Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Office

I work in the 14th floor of a 20 story building, so I use elevator at least 4-5 times a day including my trip to gym during lunch time. It’s a nice elevator with steel plating on the walls separated by tiny pieces of mirrors. If I am alone in it, I spend my few seconds looking in the mirror. I feel safe and kinky, make ugly faces, smile and grin. Sometimes I look up in the mirror on the ceiling and see how the top of my head is getting bald.

This elevator is only for level 12 through 20. For up to the 12th floor there is a separate one. So, this one is usually not that crowded. For the past one year, ever since I moved to this office, I had only two people (strangers) wished me ‘have a good day’ as I stepped out of the elevator at my floor. Most people keep staring on the floor until they reach their level. I do the same most of the time. Sometimes I take a peek at people without letting them know that I am looking at them, especially those who come with intense smell of perfume. Some smell make me want to puke, so I will hold my breath until they get out.

Most of the people are sad. Or may be they appear sad to me. Some of them are busy working attentively on the blackberries and storm out when the door opens, leaving a lot of shoe taps on the granite floor. I even want to tell them to slow down.

I was depressed for about two days last week. My wife’s friend and family lost their 8 months old baby girl. Those two days, I didn’t look at people, I didn’t look straight; I didn’t give people eye contact. I don’t know why. I can’t imagine the pain of losing a child. I was hurt for that family. I saw the child wrapped in cloths and placed in a tiny coffin. She looked beautiful. I looked at the Dad and Mom of that baby, but couldn’t keep my eyes on them for long. I had no consoling words for them but my wife told them that their baby is with God. I believe all babies goes to heaven when they die. They are innocent.

It made me wonder why people rush all the time as though if they slow down they would miss something important. I was comparatively slow last week, didn’t care who else was sharing the elevator with me, didn’t care if they looked at me. It made me wonder what hope we have apart from Christ Jesus and it hurt me to see people live hopeless life, some of them in a state of denial.

I drank more coffee and ate more food.

There are three safe havens for me in my office - an empty elevator, empty rest room and my cubicle. I love it when there aren't anyone else in the restroom so that I can makes faces looking in the mirror.

My boss is a cool man. He keeps talking about flying radio controlled airplanes, which is his passion. He even fly real airplanes and showed me a picture of him flying a single engine Cessna. But he has no commercial pilot license. He wouldn't micromanage me at work unlike many of my ex-bosses. He shows me the software he uses to edit his home videos and teach me how to use it. He can keep on talking about movies in which I have no interest in. But I put up a face as though I am interested. But it's difficult to do it for long time.

There are more than 10 different flavors of coffee in the kitchen. Some of the people in our office looks restless and I doubt if it's due to excessive coffee drinking. I listen to Dr. Bob Marshal in a Christian radio station and according to him coffee is only good for doing enema. It's a cleansing liquid it seems. He says organic coffee can cleanse-out toxins from our body if used in enema; but drinking any coffee through mouth would make only negative effect. I still drink a minimum of 2 cups of coffee everyday.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Christ in you

"To be in Christ ­ that is redemption; but for Christ to be in you ­ that is sanctification! To be in Christ ­ that makes you fit for heaven; but for Christ to be in you ­ that makes you fit for earth! To be in Christ ­ that changes your destination; but for Christ to be in you ­ that changes your destiny! The one makes heaven your home ­ the other makes this world His workshop."
(Major W. Ian Thomas - The Saving Life of Christ. Zondervan Publishing 1972. pg. 19)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Some more "church" talk!

It's interesting to see people spending a lot of time and energy to debate, discuss and figure out whether we should attend institutionalized churches or "house churches". How did a institutionalized church become institutionalized? Was it because it was in a special building? Or was it because people implemented their agendas, knowledge of half truths, ideas, personal preferences, rituals, falsehood etc? If so, how much it takes to have a "house church" institutionalized? It wouldn't take much. It's even easier because you have more 'control' there.

Some people all of a sudden get influenced by a "liberal demon" and jump from Presbyterian to Wynyard or Emergent and think that they are 'free' now. They aren't. The only difference is now they are thinking the Emergent church is "the" church or the Wynyard is "the" church (BTW, I have nothing against any of these organizations in particular). None of these are churches, there are merely some organizations. And yes, there are people under those roofs who are truly part of the invisible, universal, ever growing church of Jesus Christ.

