A summary of major thorns of this era that hinders the Way of Christ
Among all individuals:
- To show-off in front of other people (to exist as center of attention, to display an action or items or the body, to get admired in front of other people)
- To wish to have opportunity to show off in front of other people
- To have a title/position or other symbolic item that is “above others”, by the social status of this world.
- To have the ability to control or command people
- To have the ability, or opportunity to oppress people and cause them distress, embarrassment, or harm
- To have the opportunity to despise other people, and like it
- To wish to obtain status, or opportunity of self-exaltation (as described), that someone else has
- Greed: to wish to obtain wealth, that someone else has
- To wish to obtain material items, that someone else has
- To wish to obtain and use, or control and use, the body of someone else. This is the beginning of all adulteries, fornications, and molestations, by luring or by violence.
- To wish to obtain personal characteristics that someone else has (physical appearance, talents,
- Envy/Jealousy: all the above, plus, the jealous person has a hatred for the other person who owns what is coveted.
- Malice: the product of envy/jealousy. The covetous person has an attitude that if he can’t obtain, then he would harm or destroy what he can’t obtain, rather than let its rightful owner live in peace with it.
- To think about lust, or let the mind dwell upon it (ideas of lust are sometimes planted by the devil, but it’s up to the person to not dwell upon it)
(this is the summary of adultery. Because all further activity of lust, all includes this. Thus, this is why the LORD defined adultery as thinking about lust, Matthew 5:28)
- To look upon objects, shapes or forms, or hear sounds or words, and lust
- To look upon images, and lust
- To look upon people, and lust
- To have contact with people’s bodies or actions, and lust
- Lust + self-exaltation: to derive pleasure from oppressing and causing pain/distress upon a person, and lust upon the person at the same time.
The demon-spirits of pornography often advocate this, and the objective is to find pleasure in oppressing people, not even from lust
- To think about lust, or let the mind dwell upon it (ideas of lust are sometimes planted by the devil, but it’s up to the person to not dwell upon it)
- Seeking comfort in this world
- Entertainment, a great snare that was popularized in the 20th century, it consists of Physical comfort, also Psychological comfort
- Physical comfort (excess of eating, drinking, luxury, and ungodly use of the body)
- Psychological comfort:
Essentially, the purpose of Psychology is to obtain comfort through feel-good of the flesh (all that is underlined in this list).
The result of Psychology is fear and worldly sorrow, and disciples of Psychology would try to escape fear and worldly sorrow, by re-seeking comfort in the flesh (and getting the same results)
- Fear and worldly sorrow (as a result of living life in the flesh)
- fear of death
whoever lives in the flesh is spiritually dead, and all their life and hopes are in this world, without assurance from God, so they fear losing this world. Christians lose the whole world and their fleshly life everyday, in order to follow Christ.
- fear of man (or, people-pleasing)
the result of enjoying self-exaltation in front of people, is fear of humility, or fear of being diminished in social status. So, desire to please as many people as possible.
- fear of confessing a mistake
also the result of enjoying self-exaltation in front of people, even to the point of wanting to appear infallible and never-wrong. In fact, this is a very common spirit in politics. Confessing a mistake would mean admitting that the person is able of making mistakes, and thus not an infallible god after all. Usually, people who have gone astray from Christ, and put their hope/confidence in the flesh, they would go through much effort to avoid confessing a mistake, so afraid they are of losing self-exaltation.
- envy/jealousy/greed/malice/desire to oppress or maintain “security” through exploiting or controlling people:
fear of losing self-exaltation (and trying to gain “security” by coveting/lusting/self-exalting all the harder)
- sorrow of the world
when the comforts of this world are vain and unable to prevent fears (or the evils* caused by other people’s self-exaltation, covetousness, lust), there is sorrow. But because there is no hope in God, this sorrow of the world is merely sorrowful, it does not lead to repentance of salvation in Christ.
the entertainments of this world, also the corrupt peoples of this world, they all seek to exalt the flesh, and encourage people to seek the flesh and put their hope/confidence (and enjoyment) in the flesh, extolling that you have that many companions in seeking or enjoying the pleasures of the flesh. But these very “companions” (and there are many of them) are the very people who then commit all the evils of the world, due to their flesh.
- fear of death
- Psychology (atheist, god of comfort and flesh)
Psychology was invented by atheists.
