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God is Not a Magic Doll, Thank God!
But oh, the Dolls We Dress Up to 'Play' Him!

Intra-page links: | Overview |   | Trichotomy 1: The Problem of post-salvation life Transformation (table) |   | Magic with respect to God |  | Accusing God | | Bible-study God | | Bible Translation God | | Blind God | | Circus God | | Discount God |  | Trichotomy 2: Discerning the Spirituality Solution (table) |   | Doormat God | | Dour God |  | Expert God | | Feel God | | Form God | | Inscrutable God |  | Needy God | | Punishment God | | Ritual God | | Science God | | Taboo God |  | Teacher god |  | Tongues God |  | Trichotomy 3: Discerning Your Real Spiritual Gift (table) |   | Works God |  | Trichotomy 4: God's Spiritual Works, not your own (table) |  | Would God be God if Magic? (table) |  | Magic with respect to Life || Why Truth is Better than Magic |


Fairy tales and stories of magic are great things for a child's mind, so he can learn to 'see' beyond his bodily senses; so he can develop FAITH. All learning depends on BELIEVING what is taught, and you must be able to believe what you cannot see, to believe in God. So fairy tales and stories of magic, help develop that faculty. Also the child's imagination, creativity, hope, confidence despite difficulty, grows more competent if aided by (the training wheels of) magical stories. In my day, it was Tinkerbell and Grimm's Fairy Tales, and we played with GI Joe and other dolls, whether in mock battles, or in playhouses; even the original Ken &Barbie dolls were helpful. Today's youngsters love Harry Potter and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, with Ken & Barbie still looking young despite the decades, joined by 'friends' of every racial grouping. Colorful ideas, mind-expanding, yet known to be imagination, not something in the real world. So it's okay to dream, to 'think outside the box', to be 'different'. All these wonderful thinking skills, magical stories can be used to train. And so they are used even by Sunday school teachers, when explaining the Exodus or the Lord's miracles. THINK BIG, BELIEVE BIG, and you can 'see' God better.

Yet like anything else, what's good about "A" is exactly what's bad about it, too.

  • The switch from good to bad is always connected to time:
  • if the child doesn't grow OUT of the thrill he gets from fantasy, he will never mature.
  • So too, with our ideas of God, of each other, of self, of things.
  • 'Magic' stimulates growth for awhile; but if attachment to it remains childish, the human stultifies, never maturing.
  • So the index of maturity, is this: how much do you need magic, to make you HAPPY in relationships?
  • So to the extent we rely on or demand magic in a relationship, to that degree we'll not MATURE in it.

We humans are demonstrably immature. We rely on magical ideas to call ourselves or others worthy -- especially, with respect to God. We gauge worthiness by what we (or others) own, who we know, what work we do. So we deem our INHERENT worthiness, as magically determined by things OUTSIDE ourselves. Hence, we subconsciously assign magical properties to these outside things, implicitly insisting that they make our inside selves, worthy if we have them. Everywhere you look, people count on magic to solve their problems, demand magic from those who 'love' them, demand magic from government, from pills, get-rich-quick or lose-weight-quick schemes, or demand healing, miracles, or other types of magic -- from God. Does this make sense? If what makes a thing work, if what makes us happy, is magic -- then on what is our happiness based? How can there be love for anything but the magic? How worthy are we ourselves, if only MAGIC makes us worthy?

Note the irony here. We humans have this core idea that something outside ourselves must 'buy' us a right to relationship. So if we HAVE that 'something', be it money, looks, health, prestige -- then we DESERVE a relationship. So it's the 'something', not us, which has the merit and has the deserving, but WE claim merit and deserving from it. That's not a sane conclusion.

  • So where's the irony? Oh, 2Cor5:21! It says that God flat GIVES us His Own Righteousness as an inheritance based on a juridical exchange at the Cross for our sins -- invoking Isa53:11's bedato yatsdiq, tsadiq av'di l'rabbim clause, which says the same thing -- which Gift, we get that very first nanosecond we believe Christ paid for all our sins. [The "inheritance" meaning is stated passim throughout Bible, but it might be easiest to see in translation, via Hebrews Chapters 9-10, Eph1, Colossians 1. The Isaiah passage (esp Isa53:12) calls it booty Father gives Son for Son's paying with His Mastery of Thinking, which in turn is to be shared out with believers.]
  • Now God is Infinite. So Infinite Merit is flat given us, that first second we believe in Christ.
  • If ever one could call a thing "magic", this Gift of Infinite Righteousness would be it, baby.
  • Yet we substitute things that rot away, like looks money prestige -- and call them our merit, instead. So again we claim magic of equal merit to God's Own, but in things which don't do the job we magically expect of them.
  • This is exactly what happened in Genesis 3. Instead of accepting God's Gift, the woman and then the man elected a substitute, Knowledge from the 'Tree' of Good and Evil.
  • They elected magic, instead of God. Magic which is APART from God, to allegedly make them worthy of Him.
  • Thus we have been, ever since.

God is infinitely MATURE, for He doesn't use magic to make us better persons. Instead of magic, He used the Cross. We are still whatever we are, but due to the Cross we are juridically in UNION with Christ, Romans 6; so we are therefore MADE ETERNALLY WORTHY by means of Justice, not magic. We remain free to be what we want to be. If what we want to be is with Him, He saves us. But He never coerces, and doesn't provide power, knowledge, etc. -- beyond what we will accept. For to go beyond volition, would require magic.

  • So atop this eternal worthiness God just flat gives us that first nanosecond we believed in Christ, God's Truth is to be built, and that transforms us from what we were, to what we can become: Compatible with Him. Christ BECAME the Truth by means of Knowledge of Truth 'deposited' in Him via the Holy Spirit. In short, He LEARNED the Truth, and it made Him so inviolable in His Soul, He could endure the Cross. Hence that same process, is to occur in us. So the transformation is not magic, but LEARNING.

Trichotomy 1: The Problem of Post-Salvation Life Transformation

  • Life post-salvation is thus a gradual, trichotomous transformational process, which is built by learning and then living on, Bible in God's System (link at pagetop). It's a messy thing, to transform. Before salvation, you were just body and soul, and had no means to even understand God, 1Cor2. As such, you had in your soul all kinds of magical ideas about what "God" should mean, just like every other unbeliever. But once saved, you have a human spirit: that enables you to PERCEIVE God directly. And what you learn, is nothing like what you thought true, prior. So the new learning conflicts with the old material, and one of the two must win out. It's tough: either you gradually accept the new and real spiritual information which your soul and body will constantly fight, or you will turn back to the old ways of thinking.

  • Romans is the flagship book on this zigzagging struggle between new spiritual being that you are as a believer, and the old soulish being you were, pre-salvation. So Paul's writing style for the book, zigzags too; he takes unexpected turns, catching the reader by surprise in order to demonstrate how the transformational process, 'plays' in the soul. The backdrop for Romans is man's own substitute ideas of Righteousness; Paul stealthily reveals that theme, catching his self-righteous readers by surprise; this, to first disabuse them of their piety with respect to the Law. As the book unfolds Paul explains how God makes us Righteous in Christ, and then what happens to us as we try to live our new lives, in Him. Chapters 7-8 cover the zig-zagging nature of this transformation, the struggle between what you are, and what you become, as you grow in God's System. Romans 7 likens the process to a messy divorce, and Romans 8 to a pregnancy, especially the labor of delivery. Paul expatiates on these themes in all his letters, to explain the meaning and results of Isaiah 53, that raping and pregnancy of Christ from our sins, aka the Cross.

  • Therefore neither salvation nor the post-salvation life are magic, even though spirituality solely comes from Supernatural, Spiritual, Infinite God Who can do any magic He likes. For God doesn't like magic, doesn't want anything 'between' him and the individual with whom He has relationship. So our transformation is not magic; but it is spiritual, which neither soul nor body, can detect. This trichotomous struggle of the post-salvation life being gradual, we believers will the meanwhile, glom onto false ideas of spirituality: we do that, to get relief from this underlying struggle. And we do it, in ignorance.

  • Consequently: to the extent we do not mature spiritually, we craft magic idols from our false ideas of God: I-dolls and eye-dolls that we dress up and call "God", to satisfy ego. For there are THREE TYPES (or spheres) OF LIFE in the universe, hence three planes of awareness and hence maturation: spiritual, soulish, and body.
    • The believer is the only one with the 'equipment' to have a spiritual plane of awareness, for he gets a spiritual birth and hence a spiritual life, John 3, Titus 3:5, Heb4. However, that spiritual life cannot function, unless living in God's System, main theme of 1Jn. So if, for example, the individual is not using 1Jn1:9 (naming sins to God) as he should, his spiritual life becomes comatose and he has no spiritual discernment whatsoever.
    • So unbelievers or carnal believers, who don't have functioning spiritual lives, necessarily fancy spirituality by feeling or experience; their concepts of "God" thus reflect soul and body functions, and they errantly call these 'spiritual'.
    • But true spirituality is on a higher plane, is a COGNITION function, not a feeling.
    • So spirituality cannot be experienced directly by soul or body.
    • It must be 'processed' by the Spirit through the human spirit, and from there into the soul, as explained in 1Cor2.
    • So the believer not using 1Jn1:9 has no functioning spiritual life;
    • like the unbeliever, the carnal believer will MAKE God-Dolls based on soulish and body concepts, so will fancy spirituality via what he feels or experiences in body and soul.

    • Moreover, like all other forms of life, the spiritual type of life must likewise MATURE, main theme of 1John.
    • If it doesn't, the person remains a spiritual baby, a child, an adolescent -- that retardation will infect and eventually fragment his soul and body as well, legacy of Genesis 2:17.
    • The unbeliever can only view things soulishly, as 1Cor2 explains.
    • So when we believers do not have a functioning spiritual life, our ideas about God will be I-dolls, eye-dolls just as pagan as any unbeliever's voodoo or other idols --
    • except, we dress up our dolls with "Christian" vocabulary.
    • The underlying god-dolls are still pagan, as you'll see in the next division, below. Very embarrassing.
  • So here's our zigzagging problem, as believers in Christ: we being immature but God being mature, we reject His Infinite Merit. Instead, we elect other outside things as conferring merit upon us, which God is supposed to accept. Again, these outside things are like tiny imaginary dolls we play with in our minds. The ancient Romans had these also: called "lares" (pronounced "LAHR-ace"), they represented noble ancestors or household gods of the family; at midweek in their Saturnalia, which ran roughly during our Christmas season, they had a festival to honor these lares, and exchanged gifts. For to the Romans, you were MERITORIOUS if you worshipped your ancestors and ancestral gods. Early in the movie "Gladiator", you'll see "Maximus" (Russell Crowe) worship with his lares (tent scene after his conversation with Richard Harris, who plays Marcus Aurelius).

    Thus we've been playing with the god-dolls we've made, ever since the Fall. So we Christians remain too childish, playing with our God-dolls rather than learning the Real God. Waaaahhh, we want MAGIC, God! We just don't want to grow up. It's no mistake that in Microsoft Word's thesaurus, "magic" is a synonym for "thrilling", and "delightful". We want magic, not God. For we humans make a veritable pantheon of wooden, magic god-dolls to woodenly worship and bludgeon others with, proving we never grew out of childhood with respect to our magical ideas of God. There's not a single church, denomination, sect within Christianity or without it, which doesn't have a collection of magical dolls, each one passing for "God". So in this webpage I seek to classify these dolls in one all-inclusive listing. Every one of these dolls insults God in some way. It's embarrassing, because no matter how you classify the dolls, they are all equally bad. One person's downfall doll isn't really worse than another. We're all in this together!

    'Doll' Magic With Respect To God

    So look how we (unwittingly) expect "God" to be magic, and demand magic as the basis for relationship with Him, in the bullets below. What's shocking about our behavior below, is that 1) we have no clue how insanely we view God, and 2) we have no clue how our views and 'obediences' utterly insult Him. For if others treated us the way we treat God in our many, sickening 'worship' methods, we'd demand legal redress or otherwise seek retribution. As you read each god-doll's description below, note how in each case:

                • God is sold as a two-dimensional capricious, shallow figure who either likes pain, or silliness.
                • So the required 'worship' always involves some pain and silliness, for the worshipper to be deemed 'good'.
                • Rote observances of one kind or another are required, so "relationship" is sold as robotic.
                • The worshipper who conforms to the god-doll's rules gets his ego petted, in reward.
                • Thus "holy" is a circle of shallow, robotic self-praise,
                • with "God" turned into a "dog", fetching.

    This blindness exhibits our lack of spirituality, hence we can easily be deceived. That our allegedly 'holy' observances vilely represent and treat God, also demonstrates that someone outside ourselves, does the blinding -- with our avid, albeit blind, consent. Satan&Company promote the slapstick worship ideas, and we buy them in an eye-blink, Eph4:14. It's not only possible to "deceive the elect", it's the NORM that we are deceived, Phili3:18-19, 2Tim2:26-3:7, running theme in 1Jn and Jude, last half of 2 Peter, "remnant" doctrine of the OT and New, Genesis 5 and 11, such a short list of names. Note well: remnant are those who really learn Him. They are always few. Which means, the majority are always deceived. We 'Christians' genuinely don't know we're buying false doll-substitutes for the Real God. For we are carnal, not spiritual, not using 1Jn1:9 and living in God's System. Therefore we are justly prey for Satan&Co.'s wiles. No one is exempt.

    The god-dolls that Satan&Co. sell have but one message, however differently dressed in cute costumes to make them look unique. That message? God is dog, nasty. Satan&Co. must sell the dolls in a bizillion ways, to mask the sameness of the message: we are supposed to be servile, or God is supposed to be servile. Servility is the opposite of what God wants, which is why Satan&Co. sell it. (More details on Satan&Co.'s propaganda are in SatStrat.htm.) What God wants, is that we see the Truth as He does: for what He sees, He thoroughly enjoys. You can prove this quickly, for who doesn't know that since God is Omniscient, it must be that the Cross Is Still 'Occurring' before His 'Face' each second? So How Wonderful Must The Truth Be, that He'd COMMIT to constantly seeing His Own Son's Suffering forever? So how Great and Glorious must be the outcome of the Truth, such that NO Magic Was Used To Prevent The Cross?

      So for us to get where we too can luxuriate in His beyond-magic Truth, we must become spiritually mature. This happens via successive deposits of Truth (Bible Doctrine) taught by whoever is our God-picked right pastor-teacher: Eph4:11-16 in Greek succinctly explains this entire focus and purpose. See also the "grow" and "enlarged" verses in the NT. [English of Eph4:11-16 is unbelievably reversed from the obvious analogy of 'Body', ergo diversity-within-Christ, to that lame catchphrase of some meglomaniacal denominations, 'unity'.] For which Purpose, Father in eternity past (Eph1) designed History. For Whom: Christ!

      God wants COMPATIBLE spiritual beings for His Son, not servile footmen or doll-playing toddlers. Therefore the human race is sold a doll collection, to deprive God of His Goal. It's jealousy, pure and simple: Satan&Co. rejected their inheritance from God, so they want to make doggone sure everyone else does, too. [The "Thinking Out Loud" series (link at pagetop) is on this topic of the Trial going on between the Lord and Satan&Co., owing to the latter's rejection -- tracing the Conflict and hence our own creation and inheritance, from prehistory through eternity. SatStrat.htm is the Appendix to that series.]

      Truth is, children are cruel. They don't realize how cruel. Spiritual children are even more cruel, especially if they don't grow up. Hence all our magical notions about God are essentially CRUEL in nature, casting Him as Sugar Daddy or Petty Judge, a two-dimensional caricature straight out of the comics, like the Joker of "Batman" fame. Not a real person, but a kind of beast who must be tricked into being nice. Seriously: peruse the god-dolls in the bullets below and ask yourself if they aren't totally insulting, cruel ideas of anyone. Especially, Deity.

      Therefore caustic language is employed below, to mirror the cruel and insulting nature of this our 'Christian' god-doll collection. Bible draws the same caustic (abrasive, insulting) analogies (i.e., Isa44, frequent OT comparison of believers to pagans, the Lord's comparison of the Pharisees and the devil, Paul's scathing indictments in Romans 2 and Galatians). Sadly, in our current hypersensitive age, where one must euphemize bad grades or criticism (sure sign of a declining society), there will be readers offended by the text here. Do yourself a favor: if you account yourself "sensitive", PLEASE stop reading this webpage now. (In person, it's usually wrong to be blunt, because the 'audience' has less privacy, but impersonal material you can privately read or discard, should be blunt.)

    Ok, our stage is set. Time to meet the cast of characters. In what follows, trace the common thread of the lie pitched by means of magic, that life with God is servile on three counts:
    a) the Alternative Magic picked;
    b) the Bonding Relationship REFUSED in favor of the magic picked; and finally,
    c) Crass Servility of God becoming a dog -- fetching, obeying our every command.

    We're usually clueless on all counts, so the inanities noted below aren't to criticise the people, but rather to expose the satanic 'sell' we also believe. For these goofy god-dolls couldn't be worshipped century after century so reliably, were not Satan&Company sponsoring their promulgation. We humans just aren't that consistent.

    1. ACCUSING GOD.This god-doll is born at the Fall. It's the story of Adam and Eve with the Magic Fruit, then the Fig-leaves thingy. So it's the origin of all god-dolls we worship. Ok, what's going on here? Adam talks with God the Son every evening in the Garden for who-knows-how-many years, yet suddenly thinks some magic leaves will make him holy? Well, yeah, since Satan's temptation was that MAGICAL FRUIT, eaten from Satan's plan, aka the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, would make the woman and Adam, like the Most High. Part II of the Thinking Series covers this magic religious fantasy in detail, so click here if you want it. Oh: you need to know that the corrected translation of Genesis 3:11 should begin, "Who DENOUNCED you?" not "Who told you". Cute denunciation of God in the mistranslation, making it look like God HID from Adam and the woman the fact they were naked. Hence the "Accusing God" nature of the Fall, is reflected in the mistranslation itself! [Hebrew verb nagadth means to denounce, not merely "tell", for it's TELL AGAINST, an accusation; and it's a soundplay on nahash, the snake=Satan, in Gen3:1. My pastor stressed the mistranslation of Gen3:11's nagadth, spending some time showing from Gen2:25 that they knew they were naked, so were not ashamed -- during their perfection, that is. Classic case of the psychological changeover the Fall made, you BECOME ashamed of being naked, due to the new sin-nature inferiority complex; so you want to MAKE yourself better. Satan accused Adam, and Adam started the figleaves thingy. That's the sin nature, baby, always thinking it can make itself higher.]

      By contrast, look: alone of all the so-called 'creation myths' in the world, only the Bible offers a rational account of things. It's rational to say

      • that God first existed and that there are Three, Independent, infinite, Co-Equal, Identical-In-Attributes, Gods; (Cross only works juridically if there are Three INDEPENDENT Gods. DueDisclosure.htm explains further.)
      • that Since "God" by definition must be Absolute, GOD IS PURE THOUGHT and therefore Unsustained, so Doesn't MAKE Himself Good;
      • therefore, there is no law or force in the universe by which one can make himself good;
      • that there was some undisclosed period of time before man was created,
      • that beings superior to us were first created, initially perfect, but that some of them rebelled;
      • that the world was trashed up by the first beings to rebel, so the Holy Spirit restored it, taking His time to do so as a way to teach the upcoming occupants how to organize their time (Gen1:2ff -- it's beyond the scope of this website to review the Hebrew style of storytelling here);
      • that man was created in part to demonstrate why the earlier rebellion was wrong;
      • that God would make man initially perfect, and
      • that the man would (eventually, just like the superior beings), rebel.
      • Then the irrationality shows. For fallen Adam, prototypical of the fall of Satan&Co., becomes downright wacko, thinking that if he sews some figleaves, that will restore him and the woman to fellowship with God.

      So from the beginning, magic is born from irrationality, at the Fall; an inborn dissociative urge, now now now! [Dissociation as the cause and genetic source of Total Depravity is covered at length in LordvSatan2.htm and SpirPath.htm.] We crave magic just like they did when they first sinned. But God is not magic. Instead, He's just bigger. I'm bigger than a spider. I'm sure when the spider hears me (spiders can't see) it thinks me supernatural, understanding not how I am as a being. So too, that's how we think of God. Someone we can't understand, someone to fear. So to ascribe a magical relationship to Him, means we want the magic and not Him. I'm sure the spider wants a magical relationship to me also, rather than knowing I could crush him in an instant, and usually do. But there is no such thing. So too, with God.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Fruit which makes you smart like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we eat instead.

    2. BIBLE-STUDY GOD. Many believers, though they rightly understand learning the Mind of Christ (1Cor2:16) is the spiritual life, think that because they use Strong's and study Bible like crazy; or, even if they also rightly recognize that they are supposed to study under their right pastor and in fact do so, in obedience to Eph4:11 et seq. and Timothy epistles: these folks deem the mere QUANTITY of such study, as ipse spiritual. What, if you've memorized even the entire Bible now -- do you really know a thing?? Are you a mathematician already, if you learned all your multiplication tables??? If a child knows his ABC's, is he an adult? What, even if you know that anger IS a sin because someone bothered to teach you the correct translation of Eph 4:26 (and how that interpretative quote explains how to use Ps4:4 and Ecc5:6, etc.) -- do you now magically do what Paul says in that verse, "stop sinning"? [imperative of prohibition with the subjective-negative particle "me" (pronounced "may") in Eph4:26 means STOP sinning, not "do not sin" -- latter is mistranslation.]

      What, do you think Christ Himself just 'magically' didn't sin, though He Himself learned doctrine better than anyone? What, do you think His Deity intervened to stop Him from giving into temptation -- like Satan was tempting Him to have Deity do, in Matt4? Satan was tempting Jesus to DO magic, get it?

      Why don't we see Him do anything until age 30, excepting that vignette when He's 12 and teaching in the Temple? Did He just magically appear on the world stage (debuting in Matt4), or did He train intensively in Doctrine for 30 years? Even though perfect, He Himself still had to train that long! If the Holy Spirit Himself had to Empower Christ; if the Holy Spirit Himself didn't find it fit to mention much about Christ's own perfect pre-age-30 years, how much more, do we really really really have to keep on learning and practicing Bible doctrine we already learned -- all UNDER the Spirit -- before we will 'see' any 'results'!

      In short, Bible-study people mistake the quantity of memorization or other factual collection, for true wisdom. So they are prey to all Satan's magic, which in their case uniformly translates into scads of Scripture-trivia-games (for prizes, no less!), doo's and 'retreats'. Such 'prescriptions' make them feel even more holy, since they can spout Scripture. It's not that playing games to memorably learn Scripture is bad; but to reduce it to a competitive thing, where the 'winner' is the one who can spout more, is devastating to the spiritual life. Thus competition becomes the reason to learn Scripture; so they never learn to ASSOCIATE the learning of Scripture with learning to be with God personally. Instead, Scripture learning is demoted to the i-know-this 'status' badge so characteristic of any academic profession. Thus, of course, the content itself lessens in importance.

      There is a stage in the spiritual life where the accumulation of data passes for true knowledge or wisdom: childhood. This, because in secular schooling, so much emphasis in the early years is placed on quantities: how many words, how many multiplication tables, what dates in history, what math/science rules -- all memorized, to be spouted back and graded as a result. Bible, if treated like that, ends up going the way of all that information -- forgotten, by most, when they get out of school. It wasn't relevant, you see.

