Revealing Conversations


Below are some important and significant conversations.  The first one is what should be happening a whole lot, but is not because of the extent of the darkness.  The other conversations are ones that I have had with religious people - Christians and Biblians - over the years.  They are not verbatim transcripts, but they are representative of the content of those conversations and accurately represent majority Christian/Biblians thinking.

Becoming Part of the Family - A typical encounter where a person decided to follow the real, historical Jesus of Nazareth

The Bible Discussion - A discussion about the Christian belief that the bible is the "Word of God" to mankind and why that belief is wrong.

The Christianity Discussion - A discussion about Christianity and why it does not represent the person or teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

A "Church" Discussion, Version A - A discussion with a Christian who defends his "church" against Jesus' teachings.

A Conversation with Sally, a faithful church-goer - A typical conversation with a 'church-going' Christian.

God is Almighty and All Loving and He Heals People and Does Other Miracles - A discussion with a Christian who believe that God does healing and other miracles today.

 

Joining the Family

A disciple of Joshua is walking in a park one day, and approaches a young man to talk with him about his Master.  He starts the conversation about some issues happening around where they live and tries to get to know the man a bit.  At one point the in the conversation, the disciple asks John this question...

Disciple of Joshua John
John, would like to follow Jesus or Joshua of Nazareth and thus start trying to make a difference in this dark and cold world? Oh, are you a Christian?
No, I am a follower of the One who called himself, The Light of the world. Well, I'm really not into religion or going to church or stuff like that.
Well, good!  Because the real, historical Jesus or Joshua of Nazareth is not into that stuff either! What?
Well, the real, historical Person of Jesus or Joshua of Nazareth doesn't want you being religious or going to a building to do religious rituals. Really?  I've never heard that before.  All the Christians I have encountered try and get me to go to church.
Yes, Christians do that because they have been taught that going to a religious building they call 'church' is what God wants, but they are wrong. So, what does God want?
He wants people to listen to and follow His Son, which means to do what His Son says.  And the most important thing His Son says to do is love other people. Cool, I already do that, so I guess I am good.
Well, John, how do you define loving other people? You know, I have a girl friend that I love, and I love my mom, and I try and love everyone.
So, what does that mean, that you love them? You know, it means I care about them, that I have good feelings for them, that I like to be around them sometimes.
What if love as God defines that, does not mean those things, but rather it means much more? What do you mean?
What if love means to value someone more than I value myself, and to commit to behaving selflessly towards them because I have compassion for them, and thus to share my life with them? That sound's radical and scary...I don't know if I want to do that?
You know, John, the real, historical Joshua of Nazareth gave his followers a new command, and if those followers live out this command, then other people will know that we are his followers. What do you mean?
Well, he taught that the first and greatest command was for us to love God, our heavenly Father with all that is in us.  That is an individual thing between a person and God. OK.
Then he said that we are to love our neighbor - those who live near us - like we love ourselves.  When we try and do that, we will mostly be rejected as weird or strange or something. Why?
Because people don't want to love, John, that is why. I understand them thinking that is weird...I kind of think it is weird as well.
I know it is a concept you are not used to.  So, remember I mentioned that Joshua gave a new command to his followers? Yeah.
Well, that new command is that we his followers love one another as he loved us, and by our love for one another, we will be known as his followers. Yeah, well, sorry, but I don't see a whole lot of that love you are talking about among Christians.  They live just like everybody else.  I don't see them sharing their lives with each other.
Try and remember, I am not a Christian.  And you are right, because in general and like I said, Christians are not followers of Joshua of Nazareth.  If you want to experience some followers of Joshua, why not come back to our place with me and you can learn more about what it means to be his follower. What do you mean back to your place?  Are there other followers of Jesus there?