It was put into popular use by merchants (and some government people) in America, who were eager to “win the hearts and minds of the people” without advocating Christ, because they don’t want Christ to steer the hearts and minds of the people, but instead they want themselves to steer (and control) the hearts and minds of the people.
The government wanted to be able to brainwash some population to believe atheist ideologies (like Capitalism), and also to brainwash oppressed people to stop complaining about injustice (and remain oppressed, to the profit of the oppressors).
The merchants wanted to be able to brainwash people to spend their money (essentially, transfer money from the people to the merchants) and convince people to purchase merchandise that the people don’t need.Essentially, Psychology is a mind-and-heart warfare weapon, a study of how to attack the humans’ mind-and-heart, to induce people to do evil, to keep people in evil lifestyles, or to turn people away from doing good/virtue.
It is designed to bind people’s minds unto wrong reasonings.
Its main use is to get people to remain oppressed and controlled by an evil “master”, distracting the people’s minds so that they put their attention elsewhere, instead of denouncing the injustice and stopping evildoing.
The first user of Psychological-warfare is Satan, in Book of Genesis, when Satan allured through the flesh, and through deception, and managed to steer humans unto wrong decisions that Satan wanted.
In fact, Satan and his evil spirits are probably the designers of Psychology, and it was re-discovered in recent times in the 1960s.
(Much in the same way that what is known in America as “New Age”, – occultism, palm reading, feng-shui, astrology, tarot cards, divinations, “psychics” – are not “new” inventions at all, but really very ancient occult spiritual things, even from the ancient world, and these ideas were created by evil spirits)
Psychology depends on alluring/steering people:
- through the flesh (see Flesh, described above)
by making people dependent on the comfort of the flesh, people become spiritually dead and apart from the hope of Christ. Then comfort can be used to further lure/steer people into wrong decisions, or fear can be used to terrorize people, who are without the hope of Christ.
- through lying/deception
by twisting words, by using double-speakings, by “binding” extra meanings upon objects or symbols (that shouldn’t have such extra meanings), these can be used as stage-props for voodoo, where people are deceived (if they aren’t diligent to un-bind themselves from the voodoo attempt). People can get deceived into thinking that their soul is “bound” unto a certain object, or a certain word, etc., merely because someone else wants to use such an object or word as a stage-prop to symbolize the deceived person.
Then, the deceiver can make various things happen to the stage-prop, either trying to induce self-exaltation in the deceived person (which is only a first step, to fortify in the deceived person’s mind the false idea that he “is” that object, or that word, or that symbol), or, once the person is deceived into really associating with the stage-prop, then humiliate the stage-prop in order to induce fear in the deceived person.
The objective, is to make the deceived person submit to the deceiver as the “master” controlling his life.
Again, Satan and his evil spirits are the inventors of Psychology, because when demons tempt or enslave people’s minds, it’s the same process.
Psychology denies the existence of morality, denies the existence of moral good and moral evil.
Psychology only accepts the existence of flesh-feel-good and flesh-feel-bad, without moral considerations.
It’s an utterly atheist doctrine.
- through the flesh (see Flesh, described above)
- Nationalism (god of this earth)
Nationalism is a way of life where home is a place on this earth, where “brotherhood” is among a people-group of this earth, where “glory” is the self-exaltation of that group of people despising others, where the highest love (patriot love) is to bind the person’s affections upon a piece of land in this world and upon the self-exaltation of the group, where the highest virtue (patriotism) is to sacrifice or commit a person’s entire life to make strife in order to help the self-exaltation of the native-people and the despising of neighbor-peoples.
The Way of Christ is a way of life where home is a place in heaven, where “brotherhood” is among Christians who have similar standards of holiness and virtue and sincere love towards Christ, where “glory” is the praise of God not the exaltation of men (especially not the despising of neighbor-peoples), where the highest love (charity) is to bind the person’s affections upon a Spirit (Holy Spirit) and upon teaching/transforming as many people as possible to become something similar to the Spirit of Christ.
In Nationalism, the color of skin or membership in an ethnic group is the main identity, but then the people of the same ethnic group don’t love one another (else, why, since beginning of human history, are there criminals in every country? It’s mostly done by people of same ethnicity on people of same ethnicity. Thus, that “brotherhood” is by ethnic group is really a myth, a myth that each government is eager to repeat with various propaganda.)