      Worse, the false idea that a person is 'smart' because he can spout data, persists among even so-called mature adults. So, one never really learns the material, because what's called 'learning' is the mere accumulation of information. Christendom is totally infected with this idea, as is most of the human race. So, the most sickening thing one who really learns the Word ever hears, is someone fawning, "Oh, you knew a Bible verse! You're so smart!" Yeah, and the fawner had no clue as to what the verse meant. The praise masks that, see.

      Get this: Satan doesn't want Scripture learning to produce rapport with God, because Rapport With God is the very purpose of having Bible. Bible is His Thinking, and the more you TURN OVER what you are learning, talking with GOD about it, the more you will come to KNOW GOD. So it's a clever satanic ploy to take the One True Way to Know God, learning and living on Bible -- into a mere trivia game of collected information you can spout to feel good about YOURSELF. ("New covenant" is the PROMISE of such 'written' rapport: Jer31:31-34, Ps119, all David's Psalms, Neh8:10, John17 (whole chapter), answered in Ephesians, viz., Eph3:19 and many other places.)

      So, all programs which make learning Scripture relevant to something ELSE -- like your winning some prize or praise -- Satan promotes with astounding success. Every Bible church has this problem, even my own. My pastor hounded us on this problem for decades, warning us that we needed to LEARN GOD from the information he was teaching. You're not to study Bible so you can call yourself a Hebrew or Greek expert -- he taught us from the original language texts, so that warning was relevant -- you're not to study so you can show off how much Bible you know. For then you're not really studying Bible, you're ABUSING it. It was an important warning. We all went through phases where we got cocky. In those days, it was extremely rare for a regular pastor to teach you Bible from the original-language texts directly, verse by verse. So we the congregation got full of ourselves for awhile. Nicer still, once you grow out of that ego trap!

      By contrast, if you study Bible to KNOW Him, rather than for any other reason -- then happiness truly begins. You will come to love Him, and only Loving God will carry you to spiritual maturity, out of all these dippy god-dolls' ideas which man is so wont to create. But we DON'T study Bible to know God, we study it to make ourselves look good to ourselves and to others. That hypocrisy shows, big-time. Hence this "Bible-study God" is the most tragic of all the god-dolls in the world. So close, yet so far away from Him are those still playing with that doll, spouting Bible verses by the ton, infecting chatroom and church room, everywhere. So these spouters, who are really just going through normal spiritual childhood (the spouting-knowledge stage, akin to secular childhood) -- these folks all too often get STUCK there. So, they become retarded. So, they infest Christendom by the millions. So, lots of folks have crazy ideas about what the Bible says, for after all that Christian QUOTED the Bible to me. Yeah, with no brain underneath, 1Jn1:9 going unused!

      What to do, then? THINK OVER what you've learned about God. QUESTION it, pro- and con-. ASK GOD and talk with Him about it, using 1Jn1:9, if you value your time at all. Example: sure, you know that "God is Love." But do you know what LOVE is? Do you know how the Attribute of Righteousness interacts with Love? Do you know how Truth really operates? Do you understand why, then, God won't lift a finger to cure someone's cancer? If you really knew Scripture, you'd know the answer to that last (hypothetical) question. And wouldn't resent your circumstances. (Temptation always remains; never worry about that.) See? It's not how many Bible verses you know, or how well you understand the Greek or Hebrew; it's not how well you know your pastor's vocabulary for the doctrines -- it's How Well Do You Know GOD as a Consequence of All That Study. Upfront and personal, when 'alone' with Him. What HE means to you.

      How well do you really know Him, live? Not as a cartoon character or Someone Whose Name you chirp at rallies and Bible camps. For, if He's only a designer label to you, when tragedy strikes, you'll be as resentful as any unbeliever or ecumenist. "Do not throw away as worthless your confidence.. for you keep on having need of perseverance", the writer in Hebrews warns (10:35-36; translations are way off). Study, yes: but really think about what "GOD" means. Don't just use His Book as some trivia quiz prize you win, that others admire. You are ON the right track, and Satan&Co. mean to trap you so you don't move farther on. Ignore the gee-whiz admiration from your peers, and start thinking what all that Beautimous Bible Doctrine actually means: seeing Him. Live. Peoples' praise means absolutely nothing: human praise is only good for so long as you are attractive to them. Worthless. So if you're studying to be praised, then stop right now. Either you want to know God or not. Don't waste your time with dishonesty.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via accumulated data with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we read in God's Name.

    3. BIBLE TRANSLATION GOD. Bible Translation God is twin brother to Bible-study God. People here not only regard studying Bible as a status thing before other humans, but they justify their laziness by saying Bible in Translation is either "inspired" or good enough. Never mind, that God went to a lot of trouble to preserve the original words penned by the authors He inspired. So Bible Translation God people don't know that the translation rules for Bible are INSANE, unlike professional translation rules: and have been, ever since those overrated "Church Fathers" INVENTED the rules. Insane? Well, yeah: "one translated word must replace" one original-language word, unless unavoidable. For, any original-language word is really a compound of words, which compound is affected by case endings, pairings with prepositions, syntax (etc), which (for example) English mostly lacks; so often cannot be translated with only one English word, without huge loss in meaning. What, then, was the reason for the rule? Well, it appears that Aquila's goofy LXX translation rules were largely adapted, even though Origen and others knew the rules were goofy! Moreover, it seems only the elite would have access to the original-language texts; as a consequence, the one-word-for-one-word translation would alert the 'expert' to what original word was referenced by the translated one (obvious in KJV, where "sozo" is almost always and only translated "save" rather than "deliver from harm", "spare cost/hassle/hurt/destruction", etc).

      Ok, so:

      • how would the layman get the correct meaning from the translation -- by magic?
      • How could the expert teach the correct meaning, when the translation wouldn't accord -- by magic?
      • So how long before the 'expert' stops teaching the Word which no one can see?
      • So how long before people stop reading their translated Bibles, and instead kiss or thump them?
      • Is this why churchgoers will even faint from fasting, since they accord magic to that wafer; so daren't eat before they tongue it, despite 1 Cor 8:8, 10:31, 11:34?
      • Is this why people argue vociferously for the 'magic' of hats; why they think God ordered women wear hats which didn't even exist at the time 1 Corinthians 11:13-15 was penned (which passage talks about hair, not hats, partly due to the isagogics about short hair at that time)?
      • Notice how, if you don't have the Real Word, ya gotta fall back on.. magic?
      • Notice how, if you don't have the Real Word, you're stuck with living on ignorance?
      • Notice how the 'expert' must be made even more magical, to compensate for the pain of not-knowing-yourself?

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via accumulated TRANSLATED data with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God, but with less effort on your part. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we read in God's Name in TRANSLATION, no less. If you flew a blimp in the sky saying "I hate God", you couldn't advertise it better than by insisting on translations as being "good enough". We know they are not. For 18 centuries, Scripture manuscripts were too hard to get. Now, anyone can learn it. So 18 centuries of believers had some excuse. Our generations (since 1850) do not. This is the "Apathy" gem in Satan's crowning scheme, showing off its finest array. You don't love someone you don't want to know. Tell me: if your spouse refused to learn your language, does your spouse really love you? Of course not.

      God the Holy Spirit alone enables the learning of Scripture. So it doesn't matter that you don't naturally know Greek and Hebrew. If you won't learn under someone who teaches from the original languages, then you don't want to learn the Language God the Holy Spirit CHOSE to have used, and preserved despite all manner of kidnapping, torture and abuse for 18 centuries. So you don't want to learn His Chosen Language, and therefore you don't want to learn Him.

    4. BLIND GOD. Calvinists and like fatalists in both Christian and non-Christian faiths (i.e., versions of Islam and Hinduism) believe God should not only be magically macho, hence unable to be sovereign if fallen man has free will; but that He should magically IGNORE His Own Standards, His Own Truth; and just magically pick who will be saved without Foreknowledge -- yet, remain Sovereign? If He is not allowed to foreknow, if He is not allowed to CHOOSE based on Foreknowledge, how "God" would He be? How Sovereign would He be? LOL!

      What, did He have to blindfold Himself in order to pick who'd be saved, and that's competence, Righteousness, or even.. Sovereignty? What, did He have to be arbitrary, ignoring the Righteousness He loves, in order to CHOOSE? Why should God make Truth and Righteousness His Standard (viz., Ps89:14-15), yet He must choose on some OTHER basis to be Sovereign: as if Free Will meant ignoring or disobeying Truth, Righteousness? How free would Sovereignty really be, then, if ignoring Truth: like, the Truth of HIS Standard that one must believe to be saved? Does He preserve Truth, if He REJECTS His Foreknowledge of that Standard's results -- which Foreknowledge is based on the same standard He uses to ELECT? Is He not likewise rejecting Truth, if He isn't Paid For ALL Sins of all mankind, which sins He'd also have to FOREKNOW, in order to correctly and fully impute them to Christ and JUDGE them? Should He magically ignore sins' offense to His Own Righteousness, and thus be arbitrary in Justice.. even to Himself? LOL!

      People who make God blind Himself imagine that the only alternative to Foreknowledge, is that salvation be based on merit in the creature. That's not the alternative. Rather, a Standard God Sets Must Be Met: faith alone in Christ alone. Which means 'looking' at what He knows to implement that Standard. Furthermore, the one meeting that Standard has no merit if he meets the standard, since faith wholly depends on the merit of the OBJECT. For, you don't go to the grocery store and deliberately pick bad apples to purchase. You purchase based on your BELIEF that what you buy is GOOD. Even so, when you believe in Christ, it's due to HIS GOOD that you believe. So it's not a meritorious thing, faith itself. It's the RESULT of the Merit in the Object, here God.

      People who make God blind, make Him fatalistic, too. Handy thing, that: now nothing is your fault, it's all predetermined in advance, you have no free will or your free will doesn't matter, etc. So that makes anyone God chose, special: HAVE merit, see? Koran asserts the arbitrariness of Allah so often you can't open a page without a verse on it. Same, for the Hindu version. Same, for the Calvinist version, with Bible reversed and twisted beyond recognition. So those are three types of fatalistic sects which all start with the bass-ackwards idea of God being arbitrary, however they nicely sweeten the words or mangle the verses. Tyranny follows. Quickly. For everything else they imagine of God and how He saves, will also be interpreted bass-ackwards. Just examine their tenets, see for yourself how REVERSED they are. Reversal of Truth is a signature characteristic of all Satan&Company sponsor. (Nerd Note: of course, this is not to say Calvinism or other sects in this class are satanic. We are all pawns, Bible is routinely reversed in translation, too.)

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Arbitrariness, so now you're holy like God, magically picked like in a lottery. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning How God Chooses, so you don't learn Him for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here that He be arbitrary.

    5. CIRCUS GOD. "Form God" people (see bullet below) are patsies for MiracleGrow God, better stated as Circus God or Genie God, here to ENTERTAIN you, make you feel good. "Dog God" is another apt name for the god-doll these people worship. You know: The Lord is supposed to go fetch, do several matinée Mass appearances each Sunday, magically 'transubstantiating' through that wafer in your mouth. Or, His Mother is supposed to appear in a tortilla; or, a statue should cry; or, the sun should revolve around backwards. Or, if your town has the finger of St. James, the whole town should be blessed. Or, the Holy Spirit is supposed to do vaudeville, causing you to speak in gibberish you call 'angel language', and cause someone else to 'interpret' what you said -- all this, of course, in front of the entire group, so you can all go oooh-aaah over how 'blessed' and 'special' such 'chosen' ones are. Or, you get a dream, a vision -- yeah, baby! GOD CHOSE ME! Me, not God. Or, you go to Madison Square Garden or other large 'revival' meeting and watch someone bop people on the head..lo! they are healed! Or, you spend time exorcising demons (so YOU think, lol). Yeah, it's the demons who are really doing any of this nonsense! Did no one get the main point of The Mothman Prophecies, his tracking of the nature and function of mass hallucination?

      Circus tricks. The genie comes out of the bottle. And does really silly things -- to prove Himself to YOU. Awww. Can hatred of God be demonstrated in a greater manner, than this? It's clearly not God these people want, but ENTERTAINMENT! So, Satan&Co. are only too happy to oblige.

      By contrast, if you ever bother to study Bible, you'll find every true miracle in it fostered a great deal of trauma upon the recipient, which is why only great believers could get them. A person of lesser faith would have died from the shock, and many of the great ones, nearly did. Every single 'great' believer in the Bible who had a miracle happen to him not only went a little crazy as a result (and then recovered), but each one's life was irrevocably changed for the WORSE by it (better, on the inside, but far worse, externally). English hides a lot of this, because any strongly-flavored words in original languages are always diluted by translators. (NIV and NASB sometimes break out of that religious-slant rule on translation.)

      Cain went nuts when he talked to God: read that section -- it's got all the characteristics of a psychotic episode. What about Abram? Even when he's finally(!) spiritually mature, when God as the Angel of the Lord comes to meet him, to announce the Yitzak thingy, Abram is frightened. Look how he talks to God about sparing Sodom. You can tell he's nervous. Isaac called Him "The Fear of Isaac", not 'the fun of Isaac', lol. Gideon, totally flabbergasted, said in Judges 6:22, I saw the LORD and lived?! [Why does only the Geneva Bible get this verse's idiom right?] Was Joseph thrilled to learn that his bride-to-be was pregnant by the Holy Spirit? Heck no! It was scandalous, and think of the responsibility on the flipside -- oh my G-d, I've got to raise the Real Messiah?? Trauma. Not fun, not entertaining at all. One could write a book about each believer's experience. Probably someone should, to dispel the INSANE notion that visible or palpable miracles are 'good' things to have happen in one's life. The word 'sign' in the Bible is not a good word: it means 'sign of Judgement': search on the word "semeion" in LXX and Greek NT.

      What about Paul on the Damascus Road, for crying out loud? Would you not find it traumatizing to be struck blind in order to 'see'? Then, have to explain to those with you what that Horrifying Voice said? Do you think they would believe? Paul is probably the greatest believer of all time, or maybe second only to Moses. Yet if you take the time my pastor did to organize the Bible verses on Paul's life chronologically, you find out that, hey -- he gets stoned to death in 57AD (Acts 16-18, 2Cor12), gets this fabulous revelation from Heaven and is resuscitated (the Cor passage), goes wacko as a result and makes a Nazirite vow -- so wacko, he flubs the vow's mechanics (Acts 18:18). Then, about a year later, smarting from God's longstanding order he never preach to Jerusalem Jews (Acts 22); but, instead go to Rome and stay there (Romans 11:13 and other passages) -- what does Paul do? Well: see Romans 15:24 et seq., then compare to Acts 21. Ohhhh, Paul's going to Jerusalem anyway! And, gets sucked into another vow! So, nearly dies from hundreds of fists! See how traumatizing it is, when you have direct contact with God? This paragraph isn't doing Paul's story justice: if you trace his story, you can see cause-and-effect between what he knew FROM God and his reaction to what he knew!

      So, REAL miracles are things you would wish didn't happen. For, once they occur, you not only can never forget; you not only never overcome the shock, but for the rest of your life down here after that -- your life will be tormented. For, this kind of experience is even harder to live with, than were you an 'alumnus' of Iwo, Guadalcanal, Bataan, or Hamburger Hill. Read all the many Bible miracles more closely, sometime. See how the people reacted, how they fared. Start with the crazy Exodus generation, from Exodus 1 through the end of Deuteronomy. English can't cover up the traumas entirely: for every believer's experience is exactly the same. Try 2Cor12, sometime. Then think real hard about how much better it is to have a nice, reliable Bible to show God to you -- than some miracle you will never get over the rest of your life!

      By contrast, God is really doing miracles for you every second, but He does them in a non-traumatizing way. So, of course you don't notice them. The biggest miracle of all, is His Method of disseminating truth into a believer: accomplished via the seemingly-boring, seemingly-normal, method of learning Bible Doctrine under your right pastor-teacher. Eph4:11-16 sums up the entire process and purpose, in the Greek (which of course in English is horribly mistranslated; thus, mistaught as works=spirituality). Actually, there are hundreds of passages on this same topic, and probably over 100 keywords in Bible you could track, each keyword being in dozens of verses. In English, use any word which has a 'knowledge' meaning (think like a thesaurus, for the original-language words are many, and include metaphors like light, riches, gold, etc -- for the Knowledge of God). With so much emphasis on knowing God, and all these verses alluding back to the First Commandment, not to mention every covenantal promise and every covenant (especially the New Covenant): it is unmistakable that the spiritual life is learning Scripture. Of course, only one verse would be enough: take, for example, Matt4:4. Oh well.

      Since, of course, this is the Biggest Possible Miracle of all, getting the Son's Mind actually in our own, so we can Live On His Thinking -- no one wants it. The kaleidoscopic entertainments of crying statues or gods-in-wafers are preferred. Why? Truth to tell, people at heart find the idea of learning Bible Doctrine too scary; worse, they would 'stick out' amidst their lukewarm friends, family as a 'weirdo'. That one-two punch is too much to bear, so the idea is deep-sixed into the subconscious. Shock, you see. Because, deep down, the miracle of it is recognized. Because, the Holy Spirit testifies to each soul that learning Christ IS the only and real spiritual life. Because, real miracles are traumatizing -- when recognized. Your choice, to get this every-second miracle of His Thinking so you can really see Him without need for physicalities.

      It's truly amazing to me how obvious is this testimony from the Holy Spirit. You can literally watch part of the testimony get shoved into folks' subconscious, whether in conversation, or ..in observing religious tenets around the globe, anytime in history. It's sorta like watching the mutation of DNA. Or, in more common parlance, the game of "Operator". In that American game of the 1950's, a bunch of kids lined up on the playground, single file. The first kid makes up something to say, then whispers it to the kid in front of him. The hearer then whispers to the kid in front of him, and then on to the next. And so on. The kid at the other end of the 'line' is to say OUT LOUD what the second-to-last kid told him. Then, the first kid repeats what he had initially said. So, if the first kid had said, "Mrs. Farnsworth's dog had fleas", the last kid's version would run something like, "cats have cooties." So you know it mutated, and you know what got cut out. Most of all, you know people changed what was said, because they accepted some, and rejected some. So too, with the religions around the globe.

      So too, with the Holy Spirit's testimony about how learning and living on BIBLE, is the true miracle and the only Real Spiritual Life. You see that testimony survive in Judaism with the kissing of the Torah on Saturday, and the obligatory reading-the-same-passage-everywhere-in-world. Reading, but not understanding. "Seeing, they don't see", said Isaiah and others. [Famous refrain in Bible: some verses are Deut29:4, Isa42:19, Jer5:21, Eze12:2, Matt13:14, Mark4:12. This is why the Lord spoke in parables, why we don't "get" a thing heard until many repetitions, why it's SO easy to misinterpret Bible.] Christians, of course, are just the same. So too, anyone, anywhere. We hear that the Bible is the Word of God, and right away we know that is important -- even if, we don't care or want to believe God would write a book. Yet, do we study? Well, we read a lot, we all own a Bible, every hotel room in America has one -- and we quote from it a lot. Yet, we accord our body-works as having a higher value; we deem those who study Scripture should be only pastors and such, so if an 'average' person is enthusiastic about the Word, so much so we don't see as much of him as we consider 'right' -- that person is "weird". And, when we TRY to read it, we barely gain more than oh, David had sex with Bathsheba. Only stuff we could understand from secular life seems clear.

      See the mutation? What could make more sense than that God would want us to thoroughly know a Book He bothers to write? We know books are important, and we spend billions on them -- so why not on the Bible? Why is Harry Potter more loved? (Not to debunk it, just making a comparison.) See? We filter OUT the message, cutting out what we reject, and keeping (or, more often, recasting) what we accept. If anyone gets more than WE do out of Bible, that 'anyone' must be a heretic, or wrong. 'Especially, if he doesn't agree with us!

      So Circus-God devotees throw the Bible out the window, even when they claim to read and study it. The entertainment matters more. The mega-church syndrome proves this so well. Lots of flash, lots of cash, lots of singing and stomping and theatrics by the pastor. And real meat of Word? Oh no. Worse, the circus entertainment 'makes' God do pet tricks to please us. How insulting.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Circus shows with God's Name on 'em, so now you FEEL special, favored: so are holy, like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something ENTERTAINING in God's Name.

    6. DISCOUNT GOD. Bet you didn't know that Churchinanity -- oops, Christianity -- deems salvation to be a purchasable-by-man thing, yet at a DISCOUNT, due to the Cross. In short, for these god-doll worshippers, Christ's payment on the Cross was NOT ENOUGH. They all have to ADD something. Or, conversely, they can thus LOSE salvation. So what next? Oh, God will just magically infuse their BODY works with spiritual value; their eating wafers and chanting and wearing robes and lighting candles will magically gain the approbation of a God Who does NONE of that, Who doesn't even HAVE a Body, Who had to CREATE a Body for Son so Son could BEAR sins By The Power Of The Holy Spirit? If God Himself had to go to all that trouble to get our sins paid for, how could He magically infuse our stupid-body-activity into spiritual credit? Not even Christ could do that, which is why He always depended on and was filled by, the Holy Spirit! [See any "in the Spirit" or "filled with the Spirit" verses in Gospels where Christ is mentioned. John Chaps 14-17 serve as a good primer about the Spirit's empowering role, and -- if you read the chapters over a bizillion times, you'll realize it's not magic.]

      Seriously, this claim of infused-body-works is as hilarious as the atheist's, who assumes INanimate force and mass can create life, and even thinking life. Our sins were paid by Thinking (Isa53:11); the body was just a shell, just as the OT Lamb depicted. Body is dead; soul is alive. So all body works are dead, without Bible Living in your soul while you do them (Heb6:1, 9:14; Jas2:17,20,26 -- compare to Jas1:21b-23, Romans 12:2-3). The Lord made a point of this fact in His explanation to Nicodemus in John 3: that which is BORN of the flesh, is flesh; that which is BORN of the Spirit, is spirit. Paul explains both in more detail in Romans, esp. Chapter 8: the flesh is at war with the Spirit; in part, because it is unable to subordinate (Rom8:1-8, esp.v.7, see also Gal 5:17).

      THERE IS NEVER ANY INFUSING CONNECTION BETWEEN FLESH AND SPIRIT, as those passages prove. Yes, you are indwelt by the Spirit. Yes, if you use 1Jn1:9 you are Filled with the Spirt. But your body is flesh. To say the Spirit infuses the body is like saying you can run an old TRS-80 computer with a Pentium III processor. Can't be done. [TRS-80, lovingly nicknamed "Trash 80" was one of the earliest personal computers, produced by Radio Shack in 1981+ or so. It had 8" floppy disks which resembled vinyl records, no hard drive that I recall, and if you had 64K Ramm you were a super power user. It had no graphics to speak of.]

      It's a big hint, since the Lord just HUNG on the Cross, that 'works' have neither 'infused' magical ability, nor spirituality of any kind. For HE couldn't move, could He? So He didn't DO anything. Think: Father's Own Son, God and Man, Perfect -- couldn't do anything but hang? Do you see Him jump from the Cross, produce a billion dollars from His Hand, and then throw it up in the air so everyone could scramble for it? Did He organize revival meetings, do potlucks, build hospitals and churches and charity bazaars, to save us? Did He do magic rituals, talk in holy tones, call for the miracle of salvation, turn the sun backwards? Then why do we think any miracle or our works do squat to save us, when He didn't do any of those things?

