Monthly Archives: January 2013

The Big Deal about the Big Picture

As we go through our weeks, going back and forth from church and Bible study, we get snippets of Scripture which give us glimpses of God.  The question is:  what do we do with those snippets?  Do we stitch them together into a sort of patchwork image?  Do we leave church and never think about them again?  Perhaps we should ask a different question and consider what Scripture is instead of what we do with it.  Scripture is the Word of God, delivered to us to the end that we come to know God.  If we step back and look at the Bible as a whole, we see the story of God’s relationship with humanity; a story in which God reveals Himself.

The Bible chronicles the revelation of God to humanity as well as His redemptive work.  God reveals Himself to Abraham in the land of Ur, to Moses through the burning bush, through David’s prayers of joy and anguish, through the struggles of prophets like Elisha, all ultimately leading to Jesus Christ:  the revelation of God in flesh, the incarnate Word of God; in whom “dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily”.  The revelation does not end there as God sends His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, Who continues to work and speak through the letters which make up the rest of the New Testament.  The Spirit continues His work beyond what is recorded in the pages of the Bible.  We are as much a part of the story of God as Elijah or Peter.

However, we cannot fully participate if we only know bits and pieces of the story.  We cannot know God if we do not listen to Him and pay attention to what He’s already told us about Himself.

Consider a machine as an analogy when we examine a particular selection of Scripture:  it is as if we have removed a part from the machine in order to examine it more closely.  While we understand the particular part better, we will not be able understand it as much as if we know how it fits into and functions in the machine.  We must be careful not to read only certain parts of certain sections of the Bible.  If we do that, we will be similar the blind men as they examine an elephant; with a limited and inaccurate picture of God as He has revealed Himself to us.  Without the bigger picture to fit the smaller glimpses into, we run the risk of customizing God to fit into our lives.  On the contrary, God is calling us to become part of His story.  We begin to step into that story by reading it instead of carving and dissecting it.  That is why it is important that we read the Bible from cover to cover:  so that we can participate in God’s story of revelation and redemption instead of merely watching the highlights.


The Empty Water

One of the areas that we have been successfully undermining in some churches is the institution of “baptism”.  The Enemy instituted this practice as an “act of faith” which manifests as a result of an internal change in the flesh creature.  It is an outward expression that the human has gone over to His side.  Such narcissism is sickening, even to we who promote narcissism as a matter of business.  However, we have been able to use the disgusting baptismal display to further our own ends.  It is well within the scope of our abilities to confuse the humans concerning the nature of the ritual.  What we see and know to be water and a script, they can be led to believe is actually their deliverance.  If you don’t understand what our tact is, consider this analogy:  a man running from a wolf is safe once he is able to climb up a tree, what we aim to do in focusing their attention on the act of baptism is convince the man that he has climbed the tree when, in reality, he is merely standing in its shadow.

The question is how we go about getting them to place their hope in water.  One way is to ask the right questions and then use their discomfort as leverage to warp their beliefs.  If they don’t like what they read in the enemy’s propaganda, but can’t bring themselves to outright reject it, then their beliefs become much like putty and can be easily formed to fit our own designs.  As it turns out, baptism is very well suited for this game.  In His propaganda, the Enemy speaks of what He calls “salvation by faith” but this term is often too vague to suit the human’s comfort level.  You see, they are rather fond of things that they can see, touch, taste, etc.  It is easy for us to use this inclination to focus their attention on the outward action rather than the spiritual reality

Generally speaking, what happens is that the Enemy’s word is not good enough to get them to trust Him and they seek to perform some kind of ritual to make themselves feel better.  Obviously, this is nothing but self-delusion but it accomplishes the task of (to return to the earlier analogy) getting them to think that they have climbed to the safety of the tree.  Many rituals within the church have gone this way and that is just fine with us.  If they are fixated on the physical and emotional aspects of an act, they will not be paying attention to the spiritual aspects.  Thus the act comes to provide comfort rather than spiritual engagement.  In this way the spiritual act they sometimes call a “sacrament” is transformed into nothing more than a hollow show.

