FIRST-TRUMP#top..........Sound the alarm in Zion..... ...........................

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. A Priest sounds the alarm on a shofar

 

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GAMES WE PLAY

37Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: (Luke 6:)

11Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. (Rev 4:)


"Mrs. Jones," says the mechanic. "We fixed the wayward headlight on your car as you asked us to. It only took a couple turns of a screw so we won't charge you for it. But we also gave your car a general checkup and found a few things that need corrected. For instance, the oil needs changed, you have two bald tires, your brakes are shot, your battery is weak, your wiring is faulty, your U joints are badly worn, your carburetor and fuel pump needs replaced, and, incidently your engine and transmission are beyond repair and will have to be replaced. All together we estimate the repairs on your car at around $10,000."


Rather a shock, wouldn't you think?

As extreme as the above illustration is, it is not uncommon, especially in the field of human repair.


"I see," replies Mrs. Jones. "Just change the oil and I'll learn to live with the old clunker the way it is."


We learn to live with our problems. We polish up and re-upholster what we've got, hope it makes it till the next year, and try to conceal its shortcomings to the world.


THERAPY


Therapy is not an exacting science. And though therapists and others in the field of human behavior know this, and will often admit it to one another, they act is if it is an exact and infallible science with those under their care.

Other such exact sciences such as weather prediction and medicine reveal their fallibility rather quickly, and often all too disastrously.

But the workings and the errors of the mind do not lend themselves so readily to exposure. The Psychologist can't just look in a patient's ear and make a misdiagnoses; he has to listen to the words the patient chooses to say to him, and then make his misdiagnoses.


I've heard, and have read of people being helped wondrously by therapy, so I suppose therapy does work. I have lived with hundreds of people going through therapy for years and can't recall one truly being helped. Of course they were almost all declared helped by the Psychologists and therapists, but it was clear to other patients that it just was not so. That is not to say there were not some who made improvements, but those improvements came through the patient's diligent efforts on their own, not through the care of the Psychologist and therapist.


Therapy, I find, is a game. There are many games played in this world, such as cops and robbers who play Hide 'n Go Seek: defense and prosecuting attorneys that play Scrabble with the law, kings and presidents who play Conquest of Nations, and the list goes on.

Games, you see, are played by opposing (and supposedly equal) players. Sometimes there are many players on a side, even thousands in the game of War. Without opponents, there can be no game.

The game of Therapy is no different; Just the number of players being less, rather like a game of chess. Whereas most games played by humans are like those played by animals, for instance a wolf and a rabbit, the game of Therapy is played with the mind, much like a cobra and a mongoose.


The game of Therapy is a rather interesting and sometimes exciting game. And it certainly is a challenging game; Especially challenging for the person playing the patient.

To understand the game of Therapy one must think of it like the game of School. In School it is the teacher's role to instruct the Pupil. However, to keep his job teaching pupils the Teacher must also show evidence that he is doing a good job of teaching the pupils. To do this the Pupils under his tutorship must be making high grades. That is, they must be making high grades regardless of whether they are learning anything or not.

The Pupil's role is very much the same. The Pupil, in order to remain a Pupil and to climb higher on the ladder of success must make high grades. High grades are achieved in only one manner, that is, convincing the Teacher, his or her opponent in the game of School, that he has learned what the Teacher is teaching. There are two ways in which this may be accomplished: intensive study and thereby miss out on the other games such as baseball, the dances, the bar fights, and TV, or the Pupil can cheat.

So then, in the game of School the only way for either player to win is for the Pupil to win, for if the Pupil loses, so does the Teacher.


In almost any other game but the game of Therapy there is material evidence that can be presented to prove that one side or the other had actually won; at least there will be evidence that the game had in fact been played. Such evidence may be the full belly of the wolf, or a defendant in jail, or a battlefield littered with dead bodies.

But this is not so in the case of Therapy. The only evidence of the game therapy being played is the growing bank account of the Therapist, and the shrinking bank account of the Patient.