Yes - followers of Joshua actually try to love one another as he told us we needed to do, so we live together as best friends who have the same passion in our life, to love our Father, our Master, each other and other people. So, you are saying that followers of Jesus express the love he talked about by sharing your lives together?
Yes, but really by sharing His Life together!  If we really love one another as he taught, then we will not be bound by fear and self-pride and selfishness, so of course we will join together to do his work. Wow, that is different.  So, are you guys some kind of a cult or something?
Well, labels like 'cult' are spread by religious people due to their fear of who we stand for.  Ironically, if you look into the definitions of 'cult', the average religious organization pretty much fits the bill!  They listen to their leaders oftentimes with fervent devotion.  We listen to Joshua instead, he is our Leader. OK, well, I have an open mind and an interested in what you are saying.
Great, do you want to come over now or some other time? Now is good.
(John visits with Geof and Rianna and Austin and Greg for a few hours...) Wow, this is a bit much to take in.
What do you mean? Well, I kind of know that people should be living this way, but I've never seen it happen.  And I also knew stuff was wrong with religion, but I never knew how much religion works against Jesus...
Yeah, it is sad isn't it?  There is so much work to do, John, and so many people who need the Life we have discovered.  Do you want to follow Joshua with us? Let me think about it.  Things are not working out so well with my parents right now, so I have been thinking about moving out...
Well, John, moving in with us cannot be for any other reason than you, personally, individually, seeing your need and placing your faith in our Leader, Joshua. What do you mean seeing my need?
Well, you have been living for stuff other than our Father and Jesus, which means you have ignored them for all your life up to this point. What stuff?
Yourself, what you want, usually money, material things, entertainment, work, a girlfriend, etc.  You have ignored the Light of the world ever since you became an adult and had easy access to his words. Yeah, well, I have not participated in religion, isn't that good?
Yes it is, but that has little to do with faith. Isn't faith just believing in Jesus?
Well, if by "believing in Jesus" you mean believe stuff ABOUT him and admire him when your thoughts wander that way, no, that is not faith. I thought faith was the same as religion.  The mass media uses 'faith' and 'religion' synonymously.
Yes, we know, but the mass media is not the authority on things spiritual, rather Jesus is, and he defines faith as a core level trust or confidence in him...core level meaning he is what we are living for. Please explain.
Well, if you ask people, 'what is most important to you' or 'what are you living for', you will get many answers, most of which - if people are honest - would fall along the lines of, "I am living for myself and what I can get out of this world".  Usually, that is money, material security, entertainment, work, another person(s), pleasure, etc. OK.
When a person places their faith in Joshua, they give up on what they want out of this world, and instead start living for him. So, what does that look like?
You are looking at it now!  (Geof, Rianna, Austin and Greg chuckle.)  And you experienced it today when I approached you hoping you would listen. OK, so you guys don't have jobs and all you do is tell other people about Jesus?
Well, we don't have jobs in the world, but that does not mean we don't work.  There is the greater work and the lesser work.  The greater work is bringing people to our Father and Master.  The lesser work is to provide food, clothing and shelter for ourselves and others. Oh, OK, I think I understand.
We try and minimize the lesser work and maximize the greater work.  But the key is that we are together, loving one another and helping one another so we don't have to do as much lesser work. That makes sense.
So, John, do you want to follow Joshua?  Do you want to stop living for the things the people of the world consider valuable and instead live for The Light of the world? I don't know, man...after what you said earlier, I don't think I am good enough...even though I have not done a lot of bad stuff, I certainly have ignored God and Jesus...
We all did, John.  He says that those who follow him must turn away from the empty life and be born from above and become a received child of our Father.  Our Father loves you and always has and always will... (Tears run down Johns face, and he is hugged by Geof and Rianna and Austin and Greg.)
Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you, John, and also know that we are here for you and you are welcomed to join us.  It would be great to add you as one of the Family of the friends of Joshua! (John leaves to go back to his parents house, but he realizes, something was born in him today and he knows he will go and join the Family...)

