Listening

Many of our political leaders are listening to doctors. But not all doctors, and not even a reasonable cross section. As of April 16, 2020, citizens in the U.S. are mostly locked away in homes, away from jobs and businesses, because politicians are selectively listening to the scare doctors. Now we know at least one method the beast or little horn of Revelation and Daniel is going to possibly use to control people in the tribulation. And most of us, like sheep, are going (and will go) right along with the diagnosis.

Funny how people are listening to the scare doctors and not to God. He has been telling us not to eat certain things for about, oh, maybe four thousand years. The Wuhan China virus is said to have come from so-called wet markets, where conditions are filthy and animals are slaughtered right there on the spot for eating, and also from animals such as the pangolin (a little like an armadillo) and bats.

Leviticus 11:13–19 ESV. “And these you shall detest among the birds; they shall not be eaten; they are detestable: the eagle, the bearded vulture, the black vulture, the kite, the falcon of any kind, every raven of any kind, the ostrich, the nighthawk, the sea gull, the hawk of any kind, the little owl, the cormorant, the short-eared owl, the barn owl, the tawny owl, the carrion vulture, the stork, the heron of any kind, the hoopoe, and the bat.

God has designated certain animals for food, and others are not food (unclean). We don’t listen to God, and many of the diseases that afflict us are because we ignore Him and listen to “experts” instead. These experts are invariably wrong, as we see in the many revisions downward in the models they use to scare us into doing what they want. If we just listened to God, and do what He says instead of what the experts say, we would not be in the condition we’re in. The experts are the ones who tell us that pork is okay if it is cooked well and refrigerated properly. Uh huh.

Leviticus 11:1–8 ESV. And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying to them, “Speak to the people of Israel, saying, These are the living things that you may eat among all the animals that are on the earth. Whatever parts the hoof and is cloven-footed and chews the cud, among the animals, you may eat. Nevertheless, among those that chew the cud or part the hoof, you shall not eat these: The camel, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the rock badger, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the hare, because it chews the cud but does not part the hoof, is unclean to you. And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.

The pangolin doesn’t have a hoof and doesn’t chew cud. The pig has a cloven hoof but doesn’t chew cud. So they are not food. Simple, right? Simple, that is, for those who are humble and listen to the Creator of the food and the not-food. Jesus tells us it is not what goes into a man that makes him unclean.

Mark 7:14–23 ESV. And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

In this section of the Word He is speaking of eating with unwashed hands, not telling us to put anything we want into our mouths. If we question what God says, that is wickedness and deceit which Jesus says makes us unclean. When we ignore what He says about eating, it is from the heart with pride and foolishness and we deserve what we get.

For those who are arrogant and “cook it right” though eating it wrong, thanks for the diseases. Happily for those of us who believe Him and do what He says, He will make sure we avoid the worst of the disease effects.

Exodus 15:25–26 ESV. And he cried to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet. There the Lord made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the Lord your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the Lord, your healer.”

Shalom

Bruce

Quarantine connecting

So the churches are shut down in the US because of the China virus, Covid-19, or coronavirus. Most are afraid, sitting in their homes, some with paid time off but many with just their fear. Pastors with empty buildings are now trying to keep their flocks together and are offering suggestions for staying connected spiritually. I think they are finding out that what they really mean by “spiritually connected” is to stay connected to the building and the pastor.

Staying connected to God for my family is easy. None of us has been to church in years, and in my case a couple of decades. It is very simple to stay connected to God, because He isn’t at the church anyway. My family doesn’t need a multi-media presentation with professional singers and speakers. We don’t need a building. We walk with Him all the time because we read and do His Word minute by minute, whether we are isolated because of some fearful disease or living life free and easy.