Like in the game of School, the Therapist must win the game by making sure the Patient wins the game. That is, the Therapist must make it appear as if the Patient has won the game, thereby proving that he is a skillful Therapist. If the Patient does not show improvement, even if it is ever so little, the Patient leaves the therapist's service, and the Therapist's bank account ceases to grow, and his five Mercedes are repossessed.

And like in the game of School, the Therapist (Teacher) has decided that a certain set of answers are the correct answers that must be given by the patient / student. It matters little if all evidence points to the fact that the answers to be given are unfounded (Evolution for example): give another answer than that which has been approved, and you do not win the game.

Whereas in the game of School all the answers are provided for the Pupil who must either memorize them or write them in small print on his sleeve; the Patient must guess what the Therapist has decided is the Patient's problem after asking him or her a few well-chosen questions. This is not as easy a task as it might seem. Although you, the Patient are the one who has the answer, since you are the one who has the problem, you are not allowed to be the one to discover your problem until the Therapist says you have done so. In other words, you may be the owner of the problem, but the Therapist is the holder of the key to your problem.

Again, the game of Therapy is like the game of School in that it requires much time to play. Finding the answers is not enough to conclude the game any more than knowing all the right answers will get you a diploma in School. It is not important that you have learned a subject, what is important to the School (or the Therapist) is that you are seen to have learned it from them.


One person I know very well and have had the opportunity to observe his severe problems in actual practice, especially since they strongly effected me, sought help from a Therapist.

For a year or so he saw this Therapist. In fact he became friends with this Therapist and even dated her on occasion. (I know, that's a no-no, but read what I say about rules a little farther on.)

After years of Therapy, and I don't know how much of the family's money (not his, he had no money) spent, the Therapist gave him a clean bill of mental health. In fact she told him that he had made so many tremendous improvements in such a very short time that she was interested in writing up a paper on his experience.

The Patient was ecstatic and proud as a peacock over the Therapist's acclamations and his apparent new-found mental maturity.

Isn't that an interesting story? But it's not over yet!

Pride, and having "won the Game" causes people to say things they would normally have had better sense than to say. In this case the Patient told me of the stories and exaggerations he told the Therapist. Now I hope he had enough self-awareness to recognize that what he told the Therapist was not true and thereby nullified her acclamation toward him, but it wouldn't surprise me at all to learn that he was in fact self-deluded.

The Therapist in this story, besides having broken certain other rules of the game, did not just sit back and listen to her patient, giving hints here and there as to what the "answers" were that the Patient was to look for. This Therapist told the Patient the answers, thereby allowing him to make a "quick" recovery.

Now, if you were to cheat your way through College, would you feel proud of the Diploma you ultimately received? Or would you feel confident that you were a skilled Doctor ready to perform surgery on the people of the world? I know many do, but I should hope you wouldn't.

The Patient in this story did not make any improvements in his life. In fact, as far as I can see, his situation grew much worse. Of course it might have grown worse without the Therapy, but at least he would have had a lot more money with which to feel worse with.

There is one thing I can say to the good about this Patient having taken Therapy. Even though he continued to have one problem after another, and his problems became more sever and in some cases devastating to him and those around him - he did feel better about himself and he gained an optimistic view of life.


The game of Therapy is a rather interesting game; if you have nothing better to do, and if you have scads of money to throw away.


As in any game there are certain rules that must be followed. That is, there are rules that should be followed, and often are until one side thinks they can get away with cheating, or one or the other player has gained the upper hand.

An example of this is the game of War. When playing War, participants try to stay right on the razor's edge of acceptability in order to try and gain control of the game without causing those non-players who have not yet taken sides to align themselves against him. But we have seen what happens when one or the other side has overpowered the other (such as in WW2); all rules are disregarded because there is no one with power enough to enforce the rules.

During prohibition we witnessed the same thing. Once the "Gangsters" obtained power and the support of the masses, the "Cops" could only try and limit the activities of the "Robbers," those cops, I should add, who didn't surreptitiously surrender and cater to the winning side.