 

The Bible Discussion

Disciple of Joshua Christian
Did you know that the bible is not God’s Word to mankind like most contemporary religious leaders teach? You must be kidding?  Most Christians – and we are talking many millions of people over many centuries – have believed that the bible is God’s Word and you are saying it is not?  (False argument, appeal to popularity.)
Well, I’m not sure how you could objectively prove your contention that millions of people believed that the bible is God’s Word over the past many centuries?  But OK, if you want to believe that, that is fine.  However, the number of people believing something is not a legitimate means to determine if something is true.  At one point in history, most people believed the earth was flat. Well, the apostle Paul says that all scripture is inspired of God, so who are you to dispute Paul? (False argument, appeal to authority.)
Well, I am just a follower of the One who defeated death to prove what he taught was true.  He is my standard for knowing what is true about God or not.  And he never said that the Holy Spirit would guide a bunch of authors to write God’s thoughts down and that those writings would be compiled into a book.  Rather, Joshua said that HIS PERSON and HIS WORDS were revealing his Father and his Father’s desire for mankind. But the scripture says that the bible is God’s Word. (False argument.)
Well, that is both a false statement as well as circular reasoning which also is a logical fallacy.  The bible does not contain any statement that says, “the bible is God’s Word”. Yes it does, Paul says, “All Scripture is inspired by God”.
Yes, Paul does say that, but Paul is not talking about "the bible" when he refers to "scripture".  You have taken that out of context and have made a wrong assumption.  In writing to Timothy, Paul says in the prior sentence, “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation”.  He was talking to Timothy and refers to “the sacred writings” meaning “scripture”, which Timothy had known “from childhood”.  So Paul was plainly talking about the Hebrew scripture that Timothy, a Jew, grew up hearing, NOT what would later be called “the new testament”.  So, when Paul said, “All scripture”, he plainly was referring to what you call the old testament. Well, that is your interpretation.
Well, I don’t see how “from childhood” is open to interpretation given what we know about when Paul’s letter of second Timothy was written. Clearly the new testament was not written nor compiled when Timothy was a child nor even when Paul wrote that letter to Timothy…these are facts I encourage you to validate. Yeah, well you are a nutcase who rejects what everyone knows is true. (Logical fallacy, personal attack instead of arguing facts.)
In addition, the bible does identify the “Word of God”, and it is Jesus of Nazareth, not a book people call ‘the bible’.  See John 1:1, Luke 1:2 and Rev. 19:13.  Instead of listening to Paul’s opinions about God and his Hebrew view of his Hebrew scripture, why don’t you listen to the One who says, “You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about me; and yet you are unwilling to come to me so that you may have life.” I do listen to Jesus, but I also listen to the bible.
But he just said you should not look to the scriptures to have life.  And he also says, "If you continue in my word, then you are truly disciples of mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."  Why do you continue to look to 'the bible' or 'the scripture', when he says don't do that and that freedom lies in his words/truths alone? Well, there are thousands of Christian leaders who disagree with you.  (False argument.  Appeal to popularity or authority.)
In addition, how can you listen to Jesus who says, “love your enemies” while at the same time listen to the writers of the Hebrew scripture who say essentially, “hate and kill your enemies”? Well, God is both wrathful and loving…there is no contradiction.
Well, then you are not looking to Jesus to understand God, since Jesus never once said his Father was a Being of wrath and instead says his Father is a Being of compassion.  In addition, if you would stop and think for a moment, what kind of a person/being could simultaneously be both motivated by anger, wrath and vengeance towards other people and at the same time love them?  Or stated another way, how could a person/being have a nature of both eager to punish and destroy and at the same time be desiring to show mercy or love? All I know is that the bible is true and you are a fool for rejecting that simple truth. (Non-reasoned, defensive pride response.)
Well, a single book that contains contradictions regarding a single subject is not true, your non-reasoned, religious objection notwithstanding. The bible does not contain contradictions. (False statement)
So, in 1 Sam. 15, the Hebrew scripture has God ordering Saul to take vengeance on their enemies and  kill thousands of women, children and even young infants.  At the same time, God, who doesn’t change, has His Son telling mankind, “Love your enemies”. Like I said, God is both a God of wrath and a God of love.
Seems like those women, children and infants would have a hard time appreciating the "love of God". The bible says God's ways are not our ways to understand...
Perhaps the simple truth is that the god of the Hebrew scriptures is a different god than the God revealed by Jesus of Nazareth.  At best, the Hebrew god is a schizophrenic, un-principled being who is mostly an angry, vengeful, wrathful being most of the time, desiring the killing of one’s enemies; and a god of mercy some very little of the time.  I would suggest you try and imagine a person who was like that and envision what they would be like.  I think if you were honest, you would see they would likely be classified as at best, unstable or deranged or at worst, violently insane. God is God and can do what he likes.
True, but the same can be said of any tyrant or dictator.  The issue is one of character, not authority.  Any being who orders the slaughter of women, children and even infants is evil and not worthy to be listened to. But God could foresee that those women, children and infants of the Amalekite people would grow up to do evil.
OK, so let me get this right.  God could foresee that all those thousands of women, children and infants would go on to live lives of evil, and so God had them all destroyed, correct? Yes.
So, why did god not kill all the Nazi’s and their children?  Or Pol Pot and his group's children?  Or Genghis Khan and his group's children?  I would suggest that there have been a whole lot more people in history, other than the perceived enemies of the descendants of Jacob at the time the book of 1 Samuel was written, who were evil. Usually, adult men like, say, Hitler or Stalin more recently, or some of the Caesars like Nero back in those days.  Why did God, being God, not use surgical strikes to take them out?  Would that not be the best way to handle that?  Was he not able to foresee the evil of Hitler, for example?  For that matter, I don’t see many women leaders of evil in history…so, why kill all the infant girls? God does what God does and who are we to question him? (Avoiding the point.  Version of appeal to authority - implied threat of authority.)
We are beings that have the capacity to use reason to determine what is true and what is false.  Again, yes, if the god you speak of existed, he could do what he wanted.  But if he does evil – like kill infants - or ‘speaks’ falsehoods, he is not worthy of respect or of listening to.  I can’t speak for others, but I am a follower of the Light of the world and he doesn’t ask me to check my mind in at the door when thinking about God things.  Rather, he asks that I make good and right moral judgments and reason well.  Furthermore, he tells me that God, his Father, does not kill people, nor want to kill people, nor does he want one group to kill another, nor does God order the killing of one people group by another.  Why don’t you try listening to the real Jesus of Nazareth? Well I guess we have different Gods.
Yes, my God, the One who Jesus of Nazareth says is his and our Father, is a God of love…that is the defining aspect of His nature.  Yes, He is also a perfect being who only expresses that which is true, and does not err nor does He ever do what is wrong.  He hates violence among his created ones, human beings.  For that matter, He is grieved at the lack of love among his created ones.  Indeed, we do have different Gods.  Why not switch to the true and living God of love? Because I believe in the God of the bible.

 

