe’s upbringing in this regard appears to have been quite typical for his era. By all accounts, Francis Allan, Poe’s foster-mother, was a pious and deeply religious woman.

John Allan, while apparently less religious than his wife, strongly adhered to such Christian virtues as hard work, honesty and thriftiness, though one might question the depth of his sense of charity or forgiveness.

Rufus Wilmot Griswold (February 13, 1815 – August 27, 1857) was an American anthologist, editor, poet, and critic.  Born in Vermont, Griswold left home when he was 15 years old.  He worked as a journalist, editor, and critic in Philadelphia, New York City, and elsewhere.  He built up a strong literary reputation, in part due to his 1842 collection The Poets and Poetry of America.  This anthology, the most comprehensive of its time, included what he deemed the best examples of American poetry.  He produced revised versions and similar anthologies for the remainder of his life, although many of the poets he promoted have since faded into obscurity.  Many writers hoped to have their work included in one of these editions, although they commented harshly on Griswold's abrasive character.  Griswold was married three times: his first wife died young, his second marriage ended in a public and controversial divorce, and his third wife left him after the previous divorce was almost repealed. Edgar Allan Poe, whose poetry had been included in Griswold's anthology, published a critical response that questioned which poets were included.  This began a rivalry which grew when Griswold succeeded Poe as editor of Graham's Magazine at a higher salary than Poe's.  Later, the two competed for the attention of poet Frances Sargent Osgood.  They never reconciled their differences and, after Poe's mysterious death in 1849, Griswold wrote an unsympathetic obituary.  Claiming to be Poe's chosen literary executor, he began a campaign to harm Poe's reputation that lasted until his own death eight years later.

Rufus Wilmot Griswold (February 13, 1815 – August 27, 1857) was an American anthologist, editor, poet, and critic.
Born in Vermont, Griswold left home when he was 15 years old.
He worked as a journalist, editor, and critic in Philadelphia, New York City, and elsewhere.
He built up a strong literary reputation, in part due to his 1842 collection The Poets and Poetry of America.
This anthology, the most comprehensive of its time, included what he deemed the best examples of American poetry.
He produced revised versions and similar anthologies for the remainder of his life, although many of the poets he promoted have since faded into obscurity.
Many writers hoped to have their work included in one of these editions, although they commented harshly on Griswold’s abrasive character.
Griswold was married three times: his first wife died young, his second marriage ended in a public and controversial divorce, and his third wife left him after the previous divorce was almost repealed.
Edgar Allan Poe, whose poetry had been included in Griswold’s anthology, published a critical response that questioned which poets were included.
This began a rivalry which grew when Griswold succeeded Poe as editor of Graham’s Magazine at a higher salary than Poe’s.
Later, the two competed for the attention of poet Frances Sargent Osgood.
They never reconciled their differences and, after Poe’s mysterious death in 1849, Griswold wrote an unsympathetic obituary.
Claiming to be Poe’s chosen literary executor, he began a campaign to harm Poe’s reputation that lasted until his own death eight years later.

When the Monumental Episcopal Church was built in 1814, John Allan purchased pew number 80 for $340 (Poe Log, p. 21). Francis and Edgar regularly attended services there.

John Allan, raised as a Scotch Presbyterian, may have visited from time to time, if only for maintaining business contacts in the community.

Some say that the Presbyterians do not believe in Jesus, that they are evil.  I don’t study all the different religions to know if they are evil or not, but many of them are obvious. 

I say that all religions are all incorrect and improper because Jesus was not a religion, He is God and therefore we should follow the faith of any religion, our faith should be in Jesus only.

Therefore, I cannot agree or disagree about the Presbyterians.  Yet, I believe at one time there were really only two main religions, the Catholics and the Presbyterians. 

Martin Luther was a Presbyterian and fought against the Catholic Church.  The Catholic was so furious they tried to kill him. 

I’ve read a lot about Martin Luther and the Catholics and in my opinion, Martin Luther would never side with anything evil, no more than Paul or Jesus would.

And of course, the Catholics would never side with anything holy unless they could make a buck.

Aside from that, this is what I have found online about the Presbyterian’s opinion about Jesus:

Presbyterians believe that Jesus Christ is “fully human and fully divine, one person in two natures, without confusion and without change, without separation and without division.”

This statement dates all the way back to the 5th century (451 to be exact) and is known as the Chalcedonian Definition.

Emphasized by the Reformers of the 16th century, it is reflected in virtually all Reformed work on Christology, as well as in the Confessions.

The people who wrote the Chalcedonian statement were, like us, trying to figure out what it means to confess that Jesus Christ is divine as well as human.

One of the surviving artifacts from Moldavia, John Allan’s elegant Richmond mansion, is a large painting of “the holy family,” a nativity scene complete with putti and seraphim. (This painting is now part of the collection of the Poe Museum in Richmond, VA.)

At least one illegitimate child, for whom Allan at least accepted a share of the financial obligations, indicates a personal weakness which clearly goes against the teachings of the church.

John Henry Hopkins (January 30, 1792 – January 9, 1868) was the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont and was the eighth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

John Henry Hopkins (January 30, 1792 – January 9, 1868) was the first bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Vermont and was the eighth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States of America.

One must be careful, however, not to rush to use this flaw to negate all possibility that Allan sincerely believed in God or morality.

Even the best of intentions sometimes fail to control our actions, a theme Poe would enshrine in several stories, most notably in “The Black Cat” and “The Imp of the Perverse.”

Details of Poe’s personal exposure to religion are sparse but compelling. Not quite three years old, Edgar was baptized on January 7, 1812 by the Reverend John Buchanan, with John and Frances Allan as his godparents. (This event is the origin of Allan appearing as Poe’s middle name.)

Being baptized as a child or at any time does not mean anything.  A born-again believer usually gets baptized for the sole purpose of showing the world that they stand up for the Lord.

Although no actual record exists, T. O. Mabbott feels that Poe was probably confirmed at Monumental Episcopal Church by Bishop Richard Channing Moore (Mabbott, Poems, 1969, p. 536).

One must also remember the dominant role of Christianity in the United States in the 19th century, especially before Darwin’s theory of evolution and the unutterable horrors of the Civil War.

It would have been nearly impossible to avoid being bathed in a general consensus of the existence of God and the importance of religion.

One should not be surprised that one of the subjects Poe was taught at the London school of the Misses Dubourg was the Catechism of the Church of England (Poe Log, p. 10).

John Allan became Edgar Poe's foster father after the death of Eliza Poe.  Allan, who provided an excellent education for his young charge, refused to adopt the child known as "Eddy."

John Allan became Edgar Poe’s foster father after the death of Eliza Poe. Allan, who provided an excellent education for his young charge, refused to adopt the child known as “Eddy.”

Anything connected to the Catholics is pure evil.  People that attend the Catholic Church does not mean they are evil and are going to hell.  Yet, those that believe what the Catholic teach will join them in hell.

That he was also given lessons of a religious nature at the school of Reverend Bransby seems inherently obvious. Poe’s description of school life in “William Wilson,” by Poe’s own admission based loosely on his own school days at Bransby’s Manor House School, suggests that there were mandatory morning and evening services every Sunday.

As an adult, Poe’s involvement with organized religion is less certain. To get out of West Point, Poe refused to attend classes or church services, clearly indicating that in prior months, he had gone to both.

When Poe married Virginia on May 16, 1836, their vows were administered by the Reverend Amasa Convers, a Presbyterian minister. In Fordham, NY, Poe often played cards with Jesuits who lived nearby.

The Reverend J. H. Hopkins’ letter to Mrs. Shew, quotes Poe (probably in 1848) as saying,

They were highly cultivated gentlemen and scholars . . . smoked, drank, and played cards like gentlemen, and never said a word about religion (John Henry Hopkins to Marie Louise Shew, Feb. 9, 1875, Ingram collection, item 201, reprinted in Miller, Building Poe Biography, p. 101).

It should be noted, of course, that Poe and Hopkins disliked each other intensely, for personal reasons. Poe apparently attended church with Mrs. Shew in New York in 1848. Indeed, the most revealing comment we have is from one of Poe’s letters to Mrs. Shew.

How can I believe in Providence when you look coldly upon me, was it not you who renewed my hopes and faith in God? . . . Why I was not a priest is a mystery, for I feel I am now a prophet . . . (Poe to Marie Louise Shew, June, 1848, Ostrom, Letters, p. 373).

After Eliza Poe died - leaving three small children motherless - Frances ("Fanny") Allan agreed to care-for Edgar Poe. Married to John Allan, who refused to adopt Edgar, Fanny was Poe's much-loved foster mother until she, too, died of tuberculosis.

