Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of Earth all one's lifetime. (Twain ~ Innocents Abroad Roughing It)
Mark Twain was surely a reader; however, most everything that's published, is written by a select few and (foremost) representative of those few. This is true with all we read (even the peer reviewed). What Twain meant by this quote therefore, is that seeing life for yourself, through the personal experiences of travel, trials and hardship, is mind-expanding; well beyond the world once brought to us locally, via the reading of books or periodicals (as important as those resources are). Twain critics were the baited pets of the wealthy, who could afford a public voice (just like it is today): The concentration of media ownership and media bias is perennial. (See the documentary: The Brainwashing of My Dad).
But this is the general idea, when using the terms enculturation, and the subsequent state of ethnocentrism: It is simply the difference between learning your own culture, but remaining master of your own perspective (via critical thinking), versus being controlled by your culture; being shaped by and cocooned within your micro-experiences; rarely (if ever) thinking outside the (proverbial) shoebox of enculturation, much less living outside it continuously (e.g. being drones of the car cult).
The bulk of humanity will remain in their cultural shoeboxes for life, oblivious to the much-much greater things, beyond the box: They go along in a perpetual state of monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot, willingly, from cradle to grave (Matt 15:13-14), as mindless automatons with few if any original thoughts. The natural man is limited to indoctrination and empiricism; but we have the mind of Messiah (1Co 1:10; 2:12-16; Php 2:1-5).
Even these writings overwhelm them; they will read a paragraph or two and they are gone, and very few even make it to here; short attention span indeed. The very idea of reading thousands of pages? If it's not under 160 characters, it is too long for most (tl;dr), explaining why most in the West are simpleton at best; why the highly educated West still lags on PISA scales. And most people are online seeking content they can counter or reject, not data they can grow from: Truth miners are a dying breed.
A short attention span is also a small factor of a larger trend of enculturation, which ironically was prophesied to occur in the end-times, by the bulk of humanity. Consumerism and capitalism does not require meditation, contemplation, sweat-of-the-brow labor, longsuffering, and investigation, nor any topics that transcend corporeality. Writing over 10K pages I've read 3-fold that; I was a reader and enjoyed deep-thought books, even reading entire (public library) works such as Kierkegaard as a 70's hippy atheist counter-culture teen. Predestination indeed!
Once the Indwelling Holy Spirit yokes with our Soul (though you have to die within, to make room); once we become one in/with Messiah, we attain Spiritual sight, and that reality enlightens us to life-temporal (corporeality), as well as life-eternal and life-universal. We look at all things through the lens of eternality, via the filter of scripture. From that reality, this life becomes little more than a speed-bump in our eternal and everlasting course. But for the masses; this life is all there is, and therefore, all there will be, ever, thus explaining the extreme devotion to it.
Imagine you live inside a shoebox, unaware: you look around intently, study your surroundings, and over time you see more and more of your shoebox world, called corporeality. One day you realize that you have all but mastered the intricateness of all that is within that shoebox; you believe the expanse of your formal education concerning box-topics, makes you an authority on the subject of most all things; you feel unanimously aware; uniquely cognizant; fully educated, and thus proud of your accomplishments completed within the box. However, you die, never knowing you spent your entire life, inside of a shoebox. This reality does not necessarily make you a failure, for we cannot know what we cannot see. Or can we?
The vast difference between corporeal awareness and Spiritual enlightenment, is profound (trillions to one). It is surely a positive thing to think critically and outside of the very narrow windows of (what I coined) the primate-state: Territorialism (patriotism; nationalism; ownerism; landlordism), hierarchy, social class, adversarialism, warmongering, competitivism, authoritarianism, and the sin-of-all-sins, religious hierarchy (Matt 23:8-12; James 4:1-5) and the monetization of YHVH! Yes, this is a short list of all the mammalian manifestations that result from any primate study. Humans go from the sum-world of our crib, then to our homes, then to our schools and neighborhoods, then to our nation, and finally to our solar system. We are earthlings! Good.
But that's where it ends for most. Now, when you hear people imply this (or that) is just in our human nature, this is a fact (indeed, if any of your interpretations of scripture, do not align with the very created world of YHVH, then you are wrong). YHVH clearly created a natural order of things in all corporeal beings; biological imperatives necessary for the propagation of a species (and Physics generally). Yet, the very purpose of the Propitiation, was to make it possible for the Holy Spirit to dwell inside of humans that are still sin-capable; still unholy (Rom 5:8); still animal-like. The result of this epoch is unimaginable to both animal and carnal man; we can indeed, defy gravity
We already know that the vast majority of the human race will never see the Kingdom of Heaven; the math of the Messiah (Matt 7:13-14,22-23; Luke 13:24-28). What this means therefore, is that the planet we all live on, was and is, overrun by humans that are not just destined eternally unto the Abyss, but are thus demon-driven; this, from the age of accountability, all the way until their corporeal death. YHVH's Earth is the collateral damage of that cold reality.
The author of Jude describes this incorporeal eternality, as the blackness of darkness forever (Jude 1:11-13; John 3:19-21; all of 2Pe 2), or what is (simply) the extremes of empty outer space; the Abyss utterly void of any materiality. Outer darkness already exists (always has, always will); hell therefore, is not a place, but a condition; a state or status of existence, beginning on Earth and continuing into eternity. Spiritual darkness while in human form will merely transfer into literal darkness, post Judgment Day. Being cast into outer darkness will be hellish indeed.
Nevertheless, it is still good that people become aware of how lifestyle choices affect other life-forms on this tiny rock, third from the sun. But all primates, be it human or gorilla, cannot see past their mental enclosures; this explains why they bulk of humanity lives a monkey-see-monkey-do existence of blind followship; they copy-mimic-parrot almost everything and everyone, and for their entire lives, and they actually want to, and they cannot believe it when someone is not as blindly indoctrinated by pop-culture, as they are. Fascinating! Horrifying!
This would be a fate worse than death for me, but for the sheer masses of humanity; it is all they know. The man born blind cannot know what we, the eye sighted see, and so he will never miss it; nor will he ever comprehend it. Self-awareness is good; other-awareness is also good. Having a much richer awareness of all that is happening inside of your shoebox is very good. I see everything inside the shoebox, plus a million times more, on the outside of it. But the blind must not believe me (I would not, if I were them).