The Christianity Discussion

Disciple of Joshua Christian
Did you know that Christianity - as represented by the leaders of all its divided organizations (what are often referred to as denominations or churches) - does not represent the person or teachings of Jesus of Nazareth accurately? I don’t think I heard you right…could you please say that again?
Sure.  Did you know that Christianity - as represented by the leaders of all its divided organizations (what are often referred to as denominations or churches) - do not represent the person of Jesus of Nazareth accurately? OK.  I just wanted to be sure.  So, you are saying that all those Christian leaders are wrong about the person they call Jesus Christ?
Well, they do have some facts about him correct, like he was a real person who lived some 2,000 years ago.  But yes, in general, they have one thing in common…they disregard his most important teachings regarding what God wants for human beings and instead substitute their religion.  That is why there is so much division among Christians. Wow.  I don’t even know how to process that. So, you think you know more than all those Th.D. and PhD theologians who spend their lives studying the bible and writing books about God? (Logical fallacy, argument from incredulity.)
Well, what I know is the person and teachings of Joshua of Nazareth since I am one of his followers.  I don’t claim anything regarding other people’s knowledge.  I just know what Joshua teaches…he alone is my standard of truth regarding God claims, and my Standard says they are, in general, fundamentally wrong. OK, so what is the main thing the hundreds of millions of people who identify with some Christian label have wrong about Jesus?
They don’t listen to HIM and thus they don’t love one another as he defines that…they treat each other just like any other people groups like Jews or French or agnostics or whatever… What do you mean they don’t love one another?  I don’t hear about a lot of conflict among Christian denominations or sects?
Well, I guess northern Ireland between the Catholics and protestants doesn’t count?  However, that is not the main point.  The main point is this - love is not about lack of conflictLove is about sharing life together; caring for one another without asking for money to do so.  Love draws people together to help one another…love makes a tight group of people sharing their lives together.  This, the vast majority of Christians do not do. What do you mean?  Christians go to church and have friends?
Yes, they do.  And Muslims go to Mosque and have friends.  And Jews go to synagogue and have friends, etc.  That is not love as defined by Joshua of Nazareth.  That is merely gathering in the same place due to a shared belief about God, and having friends like anyone else.  Even evil people gather together and have friends, you know. OK, so what are you saying?  That people ought to live together like some kind of commune or cult? (Logical fallacy, appeal to fear.)
Well, those are strong fear words-concepts you use in order to bias the truth I am trying to share with you.  Whatever ideological baggage you associate with the term “commune” for example, is causing you to reject the simple truth I am sharing with you…that people who truly love each other are together, not apart. Listen, all I know is that it is not normal for people who are not related by blood or law to live together.
Perhaps what is “normal” in the world is loveless-ness?  Perhaps you don’t have true love for other people or others don’t truly love you?  Perhaps you are part of what is “normal” and thus part of the problem? Yeah, well, whatever - I do have true love and obviously the Christians have it right and you have it wrong...
Why?  Because the Christians live no differently than any other people group and thus you are comfortable with them?  They will not say you are wrong nor ask you to change nor ask you to do anything that you might think will put you at risk for what you want out of this life – thus, you like them. What is wrong with that?  Live and let live.  I don’t need anyone and what I have, I have worked for and deserve and is mine to do what I want with.
Include not sharing your life or your material things with others, correct? I don’t know what you are talking about with this ‘sharing your life’ stuff.  And I am not obligated to share my stuff with anyone except maybe some of my family.
Perhaps you not knowing what I am talking about proves my point that Christians live a life bound by self-pride and fear and selfishness, just like the vast majority of the rest of the people on the planet. Yeah, well, you seem to be the only one saying God wants people to live like a cult.
So, you define people caring more about each other than about material things – which is what love causes people to do - a “cult”? All I know is that what you are saying goes against the bible and thus what you are saying is not true.
But doesn’t your bible say in the second chapter of the book of Acts, “And all those who had believed were together and had all things in common; and they began selling their property and possessions and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need.”? Yeah, well our senior pastor is always warning us to be careful to understand the culture at the time things were written in the bible so we can have a proper understanding.
So, principles to live by given by Jesus of Nazareth – who said he speaks for the unchanging eternal God - regarding basic human relationships and behavior, can change depending upon the culture at the time? Yes.
So, then, doesn’t that principle essentially nullify all objective concepts of truth in the bible?  In other words, when, for example, Jesus says, “love your enemy”, that all important principle may not mean what it says because Jesus said that in a different culture about 2,000 years ago? Well, yes, I suppose so, because no good American is going to love a Russian or North Korean, for example, because those people are evil.
Well, it appears you will only listen to what you want to hear, and that you will use religious relativism as taught by your religious leaders, to explain away those things that you are not willing to receive or do…like “love one another”. Whatever.  You have your interpretation and I have mine.  Later, dude.

 

A "Church" Discussion, Version A

Disciple of Joshua Christian
Hi, how are you today? Fine thanks.
Hey, as I was sitting here in the park, I saw you come out of the religious organization's building. What do you mean religious organization...that is the church.
Not according to Joshua of Nazareth. Who is Joshua of Nazareth?
Well, you call him 'Jesus Christ' but I prefer Joshua to avoid all the baggage. So you are saying that Jesus Christ does not say the church is the church?
No, I am saying that Joshua defines the 'church' concept, and it has nothing to do with a building, programs, 'ministries', or religious leaders. What?
Joshua says the church is his called out ones...called out of the world, which he says is evil. I don't know what you are talking about...are you part of a cult or something?
Well, I'm not sure what you mean by 'cult'...I am a follower of Joshua of Nazareth. You don't know what a cult is?
Well, I know that religious people who are afraid of people who believe differently about God stuff often label those with different beliefs as being part of a cult. Well, specifically, a cult is group of people listening to - or putting themselves under the authority of - one guy who is teaching them wrong things about God.
Oh, well how does your religious organization differ from a 'cult'?  Don't you submit to and listen to the man you call your pastor to understand God? Yes, of course, but our pastor doesn't teach wrong things about God.
Are you sure? Yes, of course.  He is a graduate of Right Religion Seminary and a godly man.
So, your standard for knowing if your spiritual leader is teaching you right things about God is that fact that he completed courses at a religious college and is a 'godly man'? Well, that is part of it, but the standard we use to know about God is the bible.  He reads from that most of the time and assures us that the bible is the standard people need to understand God.
Well, what if the bible says that God said to kill hundreds of infants - little children? The bible doesn't say that.
Well, it does say that in 1 Sam. 15.  God supposedly tells Saul through Samuel to kill many tens of thousands of people, including "women", "children" and "infants". Well, if it does say that, then God had a good reason for doing that.  Maybe those people were so evil it was the right thing to do?
How evil could "children" and "infants" and all kinds of domesticated animals be? Well, I just know the bible is true and represents God.
So, then, you admit your god commands one group of people to kill another group of people's children and infants and livestock?  And by the way, the motivation is stated, and it was not because they were so "evil", but because of vengeance. Well, I'm sorry you feel that way.  My faith in Christ is real and the bible is true, no matter what you say.
So, would your Christ approve of the killing of thousands of children, infants and livestock due to a vengeance motive? You just don't understand the passage properly, why don't you go see pastor and he will explain it to you.  I've got to go, bye.

