Sunday, December 29, 2013

How the Holy Spirit handles disagreements in the New Testament and in the church today

In the Old Testament, God's direction was clear and sometimes calamitous.

God spoke clearly - and not just in visions, and dreams but through supernatural miracles like the pillar of fire by night and cloud by day, live angels appearing to speak to people, a loud voice from heaven. Fire raining down. Signs and Wonders.

Thus when the sons of Korah wanted  a different direction to worship, God stepped in; the earth swallowed them up!
Sin was punished with judgement. If someone fell sick or had disaster befall them, it was because of judgement.

Contrast what happened then, with what happens now and in the New Testament.

1) Matthew 18. Jesus specifies that when there is irreconcilable disagreement or conflict, separation must occur.

2) The apostles Paul and Peter have a sharp disagreement - about Peter treating gentile believers worse than Jewish believers - that becomes a quarrel.

3) The apostles in Jerusalem believe that people are still under the Mosaic Law; apostle Paul and the gentile believers think it no longer applies. There are at least two conflicts

a) Acts 15 where the Jerusalem elders (apostles) agree that that OT law (almost all of it) no longer applies to the gentile believers.

b) Acts 22 where the Jerusalem elders (apostles) are angered that now Paul is teaching that even the Jews should not practice the OT law; which ends in Paul being imprisoned and ultimately beheaded.

The truth is, Jesus did not specify clearly whether the Old Testament Law would still apply - perhaps it was so that (as Jesus himself put it) the Holy Spirit would "guide you into all truth".

4) apostle Paul and Barnabas have a sharp disagreement that becomes a quarrel.

5) apostle Paul speaks of false teachers in the church. The instruction is to rebuke and to "stay away from"
Romans 16:17-19
New International Version (NIV)
17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ,but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 

Notice that in each case, the theme was separation until the Holy Spirit resolved it. There was no lightning from heaven to make clear, who was right and who was wrong.

In the case of the doctrinal disagreements, 300 years later when the Bible was compiled from its sources, the Holy Spirit oversaw the process and only what was approved by God got included in the holy canon.

So how does this apply to us today?

When there is disagreement, conflict or even abuse, do either:
1) seek justice by discussion, confrontation, or even reporting to authorities,
2) choose to ignore the matter.

Separate from the other person so that conflict is reduced. Do not harbor bitterness, hatred, anger, malice or slander.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lies some pastors preach

Most pastor-driven churches in America have fundamental flaws. 
From 1997 till 2000 we attended a Southern Baptist-leaning megachurch in Colorado Springs, Woodmen Valley Chapel (WVC). From 2001 till 2008 we attended a charismatic church in Olathe, KS, Church of the Harvest (COH).Whenever I remember these two churches, I have a sense of having been swindled. A racket. 
Although they were quite apart in theology and denominations, here are lies we experienced; some in WVC, others in COH. I am certain that if you show this list to someone in the leadership, they will strenuously object. But although they may even teach the opposite, what they actually practice is the key.


1) Trust us to interpret God's Word (the Bible) correctly. If you see anything we do or teach that contradicts what the Bible teaches, trust our explanation instead.

2) Submit to your church leaders and obey them even when what they command is different from what the Bible commands.

3) The senior pastor is "God's man on earth". The senior pastor is the head of the church.

4) Only some believers (like the pastor and leaders) are anointed.

5) If the pastor prays for you, you have a better chance for your prayers to be heard by God, and for your requests to be granted.

6) You must give at least 10% of your income to the church. When you give to the church, you are giving to God.

7) Trust us with the finances. Do not ask us for the details. They are burdensome for you. Auditors have seen the details and certified them.

8) summary: When you give to us, you are giving to God; when you obey us, you are submitting to God. When you serve us, you are serving God.

Refutations of the lies

please read my article  ( for a detailed refutation of these lies.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What does it mean to 'bless our enemies' and to 'love our enemies'?

Jesus said we should love our enemies, bless our enemies, and pray for those that persecute us. What does it mean?
In our modern culture, to love someone is to have warm gushing feelings, a yearning desire to be in their presence, and above all, to want the best for them.