After Eliza Poe died – leaving three small children motherless – Frances (“Fanny”) Allan agreed to care-for Edgar Poe.
Married to John Allan, who refused to adopt Edgar, Fanny was Poe’s much-loved foster mother until she, too, died of tuberculosis.

To Thomas Holley Chivers, Poe wrote,

My own faith is indeed my own. You will find it, somewhat detailed, in a forthcoming number of the ‘Columbian Magazine’  (“Poe to Chivers, July 10, 1844, the story referenced being “Mesmeric Revelation”).

Poe’s small Bible, given to him by Mrs. Clemm in 1846, is presumed to have been one of the books in his trunk when he died. (This Bible, formerly part of the collection of the Bronx Historical Society in New York, now appears to be lost.

Phillips, 1:847 and 2:1546 notes that one of the passages marked, presumably by Poe, was the Lord ’s Prayer. Another, similarly marked, was

I loathe it; I would not live alway; let me alone; for my days are vanity (Job 7:16).

The source for this information appears to be an article from the Scranton Republican, June 21, 1883, p. 2. col. 3, reprinted from an unspecified issue of the New York Herald, about the sale of “Edgar Poe’s Cottage” in New York.

That sentence can confuse, its New York paper, but Poe’s house is in Philadelphia, I’ve been there.

In this article, Mrs. Cromwell is interviewed, and comments that she bought a mantle clock and rocking chair from Mrs. Clemm, but that Mrs. Clemm gave her the small bible, noting that “one passage was found marked” and citing the verse given, although without italics. The article is reprinted by K. Cameron in The New England Writers and the Press, 1980, p. 64.

Another book Poe presumably owned, as it contains some notes written in his own hand,  is the 1833 edition of the Rev. Thomas Chalmers’s On the Power, Wisdom, and Goodness of God, as Manifested in the Adaptation of External Nature to the Moral and Intellectual Constitution of Man, Philadelphia: Carey, Lea and Blanchard.

Monumental Church is a former Episcopal Church that stands at 1224 E. Broad Street between N. 12th and College Streets in Richmond, Virginia.  Designed by architect Robert Mills, it is one of America's earliest and most distinctive Greek Revival churches and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a National Historic Landmark and is located in the Court End historic district. Monumental Church was built between 1812 and 1814 to commemorate the 72 people who died on the site in the December 26, 1811 Richmond Theatre fire.  The building consists of two parts: a crypt and a church. The crypt is located beneath the sanctuary and contains the remains of those claimed by the fire.  The church is an octagonal construction of brick and Aquia sandstone with a stucco coat.

Monumental Church is a former Episcopal Church that stands at 1224 E. Broad Street between N. 12th and College Streets in Richmond, Virginia.
Designed by architect Robert Mills, it is one of America’s earliest and most distinctive Greek Revival churches and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a National Historic Landmark and is located in the Court End historic district.
Monumental Church was built between 1812 and 1814 to commemorate the 72 people who died on the site in the December 26, 1811 Richmond Theatre fire.
The building consists of two parts: a crypt and a church. The crypt is located beneath the sanctuary and contains the remains of those claimed by the fire.
The church is an octagonal construction of brick and Aquia sandstone with a stucco coat.

As the date of publication of this book predates by several years Poe’s career as a writer of critical reviews, it may be assumed that he read it for personal rather than merely professional reasons. This book is now in the Poe collection at the University of Texas at Austin.

What clues do we find in Poe’s own writings?

There are brief references to religion in letters and in “Marginalia,” but while hardly typical of an atheist, such phrases may be little more than clichés or figures of speech. At best, they are rather vague and lend themselves to multiple interpretations.

Two examples will suffice for our purposes.

After reading all that has been written, and after thinking all that can be thought, on the topics of God and the soul, the man who has a right to say that he thinks at all, will find himself face to face with the conclusion that, on these topics, the most profound thought is that which can be the least easily distinguished from the most superficial sentiment (“Marginalia,” Graham’s, Feb. 1848, reprinted in Pollin, Brevities, p. 330M199).

A strong argument for the religion of Christ is this — that offenses against Charity are about the only ones which men on their death-beds can be made — not to understand — but to feel — as crime (“Marginalia,” SLM, July 1849, reprinted in Pollin, Brevities, p. 399M263).

Perhaps more significantly, Poe wrote a “Hymn [to the Virgin Mary]” (1833) as part of “Morella.” Removed from later versions of the story, it was nevertheless included as “Catholic Hymn” in The Raven and Other Poems (1845).

Another poem, “For Annie” (March 23, 1849) begins with “Thank Heaven!” and includes a reference to “. . . she prayed to the angels . . . To the queen of the angels . . .” (Mabbott notes that the Virgin Mary is known as the Queen of Angels, Mabbott, Poems, 1969, p. 461).

Meeting Street, South, and the 1st Scotch Presbyterian Church

Meeting Street, South, and the 1st Scotch Presbyterian Church

As has often been noted, Poe knew his Bible well, at least as literature. Forrest and Mabbott both contain long lists of Biblical quotations and, far more numerous, allusions. These occur in a few of the poems and many of the tales.

It has also been argued that, contrary to popular opinion, there is a strong sense of morality behind Poe’s works. Here one must be careful not to confuse the views of Poe’s fictional characters (including the narrators) with those of Poe himself.

The narrator who has murdered the old man in “The Tell-Tale Heart” defiantly defends himself against the idea that he is mad. Poe, however, clearly wants us to understand that the character is insane, despite — and in part because of — his protestations.

He may not feel that killing the old man was wrong, but we certainly should. That he is to be hung in the morning suggests that justice will be served.

In “The Cask of Amontillados,” Montressor carefully plans and executes a horrible revenge on the unwary Fortunato for offenses that are conspicuous for their omission from the tale.

954-8It would be difficult to imagine what Fortunato might have done to Montressor to be deserving of such treatment and yet be completely unaware of the danger of being alone with him in an isolated place. A number of interpretations have been applied to the story.

Montressor is recounting, probably from his deathbed, his crime from fifty years ago to an unnamed person, perhaps a cleric or priest. Some detect a sense of bragging in his tone, while others claim it as a confession.

The final words, “In pace requiescat” have suggested too many readers that Fortunato has rested in peace, while Montressor has been racked with guilt. At any rate, Poe almost certainly does not expect us to identify with Montressor. If we did, where would be the horror of the tale?

If Poe’s sense of morality sometimes seems out of balance, it must be in “Hop Frog.” In this less well-known tale, the King’s harsh treatment of the young girl is clearly wrong but hardly justifies being burned alive with his eight Ministers of State. Perhaps it is not the specific act, but the habitual abuse of power that is being punished there.

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (August 15, 1822 – January 30, 1847) was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe.  The couple were first cousins and married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 27.  Some biographers have suggested that the couple's relationship was more like that between brother and sister than like husband and wife in that they may have never consummated their marriage.  In January 1842 she contracted tuberculosis, growing worse for five years until she died of the disease at the age of 24 in the family's cottage outside New York City. Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off and on for several years before their marriage.  The couple often moved to accommodate Poe's employment, living intermittently in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.  A few years after their wedding, Poe was involved in a substantial scandal involving Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet.  Rumors about amorous improprieties on her husband's part affected Virginia Poe so much that on her deathbed she claimed that Ellet had murdered her.  After her death, her body was eventually placed under the same memorial marker as her husband's in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland.  Only one image of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe has been authenticated: a watercolor portrait painted several hours after her death. The disease and eventual death of his wife had a substantial effect on Edgar Allan Poe, who became despondent and turned to alcohol to cope. Her struggles with illness and death are believed to have affected his poetry and prose, where dying young women appear as a frequent motif, as in "Annabel Lee", "The Raven", and "Ligeia".

Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe (August 15, 1822 – January 30, 1847) was the wife of American writer Edgar Allan Poe.
The couple were first cousins and married when Virginia Clemm was 13 and Poe was 27.
Some biographers have suggested that the couple’s relationship was more like that between brother and sister than like husband and wife in that they may have never consummated their marriage.
In January 1842 she contracted tuberculosis, growing worse for five years until she died of the disease at the age of 24 in the family’s cottage outside New York City.
Along with other family members, Virginia Clemm and Edgar Allan Poe lived together off and on for several years before their marriage.
The couple often moved to accommodate Poe’s employment, living intermittently in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York.
A few years after their wedding, Poe was involved in a substantial scandal involving Frances Sargent Osgood and Elizabeth F. Ellet.
Rumors about amorous improprieties on her husband’s part affected Virginia Poe so much that on her deathbed she claimed that Ellet had murdered her.
After her death, her body was eventually placed under the same memorial marker as her husband’s in Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore, Maryland.
Only one image of Virginia Eliza Clemm Poe has been authenticated: a watercolor portrait painted several hours after her death.
The disease and eventual death of his wife had a substantial effect on Edgar Allan Poe, who became despondent and turned to alcohol to cope. Her struggles with illness and death are believed to have affected his poetry and prose, where dying young women appear as a frequent motif, as in “Annabel Lee”, “The Raven”, and “Ligeia”.