The end result is the belief that the act of sprinkling water on a human’s head or immersing it saves it from us; rather a quaint idea indeed.  Such a belief in unfounded in the Enemy’s propaganda but it makes them feel better about a question which the Enemy would say they must answer with “faith”.  If you do well, and keep the focus on the ritual, then you can get a human to be baptized without ever making a commitment to the Enemy.  This is a great victory for us because all we need to do from then on is to keep the fear of being wrong dangling in the back of their mind.  It will serve to make them cling to their belief in the water and ritual all the more.

There is another direction that you can go when attempting to displace the focus of baptism onto the ritual.  This path deals more in tradition than show.  As has been stated before, humans are social animals and are thereby capable of being strongly influenced by other humans.  Since a church is ultimately a group of flesh creatures, it will inevitably build up its own traditions and practices.  Among these is an expected “age of baptism”, i.e. an age at which whelps growing up within the church are expected to be baptized.  Depending on the church, this expected act may be called other names such as “confirmation”.  The names used really make little difference as far as we’re concerned.  The point is to manipulate the humans so that there is no connection for them between the act and their spiritual lives.  Think of it as turning the church into an assembly line:  At age x, person does y, and that is all there is to it.

You may even choose to step up the social element by bringing peer pressure to bear.  If all of a flesh creature’s friends are getting baptized/confirmed around the same time or have already done so, it would be terribly awkward for them not to follow suit.  Thus, they go through the motions for social reasons rather than moving any closer to the Enemy.  If properly handled, the human will be content to believe that the spiritual change has taken place.  We’re sure that even you can appreciate the opportunity here.  We have in our possession a human that calls itself a follower of the Enemy, but is still in our camp.

However, never underestimate the power of ritual and tradition.  We only encourage these things insofar as they serve our ends as there is a very real danger at hand.  As a result of their spirit/flesh hybrid nature, their spiritual lives are influenced by their physical lives and vice-versa.  Trouble arises for us in matters of tradition and ritual when the physical is used to support the spiritual.  The flesh creatures can use the rituals to quiet and focus their minds on the spiritual endeavor at hand.  We have seen our share of diabolical embankments and barricades broken down by the Enemy when the humans use these observances as tools to focus their spiritual energies on Him and, simultaneously, receive His support.  Perhaps now you realize why it is so important to carry out this operation as a basic practice in dealing with the Church.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

The Sociopath in My Back Seat

The 2004 film Collateral follows a Los Angeles cabdriver named Max who is taken hostage by Vincent, a hitman, and forced to drive him to each of his targets. Throughout the night, Max reluctantly obeys Vincent’s instructions.  A few times he attempts to escape but, by means of threats and violence, remains Vincent’s hostage.  A significant portion of the film consists of the dialogue between Max and Vincent with Max at the wheel and Vincent in the back seat.  One of the memorable scenes occurs when Max finally begins to drive his cab again.  It is not entirely true that Max has been driving the cab until this moment.  While he has indeed been the one behind the wheel; it has been Vincent who has been dictating where he drives.  A highly aggressive back seat driver, if you will.  The scene shows Max taking back control of his life, which is underlined when he refers to Vincent as the “sociopath in my back seat”.

In a way, this scene does an excellent job of capturing how sin and Satan often work in our lives.  They threaten us with things such as missed pleasure, not fitting in, or other such consequences if we do not cave to their will.  By using these threats, they become the same kind of back seat drivers as Vincent was in the film.

However, this is not the end of the story because though we may be servants of sin, we do not have to remain so thanks to Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  Paul writes in Galatians 5:1, “For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.”  Christ gives us a choice:  to let sin and Satan continue to drive our lives from the back seat, or to take control of our life by giving it to God who does not want to control us, but for us to allow Him to shape us into the Christ-like individual He created us to be.  What’s more, He wants to give us a corporate identity as part of the Church, the body of Christ.  Put differently, the decision we face is how we are going to drive our lives:  as hostages to sin, or willing servants of God?

It is not easy to recognize and call out Satan and our sin as noisy passengers in the back seat, yet when we do, God throws them out and takes up residence within us.  Make no mistake, they will try to get back in the car any way that they can, but, because we have been set free, it is our decision whether or not to let them back in.  God will help and support us in making the right decision, but He won’t force it on us for, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart—these O, God, You will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17).  God wants willing obedience, not forced servitude.