In the Way of Christ, people are alive in the inner-person of the Spirit, the outward body or ethnicity doesn’t matter. The Nationalism gloat on how their outward body characteristics resemble one another (and that’s the basis of common association). But the Christians resemble one another by the traits of Spirit (the heart-attitude towards God, towards what is holy, the love of purity, the love of what is virtuous). And since Christians, regardless of ethnic group, all walk the path of becoming more and more like Jesus Christ, then all Christians resemble one another in the Spirit (and not by outward body characteristics). Thus, all Christians of the whole earth are one people, one nation, a Spiritual nation (an “ethnicity” in the Spirit, distinguished by love of God, knowledge of truth, love of holiness and practice of virtues)
- Capitalism (atheist, god of money)Capitalism is atheist.
Capitalism is a worldview where everything is measured by money. Every activity’s worth is not thought about in terms of virtue, or even of affection, but it’s evaluated as an increase in money, or a decrease in money.
Capitalism’s objective is to accumulate as much money as possible, and hoard it, and use it to exalt yourself, or covet further money and further possession (and control people, which is also for self-exaltation).
Capitalism’s spirit is ruthless Darwinism: the richest survive, and exploit the many poor in order to get richer, or to remain rich. There is no pity for the poor, there is no pity for one another among the rich people.
American Church is full of thorns. The main thought-system functioning in the minds of the most famous (or richest) pastors in America, or the pastors with the most numerous congregation, it is not the mind of Christ, rather it is the mind of Capitalism.
Since the beginning of humanity, Capitalism has been the thought system of the rich people in every society.
Among the politicians (those seeking government positions of prominence and power), the thought system is similar, except, instead of seeking to gain in wealth, the politicians mostly seek to gain in prominence and climb in career positions, to exalt themselves among the people of this world. The politicians are just as ruthless towards one another in seeking or maintaining self-exaltation, as the rich people are ruthless towards one another in seeking or maintaining wealth.
In a Capitalist society, the main preoccupation is money, and love of money (the root of all evil: I Timothy 6).
Within the country, consumerism (massive advertising, which is psychological-warfare, luring people to keep purchasing items that they don’t need) keeps the people coveting and lusting all year long. Their money gets plundered from them by the merchants, because their minds get tricked by the psychological-warfare that is in the advertisings (all advertising is psychological-warfare, using Flesh or using deception to trick people)
Outside the country, imperialism (covetousness against other countries, to plunder entire lands) keeps the government leaders and the richest merchants coveting. Massive amount of money is spent to build armies and spies, and these are used to invade countries to plunder wealth, or used to occupy “friendly allies” whose leaders seem “friendly” only because they are too weak-minded to say no. And these occupied “friendly allies” are then used as starting points to invade or intimidate other countries.
Also, another method of occupying and plundering countries is to use deception, using rich Corporations to sign deceptive contracts with poorer countries, and the contracts essentially grants looting powers to the Corporations from the imperialist country. They take resources (like minerals) from the colonized country, then sell the resources for profit, but the profit goes to the imperial country, not to the place where they were looted from (and the people there remain poor).
This is what the American and European governments have been doing to Africa since more than 500 years. Africa is richer in minerals and natural resources (in the ground) than Europe and America combined. But the Africans are poorest in the world. Why? Because the Americans and Europeans (from 1500s till 1960/1970, using troops and force, from 1970 till now, using Corporations and deception) extract the resources from Africa, but don’t give the value of it to the Africans, they sell the resources, and keep the values to themselves, enriching the merchants of America and Europe (with excess wealth for a few people), and keeping the Africans (many) impoverished.
This type of scheme is called free-market and free-trade, by the Americans.
The misnamed “free-market” and “free-trade” deliberately include the word “freedom”, but it’s a lie, an advertising trick (a psychological-warfare trick). It is not about freedom, except the freedom of bandit-plunder, by the richer country upon the poorer countries.
This type of scheme, same scheme, is named differently among the Europeans, they call it Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It’s another advertising trick, because they want the Europeans’ EPA (covetous plunder scheme, as described above) to get confounded with America’s Environment Protection Agency (EPA), which is a decent government organization in America that forbids pollution and helps the poor.