No survey of Poe and religion would be reasonably complete without some mention of his most remarkable and spiritual, if rather esoteric, work — the prose poem Eureka (1848).

There, Poe confidently detailed the essence of life itself, the very soul of existence. Poe felt that Eureka, first a lecture and then a small book, was the culmination of his career.

I have no desire to live since I have done ‘Eureka.’ I could accomplish nothing more (Poe to Maria Clemm, July 7, 1849, Ostrom, Letters, p. 452).

Although the subtitle of this book is “The Material and Spiritual Universe,” Poe deals much more with the nature of matter than the nature of spirit.

Poe’s implication that these are separate components, however, is a strong indication of his belief that we each have a soul which exists apart from the physical body. Kenneth Hovey makes an intriguing case that Poe, basing his views on Epicurian philosophy, thought of the soul as comprised of a sort of energy which is itself also material, as “the highest gradation of matter” (Hovey, “Poe’s Material Metaphysics of Man,” 1996, p. 356).)

There are also clear statements that the act of creation from nothingness owes everything to an unnamed but very necessary Deity.

That Nature and the God of Nature are distinct, no thinking being can long doubt. By the former we imply merely the laws of the latter. But with the very idea of God, omnipotent, omniscient, we entertain, also, the idea of the infallibility of his laws. With Him there being neither Past nor Future — with Him all being Now — do we not insult him in supposing his laws so contrived as not to provide for every possible contingency? (Poe, Eureka, p. 80).

Thus far, Poe has remained fairly conventional. With his next step, however, he placed his feet on more dangerous ground:

. . . a God, self-existing and alone existing, became all things at once, through dint of his volition, while all things were thus constituted a portion of God (Poe, Eureka, p. 81).

With this statement, and others, Poe suggested that we were all gods and was astonished to discover that some misunderstood his ideas as being blasphemous.

In a lengthy letter to C. F. Hoffman, responding to a criticism in the Literary World, Poe ends with

Were these ‘misrepresentations’ . . . made for any less serious a purpose than that of branding my book as ‘impious’ and myself as a ‘pantheist,’ a ‘polytheist,’ a Pagan, or a God knows what…I would have permitted their dishonesty to pass unnoticed, through pure contempt for the boyishness — for the turn-down-shirt-collar-ness of their tone . . . (Poe to Charles Fenno Hoffman, September 20, 1848, Ostrom, Letters, p. 382).

To Poe, who understandably felt somewhat cheated in this life, the idea of one or more future lives held an obvious appeal. He used reincarnation as a theme in several stories, but there is no reason to presume that he actually believed in it as a doctrine.

His quote from “Marginalia” suggests something other than traditional reincarnation:

. . . in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream (SLM, June 1849, reprinted in Pollin, Brevities, p. 379M231).

Certainly, Poe’s religious views were unconventional, though they may seem considerably less so today, with our dizzying array of groups preaching a virtual cornucopia of spiritual possibilities.

954-10It would certainly have been understandable if Poe had lost confidence in a divine hand, one that directs our daily lives for purposes of our own spiritual benefit.

The sad and youthful deaths of so many loved ones (his mother, Mrs. Stanard, Frances Allan, his brother and especially the long and lingering illness of Virginia) would have tested anyone’s faith.

Poverty, illness and failure no doubt seemed his constant companions. If we can accept the testimony of Dr. John Moran, which generally must be taken with more than a little skepticism, Poe’s last words were,

Lord, help my poor soul (J. J. Moran to Maria Clemm, November 15, 1849, reprinted by J. A. Harrison).

The most realistic view is that Poe’s religious inclinations changed greatly back and forth during his lifetime, but were never seriously abandoned.


Poe had a twisted mind, and a fantastic imagination, but personally, I think Poe was a great writer.  I would put Poe and Franz Kafka in the same category.

God does not judge us by our behavior, but by the heart:

954-j-1…for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1 Sam 16:7).

For example, if you murder someone God does not judge you for the murder, He judges you of why you committed murder which is obvious that you have an evil heart.

Therefore, what Poe wrote does not make him evil.  I’m a Christian, through and through.  Jesus is my Lord and nothing is more important to me than Him and I love the song “I Can Only Imagine,” by MercyMe, but I also like most of the rock-n-roll bands of the 70s.  Does that make me evil?

There is one more Lost City of the America’s, so tomorrow we’ll look at…

2 Timothy 1
Appeals for Faithfulness

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

“According to the promised of life” – Paul’s being chosen to be an apostle was in keeping with that promise because apostles were appointed to preach and explain the good news that eternal life is available to all who will receive it through faith in Christ.

954-a2 To Timothy, my dearly beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day;

“I thank God…without ceasing” – meaning that Paul thanked God every day just for being Him.  We can and should thank Him for all that He does and even anything He does do for us because He has a reason for not doing something at our request.  We thank Him for being our Father.  Don’t you thank you parents for being who they are?

4 Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears, that I may be filled with joy;

5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

6 Wherefore I put thee in remembrance that thou stir up the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my hands.

954-b“Stir up the gift of God” – Gifts are not given in full bloom; they need to be developed through use.

“By the putting on of my hands” – Paul was God’s instrument, through whom the gift came from the Holy Ghost to Timothy.

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

8 Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;

9 Who hath saved us, and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,

“Not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace” – Salvation is by grace alone and is based not on human effort but on God’s saving plan and the gracious gift of His Son (see Rom 3:28: Eph 2:8-9; Tit 3:5).

“Before the world began” – God’s plan to save lost sinners was made in eternity past (see Eph 1:4; 1 Pet 1:20; Rev 13:8).

10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

954-c11 Whereunto I am appointed a preacher, and an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

Cf. Phil 1:6.

13 Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

14 That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us.

“That good thing…committed unto thee” – the gospel.  Paul gives the same command in 1 Tim 6:20.

15 This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

954-d16 The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain:

17 But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me.

18 The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well.


…Lost Cities of the Americas: Machu Picchu.


The Book of 2 Timothy

November 24, 2014

953-Category

Summary of the Book of 2 Timothy

The book of 2nd Timothy is a Pastoral Epistle (letter from Paul to a church leader). The author is the Apostle Paul who wrote it approximately 67 A.D. and is probably his last letter.

953-1After Paul’s release from his first imprisonment in Rome in AD 61 or 62, and after his final missionary journey (probably into Spain), he was again imprisoned under Emperor Nero c. 66-67.

The key personalities are Paul, Timothy, Luke, Mark, and many others.

Its purpose was to give direction to Timothy and urge him to visit one final time. From the somber nature of this letter, it is apparent that Paul knew that his work was done and that his life was nearly at an end.

For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (2 Tim 4:6-8).

Chapters 1-2 – Paul begins with thanksgivings and an announcement to remain faithful, strong, and to “Join with me in suffering for the Gospel”

Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God (1:8).

953-2In contrast to his first imprisonment (where he lived in a rented house), he now languished in a cold dungeon (4:13) chained like a common criminal (1:16; 2:9).

He also reiterates the important work of

And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also (2:2).

Paul’s desire was to equip the saints with the knowledge of how to teach others.

Chapters 3-4 – Paul tells Timothy to remain faithful and

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine (4:2)

Because difficult times would be in the future. He challenges him to endure reminding him that endurance is one of the main quality essentials for a successful preacher of the Gospel.

Men would become just as they were in the time of Moses. He writes,

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (3:12).

Chapter 4 – Paul writes about personal concerns asking that some of his personal items be brought to him. It appears that his imprisonment was completely unexpected.

953-3Soon after this letter, probably the spring of 68 A.D., it is likely that Paul was beheaded as a Roman citizen.

I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing (4:7-8).


Forbes 400 List Reveals Why the Greedy Rich Fully Deserve Your Contempt – And Jesus’s and 1 Timothy 6 – The Use of Wealth

November 23, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Forbes 400 List Reveals
Why the Greedy Rich
Fully Deserve Your Contempt
And Jesus’ Too

Written in September 2012 and Things are Getting Worse

The bulk of America’s super wealthy refuse to pull their weight and kill opportunity for the rest. And they want your thanks!

Fresh Solutions for Food Security: William H. Gates IIIThe list reveals that Bill Gates is still the top dog, boasting a whopping $66 billion fortune. Warren Buffett, Michael Bloomberg, various members of the Walton family, and the Koch brothers are all in the top 10. Mark Zuckerberg hung on, despite the evaporation of a big chunk of his wealth. Spanx founder Sara Blakley, who brought women a whole new world of restrictive undergarments, is on the list.

