|The Truth Which Sets Free - Destiner Press|
For free online reading simply click on the Chapters listed below.
An exposure of the false teaching of Christianity concerning the reason for evil and suffering. This is one of the most challenging and deepest areas in the Word of God.
The following four booklets are now also included in the Addendum of The Truth Which Sets Free.
Chapter 7. Christians?
Tiberius Caesar was the reigning Emperor "in whose time the name of Christian came into the world." (Tertullian, 160-221 AD, Defence, V) This unscriptural name was invented by pagans as a nickname for followers of Christ, at the time of the apostles. It is mentioned only three times in Scripture. "And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch." (Acts 11:26) Note carefully, they were called this name by others, not themselves. This was a derogatory, even jeering label, and they did not accept it. The elect did not adopt this name for themselves, but as we shall see the church did. Christians are by nature churchmen, always have been, always will, although there are many elect who have mistakenly used this name as though it were correct. A classic case is John Bunyan, thrown in jail by Christians, who used that time to describe every form of hell-bound churchman in his almost perfect book, Pilgrims Progress, and yet still gave his hero the unscriptural name Christian. It is a great pity that he did not name him Faithful, a designation he gave to another companion, or some other fitting title. Christian would have been most apt for the pilgrim in the book who continued right to the gates of heaven without his election certificate in his heart and was then thrown through the final trapdoor into the Pit. Bunyan called him Ignorance, the classic charismatic and freewill churchman of scripture who believes because, as he put it, "my heart tells me so." Scripture makes no bones about it, "He who trusts in his own mind (or heart) is a fool" because "the heart is deceitful above all things," too corrupt to be relied on. (Proverbs 28:26; Jeremiah 17:9) Ignorance is the Christian who even sneaks into the kings feast but is discovered wearing the wrong clothes, one of the multitude who will arrive saying "Lord, Lord, did we not do all things in your name?" And He will say to them, "Get away from me, I never knew you!" (Matthew 22:11-14; 7:21-23)
It is time to put this right. Gods people and Christians must no longer be confused. An elect friend, whom I call John of Oz, and I once visited a Reformed Presbyterian church in Australia and heard a church elder expounding how a person could still be a Christian and not believe in Genesis, nor have problems accepting homosexual behavior. (For brief comments on Creation and science see God & Evil in the Addendum.) John, cut to the heart, cried out, " Hell is full of Christians who do not believe in the Word of God!" Note this well. Only in the church are such elders raised to office. Johns pithy and shocking remark was from the gut, exactly in the tone of Jesus or John the Baptist blasting the scribes and priests in their day. He displayed a prime mark of election, the outrage that Lot felt when he looked about him at the acts and beliefs of the Sodomites. (Genesis 19; 2 Peter 4-8) The Sodomites considered Lot to be judgmental; exactly the reaction of that elder described above. John of Oz was like Lot, saved by grace; the Christian elder was dead to God, a product of human theology. Here is what God says of His chosen: "I will put my laws in their minds and write them on their hearts; and I will be their God and they shall be my people. None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know Me, from the least to the greatest." (The second and new covenant according to Hebrews 8:10,11) Try telling that to a Christian theological college.
For the elect to accept the word "Christian" makes life extremely difficult and confusing, and that is why they need a scriptural word instead. This will also bring clarity when communicating with atheists, agnostics or adherents to other religions for whom either church or Christian is a stumbling block. For instance, I will let this nickname be used of myself in loose conversation (muddied water off a ducks back) if the main issue at hand is more critical, but if I am asked point blank, "Are you a Christian?" I say a resounding, "No." It was not right in the beginning, and it is not right now. Throwing it out has many advantages. Consider. When a person says to me, "Im going to church", or, "Hes a Christian," I will readily offer my condolences. Mere assent may have pass unremarked, but this reply will almost certainly start a conversation with the religious (who thought I would approve) or raise eyebrows of the anti-religious (who think that is what I stand for). When the latter say as a barb, "I have a real distaste for the church or Christianity," I say, "Good, but I bet its not as strong as mine." Then real discussion can begin. We are to show them the Son and the Word. That is what we are to defend or proclaim, the light and appointed burden, so easy for the elect to get excited about. That is exactly the Spirits work. He takes what is Christs and shows it to us, and we likewise partake in that same witness, showing Him to others. Confirm Christ, and be conformed to Christ, not to the church, not to Christianity. Defending Christendom is hopeless and useless. The elect are free from that frustration. Christians defend their invented "doctrine of an imperfect church," but that is not the commission of the elect. How many lost people are there who might gladly discuss the Son of Man yet rightly turn off when the church swings into view? Lead them to Christ, never the Church. Christianity is the problem, not the solution.