Most people when they "take" therapy know they have a problem. They may not be sure just what that problem is, but the fact that something in their life isn't working as it should indicates they have a problem. Rarely, however does anyone assume they have many problems, or that their problem is more than just a small one (like Mrs. Jones and her car). They imagine that with a couple twists of the psychological monkeywrench they will be as good as new and their life will be the bowl of cherries they believe it ought to be (but likely never was).

Rarely does this turn out to be the case. And if it does turn out to be just a minor problem the Patient has, the Therapist is highly skilled and well trained in techniques with which to convince the Patient he or she has much larger problems then they had supposed (again like Mrs. Jones.)

On the other hand there are those who have a huge problem, and know they have a huge problem(s), who end up convinced they no longer have any problem whatever.

Then there are those who are forced to take Therapy, either by a wife or husband who insists, or through the courts who insists. These Patients rarely seek help because they rarely recognize their problem. They are merely playing the game in order to get the game over with as quickly as they are able. They are Patients who know they are playing a game and are fully willing to cheat in order to get the game over with. In my opinion and experience, these make up the bulk of Patients playing the Therapy Game.

THERAPISTS


During the years I was in intensive therapy I encountered many different Psychologists and Therapists. And through those many Psychologists and therapists I learned many things. What I learned was not what they were trying so desperately to teach me, but what they were teaching me by their lives and their behaviors.

Therapists and Psychologists I found to be those most in need of Therapy, yet the lease likely to be the ones to seek Therapy. It appears as if the "head knowledge" and the Diploma they have received causes them to think they are better than those they serve, and beyond the need of help themselves.

But is this in fact true?

An example or two that I might draw is that of the plumber and the mechanic. Take a 50 year old mechanic who has been in the business all his life and is no longer hot rodding up his wheels. And take a 50 year old plumber who is in the business because it was handed to him by his father. Who, would you say is most likely to have the car that's falling apart and who would have the pipes that have duct tape wrapped around them and a bucket under the faucet?


When I study a subject I pick one I am either interested in, or one I am in need of help in. For instance, at the age of 65 I decided to study music; and I did so with a great fervor, studying many different instruments, even to making a few, and to the recording of music. Was I interested in music? Is this why I decided at such a late date to take up the subject? Yes, this is one reason, but not the main reason.

When I was a child I tried to learn the piano, the steel guitar, the harmonica, and even how to sing. I tried for years, and failed at each attempt. My younger sister, on the other hand, learned to sing, play the piano, the accordion, and even the bassoon of all things. And she did well with them all.

Until I was thirty I was fully convinced I could do nothing right, just as my parents had so often told me. But starting at thirty I began to learn how wrong they were and that I could do anything I set my mind to.

Except music.

I had no confidence that I could learn music, because I had tried so often and had failed, therefore I was afraid to try again.

Fear, any more, presents a wall for me that I must attack and break down.

So at 65 I learned to read music, play several instruments, and to record music. I haven't learned to play well, mind you, but well enough that I get satisfaction from the playing as well as the knowledge that I am no longer a failure.


In the example I gave above of the Patient who was given a clean bill of health by his Therapist, failure was his big fear, as it has been (and still is) mine. And he feared failure because he had failed at so many things he attempted. He learned all he could about that which he failed, even to acquiring a Masters Degree in the subject he failed at most often, and formed a corporation that assisted others toward the same goal. But with all that - the education, the experience, and the Therapy; he still failed.


Feeling like a failure can be devastating to a person. To this Patient it caused fearsome dreams and the impulse to stab himself in the eye. There were occasions he had to fight the impulses and feared he might lose the battle. And his dreams were of being in a great hall with doors, all closed, with him not knowing what was behind the doors, and afraid to open them to find out.

I did not dream of doors. I dreamed of standing high on a ledge of a tall building with no way to get off, so I would throw myself to the ground because I saw no other way to escape the ledge and knew I would fall eventually anyway. I have acrophobia to this day which I attribute to the dreams I had as a child. And unlike the Patient, I did not have to fight the impulse to stab myself in the eye. I would never do that! No, I always had the strong impulse to drive off a cliff, or kill myself in some other way. But I feared someone finding my miserable body and them having to dispose of what was left of me. My ego wouldn't allow that.


