Faith Without Works

What is faith?

When discussing faith in religious circles, it is often said that, "…faith without works is dead." This quotation from James 2:26b is yanked out context such that the popular understanding of this verse is completely twisted and unbiblical. Even study of the context will yield little, unless the dark "religious eyeglasses of blindness" are removed and put aside.

The common religious understanding of this verse is as follows:

Your religious beliefs have no effect if you do not produce charitable works which are instigated, directed and validated by the religious institution which you belong to. You must obediently provide the resources (time, talents and money) in accordance with instructions and approval from the religious leaders who are responsible for you.

The common religious understanding, as stated above, has absolutely nothing to do with the verses in James chapter 2.

The words "faith" and "works" (in this context) have been misunderstood for centuries, since western religion has redefined them. Religion had to redefine these words as the institution and its' audience became less and less spiritual. The unspiritual audience could be accommodated and the spiritual audience could be suppressed and controlled.

The quotation is a figure of speech called "oxymoron". With the correct biblical understanding of the words "faith" and "works", it can be understood that "faith without works" is an impossible condition which cannot happen.

Faith is kinetic, energetic and powerful. It is NOT a mental process which conforms to a particular world or religious point of view. The apostle Paul states that the life he now LIVES he LIVES by the faith of Jesus Christ! He is not discussing an ethical or a religious system.

It is important to understand that the Greek word for "faith" is the same as the word for "believe". As illustrated in Hebrews 11, holy spirit upon a person is required for that person to exercise "faith" or "believing". This is what brings to pass the power of God in the senses realm in order to accomplish the will of God. It is this kinetic, energetic "faith" which pleases God.

Noah had faith

The account of Noah in Hebrews 11:7 illustrates how this works.

[7] By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. By this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness that comes by faith.

Noah was first "…warned by God…" which is revelation, including word of knowledge and word of wisdom. Knowledge about future events, Wisdom instructing what to do about them. When Noah moved to obey what he had heard, faith or believing was energized. These works required the power of God in operation. No man simply using his own resources and efforts could ever accomplish what Noah did. No man, by his own efforts could "condemn the world" or become an "heir of righteousness".

We have faith

As it worked with Noah, it works with us. God, via the gift of holy spirit, provides knowledge and wisdom. Moving with obedience on these instructions will cause faith, or believing to be energized and the power of God goes into operation. If you are instructed by revelation to speak, and you obey, you then speak by faith, or believing. If you are instructed by revelation to shut up, and you obey, you are silent by faith, or believing.

Galatians 5:5

For through the Spirit, by faith, we ourselves eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.

The manifestation of holy spirit is required for anyone to endure in this world, eagerly anticipating the return of Jesus Christ. This is how we perform the works of God and how we worship him in spirit and in truth. This is how we please him.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is available at Amazon
The paperback is available at CreateSpace
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2018 Keith S. Radcliffe

The Spirit of God vs Religion

We were a missionary family in South Korea 56 years ago. One day, my father and I were traveling by train. While we traveled, he told me a story which illustrated to me the operation of the spirit of God and the operation of the religious spirits (religion). What follows is the short story he related to me.

Before world war 2, missionaries traveled to Ethiopia, in Africa. There they met people who had never heard the gospel. Part of their work was to learn the language and produce a bible in this new language. They had just released a translation of the Gospel of John when they had to evacuate. The war had started.

While the missionaries were gone, the local people read the Gospel of John and shared it with one another. Some even believed what they read and the associated signs, miracles and wonders began to be produced! These events continued and were so remarkable that this news trickled out of these remote areas and even reached the ears of the missionaries.

(Note that the works of God sprang up without any corporate "churches", its' hierarchy, doctrines, theology, or rituals. Isn't that something?)

After the war was over, missionaries returned to this area in Ethiopia as quickly as possible. They worked very hard to convince these new believers that what they were doing, the wonderful works they were producing were wrong. In a short time, the remarkable signs, miracles and wonders ceased.

After hearing this story, my heavenly father showed me that religion denies the power of God and will do all that it can to interfere with His working.