In a Capitalist society, most people are ensnared by entertainment and advertising, and live in the flesh, and they want to enjoy this world. It is not easy for people to live in the Spirit, in a Capitalist society. Most Christians in a Capitalist society are flimsy Christians of dubious faith, not likely to endure in godly faith until the end.
There is so much fleshly temptation in a Capitalist society, that the number of Christians arriving in heaven is probably not higher than if the same society were governed by Communism, perhaps even less.
- Communism (atheist attempt to imitate Christianity, putting paradise on earth and seeking to attain it through man-centered ideology)Communism is not a major snare to Christianity anymore, because hardly any person still believe in Communism.
Among the young:
- screen-based entertainments (TV, movies)
- veneration of “celebrities”, who are really false gods, in a fleshly way of life
- much obsession about appearance
- much obsession about training the body
- dating, starting even at young age
- A false message that marriage (however, most young ones fornicate instead of marry) would provide “all that is needed” for life.
Among those of “modern” life (mostly in America and Europe, and also in major cities elsewhere in the world):
- an obliviousness to most of the world, who subsist on $2 or $3 a day
- an obliviousness to suffering, and by a mind-trick of the devil, despise any suffering as a problem of the sufferer, rather than evildoing from the oppressor.
- excess of eating and drinking
the food is consumed in such excess, that people consider food as vulgar (rather than thankful for it), and have invented perverse and evil double-speakings for many food-names.
- an expectation among some spoiled people (from excess of entertainment) that they are entitled to get served everywhere, that other people and places should either be obsequious servants, or servile objects, who exist solely to cater to their flesh.
Among the Christians:
- False ideas about Christ’s return are a great snare among Christians.
Here are true and accurate information about Christ’s return:
Christ has been seated at the right-hand of God ever since the resurrection around the year 33 A.D. Christ has been sitting at the right hand of God since about 2000 years, as an adult man. When the end of the world happens, Christ the adult man will direct descend from heaven, leading armies of angels. There will be no sneaking into the world as a newborn baby.
Actions of Apostles (Acts) 1:9-11
(evidently, the meaning can only be that Christ will descend from the heavens as an adult)
I Thessalonians 4:16-17
The order of events:
- First, most Christians will abandon the faith throughout the world. (II Thessalonians 2:3)
- Then, there shall rule an Anti-Christ, who shall exalt himself as god inside people’s bodies
(II Thessalonians 2:3, Matthew 24:15, I Corinthians 3:16-17, I Corinthians 6:19)
- Then, after some time, the sun will stop shining, the moon will stop shining, the stars will disappear from heaven.
- Then, the “sign of Christ” will appear in the heavens (by that time, daytime and nighttime will be equally dark).
- Then, Christ will return with heavenly armies of angels.
Of course, the most obvious test is this: has the sun stopped shining? If the sun hasn’t stopped shining, then Christ isn’t anywhere near coming back, because the sun stopping shining is the pre-requisite.
- A “Christian” kingdom on earth
A kingdom or a government of this world is supposedly set up to take care of its population, with all resources (and all slogans) devoted to this purpose.
But in reality, only slogans are to this purpose, and resources are diverted to self-exaltation, covetousness, and the ensuing envy/strife.
Essentially, the group of people holding power want to exalt themselves, both individually their own persons, and also the collective idea of the government, or the idea of the nation, or the idea of the ethnic group (and from this collective exaltation, from this exaltation of the many, the individuals would extract self-exaltation through their association to the collective).
Also, the merchants of each kingdom/government seek to associate themselves with the government’s or nation’s or ethnic group’s self-exaltation, in order to gain reputation (to sell merchandise, make profit), and also to encourage the government to take-over or sabotage other countries, so that the merchants can make profit by looting/colonizing other countries and other peoples.
Also, the merchants seek to place their own merchants or their merchant-friends in government, to transform the government into an assistant to the profit-making of the richest merchants, in slogan planning and taking actions for the good of the population, but actually planning and taking actions for the profit of the merchants.
The placement of merchants or merchant-friends in government office, is done through bribery in autocrat regimes, and done through tricked election laws in democracy regimes (including making elections very expensive, so only rich people or merchant-friends can take part in elections).