Nothing extraordinary in all that. But this year’s Forbes list has a big lesson for us: It shows just how jaw-droppingly rich the top 400 have become compared to everybody else.

Forbes reports that in the last year alone, the total net worth of the 400 people at the top skyrocketed $200 billion. The average net worth of a 400-lister jumped from $3.8 billion to $4.2 billion, the highest figure ever recorded.

Two-thirds of the individuals got richer in the past year.   Forbes, not exactly a cheerleader for income equality, concluded: “The gap between the very rich and the merely rich is widening.”

And how did the rest of us do while the uber-rich were getting richer? Not so well, according to the Census Bureau. Adjusted for inflation, America suffered a 1.5 percent drop in median household income last year.

952-2-Warren BuffetThe redistribution of wealth toward the top is clearly getting worse. In fact, despite the financial crash, the Occupy movement, and the obvious failure of trickledown economics, the Census Bureau reports that the gulf between the rich and the rest of us is at an all-time high.

Maybe that’s why the rich and their apologists are getting a bit defensive lately.

Like a drug addict turning every cushion upside-down in search of lost change, the 1 Percenters are scrounging up every timeworn myth, lame justification and absurd rationalization they can think of to convince us that the rich are super-smart, hard-working job creators instead of greedy parasites refusing to pay their share in taxes and play by the same rulebook as everyone else.

This line gets harder to sell every minute. Mitt Romney’s candidacy had done wonders to expose not only the general contempt of his class toward ordinary people, but also just how many special privileges the rich enjoy.

Romney has accumulated great wealth not only because of his job-destroying and predatory business activities, but also because he gets a special break that allows him to get away with paying the capital gains tax rate of 15%.

952-3-BloombergAnd that’s one big reason that the rich are getting richer. Romney and his ilk claim this is good for the economy – the old “trickledown” myth.

But as New York Times columnist Joe Nocera points out, that canard is easily exposed: “In 1986, when Ronald Reagan was president, the differential between capital gains and ordinary income was eliminated — and the economy soared.”

Interesting, isn’t it? Nocera adds that the capital gains rate was higher during the Clinton years than in the George W. Bush years, yet the economy miraculously did better under Bubba.

Doesn’t sound like a low capital gains tax rate that lines the pockets of the rich is what the doctor ordered, does it?

Let’s take a closer list of who is on the Forbes list. Financiers make up a big chunk. Around 40 percent inherited their wealth.

The vast majority, some 65 percent, came from circumstances ranging from very comfortable (Mark Zuckerberg went to the fanciest schools) to downright plush (Donald Trump inherited his dad’s company).

The billionaire Koch Brothers may be the greediest people alive.   Don’t let their kindly grandfather faces fool you; the Koch Brothers are pure evil.  Like Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers don’t get enough media attention.  I’ll bet that 95% of the United States population has never heard of the Koch Brothers and their evil actions. The billionaire Koch Brothers are already worth nearly 50 billion dollars, yet these greedy jerks still want more.  They won’t be happy until they own the entire United States.

The billionaire Koch Brothers may be the greediest people alive.
Don’t let their kindly grandfather faces fool you; the Koch Brothers are pure evil.
Like Grover Norquist, the Koch brothers don’t get enough media attention.
I’ll bet that 95% of the United States population has never heard of the Koch Brothers and their evil actions.
The billionaire Koch Brothers are already worth nearly 50 billion dollars, yet these greedy jerks still want more.
They won’t be happy until they own the entire United States.

A mere 35 percent came from backgrounds that could be described as middle- to lower-middle-class.

Most of the folks on the list got great breaks in life. And yet in a recent survey conducted by Salon, only 2% of people in this Happy Billionaires Club said they would be willing to pay more in taxes (Warren Buffet, Todd Wagner, James Simons, Leon Cooperman, Mark Cuban, John Arnold, Herbert Simon, and George Soros).

Which is proof that not all of the rich are unpatriotic and rapacious? But they are lonely voices in a storm of greed.

Charles Koch, CEO of Koch Industries and funder of conservative causes, summed up his opposition to the idea of forgoing special tax breaks: “I believe my business and non-profit investments are much more beneficial to societal well-being than sending more money to Washington.”

Ordinary Americans are plainly getting screwed, and the vision of America as a land of opportunity is increasingly becoming dimmed. And yet a recent article in Fortune magazine,

“Stop Beating Up the Rich,” shamelessly calls for an end to what author Nina Easton describes as “diatribes against the 1%.”

“America stands out among Western nations for its grudging, and often fawning, admiration for the wealthy classes it produces,” explains Easton. (It’s hard to argue with that. Score one point for Easton).

She continues: “With the road to riches seemingly wide open, Americans favor aspiration over resentment, envy over animus.”

952-5-facebookThe key word here is “seemingly.” It seems like anybody can make it, because the press makes much of those Horatio Alger rags-to-riches stories.

Unfortunately, as economist Joseph Stiglitz frequently points out, those stories make the news for a simple reason: they are rare. And becoming rarer all the time.

By Easton’s own admission, “today American upward mobility (especially for men) lags behind Canada’s and some European nations.”

Easton goes on to complain that the Occupy movement, the most recent incarnation in America’s traditional disdain for cheating, hording fatcats, is wrong in its 99% versus 1% frame.

”Sadly, it is a confusing and flawed prism,” sniffs Easton, “marred by hyperbole, half-truths, and unnecessary pessimism about what it means to succeed in America.”

She goes on to whine that “if Americans really understood who the 1% are, they would be more likely to stop the name-calling and shift the debate to the dire task at hand – getting millions back to work.”

952-6-ObamaAll righty then. While we’re trying to get back to work, we’ll try to forget that Wall Street’s reckless casino games crashed the economy in 2008, destroying millions of jobs.

And we’ll see if we can ignore the fact that corporate-friendly policies pushed by the greedy rich have made decent wages and job security a thing of the past for many.

And we’ll pretend that all the people at the top of the pyramid are ordinary folks who had the same chances as everybody else and made it through hard work and grit.

And we’ll make an effort to discount the fact that it is the super-rich who should be thanking us, for our job creation, and our tax dollars that build their roads, educate their workforce, provide the research needed to make their products – and, oh wait! – lots of them don’t make or do anything, they just bleed money out of the real economy and deplete the government of revenue with their special tax breaks!

952-7While we’re at it, we’ll see if we can forget the famous teaching of Jesus, uttered after a rich young man came to ask how he could be saved.

And Jesus. You just sell your worldly possessions and become a follower of my teachings. But the young man was overly fond of his worldly possessions, and turned away.

To which Jesus said:

…Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God (Matt 19:24).

That Jesus. He sure did beat up on the rich, didn’t he?


Racism is racism, but there can always be circumstances.

952-j-1I believe that most people would prefer to be with their own race, then another, and that is not racism, but preference.  I would prefer to be with whites then blacks, or any race.  Yet, one of my best friends is black and I would drop what I was doing if she needed of help.

It is said that the biggest race war in America is the “Blacks and Whites.”  But is it?  What about the unspoken race war of the “Rich and Poor”?

I don’t think I’m a racist, but since I’m not You, God, I don’t know for certain.  But if I’m a racist there’s only one race I despise and that’s the Greedy Rich.  I’d rather hang out with a black (or any race) poor person then a white rich person.

952-j-2I don’t envy their wealth or feel inferior to them and they don’t make me gag, at least not  because they have more than I do because they don’t have more than me, I have You and they don’t (Matt 19:24).

For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.

952-j-3But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord (2 Cor 15:53-57).

1 Timothy 6
The Use of Wealth

1 Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, that the name of God and his doctrine be not blasphemed.

952-a2 And they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they are brethren; but rather do them service, because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.

3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

4 He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,

5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.

“Destitute of the truth” – they had once known the truth but had been led into error.

6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

952-b8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.

10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.

12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.

“Lay hold on eternal life” – Timothy had possessed eternal life since he had first been saved, but Paul urges him to claim its benefits in greater fullness.

13 I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;

“Before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession” – probably a reference to Jesus’ statements in Jn 18:33-37, 19:10-11.

952-c14 That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:

15 Which in his times he shall shew, who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;

“In his times” – just as Jesus’ first coming occurred at the precise time God wanted (Gal 4:4), so also His second coming will be at God’s appointed time.

“King of kings, and Lord of Lords” – see Rev 19:16.

16 Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honor and power everlasting. Amen.

17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy;

952-d18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate;

19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

20 O Timothy, keep that which is committed to thy trust, avoiding profane and vain babblings, and oppositions of science falsely so called:

21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.

The first to Timothy was written from Laodicea, which is the chiefest city of Phrygia Pacatiana.


…the Book of 2 Timothy.


Twelve Kinds of Pastors Today and 1 Timothy 5 – Pastoral Duties

November 22, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Twelve Kinds of Pastors Today

I have come to discover 12 kinds of pastors that are visible in the church today.

