The Pursuit of God

Serious Topics for Serious Christians

Category Archives: Bible Help by Topic

Understanding Jesus: Hate Your Family & Count the Cost

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In the second half of Luke 14, we find Jesus making many extreme statements which can easily be misinterpreted to mean that He is impossible to please.  And yet when you know that you sincerely care about pleasing God, and something you read in the Bible makes you feel like a spiritual failure, that’s your cue that you’re letting demons guide your application.  Demons always lie, and when it comes to souls who sincerely care about pleasing God, their top goal is to beat such souls down into hopeless despair.  The basic strategy of demons is to constantly push a reversal truth.  When they see a soul is pleasing God, then they heap on the condemnation.  When they see that a soul is being rebellious, they heap on the encouragement.  So which group are you currently in?  You know whether you care about pleasing God or not.  If you do care, and all you’re hearing in your head is an unending refrain of how displeased God is with you, is that message really coming from Him?  Nope, it’s demons trying to sell you a reversal of truth.  Demons are very good at accurately assessing your soul’s attitude towards God.  They know who He’s pleased with and who He is displeased with.  So if you want to know the truth about how God feels about you, just listen to what demons are telling you and reverse it.  If they’re telling you that you’re a total spiritual zero, then you’re probably doing very well.  If they’re telling you that you are a spiritual superstar, then you’re probably neck deep in rebellion.  Demons always lie, and we can use their consistency to our advantage. Read more of this post

Understanding Jesus: Take Up Your Cross

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Sadism is a dysfunctional mindset in which a person takes delight in inflicting suffering on others.  We are all born with the necessary components to turn into vicious little sadists.  When someone wrongs you, and you secretly delight in seeing them suffer later on, you feel like your joy is justified because they wronged you first.  Among humans, it’s very common to pretend that sadism is not sadism as long as we’re calling it by the labels of revenge or justice.  But justice is supposed to be about keeping morals alive in your society so that order can be preserved.  The point of executing certain criminals is to protect society from their poisonous influence.  There are many ways of quickly executing a man so that he ceases to be a threat to others.  And yet in real life, human societies often refuse to use the most efficient methods of exterminating threats to social order.  Instead, we seem to take delight in coming up with ways to prolong the suffering of our victims as long as possible.  We also like to turn executions into public shows that everyone can watch.  In America, the absurdly complicated electric chair is just one big sadism fest.  Instead of instantly killing a man with a bullet to the brain, we film him being electrocuted to death and then we invite others to watch the whole thing live.  Or we go for lethal injection, in which we use toxic chemicals to make a body shutdown in stages.  We could just use one drug that works instantaneously, but instead we put together a ridiculously complicated cocktail of hard to get chemicals just to drag the whole show out longer. It’s sadistic, and sadism is sick.  Promoting sadism also has a very detrimental effect on human societies by encouraging citizens to celebrate and wallow in their basest instincts.  Read more of this post

Taking the Apostles off the Pedestal: Power Struggles in the Early Church

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Have you ever found yourself in the company of Christians whose commitment to God is so great, and whose good deeds are so innumerable, that you feel reduced to a carnal dirt clod just by being in proximity to them?  How do you feel when you’re sitting in a prayer group, waiting for your turn to speak, and some spiritual superstar speaks out a prayer that is far more eloquent than anything you could ever come up with?  Makes you want to pass when it’s your turn to pray, doesn’t it?  Read more of this post

Rethinking Genesis: Is God Really Threatened by Us?

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Joe brings your friend Rachel some flowers.  When Rachel tells you about it, she says, “Guess what?  It turns out that Joe is attracted to me just like I’m attracted to him!  Look, he brought me flowers! Obviously he is hoping to date me.”  This is Rachel’s interpretation of the flower event.  And you assume that her explanation of Joe’s motivations is accurate.

Well, later on that day, you run into Joe at a coffee shop.  You say, “Hey, Joe, I heard about how you gave Rachel flowers.  So you really like her, huh?  When are you planning to ask her out?”  Read more of this post

Taking Moses Off The Pedestal (Jude 1:9)

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The short little epistle of Jude has a lot of issues.  One of our discerning readers came across this strange little reference in Verse 9 and wisely questioned what was going on:

But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9)

So what is Jude referring to here?  Is it really true that Michael and Satan got into a tussle over who ought to get jurisdiction over Moses’ earthsuit?  No, it’s not.  This legend about Moses is complete hooey.  In fact, Jude’s epistle has a lot of hooey in it, which makes you wonder what was wrong with the folks who voted to include Jude’s letter in our sacred Scriptures.  But since we’re now stuck living with their choices, we might as well use Jude’s silly book for discernment practice. Read more of this post

A Mouthy Messiah: Why the Jews in Nazareth Tried to Kill Jesus

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In Luke 4, we find an interesting sequence of events. Jesus stands up in a synagogue, reads a portion of Isaiah 61, and when He sits down, everyone’s staring at Him like He just said something shocking.  What’s that about?

Well, first realize that there wasn’t an “Isaiah 61” to the Jews because their Scriptures weren’t divided into chapters.  Isaiah’s entire book would have been one long scroll for them.  Chapters were not added to the Bible until the 13th century A.D., and verses were then added in the mid-16th century.  All of the stuff you read about in the New Testament happened during the 1st century.