      Consider this: if there ever was a remote chance that DOING something could be spiritually-infused, wouldn't Father have spared His Son the Cross, giving Him something ELSE? So, think: since Father didn't spare His Son the Cross, then how can there BE anything else? If there had been anything else, the Cross would not be needed. This isn't rocket science. It will be hard for people so insecure that they must fantasize some magical thing they can do to 'help' themselves be saved; it will be hard for such folks to ever realize that Thinking Via Spirit is all God cares about. Dunno how He could make it more obvious, than the Cross. The Lord's last words: Ps31:5. Doctrine/Truth. Check it out yourself; then ask if it's not high time we all chucked the cheap magic show Satan peddles in God's Name.

      Protestants are big on claiming one can either LOSE salvation or must do something BESIDES BELIEVE in order to be saved, so have the exactly the same magic thinking. Oh, something I do with my body will magically be spiritual, before Holy God? Because if you can LOSE salvation, you are making a claim that you can magically do something with your body to UNDO the very power of God in Christ on the Cross. Really: why did Christ have to die SPIRITUALLY in the first place, being IMPUTED and JUDGED with SIN as a SUBSTITUTE for us, hmmm? What, was the OT depiction of Him as the LAMB of God being sacrificed IN LIEU of the sinner -- was that just a bargain-basement discounting? (Greek preposition "huper", mistranslated "for" in English Bibles, always and only means "as a substitute for". You'll flunk the question on a seminary test if you don't know this. See 2Cor5:21 for one of the many verses using huper. Trans is bad but meaning is still discernible. See well-known tomes of Mounce and Wallace if you doubt this meaning is stridently taught in seminary.)

      Yeah, according to 99% of Christianity today, it was. See how insulting that is, to the Cross? These people think it insulting if they don't "do" something, too, so they really are being duped by Satan&Co. They don't mean to insult Him. But look at the logic here: if Christ HIMSELF couldn't do any works to pay for our salvation, then we can't add anything, ourselves. He had to hang on the Cross, and it was done TO Him. Not, Him doing something. So it ALL had to be done on the Cross, since even He couldn't 'add' something, get it? Satan is trying to offer an alternative magic to the Cross, in Matt4: feed people, jump to make people believe, and then the ultimate, Kneel to me, and I'll just give you everything. Lord could have zapped Satan to hell for that remark. But did not. Now, think: if any of those three alternatives -- all of which Churchinanity drools over, fancying itself to be doing all three of them every day -- if any of those alternatives worked, Christ would have been wrong not to do them. So if none of those alternatives worked, then NOTHING else works. Isaiah flat says so, "im tasim asham naphesho" -- "If He will appoint HIS SOUL as a SUBSTITUTE for sin", corrected translation of Isa53:10's Hebrew. The sad truth is, Christians don't understand what happened on the Cross. They think of it as a magic, aren't curious to read God's Answer in Bible about What Transpired There, i.e., in Isa53:10.

      Substitute is not bargain-basement. If someone SUBSTITUTES for you, you don't have anything to add. Nor, to lose. If on a workday someone substitutes for you, then you don't have anything to add. After the day has passed, you can't turn back time and add something. So you can't lose a day already PAST, get it? YOUR SALVATION WAS ACCOMPLISHED IN THE PAST. Christ was Your Substitute 2000 years ago. You can no more undo that, than fly to China on a wet noodle.

      Over 90% of Christendom peddle Discount God, and you can easily prove it: just search the internet on "how do I get saved?" and read all the false gospels pandered. 99.9% of them will give you a seven-step program, where you ALWAYS have to add some verb to "believe in Christ" to be saved. Therefore of course you don't GET saved, since if you add verbs to "believe in Christ", you too buy the Discount God doll, instead of Christ, and demean His Payment on the Cross. But, these people can't read their Bibles, so don't know all that. So they think their fake Gospels, are true. They vary in their fake prescriptions as to what you add, generally agreeing that you must first repent of your sins (um, Christ already paid for those sins, so repentance is redundant for the unbeliever, and only the believer can use 1Jn1:9); they often say you must be baptised to be saved (so I guess Abraham is not saved, since all HE did was believe, Gen15:6); they add other weird stuff like invite, make-Christ-Lord, pray the sinner's prayer (that's originally a Catholic or Lutheran thingy, I forget which, but the independents have adopted it now). It's WEIRD. Can no one READ John 3:16? The LORD said that verse. Surely He'd know how to get it right, huh? If you want more on this topic of false Gospels, just click on the blue boxes in the upper left-hand side of the Home Page.

    Trichotomy 2: Discerning the Spirituality Solution

    Of all the god-dolls on this webpage, Discount God was the hardest for me to understand. Finally, I realized what doctrine they don't comprehend: the Filling of the Spirit. They think that if you are Filled with the Spirit, that somehow transforms your BODY stuff into something spiritual. It doesn't. Body is never spiritual, see John 3, Romans 8 and Galatians 5. Again, as noted in the "Trichotomy 1" table at the beginning of this webpage, a believer is trichotomous; each 'part' of him has its own plane of awareness, so to speak: body has its own awarenesses, soul has its own (interfaced with the body, but that's only to direct body function), and the human spirit has its own awareness and function which is not detectable by either soul nor of course, body. Your human spirit is a kind of CPU to process spiritual information that ONLY the Holy Spirit knows how to run. When you sin, it's like someone turned off the switch. When you use 1Jn1:9, the CPU comes on again with Him running it. He runs it in accordance with the choices you make, and it works very much like any information processing analogy to brain, computer, pick the analogy you understand best. It's light years faster, but the structural analogy is apt enough.

    So when you are Filled,

    • God does stuff TO your soul via information processing with your human spirit, to make you GROW SPIRITUALLY;
    • you are thinking, and the Doctrine applicable to your situation is coming in and out, you're using it.
    • Meanwhile, a replication is going on, analogous to DNA splitting, connecting spiritual data to spiritual data, not unlike building a fiber optic system or a computer program, all of which is done moment by moment in light of the CHOICES you are making while Filled.
    • DDNA webseries is on that process: there I use the analogy of brain dendrites and brain DNA, which is very apt.
    • You can't feel any of this.
    • Instead, consciously you're monitoring your thoughts for sin, fending off temptations, analyzing in the context of whatever you are doing, all these thought activities going on at once.
    • So you'd ideally know the second you slip into sin (i.e., frustration, irritation, anger, easy sins to sin when working with computers or irritable people) -- and you use 1Jn1:9, back in Filled Status again.
    • But the body stuff you do remains separate, a sort of leverage, merely furnishing the OCCASION for your thinking particular thoughts under the Spirit.
    • At all times, what you 'do', is in your SOUL.
    • And THAT is the gold, silver, precious stones of production. Not, what you can see. Only God can make precious gems, and they show up at the Bema, where YOU are. You, not your works. See 1Cor3. YOU are the work, not what you do, Eph2:10.
    • So when you do a thing, if Filled, God changes your soul to mature you, and THAT's the Work He Wants.
    • Everything else is peripheral.
    • BECAUSE everything else is peripheral, it suddenly becomes enjoyable.
    • 99% of human thought is preoccupation with self and how self is perceived by self, by others.
    • When everything else ceases to matter, then this preoccupation goes.
    • But it goes, because as you grow spiritually, instead of being concerned about the self, you become "Occupied with Christ" (term of my pastor's, and of other pastors, too).
    • Occupation with Christ is the hallmark characteristic of Spiritual Maturity, and it usually takes decades to occur. But just practice it now, and you'll grow much faster. Try to see things through HIS EYES as often as you can. Do it because you're INTERESTED to know, or this exercise will become a pain to you. Don't feel guilty if you don't do it. Knowing and Seeing God is Pure Pleasure, not a rote observance thing. Rote observances pitch God as a chore, like the laundry. Avoid that like the plague it is.

    In short,
    • you are a Doctrinal Thinking Factory in your soul which Father hears 24/7, 2Cor10:5. It's a very satisfying life. Very hard to live, and you come to like it that way.
    • Your 'product' is Bible thinking, 24/7, applied to everything in your life. Bible is very witty. This is challenging, but extremely enjoyable to do. Defeating all the anti-God thoughts which hit the head is quite satisfying. Mental Chess, racquetaball, pick your favorite sport. Matt4:4, always occurring!
    • It takes time to become fluent, but just practice and be aware of what you are thinking, as if Father were 'standing' right in front of you, for He indwells you (as do Son and Spirit).
    • So: your thought life is kinda like a steel mill, it's fast and rolling and you better not shut off the switch, or you'll damage a whole lot of product coming down the line.
    • Hence the need for 1Jn1:9 as soon as possible after sinning. I breathe that verse constantly, probably naming as sins what are merely temptation thoughts hitting me, but I don't have time to dissect the difference, and don't want to take a chance.

      For example, the following thought-drills keep on hitting my head. Whether these drills should be adopted by you, I don't know, but at least you'll get a sense of the "rolling" nature of the day, which is kinda like racquetball or other fast-moving sport. All the following drills occur instantly, often all at the same time.

    • WWJT -- What Word Jesus Thinks. This is how I practice "Occupation with Christ". Easy thing to do, the more Bible you know and ruminate on. Getting into character, method acting, but with whatever is going on in your own life. Thus your perspective is suddenly higher, more objective -- and you really learn more about what it's like for Him, to BE Him.
    • "What should I be thinking, Dad?" Almost instantly, I know the answer. But then, that drill is natural now, born from years of daily practice.
    • "What does this activity paradigmally depict in Bible?" Almost instantly, I know the answer.
    • Temptation hits, and I instinctively use 1Jn1:9 or say "no", not bothering much to decide whether I sinned or it was merely a temptation. Then I try to pick some 'reply' to it like in Matt4:4, to craft a response Our Mutual Dad, would like to hear. The 'reply' comes to mind instantaneously. Again, born of long years of daily practice. (Took me about two years of daily practice for 1Jn1:9 to become an instinctive recall associated with temptation or sin. Might take you less or more time.)
    • A problem comes up, so I query my Doctrinal database for similar situations to analyze and solve the problem. Takes a nanosecond, usually, to know the answer: my pastor calls this "Doctrinal instincts". Takes much longer, to implement the solution, which affords yet more practice in developing those instincts, those "thinking skills" (another term of my pastor's).
    • Something really good or bad happens, so my first human instinct is to react. But instead, I try to recall how nothing compares to the glory of seeing Him, so the thing, whatever it is, has far less importance than my instincts 'perceive'. This has the effect of putting the event in the right context. And only later, do I realize the thing which hit was massive, in human terms. This trains the soul in simultaneity, an essential thinking skill to have, if learning to be compatible with OMNISCIENT God. For everything hits Him at once, all the time. Helps one 'identify' better with what it's like for Him, to BE Him.

    • I spend every waking moment thinking toward Our Mutual Dad, asking questions, 'talking' to Him in my head. There are many daily failures and lapses in concentration, of course; as any other human, I get frequently distracted. That's what 1Jn1:9 is for. It's really just like learning a language: drill drill drill, always failure right alongside the success. But over the years, it's easier to think toward this life and toward Him, simultaneously. You just know the Lord was doing that simultaneous thinking 24/7 from birth forward, in ever bigger scope. That's what PRIESTHOOD and RELATIONSHIP mean. When you have an intimate relationship, it's one long, continuing conversation. David was in continual conversation with God: just read his Psalms, sometime. So were the people on the to-Babylon death march, read Psalm 119. Psalm 90 shows you Moses was constantly thinking toward Him, too. Abraham's familiarity with God shows God was always on Abraham's mind. You live with God 24/7, so -- He occupies your thoughts, is the reason you want to live and do, anything at all. Very happy life, very intense too.

    • It's not religion. It's not to be a good person that I do this: I INHERITED my goodness from Christ on the Cross. So the me-good me-bad business is irrelevant, now. What's relevant? To be WITH GOD in my head, constantly in the relationship. Frankly, everything else is now boring by comparison. But if 'whatever' life is that day, can be lived toward Him, even the boring becomes interesting. Never a dull moment, when living the spiritual life. Lots of pressure all the time, so it doesn't feel good -- or, feels too good -- but all that pales compared to the Relationship, and the Meaning. Both of which you come to intimately know, 24/7.

    • It is combat. Lots of bad moments every day, very intense; and keep up the conversation with God, to remind you of the true context. Total intimacy with Him means no shame even when shame engulfs you. It's incredible, the accusational thoughts which hit. They are all irrelevant, but are hard to ignore. Soldiers in Vietnam used to deal with combat suffering by the phrase, "It don't matter." Yeah, it don't. God matters, so keep on keeping on, Philippians 3:14.

    • It is triumph. Lots of victorious moments every day since Bible is always in your head, very intense; and keep up the conversation with God, to remind you of the true context. Total intimacy with Him means no need to be victorious even when the victory engulfs you. It's incredible, the cocky thoughts which hit. They are all irrelevant, but are hard to ignore. Never rest on your laurels, because that's when you are the most vulnerable. It ain't over till it's over, as a Vietnam vet would say. God matters, so keep on keeping on, Philippians 3:14.

    Ok, then what happens to the body stuff you do? It's body stuff, just like an unbeliever's. Your body life down here is just a tool you use, like a wrench or paintbrush. You can create really neat stuff with this tool, or really worthless garbage. But the one creating is YOU, and the mere dead tool, is your body life. Obviously if you are Filled with the Spirit, what you do will count because He's doing TO you while you 'do' to whatever at that moment. Your attitude is obviously more competent, and you'll try harder, etc., because you want to please Father. But the body? A dead tool, NEVER spiritual, since it's organic, incapable of thought. Only your soul is affected, and only your soul goes to heaven, since that's the Real You; only your soul can Think Toward Father, which is your job, really. You are a Royal Priest to FATHER, and He hears what you think 24/7. He has no use for what you do with your body. He had no use for what Christ did with His Body, either. It's a house, something your soul needs to 'walk' in. So, Christ paid with His Thinking on the Cross, not with His Body (bedato yatsdiq clause in isa53:11, and im tasim asham naphesho clause in 53:10). So too, your spiritual life is a thinking thing, and the production is a thinking thing, just as the Cross was. There's no crossover to your body, just as Romans 8 and Gal5 tell you. Bible is precise about this. Maybe someday we'll read it and then we won't need all these god-dolls, anymore.

      Note the irony: body is useless to God, but it suddenly becomes ABSOLUTELY important, as it generates millions of OCCASIONS for THOUGHT. That's exactly like the Cross Mechanics for our salvation. All those incoming sins furnished OCCASIONS for Christ to REPLY with TRUTH He knew. So that changed the MEANING of the occasion from sins, to Doctrinal Steel Manufacture. Just as steel is the product of lots of other elements which of themselves are often useless and even toxic -- so too, His Thinking on the Cross would not have been manufactured, had not those sins been imputed. Paul waxes eloquent about this at the end of Romans 5, so begins Romans 6 by saying, What, should we KEEP SINNING, so that this manufacture can be bigger still? Of course not. But it does mean that God is the Ultimate Recycler. Soul pollution begets all other kinds. The spiritual life eventually cures soul pollution, and to do that, it uses the toxic waste of the body life (which is dead to God, so wholly toxic, whether pretty-toxic or ugly-toxic). Is that the ultimate payback, or what?

    So in the spiritual life, IT'S ONLY THE THOUGHT THAT COUNTS, John 4:24, 14:26, 2Cor10:5, Phili2:5-10, etc.
    • So if your thoughts aren't trained in Bible, your spiritual life is either rudimentary or "off". So whatever you're doing is worthless to God.
    • Pas de probleme: just keep on learning and living on Bible as you now know it in |God's System|, and the Spirit will keep building the doctrinal connections faster and more so you will GROW. That pleases God, Heb11:6. Progress can be rapid, so take one day at a time, don't worry about your performance, just KOKO like Paul says in Phili3:14.
    • Which structure and function, make total sense: God is Pure Thought, your body is pure sin, useless, dead even while living, kinda like an appendix you're stuck with.
    • Moreover, if body works ever mattered, well the unbeliever can perform any good deed you do.
    • There were two unbelievers hanging on either side of the Lord, too (though one became a believer then), so it wasn't what He did physically, which paid for us. Else their hanging would have 'counted', too.
    • Nota Bene: what the unbeliever CANNOT do, is be Filled with the Spirit and think Bible Doctrine principles, verses, toward Father, etc. all at the same time. That's the monopoly of the believer, who is a Royal Priest to God.
    • That's YOUR Job, and no one can take it from you. You can only refuse to use it, go offline (sin) and wreck some portion of what you've learned, if you don't soon use 1Jn1:9.
    • Priests are to GOD, first. The role toward people is nearly inconsequential, certainly peripheral.
    • For what is the role of a priest? To serve GOD, not people.
    • People come to the priest, but we Church are EACH Priests, so we don't need to go to each other to get access to God.
    • So it's TO GOD, really. And what serves God? Thinking What He Wants To Hear, 24/7. Quite enjoyable, sometimes very intense. He wants to hear what you make from the portion of His Son's Thinking aka Bible, you've learned thus far. It's a very creative process.
    • Conceptually simple, a killer life to actually do, day in and day out. I like to call it "spiritual racquetball."
    That's what Christ did, and that's His Legacy to us, Matt4:4. Part IVb of the Thinking series has "Seven Facets" which explain more about this killer thought life. So do Part III and Part IVc, Part IVd, Part IVa. Lots of material, too much to summarize here.

      So the Discount God doll worshippers are not living the spiritual life, and many of them might not even be saved. These are Lord, Lord people. BELIEVE ONLY IN CHRIST ONLY saves you, Lord made that plain in John 3:16. Since the Discount God crowd can't even read that verse, their spiritual life isn't working or maybe they don't even have one. It's enough to make you want to die, Romans 9:3.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via WORKS with God's Name magically 'infused' therein, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we DO in God's Name.

    1. DOORMAT GOD. God is just a doormat, a dog, someone who should be grateful for any scraps YOU give him as YOU see fit. Gospel-rejecting people say the God of the Gospel would be unfair to send anyone to hell because if someone is sincere, and sincerely does good deeds and really believes in his version of God, that should be acceptable. Here, the 'magic' hook believed is two-fold: 1) sin is not really a problem, and 2) 'Justice' is only just, if it is 'nice'.
      • Oh? So if your employer pays you in mouldy potatoes instead of money, you're supposed to accept that substitute? Well, he's SINCERELY paying you in potatoes! Will potatoes magically convert into money?? Never mind that you need MONEY, and in fact converting the potatoes to money means you lose some of what you EARNED, not to mention the time it takes to sell all those bad potatoes.
      • Oh? Then because the terrorists were so sincere in their purpose on 9/11, flying those planes and destroying all those innocent lives -- should the SURVIVORS invite their kind over for dinner, saying, "It's all right, I know you MEANT WELL.."!
      • Or, if you buy an infected can of tomatoes, so after eating it you blow up with botulism, then nearly die.. should the tomato cannery claim you owe IT money?
      • Or, if your spouse insists on fornicating with your best friend, because he looks like you to her, and she fantasizes about YOU while doing it -- that's ok?
      • Or, if someone sincerely insists on calling you "Yucky Gertrude Cheese", though it's not your name, and you've repeatedly SAID your real name -- YOU are obliged to respond nicely?
      • Or, if "A" does something good for "B", but you are unrelated, "C", and you didn't ASK for that good deed -- do YOU owe "A", too?

      God made us. In a relationship, the goal is to treat the other person well. Yet notice how insulting are the behaviors in the above indented bullets. In each case, someone uses sincerity as an excuse to victimize, to abuse, to disrespect, to cheat. We humans don't tolerate such behavior, but God is supposed to tolerate it, even SAVE us? That's what Doormat God people want Him to do. But boy oh boy, the slights they imagine receiving from others, whoa -- those others catch holy hell!

      THINK: this is a Justice Issue, Salvation. It's NOT personal. If we who are merely human are owed justice when wrong is done, shouldn't God be judicially compensated? Doesn't matter how rich the one wronged is, correct?

      THINK: in no court of competent jurisdiction anywhere in the world, is it the duty of a person to pay what he does not owe. So, then: why claim GOD OWES for what He didn't ask, nor is done to/for HIM? If God says, "believe or burn", and you don't believe -- why should GOD owe you salvation, when you yourself are owed money rather than potatoes? For surely, all of what any man can do, is but rotten potatoes (lit., menstrual rags, in Isa 64:6), compared to the peerless Word of the Cross. (Title for Christ, should be capitalized in 1Cor1:18.)

      Lots of folks parrot this "God should accept anyone's idea of Him" in ignorance. They don't at ALL mean or even recognize, that this argument demands God be a DOORMAT. Yet, see how the argument spits on Him?

      However, there is a far larger percentage of folks who fantasize how NICE they are when they say God should accept just any ol' 'sincere' method for 'salvation'; they feel so proud of their magnaminity -- yeah, and God is mean, see -- as if sin wasn't a disease which needs surgery, so if the patient says "no" to the Surgeon, he dies! It's not magic, salvation: IT'S A CURE FOR DEATH. "Believe on the Lord Jesus and IN THAT MOMENT you are FOREVER saved-TO-GOD!" (Acts 16:31a, idiomatic trans from Greek, in caps; "TO-GOD" is needed in English to distinguish which kind of 'salvation' is in view. Bibles routinely fail to translate time-connected meanings of interacting verbs. "Save" in both Greek and English has more than one usage, i.e., save from disaster, save time, save money. Bible frequently takes the to-God meaning, then builds ON TOP of it to show how the other meanings of "save" apply. Does the same thing with "works" and "baptism", so you have to be very careful about which meaning of these words is in view, to get a proper interpretation.)

      The Believe or Burn Gospel is a MEDICAL statement, and a LEGAL one. Medical, we are spiritually dead, and need salvation to LIVE. Legal, as with any other medical procedure, the patient must CONSENT, else the treatment cannot be done. The merit is in the DOCTOR, God. Not, in us. So to refuse the SURGERY needed to make you LIVE, well.. you'll be sincerely DEAD if you don't get it, no matter what substitutes you sincerely offer. It's Not God's Fault, but His Blessing, the Gospel. To treat the Gospel as His Fault, something bad, means you just hate God and want to make excuses to abuse, like the indented-bullet examples, above. Hell is full of such people, see Luke 16:19ff.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Dictating to God what He should accept, for these people already are their own gods.. magically. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something WE DEMAND because we are soooo good in our own eyes.

    2. DOUR GOD. Amazing, how we project our own disgusting ideas onto God, onto translations of Scripture, onto interpretations of Scripture! Oh, God must be DOUR to be majestic? He must be boring to be Holy? Yep. This is the predominating god-doll pandered for centuries -- ever since the Church Fathers, i.e., as in Clement 1's letter to the Corinthians, what a bilious piece of religious trash. You could call this doll "Hateful God", really. It's a best-seller. Also, it's a handy way to beat your opposition, just like the Spartans did the other Greeks, centuries prior. Then everyone but you, is a "helot" (worthless person, deserving death at will).

      But Dour-God people love their pain, kinda like "Pinhead" in the HellRaiser movies: you're not holy unless you're hurting. That, to them, is the magic: oh, i'm a martyr; life is no featherbed, brother; oh, if God and I are boring that proves how macho I am to stay away from all the color and pleasure in life. Yeah, that's why God made all food taste bad, why it's not a relief to pee, why the sky is never blue, why there are no flowers, why there is no such thing as irony in every speck of God's nature, why there is no love, no enjoyment, only.. hell. That's the Dour-God's idea of heaven, a hellish, sweaty existence of frustration. And for centuries, beginning even before the Reformation but especially during it, people thrilled themselves on how ugly, painful the 'spiritual life' was supposed to be. No wonder they lost all common sense, and imagined bathing was bad for your health, so bathed but once a year. Yet for centuries prior, it was well known that frequent bathing was essential to good health, and Bible is loaded with comments to that effect. So Dour-God people can't read Bible, period.