A few weeks ago while driving to work, I turned on the radio and heard a preacher (Ray Pritchard) say that we should pray for our enemies the same way we would pray for our loved ones and our family. I have heard similar themes before, repeated many times by preachers.

Frankly, this is misinterpreting scripture. Why?

A real enemy of Christians is North Korea. Christians are imprisoned in labor camps even today. There are stories of horrific abuse of prisoners in labor camps. (if you google for keywords: BBC UN human rights violations North Korea you can find some very disturbing news reports).

Should Christians pray for Kim Yong Un to "be blessed, to overcome obstacles in his work, to be protected from harm and attacks by the devil, to have God's favor resting on him, to be prosperous, healthy and live long"? In other words, we would be praying for the triumph of evil and the continued persecution of the followers of Christ. These are perverted prayers.

Should American Christians pray for Ayatollah Khamenei, the supreme leader of Iran to "be blessed, may God establish the work of your hands (to successfully build a nuclear bomb), may no weapon formed against you prosper (may Israel and America's attempts to thwart you fail)"?

I believe that you should always bless your enemies with salvation and repentance.

How come Jesus never blessed his enemies while he was alive? (I do agree he never harbored bitterness against them even though he was very angry with them).

When I read the gospels, I see Jesus angry at his enemies.
He called them, "blind pharisees", "white-washed tombs", "blind leading the blind", "hypocrites", "your father is the devil".

One time, he made a whip and violently drove those out, who were corrupting the temple with their business dealings.

Of Judas who betrayed him, Jesus said, "one of you [Judas] is a devil".

I do not see any mushy gushy love.

Nor did Jesus ever pray for their long life, health, wealth, success in all they did, and protection from harm.

Yet when he was dying on the cross, he had no bitterness nor hatred towards his enemies.

"Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing..."

So what does it mean to love our enemies and to bless them if Jesus himself did not demonstrate the traditional feelings of love towards his enemies?

"You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you..." (Matthew 5:44)

He was in fact, echoing the theme from the Old Testament book of Proverbs, the passage,
If your enemy is hungry, give him food to eat;
    if he is thirsty, give him water to drink.
 In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head,
    and the Lord will reward you. (Proverbs 25:44)

An important clue is seen in the parable of the Good Samaritan which Jesus told to demonstrate what it meant to love one's neighbor, AND love one's enemies.

The Good Samaritan was an outcast, a mixed race person, considered illegitimate, and a lesser human being by the Jews. But more than anything, they were the enemies of the Jews (read this article by historian Amy Levine
Since the man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho, he was likely a Jew. The Good Samaritan showed love to his enemy and blessed him, by binding his wounds and taking him to the inn where he could recover, and paying for his stay.

In other words, Love is practical action, not gushy feelings, nor ridiculous prayers.

If you come across your enemy’s ox or donkey wandering off, be sure to return it. If you see the donkey of someone who hates you fallen down under its load, do not leave it there; be sure you help them with it. (Exodus 23:4-5)

Jesus healed one of his enemy a few hours before he would himself be murdered by them.

And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, "Stop! No more of this." And He touched his ear and healed him. (Luke 22:51)

In the end, Jesus blessed his enemies with salvation by dying for them. Even so, God does not forgive his enemies unless they repent. If they do not repent, He casts them into Hell.

Again, I do not see mushy love, but a willingness to set aside bitterness and hatred and help an enemy in need.

Conclusion: If your enemy is sick or mortally wounded, help him - this is practical love for your enemy. Pray for your enemy by blessing him with repentance and salvation - so he will stop doing evil and the power to do evil will be taken from him.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

ginger beer recipe from my grandparents

ginger beer recipe from my grandparents G.W. and Eliamma Benjamin

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A different understanding of the antichrist and God's Temple

2 Thessalonians 2
Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters,not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a] is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

Much of Biblical end-times interpretation assumes that the Temple in Jerusalem will be rebuilt. Politically, this is impossible because Islam's third holiest shrine, the Dome of the Rock is built on top of it.