I study that which I am interested in. I also study that which I need to learn to complete a project set before me. For instance, if I want to fix my car, I don't take it to a mechanic. One reason is that I don't have the money to pay someone to do that which I myself can do if I learn how to do it; and for another I have grown up around mechanics, my father having been one, and know how they work (or don't work on occasion). By learning what to do for myself, I become more self-sufficient, and therefore more confident in myself.


Therapy is no different. When I was undergoing therapy I studied many books in effort to learn all I could on the subject. I also attended Adult Ed classes on Psychology in order to further my knowledge, thereby learning more about myself.

That's me. And I assume, since you are bothering to read what I write, that it is you as well; that is, you study that which you are interested in, and/or that which will help you in life.


I assume the reason you and I pick a subject to study is the same as the people who choose to study Therapy and Psychology. They study psychology because they recognize that, besides opening a door for a career that will be of service to others, it will teach them something about themselves as well. Does that sound reasonable?

The problem, as I see it and as I have experienced it, is that many of those who study the subject, and receive some sort of Diploma for doing so, now feel they are no longer vulnerable to the misgivings of the psyche, and they believe they have acquired the superhuman ability to diagnose and cure others in but a brief moment of time.

To witness an extreme of this attitude in action, listen to the Psychologists on the radio. Notice how in but a minute or so this "expert" has diagnosed and given the cure to a person they have never seen, nor from whom they have heard anything but what the person has chosen to tell them, having no hint of what the truth may or may not be. Consider how many of these callers are attempting a last ditch effort to correct a problem in their life, and have been tossed off like an old rag by this "compassionate expert" of human nature.

Consider that the Psychologist sitting along side the couch in an office or in the midst of a group has made the same snap judgment. And all too often they have already made their judgment before the Patient has hung up the phone when he or she calls to make an appointment.

Imagine if the courts worked in the same manner. Why, they could clear the court calendars in a month and all the judges could take their long well-deserved holiday.

I learned a lot about Therapy in my years watching Therapists. I didn't learn much about me from the Therapists. But I did learn a lot about problems I had (and still have) by witnessing the problems the Therapists have but were unaware they have.

Of course, I had a great advantage over the Therapists. I was a Patient. And as I said, the Patient can only win, and the Therapist can only win if his Patient wins.

I won because I knew I had many, and serious problems. I won because I learned to look at myself honestly and admit my problems. Doing something about the problems are a different matter. But like Mrs. Jones in the illustration above, I am aware that this is an old clunker of a body I am living in, and I know what some of the problems are that need repair. I don't have to wonder any more - I know.

But the Therapists never won. The Therapists never got me to say that their snap opinion of me was correct. In fact I found that very often I discovered what my problem wasn't by their judgment of what it was.

Of course all the other Patients learned the rules of the game very quickly and watched one another to see how best to play the game, and what sleeve the answers to the questions were scribbled on.


Now, I assume there must be many Therapists and Psychologists who enter the profession with a heart of gold wanting nothing more than to help those in need. But I believe these to be few and far between, if my experience is any gauge. It's not that I haven't seen many who start out with a heart of gold, but when the pressure was applied that made them choose between doing that which they know to be right and that which would allow them to keep their job or status, they buckled like a ten dollar banjo. I'm not berating the therapists on this, they have to take care of themselves in order to help others. But I noticed that when these golden people do buckle it takes the life and the self-esteem out of them that they are supposedly trying to implant in those they are serving.

WRAP IT UP


Unless you are considering taking therapy, the chances are what I have written here will mean little to you. And if you are now, or have in the past taken therapy, you probably already knew what I have said.

Therapy, as I hope you know by having read other pages on this site is not what I am concerned with. In the sense of our personal well-being therapy is a concern, but not necessarily the type of therapy one must pay dearly for.