      Dour-God people are real big on tyranny, and thus twist Bible to 'read' as authoritarian. Consequently they miss out on what Bible says about the purpose and nature of authority, too. Like children, they can't tell the difference between having authority, and internal character/nature. So, the child will see someone having a better grade, a superior status as being 'better than me'. Ideally, when the child ages he'll come to see authority is not an i'm-better issue, but a synergy issue, for efficient group function. Like Paul harps in 1Cor12, if everyone was a head, where would one walk? If everyone was a foot, how would one think? So, there must be authority, and hierarchy. Not because the head is superior in nature, but because the head-function can't do something ELSE. Same, for the foot. No product however well headed, can be sold if no feet deliver it!

        Sure, it takes more Thinking Effort to be a head, than a foot; on the other hand, it takes more Physical Effort to be a foot, than a head. But note the irony: where is one, without the other? So the vaunted superiority of thinking ends up sterile, without the 'servant' to carry out the orders. So too, the 'servant' is headless, running like a decapitated chicken, if no one directs him. We need each other. So we can praise, vicariously enjoy, directly enjoy, all the amalgamated attributes of our corporate BODY -- for, we really are one in Christ.

      Dour-God people thus propagate a painful, sterile view of God and spirituality in general. So, construe Scripture accordingly, so they can preserve the magic of asceticism. Since America was founded with these people being in the majority; since the earliest translations of Scripture likewise were in the hands of such folks, it's no wonder that the prevalent definition of 'spirituality' in Christianity since the Reformation has focused so much on works and abstinence. Which, of course, receives periodic rebellion, bursts of hedonism, etc. Which, of course, explains why no one fixes the translation of verses, now that the Reformation and its legalistic aftermath have attained that 'respectability' which comes from age. Never mind that God's Word is being maligned -- one must respect the past!

      So, the Dour-God category of magical relationships sells the idea that life with God should be abusive, hellish. That's exactly how Satan thinks.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Self-praise as a martyr with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we SACRIFICE in God's Name. Satan thinks the same way, in the Third Temptation of Matt4: if Christ had zapped Satan to hell for making such a horrible offer, then Satan would have won in the Trial, freed all the people in hell, and been the true 'savior', so he thought.

      (Quick sidenote: in earlier versions of Dour God here, a long sidetrip into 1Tim2:15's humor was made, to show the difference between Bible and these Dour God devotees. It was too long, so was cut but preserved offline. That's one of the funniest verses in the Bible, but you can't see that because it's so badly translated, the Greek cultural isagogics regarding the Four Virtues and Paul's never-ending ties to Gen2:15-16, Isa53 all being missed. Maybe I'll do a separate webpage on 1Tim2:15's corrected punning translation someday. If so, a link to that page will replace the note here.)

    3. EXPERT GOD. Elitism, baby: you can't know God unless you are an Expert. Worse, that if someone is deemed an expert, the Expert-God doll worshipper believes the expert actually knows God. History proves quite differently. All-too-many highly trained folks in this category think that by learning Church history, ritual, doctrines, the Church Fathers, mystics, so-called 'great believers' lives which are written OUTSIDE the Bible, etc. -- these academes think that their much learning magically makes them Christlike. Problem is, they're learning the wrong kinds of knowledge, and in the wrong way! Did Christ learn these things.. or did He learn to live on every word which proceeds from the Mouth of God (Matt4:4)? And Who is God's Mouth? The Holy Spirit. ("Voice", when said of God, is a frequent title for the Holy Spirit, in Bible.) So, of course, the fruit of the Spirit is different from the puffed-up fruit of all that imitating-the-world knowledge. Scripture does need to be learned with the discipline of an academe; but if not learned under the Spirit, the soul doesn't profit. If not the right kind of knowledge, then not learned under the Spirit, either: knowing what a "surplice" is, knowing the Nicene Creed, is no substitute for, nor any spiritual contribution to, learning Christ.

      You can tell if someone is stuck in this knowledge-magic trap. Such a person spends his thinking and time on the many arguments between sects, my-doctrine-is-better-than-your-doctrine, uses Church Father writings or "official" creeds to decide what's correct, rather than searching Scripture itself; is high on doing good, uses hallowed phrases, is easily offended; overvalues 'experts', slots people by what credentials they have, accepts 'respectable' definitions MEN have made of Bible words/doctrines. In short, the person trapped here is just like anyone in a profession at which he excels -- the group matters more than the content, all too often.

      This is why we have, when we have, bad law, bad science, etc. It's an occupational hazard. The magic of it is based on expertise: that by following certain 'respectable' procedures, one actually is an expert -- attested by degrees, peer admiration, etc. Trouble is, the fit-in mentality also weaves into any real expertise, so often the content of what should be learned, approved or disapproved.. is compromised. Thus you have many in the clergy and Biblical professions who dispute Scripture's infallibility, whether the Gospel of Mark is genuine, whether Luke copied from someone else to write Acts, what's the date some book of Scripture was actually written. And when you hear WHY they dispute -- it's almost too insane to bear. Their arguments rest on fallacies which are granted 'respectability'. For, the Holy Spirit was not granted respectability, and 1Jn1:9 is not used. So, it's no wonder the many scholars who have puzzled over and mistranslated/mistaught verses like Jas4:5 for centuries, find them 'inscrutable'. (What's so inscrutable about an obvious scribal error which capitalizes pros and adds punctuation after legei, what's so inscrutable about the fact that pros takes the accusative of hostility, what's so inscrutable about pros phthanon being the object of legei, what's so inscrutable about indirect discourse, I'll never understand!) But, to the "blind guides", to these modern-day Pharisees, God would be inscrutable. They need the Spirit's glasses.

      So do we. Those of us who are not experts likewise buy into the 'expertise' magic wand. In our own insecurities, our own intimidations over others being 'better' than we are at something, we're hypersensitive to, and keen on, hearing any accusations against 'them'. For, if we even think we see an expert discredited, we immediately cry with pain, treating the expert as a never-to-be-forgiven god, and vow we'll never trust experts again. So we too, are caught up in the trap. They are human; so are we. They had to work very hard to get those credentials, and this world won't let them become eligible to really learn God respectably, if they don't go that route. So of course, the taint of the world's goofy-magic expertise system, will hinder genuine spiritual growth. Really, to be both a respectable Bible scholar and a spiritually-mature human is a rarer find in history than even a Biblical Codex! Pray for them ardently, then: they are really under fire. Because, it's not magic to learn Christ, but Satan&Co. would sure have us all think so!

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via accumulated 'expert' data with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, substituting an 'expert' for actually learning the Bible, oneself. Clever. Christ substituted for our sins, and we substitute OUT learning Christ as a consequence -- in favor of magical reliance on 'experts'. And then we have the gall to label ourselves holy. Can we hate God more than this?

    4. FEEL GOD. We want a magical, happy feeling 'from' God, a desire which harkens back to our childhood days of associating 'good' with pleasantness. Mom felt warm. Dad felt secure. God felt like both parents, to us. Whatever definition of 'God' we were raised to have, feeling was intimately in the weaving of that definition. We didn't have knowledge, so we went by our FEELINGS to decide truth. That's all a child has, are his feelings. As adults, therefore, the criterion for feeling as a substitute for truth -- especially when one is ignorant of God's Nature -- is hard to extirpate. Moreover, when we think of Perfect, we think of POWER, which feeds right back into warm fuzzies of security. It's inevitable. Additionally, the body really does need to feel good. So it's completely natural that we crave good feelings as a condition of belief in God. At the same time, the Feel God devotees tend to be folks who didn't yet mature humanly, either. Kinda like still sucking your thumb, they didn't want to leave the old days.

      However, just as with magical stories, the spiritual child needs to grow up and out of that enslavement to pleasant feelings. If he doesn't grow up, he will forever be prey to the many human and demonic predators which all use FEELING to hook people into their schemes. So, people hot on horoscopes, psychics, ohming, meditating, tongues, healing, miracles -- whatever their religious stripe -- are all still spiritual babies, at best. If unbelievers, of course, they are in even greater retardation, for the Real God is still refused by them, so His Justice demands He stand by: He will not coerce volition. Thus everyone everywhere in the world gets "Hooked on a Feeling" (old song by B.J. Thomas). Frankly, anyone who refuses the Gospel, who adheres to some other idea of God than in the Bible, does so due to their FEELING that their belief is the right one. Ask a Moslem or Hindu sometime about it. They, and other religious types too, all stress the feeling.

      So, anything alleged as truth is easily bought and believed, no matter how insane, how senseless, how contradicted by facts: because, the feeling is sooo good. This is the Ultimate Addiction. Of course, it's magic: we prefer the feeling, to God. The devastation of this addiction category is so universal, you can trace virtually everything in life to it. The more we get this feeling, the more hooked we become. The more we are denied this feeling, the more bitter, angry, jaded and demanding we become. For, feeling -- more powerful than and the raison d'etre for, any drug's addiction -- kills Reason. Slowly. So the FEELING SUBSTITUTES for truth. So you can't reason with these people. Again, unlike the other god-dolls, this one is sourced in both the body's innate natural need to feel good, and the childhood security FEELINGS which we all grew up with. If our parents were abusive, the feeling need intensifies due to that. If our parents were loving, the feeling need intensifies due to that. Only learning Bible Doctrine in God's System can counter this innate need to feel good, as a substitute criterion of truth.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? FEELING with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we FEEL in God's Name. This is the most powerful of the god-dolls: every other god-doll on this page is a derivative of FEEL GOD. Satan knew that, in the Garden, playing on the woman's insecurity about being lower, parlaying that disquieting FEELING into rebellion. Hence Satan&Co. historically use feeling, piggybacked on specious arguments or even slapstick lies they promulgate as Divine -- to hook us. Very effective.

    5. FORM GOD. Probably 90% of modern Christendom 'lives' here and in "Feel God", above. There's very little difference between the two categories: "Form God" people get a bigger feeling out of their OWN performance, that's all. The premise upon which this overwhelming majority operates, is if I show up in church and genuflect or sing or put money in the offering plate or endure the pastor's sermon, I've 'respected' God. Then, of course, God is supposed to reward you. Or, at least, not strike you with cancer. These FORMS of 'worship' are genuinely mistaken for substance, so the FORMS are not recognized for the crass insult-to-God that they really are. If someone has toward US the same attitude, we are insulted royally. What, my daughter comes here only because she HAS to? What, my husband gave me this gift only because he felt GUILTY? Oh my, the obligatory Thanksgiving/ birthday/ Christmas visit. Everyone obeys the FORMS, you see: but they do it mindlessly, and to fulfill a chore. A duty. Nod to God on Sunday. Make nice noises, then you can forget about the whole thing for a week.

      This form-observance is magically supposed to appease God -- and garner respect from one's fellows. A shallower, more sterile lifestyle is impossible to imagine. Look: if you love something, you pore over details about it, spend time on it, and wish to BE spending time on it when you can't. If you love someone, you drink in the person's thoughts, looks, wants -- and when you can't be with that person, you WISH you were. When, by contrast, you hate something -- or, at least don't like it -- you look for what's 'expected', and do that. You might respect doing what's expected, and you might even want to do a good job of it. But the boundary lines are, what is 'expected', and it's a kind of duty you are glad to be done with, when it ends.

      "Form God" people treat God just like that, and religion invents the most audacious derisive observances, to boot: the clergy use these hushed and holy or rhythmic 'preacher' tones, onetwoTHREE onetwoTHREE oneTWOthreefourfivesix -- so you hear their feel, but the words are.. well, fuzzy and often unintelligible. You clumsily read a passage from Bible, which of course no one else can understand, let alone, you; politely you listen to someone else drone on, hear some song, or stand-kneel-stand-kneel; you chant the Lord's Prayer half-asleep, since it's so-long memorized, and the words of course have no meaning at all. So: a bore, a chore, something to get done so to meet expectations and prevent the clucking tongues of church busybodies. Or, something to get done so those tongues will cluck PRAISE at the wonderful gift one made, replete with tiny plaque saying, 'this bench was purchased by so-and-so'. Recognition of SELF. Not God. Ergo all the works-emphasis, because then you really get recognition. And brownie points from God are EXPECTED. After all, this is a royal pain to do each Sunday+, and there's little variation in the service content!

      So naturally, when people in this category are hit with some disaster, oh! how quick they are to blame God! Since THEY performed to expectations -- God should, too! The fact that a song sung on Sunday is rather less meritorious than healing one from cancer, is of course unnoticed: but I went to church EVERY Sunday! I always took communion! I paid my tithe! I did work around the church! Etc. Yeah, and WHO did you do it for, and how can you possibly think that such utter garbage should count for anything at all? Did you do it to GET something, USE God? What the blazes makes you think that mindless reading, singing, worrying-what-others-will-think-of-YOU is anything but demonstrable HATRED of God? Would you like it if someone treated YOU this way every Sunday, some laundry chore, some my-mind-is-numb-or-elsewhere, gotta-get-through-it JUNK? Do you realize this is JUST LIKE the proverbial husband who thinks of some OTHER gal while he makes love to his wife? Or, like the proverbial wife who can't pretend a headache, so is just inert, waiting for her husband to 'get it over with'?

      Just as the characters in Guy de Maupassant's short stories, like "Ball-of-Fat" (Boule de Suif): hypocrites to the core. The Hitlers, Stalyins, and Mussolinis of the history depend on Form-God people, in order to rise to power. See Zech7, most of Malachi, Deut30:11ff, the Lord's comments about the Pharisees, and Romans 2, 2Tim3:7 (in context, from 2:26 forward). Oh, and that quintessential example of vomitable hypocrisy, the Laodiceans in Rev3. Hell will be full of these people, as Form God devotees almost never orient to Grace and believe in Christ: John 3:16 seems 'wrong' to them.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via accumulated FORM OBSERVANCE with God's Name slapped on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here some FORM we OBSERVE in God's Name.

    6. INSCRUTABLE GOD. This god-doll is the sister of Expert God, the idea being since YOU can't understand God, you must rely on what the 'experts' tell you. Oh, yeah, can't know God, He's too high, just gloss over a verse you don't understand, don't use 1Jn1:9 and ASK Father in Son's Name to learn it. Oh, yeah, God writes a Book for no reason, just supposed to parade it over the head, like on Sabbath services where they walk around with Torah and kiss their fingers, then fingers to it -- oh yeah, Bible is some magical thing to look at but never learn; some thing to make weigh 40 kilos and stud with gems, but keep locked up at the altar, like Christianity did for centuries! And thus we yell how little we care about Him.

      People don't mean to be disinterested in God. It's natural to be more interested in human things; moreover, the genetic rejection-urge of dissociation, inherited in us all at birth from Adam, can't afford to be exposed. So, we play games with our motives about God, and a very common one, is guilt. Guilt is a sin, because it SUBSTITUTES the bad feeling for whatever wrong is deemed done, and deems the bad feeling to PAY for the wrong done. Clearly this is childish thinking, so is not surprising nor even shameful. So, if we read sentences like "and thus we yell how little we care about Him", we feel guilty. Because, we know it's true.

      So the Inscrutable God devotees use the doll to justify their ignorance, which is really guilt over not wanting to know Him. So you 'punish' yourself by not knowing, get it? So you can never get relief! See how devastating it is, to heed ideas about God which make no sense? Since you can't know, you can justify believing an 'expert' or any good feeling you have, or.. whatever. But the ignorance is always nagging at you. You aren't relieved from it. So you are driven to believe even more inanity, in that never-ending quest for relief from the HIDDEN guilt over being ignorant. Classic psychological defense mechanisms. Inscrutable God plays them well.

      Principle: If God wrote a Book, then He's NOT Inscrutable, for He means you to learn it, to learn Him. He enables you to learn it; and since you need to learn it, but can only learn it as He enables, oilá! you don't need to feel guilty about your ignorance, anymore. Instead, you just start learning. So, use 1Jn1:9, ask Father in Son's name to find your right pastor; and, then Learn Scripture, a little bit each day. So finally, get relief. Ahhhh. No magic, so Real Relief! Sure, God is Infinite, so there's always more to learn. So again, not Inscrutable, but never-ending learning. So again, no need for guilt over being ignorant! No need to throw up the hands and piously exclaim God is impossible to know, like the hypocrites in Deut 30:11ff.

      Of course, the flipside of guilt, is rebellion. These two defense mechanisms, the twin kiddies of dissociation, make a great self-perpetuating team. Rejection is their father, dissociation their mother, so the kids reflect both: rebellion 'reacts' to guilt with self-buttressing rationalizations; guilt then 'reacts' to rebellion, with penance. That eventually gives cause for rebellion, again. So, the panderers of Inscrutable God, having justified your guilt (you are no good, see, so God must write inscrutable verses!) now justify your rebellion: OK, so I won't know God, then. As if that 'got even' with Him, somehow. So, one doesn't want to know what a verse means, wants instead to feel holy for NOT knowing, wants to feel holy for believing a stupid thing. Then, preens for holding fast to his stupid belief! So, of course then the magical ideas about God are likewise justified. The goofier, the better ..wafers magically turn into bodies, yeah! [Luke 22 and 1Cor11: the Lord Himself said the Eucharist was "in Rememberance of Me"? REMEMBERANCE, not a cannibal carnival.]

      Of course, anyone who does learn Scripture comes to understand it, since nothing about God is inscrutable -- He teaches you. But those who need to call Him "inscrutable" will have an overwhelming urge to deride the one who knows. Oh, he's wrong; oh he's arrogant to claim he knows; oh, he's showing off, oh he doesn't have the degree so he can't know; oh, it's a she, so she can't know; oh, the skin color means the person can't know; oh, not a respectable slot-in-society, so that person can't know -- as if it weren't the Holy Spirit who enables understanding. So who's projecting (another defense mechanism, grandkiddie)? Who's really being arrogant, then? Here's a good litmus to use: watch for any pastor, teacher, person who is derided by all-and-sundry. The more others deride him, the more urgent their attacks, the more likely that teacher (etc.) actually has some unusually-good understanding on at least some key doctrines. Satan&Co. use public derision to obfuscate truth. So a good teacher will often be derided by the 'respectable', whereas a false teacher will be commonly praised as 'acceptable' or a spiritual giant.

      Back when we were kids in school, it was real important to 'fit in' with whatever was popular. Looking back now, we recognize how what was popular, was almost always petty, ugly, cheap and shallow. The world of adults is just like kiddie-school. Because, dissociation never stops. Because, its kids never grow up. So, if you are among the popular, take stock of why. If you are among the UNpopular, take stock of why. God is always popular, but in name only. God the Person, is never popular, hence is never known, hence is inscrutable to those who have already rejected learning Him. Only His Status is coveted, by the crowd.

      Honestly, anyone who insists God is inscrutable, tells you he himself has no desire to learn God. Again, if God were inscrutable, we'd not have a Bible. Think: if someone close didn't bother to read what you wrote, listen to what you said, learn how you are; if that person kept on saying you were unfathomable despite your many explanations -- at what point do you realize that person doesn't WANT to know you, and blames YOU for that fact? See, Inscrutable God=God is UNDESIRABLE to Know: but masks itself as holy for being ignorant. Blaming God, really, for not explaining Himself, never mind we have a Bible.

      This is a really common category in Christendom. The pride over ignorance is extreme. There's no excuse for us not knowing when the Lord was born and died, Bible discloses the dates in witty, even satirical detail. There's no excuse for us telling lies against the Bible. But in all this, we claim the BIBLE is obtuse, that verses are abstruse, "open to interpretation". NO, the verses are open to STUDY, which we don't do. What rot, our claim of Bible being obtuse, abstruse, and God being "inscrutable". What hatred of God, we thus betray.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? IGNORANCE with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God -- for blindly trusting Him. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here IGNORANCE in God's Name.

    7. NEEDY GOD. Oh, how popular this god-doll is! Oh, God needs us to do stuff and praise Him, etc. What rot. We need GOD, not the other way around. Look at SatStrat.htm, sometime: there you will see the four basic "DIOS" characteristics of Satan&Co.'s strategy played on we too-dumb-to-live mankind.
      • First characteristic, Derision/Obviousness. What's most Obvious? Our need of God. So that's derisively REVERSED into "God needs us".
      • Next characteristic, Imbalance/Misemphasis: stress what is least true or not true, in order to hide what IS true. Our need for God is hidden by the derisive reversal.
      • Third characteristic, Obfuscation/Noise: noisily stess, in order to deride and substitute for the 'feel' of truth. So works are promoted, since after all God is Needy, and we can do something 'for' Him.
      • Fourth characteristic, Substitute/Reverse whatever is true about God and His Plan, in order to replace it with the Imbalanced, Derisive, noisy version Satan&Co. want for their own entertainment. Here, since the Derision is already reversed into "God needs us", God's plan for MAKING us in His Son's image -- is reversed, with our own. We are our own gods, then. God's head got cut off, and ours is now on top. That's the most common mistranslation method in the Bible, cutting God's head off and replacing it with man's. That's the most common god-doll usage, too. Baldly shown, here. God is needy, awww we should 'help' Him.

      Run this test on anything you like: take something loudly advertised, and reverse it -- see if you don't most quickly find the truth that way. Sometimes the way you reverse it still hides the truth, since the Satan&Co. game is very sophisticated, w/ multilayered phalanxes of lies. So one lie when flipped, still has another lie to be flipped, and so on. Hence:
      • Works are loudly sold as the spiritual life, to Reverse out WORD. Notice how "Needy God" is required to make that reversal: for if the spiritual life is Word not works, then God isn't the One Who's needy, but YOU are.
      • Belief + some other verb is loudly sold as the Gospel, to reverse out Believe-Only-in-Christ-Only which is IN the Word. Notice again how God must be sold as needy: awww, the Cross wasn't enough, you are more powerful than Christ, since YOU must do something, too. All the ecumenical religions would have no power, if they didn't sell God as needy.
      • Loudly proclaim soul life is in the womb, to reverse out the Bible saying God makes your soul at birth, just as He did for Adam, Gen2:7. Notice how God is needy again, needing you to crusade and stick your nose in other people's lives, to 'save' the unborn. Notice how God is so needy, a pregnant mother has more power over life than God does. Cute, huh.
      You get the idea. Just take what's loud and popular, then reverse it to get closer to the truth. The lie is always loud and popular: it needs the noise, to mask its opposite: Truth.

      Note how easy it is for people to buy Needy-God. We Need God, so NEED gets the emphasis, noisily, satirically -- then "we" and "God" get REVERSED. So, "GOD NEEDS US" is the satanic substitute. Slavery. Ahhhh, now man is god, since put in God's place! Oh, God needs me to make this a Christian nation, God needs me to fly planes into buildings, God needs me to light that candle, God needs me to be a 'good boy', God needs me to stand-kneel-stand-kneel, God needs me to give money, God needs me to write webpages exposing Satan, God needs me to crusade against abortion, God needs me to blither and dribble and 'get the Ghost', God needs me to nattily dress for church on Sunday, God needs me to practice that taboo, God needs me to distinguish between blue-and-white thread as the start of the Sabbath.. ad nauseam.

