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

Racism is racism, but there can always be circumstances.

I believe that most people would prefer to be with their own race, rather 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.

I 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.

But 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” (1 Cor 15:53-58).

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.

2 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.

8 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.

14 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;

18 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.

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!

The 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.

The 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%.

And 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.

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.”

The 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.”

All 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!

While 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?

…the Book of 2 Timothy.

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

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

1 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.

Dead 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.

“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.

“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.

23 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.

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.

This image taken from video, supplied by Magnolia Pictures, shows the Rev. Ted Haggard preaching in the documentary film “Jesus Camp.
While his exact plans remain unclear, Haggard is unmistakably making himself a public figure again, nine months after his former church said he walked away from an oversight process meant to restore him. (AP Photo/Magnolia Pictures,File)

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

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

Description: 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

Description: 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.

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

4. Yesterday’s Pastors

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

Description: 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.

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

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.

Nigeria’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.

7. Shallow PastorsZeph3:4

Description: 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

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.

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.

9. Sick PastorsRev 3:14-19

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

10. Wounded Pastors

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.

 

 

 

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.

11. Technology Pastors

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

12. Growing Pastors

Description: 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.

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

1 Timothy 4 – Instructions for Godly Living & How to Live for God and

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.

It 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, not necessarily yell at Him, but share things with Him.  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.

  I 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.  I’m neither a mother or a pastor.  Being a priest would be easy because priests are Catholics and Catholics are evil.  Being evil is a simple thing.

So tomorrow we’ll look at…

1 Timothy 4
Instructions for Godly Living

1 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:

5 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.

“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.

16 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.

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.

Therefore 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. 

How 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.

There 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).

…twelve kinds of pastors today.

1 Timothy 3 – False Churches & Bishops and Deacons

I 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

1 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;

4 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.

10 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.

16 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.”

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).

All 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). 

God 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
Jehovah 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
…how to live for God.

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

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.

To 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, I passed out 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.

I 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 to 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.

My 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).

In the below 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

1 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;

Not 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.

13 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.

Alcoholics Anonymous and God

Usually alcoholics are gun shy of religion.

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.

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.

The 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.

In 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.

His 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.

A 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.”

The 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.

Against 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.

One 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).

And 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.

The 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.

…bishops and deacons.

1 Timothy 1 – The Problem with Unsound Doctrine & Lost Cities of the Americas: Tiwanaku (6 of 7) and

These people had their gods, astrology, and even their beer.  So speaking about God and beer, tomorrow we’ll come back to the present and look at…

1 Timothy 
The Problem with Unsound Doctrine

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Savior, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope;

2 Unto Timothy, my own son in the faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord.

3 As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,

1:3-11 – in this section, along with 4:1-8; 6:3-5, 20-21, Paul warns against heretical teachers in the Ephesian Church.  They are characterized by:

(1) teaching false doctrines (1:3, 6:3);
(2) teaching Jewish myths (Tit 1:14);
(3) wanting to be teachers of the Old Testament law (1:7);
(4) building up endless, farfetched, fictitious stories based on obscure genealogical points (1:4, 4:7; Tit 3:9);
(5) being conceited (1:7, 6:4);
(6) being argumentative (1:4, 6:4; 2 Tim 2:23; Tit 3:9);
(7) using talk that was meaningless (1:6) and foolish (2 Tim 2:23; Tit 3:9);
(8) not knowing what they were talking about (1:7; 6:4);
(9) teaching ascetic practices (4:3);
(10) using their positions of religious leadership for personal financial gain (6:5).

These heretics probably were forerunners of the Gnostics (6:20-21).

4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

“Fables and endless genealogies” – probably mythical stories built on Old Testament history (genealogies) that later developed into intricate Gnostic philosophical systems.

5 Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

6 From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

That makes me thing of our wonderful president and the entire United States Government and documents like Obama care.

8 But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;

9 Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,

10 For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;

Verses nine and 9 and 10 describe the United States Government and the Catholics to a tee.

11 According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.

12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;

13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.

14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

16 Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

17 Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;

19 Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

20 Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.

“Hymeneus” – see 2 Tim 2:17-18.

“Alexander” – perhaps the Alexander of 2 Tim 4:14.

“Delivered unto Satan” – the reference is to church discipline.  Paul had excluded these two men from the church, which was considered a sanctuary from Satan’s power. 

Out in the world, away from the fellowship and care of the church, they would “learn” (the word means basically “to discipline”) not to blaspheme. 