Though not all, but these twelve represent the majority of pastors leading churches today. I hope you can find who you are among these twelve descriptions.

1. Businessmen Pastors1 Tim 6:3-5; Isaiah 56:10, 11; 2:14

Insurance salesman and former superstar pastor from Colorado, Ted Haggard was disgraced in a sex-and-drugs scandal, had returned _ this time as a Christian businessman preaching a message that was equal parts contrition and defiance.  Haggard linked his fall to being molested in second grade and apologized again. Yeah, right.

Insurance salesman and former superstar pastor from Colorado, Ted Haggard was disgraced in a sex-and-drugs scandal, had returned _ this time as a Christian businessman preaching a message that was equal parts contrition and defiance.
Haggard linked his fall to being molested in second grade and apologized again.
Yeah, right.

Description: Businessmen and women who seek the ministry simply as avenue to make money. They function as the chief executive officers of their churches. The church is run with business principles. Their major emphasis is money, finance, Prosperity, how to make it. They are in absolute control of everything.

Basic Motive: Gain and profit. The programs are targeted at how much money is realized, using God, Church and Bible to make: money arid personally enriching themselves.

2. Funky Pastor2 Tim. 4:3, 4; Jer 6:13

951-2Description: Worldly, carnal, ungodly pastors who watered down the gospel to please people. They dress anyhow, allow anything in the church. They are immoral and intimate maniac who take advantage of people. Their messages are the church liberty, ministry on the broadways, easy way to heaven and making you somebody in life.

Basic Motives: Keep the people happy. Don’t offend them by telling them the truth. They exert influence and power over people in order to get their money. Youth and young people enjoy these kinds of pastors.

This is the Catholic Church, but they are more than just funky.

3. Vocational PastorsEze 34: 2, 3

951-3Description: They are in the ministry, not a result of God’s call, but by the call of men. They pastor as a hobby or past time. They love the honor and respect being given to pastors.

Basic motive: To rule over others and to be seen and respected by them. No vision, purpose and commission from the Lord. They therefore lord over people, using threats and position to oppress those who are genuinely called.

4. Yesterday’s Pastors

Pastor Raped Women to ‘Purify Their Sins’

Pastor Rapes Six Women to “Purify Their Sins.”
What a guy.

Description: They are called by the Lord, but they are not in tune with the moves of God today. They are holy, godly and righteous but are trapped in yesterday’s ways because they are ultra -conservative. Old tradition, dogma and doctrina1 correctness is their forte. They spend only on their one gift to lead the church, they detest learning and change.

Basic Motive: To survive and bring back old time religion. They are therefore prejudiced against growth, change and new strategies. They are good in hymna1s, bell-ringing and order of service that has become routine and lifeless today. Their relational skills are weak and very low.

5. Political PastorsJer 10:21; Jer 23: 11; Mich 3: 11

951-5Description: They were once servants of the Lord, but have now backslidden. They no longer have time to preach, pray, nourish people and prepare them for heaven. All their time is taken up with meetings upon meetings. They have become servants of the people. Bad friends, economic hardship and strange teachings have changed them.

Basic motive: To make it, either by force or by fire. They therefore engage in church politics. They become cunning, crafty, arm- twisting and can speak from both sides of the mouth. Their strategic closeness to church authority make them to determine the transfer, promotion, discipline and suspension of other pastors, many times better than them. Character assassination is their modus-operandi.951-5a

Rick Warren and Billy Graham fit in here.  The Catholic priests don’t fit here because they were never with God.  The Pope is their God and the priests share their god with the Pope.

6. Occultic PastorsRev 2:20,24: Rev 3:9

igeria’s biggest pastor, David Oyedepo, the owner of Winners Chapel, also known as Living Faith Church World Wide, the richest pastor in the country, with a net worth of over 150 million dollars has been exposed by bloggers via internet Google-earth satellite imagery of his establishment to have constructed the entire campus based on occult, masonic symbols.

igeria’s biggest pastor, David Oyedepo, the owner of Winners Chapel, also known as Living Faith Church World Wide, the richest pastor in the country, with a net worth of over 150 million dollars has been exposed by bloggers via internet Google-earth satellite imagery of his establishment to have constructed the entire campus based on occult, masonic symbols.

Description: These are the people who have no business being in the ministry, but they are there all the same. Some are former occult practitioners who claim to be born-again, while others are herbalists and magicians who decide to hood wink people by modernizing as pastors. They live double lives. They appear to eat at the Lord’s Table but also deal with the devil in secret. They use means and demonic power to perform spurious miracles.

Basic Motives: Their motive is gain, power and control over people. They therefore use candles, coconut, incense, salt, kolanut, sponge, soaps, special baths and native roots as “prayer support”. They engage in fake vision, false prophecy and spurious miracles. They read the sixth and seventh books of Moses. They are usually polygamous and womanizers.

Oprah could possibly fit in here.

7. Shallow PastorsZeph3:4

951-7Description: These are proud, garrulous, self-centered and self-willed pastors. They are islands, too busy to attend conferences or seminars or listen to anybody’s tape. They believe that everyone should learn from them but they cannot learn from anybody. Their anointing has grown to the extent that they don’t need to read the Bible every day, have time of prayer and fast unto the Lord.

Basic motive: Their motive is to succeed in ministry financially, materially and socially. They therefore spend church money to buy expensive shoes, clothing, cars and properties. They have nothing to really give to people spiritually. They thrive on stories, noise, demonstrations, pushing people and mimicked styles and prophesies. Their sermon dwell on their worth, wealth and fame.

The Preachers of L.A. is one of many that are like this.

8. Ministry Pastors

Cultural forces] turn us into replicas of our cutural leaders, seeking after power and influence and prestige.  These insistent voices drum away at us, telling us pastors to go out and compete against the successful executives and entertainers who have made it to the top, so that we can put our churches on the map and made it big in the world.

Cultural forces] turn us into replicas of our cutural leaders, seeking after power and influence and prestige.
These insistent voices drum away at us, telling us pastors to go out and compete against the successful executives and entertainers who have made it to the top, so that we can put our churches on the map and made it big in the world.

Description: These are ministry focused pastors. They are committed to and consumed by the work of the ministry. In their order of priorities, ministry is number one and everything else takes secondary position. These pastors neglect their families, children and personal lives in the name of doing ministry. Their children are wayward, bitter, uncatered for, angry and unconverted. Their wives are miserable, frustrated, neglected; feel cheated and lonely.

Basic motives: To fulfill their ministry irrespective of anything or anybody. The desire is to prove themselves and the readiness to neglect everything for the ministry. They move from crusade to revivals, from Prayer Mountains to special seminars. They are too spiritual to play, pray, enjoy and relax with their wives, children and family, because sinners are perishing. They are always in a hurry.

Sounds like lawyers.

9. Sick PastorsRev 3:14-19

HOUSTON — Pastor Tracy Bernard Burleson is on trial for allegedly having his son, William Fuller, kill his wife, Pauletta Burleson execution style in their garage in 2010. Fuller claims that he killed Pauletta Burleson on the orders of his father.

HOUSTON — Pastor Tracy Bernard Burleson is on trial for allegedly having his son, William Fuller, kill his wife, Pauletta Burleson execution style in their garage in 2010.
Fuller claims that he killed Pauletta Burleson on the orders of his father.

Description: physically okay but spiritually sick. Sick because they don’t know the Lord, they are sinful, ungodly, evil, immoral and wicked. Though they sometimes find themselves leading large congregations, yet, they preach the Jesus they have not met. They only use their spiritual activities to cover their spiritual unclothedness.

Basic motives: They don’t know why they are in the ministry. They want to be like the Jones and Joneses. They are copycats. They struggle with sin, evil and low self-image. They take out their anger, sin and frustration on the people.

They are sick because they lack basic leadership skill. They are sick because they are not good examples and role model to follow. They are sick because they operate under curse and disobedience.

10. Wounded Pastors

By Todd Starnes, Fox News Radio President Obama had a choice.  He could either stand with the Islamic Republic of Iran or he could stand with Saeed Abedini, the American Christian pastor they are currently torturing. President Obama chose the Islamic Republic. The Obama Administration confirmed the nuclear deal made with the Islamic Republic in the dark of night did not include any talks about releasing Pastor Abedini. The American pastor has been imprisoned by the Iranians for more than a year – beaten and tortured for sharing his faith. And now – he’s been betrayed by his government.

By Todd Starnes, Fox News Radio
President Obama had a choice.
He could either stand with the Islamic Republic of Iran or he could stand with Saeed Abedini, the American Christian pastor they are currently torturing.
President Obama chose the Islamic Republic.
The American pastor has been imprisoned by the Iranians for more than a year – beaten and tortured for sharing his faith.
And now – he’s been betrayed by his government.