      Because true miracles are frightening, because the True Holy Spirit gives each soul disclosure about both our need for Gospel and learning Christ, because Christ really did die on the Cross for all mankind, because Father really wants sons for the Son's sake, which the Son in His Humanity prayed for -- all these facts shock we dumb humans. So we are easy prey for Satan&Co.'s mirror of Satan's Own-Fall Motive. Insecurity begot Pride, and thus any derisive idea of God 'out there' must be 'objective', rather than the REAL God of the Bible! Okay, but who is getting hurt by believing lies? We, not God. He's Inviolate. He didn't create Himself. He just loves. Love doesn't need anything, so doesn't need reciprocation. We, by contrast, need everything. So buy any satanic lie that comes along, which lie is always some form of Needy-God. For if God is needy, then our insecurity is lessened. That's our buckup. Making God small, rather than seeing His Big Grace Love.

      When it's all over and we're dead, we see how He really is. What happens then? Well, even the unbeliever mourns. [Rev1:7 -- Greek koptw means to cut, and came also to mean mourning -- the etymology is kinda brought over into our English, "cut to the quick" -- an idiom for severe grief and regret (usu. at self). Koptw/'cut' as a verb for mourning, illustrates the very melodramatic custom of mourning in the Middle East and lower Europe, which custom survives today. It can become quite violent, viz., with the Shiites, in (I believe) the August parade over Abu Bekr. OT Hebrew mourning verbs are many: howl, curse, tearing one's hair or clothing, screaming, even cutting oneself, etc. This is not a quiet thing. One big problem with translations is that they have a decided WASP (White-Anglo-Saxon-Protestant) 'spin', milquetoast. Bible, by contrast, is quite blunt. Most non-WASP cultures tend to be a lot more emotional -- it's even considered bad manners not to be effusive.] Back at the Bema, the believer did a lot of mourning, too -- called "shame". Both of those attitudes aren't imposed sentences by God, but how we will truly feel THEN. Why learn how Gorgeous He is the hard way, when it's too late?

      Much of the reason why God gives us commandments, why He tells us of dire punishments, etc. -- is to PROTECT us. Just as, a parent doesn't explain why to a young child, for the child will not understand -- but the child immediately needs to know what to do and not do, for his own protection. Even so, God. For, God is Infinite, so He experiences Now and always the whole story, not just that little dot of moment which we think we feel 'now'. He Knows how it ends. So, gives us due-diligence disclosure, that we are the ones who will choose to feel bad -- not imposed. Granted, the meanwhile, we get punished -- to reduce, forestall, hopefully remedially-teach-against, what is innately harmful to us. Remember, sin is a disease, which needs the Surgeon to heal us (Isa53:5 in Hebrew uses that very term, surgical sewing-up-on-battlefield, "raphah", the word "nirpalanu" in the verse). So, We Need God; God didn't make Himself, doesn't sustain Himself, so has no needs. We, by contrast, are unending bundles of needs. And, He cares for us (1Pet5:7). So let's reverse the sadistic, satanic satire, which would have us worship a foreign god (D-I-O-S). How? Believe in Christ, be thus saved-to-God. Learn Christ once saved, for He has said, "I will never leave you, nor forsake you." We only need Him!

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via accumulated WORKS with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we DO in God's Name. Worse, this "do" is based on an implicit and subconscious pitch that God NEEDS it from us. All religions make that implicit claim, or the religions would have no adherents. They must hook your ego, and they use the feel-good of you being NEEDED to do it. God did create a need for us, juridically. It's Grace, that He did this. WE NEED to do something. So, learning Word is what we need anyway, to have a relationship with Him, and He makes that need DO for the world what works can never hope to do. Part IVb of the Thinking Series, 1st Facet lists just some of the massive things God does, to create the world's need for us. It's far bigger than anyone even dreams of, and all the works on the planet, can't begin to compare.

    8. PUNISHMENT GOD. A surprisingly large number of people love this magical idea: that God is a vengeful, nasty, gonna-get-all-the-people-i-hate person. So, when they read Scripture, they obviously don't notice that God has written to people, so talks to them like children. Children need commandments; children need punishment-warnings; children need good-boy praise. Because, children have no discernment. So, these folks take all that language-of-accomodation and think God must magically really BE that way. So, they lust for the day when they can see all the folks who offend them, getting their comeuppance.

      The Real God is not saying these things because He drools over someone's pain. We say those things because WE are like that. Common sense should make this fact plain -- you don't even need a Bible to know that God Loves everyone, and does everything for man's protection: else, why have nice weather? Why should food taste good? Why is it pleasant to do even the most base tasks? Surely a vengeful God would not make these things nice. Surely a vengeful God would make a sky routinely black or gray rather than studded with differing hues of blue, floating clouds marching across in changing forms, magnificent. Trees would have no leaves, if made by a vengeful God. So, then: the Real God must be telling us something ELSE, with all these dire warnings: especially, when He says, "Believe or burn." Ohhhh -- those who project their OWN desire for inflicting pain on others really have a field day, with "burn"! But hey -- what about the ease of "Believe"?

      Aha. So let's try to think like adults for a few minutes. Let's put aside all the childish, magical ideas of the disaster movies and "gotcha" triumphs. Let's instead look at a very common occurrence in our own lives: the times we realize we did a stupid thing. What happens? Well, depending on how stupid it was, we kick ourselves (or, the chair or another person, if we're less honest). We might brood over what idiots we were to believe that for so long; we might cry buckets of tears, stay in our domiciles, feeling we've no right to let the sun grace our faces ever again. In short, we feel guilty, stupid, lame..grief. Bible's word for "to grieve" is lupew, and it's lamely, obtusely mistranslated in English, usually "godly sorrow". In Greek, the word first has the connotation of Offense; thus, the one grieving is grieving over the offense. The loss due to the offense, more specifically. It's not a judgemental thing, not a maudlin thing, not a gonna-make-offense-pay thing. It's just recognition, and wishing that the loss would be recovered.

      So when you read God's many warnings, what you should recognize from them all is this: He knows in advance how believing lies stab us. He Foresees as if it were already happening that one day we will all know the full Truth (living with Him would require that, for He is Truth); and when we discover all the stupid lies we've believed, we ourselves will be so grieving AT ourselves -- He'd rather spare us all that pain in advance. That's what all the "shame" warnings mean. In fact, that's what ALL the warnings mean. If you're a parent, or a good friend, and your kid/friend is doing or believing something which is harmful, you ache to help forestall the inevitable denouement, because you love them and want them happy. To them, you'll sound like a Harpy, of course -- "oh, you're just saying that to be mean", etc. But once they themselves see the bad results, their sense-of-guilt is SO overwhelming, they do something even more stupid -- like try to commit suicide. All that tragedy! So, it shouldn't be too hard to comprehend that God, the Ultimate Father, is thinking the same thing when the Holy Spirit transmits to us all these many warnings. "Stop Grieving the Holy Spirit", Paul writes at the end of Eph4. (Corrected trans of Eph4:30: imperative of probition is not "do not", but "Stop" doing something you're already doing.) Because, He sees what damage you are really doing to yourself, and if you are thus hurting, He is 'hurting' more. [This is an anthropopathic verse, so addressed in childlike terms: Omniscience's Knowledge is so far greater than any grief or hurt could begin to describe!]

      It's not magic: bad decisions beget bad results, for that is the True Property Of The Results. Good decisions beget good results, because that is the True Property Of The Results. If God Himself sinned, it would be a bad decision. It's not less bad, if we do it; God is bigger, and has a solution: believe. Or, burn -- since that's the non-magical Truth about what sin causes. Not imposed by some meanie God who loves pain. Not gleefully-watched by all those who want God to be a sadist. Not magic: learn the easy way, believe; not the hard way, by burning with discipline if a believer, or burning forever, if never-believing-in-Christ. For, again: sin is a disease, which requires surgery to cure. Salvation is the cure for DEATH; then, the progressive surgery after salvation cures all those horrible, burning decisions we continue to make as believers: Heb4:12 is the easy way, Heb12:5ff is the hard way. For, one day everyone will know the Truth: and God would spare us as much grief as possible, Now.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Lust for PUNISHMENT with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here something we lust after, PUNISHMENT -- in God's Name. This is the quintessential god-doll of the religious person. He's so unhappy BEING religious he must fantasize all the terrible things which must happen to those who aren't living as he does. A happy person never likes to see other people get punished. But hateful people, always do. 1Jn is all about the contrast between the person who lives on Word, and the religious type. Those are the two strawmen characters of the letter. Religion is hateful in all its forms, invented by Satan in Genesis 3. So after a lifetime of constantly 'obeying' religious precepts, the practicer of them becomes quite bitter, however sweet he may be on the surface. Fantasizing punishment is about the only joy he has, poor thing.

    9. RITUAL GOD. Wow, this is the favorite god-doll all over the world. Loved so much, its threadbare, slapstick nature goes unnoticed. Everyone's favorite teddy bear, beady eyes nearly worn off from so much loving. We mean ritual to signify honor, a way of doing something 'special'. But it quickly becomes an ego trip, a game with magic beans, instead. Witness the magic:
      • spin prayer wheels or
      • light candles,
      • chant set prayers, or
      • avoid certain foods or
      • wear certain clothes or
      • observe special days --
      come on, an Invisible God gets "served" by any of that nonsense? If someone chanted set prayers to you every day; if someone lit a candle to get something from you; if someone fasted or avoided cowmeat and then expected YOU to reward him for that -- what relationship would you have, with such a person? Tell me: would YOU want to be thought of as a person who demanded such things to be blessed, appeased, or even loved? What kind of person would you really be, if you did demand such things? So why then do we malign God, demanding HE demand magical or insane behavior? So when we who do these stupid things get that rosy glow or spectacular 'sign' -- WHO, do you think, is 'answering'? Surely not the Real God, who couldn't need, wouldn't want, and won't USE these things! [God could make you perfect in a nanosecond, but won't do so. That's your big hint that He doesn't want a magical relationship with you, from you, nor TO you.]

      What makes ritual so compelling, is that you do it as part of a GROUP, even when doing it alone. The Group becomes the substitute for God, no matter what.

      • Thus, your loyalty to that group is questionned, if you don't adhere. Every family and every church has this problem; it's unavoidable, since "family" or "church" IS a group.
      • So the groupness begins to have a competing STATURE with whatever it is about God, you're learning in that church. Even in a good, strong Bible-teaching church.
      • Man is prone to regard the herd as a kind of god, because we are social beings.

      • Hence people become incensed when their culture is criticized, when their religion or nation is criticized, because it's a group to which they belong.
      • They feel compelled to be loyal to that group.
      • Ritual above all promotes Groupness, and that's a huge impediment to learning Truth.
      • For to want truth is an inner thing, an individual thing, totally apart from any Group.
      • So above all, RITUAL TRAPS YOU IN THE GROUP.
      • It's a psychological entrapment, founded on the need to BELONG.
      • Hence every nation, culture, employs many rituals to communicate Groupness.
      • Hitler used ritual to make his group of Nazism, a lockstep thinking.
      • Satan&Co. cultivate Groupness above all else, and ritual's pageantry is the fastest way to do it.

      • See, even if what the Group Believes or Supports is correct, the Groupness actually DROWNS OUT the content, in favor of the Group itself.
      • Then, any falsehood can be added in, slowly or quickly, and the lie will be accepted, because The Group accepts it.
      • Throw in ritual to make it feel noble, and -- you have a Nurenberg rally.
      • Groupness thus kills truth, even when it represents truth, and The Group becomes the REPLACING 'god'. Clever, huh.

      Ritual, of course, is an amalgam of Feel-God and Form-God. Fits in nicely for works-people, because doing stuff substitutes for real spirituality.
      • So the crass insult to God that if you spin a prayer wheel, HE is supposed to be overwhelmed with gratitude and answer whatever is written on those stupid papers inside. Or, worse: the insult that HE would give you a brain, yet demand you spin some stupid brass wheely-gig thing, instead.
      • Of course, inanity isn't restricted to Tibetan prayer wheels; rather, any kind of activity which is deemed magical or spiritual insults both God and you.
      • Even more: spits on the Cross, for rituals (etc) are COMPETING in value with His Peerless Son.
      • For the ritual makes you feel part of a Group, and hence holy.

      Now when you examine the content of these rituals, you find that they are extremely INSULTING of any Deity they allegedly honor.
      • It's pretty insulting, to chant -- didn't God give us brains?
      • Magical incantations chanted then are supposed to call up God's Gratitude like a genie from a bottle?
      • It's pretty insulting, to wear or not wear, eat or not eat, as if mere clothing or eating COUNTED for anything to Infinite, Holy God, Rom4 and 14.
      • It's pretty insulting, to walk around some building x times, as if that were holy; to make a pilgrimage to some dead stone.
      • God is not stone, and you sure wouldn't consider it respectful if someone walked around your house many times in the name of allegedly honoring you.
      • For you honor a person by THINKING of that person, wanting to be WITH that person, learning that person.
      • Not, chanting, singing rah-rah songs, hugging dead relics, lighting candles, rote-mumbling of verses, etc.
      • If someone dressed up in funny clothes once a week and always gave the same tired speech, would you consider that honoring? Or DERISIVE?
      • It's like marrying for the assets, not the person.
      • The relics and rituals Receive More Attention than the Person they allegedly honor.
      • That Person only gets lipservice, Isa29:13, Zech 7:5.

      By contrast, in the Mosaic Law ritual was designed to teach what Messiah-to-Come would do for you. Not, you sacrificing something.
      • You went through the motions of a sacrifice, but you weren't being sacrificed, an animal was -- for the animal, depicted Him.
      • The rituals in the Law were an elaborate system of mnemonics, so that all five senses could drink in the meaning, to be remembered afterwards as you slept, ate, worked in the fields, bathed.

      • But when the One Whom the Rituals Depicted Came and Left, so did the rituals.
      • All that remained was the post-Cross version of Passover, "do this in remembrance of Me." Remembrance, not ritual.
      • Idea was, you relived that Last Supper, putting yourself in His Place to identify with Him, even as He identified with you before you were born.
      • No other rituals, and no set format for the Eucharist, either, in the New Testament.
      • Instead, you have Paul explaining at length how rituals and special observances are all OFF now, in Romans and Galatians and Corinthians.
      • For our faith is based on an INDIVIDUAL who Shunned Groups: Christ. So our Remembrance is of an Individual, Christ. Not, how we look to each other in the group.

      So ritual is not spirituality, and never was. At best, it was a teaching device. If it helps you REMEMBER something that is spiritual, that's ideal.
      • But ritual has a propensity to descend into unthinking roteness, Isa29:13, Zech 7:5.
      • Or worse, into focus on self for making the right movements.
      • Performance is not Love.
      • Paint-by-the-numbers relationships are shallow, not holy.
      • Ritual is no substitute for learning God.
      • But we make it one.
      • We want the feel-holy sense one gets from being in a parade, a pageant. The feeling, not God (Phili3:18-19 plus 2Tim2:26's "ananephw" Greek verb for hangover after a drunken night, parallel to religion=intoxication in context).

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via accumulated RITUAL with God's Name on it, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here some RITUAL we endure in God's Name.

    10. SCIENCE GOD. This god-doll is trumpeted so loudly in the world, you just KNOW something's wrong with it, even if you didn't know its tenets. Only Bad Products Need Continual Advertising. Good ones are purchased by word-of-mouth or good experience. Science is not god. Any sane person knows this. However, atheists often use science as if it were god, maintaining the illogic that the universe and THINKING man magically came into existence by some mysterious, INANIMATE process transacted between energy and mass, yet call that logical, even 'scientific', lol! Worse, that belief is just dressed-up reincarnation animism with the 'god' names stripped out, one of the most primitive types of religions on the planet. So it's not scientific, but yet another religion. Of course, a Real God who can make a Flood or stationary sun is not believable, but life coming from lifelessness is believable? God is more logical, for then inferior sentient life always comes from Superior Sentient Life, the ONLY proposition which math and genetics support. [I don't know if the "sun stood still" verse in OT is meant literally, or whether it is a figure of speech (like today) for the seeming-endlessness of the day. God could do it if He wanted to. Omnipotence means that even His mere 'breathing', so to speak, is a 'miracle' by our puny power standards -- but He doesn't want to just bing things. Witness our own imperfections, which He could wipe out in a nanosecond.]

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Self is god, all else is just inanimate forces, or extraterrestrial beings who have no judgement power. Above all, the atheist regards "God" as a hateful person. Because, he hates the very idea of God so much, he has to make God hateful (psychological defense mechanism called "projection"). So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here that God not BE God. What's so scary, is that the Real God always gives you the relationship you want with Him. The other god-dolls' versions always elect at least SOME relationship, however narrow, shallow, stilted. But the atheist elects NONE, so will never get it. (This presumes that the so-called atheist never believes in Christ from cradle to grave. If he did, he's in for a surprise future in heaven forever. And will be quite happy about that.)

    11. TABOO GOD. This is the first and oldest of the god-dolls, and it enjoys a very large and loyal clientele from time immemorial. Did you know, the first 'Taboo' person in the Bible is Adam's wife? Look at Genesis 3:3, then compare it to Gen 2:17. What's missing from the latter verse? "neither shall you touch it.." See? She ADDED to what God said, and she did that because she interpreted what God said to include TOUCHING. Ohhh. Taboo is born. Magic. If I stick pins in this doll my enemy will get hurt. Touching the doll with pins is magic, touching the real person in the same place. If I see a Bible verse that says pigs are bad, then if I eat pigmeat I'll go to hell. Instead of asking, What did GOD mean by prohibiting pork, the person just ASSumes a magical, and especially PHYSICAL, across-the-board meaning. Just like the woman did. She died spiritually, just as God promised would happen, in Gen2:17's Hebrew (English mistranslates). That's what magic does -- it kills you. So read the Bible wrong, don't ask God about what it means, and you kill your ability to read Bible. So you too are just like the woman, ASSuming God meant or said something -- but He didn't.

      That's what tabooism does: it kills your common sense. Which is easily provable, for look: if doing a thing, eating a thing, wearing a thing, is really bad, WHAT kind of bad must it be? Wouldn't it have to be bad for you physically? God is not affected by what you do, eat, or wear. We also know that spirituality is not what you do, eat, or wear, either in the OT (viz., Gen15:6 and the meaning of the Levitical sacrifices), or in the New (viz., Acts 16:31, John 3, and "Lamb of God" verses). The Lord Himself explained that what you eat doesn't defile you, but instead -- what you THINK (i.e., KJV's NT "defile" verses, Matt15:11ff, Mark7:15ff, James 3:6, etc). So, then: that's why there are dozens of reminders in the NT, and especially in Corinthians, Hebrews, James, Romans and Acts -- that a particular activity or food is NOT wrong -- but you avoid it if someone around you is too young spiritually to realize it's not wrong.

      See? Boundary lines, parameters, and especially, WHY a thing should or should not be avoided. Days, foods, genealogies, dress codes -- all these things were defined in Judaism. And, in the pagan cults. But Christ Died, the Last Passover for all time: so, what one day is, is to the Lord. What another is, is to the Lord. So if you like Wednesdays for some special reason, but I like Thursdays, all are to the Lord. So where are taboos? Well, what did Paul and James say: if to YOU it's a sin, you shouldn't do it, since for YOU to do it is rebellion (i.e., end Romans 14). Better still, learn what truly is good or bad, to avoid the misinterpretation the woman made -- but, until you KNOW, then go with your conscience. Not, someone else's. Not, insisting others observe. Not, with some magical idea this abstention or activity will gain you anything with God.

      There's a queer dates-about-Christianity version of tabooism among Fundamentalists which at first I didn't believe anyone would conjure: oh, since the Lord's Humanity was not born on December 25th, and since that birthday was invented by Catholicism to take over the pagan Saturnalia, no responsible Christian should celebrate Christmas. Excuse me? Was He born? Yes. So, then: why does it matter WHEN you celebrate, IF you celebrate? I mean, if you're so smart, then should you be crusading for the renaming of all days, too, since each of them is named after a Roman/Greek god? LOL! Didn't Christ make everything new? As in, New Testament (i.e., Heb9:14-16)? So, then: Isn't EVERY day new, courtesy of Him, who-cares-what-other-idea-is-assigned- to-the-day-by-idiots? So, these folks feel pious and smart because they know a few isagogics -- and then bludgeon everyone else who celebrates 12/25 anyway. Ahhh, pseudo-intellectual tabooism. Snobbish, even. On this particular topic, they are also quite wrong: 25 Chislev 4BC was His Birthdate, aka the first day of Chanukah -- which just happened to coincide with 25 December THAT year, see PassPlot.htm.

      Then there's the health-food craze. A long time ago, Christian Science was like this: my (childhood) best friend's mother died because she waited for God to heal her, and my best friend never got over that. Now, this whole 'natural' nonsense is mainstream. Worse, it's based on increasingly-bad 'science'. Years ago, egg yolks and salt were anathema! But now, oh -- gee, sorry, we made a mistake, American Heart Association now says you can eat lots more eggs and salt than the average person would want! So how reliable is all this non-God information?

      Watch how Christian and Crazy begin with "C" for a reason: didn't God INVENT meat, and in fact command it be eaten, in the sacrifices? This, the God who rejected Cain's offer of vegetables? Did God invent Doctors? Tobacco? Wine? Medicine? Then maybe it's not so 'spiritual' to keep eating all that bran and broccoli. Maybe it's not so 'spiritual' to avoid salt ("salt" is a good word in Bible, and good in food, and needed for nutrition to be absorbed by cells). In short, since health food is generally a pain to prepare and tastes like sawdust, people pretend care for their health but they are really participanting in idol magic, ascetically. Just as bad as sticking pins in a voodoo doll.

      Tabooism is just another way to preen over your abstention.

      • If you use something to make ego feel good, then the thing itself has no value itself, but only the preening you get out of it.
      • So if you then slap God's name on that thing, then GOD has no value, either. Only you are god. Only your ego is god.
      • That's true with all the god-dolls, but here it's primordial, the one the woman in the Garden, picked.
      • For the real taboo was, Don't Eat From That Tree.
      • It was for her own good, that taboo.
      • But she had to doctor it up with a lie, and Satan nabbed her on it.
      • For it was not wrong to touch the fruit, but to eat it brought spiritual death, moth-tamuth clause in Gen2:17 ("dying spiritually, you will die physically", is how my pastor translates it).

      • So notice the morphing: we try to redress that original sin, by forbidding other things, as if that somehow rectified the original problem.
      • Classic ploy of the subconscious, defense mechanism of "compensation". Aka, "atonement". Dammed spot of Lady MacBeth, we keep trying to rub it away.

      Just about everything on the planet is twisted into a taboo for someone, in the name of God. So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Self-praise and/or people-praise, via accumulated TABOOS with God's Name slapped on, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here our TABOOS in God's Name.

    12. TEACHER or DENOMINATION god. It's right and normal to be "pro" your own denomination or spiritual teacher aka "pastor", etc. But it's utterly wrong to think that's the only 'right' one, and everyone else is inferior, even if true. Wrong, to account self therefore superior to others because you are under that teacher or denomination, body of teaching, etc. This self-accrediting of superiority is much like deeming self a good basketball player, because you buy the same sneakers as Michael Jordan allegedly wears. It's just another cheap version of ego-puffing, the very problem Moses warned in Deuteronomy Chaps 6-9, a refrain: Don't get a big head, Israel, because you're displacing inferiors in Canaan. God can replace you too, for the same reason. Paul reminds the haughty Romans of this very problem, in Romans 11. Actually, if your denomination or teacher is THAT good, you should be scared to death: Rich people are always held more accountable than the poor. Israel had the true faith, in the OT. Look how God clobbered her, time and again. See also the end of Hebrews 3 and 10, same warning.