A Conversation with Sally, a faithful church-goer

Scene: One day, while a disciple of Jesus was walking in a park, he was approached by three young people, two young ladies, and a young man, who asked the disciple if he had a few minutes to talk.  This was wonderful because the disciple of Jesus was looking for young people to talk to about Jesus.  The disciple didn't know it, but the three young people were approaching him to try and get him to believe their religious organization's beliefs about salvation.  One of the young ladies names was Sally, and it was she who spoke for the three for she knew their organization's beliefs and how to present them better than the others.

Disciple of Joshua Christian
Hi, how are you today! : ) We are wonderful, how are you?
I'm grateful, really grateful. For what?
For my Father's love and my Hope. Oh, well, we are glad you will talk to us for a few minutes.  We are here to tell people how they can go to heaven.
Oh, great.  I am here for a similar reason. Well, have you ever heard of Jesus Christ?
If you mean Jesus of Nazareth, yes, in fact I am a follower of his. Really?  So what is your testimony?
(the disciple tells Sally how he met Jesus and how he has learned to follow him more faithfully over the years). That is wonderful.  So, where do you go to church?
Well, Sally, Jesus doesn't tell me I should go to church.  He tells me to follow him and do what he says. But we all need fellowship, and the bible does say that we should not forsake gathering together.
Yes, Sally, the bible does say that, but Jesus does not, and Jesus is not the bible.  Jesus' words on gathering together is that whenever two or three meet in his name, he is there in their midst. Well, yes but all of the bible is God's Word, isn't it?
Jesus is the Word of God, Sally, not the bible.  In fact, Jesus warns us against that error in John 5:39-40.  The book you are holding in your hands and call the bible is not defined by Jesus, the Son of God.  It was defined by men, and in fact there are several different basic bibles - like the protestant and the roman catholic - so which one is correct? (Sally asks to be excused for a second to talk with her friends.  She walks a few feet away and says to them, 'this guy is really messed up with what he believes.  Let's just try to give him the gospel.'  They agree and all turn back to JD.)  Well, would you listen to our gospel?
Sure. OK, first, do you know that you are a sinner who is guilty before God.
Well, yes I was once, but don't you remember my telling you how I met Jesus and what he has done for me? Yes, but I want to make sure you believe the true gospel because you have said some things that are not correct.
My sincere efforts to follow Jesus according to his own Words is not enough?  Not correct as judged against what? The bible and our religious leaders who have advanced degrees from theological seminaries.
Oh, but I don't follow the bible, or believe the bible, or trust in the bible.  Nor do I listen to religious leaders.  Jesus didn't either, nor does he tell his followers to.  I follow, believe in and trust the person Jesus, who reveals himself in the first four books of the new testament. Yes, so you have said.
Is there anything wrong with my choosing to follow the Jesus who reveals himself in the gospels? Well, if you don't do it the bible's way, then yes, there is something wrong with it.
So then, your ultimate authority about God-stuff is the bible and not Jesus of Nazareth. Yes, well everything the bible says, Jesus says in the gospels, so they are the same.
The bible is the same as the person of Jesus, the Son of God? Isn't that a bit strange? How so? It's all God's Word...every normal Christian believes that.
So, where does the bible define itself as God's Word?  Where does Jesus prophesy that Paul, for instance, would improve upon what Jesus revealed of his Father, and write it down and that his, Paul's words, would also be the Word of God? 2 Tim. 3:16 says that all Scripture is inspired of God, so all the bible is God's Word.
You mean that Paul wrote that, for "the bible" did not write itself.  Where does Paul define what the "Scripture" is?  Every instance I see Paul talk about the scripture, he is referring to the Hebrew scripture. In fact, he did that in the sentence prior to the one you quote! Well, Peter says in 2 Pet. 3:16 that Paul's words are scripture.
Well, if that is your proof, then who validates Peter's words as scripture or the Word of God?  What if Peter is wrong about that? The church at the Counsel of Nicea.
So what criteria did they use to decide that Peter's writings where scripture or the Word of God? That is where faith comes in.
So, from what you have just plainly said, your faith is in a process of "the church" to get you to trust in a book, right?  Didn't Jesus just say to trust in his Father and himself?  When Jesus talks about child-like faith, isn't he talking about faith in his Father, God? Don't you know that all of Christianity basically agrees with what I am telling you?  Aren't you concerned that you don't believe what Christian scholars all say is the truth and the gospel?
No, I am primarily concerned with listening to Jesus.  I am trying to let Jesus alone define my reality, for Jesus says that HE is the Truth and the Father did say to "listen to HIM".  Once again, is Paul also the person of Jesus of Nazareth? No, but Paul's words are the Words of God, just like Jesus words.
So, when Jesus says that "heaven and earth will pass away, but MY WORD will never pass away" - what he really meant was, "heaven and earth will pass away, but my words as well as all who claim to speak for me, their words as well will never pass away"? Well, I guess that would have to be true since all of the bible is God's Word.