Right now my family is getting ready for Passover. My wife has picked up some lamb, we are ordering a case of matzah crackers, and everyone has reserved April 9th and 15th as days of rest. Soon we will remove the leaven from our homes and spend a week eating unleavened bread. We will be barbecuing the lamb Wednesday night the 8th, and taking time off from all work. Even though we might not be at a building (and the Church doesn’t pay attention to Passover anyway – they prefer pagan festivals) we are doing it in concert with many others who are also observing Passover at home, so we are connected spiritually anyway. It would be great if the Church actually followed the Word as they say they do. Then we could be connected spiritually with them too.

I don’t want to be “spiritually connected” to people who don’t follow God except in very superficial ways. Our family has managed tremendous spiritual growth, perhaps to some surprisingly, because we are already spiritually connected through the Word of God. It is living and active and binding us together into one Body whether we are in a building playing church or not.

You can be connected with us too, though we may not know you and are separated by distance instead of isolation because of a disease. Read and do the Word. Ignore the idiots who think we have to maintain a spiritual connection to a denomination or other group. Walk with Him in every way by letting His Word into every corner of your life. The connection is His Word lived out by everyone who wears His name or claims to follow Him. Jesus is right there in the Words, and we live Jesus when we take His Word seriously and eat it like bread.

Shalom

Bruce

Greenhouse Megastore Review

We not only do ministry in the form of Whole Bible Christianity with a website, books, articles and videos, we also have an aquaponics greenhouse. If you don’t know, aquaponics is a combination of aquaculture (raising water critters) and hydroponics (growing without soil). The water critters we raise are a type of fish called tilapia, which probably are similar to the fish caught by Peter, James and John.

One of the suppliers we’ve used and decided not to use anymore is the Greenhouse Megastore. The reason is we had poor warranty support for some shade cloth we bought from them about four years ago. Shade cloth goes over the top of a greenhouse to keep some of the sun out and control heat better. According to the website, the cloth has an eight year warranty. This is a manufacturer’s warranty, a fact which they didn’t mention when we made the purchase. Their own warranty is a year, which you don’t see unless you go all the way down to the bottom and find the link.

Well, four of the cloths are showing damage from the sun, and we contacted Greenhouse Megastore about it. First, they didn’t get the email, which we found out after waiting patiently for a few weeks. Then, we sent the order numbers, dates and pictures they requested and still had to email again after waiting patiently for weeks. The support person was gracious enough to offer a 50% refund on two of the cloths, because to our surprise they wanted to pro-rate the warranty, which wasn’t spelled out anywhere we could see. They also said if we wanted to get any better deal we’d have to send samples in to Green Tek, the manufacturer, to be tested. As if the fabric needed to be tested to see it was dissolving because of sunlight.

All this was a typical run-around you only expect from shady companies not intending to stand behind what they sell. I decided to search around the web for pricing and life-expectancy, and to my surprise I found that shade cloth of the type we thought we purchased should last at least 7 to 10 years, with an upper end of 15 or more years. I also found that the Greenhouse Megastore pricing was almost double what others were asking. So I wanted to warn anyone who was thinking of buying from the Greenhouse Megastore or Green Tek to be wary and look around more. In our experience these companies are selling inferior products (at least the shade cloth) for very high prices with no warranty coverage.

Shalom

Bruce

Review of Peppermint, The Movie

I decided to start using this blog to review products, movies and music because so many other websites are trying to control the reviews. There are too many thought police out there, including Amazon, news organizations, and social media. So to hell with them (eventually) and I’m going to start with a review of the movie Peppermint, which was rejected by Amazon the ruthless. Probably because we referred to the best news site around and the source of truthful facts, Breitbart.

We bought Peppermint (the movie) on a recommendation from John Nolte over at the real news website Breitbart.com. He was right on with his review. My son and I laughed quite a bit, but not because it was a bad movie. It was because all the bad guys get it like they should. I’m normally leery of action movies with female leads because they do so many things that in real life they couldn’t do. You have to suspend some disbelief for movies anyway, but in this movie Jennifer Garner makes the female lead much more believable. As Nolte points out in his review which you can read at https://www.breitbart.com/entertainment/2019/09/08/jennifer-garners-subversive-peppermint-is-another-rotten-tomatoes-fail/, the critics panned it but the people who count (that would be everyday people) like it.