My Master, Teacher-Rabbi, and eternal Friend, taught many fundamental principles to those of us dedicated to hearing and seeing, from Him (Matt 13:9-13,14-17); however, most people have no real and life-altering experiences that result from The Great Exchange
The religion of Christianity is just one of those shoebox productions; indeed, all religions are the mere byproducts of enculturation, education, indoctrination, socialization and normalization. Messiah Yeshua died precisely to expose the truth of religion, ritual, tradition, nationalism, all forms of racism, and generically, any mentality that wreaks of us-against-them-ism (Luke 6:26-31,32-36). If you own a car, you are demonstrating (to YHVH and the Elect of YHVH) your dedication to monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot living; a fate worse than death itself, for all Saved people, but one you will blindly repeat tomorrow, fully unconscious (or Spiritually blind) of it, and even YHVH-light cannot penetrate your pride-bubble.
Without the change
Humans learn to sophisticate their mentalities with the show; they cleverly mask their carnality inside of personality, and even the culturally christianized Xians of Religianity can master playing social christianity, complete with its religious paraphernalia, ritual, tradition, holiday, and the brand-name jargon of Christianese; however, the truth of their Soul status is revealed in their character, which exposes itself via action/inaction, or lifestyle: But we are what we do, and no more (Matt 7:15-20). One can delude self with thoughts in the brain, but fortunately, my Master taught all His disciples (metaphorically) that the tree is known by the fruit it bears, and not what the tree thinks or says or believes that it is.
Without YHVH-in-you, all that you can and will see, is only what's in front of you; Messiah Yeshua explained that the blind leaders of the blind will lead the followers into the proverbial ditch. In other words, without Light (or Messiah-wisdom, which comes to us only through the Indwelling Holy Spirit), people will stumble through life, harming themselves and then those they teach or lead, and even those who come after them, and copy-mimic-parrot them.
We, as the (infinitesimal and inconspicuous) Elect of YHVH, differ in that we do not blindly swallow whatever our enculturation presents to us; we evaluate all things based first upon how YHVH created corporeality; how Earth functions and how our place upon it should be (stewardship); how our lifestyle and life-decisions impact others. Earth is our only corporeal home; our (human) bodies are the Temple of our Soul, and potentially the host of YHVH, via the Indwelling Holy Spirit. YHVH only took on corporeal form inside of Messiah Yeshua, as far as we know, and so YHVH did experience what we do, but still depends upon us mortals, to do corporeal things for YHVH.
When I was a boy, I could not understand why a blind person would even want to live, seeing nothing but black darkness for life: Or how those born mentally ill would want to continue in that state. But an elder explained to me that they were born that way; it is all they know; they have no other existence with which to compare it to. The eye-blind have no visual images in their brain to miss; they have never seen an ocean sunset or a mountain-scape, and so they do not miss what they cannot see or even conceive of. This is also true with Spiritual blindness (or darkness).
Each of us live and die within a particular block of time; we also live in a particular place; a place that becomes the result of enculturation; a culmination of all the things left behind by former generations: language, technology, politics, ethics, rituals, celebrations, traditions, constructs, infrastructure, and so on. These are not rated as good or evil, in and of themselves; we simply become what these forces shape us to be; good and evil can only be determined by the consequences (or results) of human action and inaction.
Most people born in the US, monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot the culture, as it was left to us all: capitalism, consumerism, living money-centric, wealth-hoarding, patriotism, the car-cult, materialism, education and employment (to name the major ones): All these things (these lifestyles) are just assumed, absorbed and then duplicated by the next generation, without (little if) any analysis of their individual or collective merits for any/all life on Earth. The mimesis is obvious to those with Spiritual eyes/ears, but the masses are (sadly and all too often) oblivious to it; they live in a fog of sorts: Comfortably numb
For most of humanity, life is all about the me-here-now; there are no decisions based upon a global perspective (a God's-eye view); no lifestyle choices determined by how they affect everything and everyone; no act completed with only eternal rewards. The Spiritually blind live for the now, because it's all they got; they fear death and live this life as a witness of that cold reality; they are willing to let die; to justify war; to kill; to allow the suffering of others so they can hoard as much as time and law will allow them. Conversely, the (infinitesimal and inconspicuous) Elect of YHVH, live this life, primarily for the next (Matt 5:43-48; 6:1-5,16-18; 7:13-14; Heb 11:1-6).
Though we all experience enculturation, we do not have to remain molded to them all: We still have volition, and so we can either remain in a blinded state, or we can travel the globe, as it were, and see how the rest of humanity does this thing we call life. We can either follow those in front of us, or before us, or recreate our own path. We can either monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot what we hear and see, or we can form original thoughts and ideals. We can live like everyone around us, or live purposefully, only to please our Master, Messiah Yeshua.
Of course, in travel, we will not always like what we find, because humans are bizarre creatures indeed, and as such, very different in our enculturation directives (e.g. the Etoro people). Therefore, we must remain objective observers, while still administering our own values; those values however, can either be strengthened or weakened by such exposure. Globe-trotting (during the 1980's and 90's), I was eyewitness to many fascinating and educational experiences: I'm also a readaholic and enjoy travel documentaries.
Since all of us, and all of this, are the collective creations of YHVH, it is of special interest to me as a Disciple of Yeshua the Messiah, who was/is the corporeal manifestation of Father Adonai (YHVH-in-skin). I am blessed to experience a deeply personal, epochal, and eternal relationship with YHVH, via the Indwelling Holy Spirit (which is not a who, but a what). Messiah Yeshua was/is YHVH in the flesh, and the Holy Spirit is Adonai, YHVH blessed: Who is, and was, and is to come (Rev 1:8).
This connection is vastly more enlightening than even what Mark Twain experienced in his life and travels. No formal education can rival it. For I have been yoked into the priesthood of believers (1Pe 2:4-6,7-10; Gal 3:29); grafted into the Root (Rom 11:16-22; John 17:20-23,24-26); adopted into the (proverbial) Third Race; tethered to the Core (via the Indwelling Holy Spirit), which is Yeshua the Messiah; our source and our resource. Without Him I am nothing.