      God is the Superior One. No one else. God gifts pastors based on the "flock" He assigns them. Woe to any of us if we don't get under our own right pastors. And if some pastors or denominations are better than others, well think: then those students under the "better" who do not learn, are far WORSE than those students under the "lesser". To whom much more is given, much more is disciplined. Paul is the perfect example of this. God gave him more Bible to teach and write than anyone else in the Bible, including Moses. And look at the discipline Paul got for not going to Rome. God finally sent him there in desmos, chains.

      Everyone nods yes to God being the Superior One, and to the generic ideas of pastors all having flocks, etc. Yet still the Teacher god devotee will slyly tell himself he's got the 'edge' over the others. Oh, yeah: now you know why Paul wrote 1Cor4:8. And next, the flipside: some good pastors are treated as cultic demagogues, criticized publically -- owing to jealousy in others. It's not good to incur God's Discipline upon self for maligning a pastor. Pastor gets double the discipline -- so you get what would theoretically be HIS discipline for your accusing him, whether he's guilty or not. Better to be boiled in oil. See Matt7:1-2, James 3, and what happened to teachers who failed (i.e., Moses, Paul). So what must happen to the accusers? One shudders to think about it too long.

      So flipside again, root principle behind Philippians 1:15-18 -- should God DENY a believer regarded as 'apostate', a place to learn about God? Even 'apostate' teachers or denominations, get some things right. Can't God later fix what the person wrongly learned? Didn't He fix us who are (well, subconsciously) patting-ourselves-on-the-back that we're under 'right' or good teachers/denominations? If we're busy being proud of our superiority like the Pharisee who eyed the publican, how far do you think we will grow in the spiritual life? Not! Won't that 'publican' apostate person maybe outstrip our growth? For didn't Christ die for ALL? So, doesn't the Holy Spirit Teach ALL?

      Let's not assign magical qualities to any teacher or denomination. Some are better than others, but all get something wrong. So what? A teacher who is better is not better for YOU if you can't learn from him (or, not learn from him yet). God's plan is about INDIVIDUALS, not denominations. Not groups per se. We each have a home, and until God moves us out, we should stay there. Doesn't matter if imperfect. For, it's not magic, but learning, and even a bad mother's mothering teaches a child good things (if only, what not to be or do). So let our Heavenly mother, so to speak -- The Holy Spirit's Self-Chosen job description, essentially -- so let our Heavenly 'mother', handle this? He played 'mother hen' to the earth in Genesis 1, He plays 'mother' in birthing us spiritually (Titus 3:5), He plays 'mother' in growing us up spiritually, Rom 5:5, all Romans 8, 15:13, 1Cor2, 12, Gal3, 5, Eph 2, 3, 4:23 (my favorite, we're "brainouts" apart from Him), James 2:26, John 4:24, 14:26 (really, the whole chapter and all of 1Jn). So He knows which way to 'mother' each of us, under what pastor, of any denomination or no denomination.

      It boils down to this: doctrines should be debated and tested; each denomination or body of teaching will have errors in it, and must be audited. But that's impersonal, a fit job for us Royal Priests who are all kings in training. But the specific pastors or priests should be left alone, not criticized by name. We each stand to God accountable individually, and so do they. Never know when some 'apostate' will wake up and grow faster than YOU do, 1Cor9:27! Paul grew faster than Peter, yet had been apostate longer, and by Paul's own accounting in 1Tim1, he is the worst sinner in history. So we all have a chance, heh. And those among us who seem sooo lost, may tomorrow beat us to the finish line.

      So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Self or people-praise, via some 'magic' TEACHER or DENOMINATION with God's Name slapped on, so now you're holy like God -- because, you're under that teacher/denomination. The teacher/denomination is a kind of badge or talisman you 'wear'. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here some TEACHER or DENOMINATION we like -- in God's Name, of course.

    13. TONGUES GOD. Lots of people love this god-doll. They think "getting the Ghost" is this feely process, magically meaning one is saved and holy -- all over the world, there are folks like this. Tell me: do you see Christ frothing at the mouth, rolling in the aisles in the Gospels.. or do you see demon-possessed people doing that? So who is doing that 'magic', huh? Moreover, is THAT what 'relationship' should mean? Do you roll in the aisles at home to have fun with your spouse, or at work, to get the work done? Do you speak tongues which no one understands, pretending God does? And what did Paul say about orderliness and the True and temporary role of Tongues in 1Cor14, quoting (1Cor14:22 or nearby) part of the "age of the Gentiles prophecy" in Isa28:7-12, to show that tongues was for Unbelievers Only, to warn of the temporary END of the Age of Israel? So, are you an unbeliever because you got the Ghost? Whose spirit did you get? Surely not the Holy Spirit, who is the "still, small Voice"! (1Kings 19:12 -- note context, please.)

      All the temporary gifts were halted upon the completion and distribution of Canon, Scripture: depicted in metaphor as "Love", "complete" ("Perfect" is quasi-mistranslation), "Adult", "Mirror"; 1Cor12:31's "greater gifts"+13:8-13. [Unfortunately, translations of these verses don't bring out the wordplay in the Greek. "greater gifts" ties to "greater", for example, in 1Cor13:13, but translations don't translate the words properly (Greek has no superlative), so you miss the bookending! These metaphors also refer to result in believer, and are keywords elsewhere in the Epistles. People misinterpret 12:31. In Greek, "But" introduces what follows as the exception, not what went earlier. So 12:31's "But" is saying that what follows is greater than the gifts mentioned before. It's 12:31 which divides and compares the pre-Canon sensational gifts with the GREATER gifts born of completed Canon. (I can't find even one translation in any English, French, Portuguese, Spanish version I have, which is accurate, so it's understandable folks will misinterpret. Part of the problem is that scholars forget that in Greek one doesn't begin a sentence with kai, it isn't capitalized, and there's no period in the verse; also the translation or omission of "de" and "eti" is misleading. Tischendorf's MSS looks most accurate.) Chapter 13 is basically a three-tiered, before-and-after comparative analogy: 1) pre- to post-Canon's completion (ties to 13:10, idea that the pre-Canon gifts are replaced by the Perfect Gift of Canon); 2) believer's growth (13:11 pre-Canon, child, post-, adult); 3) pre-Canon compared to being down here in this body versus the resurrection body (post-Canon). 13:13 sums up the post-Canon result in the believer who grows in it. That's why 14:1 probably reads as it does, since the temporary gift of 'prophecy' was mostly a type of TEACHING gift, edifying the church during the time it still had no finished Canon. See also Eph2 and 4:11-16, which are parallel. 1Cor13:10-13 is like 1Jn1:6-10 in semantic structure, thus showing the cause-and-result VERTICALLY as well as horizontally, which immensely helps you interpret the meaning: Doctrine is KEY and way way way superior -- even, as superior as our future state will be, to our body down here! I truly don't see how anyone can mistake that interpretation, given the semantic structure.]

      For example, now there are only the gifts of pastor-teacher and evangelist, administration (executive ability), missionary; but no longer apostleship, which had to be personally appointed by the RESURRECTED CHRIST, 1Cor15:1-10. So no longer, the 'gifts' of healing, tongues (latter ended 70AD: see 1Cor13:8+1Cor14:20-22), miracles (part of other temp. gifts as validator), prophetic utterance (1Cor13:8), 'knowledge' (ibid: term meant revelation of yet-to-be-written Scripture). Also, some other specialized gifts continue: my pastor tends to lump these under the moniker, "helps". Consider: wouldn't the fact that Christ is risen, wouldn't the fact that His Mind got put in writing (whether one disputes the completion of Canon or not) -- be SUPERIOR to all that flashy stuff which overwhelmed people? Do we want to know the "MIND of Christ", or not? (1Cor2:16, a fulfillment downpayment on our portion of the Jer31:31-34 promise -- see also Acts 2; ALL "footstool" verses; Heb8:8-12 through 10:15-17. Use a study Bible like Scofield's to get more cross-references.) Since presumably we do want to know His Thinking, then reflect: wouldn't any gifts have to be on a higher plane than obtained BEFORE we could get "the perfect" (1Cor13:10 -- term "teleios" means COMPLETE, ENTIRE, FINISHED, END), His Mind in writing?

      There are exceptional situations where, if you haven't found your pastor, God sends you material or people to help you bridge the transitional period, analogous to how He helped the Church during pre-Canon; but such situations are ad hoc, and demonstrably so. Just like Paul explained in 1Cor12:27 through Chapter 14, childish things get replaced by adult ones; the dimly-seeing is replaced by a Real Mirror, the Word (see also James 1:15ff). [English is terrible: you need the 'tongue' of the original language, to see how the 'invisible', misjudged-weaker gifts are really the greater ones, which Paul introduces after 12:31. If you're interested, get my pastor's tapes on this exegesis, L.1600-1620, 1992 Spiritual Dynamics, http://rbthieme.org. That's the best way to "see it yourself".] Actually, this transitional nature of help, which the tongues, etc. gifts represented, also had OT counterparts (i.e., Judges), both individually and dispensationally: but that topic's beyond the scope of this website.

      Point is, even those pre-Canon gifts are/were never intended as magical, flashy displays, but just more ways of conveying information when the normal method's not appropriate/available. As always, Satan reverses God's meanings and then substitutes his own; so today the wholly obsolete and flashy tongues-thingy, healing, etc. are pitched as the spiritual life. If you value your life at all, Flee attraction to these things: they are yet more mutations of spiritual AIDS/SARS!

      What need for tongues, then? There are many more things to 'translate' about God and about the life He wants, than the Gospel! What need for flashy, then, since the Real God is so much more Gorgeous than any flash could hope to represent! We are indwelt by the Trinity, Now! Who needs more glory, than that? [In Apostle John's day, "Tongues" were REAL human languages, used so 'foreigners' could understand the Gospel in their OWN native tongue. The fact that the speaker in those languages did not know them helped the foreigner to get validation: it wasn't the speaker who spoke, but GOD. Look at Acts 2, and compare the imagery there with the OT: you'll notice that whirlwind (in Hosea8:7 and chaps 4 and 6) is an image of impending judgement, as is fire; tongues, of course, is a signal of the beginning of the "times of the Gentiles", as Isa4:4, 5:24, Isa28, 29:6, 30:27, 66:15 (in context, each) long ago predicted (repeated often in Jeremiah, Ezekiel, double-entendre, like all prophecies are). See, man is SO negative, he needs little baby-signs -- and when God gives a sign, it's NOT good news. Because, man is so deaf, God must use sign language, meaning a 40-year warning to Israel THEN. So tongues died when the Temple did. So obviously today's 'tongues movement' is completely off-base. Dead giveaway they are satanic, is all the me-me-me-i'm-spiritual stress. If "me" figures large in any tenet, count on it, Satan&Co. sponsor that tenet.]

      The true need for 'tongues' now, is this: learn the tongues of the Real Bible under your right pastor, instead of a Bible translation. That, you will be gifted by the Spirit to know, no matter who you are, no matter what your IQ, because if you get under your right pastor and he teaches Bible in those languages, the Holy Spirit will will will enable you to learn! I'm living proof of that. With 1Jn1:9 and BibleWorks I can read Bible so fast in the Hebrew and Greek, it shocks me. But if I sin, whoa -- I can't understand a thing. It's like careening on a NASCAR racetrack, the brain literally goes out. Good thing, since most sins are in one's thinking. This Filling of the Spirit to Enable Learning Bible actually works, k? The result of this learning is so far and away better than all the spiritual gifts combined! As Paul puts it in Eph3:19's Greek -- "and to come to know the Love for Christ, which far surpasses 'knowledge' [non-spiritual, special definition in Bible -- Doctrine which is NOT believed], in order that you may be FILLED with all the fullness of blessing from the source of God." That word "FILLED" is a major keyword in Bible for the entire purpose of the spiritual life: Filled Up With His Thinking, Knowing Him. Now, which would you prefer: spouting a language you yourself don't even know, or Knowing Him, Both Intimately And Fluently? In real time? That's the promise of Eph3:19-21! The old things have passed away, the New and Complete Has Come, so why should we halt between two opinions, especially since one is Satan's (tongues thingy)?

    Trichotomy 3: Discerning Your Real Spiritual Gift

    The Truth is always better than magic. For, God is not magic. So God the Holy Spirit gives us each spiritual gifts to play on the Team of Christ, per 1Cor12. The local church is a part of that Team. Each one in it has gifts relative to his church. The so-called "unpresentable" ones would not be visible, but are more critical, says the Greek of 1Cor 12:19ff. (Heartbeat, respiratory, reproductive -- these are all invisible! Heh.) So you have some gifts which are vital to the Body, just as I do. Eph4:11-16 says in Greek (not English) that the idea is for all of us, being taught by our pastor-teachers (joint-of-supply), are thus fed and grow synergistically. That's way better than suddenly interrupting a service in a language you don't understand -- far better. Like Paul says in 1Cor14, he'd rather speak five words he himself understands, than many he does not. Also, he says in 1Cor13:1 that without Love, one is no more than a banging Bacchic clang of symbols. [Isagogics of the 'symbol' in that verse references Bacchic/Dionysian pagan rites, of which speaking in 'tongues' was a part. For maybe several millenia, Greek demon worship involved ecstatic utterance, get it? That's why God chose 'tongues' as a 'sign' in Isaiah's day, to tell (Samaria, and later all) Israel the people were in deep doo-doo, get it?] So what value, clanging tongues or other flashy miracles? Whoa -- please the body, but displease the God of Love-First? As in, First Commandment?

    Christendom too narrowly defines what "spiritual gifts" mean. God has a different definition. Christendom's idea is a god-doll,

    • forgetting that Father Forever Hears And Sees Everything, so Everything has to become "spiritual" somehow, or It's Not Worth His Time Watching.
    • Ergo the command, "Be Filled with the Spirit" (Eph5:18), to make everything you think and do, 24/7, become "spiritual".
    • Hence when you sin, you need 1Jn1:9, to get back into a Filled Status.
    • "Filling" is a cognitive state, a perceptive state, totally hooked up to the Holy Spirit's Brains -- main theme of and impetus for John to write 1Jn, since the temporary gifts you could feel, had ended -- so Filling is not something you can feel.
    • That's why John had to write, to tell them that Knowing Was The Way You Could Tell If You Were Spiritual. Knowing when you sin, using 1Jn1:9 when you do, for example.
    • Hence Spirituality for Church is never never never discernible by soul or body.
    • Your 'feeling' is but your own soulish reaction to what you know, not spiritual in itself.
    • Actually, feeling is only a body thing, but your body reacts to your thoughts, by feeling. Soul is thought, never feeling. Body is feeling, never thought.
    • Prove this: pretend you are angry for about 10 minutes, start yelling at yourself -- then see how your body reacts. Notice how it doesn't know you are pretending. Then you'll see something of the trichotomous difference in 'perception' between soul and spirit, soul and body. Your body cannot perceive truth. So it won't recognize a lie. To the body, feel-good IS good, and feel-bad IS bad, that's all it knows, just like a baby.

    • Yet to Christendom: only if you work connected to your church; only if you are a teacher or evangelist or missionary, etc. are you in "Christian service", as if being in service were a mere occupation, an employment: 9-5, you afterwards go home and become something else for the rest of the day.
    • Notice how evil a definition that is: it's only spiritual, if it's for people? What about direct relationship with God, doesn't that matter? Nope. Thus you know Christendom is not spiritual, but carnal. The sure sign of a non-operative spiritual life is that everything is defined in terms of people, with God's head cut off. Cutting God out as Actor is the most common Bible mistranslation error. Same too, in Christendom's stress on body and to-people stuff, as the spiritual life. No 1Jn1:9, no Bible discerned.
    • In 1Cor12 by contrast, Paul proves instead that Your Royal Priesthood is part of your very nature as a person, Now. That's why he uses the "Body" image, we are by nature fitted together. It's a 24/7 thing.
    • For Who can see the whole Body, huh? Only God. We are many churches, many people. But we can't really see the whole Body, only God can. So your role is in a Whole-Body context, as is mine. So it's to God, never mind people, your role. People are in your life, you are a person, so yeah there's stuff to-people which fits into that context. But the bigger role by far, is VERTICAL -- to God, your thinking in your own head, 24/7, which no one else can even see.
    • Royalty is a nature, born into it, a constant, not an 'employee'. So too, the spiritual life. Your "spiritual gift" aka "job", is to Think Toward Our Mutual Dad, 24/7.
    • Because, He hears you 24/7, and you are a Royal Priest By Nature. It doesn't turn 'off', this job.
    • So notice: you can be bedridden, paralyzed, in any horrible condition you want to name -- yet still serving Father by your learning and living on whatever Bible you've come to know! Way better than tongues even dreamed of being!
    • So notice: won't you be doing better in all your to-people roles if Father is first in your mind? Naturlich!
    • So notice: won't human approbation stop mattering if Father's approbation matters instead? For Christians are completely addicted to getting human approbation, but God's approbation matters not at all. That's why they are so routinely prickly and miserable, always trying to run others' lives. How sad.
    • So notice: won't you now be free of all that, if What Dad Sees is your sole concern? And won't they be freer too, since they can see you don't need to approve them, to love them? Love for people comes from loving Father -- main theme in 1Jn.

    • So, perhaps a better word for "spiritual gifts" is spiritual talents.
    • Your every talent has a God-Designed role, spiritually. Often what you can't do, has the highest role.
    • Do not regard anything you do as menial.
    • Because, You Are A Royal Priest To Father, and so nothing in your life will ever be allowed to be menial, never mind what it seems like to soul and body!
    • Christ was imputed with sins -- nothing spiritual about sins.
    • So His Degradation sets the pattern (Isa52:13-14, to be precise): nothing you do is allowed to be 'low', either.
    • Even brushing your teeth in the Spirit, is worth more to Father than all the world's wealth.
    • Because, nothing OF the world, is spiritual.
    • Because, any thing spiritual transforms a worldly thing into a spiritual purpose, 2Cor3:18 (metamorphow, ties to Rom12:2, and both tie to "bedato yatsdiq" in Isa53:11, demonstrating its fulfillment).
    • Remember from the "Trichotomy 2" table of this webpage, all the worldly stuff is to furnish an occasion for thought, it has no other value.
    • So now look at the flipside of that fact: isn't a toothbrush suddenly spiritual, if it becomes the 'occasion' for you thinking more Bible doctrine, going over concepts, thinking over something you read or learned, asking God questions about it? Now you know why my webpages have the refrain about God turning our doo-doo into Diamonds: it's literally true that while on the toilet, Bible in your head will be used to make Diamonds for Dad, while your body is making doo-doo. So too, with all the doo-dooing humans who think their figleafy works, matter. ("Facets" links in Part IVb explain why.)
    • And Who Hears that thinking? Do you realize, this is the mechanic of how sins were paid?
    • Christ's Thinking in association with our sins? Is there a greater gift than the Cross, for crying out loud? [Isa53:11b's bedato yatsdiq clause, usually translated "by knowledge", very misleading. Should be "mastery-of-doctrine" or at least "by means of Truth Knowledge", since Hebrew is da'ath, Truth built up so well, one has Divinely Discerning Wisdom w/connotation of mastery. LXX Greek's equivalent is sunesis, very strong word in NT and LXX, same idea as Hebrew.]
    • Since Father has to see everything become spiritual, that's where you come in: 1Jn1:9, learning and living on Bible, means all you think or do in that state becomes spiritual, no matter what it is! This is not magic, but the same exact mechanic as the Cross, the 'marrying' of something in the world with your thinking, Matt4:4. That's your spiritual inheritance, a talent you have no matter what, 24/7.

    So, then: what gift should you be seeking, per 1Cor12:31, but His Thinking? You Are A Royal Priest To Father. Don't let Satan&Co. sell you the (swearword here, about bulls) that you are to settle for a little chippie version of the spiritual life! God has a far better and bigger role for you, "beyond what you can even ask or imagine" (Eph3:20, Greek -- see all of 3:19-21). If you want evidence of the HS in your life, baby, you'll get more evidence than you could dream of, if you just start using 1Jn1:9 routinely and get under a pastor who teaches the Bible in its original 'tongues'! Try it and see. 'Put me to the test in this thing,' said the Lord in Malachi, 'see if I don't superabundantly bless you so much, you won't know where to put it all!' ('Idiomatic paraphrase of Mal3:10, applied to this situation. Scripture writers frequently take a verse and reword it for sake of interpretation, or to apply to yet another, paradigmally-similar, situation: the technique's called "concatenation", and is common in every language, in life: kinda like saying "Windoze" instead of "Windows", only far more sophisticated. Actually, the NIV is very close to the trans here.)

    Father likes hearing us learn and live on Bible. So in a way, your 'job' is entirely public -- but not to people you can see with your physical eyes. Moreover, your training means you'll fail a lot, and mistake the 'spiritual' for a physical performance. Instead, your spiritual maturation 'building', is what you take with you when you die; so that building is the most important spiritual function, the one which pleases Dad the most. [My pastor likes to call this the "Edification Complex of the Soul." Paul describes it in Eph3:15-19, and 1Jn plays on the Pauline description by showing how it functions, in 1Jn4:12-17, taking Paul's dimensions in reverse order. DDNA1.htm is on that topic.] One's to-people spiritual gifts, whatever they are, take time to develop to competency, since you first need a full head before your body will properly coordinate. But God's idea of even to-people service is bigger than you'd expect, if you just keep on living in God's System. The meanwhile, God will put you in the proper situations, you don't need to seek them. But you will get antsy, since Christendom mistakes what "spiritual" and "Christian service" even mean. Hence the meanwhile, there will be a good deal of misuse. Solution: just keep using 1Jn1:9 and learning Doctrine. Don't worry about failure. It always runs side-by-side with success. The Holy Spirit can make use of failure also -- again, the pattern is the Cross, since sin is nothing but failure, yet it was imputed to Christ. As it says in the Gospels (one of my fav verses), "The Lord has need of it." Because God doesn't ever need or use magic, nothing defeats or hinders God! [Verse is in multiple places, like Mark 11:3, Luke 19:31,34. See the context. Tie-in verses are many, and on many levels: like 1Cor12, 2Tim2:13 in context, the many analogies about how God used Pharaoh's hardening-of-heart, wrath of man praises God, etc.]

    Notice how failure and success both contribute to building, because the real spiritual life is learning and living on Bible toward FATHER, 24/7. Priesthood is FIRST to God. People are ancillary. The first role of a priest is to please God. Other people are ancillary to that. Christendom has it bass-ackwards, always cutting God's head off, putting man's atop instead, hence stressing 'priesthood' as something toward people, but only secondarily, to God. Wrongo.

    It's the reverse. You can go without ever seeing another human being in your life, and if you're thinking toward Our Mutual Dad, learning and living on Bible, That is Your Real Job. The Lord didn't have a ministry for the first 30 whopping years. So no to-people there. So what's true for Him, is what's right. Hence people are very secondary (less than 10% of His Lifetime down here was spent in public ministry, to give you an idea of God's Priorities). It's adjunctive, if you work around the church, witness to people, etc. The first spiritual job for all of us -- "Job One" is this thinking toward Father. Christ never thought any other way, so we don't either. So for us, the menial, the failure, the delays and endless frustrations of modern life are all used by 'mom' the Holy Spirit, to build spirit-soul interconnections so that Bible in your head gets stronger and more fluent. More sweet savor for Father to hear. That is the best spiritual 'gift' of all. That's what He did to Christ, and that's how He wants to 'mother' us.