None of these "movements" are going to resolve anything. Doesn't matter how frustrated you were when you were in the Baptist church and how "happy" you are in the Pentecostal church. The happiness we get when we jump from one building to another is not really the happiness God supplies. It is just the happiness coming from a sense of adventure, that you think that you are doing something "different" - like bungee jumping.

The REAL adventure is not jumping from one church to another. The real adventure is losing all our securities, which includes people-provided, church-provided, community-provided, clergy-provided and doctrine-provided securities and abandon ourselves into the hands of a perfectly loving God and hang in there, see what HE does in our life. That to me is adventurous.

The more we talk about "church", it shows how less we care about the "Head". The moment people come to know that I am a Christian, the next question is where do I go to church. Give me a break! My wife lies to people that we attend a non-denominational church just to avoid further questions. And I am teaching her to tell the truth! And she says she doesn't know how to give a proper answer why as Christians we do not park our bodies in a building on Sundays. I see her point because it isn't that easy to explain.

I want to stop jumping from one building to another building, because when I do it, all I am thinking is about the building. What can it offer to me? I am thinking about ME. I love ME! I love the fact that when I have flood in my basement there is a church member dispatched by the pastor to help me drain water. But now I am obliged to do the same thing when he has a flood. That's not selfless love. That's people working for each other. They are just not paying any monetary wages, instead they pay with their work. For doing the dispatching pastor gets his pay check. So, where is love in the whole deal?

Paul said: Love is not self-seeking.

I think love is not love if it's not selfless. That is the problem of building-bound spirituality, it is almost impossible to extend and receive selfless love while we are bombarded with building issues - how to maintain it, how to grow it, how to beatify it, how to make it more marketable etc.

I have criticized the 'building' I left but I think the issue was that I didn't really know the love of Christ the way I know it today (I am not claiming I know it fully, I will never know until I see him face to face). It was more of a intellectual understanding of that particular church's doctrines. I wasn't really free! It was my own struggle while I was still bound.

I thought moving the "worship" from that building to my home would change everything. It changes nothing! You move your bondage from a special building to a "house church" thinking that you are very trendy and adventurous, I am telling you it changes nothing. What changes us is the truth. The truth that Jesus loves us regardless of whether we are sleeping in the comfort of our bed on Sunday morning or we are sitting in a pew. It is the love what transforms us, not our changing of parking places.

As we get hold of this love, the "building" becomes a nonissue. The temptation to criticize all the "churches" subsides. Our focus changes. The source of our joy is no more depended on the beauty of the songs sung by the choir. And since it comes from the right source, it stays, it's consistent and we know it's priceless. No buildings can ever give us this, only Jesus can.

Thursday, September 18, 2008


It was a book which greatly influenced me in my childhood (even today) with it’s unique story of creation then the rude sounding story of expelling Adam and Eve from the garden.

I have listened an hour long sermon a pastor preached trying to prove that 6 days of creation weren’t really 24 hrs days instead 1000 years days. All because somewhere in Bible it said 1000 years is like one day to God. Some people find it so difficult to believe that God really created the dry land in 24 hours. Using my limited common sense I thought that was ludicrous to think that way. If God took 1000 years for creating light (for example), what does it mean? Did he create a little light such as a candle light and waited 1000 years to get it evolved to sun and moon and stars? Or did he do a lot of research in his heavenly laboratory to figure out how he can produce light which will cover the entire earth? Or was he raising fund for this experiment? I thought he just SPOKE and it came into existence.

The way he created man was amazing. It was a unique creation. He didn’t just utter ‘Let there be a man’, but he was really involved in his creation. I had a picture of an artist with a long grayish hair and long beard, who is specialized in creating sculptures, bending down near to the sculpture's face and breathing his breath in to it through the nostrils. All of a sudden the sculpture became alive and started moving. His heart started beating, his skin became glossy, he can now think, see, taste, hear and talk. It’s pretty amazing, if we think.

My Mom always wanted us to read Bible from cover to cover and there were some special days such as the week of Easter, which is considered holier than any other week, she would insist us to take up our reading.