I am not Jewish, which is really just a human-created ethnic designation; like race it's a psychological segregation: Rather, I am one individual human (among a few million, past, present and future) who is tethered to YHVH, via the Indwelling Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18; 1Jo 3:23-24; 4:12-16). I am (non- and even) anti-religious; I'm not a part of any religion-business: Not Judaism or Christianity (nor any other), as they manifest in the world. My spiritual status is not centered upon (or rooted in) any such human-made paradigms. Spiritual transformation is only Spiritual; it has (almost) nothing to do with corporeality (Rom 8:6-7; 1Co 2:14).
I went from being an Atheist to an Agnostic to a Protestant to an Anabaptist to a disciple of Messiah Yeshua, which transcends them all! As Protestant, I attended only one non-denominational, modernized religion-business, for about three years: I met many interesting people and had great social experiences, and was even in their worship band; that was surely fun. But it was just religion.
I had only a few negative church experiences, but something greater was amiss; there was no Community, just attendance by a large group of otherwise strangers (or acquaintances) that merged most weekends at the building. It was not unity by family (though people like to throw the word family around a lot these days); it was what it was; a theater for entertaining masses of people a few weekend hours, with positive and encouraging monologues plus some music.
There was/is nothing wrong with the entertainment facet of the church-businesses, in and of themselves, nor of their rituals (none of which have anything whatsoever to do with YHVH, by the way); however, people mistook church attendance (and the enabling thereof), with/for unity in Messiah; with yoking with one's eternal family. I associate with none of those people today; conversely, the Elect of YHVH are an eternal family unit (unity).
A few dozen decades after the Ascension of Messiah, satan refined and accelerated his onslaught against the One who sealed his eternal fate, by first making merchandise of Him; by making a mockery from among those who used His name; by obscuring the deeply personal relationship that replaced the impersonal religions of men, and their distant conjured gods and goddesses. Once Messiah Yeshua was Anglicized; then came the Christianization of the world, and most acceptingly from the time of Constantine onward.
But Messiah Yeshua was openly anti-religious, and condemned the religionists; mostly the Pharisees and their social bedfellows, the attorney-class (Luke 10:25-29), at almost every opportunity; even to the point of His arrest and (ultimate) death on the Cross. Many throughout time even speculated that He did this on purpose, because it was so brazen and consistent, as a way to force prophesy (people still imply prophesy pushing concerning Israel). But satan, the source of all the gods and goddesses of men throughout human history, created his most prized religious system: Christendom: A slap to the face of his enemy, Messiah Yeshua.
As we move closer to our Heavenly Father (YHVH), we also move farther away from the world; the worldly (the secularized masses). Scripture identifies the (infinitesimal and inconspicuous) Elect of YHVH as peculiar people; set-apart ones (Psa 4:2-4; Jude 1:1-3; Eph 2:11-13,14-16): The Messiah said we'd even be hated by the masses (Matt 10:22; 24:9-14). We are not like the masses on Broadway (Matt 7:13-14,22-23; Luke 13:24-28): We will be different; we will seem strange; we will not fit-in well with the secular masses that today surround us (churched or not): That's the tell!
Verily, the Xians of Religianity who will read these very words, will not find the all-familiar Christianese that they are accustomed to, or enculturated by, from the local church-businesses they enable. YHVH will (thus) seem foreign to them: YHVH is always misrepresented by the money-lovers (Luke 16:13-15). YHVH is building a labor force (Matt 9:37), but the Godless-religious are takers, not servants (Matt 13:37-42). They see and sell YHVH as a butler or a banker; a celestial cure-all to salve the wounds and fix the woes they bring upon themselves via their antiChrist lifestyles.
Like the Amish are perceived by the average American, the Elect of YHVH (the invisible church) will be more of a sideshow than a routine participant or enabler of the culture: But the advantage of such peculiarity is easy recognition. Such separation however, does not insure that every Amish (or anyone else for that matter) will see Heaven's Kingdom. Even so, the secular masses, for the most part, seek to coincide with their culture: Spiritually blinded, the masses are fully enculturated and shamelessly ethnocentric, and as such, they cannot be Messiah-centric.
This is because they are not called out by YHVH, even though they may label themselves as Christian and consume religion-productions: The Christian label is just another tag adopted culturally, but not transmitted Spiritually (Matt 15:8). Without a Messiah-centered identity, people must/will seek identity in and from the world; observation is all that's needed to see which one it is. But one first has to be empowered to see (Matt 13:13-15,16-17; John 12:40).
The productions of Christianity have attenuated to become a part of the social expectations required to fit into a particular grouping or sect of society. Every culture has religions, and the westernized cultures are predominantly Christian, which is a tradition that citizens adopt as a way to fit-in socially. They appeal to the ego and emotions, which are lures to catch those hungry for understanding.
Conversely, to be radically transformed by the Indwelling Holy Spirit, as a consequence of unconditional surrender unto the supreme and eternal Lordship of Yeshua the Messiah; well, that is another thing entirely, and far transcendent of mere church attendance, theological academics, or the consumption of religion in general. Messiah Yeshua died to bring an end to the religion-businesses, and restore us back to personal relationships that rival the Father and the Son (John 17).
We, the (infinitesimal and inconspicuous) Elect of YHVH, are set apart; we let our (proverbial) light shine in the darkness of the Spiritually blind, via our lifestyles; our demonstration of Christian socialism, simple-living, and exposition; all tempered by humility, confounded by compassion, peaceful from contentment, and empowered by unconditional Love (Matt 5:14-16; Php 2:12-16; Eph 5:8-13; 1Pe 2:9-12).
Division via denomination, and self-belief salvation, are among the most convoluted of theological products solicited among the dens of thieves (organized religion-businesses of any kind), via their proprietors; people who unwittingly monetize YHVH, which is the single greatest sin possible within the human condition.The enculturation of biblical translation, as well as biblical interpretation, is clearly a byproduct of the enculturation that impacted it/them; i.e. the westernization of scripture and of Messiah Yeshua, all of which is now blindly accepted as christianity and Christendom.
Men recognized the exploding followship of Christendom, and wanted to market (tap-tithe-tax) that large pool of people; hence the need to rewrite scripture interpretatively, via the many copy-paste theological products (which created and sustains bibliolatry), intended to exploit scripture to justify war and violence, materialism and capitalism; the legalized methodology of hoarding money resources, and all the economic products which allow for the accumulation of mammon as a weapon of/for self-empowerment.
