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

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

(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

 

Preface to the Fatherhood Essays

This is the preface to the Fatherhood essays that I am writing.

I have been a grandson, son, father, grandfather and recent great-grandfather, yet the memories of becoming a new father remain fresh in my mind. Severe chronic challenges were encountered,  yet, with God's help I was able to prevail. This collection of essays is about what was learned on that journey from a young man to a great-grand-father. Many things were learned, challenges overcome, mistakes and memories were made; a lot of growing was done by the entire family.

These essays contain the observations, experiences and challenges that were faced by up to 4 generations of fathers. The manner of writing used here may seem a bit severe, perhaps even negative at times. The motive of heart is to communicate the unvarnished truth so that, with God's help, you too can prevail as a father. These writings can serve as kind of a template of several fathers' approach to managing the challenges and issues of fatherhood. I don't think the challenges are unique, but the response to these challenges will be unique. The issues raised in these essays may help you prepare for the unexpected.

In my journey through life, there was almost no training available on how to handle or manage the challenges of life. I had to learn how to manage and how to grow while struggling to keep the family together. These essays do not contain problem solving "recipes". You, your situations, and circumstances are all unique and demand unique responses which ultimately are determined by you.

Sudden, surprising challenges can scramble your life, goals, ambitions, relationships, self-image, and feelings. You can be plunged into an unfamiliar, unpleasant, painful, and confusing world. What is disclosed here are the tools and skills that have been important to be able to navigate such a world and to endure the challenges that were encountered.

You may find these essays a bit "preachy" and be overwhelmed by all the advice that is presented. Be assured that what is presented here is not theory; I lived what is shared here. My initial experience as a father was to make mistake after mistake and almost become a complete failure. It required time to become skillful. These essays expose the reader to decades of learning in a very short amount of time. Give yourself time to absorb what is shared. It is expected that the reader may experience some very strong emotions about this information, just as I did. I was driven to find the truth, so regardless of my emotions, I worked to learn until there was a resolution and I was at peace. This requires time and patience.

Fatherhood is one of the most important jobs you will ever have. As you endure and prevail, your children can learn to endure and prevail as well.

To the Father and Mother

It requires and father and mother to produce a child. A child needs both a father and a mother to raise him or her. This is a biological, genetic requirement, not an artificial social construct based on artificial gender roles. As such, it is a godly human right for each child to have a male father and a female mother to raise that child. It is best that the father and mother fulfill their responsibilities together with unity of purpose. I raised my children with their mother but I am not qualified to write about motherhood.

To society in general

In these essays, I unapologetically use gender specific pronouns which accurately reflect reality. If the reader finds this to be offensive, then my advice is to stop reading. 

 

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

The Quest for Deliverance

Knowledge, even self-knowledge is power. The knowledge presented here is to help you begin to develop skills to stand against the challenges of life that can confront your family. The quest for deliverance can be harmful, unless you understand the risks.

One of the worst, heart-rending challenges is a father's inability to protect his precious children from every merciless attack. Accidents, sickness and disease all expose this human weakness. When these challenges happen to a child, various emotions can be overwhelming to the father and the despair of helplessness can dominate. These emotions can debilitate even the strongest father. Our ignorance about how to proceed can be costly and even dangerous.

It is completely natural and understandable to be driven to find a solution, a cure, just as quickly as possible, regardless of the cost. There is the desire for healing so that life can get back to normal. The attack on the child is also an attack on our plans, schedules, finances, almost everything of critical importance that holds our life together. These could all crumble into a magnificent ruin. A cure MUST be found RIGHT NOW! It is certainly not obvious, but I have found that this is an ineffective mind-set. Panic is never advised. The desperate, singular focus on obtaining (and expecting) an immediate cure can produce additional long term anguish, pain, and suffering for the family.

All 4 generations of my family (starting with my grandfathers) have experienced chronic health related challenges. I spent years focused on and expecting a cure for the challenges in my immediate family. I observed other branches of the family in the same quest. We all ended up without the expected complete deliverance. Religion and the self-help industry provided lots of advice, but few godly results. I have seen people at this point become consumed with anger and bitterness directed at their heavenly father. My response was to return to the scriptures and research each record of healing that I could find, looking for a "healing recipe". There had to be something that all the accounts had in common, something I was missing. What was found was not what I expected.

I did not find a "healing recipe". Every single act of godly deliverance was different, tailored to the individual and their unique circumstances. There was one attribute which was common to a majority of the accounts. This one attribute is "endurance". Those in need endured, sometimes for years. My response to this discovery was to end my singular focus on deliverance. Instead, I focused on "enduring until deliverance". I had a great conflict about this change because it contradicted so much of what I (and others) had been taught. The bottom line is that what "prosperity" religion and the self-help industry adherents believe is that to change their focus on deliverance is a capitulation to the challenge. They believe it is wrong, is sinful, and is dishonoring God. There is much fear associated with this destructive, erroneous, singular focus on deliverance.  However, what I had been taught was shown to be in error, so I continued with my new focus on "enduring until deliverance". This change in focus made a dramatic difference in my life and family. Now it was OK to make incremental improvements without the attending feelings of condemnation, disappointment and failure. The stress and pressure to produce complete deliverance NOW was gone. Virtually every aspect of my family life improved. It wasn't that things got easier or the circumstances changed. I changed, and was able to become skillful in this aspect of life.