      Of course, Tongues God devotees miss out on the Royal Spiritual Life, in favor of their magical notion that the Filling of the Spirit should be accompanied by emotion and lots of blathering -- just like the demon-possessed behave, in the Gospels. So what's the
      a), Alternative Magic picked instead? Self-praise, via accumulated GIBBERISH and FEELING with God's Name slapped on, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
      b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself. So what's the
      c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here some EXPERIENCE we demand in God's Name.

    1. WORKS GOD. Sadly, this is the most touted of all the god-dolls. This is the Most Destructive God-doll in the entire collection. If you want to make your life forever miserable with Divine Discipline, play with a Works-God doll. Works God devotees think that they can and therefore need to do something for God. Oh? On whose power? Why didn't Christ do anything but hang on a Cross? Why didn't the lamb of the Levitical sacrifice plow 100 hectares in order to pay for sin? Why didn't the lamb hold bazaars or witness to 1000 people or feed the hungry to count as the sacrifice?

    Trichotomy 4: God's Spiritual Works, not your own

    Then how can human works of any kind, anytime, anywhere ever magically count before God, when Christ Himself couldn't do anything but hang; and even the lamb, didn't do anything but get its throat slit? Notice how neither one does any works, but rather both are KILLED? So what does that tell you about our works? Works sure don't seem to work, do they: nope, says Isa64:6, Zech3 (esp. verses1-4). Not even the lamb's wool was scraped off to pay for anything. That's why a whole BURNT offering was required, under the Law -- that ritual reminded everyone that nothing else could be used.

    Wanna know why?

    • BECAUSE PAYING FOR SINS IS A SPIRITUAL FUNCTION REQUIRING A SPIRITUAL LIFE DO THE PAYING, per Isa53:10's "im tasim asham naphesho". Translation? "If He will appoint HIS SOUL as a SUBSTITUTE for SIN".
    • Christ was filled with the Spirit the whole time He was down here, never sinning to lose it.
    • So, He was qualified to PAY.
    • Only the spiritual plane of operation counts, since God is the Spirit and Spiritual Beingness, double-entendre in Greek, John 4:24.
    • God has to be paid in His Own 'currency', not the world's. And since God is a Spiritual Being, the 'currency' must be likewise, SPIRITUAL. Payment of something at GOD's Own Level, not something of lesser nature.
    • Just as the lamb's death but not works depicted, Christ died a "Substitutionary Spiritual Death" on the Cross, not physically, to pay for sins: Isa53:9's TWO deaths (it's plural in the Hebrew, but always mistranslated as if only one death).
    • Else, the Levitical offering would have been wool FROM the lamb, not the lamb's own life. Animals don't have souls with circulating thought, their life is BODY LIFE, that plane of life -- in their biology. Hence the Mosaic proscription against eating blood.
    • So the circulation of the lamb's physical blood depicted the circulating THOUGHT that would pay for our sins, bedato yatsdiq clause in Isa53:11.
    • Which you also know, because He was still ALIVE when He finished paying, which He announced by shouting, "It is finished": Greek tetelestai, perfect passive indicative, THOROUGHLY finished with results that go on forever, John 19:30. See also Matt27:50 and Mark 15:37 to know He shouted, so was obviously very much alive when He'd finished paying.
    • Luke 23:46 records what He said next, which is a quote from Psalm 31:5, the victory Psalm of rescue. He changes the Psalm's paratithemi verb to PRESENT middle voice, so Luke 23:46 should say, "I deposit [or entrust] my spirit".
    • So by that final statement of His Own Ransom by the God of Doctrine (last phrase in Psalm 31:5), He advertises His Victory: so His Physical Death is Victory Redemption, not payment.
    • LXX of Ps31:5 uses lutrow, and that's played on in the NT via apolutrow, "out from the source of the Redemption" (an etymological translation so you see the significance of "apo") -- Christ. Noun is apolutrosin (Eph1:7, Col 1:14), usually translated "Redemption" in the NT. So He being the RedeemER, is the First One Redeemed, to prove His Payment was SUCCESSFUL. While still Living.
    • Notice that He still has a human spirit when He says it (which all the foregoing verses confirm): so you know His Successful payment was a Substitutionary Spiritual Death, not like Adam's real spiritual death. Else we'd all not be here.

    My pastor taught "Substitutionary Spiritual Death" a bizillion times, what God had Isaiah pen (wa et ashir bemotayw clause in 53:9, ties back to the two deaths in Gen 2:17). Isaiah's Hebrew is clear; Isa53:9 is plural, Deaths. Two deaths in Gen2:17, as well. Two Bible Greek verbs distinguish physical versus soul suffering in death in the NT: nekrow and apothneskw, respectively. These two verbs are very different, and have an extensive usage in Greek. Nekrow stresses the body being dead, no feeling -- modern term "nekrotic death" refers therefore to the non-brain type of death. But apothneskw stresses the soul's experience of dying, separation from the body. Two. Plural is plural: It's not an "interpretation", but the actual text of Heb53:9, playing on Gen2:17, and played on by the two-ness distinction of the Greek verbs, in the NT. Look how simple to understand:
    • Adam sinned, and immediately died spiritually: just like God said, Gen2:17 (first muth, "moth" in the verse).
    • So notice how Real Spiritual Death 'behaves':
      • when the Lord cross-examines him afterwards, Adam suddenly acts as if the Lord is his adversary,
      • given Adam's wild accusations,
      • hiding in the Tree,
      • suddenly doing works (making figleaf 'aprons' to cover the genitals), etc.
      • You'd think Adam never knew Him, prior.
      • Adam lived another 930 years after that, then died physically (second muth in Gen2:17, "tamuth" in the verse).
      • So spiritual life is its own type of life, and Adam murdered his with his first sin.
    • Accordingly, the IMPUTATION of our sins to Christ made Him die spiritually as well, though not from His own sinning.
      • So it was a Substitutionary Spiritual Death, which would be far worse than Adam's,
      • since Christ still had a spiritual life during all that horror. For if you're really dead, you can't feel anything, understand anything. Only the living can experience the horror.
      • Adam's spiritual death made him dead-to-God, as his Genesis 3 behavior shows. Adam really died spiritually, so felt nothing; but the accusation-and-fear 'god' dominated him, afterwards. He had no understanding of what he lost, else he'd have been screaming with grief, not accusing God for giving him the woman, as if his eating were God's fault.
      • But Christ wasn't dead, that made it far worse: Psalm 22:1, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me!" He kept on screaming.
      • The nails (probably) in His forearms and ankles didn't make Him scream.
      • The Roman stone-and-bone whiplashing which nearly skinned off His back and killed Him -- His Face was so mauled He didn't look human, Isa52:14 and 53:3 -- all that, didn't even make Him scream. [The 39 lashes was a Sanhedrin punishment, not the Roman kind. The Roman lashing He received was designed to kill, as a form of trial by ordeal. That would have been a kindness compared to crucifixion, which took several days to kill you while the birds and insects feasted on your sweating and bloody living body. Study up on predators: they all eat their victims alive. Carrion eaters are few in the animal kingdom. So when a human is helplessly dying but not yet dead, they come to feast.]
      • Being imputed and judged with our sins made Him suffer Spiritual Death, Separation from Father, though still Spiritually Alive -- and that alone, made Him keep screaming.
      • He thus experienced this duality in His Soul, 1Pet3:18. Can't even imagine the pain. Far worse than any physical pain could ever be, to have your soul and human spirit experience the horrible separation that is death, yet still be living. Even being skinned while still alive, would be less painful. There is no apt analogy. (Greek verb paschw doesn't mean "died for sins" per the translations, but SUFFERED for sins, hence the duality of being put to death yet alive in the Spirit in the last half of 1Pet3:18. There's also the double-entendre that the Spirit raised Him from the dead, echoed in Rom8:11. See also Heb5:8, which uses paschw in a paronomasia, emathen (learned)-epathen (suffered).)

    Notice that only Spiritual Currency is legal tender in God's "economy" (oikonomia, aka "dispensation"). Hence no works on the planet ever count before God, as works belong to the world's currencies, see Romans 4. All works in the Bible are supposed to be DIVINE works, which require that you have a spiritual life and it be ON when you are doing something. Else it's wood, hay, stubble. In the Greek this is really clear. English Bibles routinely fail to put the word "Divine" in front of "works" or other Divine-works words, so people reading translations don't know this. In Greek the Divine quality is evidenced by omission of the article or by monadic use of the article, so it sticks out like a red marker, when reading such passages as James 2:18-26, Romans 8, etc. But the translations make it look like man's works. Sickening, how addicted we are to the Works God doll -- we make Him a Works God, when in fact the Greek says it's GOD works, Phili3:13, Rom8:28, James 2:22 (monadic use of pistis, meaning the Word-believed works, main theme of James)!

      Hmmm. One needs Spiritual Growth before one can do any works, huh. But Works-God doll panderers worldwide, wouldn't make money or get butts in the pews, if they had to wait THAT long. So hey: the very second you're saved, your l'il body's gotta hustle for God, huff puff huff; predictably, you're sold that morality and works ARE the spiritual life. Same propaganda as sold by any pagan cult in history. But the Bible proves otherwise:

      • Oh? What fruit can a seed bear? A sprout, bear? So if the Bible talks about you bearing fruit, it means you must first GROW UP TO BE A TREE. Your average tree takes maybe a good 30 years to grow to fruit-bearing stature. Depends on what kind it is, but it's never faster than human biological maturation.
      • What can a spiritual baby do, but spiritually wet his spiritual diapers and spiritually slobber?
      • And why didn't Christ go to the Cross when He was five years old? Why age 33?
      • Did Christ say "born again" (John 3)?
      • So, then: He DIDN'T say, "born-and-immediately-become-a-full-fledged-spiritual-adult again", did He?
      • So, then: why insist that the second one is born again, or even for many years afterwards, one can magically do spiritual jobs which require more expertise than the greatest scientist?
      • So, let's think: we don't expect a baby to be an oral surgeon. We know it takes years of school, internship, practice and talent to be good at operating on people's mouths. So too, with any profession, where we RESPECT that it takes a lot of learning and training.
      • So how is it, we think that the spiritual life and thus its works, don't similarly require lots of advance training? Even a child must go to school for 18 years, before he can have a full-time job or career. But we clearly don't respect spiritual training that way. What an insult to the Cross.
      • What, does God just magically bing the Bible into our heads the first second we are saved, since that's our Instruction Manual?
      • He didn't do that to Christ, did He. Surely since we share in everything He is, we would have the same Training.
      • He sure knew that Instruction Manual, Matt4:4. Do we?
      • Christ Himself had to train intensively in that Manual for 30 YEARS before God gave Him something to 'do'.
      • And how did He train those 30 years? Well, look at Matt4: Satan tested the Lord's Humanity's Thinking.
      • And what was the Temptation package Satan chose? Good deeds!
      • So why didn't Christ do them? Christians are forever trying to turn stones into bread, flashy jumping, and trying to take over the kingdoms of the world -- or at least, the Government in America! Hmmm.
      • Why didn't Christ do that? Find even one work He did in the Gospels.
      • Even when He began public ministry, Bible doesn't record Him doing anything but talking and miracles.
      • Can't count the miracles, that's God's Power.
      • Talking is not a work by modern Christian standards. As for the labor of the ministry, the disciples did that, not Him.
      • So, then: will doing works with your body train you to think,
      • or do you first have to Grow Up Enough Like Christ Did, so you can think and thus control your own dead-in-Adam body? If you can't even understand the next paragraph, you aren't ready to do works yet.

        Signed math technically doesn't exist in the real world, but the negative sign indicates opposite direction: opposite from God, here. For, finity is the opposite from infinity, to begin with. Derivative power is the power of a small thing which goes opposite from some other object, and the power of that opposition is measured in terms of the value/power/size of the object OPPOSED. Thus sin, going against Infinite God, is totally destructive to the sinner, and he cannot ever recover on his own. Thus you have the atom bomb, which is a tiny fragment going in an opposite direction, thus marshalling huge energy versus those other fragments of opposite poles. Because, Truth is thought, immaterial; and energy is a product of thought, and mass, the product of energy. Math proves all this rather neatly: a negative plus a negative produces only a bigger negative; a negative times a positive produces only a bigger negative. Only a positive TIMES a positive produces a bigger positive. Because in the real world, there are no negatives: only zeroes. We all are zeroes. Which nothings, the Positive Holy Spirit can rectify upon our zero-value Positive Decision -- faith in Christ -- forever. That's a pretty big positive. Notice, bitte: if you don't have the Positive Holy Spirit Filling you, then the value of what you do is bupkis. 0 x 0.

      • See, the true spiritual life is really hard to live. You have so much Waiting to do, so much Training. It's a Royal Spiritual Life, that's why. Peasants must begin working when they are still children, since theirs is a body job: so peasants only understand and respect body jobs, not the higher jobs which involve thinking labor instead of body labor. But a Royal must first be schooled in How To Think. So Royals ideally don't get a true ruling 'job' until they are age 30+; and that only if the training was sufficient. Else, there are regents.

      • The spiritual child is like a physical child in his spiritual understanding. Children associate everything with their bodies, as they've not yet learned how to think. So do spiritual children. So when they read Bible, they interpret it with a child's eyes. That's 99.9% of Christians, today.

      Okay, next set of test questions from a very different angle. So "gird your loins like a man", as the Lord told Job: how do you know that the 'work' you have in mind, is the same as what Holy God has in mind?
      • Do you ever watch those elimination contests on TV spun off from "Survivor" which begin with maybe 20 contestants boarded at a hotel or house, all vying to be the biggest (weight) loser, a rock star, princess, spouse, fashion designer, five-star chef, model or society person -- with some cash prize at the end to the last one remaining?
      • Do you notice that the contestants are usually flip, embarrassingly arrogant and ignorant, knowing squat about their chosen field of competition, but pretend they do?
      • Don't they look silly? I mean, you have about 3 months' advance notice prior to the competition, since so many arrangements must be made prior to filming. So: if (say) you're going to compete for princess, wouldn't you at least learn societal rudiments -- like how to hold a knife and fork in public -- before you began competition? Oh no. They're just as lazy as we Christians! They expect Magic Competence!
      • So how much more the believer should do his homework in Word to find out what God says are the works He even wants?
      • Won't you look silly like those contestants do, fumbling at what you think are the right works, before you are trained in them?
      • This isn't to put down works, but to say we undervalue what it takes to do true works.
      • In 1Cor12:15, we have the problem of Brother Foot. Then, the Foot felt too small, and ashamed. Nowadays, to hear how Christianity is touted, you'd think that only Brother Foot was the Body!
      • Of course, Satan doesn't want you to know anything, for if you grow UP in the Thinking of Christ, you will truly become like Him, which the NT writers stress over and over again (i.e. Paul's statement to the Works-God Galatians, in Gal4:19).
      • But that takes a lifetime of training, for you are training to be a King like Him, not a mere footman.
      • So your 'work' is the training, not good deeds.
      • Repeat: The Work Is For You To Become What God Makes Of You, Even As He Made Christ Become "The Way, the Truth, and the Life".
      • Bible harps on this theme all the time. In semantic triptyches running sometimes several chapters across in a book (esp. the Gospels), the word "ergon" (work, deed) in the NT is mated, then separated, then mated again to show Good Works Can Only Be Done By God. [Unfortunately, the Greek wordplay so prevalent in NT and LXX is overlooked by translators, so you can't see how graphic it is in the Greek. Worse, a lot of Greek drama styles are used, but lately professors forget that and treat the Greek as strictly koine. So, they miss it when they teach. It's so tragic, one wants to sit down and cry. It's probably expecting magic, for me to write about all this, as if anyone will understand! Hosea 4:6, in context (corrected trans of "knowledge" is Doctrine, given context) -- My People perish, for lack of Doctrine! Which is available without money, without price! (Isa52:3, 55:1, but see context.)]
      • So, then: how do you know if God is doing the work -- or if you are? If the only good works are God's, then how do you tell if He's doing them through you, or if you are doing them on your own?
      • After all, on the surface an unbeliever can do exactly the same good deeds you can, what's the difference?
      • And apparently some good deeds are sin, for Satan tempted the Lord to do good deeds that would have potentially fed the world, proved He was God to everyone, and defeated Satan by taking over the kingdoms of the world.
      • So how do YOU know when a good deed is actually a sin?
      • Hmmm. Seems like we 'Christians' are those arrogant and ignorant contestants, playing with this loaded weapon of spirituality we don't even know how to fire. So we'll eliminate ourselves early in the spiritual competition, 1Cor9:24. Way too many amateur Christians out hustling for God.

      Seems like we undervalue God Himself -- of course, how can you properly value Someone you don't know -- so we undervalue what 'works' are, too. Remember Abraham? He's called "Friend of God" in the Bible, so Abraham knew God rather well. What does God's Friend 'tell' us of 'works'? Gee, lots of stuff on Abraham. Where do we start?
      • Abram 'met' God when he was 75, in Ur of the Chaldees, and God told him to leave (yeah, just before the invasion, circa 2085).
      • Abram had no kids. He only wanted one son.
      • God wanted a UNIVERSE of sons.
      • So, Abraham didn't waste time giving out cups of water, he invested time in learning "El" (the name by which God was then known).
      • How long? 25 whopping years. Isaac was born for Abraham's 100th birthday, which was 490 years after Noah's son Shem was born. On purpose.
      • And we are all children of Abraham as a consequence, Romans 4 and 9.
      • So pick what work you want to do: Brother-Foot "size", or GOD-SIZED. Your choice.

      • God-Sized -- due to Abraham, God granted the entire world 1000 and 490 years to LIVE on -- the 490 began with Isaac's birth, when Noah's time grant of 490 years was to run out -- the two overlapping time grants carrying with them a kind of prosperity, too. Can a cup of water do all that, even if given in God's Name? You can click here to download GeneYrs.xls, a subpage in Part IV of the Thinking series: it's about how Bible shows God ORCHESTRATES TIME around believers beginning with Adam. Data is only taken from the Bible, using its own dating system. All because they learned Him, God awarded the entire world more time in which to live. No cup of water can buy time. Click here for the 1st Facet of Part IVb of the Thinking series, to see the not-too-shabby blessings God grants the world solely because you sit around learning Him instead of giving out cups of water like Satan would have you do. You know, blessings of good weather, competence for your home nation, good agriculture, good laws -- stuff only God can do, on which everyone depends. See, Royal Standards require Royal Blessings. Not, a peasant's.

      So the measure of 'works' is the measure of the Recipient, in God's Plan.
      • So, here: the Recipient is Infinite God, Who Hears every thought we think.
      • So the first 'job', is to get good thinking, so Father will be PLEASED.
      • If sin split our souls like an atom bomb when we opposed God, we don't have good thinking in us, when born again.
      • So if we are in His Plan for our lives, we first need to be learning that Book of Good Thinking, the Bible -- right?
      • Since no work is good apart from God, we gotta get healed up and united first -- right?
      • After all, Christ was PERFECT and it took Him 30 whopping years.
      • Logically then, it should take us at least that long. For we are not even equal to Christ.
      • Yet the meanwhile, look: the fruit of even toothbrushing while filled with the Spirit and thinking Doctrine learned is.. Infinite. Why? Because that's God's will and Plan for every one of His Children, 2Pet3:18, Eph3:15-19.
      • Look: dying for God is bigger than dying for one's country, because God is Bigger.
      • Dying for one's country is bigger than dying for one's family.
      • Bigger than dying for one's pet.
      • See? The measure of a great 'work', is the size of the Recipient, not the doer.
      • So, FATHER is Always First Recipient, and the terms are the First Commandment.
      • Which, you are not doing if you don't KNOW Him, first.
      • Can't Love Who you don't know. Frankly, everything is supposed to be through Love for Him, aka "as unto the Lord" in Scripture; as in, "we love, because He first loved us" in 1Jn. 1 John is all about how absent loving God, you can't love your fellow man; that building up the Body into the Completion of Love is Father's entire goal: 1Jn4:12-17 (might be visible in English, much clearer in Greek).
      • So absent first growing up in "grace and the Knowledge of Our Lord and Savior" (2Pet3:18), you can't love God, can't love your fellow man, and all works are doo-doo (Phil3:8, 1Jn3:18, John 4:24, Gal5). Just because you say "I love", doesn't mean you do. Love isn't how you feel, it's an attitude in the trenches, and it cannot be faked. It must be learned, and without Bible running in your head fluently, you cannot love, Rom5:5, 1Jn4:19. For Love is God's Love, not a human thing (ibid, and almost all "love" verses in the NT are agape verses, which is a term exclusively used for Divine Love).

      • So that means learning, 'doing nothing' for awhile. But you'd be in pretty good company.
      • For look: Christ didn't 'do' anything till He was 30, and Abram spent 25 years learning God, then another 20+ years before almost-sacrificing Isaac. Moses spent 40 years in the wilderness before going back to bring out Israel. Hmmm. There's a pattern here, and these are the Bible Greats. Lots of downtime spent learning, first.
      • So let the Brother-Foots, our modern-day Pharisees, run around doing Satan's jobs in God's Name, demanding God reward their vegetables, like Cain did. They want to be "employees", and there are millions of them. So God is already 'well staffed' there, doncha think?
      • But the staffing for the executive positions He's willed to every believer (Eph1) is rather sparse at the top, no takers. Hmmm.
      • But you can't be an employee: it's a 24/7 thing. No problemo, gringo -- every second you think Bible no matter what else you do, it's an executive job, training to think.
      • Higher classes THINK. Lower classes, "do". Pick which one you want to be in.
      • Most people want to be a Prince or Princess -- but they won't do the Thinking Training Required. Oh well.
      • Learning how to think is like learning a language, learning to play a difficult musical instrument, learning to become a professional athlete. Mostly invisible, unseen. Poco a poco, se va lejos.

      • Instead of thinking "works", let's think "Word", and get built up in it -- watch God do all the work to His OWN Royal Kingly Specifications.
      • Such expertise is really needed by the world. No work on earth is capable of being helpful by comparison: the world's works can only address body needs, don't serve God, don't build up the Body of Christ.
      • Just as we needed to be spiritually born (John 3), so also we need to live spiritually (i.e., 1Cor2,5,and Rom6-8). Living Spiritually is light-years harder and more productive: His Thinking paid for our sins!

      • God baldly says Look, if My Son didn't do anything but hang on a Cross and I'm pleased with Him, then don't you be insane and add some activity I don't give you.
      • Billions of people didn't take His Advice. Look at The Great White Throne Judgement in Revelation 20:11ff -- what is adversely judged there? Good deeds! Look at the Bema in 1Cor3: what is burnt there? Stuff man makes! [Man can't make gold, silver, precious stones, get it?] See: you can be five years old and figure this out. No translation can mask these things. Only negative volition can be blind to the obvious.

      • So what definition of "works" is valid? Wow, better get the definition right, huh: all those future burning people got judged for their good deeds. Yep, Greek word "ergon" means what you produce of yourself, stressing good deeds, main use of the term UNLESS monadic or anarthrous. Because, if monadic or anarthrous, it means GOD's Works, which are the only works that count positively, in Bible.

        See? Though God is Highest in the universe; while we know nothing can compare to the Cross -- yet we don't recognize that would mean Our Preparation as Priest-Kings under Him Requires More Training Than All Occupations Put Together? For we alone, are training to become functioning Rulers for Infinite God! [1Cor15:24, Rev1:6, 5:10, 1Pet2:5,9, Ephesians and Hebrews, are but a few obvious cites even in the English. Read the Books over and over a few dozen times, to get past the fuzzy English, keep using 1Jn1:9.]