Yes, in this Gods children are set free. They do not have to cringe at the money-grubbing televangelists, priestly pedophiles or elders caught with their hands in the moneybox. Christian leaders caught in scandal, or presidents holding Bibles under their arms on Sunday after cheating on their wives on Saturday. If by now you have "ears to hear" then listen. We are not of them. We do not have to tie ourselves up trying to explain that there are "false" Christians, or what a "true" Christian is, with all the same baggage that attends the word "church." I once sat through the BBC TV series "The Christians" with my father, an agnostic. He watched because it accurately and piercingly showed the excruciating mess of Christianity throughout history, Councils, Early Church, Augustines City, Rome, Greek and Russian Orthodox, Crusades, Inquisition and superstition, Reformation and Counter-Reformation, Protestant sects, Puritan witch hunts, colonial missionary land grabbers and slave traders, cults and modern day revivalists. And make no mistake, they were and are the Christians, and that is Christianity. Every historian knows it. The whole world knows them by that name. My father turned and said to me, "Which one of those are you?" And with great joy I could say, "None of the above! Im not for Christendom at all!" Yes, we have our heroes who unwittingly accepted this name, we identify with many who did so much, with whom we would have loved to meet, those breaking out of the church into the Light, even at the cost of their lives. But we must not go backwards, as many of them did. We are set free from religion (a completely unscriptural word, used a few times in poor translations to replace "the fear of God"), all religion, including Christianity.
I remember people being labeled "Jesus Freaks" and the "God Squad" at university, but they did not accept the name. Neither did the early disciples accept "Christian." They bore it with patience but not welcome. "If you suffer for him under the name Christian well then rejoice," says Peter. (1 Peter 4:16) "You think you can so easily make me a Christian," says Agrippa to the apostle Paul, and Paul does not say, "Yes a Christian," but rather, "I wish you were all as I am except for my chains." (Acts 26:28,29) He wished for Agrippa to be elect, not a Christian. Christian was never the name the elect used for themselves, nor did they accept any other pagan nicknames such as "Antisocials" (for not taking part in their traditions and revelries). "Christian" became the word of choice for the Early Church, those who did join hands with human traditions. Did the elect use this name in greeting each other in the New Testament? Never. Not once. Check their letters. Look at how they address each other in the letters; it is superb: "children of God...sons of God...to Gods beloved...called to be saints...to the saints and faithful...to the exiles...to the chosen and destined...to those who have achieved a faith of equal standing as ours...to the elect lady...to those who are called and beloved and kept for Jesus." There are other names which (outside of the Scriptures) they are reported to have used, including the very agreeable Followers of the Way and Followers of the Word. But not Christian.