Therapists are not the only people who play games; not by any means. We all play games in one form or another. Some games are very innocent by nature, such as checkers and baseball. Others are not so innocent, such as boxing and War.

Most of us do not live in the realm of the extremes, that is sandbox derbys and the instigating of national strife. However, even in our own little worlds winning or losing the game can mean life or death to us, like the Patient and his fear of failing.


Games are by nature played by utilizing strategy. Whether the game be a simple game of chess, or World Domination, the idea is to make your opponent think you are going to do one thing while you do something all together different. Within the game world this is the accepted norm, in fact, it is well within the book of rules.

However, in the game of life these same strategies are no longer accepted, although they are commonly practiced. When strategies are used in the real world, they are called "lies." And as lies, they are frowned upon at best. Non-acceptance does not keep strategies from being practiced; it just makes the concealing of them that much more important.

Magic is a game that is entirely built around the principal of strategy. The better the strategy, that is the lie, the more effective the trick.

Trick is the word we use when we do not want to be considered a liar. An example of this is when we are caught in a deceitful maneuver. Instead of admitting our surreptitious intent, we say: "Aw, I wasn't trying to cheat you, I was just playing a trick on you." Of course, if the "trick" is not discovered, and you walk away with that which you were "tricking" the other person out of, then the "trick" is never brought to the forefront.

We, as humans, are deceitful by nature. We want what we want, and we don't want to have to pay the consequences for our deceitfulness. It's not our fault that we are this way; our first ancestors before they were booted out of the Garden did that which they wanted to do, and when caught tried to toss the blame on everyone else. In fact everyone at the scene of the crime tried to blame someone else except the old Liar himself, the serpent. He took his punishment standing on his own two feet...... Well, you know what I mean.


There are essentially four areas in daily living where the game of deception is played. One is in the world of business. In business there are two main players - the one who wants to sell what he has (or doesn't have if he is an out 'n out crook) for the most he can get, and the one who wants to get what he wants as cheaply as he can (or steal it if he is an out 'n out crook).

The second area of human deception is in the world of romance. Again there are two players. (Of course there are times when more than two are involved, but that is beyond the scope of this page.) In romance the purpose of the game is win the girl (or guy) of your dreams by whatever means there are at your disposal. And with most of us, who have very little to offer, that means creating an illusion of having that which you have not. Of course we know that the other player in the game will eventually discover they have been "cheated;" but by that time it won't matter because you will have found out that you had been cheated as well. In the game of romance deception goes by another title: "Putting your best foot forward."

The third area of human endeavor is called "Politics." Included in this category are such things as Education and Investments. This world is so laden with deception and contrived manipulations that I couldn't begin to describe it, not even if I did understand any of it. There is one thing I will say, however, and that is, as far as I can see, not even the players have the slightest idea how to play the game. And as for rules; I think the only rule for the game is to see who can break the rules the best, the most, and without getting caught. Perhaps they should call this game: "The Garden of Eden."


The forth and final area of human endeavor is the main one I wish to discuss. And although this area definitely involves human activity, it shouldn't. Of course the realm of which I speak is the church.

The church, as with all activities on this earth, is made up of people seeking to win the game. In the case of the game of church that means getting as much out of the game as possible without having to sacrifice any more of what you have than absolutely necessary.

In the past, that is the Old Testament church of the Jews, it was required that you give sacrifice for any minor infraction of the rules. I say minor because the consequences for breaking major rules was death, which certainly is an effective way of deterring rule-breaking.

In the present the game has changed considerably, even though the Book of Rules has not. The rules are not altered as they might be in some other games that are played, but rather they are reinterpreted. This practice is not confined to the game of church, it is also actively practiced in the game of Politics where such things as the Constitution and the Bill of Rights are reinterpreted. And it is practiced in the game of School where textbooks and history books are rewritten. In the games of Politics and School the result of having rewritten the rules is the total camouflaging of the original concept for both of these institutions. That is to say they are no longer at all, not in practice nor in result, what was originally intended. By appearance they are much the same, perhaps modernized a bit; but like a movie star or a harlot, what you get is not what appears to be.

