There is only one true God. God made Himself known through the Bible and through the life of His Son, Jesus Christ. These two avenues are the perfect and infallible manifestations of God the Father, Creator of the Universe and Beyond.
He wants human beings to feel a desire to know Him and be one with Him. He has infinite blessings to give to us and He wants us to live with Him in heaven forever.
God knows that we live in a dangerous realm, called "the world", that is temporarily influenced by the celestial traitor Lucifer, now known as the Devil. God wants to rescue us and protect us.
What causes a soul to renounce the material realm and its cravings? What prompts a person to want to be set free from evil within? What leads a mind to go exploring and questing for spiritual reality?
In the midst of the confusion, deception, and chaos of this world, there is a way to search for and discover who the real and only God is.
Seek and you will find. Here's how to accomplish the most important task of everyone's life.
The Christian Metaphysical Society, headquartered in the USA, has officially designated North Korean Christians as our prayer focus. We decided to select what may be the most anti-Christian and politically repressive nation on earth as our intervention target.
As we investigated the underground church in North Korea, we were surprised to discover that North Korean believers seem to be more worried about us than we are about them. Our treasures tend to be on earth, not heaven. Our faith is weak and untested because we don't face severe persecution.
The Christian church in America is increasingly materialistic, money-loving, warmongering, and apostate. American Christians tend to be worldly, heretical, unbiblical, lazy, hedonistic, self-centered, and void of missionary zeal.
We are in such rotten shape, it's becoming hard to distinguish Christian pastors from corporate CEOs or New Age shamans.
Worship services are loud rock concerts, hymnals are vanishing, weird and grotesque manifestations are proclaimed to be signs of the Holy Spirit, and false unscriptural doctrines are being delivered in popular books sold at Christian bookstores.
Stuffed with the false "prosperity gospel", American Christians are often obsessed with obtaining more material blessings from God, more luxuries, jewelry, houses, cars, and expensive clothing -- and care little to nothing about impoverished and persecuted members of the Body of Christ.
Growing fat, smug, and narcissistic, the lukewarm, pleasure-craving church of America is in moral decay and spiritual decline.
Perhaps this is why America is being punished with corrupt leaders, bad economic decisions, destructive storms, rising unemployment, and increased crime rates.
This abandoning of the faith once delivered to the apostles is why North Koreans pity us and pray for our enlightenment.
Here are some of the bitter realities that face you when you become a born again follower of Jesus Christ in North Korea:
(1) Owning a Bible can result in spending the rest of your life in prison, tortured and malnourished.
(2) People are publicly executed for distributing Bibles, which are banned by the government.
(3) Christianity is considered a propaganda tool of the United States and thus it is hated by the North Korean leaders.
(4) Christians are often labeled as "spies" for America or South Korea and are thus viewed as enemies of the nation.
(5) The official state religion is Juche. This personality cult of Juche is the worship of Kim Il Sung, former leader, as God and now Kim Jung Il, the nation's current leader, as the Son of God -- similar to the situation of the early Christians in Rome, where they had to confess Caesar as Lord. (6) Spiritual life is said to not exist. According to Juche, there is only physical life and political life. It is political life that is eternal. (7) Pictures of the nation's leaders are posted everywhere and the people are commanded to venerate and honor these images. (8) Pyongyang ("Flat Land)", the capitol of North Korea, experienced in 1907 a miraculous repentance revival. A cataclysmic Christian spiritual revolution occurred that lasted for 40 years. This revival expanded both Christianity and modernity throughout Korea. Protestant churches popped up all over the country. Pyongyang was called "the Jerusalem of the East". READ MORE
Persecution.org North Korea articles
Praying is a spiritual practice that is far beyond a mere ritual, rote saying, memorized set of phrases, or emergency measure.
Prayer is a breathing of your spirit, inhaling the fragrances of heaven.
Prayer is more than just talking with God. Prayer is a weapon in spiritual combat and a technique for spiritual growth into maturity.
It also is a form of metaphysical power that transforms the very structure of mind and alters the contents of your heart. Prayer is occupying your thoughts with the presence of God so that you put on the mind of Christ.
You often hear Protestant Bible teachers and pastors condemn Christian hermits, ascetics, and monastic practices. The consensus seems to be "shame on them for removing themselves from society" and "we are called to be lights to the world and a witness within society".
While I agree with the doctrine that Christians are to share their faith with others, this does not mean there is no justification for withdrawing from society and pagan culture, and even from institutionalized churches, to get alone with God, to contemplate, study, and pray in solitude.
There are tremendously blessed examples of isolation, of getting away from the human herd, of retreating to a quiet, lonely place to focus on God and the inner life of the soul, our mental struggle with personal sin and spiritual combat and growth.
I have a hard time with those who are quick to condemn the Christian hermits and ascetics. I have derived great spiritual value from the writings of monks, nuns, and hermits who lived in the first to fifteenth centuries.
Many times, they left the church because it was thoroughly corrupt, and so was society.
They left their friends and companions, who were submerged in sinful talk and behavior. They renounced both the hypocrisy of their religious leaders and the lure of their pagan, wicked culture.
So they went out into deserts, caves, mountains, islands, wilderness, to pray, fast, study scripture, contemplate, struggle with sin in their souls, fellowship with other hermits and monks, and share their insights with people who came to see them.
I'm wary of those who despise and ridicule these great and wonderful saints. Often it seems that the injunction to "remain in society and be a light to others" is based on an unspiritual attachment to worldliness, success, materialism.
Some may say that monasteries and hermitages degenerated into a spiritual elitism and became corrupt, and even perverse, with such practices as self-flagellation and dangerous deprivations, indicative of masochism and prideful bravado.