As a young man I was initially very confused by the do-it-yourself salvation kits, the booklets like the Four Spiritual Laws and particularly John Stotts How to Become a Christian, which actually inferred that "more people would become Christians if they only knew how." Very subtle. I knew the statement was wrong, a doctrine of salvation by mans effort, but the use of the name Christian clouded my eyes at first. In fact his booklet was quite correct. Anyone can become a Christian, and the churches are filled with them. All this theology can do is produce more of them, and a few lambs frustratingly caught in the crowd (for even there the Word is at work, not because of them but despite them). The world has millions of Christians living in total unbelief, and countless more in hell. Pews are full of goats, with hardly a sheep in sight, paradise for the "successful minister." Why should the elect fall for such a substitute? Why use such a misleading and common name, given to every church division under the sun, when the "chosen" and "called" and "faithful" are available? The scriptural elect called each other "saints" and "fellow inheritors" of the unshakeable kingdom and we know what Light and Power draws them out! The Word brings them, all of them, the elect for whom the Lamb was slain. It would be nonsense to write a booklet entitled "How To Become Elect." Christians would have men believe that God has done as much as he can and waits on their response, like some chef who has prepared all but now wistfully lingers for a customer to choose from the offered menu; they have their do-it-yourself reward. The elect can dance in a freedom not of their doing, cry out in praise and thanks that he did not tarry but came after them, the relentless shepherd searching hill and dale, seeking his sheep to their everlasting, incomparable gain.
I once listened to a sermon by an Alliance Chapel "minister" whose key phrase for the day was, "Christianity is not a religion, it is a person." Exceedingly subtle. In no way should Jesus Christ ever be spoken of as One with Christianity. Day versus night! What an insult to His perfection. The more that pastor tried to follow this reasoning the more confused he became. There was no resolution to it, nor could there be. I told him afterward that the premise could not hold water, and he took me for coffee to discuss it. I said, "Jesus I know and Peter I know and Paul I know, but who is this man Christianity?" After a while he grew impatient and sought to put me into some Christian pigeonhole or other, as though dismissing me thus would make him more comfortable. If I spoke of grace then I had to be a Calvinist, or if I said you could not put Christ in the same breath as Rome then I was a Lutheran. I said, "Sorry, none of those. I am just me, another ordinary saint, a working man from Galilee unexpectedly called by the Master." He could not grasp it. Of all people, churchmen are rarely permitted to see and hear, but when they do, they are set free from Christianity. This is a joy I have witnessed. This is when angels dance.
Not that all the elect come out immediately. Few indeed receive such a brimful of grace. In my spiritual youth I visited many kyriakons to see if the truth were taught. I call this "running the gauntlet of the churches," a terrible phase which many elect must suffer. The last Christian place I tried was Presbyterian, attending the studies, putting up with the doleful, "Where were you last Sunday?" gibes from people who knew nothing of the Lord and everything about a bake sale, until the minister thought he would put me on the spot. He hated the predestined election of God, as did his elders. "Well," he said, "Are you going to join us, become a member?" I said, "Dont be ridiculous, Im already in the kingdom and not by my bidding. There is nothing more to join." He said, "But you should be confirmed." I said, "God confirmed me the day I was called. Do you have a higher authority than that?" He insisted, "But you have to be this or that, choose some denomination." I asked him, "Why?" He and his elders looked blank. Finally he said, "Well everybody is in one camp or another." I said, "Show me that in the Word of God." And that was the end of it.
Christians have always been thus, ever since the "church fathers." Eusebius and others recorded many absurd fables to justify this lording it over others, of "dissenters" being whipped all night by "holy angels" until they fled in the morning, in sackcloth and ashes, to the bishop to be readmitted to the precious church. They draw a circle that men must step inside in order to "belong," and decide whom they will "confirm" in membership, their rules, their creeds, even whom they will excommunicate for not conforming. They think they can confirm and excommunicate! Obviously, they have never heard the thunder of Romans Chapter 8. The Kings company is called directly by Him, confirmed in Him and kept by Him, free in everything except that which would displease and disobey Him. For them there is not the slavery of "dress like this on Sunday" in a "house of god" or "put your collar on backwards if you are a priest" or "do not touch" or "do not taste", nothing taboo unless He alone says so, no more and no less. The elect are redeemed to a better status than Adam, not only reserved for the future but now. They too may freely walk everywhere and enjoy the garden as long as they avoid the fruit that God forbids. Christians would divide this open space into parcels of captivity, like the Jews for whom the Word did not suffice, tying themselves up with the Torah and so many legalities that they missed the Messiah walking right past them. God save us from all such religion.