The lesson is that religion will NOT help you live powerfully with God, doing HIS will. In fact the spirits that work in religion will obstruct God, His will, and you in any way that they can. What do you want to work? Whose will do you want to perform? These are questions for each of us to personally answer and act upon. You are empowered and authorized through the accomplishments of Jesus Christ to live the faith without religion.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
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(C)2018 Keith S. Radcliffe

The Mark of the Beast

Understanding the mark of the beast

Since the book of Revelation is not very well understood, the "mark of the beast" is not understood. For those seeking, religious doctrine and systematic theology will not produce an answer of peace.

The context of the "mark of the beast" is found in Revelation chapters 12, 13 and 14. These chapters should be read when studying this topic.

Here is a brief answer to the question "What is the mark of the beast?": The beast is a metaphor which represents the economic, political and religious systems of this world. It includes the institutions, laws, practices, policies, procedures which originate from the dragon, which is a metaphor for the god of this world, satan, the devil.

The mark of the beast cannot be separated from the worship of the beast, which is actually indirect worship of the dragon. The mark is a mental state of complete, committed agreement with and allegiance to the systems of this world. Understand that simply receiving a physical mark, barcode, serial number, or microprocessor on or in your body is not the actual "mark of the beast". It is a mental state of will, logic, allegiance and commitment which results in the actual, true worship of the systems of this world, the beast.

The account in Revelation 12 began thousands of years ago, just after the fall of mankind. The dragon, the two beasts and the image of the beast are all active and functioning today. The worship of the beast and its mark exist today. Yet, not all the population of the world accept the mark or worship the systems of this world. Some of each generation die because of their rejection of such worship and the mark. What has not yet come to pass is the 42 months mentioned in chapter 13.

Until that time, we still have the freedom to stand against the rulers of the darkness of this world in thought, word and deed. Although we live in this environment of corruption which is built against us, we can endure with the new spiritual nature which is in each of us by way of the accomplishments of Jesus Christ. Never fail to worship God in spirit and in truth.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is available at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448

Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com

(C)2018 Keith S. Radcliffe

Religion

Religion was inspired by the god of this world thousands of years ago. Its beginning is documented in Genesis 4:26b which has been mistranslated for centuries. The correct translation is generally known, but is not taught much. Here is the verse with the correct meaning:

 

Genesis 4:26b

"…then began men to profane the name of the Lord."

 

At this point in time, men began calling their idols by the name of the Lord. This activity continues today; it has been normalized so that almost no one notices it.

 

It is difficult for anyone to go beyond what they have been taught. The world and its institutions have taught us many ungodly things which has caused all of us to stumble and miss the mark. So, no one should fall into self-condemnation because of what is written next.

 

In the 1970's I noticed that mentioning 'god' or 'truth' in conversation, the discussion immediately changed to one about 'religion'. It was very difficult to stop this from happening. About 10 years ago, I discovered that 'religion' IS 'god' in most people's thinking. Religion, all religion, is an idol. There is no one 'true' religion, they are all false.

Remember this – the God and Father of Jesus Christ is NOT religion and religion is NOT God.

 

The top priority of any institution, especially religious institutions, is self-preservation. Every other consideration is secondary. In order to survive, a religious institution must become a business, it must generate a revenue stream. In the religious organization, there is no room, no place for the God and Father of Jesus Christ, Truth, or anyone who is manifesting holy spirit. Religion is used to control non-spiritual people. It is used to identify spiritual people and to shut down their functioning.

 

The religious violence experienced today is simply a religion realizing its full potential. All religions are capable of this kind of extreme vicious activity.

 

The "church" organizations in existence today are not biblical, they are not part of the 1st century church. Their practice, beliefs and doctrines basically originate from Greek and Roman paganism.

The religious institutions need you much more than you need it. You are one with God through Jesus Christ. Nothing stands between you and God. You have Christ In You, the institution does not. Whether you choose to continue to attend "church" or not is between you and God. God is holy and good, religion is not. You can worship God and stand with Him anywhere.

 

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available.

The paperback is available here.

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(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe

Origin of the Rapture

What is the origin of the "rapture" doctrine? Is it biblical? The doctrine of the "rapture' was my favorite, most loved doctrine. Several years ago, a friend researched the doctrine and looked into this question. While discussing the research with him I remembered one related verse which should have arrested my attention years ago!