Or, when Jesus says, "He who rejects me and does not receive my sayings, has one who judges him; the word I spoke is what will judge him at the last day." - what he really means is, 'He who rejects Paul and Isaiah and all the other bible authors, and does not receive their sayings, has many who judges him; the word that THEY SPOKE is what will judge him at he last day'. Well, the Holy Spirit wrote the bible, and he will judge them at the last day.
Really?  So Paul did not write a letter to Timothy that got included in the bible by a consensus of men at the Council of Nicea, rather it was 'the Holy Spirit' who wrote that letter? Yes, that is what Paul says.
Well, by that 'reasoning' - which is circular, by the way, and thus false - I guess you could say that the Holy Spirit authored anything that you want to consider from God? We have hundreds of years of tradition to validate our belief about the bible.
Yes, I know you do.  Have you ever considered that you are not listening much to Jesus for your God-beliefs? We listen to Jesus just as much as you.
But Jesus says that he alone is the Light of the world, the Way Home, the truth that matters, and Life everlasting...seems to me you are not listening to him. But the bible says differently.
So, to recap your beliefs, all of the sayings of Jesus - the sinless Son of Man, sent of the Father, who said and did only what he directly saw the Father do and say - his words are no different than Peter's for example? Well, they are different, but Peter's words are also the Word of God.
According to who, Jesus? No, according to Paul and the Holy Spirit.
So then, upon an issue you feel is very important, you are basing your faith on Paul and not Jesus.  Doesn't THAT concern you? No, because all Christians believe the same thing we believe.
One more thing on this issue of the bible.  If Peter's writing are the infallible Word of God, then aren't you concerned that Paul had to correct Peter about Peter not properly understanding what Paul describes as "the truth of the gospel" in Gal. 2?  After all, didn't Peter have the Holy Spirit at the time Paul corrected him? I don't have the answers to those questions, but I know the gospel.  May I continue?
Sure. Did you know that salvation is a free gift that you can do nothing to earn or deserve?
Yes, to enter into Life that is true, but I have to be faithful to Jesus in order to continue on the Way. (Sally again turns to her companions and says, 'wow, he rejects the once-saved-always-saved doctrine as well!)  OK.  Did you know that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved?
I know that those are Paul's words and I used to believe that, but now Jesus has taught me that you have to do more than say with you mouth that he is your Lord, and more than believe facts about him like his resurrection.  Jesus says that if you continue is his Word - and nobody else's - and do what he says, THEN you are his follower and this is what he means when he says to believe in him.  Paul's words here are misleading and incomplete...in short, they are wrong. So, you are saying that you know more than Paul?
No, I am saying that I listen to Jesus and not Paul.  I am saying that Paul's teachings are not all the same as Jesus' teachings. (At this point, Sally starts to wonder just a little bit, that what the disciple is saying has the sound of truth to it, but she is not ready to receive it, so she changes the subject.)  OK.  What about going to church?  Are you saying that Jesus says that we should not be a part of a local church?
First of all, the word "church" means called out ones.  For example, when Jesus says that the gates of hell shall not prevail against his church, he is saying that the prince of the world shall not prevail against his people.  So if any individual is following Jesus, they are part of his church/ekklesia.  Jesus says nothing about buildings or meetings or services or anything of that kind. Well, just because Jesus doesn't teach it doesn't mean that it is wrong.  So, my church and my elders are ordained of God and doing things God's way.
Actually, spending relatively large sums of money on a religious temple (some will avoid this truth and instead call their temple a church or a sanctuary or a meeting place) that religious leaders say is necessary to worship God in, is against Jesus teachings.  Jesus says that all that is necessary to worship his Father is to do so in spirit and in truth. OK, but that says nothing about the church building being wrong.
Actually, in regard to worship, he did say that "an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father".  He obviously was referring to a physical place, and therefore he says that those who follow him will "neither" worship in some house.  In addition, Jesus teaches that we are to love one another, meaning care for each other and actually BE one another's Family. Your "church" tradition is used as a substitute for actually loving one another, and thus it is evil. Well, other than the building thing, everything else we do is biblical.
It might be biblical, but so is killing an entire people group, including women and children and "infants" (See 1 Sam. 15). No one in our church would ever do that.
But the point is that the bible does say that God ordered the killing of entire people groups, including women and children and even infants.  Why is it that we cringe and call Herod evil and exceedingly wicked when he orders the killing of all young boys, but when God allegedly orders the killing of women and children of all ages, we maintain that a God that would do such a thing is just and merciful?  It is one thing to punish evil doers.  It is another to order the killing of infants, children and women. I just know the bible is true and my church leaders are not wrong.