The purpose of such drastic action was more remedial than punitive.  For a similar situation see 1 Cor 5:5, 13).

Lost Cities of the Americas (6 of 7)

Tiwanaku

Location: Lake Titicaca, Bolivia
Date of Construction: c 200 C.E.
Abandoned: c 1000 C.E.
Built By: Tiwanaku Civilization (Aymara?)
Key Features: Gateway of the Sun; Akapana Pyramid; Semi-Subterranean Temple; Kalasasaya Temple; Sophisticated Dry-Stone Masonry; Monoliths and Stelae; Suka Kollus Raised Fields

Puma Punku at Tiwanaku, Ancient Ruins in Bolivia.
Puma Punku, or the “Puma Gate”, is part of a massive, ancient complex by the shores of Lake Titicaca, in Bolivia, called Tiwanaku (or Tiahuanaco).

When asked if the Incas were the builders of this sacred site, the locals laugh, and assure us that Puma Punku and Tiwanaku are much, much older.

Long before the mighty Inca spread their tentacles over much of western South America, a civilization based at Tiwanaku on the high plains of Bolivia, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, had a profound impact on the Andes region.

Tiwanaku left a template of advanced high-altitude agriculture, accomplished masonry, sophisticated astronomy and mysterious religion that the later empire would build upon and seek to co-opt.

Tiwanaku is the name given by the local Aymara people to the monumental ruins about 9 miles from the southeastern shore of Lake Titicaca, about 44 miles west of La Paz in Bolivia.

In Spanish, the ruined city and the modern town that has developed at the site are known as Tiahuanaco. What its builders called it is not known.

From around 200 CE to around 1000, Tiwanaku was the center of a major civilization, possibly an empire, which spread its influence across a broad swathe of the Andean region, as far as southern Peru, northern Chile and even Argentina.

They left impressive monuments of stone and earth, including pyramids, temples, colossal statues and stelae. At 12,631 feet above sea level, it may have been the highest capital city in history.

In recent decades it has become a major national and international tourist attraction, its monuments symbols of Bolivian national identity, but the site faces increasingly challenging issues.

Challenges of the Altiplano

The high plateau between the western and eastern ranges of the Andes is known as the Altiplano. After the Himalayan plateau it is the highest plain on Earth and Lake Titicaca, formed because several rivers drain into the plateau and have no access to the sea, and is the highest navigable lake on the planet.

As the environment for a major civilization it appears even less promising than the Maya lands. There is a harsh dry season and in the wet season rains can be torrential. The lakes are very shallow and fluctuate wildly in size with seasonal floods.

Temperatures vary greatly both diurnally and annually, and the high altitude and thin air exacerbate all these issues. Only a limited range of crops can be grown and yields may be very low.

Foto de La Paz: Museo de Tiwanaku – La Paz

Straightforward traditional potato agriculture in the region yields just 2.4 tons per hectare, and even modern mechanized; petro-agriculture yields only 14.5 tons per hectare.

The ancient people of Tiwanaku developed a number of highly successful solutions to these challenges. Slopes were terraced so that they could be farmed without fields being washed away. Networks of canals irrigated areas that would otherwise be too dry.

Animal husbandry developed large herds of camelids such as llamas and alpacas, with guinea pigs reared inside homes to provide extra sources of protein. But the crucial development was raised field agriculture, known as suka koltus by the Aymara.

In areas with rich soil but that are normally susceptible to flooding, small fields are raised above the level of the plain using soil dug from canals that run between them.

The water in the canals acts as a heat buffer, absorbing heat from the sun during the day and then slowly releasing it overnight to create a microclimate for the fields, protecting them from otherwise deadly frost.

Edible fish are also raised in the canals and the sludge from fish droppings and decaying vegetation is dredged out and used to fertilize the fields along with camelid dung.

Carved human heads in the walls of the Semi-subterranean temple. As with many of the remains at Tiwanaku, it has been reconstructed and may not be accurate.

This intensive form of agriculture allowed the Tiwanaku to grow crops that would not otherwise be viable, at yields of up to 21 tons per hectare according to modern experimental reconstructions.

The fish offered an extra source of protein. Similar canal schemes were adopted for hillside terraces, with canals running along each terrace, collecting in pools and cascading down to the next terrace, irrigating the fields while controlling erosion and allowing aquaculture.

Thanks to these advances the population in the Tiwanaku region flourished. Estimates reach as high as 1.4 million, with up to 60,000 thought to have lived within the 6 square 214 square miles of central Tiwanaku and another 50,000+ in satellite settlements.