 

The result of the research is written in the book, "The Unorthodox Believer". Here is a short excerpt from the book which shares the origin of this doctrine:

 

The rapture teaching originates in Glasgow, Scotland with a group called the “Irvingites” around 1830. Prior to that, the rapture doctrine was unknown by any theologian, priest or monk or nun, unknown for 1,800 years. A European theologian named, John Nelson Darby, heard this new doctrine in Scotland and traveled there to interview the Irvingites. He found that it originated with a young women who was ill and bedridden. She had nothing to do but read her King James Bible. She knew nothing about biblical culture and nothing about biblical languages and nothing about the Old Testament. She was not even schooled with any theological studies either. The rapture doctrine was completely her own interpretation – by a vision she claimed. It was appealing for sure, to have a teaching that God will swoop away believers before experiencing the worst troubles to come. Darby, adopted the teaching, wrote it up and preached it. He include it in his commentaries. The teaching spread and by the late 1800's had spread to nearly all churches in both Europe and the Americas due to Darby's notoriety – he was trusted to be truthful without proof or challenge. Some of Darby's followers migrated to American and a few founded Seminaries and Bible Colleges where the rapture doctrine was taught as gospel … along with a few other non-biblical teachings like dispensationalism.

 

This discovery brings up other questions which are discussed in the book.

 

Before sharing the verse I mentioned, know that it is built on what was written in Ephesians chapter 2; the Jews and Gentiles are both created as a "new man", so making peace.

 

Ephesians 4:4

4: 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you too were called to the one hope of your calling,

 

This "one body" does not refer to the institutional corporate churches in existence today. It refers to the body of Christ which includes every person who has, is, or will be born from above (aka born again). It includes both Judean and Gentile. We all share in the promise of Abraham, which provides the foundation of our hope*. This is a KEY truth – there is ONE hope of our calling, not 2 not 3. This hope is common to both Jew and Gentile. Thus, we cannot expect to have something different happen to us, in Christ which is different for the Judeans, including Abraham.

 

On the basis of the evidence, I had to discard the doctrine of the "rapture". The truth makes MUCH MORE sense, especially given what has been happening in the rest of the world lately. There is not much that stands between the believers in this country and the terrible persecution that is happening elsewhere. Don't think for a moment that "…it can't happen here". We have been tremendously favored, but must continue to be vigilant and strong to endure.

 

There is more to learn about this subject – find out for yourself!

Here is a link to the book,  "The Unorthodox Believer".

 

*"hope" is not used in the bible in the same way that we use the word. It refers to events and promises that are not available today, but will be available in the future.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available.

The paperback is available here.
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com

(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe

 

The “God” Question

Almost everyone knows the "God" question; it is almost a cultural icon. Most already have an instinctive response to it. When this question is asked, the mind is propelled into a predictable, conditioned reaction. A ritual of rhetoric begins which excludes genuine, critical thought and meaningful discussion.

As has been observed, the "God" question is really about religion and religious doctrine; "God" has nothing to do with the question. When the rhetorical ritual is finished, we have learned about philosophical and religious positions. We have learned about the debating abilities of those involved. This ritual has provided a cloak of darkness for the participants to hide behind.

If you have not guessed by now, the iconic "God" question is, "Do you believe in God?". Here is a question that can be asked of all, which could prompt a more honest, thoughtful response: "Who or what do you worship?", or, "Who or what do you serve?" Without exception, everyone worships someone or something; everyone serves someone or something. Even the professing Christian serves someone or something. Even the professing atheist serves someone or something. Everyone has a personal god that they worship and serve. Usually it is multiple gods that are held in reverent, loving esteem. These are gods such as money, self, appetite, fame, and family. The pantheon of gods worshipped and served are too numerous to list.

Ultimately, whatever is the first love of your heart is what you will worship and serve. These hidden gods should be sought out, revealed and discussed.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE

The paperback is available at 
https://www.createspace.com/4552448
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe 

Question of Legitimacy

For centuries, societies have all been very concerned with the question of legitimacy. "Who has and who has not been born into a socially, religiously, and legally recognized marriage?" Ultimately, this question concerns who is and who is not spiritually acceptable. This question was applied to Jesus; some conclude that he is illegitimate. This conclusion can influence some ill advised spiritual decisions.