The Elect of YHVH are anti-denominational, anti-political; anti-institutional; we are not pop-culture driven, and rarely even familiar with the secular productions of the Godless masses. However, the worldly churched are very comfortable and well-versed in all things worldly; this is how you know who is who; the tree is known by the fruit it bears. The Godless-religious are those who participate or adopt the religion of Christianity, but their motives for doing so, manifest in their covert, YHVH-hating, anti-stewardship lifestyle (the Parable of the Unjust Steward).
There are human-made hierarchies within all Godless religions (via blind enculturation): The younger will develop a hunger for the power they see in the elders, and so they will endure the hierarchy, so that one day they can be The Executive Pastor (or whatever capitalist-copied title they hunger for), while still others become like cult leaders, seeking an audience; a followship entourage. They unwittingly demonstrate their blind enculturation by how they monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot the culture that truly shapes their heart-mind-Soul.
Conversely, the Indwelling Holy Spirit takes us in the other direction entirely (Col 3:12-13; 2Co 12:9-11). Every Spiritually transformed, Heaven-bound person, is not a follower of men, nor a leader of men; the (infinitesimal and inconspicuous) Elect of YHVH follow Messiah Yeshua only (I repeat: Only).
If you want to witness actual Messiah-centric people – as opposed to mere Christians which are everywhere – you must seek them out, for the Elect of YHVH are not broadcasting on mass media, and only few are on the web, and none of us have hands-out donation links soliciting ever-more money to feed that addiction (Matt 10:7-8). YHVH always provides the means well before the ministry-service: If they need your money they are not YHVH servants. Warning: Do not receive the council of any money-dependent religionists, who always leaven truth with deception for personal gain (Matt 16:6-8,9-12; Mark 8:15-18,19-21).
The (infinitesimal and inconspicuous) Elect of YHVH mimic the Master (Matt 23:8-12; John 13:12-17; Luke 6:39-40); thus, the Elect are not among the rich and famous: the Elect can primarily be found among the poor; the rejected; the disenfranchised; the unwanted. We do not mimic cultural trends; but spiritual needs: We strategically place ourselves in these venues, for we are on Earth to be the hands and feet of our Master and paradigm for living, Messiah Yeshua.
The Godless-religious live just like their enculturation teaches them to live, for they are Spiritually blind, and do not see this. They are religious, but absent of the Indwelling Holy Spirit, and as such, they are carnal religionists. For example, those who contend over which bible translation is the right one; these are among the distractions that satan employs among the Christians he leads, and ironically, James warns us of just such people (James 3:12-15,16-18; 4:1-5). Verily; these people are sedentary planet-haters who lust to perpetuate division and strife (1Co 1:10-11; 3:1-3; 12:22-27): they will not see the Kingdom of Heaven.
Religionists never die to this life; they merely addendum god-religion-church-bible to their pre-existing antiChrist lifestyle, which is conquered by money-making, materialism, consumerism, enculturation, and ethnocentrism (John 3:19-21). They have not been crucified (Gal 2:20); they cannot recognize the Voice of Truth. They listen only to what they already want to hear. They do not seek truth alone; they seek data that will enforce pre-existing self-beliefs.
Whenever a person is dominated (only) by what YHVH thinks of them, they are oblivious to what other humans think of them; however, when a person is dominated by what other humans think of them, they are oblivious to what YHVH thinks of them: It is lifestyle (alone) that can expose which one it is. Everyone has beliefs; anyone can attend church services. Messiah Yeshua destroyed (crucified) the temples made of hands, exactly to make us naked before Him. Now you must live it in your daily lifestyle; no more hiding behind religion's doors.
While the Elect of YHVH Sabbath daily, the westernized-christianized-monetized-industrialized, seek only to entertain themselves always. They are idle with (their idol) money, which they exploit to defy YHVH's labor curse. Capitalists mine the ego to shape the mind of the secular masses; hence, these automatons of consumerism and money addiction must also define Christianity from this paradigm.
The pandemic Like-me desperation (today, witnessed publicly via social media) is also a demonstration of just how hungry people are about being judged: In spite of all sociocultural rhetoric on the subject (from the don't judge me; judge not lest ye be judged crowd), most humans want to be judged; except in the world, they want to be judged favorably by other humans, for it is this model they aspire to (and desperately). They are conquered always by what other humans think of them, and this cold reality plays out on the social stages of life; a keep-up-w/the-Joneses mentality that haunts the Loveless masses who (now and forever) grope in Spiritual Darkness.
Everyone will face Judgment Day, but since the bulk of humanity will never have even a milligram of actual Faith, they do not actually believe in an afterlife (nor an eternal judgment), which explains why they live this life the way they do. For the bulk of humanity, a life of faithlessness will mean they will never once hear the Voice of Truth (not until Judgment Day).
(Psalm 4:3) As a veritable Hermit, a Monk is a unique path; to me it is an honorable one. It is rare for extraordinary people to be called by YHVH: those who are sensual; the beautiful; the handsome; the rich; the famous; these people are rarely called by YHVH (1Co 1:26-29; James 2:5), because even if they were called, they would not hear His voice (Matt 22:14); they have their own voice (and legions of demons) drowning out the voice of truth.
Thus, it was/is to my advantage that I was not gifted in any way outwardly; I am thankful to be unremarkable; I am blessed with being simple and plain, and I will remain faithful until YHVH calls me away. Had I been rich and/or physically endowed, I would not have become YHVH-centric by choice; in reviewing my past, I know this to be true (predestination?). I was formerly a Godless person (an atheist), and a Godless-religious person (a protestant): I have personal experience in these the states of mind.
What I learned from the Indwelling Holy Spirit who enlightened scripture unto my heart/mind, was how the early teachers of Messiah was treated once they were hurting the profits of the other religious profiteers of that time; especially among the idol making businesses that flourished (2Co 6:14-18). But the Xians of Religianity are fully yoked with and in the world; they are indeed worldly, but then just adopt/adapt the religion of Christianity into their carnal antiChrist existence, and as such, they (logically) must be critical of anyone who separates themselves from the worldly, or even speaks of it.
The parading of the self should be obvious, even to the Spiritually blind, such as witnessed in "church services", which are nothing more than ego stations on display. It is where the economic rutting takes place weekly. Still, I think about how Hollywood (and really, all secular writers) like to portray those dedicated to YHVH; I see the John the Baptist caricature; the filthy simpleton hobo who lives entirely different than the clean shaved, suit-n-tie capitalist; the new model of civility.