Description: They have experienced back-stabbing, disappointment and calamities in ministry. Their work has dealt them a hard blow. Through some mistakes and ignorance, they have been wounded in ministry. They are therefore bitter, sad, hurting and hateful in the ministry.

Basic motive: Vengeance, retribution and survival. They have been wounded by sin, devil, people, partners, colleagues and members. Some have lost wives, husbands, children, names, properties and health in the course of doing ministry. Some have deep pain. due to betrayal by mentors, leaders, associates and spouses. And the wound is fresh and new.

11. Technology Pastors

Follow Church teachings and you'll get rewarded. Literally. The Catholic Church is now offering loyal @Pontifex Twitter followers "indulgences" that reduce the time Catholics spend in purgatory.  It's the newest and boldest social media embrace by the Church since the launch of the Papal Twitter account and now receiving a new boost under new Pope Francis. Indulgences reduce the time Catholics spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins. What a bargain.

Follow Church teachings and you’ll get rewarded.
Literally.
The Catholic Church is now offering loyal @Pontifex Twitter followers “indulgences” that reduce the time Catholics spend in purgatory.
It’s the newest and boldest social media embrace by the Church since the launch of the Papal Twitter account and now receiving a new boost under new Pope Francis.
Indulgences reduce the time Catholics spend in purgatory after they have confessed and been absolved of their sins.
What a bargain.

Description: They are pastors on the move, who are always on the fast lane of life. Moving from city to city, nation to nation, making money at the expense of the souls under them. They spend weeks away from the church. They junket from place to place in the name of doing ministry while the church at home is dying and scattering. They monitor by means of audio and video messages of sermons.

Basic motive: Money, pleasure and properties. They use God to better their lot in life. Their living standard is above the income of their church. They always travel for ministration and business deals. While traveling, they continue to monitor the church through phone, emails, websites, and phone-in-conference. They use these technologies to conduct services on Sunday and at vigils. In some cases, they stay permanently abroad and control the church from there.

Pope Francis fits here.

12. Growing Pastors

951-12Description: Very few, but these are pastors after God’s heart. They are called and commissioned by the Lord. Pursue a God-given vision. Display high integrity, character, godliness and a heart for things of eternal value. They are not perfect, but growing every day. They are balanced, learning, open to change and full of the Holy Spirit.

Basic motive: They desire to make impact for God. They want to see lives, families, nations and cities transformed for the. Lord. They have no personal empire to build; rather they want to extend the frontiers of God’s kingdom throughout the whole world. They see ministry as opportunity to serve, help and empower others. They de-emphasize money, gain and pleasure.

These are the non-denomination churches.

From these descriptions of twelve kinds of pastors, you can see that only number 12 can really lead the church to true and sustainable growth.

This is the reason why majority of our churches are sick, stagnant, crisis – ridden and are dying today because they are being pastored by the wrong kind of pastors.


Most pastors/preachers are just greedy people.  Speaking about greedy people, tomorrow we’ll look at… 

1 Timothy 5
Pastoral Duties

951-a1 Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;

2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

3 Honor widows that are widows indeed.

“Honor widows that are widows indeed” – that is, widows who are truly left alone and destitute.  This probably means taking care of them, including the giving of materials support. 

Widows were particularly vulnerable in ancient societies because no pensions, government assistance, life insurance, or the like were available to them.

4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.

6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.

951-bDead spiritually while living physically.

7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.

8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

9 Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,

“Taken into the number” – the church in Ephesus seems to have maintained a list of widows supported by the church.  While there is no evidence of an order of widows comparable to that of the bishops, it appears that those on the list were expected to devote themselves to prayer and good deeds.

10 Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.

“Washed the saint’s feet” – a menial task, but necessary because of the dusty roads and the wearing of sandals.

11 But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry;

12 Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.

951-c“Cast off their first faith” – perhaps when a widow was added to the list she pledged special devotion to Christ, which would be diminished by remarriage.  Or Paul may be referring to the believer’s basic trust in Christ, which a widow would compromise by marrying outside the faith.

13 And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.

14 I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

15 For some are already turned aside after Satan.

16 If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.

18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The laborer is worthy of his reward.

951-d“Scripture” – the use of this term for both an Old Testament (Deut 25:4) and a New Testament (Lk 10:7) passage shows that by this time portions of the New Testament (or what ultimately became a part of the New Testament) were considered to be equal in authority to the Old Testament Scriptures.

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.

“Elect angels” – elect angels, in contrast to Satan and the other fallen angels.

22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

“Neither be partaker of other men’s sins” – do not ordain a person unworthy of the office of elder.

951-e23 Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.

24 Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after.

5:24-25 – Some men’s sins…good works” – Paul advises being alert to hidden sins as well as to good deeds in the lives of candidates for ordination.

25 Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.


…Forbes 400 list reveals why the greedy rich fully deserve your contempt – and Jesus’s.


How to Live for God and1 Timothy 4 – Instructions for Godly Living

November 21, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

How to Live for God

People live by their feelings more than anything else much of the time. If you listen, you’ll hear people talk about how they feel more than just about anything else.

950-1Therefore we must ask, are we serving the god of our feelings more than the God of the Bible?

For example, someone says, “I don’t feel God loves me.” Well, He does. Or “I don’t feel I have a future.” Well, you do. The Bible clearly says God loves us and that He has good plans for us. But when we believe the lies the enemy puts in our mind over the Word of God, we will feel like the lies are true and then live like it.

The Danger of Emotional Living

Emotional people make big mistakes when they base decisions on how they feel rather than obeying God and what they know is the right thing to do. We have to learn how to live beyond our feelings and do what’s right even when we feel wrong.

What Determines How You Live?

We have to learn how to live beyond our feelings and do what’s right even when we feel wrong. 

950-2How often do you say, “I feel like…” or “I don’t feel like…” and then do what you feel? Do your feelings dictate how you treat people? Or what you say? Do feelings run your life?

Jesus did not live by His feelings, but by the word of God.  Some may say that He did live by His feelings because of the incident when He overthrow the tables in the tabernacle, but they are wrong.

Sure, Jesus was mad, but He didn’t overthrow the tables due to His anger, but because what they were doing was against God.

And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,

And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves (Matt 21:12-13).

You may be thinking, Well, I can’t help how I feel! I agree. I can’t help how I feel at times and I’m not going to pretend I don’t feel anything. Emotions won’t go away – we must learn how to manage them and not let them manage us.

950-3There are times when I have felt insecure about speaking at a conference. But I decided to trust God and have confidence that He would help me. When I stepped out to teach, the feelings of insecurity went away.

 

Moses had the same problem:

And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue.

And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man’s mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD?

Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say (Ex 4:10-12).


Separation of the Flesh and the Spirit

In prison everyone is told to leave their emotions outside the door, if you don’t you will not do well.

950-j-1It is the same concept with God.  I’m not saying to dismiss your feelings towards God, on the contrary.  Share your feelings with God.

Did something good happen to you?  If so, thank God.  Did something go wrong with you?  If so, discuss it with God.  You can even yell at Him if you choose.  God is your father so you can talk to Him about anything, and He even wants you to, isn’t that right, Father?

And just like the prisoner left his emotions outside the door, leave yours with God and let Him guide your spirit.  If you don’t, you won’t do so well in this world. That does not mean not to have feelings for other people.

Emotions and Behavior are like Water and Oil.

I had to retake my driver’s license test.  In Texas, if you fail the parallel parking you fail the entire test.  I practiced for a couple days parallel parking and when I took the test I failed, twice.

950-j-2I was extremely nervous when I went to take the test the third time, but before I even left my house I asked God to not take away my nervousness, but to let me pass the test.  I can’t explain it, but starting my test and ending my test seems like it took no more than 2 minutes and I passed with flying colors.

I think the hardest job on earth is being a good mother and it’s for life.  I think the second hardest, or close to it, is being a good pastor because you know the devil is going to try and trip him up and when he does, emotions can really take a toll on them.

So tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Timothy 4
Instructions for Godly Living

950-b1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

“In the latter times” – the time beginning with the first coming of Christ.  Paul is not referring only to the time immediately prior to Christ’s second coming is obvious form his assumption in v. 7 that the false teachings were already present at the time of his writing.

2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;

3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

This unbiblical asceticism arose out of the mistaken belief that the material world was evil – a central belief of the Gnostic heresy.

4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:

950-c5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.

7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.

“Exercise thyself rather unto godliness” – godliness requires self-discipline.

8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.

“Bodily exercise” – Paul isn’t talking about keeping in good physical shape, he is speaking of religious exercises, such as asceticism – not marrying, and not eating meat.

9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.

10 For therefore we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, specially of those that believe.

950-d“Savior for all” – obviously this does not mean that God saves every person from eternal punishment, for such universalism would contradict the clear testimony of Scripture (e.g., Matt 7:21-23).