You just now did another thing that contradicts Jesus' teachings.  Jesus plainly teaches that those who follow him have one master, teacher, leader, shepherd, pastor, and it is him.  And that those who follow him are not to take positions or titles of spiritual authority over other disciples since Jesus is the ONLY authority over his sheep. Well our leaders don't call themselves anything but brothers.
But you just again acknowledged that they are your leaders.  Jesus says call no man leader and he teaches that other men ought not to try and lead, direct or otherwise guide his followers, for they are supposed to be following HIM by faith. Well, the fact that we are out here street preaching means we are doing God's will.
But most Christian sects do the same thing to varying degrees in varying forms.  So do those your religious group label's heretics.  In fact, religious groups like the Jehovah's witnesses and the Mormons are very diligent in sending out what they term missionaries and street preachers.  According to your leaders, are they doing the will of God? No, because they don't have the right gospel.
So, who has the 'right gospel'? We do!
But most Christian sects do the same thing to varying degrees in varying forms.  So do those your religious group label's heretics.  In fact, religious groups like the Jehovah's witnesses and the Mormons are very diligent in sending out what they term missionaries and street preachers.  According to your leaders, are they doing the will of God?  We have the Word of God and Paul says that his gospel is the right gospel, and that if any other person brings a different gospel other than what Paul teaches, then that person is accursed of God.
Don't you see who you are listening to and thus following?  It is Paul, not Jesus, and on a matter that you consider of utmost importance. No, we are obeying the Word of God, and Paul was the instrument who wrote that portion of the Word of God.
Actually, your bible says who is the Word of God, and it is Jesus of Nazareth (John 1:1; Rev. 19:13), not itself, a book that would be compiled some 400 years later.  After the Light came, he is the Word of God and we can be really sure that what he spoke came directly from the Father.  We can not be sure of this for any other man.  And when a man contradicts Jesus, we ought to be very wary of his other teachings. Maybe you can't believe the bible due to a lack of faith?
Possibly, but I am not concerned that my faith is not in a book, but rather in God and His Son.  I did put my faith in the bible for about 10 years before God delivered me from that error.  I am concerned about having faith in God and His Son Jesus.  The bible is not God or Jesus.  It is merely a religious book that contains Jesus' Words in a very small portion. I know our faith is right.  Our church group's people love each other and thus we are obeying Jesus.
Are you sure you are truly loving each other as God and Jesus define it?  Jesus says that if we only love those who love us back, we get no reward or credit for that.  He says that the greatest love, that is God's love, will cause us to lay down our life for our friends.  If people truly love one another, they will want to be together and care for each other...this your religious social club is not doing. Oh yes, Jesus says it and thus we will do it.
So how is your group currently showing their sacrificial, selfless love for one another? We are kind to each other, and we say nice things to each other, and we visit each other's homes and cook meals for each other each weekend.
So do the members of the Elk club or the Jewish temple or the Islamic mosque or the klu klux klan for that matter!  For example, what happens when an older person is sick, or when someone loses a job?  Related to those questions, do you have people who have much more wealth than other people in your group? Well, their relatives take care of them or send them to a nursing home.  If someone loses a job, there is unemployment, and we have even set up a room in the basement of our church where someone can stay for up to 3 months.  In terms of people with different incomes, that is nobody's business but their own.
By these words you prove that you and the people you associate with don't yet understand Jesus, his gospel or his Father's love.  How sad.  The world as usual...business as usual. What do you mean?
Read Jesus' Words in Luke 12:33-34 and Matt. 25:32-46 with ears to hear. I've read the new testament dozens of times.
Yes Sally, no doubt you have, but you have not yet begun to seriously listen to Jesus as you continue to cling to the traditions of men which nullify the Word of God's teachings. Well, even if I believe what you say, I will continue to love those people in my church and I can't do that if I leave them.
Please, don't believe what I say, believe what Jesus says.  It is good to love all people, but you can't do that well and at the same time disobey Jesus.  Why not go and try to love people that are willing to try to obey Jesus and who see their need for God?  You know, the same people Jesus reached out to...the rejected, hurting people the world - including its religious organizations - label as failures? We do that with our Saturday night soup kitchen.
No, you feed the poor which is good, but you do so with your excess and in a non-personal way and you point them to Christian religion instead of to Jesus.  This far outweighs the good you do in feeding them physical food. Well, I can see you are not going to respond to the gospel, and we have to be going now.  Good-bye.
Well, it was good talking with you.  Please take this pamphlet about Jesus and seriously consider what you have heard today.  