However, if you take away the luxuries and mammon advantages from the suit-n-tie guys (the Pharisee copiers among the religionists, or the Roman Emperor mimickers from among the worldly); you will see just how quickly they will become savage. Hungry, he will mercilessly murder you with his bare hands to take your share, for his metaphorical morsel of soup (Heb 12:14-16): Indeed, that's what mammon hoarding represents.
The Godless-religious need to look, act, and live, just like the Godless masses they truly belong to: Dressing like the world speaks for itself; driving cars is egocentric at its core, and one of the worst lifestyle testimonies in existence. The desperate need to fit-in, is that fruit on the tree for all to see.
It is truly enlightening to know how YHVH works among His creation: I am eternally thankful not to have been empowered by worldly ways and Godless things. It always hurts when I hear a prayer begging for the things that so often destroy Souls (1Ti 6:6-10). With rare exception, everyone who has made a decision to follow YHVH closely will (sooner or later in life) be a source of gossip; they will either be ridiculed, belittled, misrepresented, lied about, and even persecuted by the secular world that encompasses them (including kin, religious or not): Yeshua the Messiah said it would be so.
We, the Elect of YHVH, are (metaphorically) married to YHVH; we are the proverbial Bride of Messiah. It is awesome to know that YHVH has likened us also, to an army, a body, a building, a family, a flock, and a planting. Our Lord's parables were creative, inspiring, and memorable; I love them. We are gloriously created as individuals and thus, we are unique: There are many opportunities to serve the Master and those variations of talent are both intentional and necessary (1Co 12:11-14). When we want to be someone else, we neglect the self that YHVH created in us.
We must surrender unconditionally unto the supreme Lordship of Messiah Yeshua (for real, not faking it), and from that moment on, our life is not our own. Consequently, it is impossible to be ruled by Love, via the Indwelling Holy Spirit, and then remain as you once were; as employees, consumerists, capitalists, or other like temporal lifestyles. Knowing what YHVH has planned for us in the Kingdom of Heaven, makes this temporal life analogous to a speed bump.
The fakes, the frauds, the wolves, the tares (chaff); these are easier to spot than one might think. The ultimate (or long-term) goal for the fakers and takers is that they get money, or some other power-providing, earthly resource for their efforts (the "what's in it for me" mentality). They purpose to avoid laboring by the sweat of the brow: Without the Indwelling, the humans are terminally lazy creatures indeed: The Godless masses live lifestyles purpose-driven to avoiding the Labor curse. And money economics is how that was achieved.
It is not always about money, especially for those who have enough money to do the things they want to do (and within economies that still accept that money). Naturally; there is never enough money for the Godless, but there is a point where they hoard enough to gain all the power they're going to, via money.
While there is almost always a physical benefit or monetary reward (of some kind) for the faker/taker, there are other drives and addictive actions (besides money) that motivate the mind: E.g. coitus; promotion; praise; adoration; recognition; validation; credit; ego-boost; self-glory: It is these, which drive conformity, social status, and compliance. The empty Soul hungers; it is never satisfied (Pro 27:20).
We, the Elect of YHVH, are (proverbially) not to allow our left hand to know what our right hand is doing, with regard to alms; giving; helping; serving (Matt 6:1-4). It's not that we hide it from others, it is just that we do not do it for others. Our motive must be Messiah-centric (based upon eternal rewards) and not for any of the things of this world; this explains (in part) the importance of committing (or vowing) to chastity, poverty, and obedience.
We do not see poverty as a bad thing; being poor or poverty, only has a negative connotation among the money-lovers (we call them capitalists today); one of the many justification products of the money-exploiting hands-in-the-pie, do-nothing takers that make-up the bulk of humanity here in these end-times. Verily, there's a variety of different Christian views on poverty and wealth.
When the micro-experiences of the Godless, and the Godless-religious, are radically transformed into a glorious and massive perspective, our world is no longer small and seemingly pointless; instead, we have the mind of Messiah (1Co 1:10; 2:12-16; Php 2:1-5) and thus, the view of life-universal: Twas blind but now I see, and that sight is immeasurably big. In that bigness, we become so small that it humbles us to this sheer bigness, which is YHVH.
The Godless humans – those who do not have the Indwelling Holy Spirit filling them to overflowing – will therefore, seek to grow on the outside; a failed attempt at filling the void that only that (Holy) Spirit can fulfill. Thus, they live on the outside, always seeking more and ever-more; they hunger for bigger, better, grander and broader. They believe that such contentment is the death of ambition: Indeed (1Ti 6:3-9). There's a sure connection between ambition and demon-possession: Ambition, impatience, discontentment, and anger, are synonymous: Peacelessness (John 14:25-27)!
All humans, who have the Indwelling Holy Spirit, are motivated by Love-wisdom-humility, and driven to obedience; part of that transformation is to labor by the sweat of the brow, with our hands, as a way to be closer to YHVH, both from an obedience standpoint, and because most everything that Messiah Yeshua uses to teach us and to guide us through, in this life (His many parables), are directly or indirectly connected to laboring, and the handling of the creation, and simple living (1Th 4:8-12; Eph 4:17-22; 4:23-28).
Messiah often used the way of nature in developing metaphor (Matt 13:3-9,10-13,34-35; Mark 4:9-13); understanding metaphor (itself) is a necessary skill to understanding every inspired written word. We must be among, and engaged with the YHVH creation (the nature-scape versus the human-scape); we must breathe-in the outdoors; we must handle the dirt and engage the trees and the plants, daily.
The natural world is the YHVH world; Adonai Elohim created the heavens and the earth, but the Godless masses hate the natural world and will kill-steal-destroy it (John 10:10), or avoid it, or contain it; they replace it with their own humanized world via urbanism; they pave paradise and put up a parking lot
The worldly are described as such, by Messiah Yeshua, because they are the (proverbial) blind leading the blind (Matt 15:12-14); that is, their alliances are not centered on Messiah Yeshua, but are rather, centered on economic status, or race, or language, or politics, or nationality, or other social constructs (birds-of-a-feather). Without real, eternal, Love-bond relationships, humans must grasp whomever is in their proximity: e.g. they must/will assign the word family, when referring to coworkers, teammates, or even church-business co-enablers (Matt 19:27-30). As the end-times come to its inevitable end, the superficiality of the masses will normalize and intensify. People will rally around the new religion: Politics.