Then I would pick the only bible we had then and start reading loudly from Genesis chapter 1. As far as I can remember I had read it may be up to the sixth chapter then I will yawn and feel tired. I even thought, 'why am I reading this fairy tale?' I will look around to see if my Mom is there, if she isn’t then I will slowly close the Bible sneak out to play.

I thought God was rude not to let Adam and Eve eat from that one tree. He sounded even ruder when he said ‘when you eat of it you will surely die’. That wasn’t fair, I thought. But until few years ago, I didn’t even know that Adam didn’t really 'die' on the day he ate that fruit. It came to me as a huge revelation where I almost jumped out of joy. I read he lived 930 years and produced few children. A dead man cannot produce children!

So, did God lie? Did He say that they will die if they eat that fruit just to scare them? Was it to show them that He is capable enough to take their lives if He wants? Did he have a superiority complex?

Then the revelation hit my brain, a light bulb went on. He died spiritually! He didn't die physically or even mentally. It is very difficult for a mentally dead person to produce children! The element of godliness in his being left Him. He lost his wholeness and was broken. The spirit of God indwelled Him is no more indwelling him. It left an emptiness in Him. It opened the eyes of his flesh and he found that he was naked. He didn't feel close to God and he tried to hide. He felt unfulfilled and restless. He gained his knowledge of good and evil, declared his independence from God and lost (spiritual) LIFE. Wow! Now it makes sense why Jesus came to give us LIFE and He is called the 'second Adam'. Now it makes sense what it means to be 'born-again', being born from God and indwelled by his spirit. Now it makes sense why we feel so unfulfilled and restless until we find that life in God. Now it makes sense why we feel so empty even after gaining all the money, fame, glamor and power.

When ever I get a revelation from Bible, I get so excited that I feel that I will die if I don’t share it with someone. I hadn’t started blogging then (about 5 years ago). I hadn't even heard about such a thing. So I preach to my wife and she would try to conjure up her entire energy to listen to my long, boring, theological ramblings. Then she will yawn. Then I will feel sad and discouraged. (Now a days my preaching to her is not about Adam and Eve but about the difference between law and grace) These days she has learned to yawn while keeping her mouth closed. I wouldn’t even know if she really yawned until I see tears in her eyes. Now I am practicing it as it is very helpful while attending some meetings at work. I wish I had known this technique earlier while I was in the "church".

Recently when I got a chance to share some spiritual stuff with my Mom, the first thing I told was that Adam didn’t really physically die on that day and explained to her what it meant. It said, he became the father of a son in his own likeness, according to his image. If the Dad was dead, his son was also dead; and all of us, down to this century born dead spiritually into this world, helplessly fallen short of god's glory. No wonder why we don't have to teach people to sin, they will learn it by their own. The restoration, forgiveness and life Jesus offered makes much sense now.

There is sin, independence, deception, ungodliness, sacrifice, blood, covering, grace, law, punishment, death and pretty much everything scattered throughout Bible, are in the book of Genesis. Tear the book out and the entire Bible wouldn’t make any sense at all. Thank God, for using your servant Moses to write down this book for us!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The mixture.

In God's economy, it is either hot or cold. You are either saved or lost. You are either under grace or under law. You are either under the old covenant or the new covenant. He don't deal with us in a lukewarm middle-ground where nothing is consistent. And I think it makes sense. He kind of made it clear in the message to the church in Laodicea - 'I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.

The mixture is not good. Paul was irritated by galatianism, the mixture of law and grace, that he even called them 'foolish'. It's better that we are either be under the law or under the grace. Those who are trying fervently to live a righteous life under law will possibly realize their futility and come to the knowledge of grace one day. There is hope for them. But there is only a very little hope for those who mix it. They think they are under grace, but in reality they are not.

When we fall from grace, we are naturally falling into law. But to get to the mixture, there has to have a deliberate effort. Through the illustration of the New wine in the old wineskin , Jesus showed us this. If we pour the new wine into the old wineskin, the new wine will break the old hard wineskin as it continues to ferment and run out. Both, the wine and the wineskin are ruined and lost. Who want to tear a patch from a new garment and sew it on an old one? It will make both garments useless and ruined.