Here we are not so narrow-minded.

So there, Amazon and other thought-controllers. Stick that in your bong and smoke it. Everyone else, tell us, do you think it deserved to be trashed?

Shalom

Bruce

Nicolaitan versions

More good news! Nicolaitan: Lords of Hypocrisy is now available on Kindle and we also have it in Audio Book format.

If you try a membership with Audible (audible.com) for two months (first month is free, second month is $14.95) you get 2 free books and we get a bonus. Click on the link below to sign up.

https://www.audible.com/pd/B07YLD91N8/?source_code=AUDFPWS0223189MWT-BK-ACX0-166306&ref=acx_bty_BK_ACX0_166306_rh_us

We thank everyone for supporting us. It’s sometimes lonely out here trying to get the truth out.

Shalom, Bruce

New book is done

Hello everyone. After many months of sweat and editing, the new book Nicolaitan: Lords of Hypocrisy is finished and ready to order. Here’s the cover:

And here’s the first few paragraphs:

On his last visit to Ephesus, Paul warns the congregation leaders about the future appearance of bad shepherds coming from within the congregation.

Acts 20:29–30, ESV. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

About 30 years after this, Jesus warns the Ephesians (and Pergamum) about Nicolaitans in Revelation chapter two. Obviously, Nicolaitans were some of those wolves about which Paul warned. Did the wolves disappear after John wrote the Revelation, or have they survived to populate modern congregations? Did believers get rid of false teachers, or have they spread out from Ephesus and Pergamum in the last 2,000 years and continue to speak “twisted things?” The Church identifies wolves as those who don’t follow “orthodox” Church teachings. But what if those making that judgment are Nicolaitans in sheep’s clothing? Could the “orthodox” teachings be unbiblical? How do we tell? Jesus mentions the Nicolaitans in two of the letters He dictated to the seven congregations in Revelation 2 and 3. Their origin and exact teachings are not clear, but He groups them with other false teachers and those whose works He hates. This is important because Nicolaitans are, in fact, still around; just with different names. They might only be mentioned a couple of times in the Bible, but they have indeed spread throughout the Church/synagogue and have a lot of influence.

Shalom!

Bruce

New book on Nicolaitans

I haven’t been posting much lately because I’ve been working on a new book. The most popular video on our Youtube channel is the one on Nicolaitans, so I decided to write a book explaining more about them. Here’s an excerpt from the manuscript.

The Pharisees. There’s a good chance that Nicolaitans are the Gentile version of the Pharisees. Jesus says He hates the works of the Nicolaitans, and He wasn’t too fond of the works of the Pharisees either. It’s apparent that we can put them in the same group.

When we look at the example of the Pharisees we have to ask ourselves, “Why does Jesus have such a problem with them? Weren’t they teaching the ‘old testament,’ and wasn’t Jesus going to eliminate it, according to the teachings of the modern church?” The fact that He didn’t could be termed an argument from silence, which isn’t a good way to support a position. On the other hand if Jesus was going to change the Covenant that would surely be a huge issue and would have ended up the centerpiece of the controversy. It would also have given the Jewish leaders an excellent justification for the crucifixion.

I’m just saying that, in view of the standard church idea that Jesus loved everybody and the Pharisees could’ve been merely mistaken, it seems odd that He was so wrathful towards them. This is one of the many logical inconsistencies that modern Nicolaitans have generated with their extra-biblical doctrines. If the Pharisees were teachers of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament was being eliminated by Jesus, then why get so mad at them? Wouldn’t Jesus just tell them that you don’t have to do that now because I came to start a new thing?