Conversely, the Elect of YHVH do not mindlessly comply with social, cultural, political, or traditionalist directives, which were already in-place when we arrived on Earth: we are not enculturated drones of cultural paradigms, unless doing so just happens to shine the light of Messiah Yeshua unto a darkened world.
Then came together unto Him the Pharisees, and certain of the scribes, which came from Jerusalem. And when they saw some of His Disciples eat bread defiled, that is to say, with unwashed hands, they found fault. For the Pharisees and all the Jews, except they wash their hands often, would not eat, holding the tradition of the elders. And when they came from the market, except they wash, they would not eat. And many other things there be, which they have received to hold: As the washing of cups and pots and brass vessels, and of tables. Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him: Why do you and your Disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands? He answered and said unto them:
Well has Isaiah prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honored Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me: Howbeit in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men
I am surprised the literalistic have not created, yet another division or denomination called DHEM (Dirty Hand Eaters Ministries)! Washing your hands is a good idea; this was a lesson-moment about blind followship; about blind enculturation. This was/is about gaining the ability to see and hear and understand: If any man has ears to hear, let him hear! This was/is about transcending one's enculturation.
Messiah Yeshua was not anti-tradition, as much as He was about opening eyes and ears; opening one's consciousness to the much-much greater world, beyond the doldrums of daily human life. But Godless power-hungry people, lust to create laws and rules and ordinances, not because they serve any meaningful function, but so that they have a written excuse to lord over others. They suffer from a god-complex, and are driven to lord over others. This is why Messiah Yeshua so opposed the Pharisees and the lawyers, for they both suffer from the same thing: Spiritual blindness and power-hunger: yep, the Law lords trapped in the mire of Law.
The Love of YHVH, installed with the Holy Spirit at the point of unconditional surrender, brings a Spiritual enlightenment (or sight) that guides how we think, act, and thus live (Matt 7:15-20). The Love of YHVH compels us; constrains us. But the blind only build alliances that benefit them in the flesh. The idea of building everlasting relationships with the Elect of YHVH is useless to them; after all, what's in it for me? (they will ask themselves). They build temporary alliances from parroted words, such as we are family, when referring to those in proximity, such as mates, co-workers or teammates, but as soon as an upgrade comes along they switch alliances.
We certainly do not need to oppose traditions if they are relevant, but we also do not want to enable dead traditions. E.g. Just because everyone around you is driving cars does not mean that you have to; it's a choice, and it is those choices that say much about what and who we are. Those who can only follow those in front of them are the blind (Matt 15:14); they cannot fathom a lifestyle that is radically different from the only one they know: Thus, they are mere copies of their micro-experiences; they fall into place; they blindly accept normalization and enculturation.
If you were to visit every catholic-orthodox-protestant (COP) church-business operating on the North American continent in 1810, you would find groupings based upon skin color, and then language, as demarcations. In 2010, with racial lines blurred and racism no longer socially acceptable (for most), you find a greater mix of black and white, and even of those with differing native tongues (predominantly Spanish) mixing; as the culture changed, so did this defining demographic.
The end-times is mammon centric; that is, everything and everyone is trapped inside the box; the prison of money-dependency; we as a species, have been driven by peacelessness and discontentment (ambition); thus, the Godless masses must/will war, and live comfortably in bigotry, social class, and indeed anything that the mind can imagine, just to divide over. The self-superiority complex rules over the very minds of the masses.
Today, within the capitalist mentality; where righteous is overruled by what's affordable; it is more defined by social status; the mainstream protestant evangelicals, and much of the catholic churches, are made-up of the lower-class to middle-class as one grouping, and the upper-middle-class to the rich, as another grouping: the very-rich rarely mix with the very-poor. Of course, the Elect of YHVH (the Kingdom-bound) never participates in the church-businesses; the Elect of YHVH does not enable the anathema of organized religion, nor its cousin prospering within the Education Industry.
There is no such thing as social-class or economic-class or political-class among the Elect of YHVH; there are no money-rich people among YHVH's Elect, nor is there any fellowship with those committed to such worldly ways (2Co 6:14-18; 1Jo 1:1-4). The Elect of YHVH reprove and expose such darkness; we do not enable it, finance it, or consume it (Eph 5:6-12; 2Ti 4:1-4). Again from the Master: The tree is known by the fruit it bears.
Messiah Yeshua said that we either serve YHVH, or mammon; that we cannot do both; indeed, we do not do both. The Elect of YHVH are those (of us) conquered by the Indwelling Holy Spirit; that reality results in an entirely different perspective on life: We have the mind of Messiah (1Co 2:10-16), via the literal heart of Messiah Yeshua, which is the Indwelling Holy Spirit.
We do not process all things through the money-filter, as does the rest of the Godless world; instead, we process all things through the Red Letters (John 6:61-66). We are not westernized or Americanized people who mock YHVH via weekly church attendance: Lifestyle evangelism is not just another form of proselytizing; lifestyle is the fruit-evidence of the Indwelling Holy Spirit ruling within an individual.
Put another way: The Elect of YHVH do not look at scripture through the filter of modernity, we look at modernity through the filter of scripture. We do not build homes based upon the cost of construction, but rather, by the cost to the environment. The worldly-minded are primarily concerned with monetary costs; everything is thought about – first – in dollar increments; this is because the worldly do not have the advantage of the Indwelling Holy Spirit to think otherwise.
The tree is known by the fruit it bears. Even Buddhist Monks (including the current Dalai Lama) embrace modernity. Capitalism is far more than an economic construct; it is a mentality: The Capitalist Mentality! It actually shapes how the brain thinks; how it processes data; how it interprets the world around it.
Everything and everyone is first, filtered or processed through its money worth; its actual or potential monetary value. And in like manner, so does The Love Mentality! The Love-centric YHVH-conquered, do not think, anything like the Faithless-Godless-Loveless, monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot masses think; we all see things through Messiah glasses; we filter all things through scripture.
We, the Elect of YHVH, shine Light via our unity in community: This is a part of my past that I regret. Everyone has a different story; mine is rather simple. I lived for much of my life (the first three decades of it) as an atheist (Psa 14:1; Heb 11:6): I do not believe agnosticism even exists outside human imagination. I got involved in Western Christianity; specifically, evangelical non-denominational protestantism, in my early-mid thirties, but since I was never around any of YHVH's Elect, I really had no idea what to do: I had no Messiah-centric examples to initially follow.