        Yet instead we settle for Brother-Foot Churchinanity to people, for crying out loud, being intimate with them, but very frigid toward God, not learning How He is, what He thinks. To the Brother Footers, "God" is a two-dimensional collection of platitudes and names of Attributes understood in petty, childish terms; "Righteousness", for example, is always relegated to mere morality in scope. If pressed for more detail, one resorts to human behaviors and examples compared only to gross sin -- for the Person having these Attributes, who really knows? After all, the pastor spends 20 hours on moral behaviors and rock music being evil, for every 10 seconds he might spend saying "God is Love". So who knows Him?

        That typical, dismissive 'coverage' on God's Nature is so prevalent and so rude, it's hard to keep typing. Bet if you fathered someone and took care of him all the days of his life, you'd be pretty ticked off he didn't want to know more about you. Thus we become cannonfodder for Satan&Co., doing Satan's jobs in God's Name. That makes us more comfortable. Yeah, a cup of water will be rewarded at the Bema. But you could learn to Think Like Christ and get a whole kingdom, instead. Which do you think honors God more? Your piddling around as a foot, or learning the Head so to head a kingdom with which to Honor Him Forever?

        So what's the
        a), Alternative Magic picked instead? People-praise, via accumulated WORKS with God's Name slapped on, so now you're holy like God. So what's the
        b), Bonding Relationship refused in favor of the Alternative Magic picked? Bonding of Really Learning God for Himself -- which is the supreme work needed, to become the Ruler He intended. Have to learn to think like Him, to rule like Him. So what's the
        c), the Crass Servility we demand from God? That He accept our terms, here some WORKS we claim in God's Name. We claim, spurning the inheritance Christ claimed for us from eternity past, "inherit the kingdom". So we lose our potential crowns, Rev3:11 unheeded. For We claimed works, not Word.

        Pretty devastating, huh. All of Part III and Part IV of the Thinking series are dedicated to this topic, hundreds of printed pages. Hence the brief smattering of info in this Works God.

      Would God even BE God, if magic?

      Would He 'still' be God, if not Omnipotent? If UnRighteous or UnJust? If not Love? If not Truth, Veracity, Faithfulness? If not Absolute? If not Eternal Life? If not 'Omnipresent' (an anthropopathic term), Infinite? If not Omniscient? If not Sovereign? See, God's Perfection is DUE to something, not magically created or enforced: His Attributes, Characteristics. Absent any of these, or even if any of these were even one 'dot' less than Absolute, even God would not BE God. So, not magic. "Believe or burn" applies first to God, for, think -- what if He were to ever stop believing in Truth? What if He ever was to gerrymander Truth? So how good, delightful must the non-magical Truth be, for God Himself to not only never want to sin, but to take on Humanity (Son, here) and Bear Sin? See, not magic, but Real Real Real. There's a Reason why God is God. There's a Reason why He doesn't want magic: which we know for sure He doesn't, since He doesn't bing away our disobediences, and just make us perfect, but rather -- His Humanity instead pays for it all!

      And why wouldn't He pay instead, even though as God He forever experiences Hell, since everything to God's Omniscience is One Big Now, no beginning, no end, so all time is just a subset? For, since it is not magic, the alternative to paying is to make automatons. What, would God want non-free-will creatures, since He Himself is free? What, would God rob anyone of free will, just so He could avoid the knowing-pain of their own self-suffering in hell due to their free will rejection? What, would God ROB free-will man of free will by obliterating him or overriding his own free will? So: why not PAY, instead? So how good, delightful must the non-magical Truth be, for God Himself to not only never want to sin, but to take on Humanity (Son, here) and Bear SIN, bear forever the knowing pain of Hell, too? See, not magic, but Real Father Real Son Real Spirit. ["Thinking Out Loud" series, LordvSatan1.htm walks the reader through the alternative ways Truth could work, i.e., in what and if and how to create, what and if hell, in its "Integrity Properties" subsection. That topic is part of the larger topic of Satan's arguments against God's sentence of Matt25:41, which is the backdrop for the epic-throughout-time accounting of the spiritual life.]

      Do we realize that God chose to make us For Better Or For Worse? That's why They wanted creation in the first place. Being Each Perfect, God didn't want relationship with God to be limited to the 'nice'. Bad, not just good. For, Infinity is TOTAL. God, being Perfect, obviously would never sin, but by creating free will creatures, all the possible bads freely exist; thus, the interpersonal relationship among the Godhead is not restricted to 'nice'. So, not violating Infinite Truth (which also includes truth about 'bads'), either. For, God IS Truth, therefore LOVES Truth, infinitely: for Better or for Worse. So, Together They experience "the all things" (big keyword in Bible). Not just some. For, if you love someone, you want ALL with them. For Better or For Worse.

      Infinity has no barriers: that's why it's INFINITY, for crying out loud. No barriers based on how-nice, how-bad. No Barriers to Intimacy, therefore. If you are hurting, God has always and will always experience your pain a bizillion times greater than your own experience of it. So right away you know that He doesn't want you hurting, and that if you are, He has available a solution to make you get a bizillion-times 'interest' on that pain money, if only for His Own Name's Sake (see Ps23). Yet, He wants you anyway, even if you spurn Him. Intimately. So intimately does He love you, He wanted to pay for all your sins, so your existence could be: with Him. It's not a guilt thing! God didn't tell you Christ died for you so you would be guilty, but so you could be set free of obligation! See Gal5:1 and Romans 5:1 for but two bald verses on this topic.

        Look: we all have a sense of justice in our heads. When someone else does something we regard as beneficial, we sorta 'weigh' that thing compared to what we think we do for that person, to see if there is an imbalance: if they did too much, we owe. If we did too much, they still owe. Same, for things done which we regard as hurtful. But with regard to this believe-only True and Permanent salvation, we're in shock, for crying out loud. We don't know how to react, what to 'do' in response. The justice scales in our mind are so tilted, we can't cope. Why? Because we're just like Adam after the Fall, only we were physically born that way, with an unrelenting urge to sew figleaves. So, just like Adam did, we use defense mechanisms (psychiatric term) to rationalize that we must do something, or that what we do is worth more, or that we are toooo 'bad' to be saved like this.. or something. We just can't accept Unconditional Love. We have to make it smaller. But it's INFINITE. Can't resize that. Because, it's not magic, but the Inherent Nature of God, for crying out loud. He wanted us (Romans 5:8), and He took responsibility for our freedom (ibid).

        So, then: do we objectively recognize the Love here and say yes -- after all, who doesn't want to be so totally Loved -- or do we wrap ourselves in our unnecessary excuses, because we are afraid of so much Love? We were born sinners -- Adam became one -- so what else CAN be done? We don't need to be ashamed of our weakness. It's not magic, nor do we need magic -- we just need HIM. And He'll fix the problem, better than one can imagine -- without magic. Time to leave behind the childish yearnings, and get Real Real Real.

      So why wouldn't it be the stupidest (besides the most blaphemous) idea in the universe to even want any kind of magical relationship with Him, let alone claim magic in some mixture of ritual, works, organic ingredients, etc ad nauseam? Isn't it more meaningful to be IN and WITH Him, knowing that NO MAGIC was needed to hold the relationship together? And if no magic, then surely not works; and if no magic, then surely not self-worth; and if no magic, then surely, Free! Eph2:8-9, Rom4:1, Rom5:1, 5:8, Rom8:1, Gal5:1! Valley, exalted! Sterile, but bearing kids! Lost, but now found! Dead, but alive again! Far, but now near! Not By Magic, either! See why Christ wanted to go to the Cross, rather than give into the Third Temptation in Matt4? So let us not give into the temptation to want tawdry miracles, magic -- as if we were still children, wowed by fairy tales (2Pet1:16, 1Cor2:1, etc). Let's not stay children, who know nothing yet of the contentment of unvarnished, unmagicked Love. "For the old things, have passed away: behold, NEW things have come!" [Concatenation of verses, because in Scripture "old" and "new" are contrasted with the idea that the "new" is better/superior, and will replace the "old". Some NT verses are: 2Cor5:17, Heb1:4, 7:18-22, 8:6, 9:23, 11:40, 12:24, etc. -- Attic kreittwn in Heb1:4 is a major keyword and key concept throughout the book, the aforesaid verses being benchmarks carrying forward the theme; Rev21:4]

      MAGIC with respect to LIFE

      So too: Look how we (unwittingly) expect "people" to be magic, and demand magic as the basis for relationship with them. Look at how STERILE our relationships are, every day!

      • Would 9/11 have occurred if the stupid terrorists didn't think America would magically fall down, if they flew planes into buildings? Is the 'Allah' who (allegedly) allows America to exist in the first place, gonna let some ragheads get credit for tearing it all down, and killing innocent people, to boot?

      • Authority and 'high' people: are they magically perfect because 'high' or in authority? So, did they suddenly STOP being human, that we can be outraged at their mistakes, or even invent their mistakes? Or, outraged they have that status, so we must pick at them mercilessly, harming who-cares-who in our fantasized quest for revenge? America is wild now, with this kind of rage! Granted, such a status does confer added responsibility, but it's not magic: ya gotta have the status to learn better competence in it; just as, a kid needs a puppy, to learn to care for it. Granted, part of the pain of growing up is to find out that one's parents, priests, friends, spouse, SELF -- make mistakes or do hurtful things. Shall we then just all be Hamlets? Causing the death of everyone in the end, so only a foreigner can take over? Or shall we recognize Grace, and that God will compensate? For, only God is Perfect.

      • Authority and 'high' people, Part II: is their job magically EASY, because they have more status and money than 'you'? This point shouldn't even need to be written: what makes us think that because we know how hard OUR lives are, and we see some 'rich' person photographed at a meeting or playing golf.. that ALL he does, is dress up or play golf? If you know anything at all about how hard YOUR life is: where's its magic? Well, nowhere! You have to MANAGE all these painful or annoying things, children, people, lack-of-somethings! Oh: so, do you think all these things MAGICALLY disappear if you just had status or money? One of the most potentially-depressing discoveries of life, second only to the growing-up trauma that one's parents (etc) aren't 'gods', is the realization that higher status, money .. only mean higher PROBLEMS, too!

          It's very wearing to raise children, as any mother will tell you. It's even more wearing to run a country, a company, an investment portfolio. It's even more wearing to watch it be popular to say everything's the fault of the 'high', the 'rich', the 'strong'. So, even more wearing, that the stupid, the greedy, the angry all DEMAND that your status means, you MUST solve their problems; that their status means they must be 'victims', never themselves responsible. Wearing, that they blame 'you' for being 'high', as if bringing you 'low' would solve their problems. They demand YOU magically solve the problem, and they magically benefit -- their spinning prayer wheels or mouthing praises at you is supposed to generate some overwhelming gratitude from you. Because, you're 'high'! That's how everyone treats the Lord, first: He can zap away the problem, so why doesn't He do it? See? Magic, not love. Magic, sterile.

      • Charity or welfare programs are deemed to magically solve social ills. Money and voluntary work constitute some kit of magic wands, see, conferring not only the deemed-necessary material aid, but also the learning needed by the recipient, so he can USE the benefit provided. Oh yeah? Didn't your parents give you chores as a kid so you could learn to equate money with some kind of productive activity? So if the 'welfare mom' gets PAID to have kids, will she ever get out of destitution? Will she ever learn that having kids without money is what is harmful to her and the kids? So if the drug/gambling addict or drunk gets PAID to be 'rehabilitated', aren't you teaching him that he needn't get well, since he gets PAID (not to mention, tons of sympathy) by being 'sick'? So if the child with a learning disability is coddled, will he ever learn to work harder to overcome that disability -- or will he get PAID nice fuzzies for his 'illness'? See how magic TRAPS people, both the givers and the recipients? Talk about addiction!

      • Health food: isn't the entire health food industry expecting its customers to believe in a little bit of magic, in order to make sales? Sure, some chemicals, in food or otherwise, do affect health. But how much, do you think? Will you really escape cancer or heart disease because you eat a little more broccoli? Will eating all that grapefruit really make a weight-loss difference of any magnitude? Isn't this the same 'logic' as one uses to buy a lottery ticket? Magic, yeah: the magic is, you believe that stuff, and someone gets your money!

      • Lawsuit (or taxation) magic. The lady who sued McDonald's because her coffee was too hot: who paid for that, but the poor? Oh? How so? Look: what does McDonald's 'do'? Sell hamburgers. To whom? Mostly the poor, since rich people don't (as much) like such food. So FROM WHERE did McDonald's get the money to pay that suing lady? "Profits!" someone will yell: yes, and where did those PROFITS come from, but the mostly poor people who bought the food? And what do you think PROFITS are, but savings companies keep to weather economic downturns, so they can still pay wages during times of LOSSES, and thus keep making products, so eventually won't be losing money, anymore? So what do you think that lawsuit did, but ROB the company of wage-money it was saving up? So how many people lost jobs, or how high did the food prices have to rise, to pay that ONE lady for her own stupdidity in drinking coffee while it was yet too hot? And how many of US now suffer lukewarm coffee, so that other companies don't get sued? See how we think it's magic, to sue? See how destructive and evil lawsuits are? Do we trust God, or not?

      • Looks-and-sex magic. Oh, they meet, and fall-in-love immediately. Oh, they hop in the sack and are forever-after, happy. Yeah, right. What kind of soul is inside a person who values LOOKS and body activity as nirvana? Who in his right mind would be attracted to such a soul? Moreover, what devastation happens IN such a soul, if the body doesn't look good, 'perform' well, or has some mundane outer life? If this valuation-of-life isn't sterility, then there is no such thing.

      • Marriage magic. Jane and John marry. Both are young, attractive, wealthy. So what happens when one is suddenly not so young, or attractive, or wealthy? So what happens if they remain young, etc. -- is THAT what makes for a good relationship? Should it be what makes for a good relationship? So why care about such things? How many people agonize over not having that car, that job, that appearance, in order to attract someone? Is it really a good thing, to buy something to wear so that everyone will NOTICE? Do you always have to have a crutch, to get someone to love you?

      • Money magic. Do people want money because they think it will buy happiness and security? And just how do we imagine that an INANIMATE thing will buy an animate person, anything but more hassle, since inanimate things of any type always need time and attention -- and someone's always after the same inanimate thing 'you' have? And just how do we imagine that our suddenly-rising stock, can't suddenly go down, too? How do we imagine that our things of today, which replaced OLD things -- that today's things and status, won't wear out, too? So why value them so much? Why not look for other things which DO last, which of course means thought, care, attention: in short, rejecting magic?

      • Personal-attributes magic. Have you ever been used by someone? Did someone ever go after you because of your looks, or position, wealth or health? Have you ever been manipulated to feel guilty? So, then: what does the user believe, but that this 'thing' you have which he/she wants of you -- will magically solve some need? So are you being admired for YOU, or are you being treated like an object?

      • Isn't all racism based on the magical assumption that some skin color or background makes one bad or good? Is a king really better because of his bloodline, or due to his CHARACTER? And, is character formed by magic -- someone said a prayer, ahhh so God bings this person to become virtuous --?

      • 'Things' magic. What kind of talk predominates, in any gathering, but crutch-claiming? Oh, so-and-so is wearing this Famous Designer Dress; so-and-so just got engaged; 'I' got a promotion! 'You' got a new car! 'He' has a degree! 'She' didn't get as good a job as the other one, so yell discrimination! Is this how 'fellowship' should be, among humans? Is it meaningful, enjoyable, or..boring? Is the measure of who we are, what we do or own? So that, if one of us seems to have less of that measure, such a one is cheated? Or, has more, such a one is envied or deemed a robber, or.. better? Why do we think so cheaply of our souls, preferring instead, magic?

      Why Truth Is Infinitely Better Than Magic

      An aboriginal myth about the "Dreamtime" origin of the Sun held that an angry bird created it by throwing her rival's egg at the sky: the yolk burst into flame. [Taken from The Dawn of Time: Australian Aboriginal Myths, Rigby Ltd., 1969.] That story, of course, is based on magic. The truth about the Sun is even more dramatic, far more awe-inducing than any magic could portray: just the right 'exhale' of gases, just the right distance from Earth, just the right rotation and orbit, make for life on this planet. The one-in-bizillion chance combination of inert masses and energies resulted in a planet able to sustain sentient life. We may truly be the only sentient flesh alive in the universe, even science occasionally admits. Yet, it's surely not magic.

      So too, when it comes to ideas about God and life, magical ideas abound, as bulleted above. Yet, the Truth is far more wonderful than any magic can portray. We debate this Truth, of course; yet who of us really would want an explanation which didn't make sense, which had to depend on unaccountable factors? Aren't we always trying to improve things by (what we think or hope are) rational means? So, wouldn't the best answer to anything, wouldn't the BEST TRUTH be .. rational? NOT magic? If God is truly making sons out of us, which the Bible has repeatedly claimed from Genesis forward -- wouldn't it be truly great if this making is NOT a magical process?

      Sure, the Sun shines down and has this tremendous power: all life depends on it. Sure, we ourselves don't have the power of the Sun; but its power is not magic to us. It's just a bigger power, that's all. God, too: He's not magic, but INFINITE, so has INFINITE POWER. Clearly, He doesn't WANT to use this INFINITE power in a magical way, else we'd all be chirping praise at Him forever.. instead of rebelling, as is our wont.

      So how would He make 'sons'? Well, as explained in Eph4:11-16, He makes 'sons' out of the replication of His Son's Mind in us -- which Mind was itself made when God the Son ADDED Humanity to Himself, and when God the Holy Spirit gradually taught that Human Mind God's Truth.. line by line, precept by precept. Not by magic did God add Humanity to Himself, any more than it was magic for Him to make angels, or Adam. Not by magic does the Truth enter the Human Mind of Christ, but by the same kind of process as normal learning. Except, of course, that just as we can't do what the Sun does, we can't do what the Holy Spirit does. Nor could we do what the Son did; nor could we COMPETE with what the Son's Humanity did on the Cross. For, it wasn't done by magic, but by means of Truth: real, rational.. BETTER than magic. So, like it says in Hebrews and elsewhere, now "better things" have come: the Son's Mind became Truth; so, Truth having been built in His Soul, it can quite compatibly be built in the believer's soul. Line by line, precept by precept. In short, not magic, but God's spiritual Physics (which even the secular field of physics reflects): thus do we become COMPATIBLE "sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus." First faith, 'born again': John 3. After that, learning and believing doctrine taught by our right pastors: Eph4:11-16. (English translation is way off in v.12-13, so the common interpretation is even WORSE: magical-sounding. There is nothing magical about how a BODY is built!) Not magic, but learning. One day at a time.

      So this learning causes the Son to shine into our hearts with this tremendous power. [Big OT and NT metaphor, expressed a bizillion ways: some famous ones are those about Moses' face after he saw THE LORD; also, Numb6:25 (very common refrain in OT), Isa60:1ff; John 12:46; Romans 5:5, 2Cor4:6-7, Eph5:14, 2Pet1:19, Rev21:23.] We are ourselves illuminated, freed of the dark; no longer magpies, needing to hold it off with sticks like another "Dreamtime" myth, the sticks constantly breaking under the weight of our ignorance. His Power is not magic to us, for He Himself received it first. Firstfruits, even. Not magic, but Seed. Then, Tree. Then, hung ON a Tree. So, Firstfruits. Not magic. Of course, all life depends on this Son. No one is warm, no one breathes, no one has happiness, without Him.

      Sunshine can't be had in too high a dose. Nor, too low. Nor, just once -- but a little bit each day.. line upon line, precept on precept. Not magic, and not too hard, either. Of course, if we think we'll get skin cancer, we won't go into this Son. We will make all kinds of excuses, complain about heat, and how our skin is made too dark or light; we'll do it 'tomorrow' or we'll only do it in company (because, that company matters more). In short, we aren't all that fond of the Son. Shade is nicer. Darkness becomes even nicer, the longer one is in it. For, after awhile, Dreamtime is better: the light begins to hurt. So, eventually we close our eyes, having dreamt our lives away. Far away, from the Son. Dreaming magic dreams, awakening briefly to their futility, then back to asleep. Ahhh, sleep, perchance to dream. And so we die, Hamlets all.

      Toleration for the Sun, then -- as any dermatologist can tell you -- must be built up slowly. Line upon line. As one builds toleration, one can stay in the Son for ever longer periods of time. Of course, when one burns self by giving into temptation, 1Jn1:9 is the ointment so that one can tolerate the Son again. Learning Him is the melanin, so one becomes 'dark' to darkness, thus truly light, over time. Sounds magical, to darkness, which knows no light. So magic things will be accounted as the cause, of course. But the power of successively-longer toleration of the Son will produce a RATIONAL structure of thinking. Where there were no dots of sanity, new ones are made. Where any dots of sanity were unconnected, they are connected. Bad connections are slowly untwisted and cut; bad dots are slowly faded out by the light of His Thinking. What once was desirable, becomes gradually LESS so. What once was undesirable, particularly Studying His Thinking, will become gradually LESS so. One day at a time.

      What is happening? Your soul, as you grow in this study under the Spirit and under the pastor He appointed for you -- your soul is transforming. Not by magic, but by the renovation of your thinking, as each one has been assigned from Doctrine. (Rom12:2-3, concatenation of corrected trans. from the Greek.) This process is explained at length in other websites; suffice it here to note that the process itself is MADE RATIONAL AND NORMAL by means of God's superior power, which He put into operation by means of Christ when He seated Him. (Eph1:19-20, KJV/NRS are nearly right: Greek energeo, "put into operation" is better trans. than "work"/"accomplished" in v.20, and "in Christ" should be translated "by means of Christ".) For, NOW is not the aping of magic, but instead the apex of history, as Ephesians explains. ['Main theme of the book: Eph3:21 specifically yells the apex-meaning in Greek, via lexeme: it's mistranslated in all English versions. Ephesians and Hebrews have more translation errors than other books I've seen: why I don't know. Most mistranslations CAN be seen as wrong with but a year of Biblical Greek (or primers of quality like those of Wallace and Mounce) and lexicons which don't restrict themselves to koine, for there are a lot of Atticisms, etc. in both the LXX and the NT; which often also uses LXX keywords, to explain.]

      So, the question is, do you want to REALLY be made worthy of the Son? That's your destiny to accept or reject: for, it's not magic, but your position in Christ, which He bought for you about 2000 years ago. If you ever ONCE believed He paid for all your sins, you are PERMANENTLY a new spiritual being. That's not magic, either: for God is a Spirit, and those who should worship Him must do so in Spirit and in Doctrine (see John 4:24). So, you are permanently a son "of God through faith in Christ Jesus". In Christ Jesus: not in magic. So, if you ACCEPT being grown up in the Son, you will need to learn Him. For, being made functionally worthy isn't the same as your position. Not magic: a royal son is born into a royal family, but he still won't rule, if he didn't become WORTHY of rule. At least, not by God's Ruling Standard. Which, as Christ first demonstrated, was NOT by magic, but by means of the Word of God (Matt4:4). See? Not magic, but EATING.

      Eating is not magic, is it? And isn't eating WAY more enjoyable, because REAL? Your choice: dine consistently on the Riches of the Word; or pine for magic, while frustration eats your own soul dry. Dry, like the souls of the Exodus generation, who refused the manna, even though a miracle, because it wasn't flashy magic. (Num11:6, KJV.) Bear the priestly fruit of learning Him, Doctrine circulating in your soul; or be sterile, a child too young to bear kids, who can only DREAM. Of egg yolks.