City of Stone

The site of Tiwanaku was settled by 400 B.C., but its rise to glory really begins in around 200 CE. It became the dominant city of the Altiplano from around 500 CE until its collapse in around 1000 CE, although it probably reached its zenith around 750.

During this time the Tiwanaku constructed a number of impressive stone monuments, including several huge artificial hills/pyramids. To construct these monuments they practiced the most sophisticated dry-stone masonry yet discovered, of an even higher quality than that of the Inca.

Some have the follow idea/queston?
Astronomical calculations, geologic strata, and the legends themselves date this culture to around 15,000 BC, shattering the orthodox views held by both science and religion.

Could Puma Punku and those who built it be re-writing history–not in ink or binary code–but in massive blocks of ageless stone?

Large stones were shaped to fit together so perfectly that a razor blade cannot be inserted between them. Irregular stones rather than square ones were used, probably to make the masonry more earthquake proof, and in some places l-shaped copper bars were used to fasten the stones together for added protection.

Many blocks were decorated with carvings, including faces and giant figures, while other monoliths and stelae have earned the site the nickname of “the Stonehenge of the New World’”

The greatest structure at Tiwanaku was the Akapana, a 55 feet high terraced hill with a 656-square feet base. At the summit a 164 square feet sunken court with the marks of rectangular rooms may have hosted elite residents or been a temple.

Burials of human remains, ritual objects and offerings have been found. A number of other temples are associated with the Akapana, most notably the Semi-subterranean and the Kalasasaya.

The former is a sunken court with low walls studded with carved human heads. In the center, surrounded by smaller stelae, is a massive stela known as the Bennett Monolith, after an archaeologist who did pioneering work at the site.

Unfortunately, this temple bears testament to one of the main issues bedeviling archaeological research at the site, which is that it has been clumsily and probably inaccurately reconstructed, for ideological reasons.

The Kalasasaya is a 426 feet long platform constructed from sandstone blocks alternating with tall, upright stones, although again this may not be how it originally looked. In a sunken court on the eastern side is a massive stone statue, known as the Ponce Monolith (after another archaeologist).

Puma Punku was once a harbor for the people who lived in Tiwanaku. Thousands of years ago, the land-locked salt-water sea we call Lake Titicaca had more volume and a higher shore-line than we see today.

Its waters stretched all the way to Puma Punku, a rectangular harbor made from giant megaliths.

Most of these stones weigh around 100 tons, but some have even been estimated to weigh 400 tons, or more.

Exciting recent work at this temple adds weight to the Stonehenge-like identification of the site, because it seems that the Kalasasaya served as a remarkably accurate, self-correcting solar/astronomical calendar.

Subsurface radar has revealed a deep shaft at the site where the observer in this monumental observatory would have stood, so more revelations could be forthcoming.

Next to the temples were buildings that may have been residences for the elite, while underneath a patio in this part of the city, archaeologists have discovered the remains of several seated individuals, facing a man with a puma-decorated sacred pottery vessel.

Many of the other carvings show figures holding keros – ceremonial goblets that were used to serve chicha, or corn beer.

Also in this part of the city is Tiwanaku’s most famous monument, the Gateway of the Sun, which resembles a Stonehenge-like trilithon, but is actually carved from a single, enormous piece of stone that must have been hauled to the site from over 24 miles away.

The figure carved on the gateway is known as the Staff God, and although the Inca claimed it was their progenitor god Viracocha, it is not known who he really was or what he is holding. Even this titanic monument has been moved from its original position during reconstruction work.

The common people probably lived in residences around this central complex. The picture is unclear, but some archaeologists think that neighborhoods may have been specialized by craft or other occupation.

The majority of common people probably lived in small compounds of a few single-room buildings, made from adobe bricks on stone foundations, with reed bundle roofs, surrounded by low walls. Several of these basic family unit compounds were sometimes gathered together in a “super-compound”.

The Akapana Hotel is located near Tiwanaku, Bolivia about 71 Kilometers away from La Paz city.
The Akapana Hotel was built in stone and local materials providing to its guests efficient hotel infrastructure in the Tiwanaku area.

The hotel Akapana offers all the comfort and caring attention to make your stay an unforgettable experience.

Each compound was fed by a small canal and may have also been specialized for specific crafts or functions.

Empire or Ceremonial Center?

Distinctive Tiwanaku pottery styles have been found across a broad area of the Andean region and there is little doubt that its iconography and ideology had a profound impact on the region, with elements informing cultures up to the Inca.