Now even though there weren’t chapters, Isaiah’s book is a series of visions and speeches which are stand alone thoughts.  To understand the context of a single verse, you need to find the start of the speech that it’s a part of, and read the whole speech.  Chapter headings can actually get in the way because they make you feel like a new speech is starting when sometimes the chapter break happens in the middle of the speech.  Either way, in the case of Jesus, He didn’t come anywhere close to reading a whole speech.  He just read a few lines from the middle of a long speech.  He really wasn’t modeling a good use of context—but then again, that wasn’t His purpose.  Read more of this post

The Resurrection of Christ: Why It Really Isn’t Critical for Christians

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The fact that someone is quoted by other people doesn’t mean their statement is true or profound.  As a Chinese proverb says: “Paper lets anything be written on it”—meaning that you can write something stupid or something wise and your paper will just sit there and take it.  So will the internet.  But what about your soul?  Is your soul just going to sit there bobbing its head and automatically amening every statement that it comes across about the Christian faith?  You are not a brainless idiot, so don’t act like one.  Instead, make use of the fact that the God of all Wisdom is generously making Himself available to you and ask Him what He thinks of authoritative statements others make about Him.

In our material, we pepper you with authoritative statements, but since you’re not an undiscerning piece of paper, you should not be accepting anything we say as true until you ask God what He thinks about the things we say.  After all, we could be putting out a bunch of useless malarkey.  Sure, we claim that God is the Source of our teaching, but what is that even worth?  A ton of people claim to be passing on pearls from God while they totally contradict each other.  Titles, degrees, and claims of authenticity are utterly worthless.  God is the only Teacher you can trust, so you need to be asking Him directly for wisdom in life.  Read more of this post

Debunking the Impact of Adam: Unlearning Lies About How God Judges You

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If my father hadn’t been an alcoholic, I wouldn’t be so messed up today.
If the coach had let me play, I would have won a scholarship.
If that stupid doctor hadn’t misdiagnosed me, I wouldn’t be dying right now.

Ever hear people talk like this?  Have you ever talked like this?  Blaming our current problems and miseries on the choices of other people can feel like a satisfying way to illicit sympathy while shirking all responsibility for our own choices.  After all, some jerk raped you, and that means you now have a free pass to wallow in a victim mentality for the rest of your life.  Or maybe you feel you can trace back your current health problems to the fact that your mother tried to have you aborted when you were still in her womb.  Now you can blame her for everything while you play the part of the eternal martyr.  See how it works?  It’s fun to blame other people.  It’s satisfying to point the blame in any direction but towards ourselves and make up all kinds of fantasies about how perfect our lives would have been if other humans hadn’t sabotaged us with their rotten choices or malicious actions.  But here’s the problem with playing the blame game: if God doesn’t agree to play as well, then we’re going to end up in a heap of trouble.  You see, we don’t get to judge ourselves. God is the One who judges us, and that means that we need to get an accurate understanding of how His judgment system works.  Read more of this post

Confession, Penance & the Old Covenant Sacrificial System: Unlearn the Lies

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From the time of Moses to the death of Christ, Yahweh’s Old Covenant was in effect—a Covenant which the religion of Judaism claims to be based on, although in practice, modern day Judaism is a carnal mess.  During the days of the Old Covenant, there were many special rules about how sin was to be handled, and all Christians should have a basic understanding of what some of those rules were.  But here’s the problem: modern day Christian leaders are doing an abysmal job of educating people about how the Old Covenant worked.  The information we’re about to present to you is information that most of you will never hear taught in any church.  The Old Testament sacrificial system is one of those topics that Christian teachers avoid like a plague.  Why?  Well, most of them don’t understand how it works because they were never taught, and they just don’t care.  Among the few who do understand how the sacrificial system worked, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anyone who wants you to make the connections we’re going to spell out for you in this post.  Why?  Because keeping you in the dark about the sacrificial system is extremely profitable for Christian teachers. Don’t believe it?  When’s the last time you fell for the fat lie that God commands Christians to tithe?  When’s the last time you actually paid some inflated ego money to share his knowledge with you because you were so impressed with the fact that he knew the Bible better than you did?  As long as you think your spiritual leaders have some huge advantage over you, you’ll adore them, obey them, pay them, and follow them.  If you think that kind of thing isn’t addictive, you need to think again (see Shady Shepherd Tactics: Gaining Rank).  Read more of this post

Numerology, Gematria & Bible Codes: Being Stupid with Numbers

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Here’s how it works in the world of numerology.  First, you pick a number—any number.  Then you randomly pluck some concept out of the air that you want to associate with that number.  For example, you might decide that the number 4 represents healing.  Once you accept your own baloney as truth, then you start peddling it to other people.  So when your friend Judy finds out that she has a terminal illness and she comes to you for help, you say something like, “Take heart, Judy.  I’m sure you’ll be healed.  Look: four ducks are swimming in the pond, and four is the number of healing.  Clearly those ducks are a sign from God telling you that He’s promising to give you total healing.”  This is the kind of moron you turn into when you go down the road of numerology. Read more of this post