Every revolutionary or reform movement becomes corrupted into reflecting what they rebelled against.
From the very beginning of the Christian faith, which began as meetings in private homes and in catacombs, there were tares sown in with the wheat, wolves in sheeps clothing, false teachers and prophets infiltrating.
At one point, apostle Paul said, "All they that be in Asia are turned away from me."
As I have not found a church to participate in, I have my own hermitage, a monk's cell in which I train myself and worship and study.
From my study of three volumes of The Philokalia, and Evolution of The Monastic Ideal, and other literature, including works by Thomas Merton, I get the sense that withdrawal from church and state can be a very good thing, and not necessarily a rejection of the Great Commission, or an alienation from society, as most Protestant Bible teachers and pastors think it has to be.
My study of early Christian ascetics shows that they were taking the "love not the world" command seriously and deprived themselves of luxuries, dainties, gluttony, and participation in the culture that surrounded them.
But today, you can barely distinguish Christian culture from pagan culture in terms of music, literature, dress, speech, divorce rates, predators, etc.
When the institutional church is corrupt and contrary to Biblical teachings and practices, a hermitage or monastic life style can be a remedy for individuals.
The book PAGAN CHRISTIANITY by George Barna and Frank Viola (I'm not endorsing Frank's other works and associations) is a great resource on what is pagan in the modern church, including one pastor doing all the oratory in a local church and acting as CEO.
Materialistic church people like to warn believers to not depart from society, to live a normal life, work at a regular job, and be around average people.
They insist on joining a local church, so as to obey the instruction of "not forsaking the assembly of ourselves together". But the "church" is "wherever two or three are gathered together in My name", Jesus said.
In Jesus' time and culture, women were considered possessions, with almost no rights or importance.
Jesus defied these traditions constantly and scandalously, speaking to a Samaritan (cult hated by Jews) woman who was living with a guy she was not married to. He taught her some of the most astonishing theology that He ever taught, but other religious teachers might have scorned or stoned her.
Jesus was supported financially by some rich ladies who traveled with him among his male disciples. The first humans to know about His resurrection were women.
There are references to women as chief disciples, which was subversive and radical.
Jesus having a wife? We know that Israel is often considered the wife of God, and the church is called the bride of Christ, all symbolic.
Thus, Jesus may have indeed spoken of "my wife" in a figurative sense, or in referring to all women, or "my closest female disciple, similar to a wife".
Once, HIs mother and siblings attended his teaching and wanted to interrupt Him.
Someone told him, "Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you."
Pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers."
Then we have the Gnostic tradition where it is to be understood that:
"male" symbolizes the pneumatic (spiritual, or Gnostic) Christians, and "female" symbolizes the psychic (unenlightened, or orthodox) Christians, rather than actually referring to males and females.
But that is an unfortunate male patriarchal pile of nonsense, degrading the female sex.
The most interesting "Gnostic" gospel to me is the one I own and refer to occasionally, the Gospel of Thomas, which contains some very inspiring remarks, including:
Jesus said, "Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds, he will become troubled. When he becomes troubled, he will be astonished, and he will rule over the All."
Verse 114 states Simon Peter said to Him, "Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life."
Jesus said, "I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven."
Sadly this verse seems to accommodate the patriarchal chauvinism that the Jesus of the traditional 4 gospels contradicts and defies repeatedly.
A major text that stands in the way of thinking Jesus may have had a wife is the verse in Matthew 8:20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”
Commentators say that foxes have holes and birds nest when they are raising a family. Thus, Jesus is stating that he is single, has no wife, is not raising a physical family.
I'm not entirely convinced by this argument, but is the standard doctrine among the churches that I am familiar with.
This is a very interesting debate.
There is a school of thought that claims Jesus was married, had children, they migrated to England, and the throne of England is the new throne of David. This is related to the British-Israelism cult which claims the British royalty have descended from the line of King David and are part of the tribes of Israel. The problem with this concept is that it claims that physical offspring of Jesus are the true disciples of Christ, thus making the spiritual sons of God through faith in Christ an inferior group.
If Jesus had a wife, this surely would have not escaped the attention of his disciples and apostles who wrote New Testament literature. He would have entrusted her care to someone before He was crucified, or as He hung on the cross, as He entrusted the care of His mother Mary to the disciple John.
Some say that Jesus loved everyone equally, so He could not have a "best friend" or a girlfriend or wife. This is nonsensical, because the New Testament does say that those who obey Jesus will be loved more than those who do not obey, and get special blessings. Also, the Gospels speak of a "disciple whom Jesus loved", implying a special bond of affection and harmony.
Some say "the disciple Jesus loved" was a woman, a girlfriend, or even a wife. Most scholars seem to say it refers to John, but I wonder. Knowing how Jesus broke from the common policies of male sexism, the whole matter deserves close inspection and consideration.
Some say, "It may not be good to speculate too deeply, if it would keep us from focusing on the Savior's true mission."
I see no reason to not look into all aspects of the life and personality of Jesus.
His missions (plural) are clear: (1) to provide an example for us to imitate, (2) to teach humanity about God and righteousness, (3) to minister healing to the suffering (4) to die for the sins of humanity as the universal sacrifice, (4) to rise from the dead to be the leader of the heavenly armies and saints, (5) to send the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentcost, (6) to intercede for those who trust in Him, (7) to return to gather all who believe in Him and administer the Millenial Kingdom and the eternal kingdom in the new heaven and new earth.
He invites close inspection of His life and teachings, so I think it is right to do so.