The fact is Jesus was angry with the Pharisees because they seated themselves in Moses’ seat and did NOT teach the Old Testament (Matthew 23:1-3). They were teaching their interpretations and traditions which had covered over or eliminated much of what Jesus gave at Mt. Sinai. They were “preaching but not practicing” (Matthew 23:3-4), tying up heavy burdens and not lifting a finger to help move them, doing deeds to be seen by others, and shutting the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces while not entering themselves. They twisted the “living oracles” as Stephen called the Law and the Prophets into something that caused people to despair of ever being able to touch God. The Nicolaitans fall into this group of people also. Jesus hates them because they are teaching the same types of things as the Pharisees, albeit in different ways perhaps. Any teaching that causes people to detour from God’s living oracles is hated by Jesus.

One very large fault in the Pharisees illuminated for us by Jesus is that they were hypocrites, meaning that by and large they taught one thing but lived life differently than their teaching. They were play actors. On the outside they looked holy but on the inside they were rotten. In their public teachings they centered on Torah but in their lives they didn’t practice it. They accepted deferential treatment, the best seats at corporate gatherings, dressed differently so they would be recognized, and loved to be called “rabbi” meaning “master.” This is one of the reasons I think Nicolaitans might very well have been (and are) the Gentile version of the Pharisees. They earned God’s wrath because they assigned themselves to speak for God and didn’t follow through in their personal lives.

Hypocrites are variously defined in the Word as “men of falsehood,” “dissemblers” and “vain persons” (Psalm 26:4 ESV and AV), “godless” (Job 36:13, Proverbs 11:9 and others, ESV), “evil doer” (Isaiah 9:17 ESV and AV), and “profane mockers” in Psalm 35:16 ESV. Not a great group in which to be included. Jesus had a lot to say about hypocrites recorded for us in various places, and He also quoted Isaiah 29:13 in Mark 7:6 ESV. “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” We can see that there is not much difference between the doctrines of all false teachers. Just a difference in looks, methods or approach.

More is coming soon, I hope. The book will be about a hundred pages in 6 x 9 format. We will dive deep into the methods, philosophies and dogma of the modern Nicolaitans. We will also explore the damage they’ve cause to the maturity, fruit of the Spirit and abundant life of the believer.

Shalom

Bruce

Going To and Fro

It’s always interesting to me when we have a Sabbath on a weekday. People all around me are going about their daily business completely oblivious to God’s rest. This is most obvious on days like today, the first Sabbath in the feast of Tabernacles because we sleep every night in a tent in our back yard. We are awakened to the rushing sounds of lots of cars driving on nearby roads, people going to work or school or wherever.

It’s like a prophetic statement about the present and future form of God’s Kingdom. Those of us who take in the whole Bible and do it as if it was food and drink enter in to His rest. We are quiet and joyously focused on the Words of our God and Savior Jesus the Messiah, while so many are focused on their own thing. Those who do not pay attention to the Word of God just keep going to and fro, as it says in Daniel.

But you, Daniel, shut up the words and seal the book, until the time of the end. Many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase.” (Daniel 12:4, ESV)

This, sadly, includes many church-goers and others who wear His name but refuse to do what He says. Knowledge increases; obedience and love decrease. In their own knowledge people who ignore God run in circles, busy accomplishing nothing, exhausting themselves with what they think are good things but bottom line go nowhere. When we ignore God, there is no rest. Take in His knowledge, love and submit and just do what He says, and there is peace and joy and eternal happiness.

Shalom

Bruce

Reimagining a Church Insurgence

Frank Viola has written quite a few books with titles like pagan Christianity, Reimagining Church, There Must Be More, Discipleship in Crisis, Rethinking the Will of God and Insurgence. He’s got a couple web sites and a blog and has worked with George Barna who founded Barna Research which is kind of like a Christian version of the Gallup Research organization. If I read his information correctly, he’s also a disciple of Watchman Nee, which is important and I’ll talk about it more in a minute or two. I read pagan Christianity, and I’ve checked out summaries of some of the other books Mr. Viola has written.

