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

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 

 

Quit Trying to be Good

The following is from my book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity"

Mark 10:18
And Jesus said to him, "Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.

A man speaking with Jesus called him "good teacher", but Jesus rejected this title. If Jesus himself did not regard himself or any other person as "good", then why is so much effort being spent on attempting to reforming people to make them "good"?

The question is asked over and over, "…why do bad things happen to good people?". The assumption of this question is that if a person is "good" then bad things should not happen to them. Hidden away are other, related questions; "…how good do I have to be before I obtain deliverance or prosperity?", "…what did I do that was so "bad" that I deserved this challenge or crisis?"

Again, the theories of the self-help industry and the corporate religious institutions place the emphasis on the individual as the cause of bad things happening. Briefly, the theory is that you must recognize your badness, correct it, and become good. It is the individual that must be corrected so as to bring about the blessings of deliverance and prosperity. These theories and teachings are very ancient, as will be seen.

The book of Job is a record of a man that many would regard as "very good". Yet very evil things happened to him. Not only that, but he was subjected to the kind of abuses that many in the religious realm will recognize. The book of Job is unique in that it plainly describes the actual causes of Job's calamities, the actual nature (godly or ungodly) of the self-help theories, and what a Godly believer should do in such circumstances.

Job's victories were such a stunning triumph that he remains a subject of derision in the religious realm, even to this day. This account of his life provides a complete and absolute refutation of the doctrines and beliefs promoted by the corporate religious institutions and the self-help industry.

There is much that can be learned by studying Job. The care-giver, friend, acquaintance, and employee of those who are challenged all have something to learn.

Are you a mother, father, husband, wife, employer? Does anyone look up to you, or do you influence anyone? Then you are a leader. Those who are, or who would be leaders should pay special attention to Job. He illustrates and personifies God's view of leadership. It is a warning to leaders of the kind of spiritual pressures that this world reserves for those who function effectively as leaders. It is encouragement to leaders, communicating the care and the love that God has for those who function effectively as leaders.

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 Torah, The Law and Legalism

In "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", page 18, I write:

 

 

Ephesians 2:14 – 16

For he (Christ) himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility by abolishing the law of commandments expressed in ordinances, that he might create in himself (here is our fellowship with him) one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.

 

 

The hostility to God that is in the flesh has been killed!
The law of commandments expressed in ordinances has been eliminated, done away with, repealed, abolished!
 
Since publishing this book, there has been several extended conversations about the word "abolish". It is obvious that what is called the "Torah" has not been eliminated, done away with; it has not come to an end. God's teachings about how to live a godly life has not changed! 
 
So, what has changed? What has been "abolished" by the sacrifice of Jesus Christ? It is "Legalism" which has been abolished for those who have Jesus Christ as their savior. The legal requirements have been fulfilled by Jesus Christ; he has been our legal substitute, paying the penalties which were against us. The result of his accomplishments is that we are "dead to the law" as it says in Romans. There is another way to state this; Due to the accomplishments of Jesus Christ, we and our relationship to the Law and Legalism has changed. Being dead to the Law, we are no longer bound by the Law or its requirements. In this case, has the Law itself ceased to exist? Not at all.
 
The laws of commandments contained in ordinances have three distinct sections dealing with: The Atonement, The Mediator and Right Living. The Mediator is Jesus Christ. The Atonement has been accomplished by one man, the messiah, our mediator, Jesus Christ. Right Living remains "right living" without legalistic consequences for us. 
 
Most give lip-service or mental assent to the Atonement provided by the accomplishments of Jesus Christ. There is little recognition in the religious realm of the effect that the Atonement has. 
 
Sin and sin consciousness is a key factor which enables religion to exist and flourish. By deception, religion has stolen the atonement from the messiah, claiming the atoning action for itself. Religion claims to be the mediator. This is why religion and religious people fight so hard to retain sin, sin consciousness and its position as mediator; without these things, religion would cease to exist!
 