Do you want to hold onto the law? Hold on to it tight! Put your best of the best efforts to live it out. (And when you are tired trying to measure up, let me know, I will tell you about a GIFT). But don't try to sprinkle little bit of grace here and there. It will spoil both God's holy law and His awesome grace.

Again, please don't see this as a doctrinal hair splitting. The above mentioned error of mixture has produced enough organizational, institutional, business-like enterprises called 'churches', which are evidently hindering people from having a relationship with a loving God, who has exhibited His unconditional, and unfailing act of love and Grace upon the cross.

God-is-the-same argument

God is the same yesterday, today and forever, so how can you say that He has changed after Jesus's appearance?

Well, He HASN'T changed, but THINGS have changed!

My wife and I got married on December 28, 2002. One day before, which is December 27th, we couldn't express our intimacy beyond certain limits. But in 24 hours, we entered into a new relationship which gave us freedom for intimacy in a new level. Have I changed in 24 hours? NO! But THINGS have changed!

What if we still live in an unmarried mentality?

That's precisely what some Christians do today, they live in an unmarried mentality. They are not realizing the death and resurrection of Christ has changed THINGS. The same God who showed His presence in the holy of holies of an earthly tabernacle where only high priests were allowed to enter once in an year, torn that curtain down from the top to bottom, stepped out of His glory, came to us as a baby born in a manger, lived among us as a mere carpenter, died for us and trampled all the hindrances which kept us away from having an intimate relationship with Him, gloriously resurrected on the 3rd day and imparted His LIFE to us and placed us in Him and declared that we are His bride and nothing can separate us from His love; He lives IN Us today.

THINGS have really changed and now it's upto us to live in this new level of intimacy, love and togetherness instead of going back to the unmarried attitude.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

How much more!

If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! - Matthew 7:11

He said to them, "If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? How much more valuable is a man than a sheep! - Matthew 12:11-12

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! - Luke 12:24

If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! - Luke 12:28

Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! - Romans 5:9-10

For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! - Romans 5:15

For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ. - Romans 5:17

If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! - 2 Corinthians 3:9

The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! - Hebrews 9:13-14

Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? - Heb 10:28-29

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

10 Commandments - The ministry of death

...not only that, it is the ministry of condemnation as well.

I am not playing the safe game of 'balance' between law and grace here. Teaching that we are fully free from any form of law including 10 commandments is considered heretic and 'extreme' by a lot many Christians. They say it is only the ceremonial laws we are free from, not the 10 commandments. It's kind of funny when Christians themselves trying hard to prove Apostle Paul, who wrote the major part of NT, wrong! What we are not realizing is that when we make 10 commandments our sacred cow, we are in effect negating the work of Jesus on the cross.

The freedom from law and living under pure grace wasn't just an idea Paul came up with. In the Old Testament itself God gave us many typologies and even direct revelations (Jer 31:31-34) about the New Covenant and the righteousness apart from law, and how His mercy is going to triumph over the judgment which came from law.

Mercy triumphs over judgment! (James 2: 13)

The lid on the Ark of the Covenant in the OT was called the 'mercy seat'. There were three things in the Ark - Tablets of stone containing the Ten Commandments, Aaron's rod and a pot of manna. These three were covered by the Ark's cover called 'mercy seat'. It says that God's presence was between the two cherubims on the mercy seat, where the priests sprinkled the blood of the lamb. No one was allowed to look into the Ark, the tablets were kept hidden under the mercy seat. While God's presence dwelled on the mercy seat, He saw the the blood of the animals sprinkled on it, but NOT the tablets which are under the golden lid. The picture it shows is that God's mercy (blood of Jesus) triumphs over the judgment(Law).

It is also interesting to see the Hebrew word used for mercy seat (Kaporet) is same as the word for propitiation in NT, which literally means 'wipe out'. Jesus wiped out our sins for ever through His one sacrifice and kept the law hidden under His mercy, not only that he took the law (which was against us) away. I love the typologies in the Bible!

He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. - Colossians 2:13-14

Isn't it ridiculous that we still want to unnail the 10 commandments from the cross and hang on our walls? and give permission to the Devil (the accuser of the brethren) to accuse us using the same?

...the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone - 2 Cor 3:7

...the ministry that condemns men - 2 Cor 3:9

...for the letter kills - 2 Cor 3:5

We all know what was engraved in letters on stone. It's nothing but the 10 commandments. Let me make it clear, it was NOT the ceremonial laws what was engraved on the stones, it was the 10 commandments.