I was studying up on his works when I ran across an offer he makes on his website to do print interviews for your book, film, album, resource, other product or service. According to the site all you have to do is send them the information and if they approve you pay $200.00 for it. A nice deal. So I thought, “Hey, our book Whole Bible Christianity seems like a great fit for Reimagining Church. Maybe he’d like to help us promote it.” I figured he must be serious about the problems in the church and finding solutions, and I’d like to help by showing Frank some of the things I think the Lord has shown to me. Since I’m an “Insurgent” I got excited thinking what a great match up this would be.

I was wrong.

I requested an interview, and gave links for my book and website, and said I had read pagan Christianity and agreed with Frank’s assessment of the church but thought I had something to add to the solution. After I sent in the request, I got a reply from someone named Anaya, so maybe Frank didn’t even see it. But since his people represent him, I think I’m safe in characterizing her (his?) reply as indicative of Frank’s attitudes. So in her first reply, she said that pagan Christianity wasn’t supposed to have solutions, but Frank’s later books did and had I read them? I emailed back and said I didn’t have to read them, I had heard what he was talking about decades ago from other people. After about a month I emailed and asked if she had anymore questions. She emailed back and said she hadn’t seen an Interview Request from my email address. So I re-sent copies of our email exchange. To my surprise, she said they weren’t “accepting any interview spots right now because all spots are taken until mid-2019.”

Huh?

If this is true, why doesn’t it say so on the website? Why didn’t she tell me in the first email all the spots were taken? I think I know why, and it doesn’t have anything to do with how many spots are taken. Without question she looked at my book and website and decided they didn’t want anything to do with it. And why do you suppose this is a problem? Because I write in very passionate terms of God’s Law, with so much support from the Word that it is undeniable that it should be a central part of all believer’s lives. This of course in contrast to standard church teaching ignoring the New Covenant and promoting a mystical buddy from out of town who allows any behavior one chooses.

Can Frank do what he wants? Of course. Does he have to lie? You wouldn’t think so. He says he wants to “break the echo-chamber phenomenon that’s in the bloodstream of the blogosphere today” yet it seems plain from their dodgy response to my Interview Request that perhaps echos are all they want to hear.

Part of Frank’s problem is that he sets up a false dichotomy between a “right” and “left” in the church. I’ll let him explain his “Three Gospels.” From a Bible Gateway interview on his site.

There is the gospel of legalism, which isn’t just working for one’s salvation. The gospel of legalism says that if you want God’s favor, you have to perform to receive it. This causes many Christians to live with a headache of guilt and a constant feeling that they are never measuring up.

In reaction to that is the “gospel” of libertinism which says that because we’re under grace, our behavior doesn’t really matter much to God. So we can live the way we want, and God is okay with it because He understands that we are mere mortals.

The third gospel is the gospel of the kingdom, which brings liberty on the one hand and absolute allegiance to Christ’s lordship on the other.

You see what he does? On the one hand the “right” or “evangelical” or “conservative” view lumps together legalism with performing for God’s favor. On the “left” hand we have “libertinism” meaning behavior doesn’t matter. His “third gospel” proposes a liberty with allegiance to Christ’s lordship which includes behavior that matters but without “performing.” How in the world does one manage this, and where in the Word does this come from? The answer is, it doesn’t come from the Word at all.

It’s this kind of mystical nonsense that comes from people like Watchman Nee and others. Watchman Nee is very mystical and spiritualizes the Bible text nearly out of existence sometimes. He has influenced a lot of people, including many in Calvary Chapel and evidently Mr. Viola too. This is why I said I didn’t need to read any more of Frank Viola’s books. It’s all been said before by many people such as Watchman Nee and Chuck Smith. Many organizations have steered away from the Bible as they tried to steer away from what is wrong in the Church. Mr. Viola is repeating the same mistakes with updated language and a nice book cover. He’s just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic instead of invoking real change.