At one time in this country, size was a second consideration after that of quality. Because of such an attitude "American Made" was a symbol that not only meant quality, but pride as well. This attitude is no longer prevalent in the U.S of A. It is now, and becoming ever more so, a matter of quantity over quality. This has caused us to no longer produce in this country because it is cheaper to produce quantity elsewhere than it does here. This new way of thinking has not confined itself to those things we own, or wear, or drive - but the things we eat and drink as well. So much so that we are now afraid to eat or drink anything we have not grown ourselves.


The church has also followed the way of the modern world. The things that appeal to business, also appeal to the churches. Quality is not set as a frontlet before the eyes of the ministry; it is size of the church, and thereby the expansion of it that is important. The church is not measured by the number of Holy Ghost led people they minister to or produce, but rather the number of people they can get through the doors. And in order to get those numbers to the door, the churches must put on a bigger and better show than the church up the street.

Madison Square Gardens or church, which will it be?


Competition is the foundation of any game. Without competition a game wouldn't be a game, it would be an activity. Even games we play by ourselves, like jacks or solitaire have the intent of either beating the game, or beating the previous time it took you to complete the game.

It's a part of human nature to want to be the first, the biggest, and the best. If we can't be the winner, we don't want to play the game. And it matters little how we win, just as long as we appear to have won.


The outspoken one is trying to convince others he has the answer; The quiet one sitting in a corner is the one who wrote the book.

The ones running the race are the ones trying to prove themselves the fastest; The one sitting on the sideline holds the record as the world's fastest runner.

The ones wearing the righteous clothing and carrying the Torah in the crook of their arm have the appearance of being the servants of God; The One wandering in the wilderness in a simple robe and eating with prostitutes and sinners is the Son of God.

Those who have, don't have to prove. Those who have not strive to appear as if they have.


Kindergarten teachers have a difficult time maturing in their own lives. Though the teacher may have a doctorate in teaching, he or she is daily overwhelmed with simple, repetitive activities that do not produce growth. On the other hand, a person with a kindergarten education can teach a College course (I know what you're thinking, but bear with me and follow my logic) can eventually acquire a good education himself and in the meantime be challenged to grow day by day.

The churches teach to the lowest form of Spirituality. They preach and teach to those who wander in from the street in order to keep them inside, and hopefully feed them a little milk in the process.

But feeding sheep's milk to goats will accomplish little, and the lambs need to be matured so they can be given meat. But I see very little to no meat given to the flock, and that which is provided is stale and often polluted. Meanwhile, I see the shepherds of the flocks no longer seeking growth for themselves or their elders, but have settled into a lethargic ritual of a base sort.

A large part of this kindergarten attitude comes from the principle commonly taught in the churches that those who have entered the door, and said a few words are now full-fledged members of the body who only has to wait until they are taken into a heaven in the sky where they will be fed chicken and ice cream for eternity. So the church becomes filled to capacity with carnal Christians and infant lambs with no knowledge nor example of the admonition to be a valiant soldier who is to stand fast in the battle, or to run the good race, or to follow Jesus to the cross, or to die to self. When these commands are read to them in church they are heard as nice words with no meaning, meanwhile they sit back and dream of the coffee and doughnuts awaiting them in the lounge.

God expressed it this way:


30Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses, and speak one to another, every one to his brother, saying, Come, I pray you, and hear what is the word that cometh forth from the LORD. 31And they come unto thee as the people cometh, and they sit before thee as my people, and they hear thy words, but they will not do them: for with their mouth they show much love, but their heart goeth after their covetousness. 32And, lo, thou art unto them as a very lovely song of one that hath a pleasant voice, and can play well on an instrument: for they hear thy words, but they do them not. 33And when this cometh to pass, (lo, it will come,) then shall they know that a prophet hath been among them. (Ezek 33:)


In the past I did not particularly care for church services. They were rather like a family circle, catering to the children and the off-the-streeters. I perked up when the sermon was given. However, all too often the sermon had very little meat, and a lot of fat and gristle.