The question of legitimacy cannot really be settled by "facts", opinions and information that come to us from society and institutions in the physical realm. Spiritual questions require information from the spiritual realm. When dealing with such questions it is important to remember:

"What God respects and esteems is an abomination to the world. What the world respects and esteems is an abomination to God."

Many have been rejected, treated cruelly and shamefully by family and society at large because of this question of legitimacy. Even today, the consequences of being branded as "illegitimate" can lead to needless pain and suffering.

When dealing with this question, its' spiritual aspect is usually neglected. I have known several people who could be considered "illegitimate"; yet each one of these individuals have "Christ in them" and walk with God. This truth wreaks the very notion of "legitimacy". Consider that God knew each one of these people and called them before the beginning of the world! Consider also, that

"…what God has called 'clean', let no one call 'unclean'…"

When it comes to the question of legitimacy, begin with the spiritual aspects; seek what God has to say about the matter. His answer will often contradict what everyone else has to say. There may be social consequences for respecting what God respects, so be strong, be ready.

Finally, the world will use any excuse to inflict abuse. Legitimacy is just one of the many excuses. Social acceptance is not something to value or seek. The one thing we can depend upon is the acceptance of God; respect His acceptance above everything else, even above your own feelings about yourself.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at Amazon
The paperback is available at Createspace
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2016 Keith S. Radcliffe 

Christian Antisemitism

apostle-paul-in-prison-editDoes your Christian religious institution officially sanction and approve antisemitism? Unless it has published documentation of an official policy against antisemitism, then the answer to this question is "yes". With few exceptions, Christian religious institutions are Roman in nature with a tradition and official policy of antisemitism.
 
Most all corporate Christian religious institutions retain the Roman influence in their theology, beliefs, policies and rituals. The influence of the Roman empire existed in the first 4 centuries of the Common Era. This predated the start of the Greek Orthodox religious institutions which retain such influences as well.
 
Antisemitism in the Roman empire predated the day of Pentecost in Acts. For a time, the disciples of Jesus Christ, both Jew and Gentile, were viewed as a sect of the Jewish religion. This view was one which could bring much trouble to the Gentile believers. If these Gentiles were viewed as Jewish converts, they would be subject to the antisemitic policies and practices of the Roman empire.  They could be forced to pay grievous taxes or even lose their lives. These practices provided the practical incentives for the Gentile believers to distance themselves from their Jewish origins.
 
As recorded in Acts 20:29 – 35, even before the death of the apostle Paul, divisions among the believers occurred. Paul warned the elders at Ephesus about the divisions. Gentile elders and others of ability within the Christian assemblies began to pervert the gospel and the teachings of the apostles for their own personal gain. They began to draw away disciples to follow them instead of remaining disciples of Jesus Christ. The perverted doctrines and divisions resulted in the establishment of bishops as religious rulers. Religious power was concentrated in the Gentile bishops, due to the fact that the Gentiles outnumbered the Jewish believers.
 
Once the Gentile assemblies of the disciples of Jesus Christ were incorporated into the Roman Empire as an official religious institution, the antisemitism of the empire became the official policy of the Roman Church.
 
In order to promote, establish and enforce the practice of antisemitism, it was necessary to develop doctrines which were in agreement with antisemitism. This practice eliminated the influence of the Jewish believers and helped to consolidate the power of the Roman Gentile bishops. In the Roman church these doctrines established the tradition of institutional hatred, persecution and even murder of the Jews, including the Jewish believers.
 
One such class of doctrines have been produced by "replacement theology". Briefly, this theology attempts to use the Bible (written by Hebrews, Jews) to prove that the Gentile Roman church has replaced both the nation and religion of the Jews. Of course the apostle Paul and his writings are critical to this theology. Given the history of the early Roman church, and its' institutional requirement of antisemitism, it is easy to understand that Truth is not a priority when developing "replacement theology" or related doctrines. 
 
Antisemitism was not eliminated during the reformation, but was embraced and established in the Protestant religious institutions. The Protestant institutions did not  reject their Roman background or theology. The theology, doctrines and tradition of antisemitism is common throughout the corporate Roman religious institutions to this day.
 