Therefore, I lived as I always had; as the rest of the Godless-religious masses do today; they live as the rest of the worldly that they monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot, and admire; those they seek to yoke and bond with, and to gain their acceptance. Without God-in-us the Godless-religious are hungry for the approval of the (Godless) masses, and as such, they squander their earthly life on earthly things. They copy the trends, the lifestyles, and the patterns set forth before them, no matter when or where they are living.
I was foolishly trying to find the Elect of YHVH from among the Godless-religious (the churched), but I did not recognize this at the time. Today, I can see clearly, St. Peter's catholics, as well as the protestants of Paul the Apostle, but I only rarely see (or hear from) the living disciples of Yeshua the Messiah.
Back when I was newly single, my
wife (correction) my marriage recipient abandoned (and later divorced) me; I had no choice in the matter (1Co 7:12-15): I was an early-thirties male, seeking to know "God" and was seeking a new wife from among those that I attended church services with. Of course, I doubt I ever even met a female who was among the Elect of YHVH (i.e. Saved, at that point-in-time anyway), and so of course, I found only trouble. This is because I was still fully immersed in worldly ways, even as a religious adherent: The church was in the world, and the world was in the church; now I know they are synonymous.
Church-businesses are customer-seeking temptation-stations, who mock YHVH via superficial fellowship and pop-culture worship. They are male-centric prostitutions of literally everything that Messiah Yeshua was trying to change, via the heart-mind-Soul of men. The machismo that satan exploited to control males, extended seamlessly into the religious realm.
An overreaction to this very reality is what caused Pauline Christianity and the subsequent refusal to recognize, for only one example, the Messiah's interactions with women and how that should have impacted how women were treated since then. Men exploited the bible as if it was their own authority, with their carnal primal machismo, compelling them to further degrade and prostitute the words therein, so they could justify authoritarianism and dominion (both are satanic).
Nevertheless, I am at peace; I am clear, which means that I have nothing whatsoever against anyone (Matt 5:23-24; Mark 11:25-26); there is not one person on Earth, which I have anything against: no anger; no resentment; no vengeance; no restitution; no dislike; no nothing. No one owes me anything; any assumed debts unto me, are forgiven as far as I'm concerned. I am right with everyone from my end, but as with all relationships, I have zero control over anyone, except myself; this is, of course, the same for all of us as individuals.
This is why a Monk; since I am theologically Anabaptist, and abandoned by my wife, the rest made sense. I am celibate for life, and not seeking a wife (or a coitus partner): I made a marriage vow unto my Lord, which stands regardless of what my wife did or does. Thus, all females are off-limits to me in that sense. I am only a brother seeking platonic friendships; a disciple of Messiah Yeshua; a servant-witness for my Master: I am fully content with this. I am a Jesus-freak and the worldly look upon me, just that way. Well done (Matt 25:23)!
If I'm not a freak to the masses then I'm doing it wrong (John 15:16-20). When we see (or compare) self to Messiah Yeshua, we are not only humbled, we soon experience a form of egolessness (in my mind, the opposite of egocentrism, which is to be pride-centric; to be running on ego). Where ego reigns the Spirit is absent; where the Spirit reigns the ego is absent.
The westernized-christianized-monetized-industrialized, protestant-evangelical, capitalistic consumer-centric church-business that I once attended and enabled, was operated just like any corporation; they were yoked with the Godless world (2Co 6:14-18); had corporate executive titles, and a Board consisting mostly of doctors, attorneys, and others among the westernized-christianized-monetized-industrialized wealth-class (James 1:8-12; 2:1-5; Jude 1:16-21): This pacifist carpenter was never invited nor considered, but ultimately that turned out to be a good thing.
They held home bible studies hosted mostly in the large lavish homes of the wealthy; they of course, wanted to showcase that wealth (the very motive behind all grandioseness), and an audience of materialistic and capitalistic people like them, fed that egotism. But this is just what blind enculturation looks like; those involved are oblivious to it, exactly because they are Spiritually blind. They are religious, but not radically transformed; redeemed; Saved. But hey; I too was once westernized-christianized-monetized-industrialized; I mastered the theological productions of the COPs, but especially that of the evangelical cults. Now that I am free, I am rejected by religious men!
This is because the Godless-religious – who live as carbon-copies of the secular world they monkey-see-monkey-do, copy-mimic-parrot, consume, enable, and collaborate with – must/will condemn the Elect of YHVH, for not financially enabling their antiChrist lifestyle interests. Monetization and money dependency (or addiction) will drive the Godless-religious, to treat the Elect of YHVH, just as the catholics and protestants did, when they beheaded or burned at the stake, people for not being one of them (see: Martyrs Mirror).
Without the Indwelling Holy Spirit, Loveless mercilessness is all that remains, Christian or not; churched or not. Living in the Laodicean Era (the end-times), we are among the last dozen (or so) generations before the end of this human experiment. Scripture uses parables and metaphors to describe and define that time-line. Still, it is (either) a life-altering discipleship, or, it is a religious addendum to ones otherwise secular lifestyle; it cannot be half-baked.
The root words that make up the English words monastic; monasticism; monk, all share a basic theme: Oneness. We are all creations of One Creator: YHVH: We, the Elect of YHVH, are one with YHVH and with one another; the symbiosis of corporeality is a form of oneness. Every time I read John 17:20-23, it just breaks my heart, and I believe that anyone who deeply Loves YHVH, is affected strongly as well. When I hear (in my mind/heart) the Lord praying to the Father: ... that they also may be one in Us; that the world may believe that You have sent Me.
Our Love for YHVH is the same as YHVH's Love for us, and most importantly, it is our witness; our Love toward one another becomes the proof unto the world, that Yeshua the Messiah was (and is) real, and not just another religious figure-head; that Yeshua the Messiah was sent by YHVH, and is not some fictional character; the stuff of one's imagination.
We, the Elect of YHVH, prove the reality of Yeshua the Messiah, by how we Love: That is powerful; that is huge; that is humbling. But that can only manifest in lifestyle; Love is the substance of our actions and inactions: Love is a verb, and so is faith (Heb 11:1-3, 6).