I did enjoy the Bible study classes, until they became more like a sermon covering the same fat and gristle provided at the Sunday sermon.

But I love studying the Word! And I love spending time with the Lord! But, unfortunately (a poor choice of words) I find very few people I can fellowship with (I can, and I do, but I have to keep quiet in order to do so) because everyone is still on the bottle and cannot bear having meat around them.


However! This is changing!

Yesterday I was walking along the docks and began to talk to an older man (about my age) who was working on his boat. The conversation started off simply enough, and then began to die. The topic came around to changes (politics I believe), and I told him about God telling me to shave my beard. The man came alive. We talked for over two, maybe even three hours about the Lord. I must correct that. Usually it's me talking, but in this case I was asking because he had such a fascinating experience with the Lord, and such an interesting way of expressing it.

What was particularly of interest to me was that he had a close relationship with the Lord, and it was easy to tell he was being led by the Holy Spirit.

Yet, this man could not read and knew little about the Bible (in the way many do), but he had an understanding of what the Bible was saying. That is, he understood the simplicity of the Gospel. He understood that this means giving up everything and following the Lord. He knew this means having the Holy Spirit, and that being led by Him is what the Gospel is all about.

He understood, and is living, what I am saying in thousands of pages, without having seen a single word I have written.


There is lady in town, again about my age, who is also obviously being led by the Holy Spirit. She attends no church, whereas the man with the boat belongs to a huge megachurch. This lady has read a little of what I've written, but dismisses it as trivial (which it is), and is not in the slightest interested in what I am doing.

And in the tiny church I attend there is at least one lady (again, about my age - is there a pattern forming here?) who I believe is being led by the Holy Spirit and who has seen nothing of what I've written, and has heard little of it since I refrain from expressing anything serious with them, knowing their reluctance to venture from the doctrine of the church.


I have said before, and I will say again: what is important to me is that people learn that Christianity boils down to just one thing - loving the Lord, which means following His commandments to turn our back on ourselves and our desires and living to fulfil His purposes and desires, which is accomplished by receiving the Holy Spirit and following His leading. I don't see how the Gospel can get more simple than that. All the rest that I write is nothing but fluff to satisfy the palate of those of us who enjoy stimulating the mind.

I believe a person can understand the Bible, God's purposes, and God's will for mankind down to the letter, and be just as lost as the worst sinner.

And I believe a native who is deaf and dumb and can't read a word, but who loves the Lord and desires nothing more than to please Him will be sitting right beside Him on His throne.

That's the simplicity of the Word. If you read more into it than that, or if you read less into it, you have not heard what I am saying.


The reason I write studies is for my own edification, and to show those who are sealed in a can of doctrine that they will never find God's will for them, and for Pastors who are holding His flock at the gate of the sheepfold. It is my hope that, should I be able to get the shepherds broken lose from their doctrine, even but a smidgin, they will then be free to follow the Holy Spirit into the Truth and the path the Lord wants them to follow. Unfortunately, all too many Pastors (as history has shown), once free, follow their own spirit into even deeper false doctrine, rather than follow the Holy Spirit. I assume this occurs because they do not possess the Holy Spirit to begin with, so therefore can not follow Him, nor teach others that they should follow Him.


And finally, Ministers of the Word, keepers of the sheepfold, if you are not moving your flock forward into Spiritual maturity, I would suggest you get down on you knees and seek the Lord's assurance that you have indeed been indwelt by the Holy Spirit. If you find you have not, then you need to do so before trying to care for the flock. If you find you do possess the Holy Spirit, I would suggest you make sure you are allowing Him to lead you, and that you are not being influenced by doctrines that are the instruments of men. This accomplished, and you are fully assured of your own stance with the Lord, I would strongly suggest you make it a primary purpose to bring your sheep to such a state, rather than cater to the carnal and the slow of heart.


In other words, no more games.


 

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