Many commentators today will tell us that Christianity is on the wane. Unfortunately, this is not so. I have driven three times coast to coast across America and seen the churches, spire after spire. The "gospel of prosperity" is especially big, faith in worldly assets seen as an indication of faithfulness and Gods favor. These Christians are perfectly described in Pilgrims Progress as Mr. Hold-the-World and Mr. Money-Love. The elect know that neither wealth nor poverty indicates grace, and indeed either can mean the opposite. They know where the true imperishable treasure is held, out of sight. A mans wealth does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. (Luke 12:15) Yet most Christians are very much in love with worldly success. If you are a churchman and still permitted to read this, then you probably know exactly which pews these people sit in. You know the "born again" car dealer who fires the months lowest salesman, even though he may have been the best seller the month before. You know the agricultural company director who makes seed that keeps the poor of the world utterly dependent on him. You know the chainstore founder who "does the community a favor" by opening three outlets in the area and then cuts back to just one after all the individual community shops have been broken. You know the philanthropists who lavish millions on community projects for the people whose heads they crushed to get to the top. You know the chairman who feigns surprise when it is discovered that third world children make the clothes and shoes. The church is full of these upright praise-the-Lord citizens. In my experience, they are the least trustworthy in business. I would rather deal with a "pagan" any day.
New churches of do-it-yourself salvation, of "inviting Jesus into your heart," are multiplying at a stunning rate. Many of these kyriakons are huge, three times the size of discount supermarkets, with carparks like airports, "First Costco Churches" processing "bulk Christians." How they flock to them. This truthless spirit is no better than the spiritless truth of the many so-called Reformed churches, where the doctrine is Calvinistic and the place is dead, no one the least bit reveling in the Light, none displaying that grand mark of election, Lots vexation at the decadent world around him, even when it seeps into their children. They embrace the same values as the world, love the same Hollywood movies which invariably "preach" the exact opposite of the Ten Commandments, and celebrate the same books: myths and magic like The Narnia Chronicles, Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter. The tales of C. S. Lewis are at best weak and ineffectual. Tolkiens trilogy at least has some scriptural parallels with Sauron as a convincing Satan and Saruman as a perfect image of a Pope. But the most poorly written, Harry Potters fable, has captured minds beyond prediction, turning up as texts for classrooms, which usually accept any multicultural myth but refuse the Word of God, and even in Sunday schools, exactly where it belongs along with the church gospel. Think this is a light matter? Then imagine standing alone like J.K. Rowling on the Last Day and explaining to the Living God that you put witchcraft into the minds of a billion youths. She herself has admitted some discomfort at fan letters from children totally engrossed in her "inspired" story (it may well have come from another being), young readers even requesting to enroll in a wizard school as though it were real. Christians lap this up as eagerly as anyone else without discernment. This is a classic mark of Christianity, that churchmen want it all, God and the world. Like the churchmen in Pilgrims Progress they imagine that they are all on their way to the right place. Sleepwalkers.
The apostle John says, "Do not love the world or the things of the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him." (1 John 2:15) "Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever, therefore, wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God Cleanse your hands you sinners, and purify your minds you double minded." (James 4:4-8) Yet Christians will excuse paganism, witchcraft and myth as "harmless" or "unimportant" issues, and teach this to their children. Try telling that to a Biblical prophet or apostle! Acceptable behavior or true holiness is what God decrees, not what man decides. Holiness is abhorring what He hates and loving what pleases Him. The Lord hates paganism and has slaughtered many people in times past for treasuring its festivals and myths but churchmen have not the slightest unease over venerating such things. The Word states that we are either slaves to sin or slaves to God. (Romans 6:15-23) The sheep are slaves to God and in no way free to sin as they please but rather free from the world and every snare of religion, including Christianity. The goats will always choose the world and the flesh and this is the way to certain death. (Romans 8:5-8) The goats are slaves to sin, although they imagine they are free. They cannot give up their ways; indeed, they will be given over in full to paganism and witchcraft and every other deception for all eternity.