But there is less agreement on the nature of this Tiwanaku hegemony and there is an ongoing debate about whether Tiwanaku was an empire, controlling and extracting resources from a wide area; an “archipelago” of colonies, some set up specifically to access fertile areas or exploit local resources; a trading state with strong penetration of its commodities into its markets or a ceremonial/cultural/pilgrimage center with no real power over other areas.

There is some evidence that it was more of a loose federation of smaller states called ayllus, rather than a monolithic empire.

The Death and Afterlife of Tiwanaku

The youngest carbon dates from the site are from around 950 C.E., although many authorities give the date of its collapse as late as 1100 CE. The reasons for its decline remain a mystery, but it is strongly suspected that a major drought may have been responsible.

Even before the end, the evidence is that from around 800 CE most new building in the area involved smaller rural settlements, and that after the main city

Scientists may have found the lost city of Atlantis.
Apparently it’s in Spain, and not really underwater, but in a marsh.

They’re saying that Atlantis is so far inland (and not actually in the ocean as we’ve all been taught to believe) and that it was destroyed in a giant tsunami that reached it’s location 60 miles from the coast.

PLATO’s ACCOUNT OF Atlantis came from a Greek lawgiver Solon, who had talked with Egyptian priests.

According to the Egyptians, Atlantis was an island in the Atlantic Ocean lying to the west of the Straits of Gibraltar.

It was a rich land the size of Asia Minor and Libya combined. with rulers who were powerful princes.

These rulers became so wicked and unrighteous that the gods were displeased and eventually a natural cataclysm occurred.

Atlantis was overwhelmed by the sea and vanished.

Solon who is remembered as one of the ‘Seven wise men of Greece’ was born in Athens c 630 B.C. and died c 560 B.C.

The priests told him how the cataclysm occurred about 9000 years earlier

The Andean plains of Bolivia are thousands of miles from the Straits of Gibraltar and reach an altitude of 13,000 feet.

So how could Atlantis be there?

The high plain of the Bolivian AndesEven by stretching the imagination it seems unlikely that Plato knew anything of the Andes Mountains and anyway, the Egyptian priests said the land was just beyond the Straits of Gibraltar.

If that seems to be the end of the story think again.

LEGENDS and GODS
Some of earliest European documents made after the ‘first contact’ with Andean people are filled with local legends.

Stories told and re-told from the dawn of time bear an uncanny resemblance to Plato’s record of Atlantis as told by the Egyptians.

A cataclysmic flood destroyed an ancient race of people who had ‘displeased the gods’.

So runs the Andean creation myth.

The world became dark and the people lived in caves.

was mostly abandoned there was continued settlement in the area in small rural villages, in a return to a pre-urban lifestyle.

But the story of Tiwanaku does not end there. When the Inca came upon the site in the course of their expansion and empire-building, they quickly co-opted it for ideological purposes.

Its ancient ruins, clearly predating their own origins, challenged their propaganda, which predicated their right to rule on their “most ancient” status. To overcome this they simply claimed the site as a legendary Inca homeland, identifying the Staff God on the Gateway of the Sun as their own creator deity Viracocha, and weaving Tiwanaku into their myths.

Four hundred years after the downfall of the Incas at the hands of the conquistadors, Tiwanaku again found itself co-opted as an ideological tool.

This time it was by the Bolivian government, smarting from a damaging war with its neighbor Paraguay, and seeking a national identity to rival that of the Peruvians, who had the Inca.

Accordingly the government settled on Tiwanaku, commissioning a clumsy reconstruction of its monuments and carting coachloads of schoolchildren to marvel at their national icons.

Even today archaeologists studying the site have to negotiate the politics surrounding it, while at the same time racing against time to preserve the ruins from uncontrolled development and exploitation that has already done considerable damage and threatens their long-term survival.

Tiwanaku and Atlantis

Perhaps inevitably, for a megalithic site with no written records, Tiwanaku has attracted many fringe theories linking it with Atlantis or an equivalent prehistoric super-civilization.

One suggestion is that the complex is shaped like a port, and must once have been at sea level (before rapid continental uplift). This is linked to claims that the site actually dates back to the end of the last Ice Age.

Evidence for the advanced nature of its constructors is adduced from their skill at monumental masonry and transporting huge blocks of stone, while Atlantologists point to correspondences between the stories of Atlantis on the one hand, and flood myths of the Aymara and local legends of Viracocha, the culture hero from the East, on the other.

…Alcoholics Anonymous and God.