Thanks to God, we have a choice.  We are in the driver’s seat.  It is up to us whether we are controlled by the sociopath in our back seat or if we take hold of the freedom that God has called us to in Him.

On Showing Yourself to Christians

Interestingly enough, showing ourselves specifically to Christians has yielded beneficial effects.  On one hand, if they do not fully grasp the Enemy’s current “superiority” to us in power or if they take the command to live in peace with their fellow humans as license to make peace with us as well, then it is possible to drive them into a corner and keep them pinned down there.  They will be more afraid of facing you than they are eager to serve the Enemy.

The other route to send Christians after showing yourself is to lead them on a path independent from the Enemy’s guidance.  Once you are able to get them to rest fully on human knowledge and wisdom in dealing with you, you have them on a string.  One of greatest examples of this is the series of events now known as the Salem Witch trials.  The key is to get them to focus their attention solely upon you.  This removes the Enemy from their view and allows you to manipulate them much as a matador manipulates a bull.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Being and Waiting

While trying to come up with something to write about, I realized that I was coming up with…nothing…  However, I have decided that this would be a good topic to write about, namely…nothing…

There is a certain amount of nothingness that makes up part of a healthy spiritual life.  If we were to look at this nothingness through the lens of spiritual disciplines, we would call it solitude and silence.  So what can nothingness do to benefit us spiritually?  After all, isn’t it the case that if we aren’t growing then we’re shriveling?  That statement is certainly true.  What would be false is to think engaging in nothingness means we aren’t growing.  It would be more accurate to call the nothingness in question “being”.  Taking time for solitude and silence puts us in a state of simply being.  The benefit of taking time to be is that it gives us a chance to look around and listen to God.

Consider this:  when we are constantly on the move from Bible study to food pantry to Sunday morning service, etc., do we stop to look and listen to God?  These are all good things to do, but we must be careful not to lose sight of God behind our day planners.  Doing these things is good because they give us the chance to spend time with God.  But if we’re already thinking about the next thing on our to-do list, are we really spending that time with God?  Consider the story of Jesus’ visit to the home of Martha and Mary (Luke 10:38-42).  While they were both godly women, Martha got wrapped up in doing things and didn’t take time to listen to Jesus.

Solitude and silence gives us the chance to get a spiritual realignment from God; to get our priorities straight.  When we spend time alone we get to see ourselves without the fog from society and media that often obscure our view.  Of course, this is often an uncomfortable view because we are able to see and feel the things that we use the fog to cover up and ignore.  However, in taking this hard look, we are able to bring to God those things we would rather sweep under the rug.  This allows God to teach us about ourselves and to help us in the ways He really loves to.

If you haven’t tried spending a day silence before, give it a try as an experiment. It doesn’t have to be a grim affair, just don’t speak unless spoken to (it is helpful to pick a day for this that doesn’t require much verbal interaction on your part).  You may be amazed at the things that you didn’t notice before such as sights, sounds, and smells.  You may be surprised by the sense of freedom that comes from not constantly thinking about what to say next.  You may be shocked at how many places you find God if you are attentive.  God isn’t always Revelation-lightning-from-the-sky in your face.  Elijah encountered God as a “still, small voice” (1 Kings 19:11-13).

The common thread here is that we give God free-reign during that time.  Often, our interaction with God consists of telling Him what to do or doing things for Him (yes that includes studying the Bible) without actually listening to Him.  Sometimes God doesn’t say anything and just wants us to spend time in His presence.  The Psalmist often speaks about being still and meditating on God, His law, and His works.  In Psalm 119:15 he writes, “I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways.”  Psalm 143:5 states, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.”

We are certainly called to be doers of the Word, to let our faith express itself as works.  However, sometimes our doing consists of just being and following God means that we are still, and wait on God.

Introduction – Facing Down the Church

You have now been adequately instructed to handle yourself in the field.  Throughout that instruction, we have oft admonished you to be wary of the Enemy’s movements.  However, the list of your adversaries does not consist only of the Enemy.  He is our chief opponent, but He has been at work over these many years raising a force to fight against us in the world.  This force is referred to as the Church (not to be confused with a church, which refers to a given community of so-called “believers”).

The Church is a conglomeration of humans that the Enemy claims to have drawn back to Him and who now serve Him.  He is very protective of the Church and goes so far as to compare it to a bride.  This perverse analogy not only reflects the depths to which the Enemy has sunk in defiling His spiritual nature, but also gives you an idea of  the hard fight you face should end up in direct combat with it.