God is, however, the Savior of all in that He offers salvation to all and saves all who come to Him.

11 These things command and teach.

12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.

15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.

950-a16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.

“Thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee” – God alone saves, but Christians can be God’s instruments to bring about the salvation of others.

“Save thyself” – salvation is both an event and a process.  We are saved at the time of conversion (when we accept Christ) but are still being saved in the sense of being made more conformed to Christ’s image (1 Cor 1:18) and ultimately glorified.


…twelve kinds of pastors today.


Bishops and Deacons and 1 Timothy 3 – False Churches

November 20, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

False Churches

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect (Mk 13:22).

949-1All churches that govern are of the devil, i.e., changes, deletes, alters, or adds anything to Jesus Christ.

For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book (Rev 22:18-19).

I don’t want to surprise anyone, but Bush and Obama are not the worst thing that ever happened to the United States.  The worst thing that has ever happened to this world is religion.

Jesus Christ is not a religion, He is God.  Therefore, ALL religions are false, including Christianity in many, if not all, churches.

I have not been to all the churches nor do I know the beliefs of all faiths, but Jesus never created a religion and whenever he went into a church/synagogue He taught those in charge the ways of God, even at the age of 12 (Lk 2:41-52).

God is a loving God, but as the saying goes, “You hate the one you love.”  God hates no one, but He does hate evil (Ps 97:10, Prov 8:13). 

949-2God is not nice to wicked people, nor does He even listen to them:

Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear;

But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear (Isa 59:1-2).

Below is a short list of false beliefs:

Atheism
Baha’i
Black Muslim
Buddhism
Christian Science
Church of Christ
Eastern Cults
Episcopal Church
Freemasonry
Greek Eastern Orthodox
Hinduism
Humanism
Illuminati
Islamic
Muslim
949-3Jehovah Witnesses
Judaism
Kabbalah
Lutherans
Modernism
Moonies (Unification Church)
Mormonism
New Age
Pagan Mumbo-Jumbo (Yin Yang)
Pentecostal/Charismatic
Roman Catholicism
Russian Orthodox
Scientology
Seventh-Day Adventist
Unitarian Universalism
United Church of Christ
Witchcraft/Wicca/Satanism 

949-4I am not saying not to go to church.  I say we should go to a church that is non-denomination, but then again, some of them preach something else. 

So how do we know what church is speaking the truth about Jesus?  By reading the Bible and talking to God.  

Is reading the Bible or talking to God too much to ask for?  Does it take up to much of your time?  

If you have children and you don’t have time for them then you never should have had them and that makes you a bad parent. 

God is not a bad parent, He has bad kids. 


Here’s that question we all have, “To do or not to do, that is the question?”  Who do you live for?  Who should you live for?  Tomorrow we’ll talk about…

1 Timothy 3
Bishops and Deacons

949-51 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

“Bishop” – in the Greek culture the word was used of a presiding official in a civic or religious  organization.  Here is refers to a man who oversees a local congregation. 

The equivalent word from the Jewish background of Christianity is “elder.”

The terms “bishop” (or “overseer”) and “elder” are used interchangeably in Acts 20:17, 28; Tit 1:5-7; 1 Pet 5:1-2.

The duties of a bishop were to teach and preach, to direct the affairs of the church, to shepherd the flock of God and to guard the church from error.

2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

“A bishop…must be…husband of one wife” – a general principle that applies to any violation of God’s marriage law, whether in the form of polygamy or of marital unfaithfulness.

3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

949-b4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

“Deacon” – in its nontechnical usage, the Greek for this word means simply “one who serves.”  The men chosen in Acts 6:1-6 were probably not only the first deacons mentioned in the New Testament but also the first to be appointed in the church.

Generally, their service was meant to free the elders to give full attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.

9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

949-c10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

“Wives” – the Greek for this word could refer to (1) deacon’s wife, (2) deaconesses or (3) female deacons.  However, the fact that deacons are referred to again in vv. 12-13 seems to rule out a separate office of deacons or female deacons.

12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

949-d16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

“Mystery of godliness” – the phrase means the “revealed secret of true piety,” i.e., the secret that produces piety in people.  The secret, as the following  words indicate, is none other than Jesus Christ.  Jesus’s incarnation, in all its aspects (particularly His saving work), is the source of genuine piety.

Do not confuse the secret of Jesus Christ with Rhonda Byrne’s book “The Secret.”


…how to live for God.


Alcoholics Anonymous and God and 1 Timothy 2 – Prayer and Sobriety

November 19, 2014

The words in Black and Maroon is the text from historical/archaeological facts or the numbered scriptures from the Bible.  
Words in Blue are God – Red is Jesus – Green is Jerry.
Jerry is not a scholar, but a very curious 12 year old boy who loves Jesus and likes to research.
If you have any questions you would like to be answered privately or any subject you would like posted please contact me here.

Alcoholics Anonymous and God

Usually alcoholics are gun shy of religion.

Rev. George A. Little, D.D.

Rev. George A. Little, D.D.

This article was written by Rev. Little.  The original is quite lengthy and parts were not necessary for my purpose so I excluded them, but none of the Reverend’s words have been changed.  All scriptures were added by me and any comments are in green.  If you want to read the entire article you can go here

In January 1940, Rev. George A. Little, D.D., then a fifty-six year old Minister of The United Church of Canada in Toronto, Ontario, happened to read a review of the book Alcoholics Anonymous written by Dr. Harry Emerson Fosdick.

Alcoholics Anonymous, which now has 1,700 groups with 70,000 members and influence far beyond its membership, is a spiritual movement, a faith cure for alcoholism. Men and women find that they have been trying to live without God, and then they discover how to live with God.

Alcoholics Anonymous has greatly increased since the time of this writing.  As of 2013, in the United States there are approximately: 59,321 Groups and 1,295,656 Members; in Canada: 5,093 Groups and 93,071 Members; Outside of the U.S. and Canada: 48,726 Groups and 705,902 Members.

That gives a different set to the sails. Or, as one expressed it, the roots of his mind reached down and grasped a new soil. It is a leap of faith to be able to believe that there is a God personal to oneself.

948-2The distinctive novelty is that each alcoholic is allowed to choose his own concept of God. There is full liberty of belief and no end to the varieties of belief. Therein Alcoholics Anonymous differs from the churches that require belief in certain sets of dogma.

An alcoholic refuses to accept these ready-made: he wants to make his own. In A.A. he is encouraged to do so, with this rider, that he obey the Higher Power, as he understands it.

That is intriguing. That places the responsibility on the alcoholic. He is on trial, not an organization, a book, a creed, or a sacrament. Can he act according to his own faith?

Every person has some belief, more or less vague, in a creative, life-giving force, a universal mind or oversoul. Alcoholics Anonymous begins by thinking of this as a Power rather than a Person.

Surrender to the Higher Power is not difficult for alcoholics, because for years they have surrendered to a lower power.

948-3In time, however, there are craving and compulsion, memory blanks, shakes, sweats, headaches, and hangovers. One man after a bout felt as though he had seven skulls. In devotion to this autocratic tyrant alcoholics will surrender thought, time, money, health, friends, and vocation.

To surrender to the Higher Power involves no more exacting a demand than the surrender they have made to alcohol.

Experienced A.A. practitioners, while admitting that they are only amateur psychologists, are wise enough not to begin by demanding beliefs. They work on thoughts, desires, attitudes, relationships, purposes, and habits.

They are agreed that the root trouble is in the thinking, not the drinking. At one meeting of a rather intellectual group the drink problem was not directly mentioned.

The program of recovery is absorbed rather than learned, caught rather than taught.

One helpful approach is to think of God as the truth-making Power. The typical alcoholic insists on making his own interpretation of the universe and he anticipates the Day of Judgment by pronouncing condemnation on all and sundry.

948-4His dislikes are stronger than his likes. Criticism is his mental habit rather than appreciation. It is an initial step in humility to admit that truth is ordained of God.

Mathematicians did not decree the multiplication table, nor musicians the octave, astronomers the calendar, orators the alphabet, mariners the magnetic compass.

When truth is accepted as from God, intellectual conceit begins to vanish. The alcoholic learns to work with the laws of God instead of against them.

Curiously enough the mind starts to discover new truth and to act upon it until every day becomes a voyage of discovery into the many-sided truths of God. Mind and mortality thus have a constant interplay.

In simple, even primitive fashion, members of Alcoholics Anonymous come to think of the Higher Power as the Hero of Eternity. Long before we were born the Higher Power was governing and ordaining: long after we are gone that same Power will be ruling and overruling.

The personality change can be sudden, unexpected, and involuntary.