Because merchants are constantly greedy and constantly coveting (wealth, lands, influence, even symbolic vanity), and also because the government leaders are either merchant-minded people, or people who love to show-off and exalt themselves (through the guise of exalting the government, or nation, or ethnic group), the kingdoms/governments of this world are endlessly envying against each other, and striving against each other.
This is the summary of world history, all kingdoms, nations, all the political upheavals, all the wars of this world since the beginning of humanity.
Nothing honorable, nothing glorious, merely patterns of the flesh.
This is why the LORD Christ summarized the entire world history in a few lines: Matthew 24:7-8
That’s all the world history, repeated again and again. To people, it’s different names and locations and persons and events, but to the Spirit of God, it’s merely the same self-exaltation and covetousness and envy/strife, again and again.So, in a government or kingdom of this world (created to take care of its population), the leaders only take care of their population as a part-time activity. They spend most of their time trying to exalt themselves, try to maintain self-exaltation by not confessing to mistakes or even stopping mistakes (thus harming the population and themselves), coveting against other peoples and countries and locations, and scheming different methods of strife, by trickery or by violence, in order to obtain what they covet.
The previous paragraph is the summary of all spies, all the spies and “national security” in world history, nothing more than servants of flesh and sin.
(except, only once in humanity’s history, some spies in the Book of Joshua, they had a one-time duty from God, and there was never spying again in the Bible. Spying as activity or career is denounced as evil by II Corinthians 4:2)And anything “national security” or talk of “security” by any kingdom or government of this world, is for the service of flesh and sin.
This has been the snare of human governments since the beginning of history, because high positions and ability to control people, that exalts the flesh.
There has never been a successful “Christian” government upon this earth.
Because, Christ said that His kingdom is not of this world (John 8:23). His kingdom is love for God, memorization of the Word of God, and spiritual virtues in the heart (Luke 17:20-21).
It is not possible to have a “Christian” government on earth, because governments on earth is a snare of the flesh.
Furthermore, as time approaches nearer and nearer to the end of the world, there will be less and less Christians in the world. Most Christians will fall away from the faith (II Thessalonians 2), so that near the end of the world, it will be a Noah situation, where nearly every person hate the idea of Christ (Matthew 24:30), and only very few people are Christians (Luke 17:26-30).
Predestination is the idea that if a person once made a vow to become Christian, and was baptized, then the person has guaranteed entrance to heaven (pre-destined to go to heaven), no matter what.This is false. Calvin somehow though that pre-destination means only one plan, either heaven or hell.Psalm 81:13-16. God had prepared two pre-destinations for the ancient Israel, one pre-destination to go to heaven, another pre-destination to go to hell, and depending on what the ancient Israel chose (whether to pursue virtue or wickedness), they would go to heaven or hell. Psalm 81:13-16 is Yehovah’s lamentation that ancient Israel did not remain in the covenant of the LORD.
I Kings 9:4-7. God had prepared two pre-destinations for Solomon, one pre-destination for heaven, and another pre-destination for hell. (“house”, in the perspective of the Spirit of God, first refers to a person’s body, perhaps body+mind+soul, then refers to a building of stone and bricks).
Solomon chose to follow God for most of his life, but towards the end of his life he turned away from the LORD. He never repented and went to hell. Repeat: Solomon went to hell despite his great wisdom and great works for the LORD during his lifetime, because he did not endure to follow the LORD till the end.
Christ has also prepared two pre-destination for each Christian:
John 14:23, 15:5-7, 15:10, 15:14
- Imitating merchants: selling God as a consumer-merchandise, seeking to add members to the church through marketing
(the woe of churches in industrialized “modern” life, many members but few Christians)
- selling God as a consumer-merchandise
God is not a merchandise, or a consumer item.
A merchandise, or consumer item, is acquired by a person in order to serve himself. In such a life, the person is the main part of his life, and the merchandise is an auxiliary, a lesser thing to be used by the person for his purposes.
Thus, when God is “sold” as a merchandise or preached in a consumer mentality, the person is the main part of his life, and God is a lesser thing to be used by the person for his own purposes.