Fortunately, our best researchers have yielded up a plethora of techniques to deploy against this threat.  Although the work is difficult, it is certainly not without its rewards both logistically and spitefully.  A corrupted church is an indispensable tool in our arsenal and nothing brings our existence to the brink of bearable like ruining the Enemy’s work.

(c) Noah Wilson. All Rights Reserved.

Three Equals… One?

Perhaps one of the most confusing parts of Christian theology is the idea of a triune God (that is to say, a God who is three-in-one).  We understand God in three persons that form what is often called the Holy Trinity:  God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.  However, if one were to read through the Bible cover to cover, they would not find the word “trinity” or phrase “Holy Trinity” anywhere.  This prompts the question, if it’s not in the Bible, then where did it come from?  To say that the idea of the Holy Trinity is not in the Bible is not entirely accurate.  While the word “trinity” is not actually used, the information we are given indicates such a relationship.  In other words, when we put together the entirety of what we know of God from the Bible, we see the Holy Trinity.  The doctrine of the Trinity is Biblically grounded because it comes from our understanding of what the Bible says about God.

There are more Scriptures relating to the Trinity than what I will be using in this post.  However, my goal here is merely to set down a starting point that I hope shows that this Holy Trinity business is at the very least plausible according to Scripture and thereby show that further investigation into the matter is not a waste of time and/or energy.  The first passage that I would like to call your attention to is Luke 3:21-22.  This is Luke’s account of the baptism of Christ.  Upon coming back up out of the water, the Holy Spirit descends upon Christ “in bodily form like a dove” and a voice from heaven says to Christ, “You are My beloved Son; in you I am well pleased”.  The scene shows God as three distinct persons:  Jesus (God the Son), The Holy Spirit descending like a dove (God the Holy Spirit), and God speaking from heaven (God the Father).

It is easy to stop there and think of the Trinity as a kind of pantheon of gods much like the Romans or Norse had.  However, we read in Deuteronomy 6:4-5 that “The Lord our God, the Lord is one!”  The word “one” here implies singleness or unity.  The Lord is the Lord.  There is no other.  This of course leaves no room for there being three Lords, so the approach of making God to be strictly three falls short of being Scripturally sound.  The question is how can the three persons of God we saw in the Luke passage be one?

I am going to start with God the Father and show how Jesus and the Holy Spirit are one with Him since this is the person of the Trinity who is generally best known as God and also who we are most familiar with.  This is the person who speaks creation into existence in Genesis and who parts the Red Sea in Exodus.  This is also the person who Christ refers to as “Our Father” in the Lord’s Prayer…  This is also the person most of us visualize as an old guy with a long, white beard and a white robe…

The Holy Spirit is the “Helper” who is sent to abide with us and teach us (John 14:26).  The Holy Spirit guides us in all truth and speaks what He hears from God, speaking not on his own authority but on God’s (John 16:12-14).  He reveals to us the things of God.  1 Corinthians 2:9-12 compares the Holy Spirit and God to the spirit of a man and the man.  Just as we do not separate the our spirit from ourselves, our essence as it were, neither can we separate the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, from God.

John 1 tells us that Jesus is the incarnate Word of the God; specifically it says that “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  The Greek word behind “Word” is logos.  Logos has a broad definition that ranges from spoken words to thoughts.  One could say that in being the logos, Jesus is the incarnate mind of God.  The relationship between Jesus and God the Father is similar to that between the Holy Spirit and God the Father:  one is linked to the other at the core; or we may even venture to say they are one heart and soul.

That may be the best starting point I can offer in this short explanation:  that we know and experience God in three persons:  Father, Spirit, and Son, but they all share one heart and soul.  God is of one heart and soul, but He relates to us on a spiritual level, as someone who has shared our experiences as humans, and as our Father in heaven.

It bears mentioning that the Holy Trinity is part of the mystery of God, an aspect of Him that will not fit into our human understanding.  The aspects of God that are above our complete understanding, such as His triune nature and His holiness, nonetheless invite us to spend time in meditation and contemplation of God, seeking to further appreciate the fact that He is the Lord God Almighty.