Sally and her two friends take the piece of paper and walk away from the disciple of Jesus, shaking their heads and marveling at the wrong beliefs of the disciple of Jesus. And yet the youngest one, in her heart, was moved to some extent by the Truth of Jesus. Sally, for her part, gave the piece of paper to her religious leaders. The main religious leader read the pamphlet and visited the web site. The next Sunday, when her shepherd saw her after their "worship service", he warned her about the fellow who handed her the pamphlet and strictly warned her to not read the web site and to stay away from "such a reprobate heretic".

 

God is Almighty and Heals People and Does Other Miracles

A Disciple is approached at the airport while waiting for a flight.

Disciple of Joshua Christian
Hi, how are you today? Fine thanks.  I noticed you talking to some people over there and I think I heard the word Jesus.
Yes, I was telling those people about the real Light of the world instead of the false christ of Christianity. Oh, yeah, I know what you mean.  People who really have faith do miracles to prove they are working for God.
What do you mean? Well, we know a man of God who is affiliated with our denomination who has miracle crusades where he heals people.
So, how does that work? What do you mean?  The man has faith and the people he heals have faith, so they get healed.
So who heals them? God does of course.
So, can God heal anyone? Of course, he is God.
So, why doesn't God heal the millions of children suffering from disease, injury, birth defects and other physical difficulties? I don't know, maybe they don't have faith, or maybe the person trying to heal them does not have faith
So, God would not heal a suffering 3 year old because they don't have faith?  Didn't Jesus say that adults needed to have faith like children?  Furthermore, doesn't God love those children? Well, I'm not sure about the faith thing, but of course God loves those children.
And doesn't your religion teach that God is both all powerful and all loving? Yes, of course.
So, please show me if I am not using reason well here, but if God is all powerful and he loves those young children, for example, then surely he would heal them of their maladies. Are you an atheist or something?
No, as I said, I am a disciple of the bread of Life. Well, you sound like an atheist because you don't believe God can do miracles.
Hey, I just asked a question...here it is again.  Why doesn't your God heal those countless young children suffering from various maladies? Well, God's ways are higher than our ways...we don't understand why God everything he does.
OK, well, you are claiming that God both loves those suffering children AND he is all powerful and could heal them, yet he does not.  That just doesn't add up. Like I said, maybe God needs a man or woman of faith to visit those children so they can be healed?
But if God is all powerful like you claim, why would he need some agent to work in this world?  And if God will not heal those children because the person who is praying over them does not have enough faith, why would God punish the child by withholding suffering-reducing healing due to a problem with his agent?  That would not be right or just.  Can you imagine a man who has a daughter who needs surgery to live, and that man's brother is a surgeon, and so the dad asks his brother to please perform the surgery so his daughter will live, and the surgeon brother says, 'No way...don't you remember how you treated me six years ago...get lost and find someone else to heal your daughter'. Listen, dude, all I know is that I've seen people healed by this man of God, and so I know that God heals people.
So, you really knew the people that were supposedly healed and knew their alleged medical condition was real? Well, not necessarily, but the man of God and the people healed would not lie.
It seems to me that if God was actually healing people, there would be lots of medical evidence of that as well as many photos and videos of the actual medical condition before and after the healing given there are billions of cell phones with cameras these days. You just don't have faith, man.
You mean I don't believe that God heals people today? Yeah.
Well, that is not because I don't have faith, but rather because I believe both The Light of the world as well as facts and evidence. What, are you saying that Jesus says God will not do miracles?  He did many miracles?!
Yes, Jesus did perform miracles to validate who he was and to show God's compassion in the process.  But he also plainly taught that the miracles would cease after he went back to be with his Father. I don't believe you.
Well, here is the quote from John chapter 9, "As He passed by, He saw a man blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of Him who sent Me as long as it is day; night is coming when no one can work. While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world.”   As you can see, he plainly says that he will only do the works of miracles while he was in this world.  He left, thus the miracles stopped. Well, that is your interpretation.  I know what I experienced at the miracle healing crusades.
Well, doesn't Jesus say that we are love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul, mind and strength?  Isn't loving God with our mind mean we care about what is true and we use reason and logic to know what is true for most things? Well, this is not a matter of reason or logic, it is a matter of faith.
Faith in what? Faith that God is all powerful and can do miracles.
Well, you seem to ignore and filter out the vast majority of the facts that exist and happen in this world each day.  You went to some religious events and saw what you wanted to see...a very few people claiming to be healed.  But those alleged healings do NOT stand up to reason and truth, at least regarding your claim that an all powerful and all loving God is doing those healings. I don't follow...
Well, if God is both all powerful and all loving, then he would heal ALL PEOPLE who were experiencing pain and suffering not due to a wrong they committed.  This would be especially true of young children who are relatively innocent. Well, I think I can see what you are saying, but faith trumps what we can see and touch.
So, again, you are saying that you have faith that healing occurred and that God did those healings, and you hold this view in spite of three important facts.  First, the Jesus taught there would be no more miracles after he left.  Second, that you believe a contradiction that God could heal innocent children if he wanted to, and does not, which contradicts the all loving claim.  Third, that there would be a whole lot of evidence of God healing people...it would be making the news regularly all over the earth; and yet, nothing. Well, maybe God doesn't want to show people miracles...
Did Jesus hide his actual, real miracles?  Why would God do that? I don't know, but He might have a reason.
If you were a surgeon and you had one of your children who was badly injured and needed your surgery work to reduce their suffering and pain and possibly save their life, what reason's would you have for not performing that surgery? Because for some reason, I didn't want people to know I did it.
Why?  Why would you let your child suffer and die instead of letting people know you could and did save them??? Like I said, God's ways are higher than our ways.
Well, I don't see how letting children suffer pain and die or be disfigured when you could help them, serves a 'higher way'. That is because you don't have faith.
Back to that wrong accusation.  Hey, how come this man of God you admire doesn't visit children's hospitals and heal the children in the hospitals? I don't know, why don't you ask him?
I have asked people like him before, and they say, 'It is not God's will'.  So, I ask, 'why is it not the will of an all powerful, all loving God he reduce the suffering of, for example, innocent younger children?'  And they don't have an answer other than accusing me of not having faith, like you are doing. Yeah, well, they are right and you don't have faith.
Is it possible I am not deluded, meaning I choose not to believe contradictions nor do I choose to ignore all the evidence that contradicts religious people's claims like yours? What ever dude.  I hope you find Christ someday, so you too can be healed when you need it.
Well, since I am a disciple of The Life, I know who I am and where I am going, so I will not look for special treatment from my Father or Master.  I accept what they say, and I accept the facts in front of me.  Will you only 'believe in God' if you believe he can help you when you need it? I know God will deliver me if I need it.
Like I said, being deluded is a really bad way to exist each day.  Why not find the real, historical Joshua of Nazareth and put your faith IN HIM instead of in false God beliefs that are selfish and conditional in nature? What do you mean?
Well, if you will 'only believe in God' if he gives you what you want or only if he is the way YOU want him to be, then aren't you creating a God of your own making?  And can a pretend god that you make up actually give you eternal life? I don't know, man, I am going with the millions of other Christians who also believe that God is all powerful and all loving and does heal whomever he chooses.
Why would he choose to heal one suffering three year old child over another if he could heal them both? Later dude...

 

Please, enter into his Life and come, join the Peaceful Revolution!

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