All these improvements did not happen overnight; I did not get skillful the next day. No, this required years of patient persistence. The first thing that happened was the release from the emotional stress, condemnation and disappointment produced by the singular focus on deliverance. This release provided more energy to apply to endurance; I became stronger. Notice that I had to learn to become skillful while under attack. It is another example of "on the job training" which we experience. My children who lived through these challenging times learned how to endure. They made these skills their own as they endured their own challenges as adults.

No, you won't find the deliverance you are seeking for every challenge that faces you. We all die of something. We will all be working to improve some aspect of our life when we do pass away. Growth and improvement is a never ending process in this life. I have spoken to other beloved children of God who are enduring chronic health issues. They have not allowed these challenges to stop them from serving and walking with God.

My maternal grandfather had learned to live in this practical way. When his son-in-law, my uncle, became totally blind, grandpa used his contacts to obtain a scholarship at a premier school for the blind. My uncle eventually obtained a PHD in psychology. In his career, he began pioneering research with emotionally disturbed handicapped children. By standing against these formidable challenges and enduring, he became a man, husband and father of great godly value. His family continued with the singular focus on deliverance which (I believe) took an emotional toll on them. The difficulty with their quest certainly touched my heart. In the end, none of this prevented the godly impact of his family in this life.

Things that rob your endurance and peace

When you and your family are faced with the challenges of life such as accidents and illness, there are common reactions which are not beneficial. These reactions, although understandable, actually weaken us. The challenges of life are actually processes of destruction. This process of destruction is designed to influence the victim, close family and caretakers to abandon their self-directed life. You then are bound to a life which is directed by uncontrollable circumstances and overwhelming emotion. It is accomplished through a process of stimulus and response to keep you emotionally upset, hopeless, helpless and weak. Understanding the nature of the attack and its purpose can help you resist the processes that are at work.

For years I asked the questions, "why me?", "why do I have to go through this?" "what did I do wrong?", "when will this end?". You may have asked these or other similar questions. Eventually I learned that having the answers to these questions would not help me endure. In some cases the answers could prove burdensome. It is better not to dwell on these questions. I have provided foundational answer to the question "what did I do wrong?" in my book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity". This book will also help with the obsessive religious habits of self-accusation and self-condemnation.

It is very detrimental to hide and suppress any anger you may have with God. This anger may be suppressed out of guilt. God is much bigger than our emotions and our limited view. It is better to honestly open your heart to him and share yourself with him. You are his child and he will treat you with all the love he has. Yes, I have been angry with him. It may sound silly, but for my own health I even forgave him because of my emotional perception of having been harmed. Some emotions can't be prevented!

There is nothing godly to gain by playing the "blame game". If blame is affixed to something or someone, the next step is to "make sure it never happens again", which is nothing but revenge. All this is actually part of the destructive process which challenges you. It is designed to rob your strength and peace. It does this by keeping you angry, upset, bitter and focused on how unfairly hurt you are. Ultimately you become a chronic victim, consumed and imprisoned by anger and bitterness. There is no deliverance to be had on this path of destruction.

Although it may require some time, when disaster strikes, discard the panic as quickly as possible. Manage the immediate needs but be prepared for the long-haul. Don't give yourself over to anger, bitterness or despair. Share your anger and grief with God. Keep your focus on your family and their needs. For yourself, keep your focus on enduring until deliverance is achieved!

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

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 

Your Values

How well you develop as a human, as a man and as a father depends much upon your values – your integrity, your moral and ethical values. As a father, you can be assured that your values will be sorely tested; you will discover what is really valuable to you.

These values are the ones you actually live by, not the values you may aspire to. In the past, a man's integrity provided the foundation of his reputation. Reputation was part of his identity as a man, it was a component of masculinity.

Your moral and ethical values – what you believe and do – determine your value as a person, a man and a father. Your values determine the expression of your inherent value as a human being. In this manner, you determine whether you will be worthless or priceless, whether your life matters, or not.

A valuable long term self-discovery project is to find the answer to these questions – "Why do I have these beliefs? Why do I have these values? How do I determine what is good and what is evil?"

A useful book about a man who became very valuable to our country is "the Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin". See a description of his book here. As a young man, Benjamin Franklin had to determine his values and build his reputation. His book provides a record of how one man labored at this task and the results of his labor.

My book "Godly Abundance and Prosperity", Kindle edition, is available on Amazon
The paperback is available on Createspace
Leave a comment, or contact me at keith@ksradcliffe.com
(C)2017 Keith S. Radcliffe 

News Links

In the event social media and the search engines stop access to your favorite news sites, I have provided a list of some of my favorite news and commentary sites. In these uncertain times, it is advisable to save a list of your own favorite sites. You should control this list – store it outside of your favorite browser and 'cloud' storage which could evaporate suddenly.

Infowars http://www.infowars.com/
Breitbart http://www.breitbart.com/
Drudge http://www.drudgereport.com/
Rush https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/
Mark Dice https://www.youtube.com/MarkDice
John Brown Vid Me https://vid.me/Iconoclast