In Christian life, it’s the opposite, for a Christian, God is the main part of his life, and his own person is an auxiliary to God, a lesser to be used by God for God’s purposes.The consumerist attitude towards God is common in the United States, because most of the major teachers of Christianity in America, are themselves ensnared in such attitude. They use God (and religious activity) for the purpose of gaining worldly wealth and self-exaltation (including, show-off in front of crowds, and when speaking about God, their real preoccupation is to make themselves admired by the crowd, rather than to make God to be admired by the crowd). Having already the attitude to using God (or the idea of God) to serve their own life in this world, when they teach others, that worldview is encrusted in their teachings.Such people are not living with Yehovah(YHWH) as their God, and Jesus Christ as their LORD (I Corinthians 8:6). A Christian life requires the Christian himself to be a smaller part of his life, and God to be a greater part of his life (John 3:30)
- seeking to add members to the church through marketingWhereas when church pastors seek to use God (and religious activity) to serve their own selves (self-exaltation, mostly), one effect is that their teaching is perverted in doctrine, and they have this worldview that their own selves are the main part of life, and God is a lesser thing to get used (and they really despises Jesus Christ, the other holy men in the Scriptures, and God Himself). The other effect is that the activity of church-building consists of using marketing to add members to the church.Marketing is the selling of merchandises and/or services to seek comfort in this world.
When merchants use marketing to convince people to buy a product, they allure people through the flesh or through seeking of comfort or entertainments of this world, telling people that their flesh has something to gain.
It is not possible to do marketing while telling people that they have to suffer in order to get something.
Marketing (and advertising) is inevitable hinged on comfort of this world, telling people that they will obtain fleshly comfort if they get something.
So marketing used to add members to the church is essentially telling people that they will obtain fleshly comfort if they get “church”.
There is a church in Southern America, where they put entertainment shows (even muscle-guys and models) inside the church, in order to get people to come inside the church building.
There is a church in Southern California where they put entertainment shows in front of the church, spending tremendous amount of money to make fireworks (always very expensive) and also motor-cross (acrobatics with motorcycles upon specially-constructed structures) on a holiday.
There are also churches who seek to establish their reputation as social clubs where guys get to meet girls. There is one in Northern California called TGX (The Great Exchange), and the reputation is that, it’s really “the great phone number exchange”, because there is more preoccupation about guy-girl activity than there is about spiritual advancement in the knowledge of God.
Such method of making a church produces nothing more than brittle Christians ever ready to forsake the LORD if there is any difficulty in life. This is because they aren’t even going to church in order to seek the LORD, they are going to church to seek their own self, and how to please their own self (making God as a servant, and themselves as the master). Marketing only promises comfort and entertainment, and never promises suffering.
But all true Christians know that the Way of Life that is Jesus Christ, is a way of suffering, and all who would live godly in Jesus Christ will get persecuted (II Timothy 3:12).
Those who go to church that function by marketing (their main preoccupation is their “needs”, and not the holiness that God needs), most such people will not endure in their faith till the end, and will not reach heaven. They will falter if there is any difficulty or persecution (getting offended that God doesn’t provide them with a comfortable life at all times, and stopping to follow God), or even without persecution, they will get led astray by various entertainments or various error-doctrines.
- selling God as a consumer-merchandise
- Christian music “performers”
There is great spiritual danger where people who sing worship songs decide to imitate the patterns of the world, and “lead worship” by performing (just like non-Christians showing off) facing the crowd on an elevated platform. During worship, all the eyes of the crowd are upon the singers, or towards the singers (the purpose of the non-Christians musicians showing off), and of course, the singers’ eyes are upon the crowds, who are singing about God and “facing God” (the danger of self-exaltation is great for the Christian singers).”Leading worship” is better done, by facing in the same direction as the crowd. There should be a cross upon the stage, and the musicians would face the cross, and the crowds would face the cross, and the musicians would lead the crowd in singing, and all would face God. This is contrary to how the worldly people behave, but it is God-honoring and it is better for the spiritual edification of the singers.It should be the same with churches. It is unclear who started the practice of having a choir of performers face the congregation (as if making a show). But the result of this, is that the congregation pretend they are watching TV through an invisible screen, and mostly wouldn’t sing, because they think they are attending a spectacle where other people do the singing, and they do the watching. I am certain that in the early church, there was no such thing as choir (“singing specialists” are never mentioned in the New Testament, all are expected to sing), rather, all sang, and all faced in the same direction. This would ensure participation, and keep some Christians safe from self-exaltation, also from putting confidence (and fear) in attention from people.