It is thought that being dead to the law is equivalent to being lawless. The religious mind, centered solely on the world and on the flesh, concludes that only legalism restrains the believers from a debased life of depravity. This is a false conclusion; the truth of the matter excludes the existence and functioning of religion.
 
Paul states the truth so simply – the law and legalism is ineffective because of the weakness of the flesh. This is true before and after salvation. What is the solution? Paul reveals that we no longer serve or live by a written standard. It is with the flesh he serves sin, yet with the mind (the mind of the new spiritual self or the mind of Christ) he serves the law of God. This "law of God" cannot be religious legalism to which we have died. This "law of God" is revealed, known, understood and obeyed as we walk by the (gift of holy) spirit. This "law of God", written in the innermost part of our being is NOT legalism; it exists outside of the bondage of religion and its man made legalism. Note that none of this invalidates or brings an end to the Torah. Our relationship to the Torah has changed because of the accomplishments of Jesus Christ.
 
Ephesians 5: 1, 2
Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
 
Religion, legalism and sin consciousness will never enable a person to fulfill this wonderful admonition in Ephesians. This is a much greater calling than living by a written legalistic standard. Religion cannot accommodate, facilitate or tolerate such a calling. Note that we are to "…walk in love as Christ loved us…". Christ did not love us by adhering to a written, legalistic standard. He loved us as he walked by the spirit. Jesus Christ cast off his own will and replaced it with God's will. He did this consistently in detail for each specific situation. 
 
Jesus Christ demonstrated that the expression of God's love is personally tailored for each one of us. The expression of God's love and God's will is manifested by us as we walk by the spirit. To walk by the spirit is to sacrifice our own will and replace it with God's will. It is to cast aside the identity of the old self of the flesh and take on the identity of the new self of the spirit. It is by way of this new self of the spirit that we are able to be imitators of God, we are able to love others as God would have them loved.
 
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)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

“Christian” Religion and Culture

Having lived in a missionary family, I can provide first hand testimony to the typical actions of the missionaries from America in the 20th century. There are books written of missionaries from other countries and denominations which give similar testimonies. One such book is "The Small Woman" by Alan Burgess, ISBN 1-56849-184-0.
 
The typical work of an American missionary is to westernize the culture of the people they are sent to. This culture change is not done in addition to preaching the gospel, the western culture is held forth as the gospel. This issue was often the topic of conversation at the dinner table. The western (American) culture is viewed as how one is to live the gospel. It is sad that this belief has resulted in the rejection of the gospel in so many countries. Christianity is held in great disrepute in the world because of the attempt to denigrate and change the culture of people in other countries.
 
American Christian religious organizations typically view their culture and country as a Christian culture and country. This religious culture, its norms and ethical values are viewed as the manner in which one is to live if one is a Christian. The government is viewed as originally established as a Christian government, founded on Christian principles. There is the belief that it exists to promote and protect the Christian religious organizations and culture. This is one reason why the religious public is so obsessed with politics and the protection of religious behavior in the public spaces of this country. Many religious Christians fear that if the government does not behave according to their religious cultural norms and ethics, that their God will punish the country.
 
Christianity, as established and delivered to us in the 1st century, began as a strictly Hebrew sect. It rapidly spread to the Gentiles of that day. It is noteworthy that the beliefs of this new sect were incorporated into the Gentile culture, which did not change significantly. In both the Hebrew culture and the Gentile culture, this sect was virtually invisible. It did not establish any type of institution, leadership hierarchy, or any other trappings typical of religion. This is the genius of the mature body of Christ that was established in the first century.
 
As is typical of most Christian religions, the Bible is used to legitimize their organizations, policies, procedures and beliefs. However, the vast majority of these beliefs cannot be justified by the Bible. So it is with the Christian religious culture.
 
As it is well documented in Acts 15, there was a push by some Hebrews to force the Gentile believers to become observant Jews. There was an insistence that these Gentiles change their culture. This issue was dealt with, once and for all, by all the Hebrew believers assembled in Jerusalem. The decision was made that the Gentiles would not be required to change their culture. A change in culture would not be Godly or scriptural. A letter was written to the Gentiles to comfort and strengthen them in this regard.
 