It can be stated with great confidence that the apostle Paul, a "Hebrew of the Hebrews" (Philippians 3:5), was not a self hating antisemite! The writings of the apostle Paul cannot be correctly used to justify any form of antisemitism, any related theology or practice. Truthfully, the Bible cannot be used to justify antisemitism; it was written by "holy men of God" who were Jews!
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

Biblical Enigmas

Bible Study Enigmas

The Bible was originally written by and for people of the ancient middle east. Its' language and cultural background are alien to those with a modern western cultural background. It is rare for Biblical scholars to recognize these cultural differences when producing their theological works. For the most part, Biblical scholarship, theology and Christian religious practice is confined to a Greek/Roman philosophical box. This condition has existed since the 2nd century CE.
 
There exists an unused option for interpreting scripture which does recognize the ancient cultural background of the Bible. This technique uses Biblical Cultural Anthropology. So, what is this and how do you apply it to your Biblical studies? There are now some resources available which will help answer this question and many other questions. 
 
My friend, John Brown has written and published 3 booklets entitled "Bible Study Enigmas", volumes 1 – 3. These books are "intended to benefit the average pew sitter". They are written simply, without a lot of jargon and theological language.
(An Enigma is "a person or thing that is mysterious, puzzling or difficult to understand.)
 
In these 3 volumes, cultural anthropology is applied to general biblical topics, the New Testament and to general biblical topics.
 
Volume 1 handles the following topics:
 
Who is "us" in Genesis?
What is the Afterlife?
What is Biblical Inspiration?
What is the True Israel?
What is a God-Man Messiah?
 
Volume 2 topics:
 
Hebrew Language Idioms
First Century Culture
Rabbi Yeshua
Pentecost Festival
Pharisee Saul
 
Volume 3 topics:
 
Hebrew Circles in History
Original Story Episodes
Biblical Giants
Sky-Gods and Demons
End Time Conditions
 
Here is the link to John Brown's Author page on Amazon.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

The Twisted Theology of Climate Change

The threat of human produced climate change has resulted in a twisted theology from the scientific community. For decades the scientific establishment has worked diligently to become completely atheistic, to rid itself of any theistic influence or belief. Yet, somehow, with the advent of the threat of human produced climate change, the scientific establishment has somehow regressed, embracing theism which it had discarded, long ago. In the process of finding religion, there are scientific, atheistic doctrines which it has discarded.
 
Darwinism holds that the human species is nothing but an animal, produced by natural evolution, simply a product of nature which is no better or worse than any other animal. Using this doctrine, science rid itself of the theistic doctrines of human dominion, human sinfulness, a human messiah, the need for salvation and God, the creator of humanity and the universe. This scientific doctrine seems to have been discarded.
 
Climate change theology holds that the human species is not natural; it somehow is capable of unnatural activities. It follows then, that these unnatural activities are wrong, evil, and damaging. Thus, climate change theology has reincorporated the theistic doctrine of the sinfulness of man! Climate change theology resurrects the theistic doctrine that the human species has dominion (rulership) over the natural realm. Thus, given its position as ruler and its unnatural activities, this species alone has the capacity to destroy the life functions of this planet and is doing so. 
 
Climate change theology holds that this species is ethically required to use its position of rulership and its unnatural abilities to heal the planet and to conserve any threatened animal life, plant life and any ecological functions. This doctrine forgets and negates another tenet of Darwinian theology, which holds that any species that does not change or evolve will die. The lesson of Darwin is clear; the very act of conservation produces the doom of extinction.
 
The climate change theology even has a doctrine of salvation and a messiah! The messiah of climate change theology is government, the so called "policy makers". Salvation is attained when we, the contaminated electorate, sacrifice our liberty and our incomes on the altar of science and politics. The messiah of climate change, the government policy makers, will ensure that the planet is healed. Thus Science and Politics will bring forth Paradise. If we do not comply, we are all doomed to the hell of an overheated planet where we will burn for eternity.
 
Science has become a religion, it has taken upon itself the very egotistical role of the maker of gods. The scientific establishment has become the institution of ethical standards, determining and pronouncing what is good and what is evil.
 
Science embraces theism when it is in their favor to do so, especially when they get to make the gods.
 
My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is now available at
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2015 Keith S. Radcliffe