As I said before, Christians want it all, Christ and paganism, and that was the foundation stone of Satans ace card, the Christian Church, from its beginning. Catholics who say they are for Christ and worship Mary and keep the Mass likewise imagine they are engaged in a "holy life" which will somehow be excused on the Last Day. The same is true for the bulk-appeal evangelists and pastors with their easy to swallow and fraudulent gospels. They would claim that their message is the same as that of the apostles commission but Paul warns "such men are false, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is not strange if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds." (2 Corinthians 11:12-15) This is the age-old recipe so relished by Christians. That is what makes them so much worse than pagans, because they justify it all in His name. Christians do not want to give up anything; they want Christ AND the world. They love the things of the world and will in no way embrace a Christ who is offensive (Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:4,7-8) or a Word that demands real repentance from the things of the world. They do not want a Father Who demands real cost, rejection or suffering. (Matthew 10:34-39; Acts 9:15,16; Romans 8:12-17; Hebrews 13:13,14; 1 Peter 2:21)
And nowhere is this more evident than in North America. Great preachers like George Whitefield or Charles Spurgeon and writers like Jonathan Edwards or Arthur Pink have made hardly a dent. America has not yet received the Word of God, only the "gospel" of Christianity. Like the Christians of the Dark Ages they look but do not see, listen but do not hear. All they know is the god of churchdom, and they worship him, especially at pagan festival time. They want to hear what Falwell, Swaggart, Roberts, Bakker or Schuller are saying but they would not recognize Luther, Tyndale, Paul, Jeremiah or Christ himself if he were speaking right to them. People in North America have been short-changed by the likes of Moody, Finney, Billy Graham and Bill Bright. That is remarkable. America as a whole has not yet received anything remotely close to the message of the Word. They are like the priests of Rome, in possession of the scriptures and yet blind to them. My friend, John of Oz, once said to me, "Well its okay for you, were in total Australian paganism but at least you have had a reformation." I replied, "John, you are talking about Europe. North America has never had a reformation, nor even received enough of the Word to pervert it so that they required a reformation. All they have had is preposterous revivals. God forbid they have a reformation. The last thing people need is to re-form the church, which was the problem in the first place, and which the men named above would like to re-create. The church needs to be blown right out of the water, revivals, reformations and all."
Some terrible times are on the way, events which will make the destruction of the World Trade Towers look tame by comparison. And Americans are going to have to do better than watching "rock stars" cashing in on the tragedy or turning to hear what self proclaimed "shock-jocks" like Ozzy Osbourne and Howard Stern have to say about the next "wake-up call." Beware of foul mouths out to offend, all cackling hyenas rolling in the decaying carcass of the world, "dissipating blots," the wicked whom God has actually "made for trouble." Those "made for destruction," the "creatures born to be caught and destroyed" are exactly why judgment is coming, the real Shock of shocks. (2 Peter 2:12; Romans 9:22; Proverbs 16:4) Imagine finding yourself trapped in Jerry Springers dysfunctional zoo except it never ends, perpetually degenerates and there are no exit doors. That is just an inkling of the abandonment of perdition. Christians are no better off; they are just as lost. They think that waving a flag or putting "God Bless America" bumper-stickers on their cars or yard signs with the words "In God We Trust" can make a difference. Which God? On what basis will He bless? He never promises to reward those who treasure pagan or heathen values, yet newspapers are full of Christian apologetics, appeasing pleas for multicultural understanding. Look at what the Mother Church is up to at the moment, with every religion and Christian denomination paying homage at the feet of the Papacy. Nothing but a high voltage blast now or the last trumpet (when all is too late) is going to bring them out of the slumber of Christianity. There is no escape or protection outside the only begotten Son, no forgiveness without repentance from all the trappings of religion. "You shall have no god but Me." Like the "shalls" in all the commandments, this is both a sure warning to Christian goats and a certain promise to the elect sheep that in heaven there shall be no other God, nor killing nor stealing nor adultery nor any other necessity for the ten commands which He once wrote in stone.