948-5A well-seasoned drinker, after two months of sobriety, was asked to speak at a meeting. He answered that as yet he had nothing to say. “Then just say that you have nothing to say,” he was told.

When called to speak he announced that for the sake of politeness he could not refuse but “actually I have nothing to say, for nothing has happened to me.” Then he paused. After a somewhat painful silence he said quietly, “Something has happened to me,” and sat down.

Two months later an old friend asked what had happened. He replied: “As I was saying I had nothing to say, suddenly I knew that at long last I had surrendered to goodness. All my life I had been debating and holding back. I have been different ever since and I have not the slightest desire for a drink.”

Without conscious effort his personality has been unified. Rehabilitation may follow a Christian pattern.

One man after thirty years of hard drinking made an inventory of what hard drink had cost him. He became convinced he was a fool, and he did not like being a fool. In his own words this is his story:

“I decided to investigate religion. I read what the Apostles had to say about Jesus Christ. Christ came into my life and liquor stayed out. Nothing goes out until something else comes in.”

948-6The spiritual aspect of the program is by no means camouflaged but it is not made too obvious at first. The Big Book, Alcoholics Anonymous, sometimes described as the A.A. bible, has three hundred references to the Higher Power.

One member spent a Christmas Day counting them. Six of the Twelve Steps refer to God. The official magazine, The Grapevine, unhesitatingly refers to the Higher Power as God. With increasing frequency at group meetings older members say quite openly that they are staying sober only with the help of God.

Surprising coincidences happen and the explanation naively offered is “Somebody Upstairs.” The intimacy does not come from irreverence but from trust. However slight and vague the faith at first, progress is steadily made toward a more mature and adult thought of God.

“Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6).

In social life an alcoholic is regarded as a misfit. Medicine looks upon him as a non-cooperative patient, very often poor paying. The law deals with him as a criminal and sends him to jail.

Psychiatry diagnoses him as a mental case and confines him in an institution. The church tells him that he is a sinner and must repent. His family has convinced him that he is hopeless.

948-7Against this background of despair, Alcoholics Anonymous comes along telling him that GOD is in him that God can be in him as much as God can be anywhere, that if God is not in him then GOD is not everywhere and so cannot be God.

By the witness of another alcoholic, now sober, the life is breathed into his soul. Without soul and spirit the body is only an empty shell. A few even go so far as to say that God himself may draw upon vital strength and increase of being from their fidelity.

If so, they, each one of them, may be important in the whole scheme of things. A surrendered life, they hold, can be of use to God.

Will power is discounted in A.A. “Use your will power” has been useless advice to them. They have the will but not the power. They do not have the won’t power, let alone will power.

Promises, pledges, prayers have not availed. Then they are told how to replace their puny wills by the will of God. The unit actually begins to lean on the strength of the All.

Men and women who have repeatedly had medical care, been sent to mental hospitals and sanitariums, been given conditioned reflex treatment, gone to alcoholic farms, or taken Reeley Cured, ask why these so often fail and Alcoholics Anonymous is having increasing success.

948-8One answer is that these treatments (for which we are thankful; they are much better than none) were only body cures; and in some degree fear was the motive for reform. They were also very expensive.

Alcoholics Anonymous is cheap: there are no membership dues or entrance fees. Instead of a receding memory, A.A. is a growing experience of fact, fellowship and faith. It is enlarged opportunity and cumulative happiness.

The old has gone, the new has come and keeps coming. The unhappy past is forgotten in happiness and hope. “He who rises quickly and continues his race is as if he has never fallen.” There are great days ahead.

Paul describes the problem that mankind has, including the Alcoholic:

Having the understanding of darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart;

Who being past feeling have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness.

But ye have not so learned Christ;

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus.

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts (Eph 4:18-22).

948-9And then Paul explains how to heal that sickness:

Lie not one another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;

And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him (Col 3:9-10).

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Cor 5:17).

The movement is strictly nondenominational. Catholics, Protestants, and Jews work together as brothers, though very few Jews are alcoholics. No effort is made to win others to any particular faith.

The organization seeks to be inclusive rather than exclusive. No one is barred by age, sex, race, or creed. The one condition is the sincere desire to stop drinking. Nearly every club has one or two evangelical atheists.

How is it that denominational differences can be so completely submerged? One reason is that no one is asked to give up anything but is urged to use what he already has.

The church will be wise not to try to control or guide this movement but to learn from it.

948-10The churches may learn something from the flexibility of A.A. organization, the power of fellowship, the possibility of lay evangelism, the transforming power of truth, the influence of common interest groups and the originality of nontechnical language and non-dogmatic theology.

This movement is of the people, by the people, for the people. But the new wine cannot be put into old bottles. It must find its own carriers.

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles: else the bottles break, and he wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles, and both are preserved (Matt 9:17). 

In ancient times goatskins were used to hold wine.  As the fresh grape juice fermented, the wine would expand and the new wineskin would stretch.  But a used skin, already stretched would break.  Jesus brings a newness that cannot be confined within the old forms.


In my opinion, Alcoholics Anonymous is a great program.  There is one thing they say that I disagree with: according to their understanding I am an Alcoholic, I say I “was” a problem drinker, not an Alcoholic.

948-j-1To me an Alcoholic has a physical need/drive/addiction to alcohol, like a drug addict or a cigarette smoker. The body cannot function without it.

Or in some cases, psychological, and that is basically what A.A. is saying, but their concept of a psychological problem basically includes anyone that drinks.  The basic theory is that in time all drinkers will become an Alcoholic.

I never had that “need”.  I drank only to celebrate something or because I was bored.  When I had a problem I would not drink over it, I would solve it and then celebrate my victory. 

I never drank alone, what fun is that?  If I drank alone then no one could see what an ass I could be when drunk.

I say I was a Problem Drinker because once I started I usually drank until I was broke, the bar closed or I was in jail.

Alcoholics Anonymous teaches that you cannot be a “Recovered Alcoholic”, you will always be a “Recovering Alcoholic.”  And I agree with them, “if” you agree with their psychological concept.

948-j-2I have found the cure, without looking for it, which is Jesus Christ.  Not just a god, but “The” God. 

The Alcoholic has only one of two choices to live a decent life: 1) live by the Alcoholics Anonymous concept or 2) walk with Jesus.

A “Recovering Alcoholic” will always have the desire to drink, it will always be on their mind, even after 20 years of not drinking, and the idea is still embedded within their mind.  Only through their own will not to drink can they live a normal life.

Yet, how can that be normal when they consistently have to fight against themselves?  And how long can they continue the fight?  As Jesus said:

“…if a kingdom be divided against himself, that kingdom cannot stand.

And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.

No man can enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house (Mk 3:24-27).

Jesus Christ is the strong man of my house and nobody or anything can bind Him.

I don’t like Lima beans, they literally make me gag, so I don’t eat them.  That is the same with me and alcohol now.  I don’t have to remind myself that I can’t drink like normal people, it’s just something I don’t want anymore.

948-j-3My past drug usage (mainly cocaine)  is the same.  I had enjoyed the high of cocaine, I even loved watching and feeling the needle go into my arm to the point that I was addicted to the needle.  

I did not remove the desire to drink or shoot dope, the Strong Man of my house did that for me.   And, not only did He do it for free, I didn’t even ask Him to do so.

Many say that God won’t do anything if you don’t ask Him to do it, and that is true.  When I put my full trust in Jesus Christ, asking Him into my heart, He began the cleanup and as the scripture I quoted above says:

“Being confident of this very thing that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ (Phil 1:6).

If you are with Jesus He will change your heart, not your personality, but your heart and life is fantastic.  Without Him…

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing (Jn 15:5).

948-j-4In the above article Rev. Little gives good advise to the churches of today, when he states that they would “be wise not to try and control or guide the movement but learn from it.”

I most certainly agree with him.  Most churches today are small governments and have no idea who Jesus Christ truly is, not like they did in the time of Paul.

Tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Timothy 2
Prayer and Sobriety

948-a1 I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

2 For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior;

4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

5 For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

6 Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.

7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

8 I will therefore that men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with braided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

948-bNot a total ban on the wearing of jewelry or braided hair.  Rather, Paul was expressing caution in a society where such things were signs of extravagant luxury and proud personal display.

10 But (which becometh women professing godliness) with good works.

11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.

12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

“I suffer not a woman to teach” – Paul didn’t allow a woman to be an official teacher in the assembled church.  This is indicated by the added restriction concerning exercising “authority over a man” (see Cor 11:3).

God Himself did not say that women can’t preach in the church, but it wouldn’t be in the Bible if God would not have allowed it so it could be exactly what Paul says or there may be an alteration of those words. I say this because there are a lot of female preachers that are not false teachers. 

Either way, God does not mean that women are inferior to men, look at the Book of Ruth and the Book of Esther.

948-c13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.

14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.


…bishops and deacons.


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