The New Covenant is the Law written on a heart of flesh. What is new is the heart that will do what God says. Jesus did what God said in all ways, including the “Word of the Lord by Moses” also called the Law. The apostles followed the “living oracles” as Stephen called them. The first three thousand (and the next 5,000) converts to following the Christ were all Law-following Jews. Acts 2:46 says they were “attending the temple together. Paul says what counts is doing what God says.

For neither circumcision counts for anything nor uncircumcision, but keeping the commandments of God. (1 Corinthians 7:19, ESV)

The “right wing” and “left wing” of Judaism was not doing what God said. They did part, but they did not do what He said with a whole heart of flesh in love and the Spirit.

Another thing Frank has wrong is his definition of the gospel. The word means “good news” but what exactly is the “good news?” What is the “gospel of the kingdom” biblically? If we look in the Bible instead of making up our own definitions, we find that the “good news” is “God with us.” Hebrews 4:2 says that at Mt. Sinai the gospel was preached to them just as to us.

For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened. (Hebrews 4:2, ESV)

How could this be if the gospel is according to Frank’s definition? The answer is that doing what God says will mean that “God is with us.” If Jesus is really Lord and King, we will do what He says. Since Jesus gave the Law in the first place then believers in the Lord and King Jesus the Messiah will follow His Laws too. It’s not that hard. What is hard is humbling ourselves and doing what God says all the time no matter what.

Mr. Viola is another in a long line of fancy charlatans with smooth dialogue and a pitch that would charm angels, relentlessly marketing his misleading merchandise. But he’s still on the wrong track. Unless of course he just wants to sell books. As I read his blog post titled Scratch a Christian and You’ll Find Out What’s Underneath at http://frankviola.org/2013/11/20/scratchachristian/ I couldn’t help but chuckle. Did I scratch him and find out what’s underneath?

If the cross is front and center, then His body and blood will be our food.

Shalom

Bruce

Keeping Themselves Holy

In 2 Chronicles 31:18 we are given this interesting note.

They were enrolled with all their little children, their wives, their sons, and their daughters, the whole assembly, for they were faithful in keeping themselves holy. (2 Chronicles 31:18, ESV)

King Hezekiah of Judah is getting things organized while leading the people back to God. He and the people destroyed all the high places, cleaned up the temple, and re-instituted sacrifices, tithes and offerings. The enrollment spoken of is for the Levite families in order to receive food distribution from the tithes and offerings. Remember that the priests (sons of Aaron) and the Levites were mainly tasked with taking care of the temple and sacrifices and didn’t own much land for the production of food.

What caught my attention was the phrase “they were faithful in keeping themselves holy.” First, they were faithful, meaning to keep doing what they were supposed to be doing. Second, they were keeping themselves holy, which means to follow the Law in avoiding unclean things such as pork and shellfish in addition to bathing and washing clothes and so on. Third, the faithful keeping of these things made the families holy, meaning separate and different from the usual run-of-the-mill people of the world.

In modern times, as in ancient Israel, there are many people who wear His name yet are not faithfully keeping themselves holy. Many claim to be cleansed by the blood of the lamb Jesus, yet ignore His Laws for maintaining and refreshing that cleansing. It’s as if they think that one shower is enough for the rest of their lives. They also teach against the Law, and persecute those like me and my family who realize that the Laws are just as valid for believers now as they were when they were given and even all the way back to the beginning.

The church, sadly, is not faithful in keeping itself clean. In fact, they are proud that they preach Jesus and at the same time deny His word of life. They do what is right in their own eyes, following the ear-tickling Nicolaitans they have chosen for leaders and mixing the Word of Truth with lies, traditions, and philosophies of men.

A picture that has stayed with me for decades came from the movie The Mark of the Beast popular in the ’70’s. There was a scene at one point after the so-called Rapture of a church that was empty except for the pastor preaching. I have since come to realize that the picture is false. The churches with be full for the most part if in fact a Rapture happens as they believe, because the people are not faithfully keeping themselves holy.

Shalom

Bruce