Why is the 10 commandments a ministry of death and condemnation?

It's quite simple: those two cold stones couldn't cleanse people from their sins, though it accused them. And that's exactly the purpose of the law was - to accuse us, to blame us, to condemns us, to take us to the end of our ropes, there by point us our desperate need for a savior.

Bible says, law is like a mirror which can show the dirt on our face, but couldn't make an ounce of difference to our condition (When we see dirt on our face, we don't use the mirror to wipe it, we use water). The law is perfect and holy, but it can't make us perfect and holy (But don't blame your mirror for showing you your true face. God found fault with the people - Heb 8:8). So, once law completes it's work in a person's life (pointing him/her to Christ), it has to be done away with and should get rid of it. Let's not give the Devil a tool to accuse us further.

We have better things to deal with today. We have God's mercy. We have a new spirit. We have a glorious New Covenant which brings righteousness. We have a ministry of the Spirit of which the glory lasts for ever unlike the Old Covenant which had a fading glory.

Moses had to hide his face with a veil, so that people wouldn't see the glory/radiance on his face was fading. He had to run back to the presence of God to get the radiance again. In Christ, the veil is taken away (2 Cor 3:9). So, today we don't have to shy away from God or from people, since our unveiled faces reflect God's everlasting glory and 'we are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit'.

Even to this day when Moses is read, a veil covers their hearts. But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. (2 Cor 3:16)

Let's stop reading Moses, start reading Jesus.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. -John 1:17. Look, Law was given (keeping a distance), but grace came, to accomplish something for us which we couldn't accomplish ourselves through the law.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

'Benefits' of being in the institutional church.

To be honest, there are some 'benefits' being in the institutional church for a while and then leave, so that today I can have little fun sharing my experiences with you.
  • I can share the torment, heart ache, judgment, foolishness, lifelessness and the double talk I went through with another soul today who is trapped in religion.
  • I can chuckle on some of the double standards I held.
  • Think and wonder how self-righteous I was.
  • How I tried to split the doctrinal hairs of many minor issues in the Bible, while I had everything wrong on the majors in the Bible.
  • Today I can share the stories with someone else (who can relate) how difficult it was to hide my true face with a smiley mask.
  • How desperately I wanted to sell ‘Jesus’ and evangelize the entire world but couldn’t get even a single soul to the magic level of 'sinner’s prayer'.
  • How I admired those with seminary degrees and PhD’s at the end of their names; and felt a bit envious about them seeing all the respect and admiration they get from people.
  • How reverent I was in the presence of people with a ‘Rev.’ in front of their names.
  • How faithful I was in my tithing that I felt so good, self-righteous and prideful after putting each check in the offering plate.
  • How difficult it was to welcome the old ex-prostitute who came to the door and how difficult was it to love her.
  • How heated the debate was do determine whether to let her participate in the Lord's supper since she wasn't baptized.
  • What a perfect devotion I had towards the ‘authority’ of the church and how submissive I was to them.
  • How wonderful I felt when they talked about the possibility of including me in the church board.
  • The privileges I enjoyed as being an 'official member' of the church and I even dreamed about the nice things people would tell about me during my funeral.
  • How wonderful the food was in the fellowship hours after the service and I always appreciated those ice creams and pizzas people brought for their children's birthdays.
  • How much sins I confessed during the endless alter calls Sunday after Sunday, and still wondered and worried if I were really forgiven, even saved.
  • How beautiful it was to memorize the fruits of the spirit and I find it even challenging to memorize it in the order it is written in Bible; but didn’t have a clue what it was like bearing those fruits in real life.
  • How enthusiastically I looked forward to each 'service' in order to get a boost to my spiritual energy.
  • How (righteously) angry I was at my wife for being late to dress up kids to go to church on Sunday mornings.
  • What a struggle it was to 'keep' my salvation and how much I searched internet to study how conditional the salvation was.
  • How desperately I wanted to pursue holiness and acceptance through - fasting, prayer, Bible study, charity, dedication, church work and service.
  • How much I admired faith healers and wished (secretly) if I could do the 'blowing' like them so that the entire people in the auditorium would fall like dead bodies.
  • How I wanted to show off the thick Bibles/concordances/study tools etc I owned.
  • How great I felt when the pastor once told that I pray very well and effectively after listening to one of my public prayers.
  • How much I looked forward for the mention of my name by the pastor from pulpit about the tireless services I did for the church.
  • How I felt so worthy when once pastor publicly praised me for giving a ride for a family who didn't have a car and lived far away.
  • How accurately I learned to define salvation as a step by step process starting from Romans 10:9
  • How angry I used to get at the slow old lady drivers while speeding to the church On Sunday mornings while blaming my wife all the way for being late.
  • How many times I have used the 'F' word (in my heart) at the sluggish drivers while driving to the 'House of the Lord'!
  • What a terrible fight my wife and I used to have during the 30 minutes drive to church; but after stepping into the building how cleverly we tried to appear as if we were the happiest couple in the world.
  • How wisely I thought it was my wife's job to take care of the kids during the service letting her husband to attend the service and gain all the insights from the preaching, which (I thought) she couldn't gain even if she attended!
  • What a dirty hypocrite was I! What a white washed tomb was I! How much I dragged the 'filthy rags' all along...
Aaah... Thank God for rescuing me from the unauthentic, hypocritical, self-righteous, unreal, dishonest lifestyle of a Pharisee... and humbling me and putting me back on the solid ground of your awesome grace where love and love alone reigns all the more. Hallelujah!