For 2000 years, much of Christendom has focused on the rebuilding of King Solomon's physical temple in Jerusalem. This event would trigger the rapid beginning of the end.

However I believe this is a giant mistake by Bible scholars. It is similar to how much of Judaism rejected Jesus because he wasn't a macho warrior (in the expected mold of King David or the rebel Judas Maccabeus) who would set his people free from the shackles of the Roman Empire. 

Instead, I believe that passages like this instead refer to our bodies or to be more specific, our minds.

(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price.  Therefore honor God with your body," 

Recently there has been a flurry of advances in mind control. Without using surgical implants, just wearing a cap with electrodes, these are possible:

1) Your mood can be gauged (
2) Your thoughts can be coordinated to control devices. A wheelchair, toy helicopter, video games (

I believe that the last piece in the puzzle is to release hormones to induce pleasure or pain. This will happen again, through non surgical means such as an interface to the skin or a metallic tattoo made up of circuitry.

In other words, when the antichrist "sets himself up in God's temple", it will be on the throne of our minds and control of our bodies.

Perhaps like Pavlov's dog, people will be trained; reading of the antichrist's writings or listening to his speeches will trigger intense pleasure from the hormones released into the system. Similarly, pain will be induced when one reads the Bible or says things against the antichrist.

Imagine if he is set up in one person's temple (or mind/body) and extend this to millions or billions of followers. Their thoughts, actions and feelings will be slave to their master. Devices and gadgets - even weapons will be interfaced with their thoughts; how powerful!

This will be another type of temple - the collective temple of his followers. A hint is given in this verse

you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house[Or into a temple of the Spirit] to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
the antithesis of this holy temple of the Holy Spirit would be the temple of the antichrist's followers formed by their minds and bodies. When this happens, I believe that God will come to save His people.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Thought for today - 0

"I will take with me into Today, only those thoughts that will make a productive and positive day. The rest, I shall leave behind in my Yesterdays."
Anil Philip

Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
Philippians 4:8

Saturday, June 15, 2013

thoughts on honoring our parents - with the truth

When children are growing up, christian parents often quote famously from the Bible, "honor your  father and mother" and "children, obey your parents" to get them to obey and submit.

Often these are the only scriptures they will quote. However this becomes a blanket license for parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts to be unaccountable for their wrongful actions and attitudes, because small children especially are helpless and dependent on them.

 These scriptures are true but are not the whole picture. These can be misused to allow parent figures to get away with physical abuse and emotional abuse and neglect of their children.

 While children are to obey and honor their parents, their parents do not realize that they also have scriptures saying how they should behave - it is the entire Bible. Passages like "be kind to each other", "be patient with everyone" (1 Thessalonians 5) apply in parents' dealings - not just with their adult peers, but with their children as well. Since God is our father, we are all spiritually, brothers and sisters. Hence all the passages that apply in our dealings with each other also apply in our dealings with our children.

 Parents and adult relatives in the family usually disallow any uncomfortable discussion of the truth where they have behaved wrongfully, by saying that it is dishonoring and disrespectful of them. Again, we honor parent figures by speaking the truth in love. Recently, a tree in my garden had rot in its bark. termites had burrowed deep. I had to dig out the rotted wood and spray harsh chemicals on it. It was not easy but probably saved the tree. Similarly when there is rot, disease and dysfunction in a family, covering up does not heal. Correctly using the sword of the Spirit - the Word of God to clean out the wounds and dress them with bandages of love and care is necessary for healing and restoration.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Not a 'wonderful cross' at all.

Today is Good Friday, when we remember Jesus' death on the cross.
Famous musician Matt Redman's worship song goes, "Oh, the wonderful cross...". It is difficult for me to sing the words because I believe the cross was not from God, but from Satan.
God is not a sadist. Satan is the sadist. God sacrificed His son, but the means of death was from Satan. How do I know?
see an earlier post "Was the cross from God, or Satan?"
There is nothing wonderful about the cross. The only thing wonderful about the crucifixion is the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

Blog Archive