Acts 15:23 – 29 (NET Bible)
15:23 From the apostles and elders, your brothers, to the Gentile brothers and sisters in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia, greetings! 15:24 Since we have heard that some have gone out from among us with no orders from us and have confused you, upsetting your minds by what they said, 15:25 we have unanimously decided to choose men to send to you along with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul, 15:26 who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15:27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas who will tell you these things themselves in person. 15:28 For it seemed best to the Holy Spirit and to us not to place any greater burden on you than these necessary rules: 15:29 that you abstain from meat that has been sacrificed to idols and from blood and from what has been strangled and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from doing these things, you will do well. Farewell. 

Note the language and what it does not say. It does not use the word "obligation" or "salvation". It does not threaten them with hellfire or anything of the sort.

Paul follows through with this decision in his work, declaring by revelation that in Christ there is no race, gender or social status. These things have no spiritual significance! This does not mean that we ignore our Hebrew roots. In Romans Paul is careful to teach that the "root" (the Hebrews) support the "branches" (the Gentiles). We must be cognizant of our Hebrew roots if we are to begin to understand our new relationship with God and each other.
 
The American Christian religious culture is NOT and has NEVER been a Christian culture. The Christian religious beliefs and organizations have more in common with the ancient Greek and Roman pagans than they do with the believers of the first century!
 
We never had a Christian government. Our government has no obligation to protect or promote religious expression in public. It was never formed for that purpose. Just as it would be inappropriate for our government to enforce sharia law, it is inappropriate for it to enforce the laws and obligations of any other religion; that includes any current "Christian" religion.
 
As it has always done, religion continues to be one of the vicious, negative influences in the world, stirring up trouble where there is none. 
 
Christianity was never meant to be a religion; in truth it is a faith without religion. This faith is to set people free from fear so that they can live as never before; they can love as never before. 
 
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)2014 Keith S. Radcliffe 

 

 

 

 

Godly Abundance and Prosperity

The end of 2013 is rapidly approaching. With the start of the new year, many have a desire for a transformed life and circumstances. In order to effect such a transformation, there exists a plethora of religious organizations which teach a variety of "prosperity" doctrines, practices and recipes for the needy and greedy. This religious "industry" uses the Bible to legitimize their doctrines, practices, and the appeals to transfer cash from your pockets to their bank accounts. 
 
I am one who has journeyed through this industry and have seen first-hand the lack of results, the lack of transformed lives. Year after year, people and families remain impoverished without obtaining the promised "abundance and prosperity". So often God is blamed for the lack, or the individual Christian is left wondering what they did wrong.
 
This raises some questions:
What does the Bible really teach about prosperity?
How does the Bible define prosperity?
Those being devoured by poverty question what they have done wrong, why bad things are still happening to them
If these beliefs and expectations are accurate then why are so many failing to obtain prosperity for themselves and their families?
If these beliefs and expectations are not accurate, why are they being promoted? Why are so many being deceived?
 
Additionally, the doctrines and prescriptions of this religious industry ignore other spiritual factors which influence life and the challenges we all face

After spending several years researching these issues, I composed a series of teachings which answered these questions. This series formed the basis of the book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". For those who heard these teachings, it was a life changing experience. Among other things,
They stopped sending their hard earned money to the religious institutions, using it for the needs of their family instead
Expectations were changed since they learned how "prosperity" is defined Biblically
The basis for self condemnation was eradicated
One of the participants reported that "…no one will ever control me again…"
 
It is the goal of this book to expose religious error by exploring the Biblical and spiritual aspects of prosperity. Thus, Christians can stop being exploited by those who would decieve them.
 
This research is now available in the book, "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". The Kindle edition is now available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00HKJKXHE
The paperback is available at https://www.createspace.com/4552448
 
Front Cover
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(C)2013, 2014 Keith S. Radcliffe