What a relief it is to be free from institutionalism!

Monday, September 8, 2008

The Unpardonable sin

The below is something a sincere Christian student wrote, who is worried about the 'unpardonable sin':

"I would like to just know if what it says in Matthew is true. It states that every sin is forgivable, except if a person speaks badly about the Holy Spirit. I have attended a private Christian school and one day my Bible teacher was saying that a person is not forgiven if he/she speaks against the Holy Spirit. As he stated that… I thought something against the Holy Spirit. I did not mean to… it just happened. I prayed and asked forgiveness, but does that mean I am forgiven or eternally condemned? SINCERELY WORRIED"

It made me chuckle because I could relate.

There was a time in my pentecostal church life that I was worried about the unpardonable sin; but then later on, I figured out the unpardonable sin was nothing but speaking against Holy spirit and His gifts. I even thought all the baptists are doing 'unpardonable' sin as they speak against the gift of tongues, prophecy etc. I couldn't wait to see the baptists burning in the hell as the Pentecostals dancing in heaven. I even mentioned this 'revelation' to my pentecostal pastor and he agreed!

Yes, there is something called unpardonable sin; but the question is, what is it?

But whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven; he is guilty of an eternal sin. - Mark 3:29

It's important to see the verse following this:

He said this because they were saying, "He has an evil spirit." In another words, they did not believe Jesus for who He is (God), and Jesus called it an unpardonable sin. Which in fact IS an unpardonable sin!

The same incident was recorded by Mathew as well:

Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come. - Mathew 12:32

Here, it is important to see what the purpose of sending the Holy Spirit was:

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned. - John 16:7-11

The sin (singular) mentioned here is the sin of unbelief ('because men do not believe in me'). Holy Spirit convicts an unbeliever of their unbelief in Jesus and if they reject that conviction, it is a sin against Holy Spirit and it will not be forgiven in this age or in the age to come. The ONLY sin Holy Spirit ever going to convince people is the sin of unbelief.

As far as the believers are concerned, they have already repented of their unbelief and placed their faith in Christ Jesus and are free of any condemnation. Holy Spirit's job in a believer's life is to convince them of their righteousness in Christ ('He will guide you into all truth'). The truth of who we are in Christ.

There are no sin which is unpardonable other than the sin of unbelief, which has to be repented of. All other sins were judged on the body of Christ, has taken away from the eyes of God, never to see them again. Today, if somebody is condemning us due to our sins, it is either 'the accuser of the brethren' or one of his agents. Holy Spirit will never ever point us to our sins, instead He will always point us to Christ and His righteousness which is imputed to us.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Shadow Vs. Reality (Re-post)

Shadow (OT)
Reality (NT)
7th day physical Sabbath.Everyday spiritual Sabbath.
Physical Circumcision - Circumcision of the flesh by hands Spiritual Circumcision - Circumcision of the heart not by hands.
Passover Lamb.Jesus the true passover lamb.
Blood on the door post keeping physical death away.Blood of Jesus saving people from spiritual death.
Redemption of Israelites from Egypt by Moses.Redemption of a sinner from the state of spiritual death through Jesus.
Walking in the wilderness for 40 years.Christian living under the law.
Entering Canaan.Entering God’s Grace.
Earthly tabernacle built by Israelites.Heavenly Tabernacle not made by hands.
Curtain which separated the Most Holy place.Body of Christ.
Human High priest in the Tabernacle.Jesus the eternal High Priest.
Shedding the blood of animals.Shedding the unblemished blood of Jesus.
Putting the sins of Israelites on the animal and performing the death penalty which covered the sins for one year.Putting the sins of the entire world upon Jesus performing the death penalty which took away the sins of the entire world.
Human High priest entering the Holy of holies with blood of animals for his sins and the sins of the nation.Jesus entering the true heavenly tabernacle with his own blood for the sins of the world forever.
Manna from heaven which satisfied physical hungerTrue bread from heaven– Jesus who satisfies spiritual hunger.
Water from rocks which quenched physical thirst.Real water which quenches the spiritual thirst from the rock of our salvation - Jesus.
Moses lifting the brass serpent.Jesus lifted on the cross.
Physical lives saved of whom looked at the brass serpent.Spiritual lives regenerated of whom looks upon Jesus lifted on the cross.
Ceremonial Washings. Washing sins away by the blood of Christ.
Sin offering (animal) - People's sins being transferred to the body of the animal and judged.
Sin offering (Jesus) - World's sins being transferred to the body the perfect lamb of God and judged (once and for all).
Burnt offering (incense)- ascends as a sweet aroma to the Lord.
Burnt offering (Jesus) - Jesus's righteousness and worthiness becoming a sweet aroma to God (It is the same righteousness what is being transferred to us!)
Temporal and conditional covenant between God and IsraelitesEternal and unconditional Covenant between God and God's Son
Priesthood for LevitesPriesthood for all believers
High priest (human) - Temporal mediator between man and God who could never finish his work and sit downHigh priest (Jesus) - Eternal mediator between man and God who finished His work and SAT down.
Law through Moses - Men trying to do what is impossible for them. Grace through Jesus - God doing what is impossible for men.
Worship God in TempleWorship God in Truth and Spirit.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Should we tell people the truth?

.. or should we just love them without telling the truth?

I find it so hard (in my case) to just love people, all people. How about the people who flat out reject the Gospel of Jesus? How about the people who push their religious agenda on us?

I had fight with my parents because they hesitate to accept the offer of salvation by faith. They think their religion and good works can save them. And I am trying to tell them that they don't. They think I am deceived by some cunning Pastors, who only seek money. But I know I am not deceived. When they don't see my heart for them, I feel saddened and I find it so hard to love them. I don't want anything other than genuine love. If I am angry I prefer to show that anger, don't want to coverup my anger with a fake love makeup.

May be the problem is on my side. But I truly want others to see the foolishness, deception and cunningness of religion. It's not that I want to push my agenda. I have no agenda other than the fact that I want people to see the love of God portrayed through the death of Christ.

I think I am a failure in sharing Gospel with people in love. I just don't know how to do that without pointing the problem of their religious mindset. When I point the error, people get offended.

I ask them some tough questions, hoping to challenge their understanding of Jesus and His gospel. And then they think it's me who is being deceived by some New Agy doctrine.

I keep hearing about love, love, love. How do I tell people that the reason I am showing the error of their belief system is simply because I love them? Aren't anger, challenging questions, telling inconvenient truth etc part of love?

Show me one married couple who hasn't ever fought on anything.

Love cannot be always soft. Was Jesus soft on religious people? Was He politically correct? Was He diplomatic?

He loved people and He also told them the truth that 'Unless you believe on me, you will die in your sins'. There were many who were offended.

I don't want to send my parents/loved ones to hell by not telling them the truth in the name of love. In fact, If I truly love them, I better tell them the truth. That's what I think.

You might be thinking I am being unbalanced between love and truth. Well, love is not love without the truth. I might very well be unbalanced. If so, I find it hard to find that balance.