Matthew Henry Commentary (1Th 4:9-12): We should notice in others what is good, to their praise, that we may engage them to abound therein more and more. All who are savingly taught of God, are taught to love one another. The teaching of the Spirit exceeds the teachings of men; and men's teaching is vain and useless, unless God teach. Those remarkable for this or any other grace, need to increase therein, as well as to persevere to the end. It is very desirable to have a calm and quiet temper, and to be of a peaceable and quiet behaviour. Satan is busy to trouble us; and we have in our hearts what disposes us to be unquiet; therefore let us study to be quiet. Those who are busybodies, meddling in other men's matters, have little quiet in their own minds, and cause great disturbances among their neighbours. They seldom mind the other exhortation, to be diligent in their own calling, to work with their own hands. Christianity does not take us from the work and duty of our particular callings, but teaches us to be diligent therein. People often by slothfulness reduce themselves to great straits, and are liable to many wants; while such as are diligent in their own business, earn their own bread, and have great pleasure in so doing.
The Elect of YHVH move slowly; carefully; peacefully: We seek only the approval of our Master. Conversely, the Godless masses have no internal peace, and so they are driven by anticipation, haunted by ambition, and conquered by what other humans think of them. This fact is manifest all around us, with modernity slamming YHVH's creation to the proverbial floor. Hence, the Godless (which always includes the Godless-religious) move quickly; aimlessly; ravenously; dangerously: They pollute, maim, kill, and destroy with their many machines (cars and guns and such) in their Godless pursuit of evermore things and never-enough money (Luke 16:13-15).
Thus, it is hazardous for the Elect of YHVH to live among the Godless masses, for we operate at different speeds; we are on different paths; not only in this life, but extending into life-eternal. The Elect of YHVH only make-up a fraction of humanity: Yeshua said: Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matt 7:13-14): Narrow Way unto the Kingdom of Heaven, which is achieved via the Kingdom of God (Luke 17:20-21), begins with the Indwelling (of the) Holy Spirit, in the here-and-now.
Collectively, all Godless people are psychopaths; that is, they exist (from cradle to grave) in a Loveless state; the opposite of Love is indifference, and open indifference is psychopathy. But this is because they have no way to Love, for God-is-Love and the Indwelling Holy Spirit is God-in-us: Thus, the Godless and the Godless-religious. This is because they are merely primates, and all primates are territorial; proxemic; driven by dominance hierarchy and self-survival as carnal drives (study human territoriality).
People must and will justify all actions and thoughts as necessary: Thus, they can only live as unto the self, indifferent and/or oblivious to how their actions affect others around them (e.g. Anthropogenics), but this is because they are Spiritually blind. They are trapped in the many paradigms of self-interest, and because of that blindness they cannot see it, and because of egocentrism they are indifferent or Loveless: they simply do not care.
The word hypocrisy basically means an actor on a stage; however, those who need these platforms of life that elevate them above all others, must and will therefore, focus more on the actor, than the stage, but you cannot have one without the other in this particular context. In ancient times the theaters were that central place where performances took place: To get on the stage and perform for an audience of passive consumers. Sound familiar?
The Greek word is hypokrites which simply means a stage actor; a pretender and dissembler. Messiah Yeshua called the professional religionists of His time/culture that very word, and ironically (or prophetically) today, it is the christians who again, have stages for their self-centric monologues and tithe-funded rituals. Only, unlike a stage actor who is a real person playing a fake role on stage, the Pharisees were fake people playing real roles on societies stages: theaters, synagogues, temples, churches, or even street corners. Hence, the barrage of condemnation from my Master, Messiah Yeshua. Christendom does not represent Messiah Yeshua!
However, the actor is not merely an actor, for those who seek to be actors, are driven by ego as well, and even more so: Our character determines our social roles, not the other way around (which explains why the violent seek violence, join the gun-cult, and rename it duty). The pathological hunger to be the center of attention is what made the stage a reality to begin with, but we just assume the stages to be natural, because they have always been with us: that is blind enculturation. (How Amish "Church").
Flock-seekers are typically egotistic men (and some women) who hunger for a stage and a followship. They need an entourage to feed their ever-draining ego; they need to be the center of attention; a home stage to be looked up to; a podium to pound; they hunger-lust for authority. Indeed, Pauline Christianity is in many ways, analogous to (and causal of) bibliolatry.
Without the ever-present Holy Spirit dwelling within, the otherwise empty Soul hungers and thirsts continuously for something to fill that YHVH-shaped space within us all. And since the presence of the Indwelling Holy Spirit greatly humbles anyone and everyone; without that empowerment, the human is left to the brain; a carnal machine, which runs only on fear, paranoia (and emotions in general), and ego: The ego being the most powerful of all human dynamics, most of the time.
This is why Earth itself is reacting to the human masses who spend the bulk of their existences feeding (or responding to) their ego in one way or another. Massive building projects are the stuff of ego; grandiose in itself, is but the fruit of an ever-draining ego. Ambition and discontentment are destructive forces. We witness this same Godless egotism in religion as well, from ancient grand catholic cathedrals to today's mega-churches. Oh, but for the pure glory of Mountain Cathedrals
Therefore, Religiocentrism becomes normative because selecting a religion from the menu of world religions is also a feature of human ego. Messiah Yeshua did not intend to start yet another human religion; in fact, He was anti-religion, exposing the fraudulent Pharisees (the purveyors of organized religion), and abolishing all human religions, as the veil was rent in twain (Matt 27:50-53): This Epoch of Corporeality also signified the death of religion as humans knew of it. From that point, forward, it was (and is) only possible to connect with YHVH, via the Indwelling Holy Spirit, One-on-one, as individuals.
From that time, forward, YHVH only interacted with individual humans, via the tether of the Holy Spirit, and only as individual's took the propitiation of Yeshua the Messiah most seriously in their lives (1Jo 2:1-6). This is because religion was (itself) an act of ego; it was to select the "right" religion, which reduced it to a competition, much like the mothers of the disciples who still saw things in that way (Matt 20:20-26). Competition is a behavior learned from (and rooted in) predation (Matt 7:15-20, 10:16).
The human ego is a pride junky; it is a pathological desperation to be noticed; to be the one at the top; to be the one in the center; to be the one. Humility is to avoid being noticed; to defer the stages of life. But the egocentric are just that; they cannot be YHVH-centric, because they are driven by the god-complex, which was satan's downfall. But satan did not join the church, he created it, and today he uses self-professing Christians to enable his agenda (in Jesus' name).
Starting with (and even before) the catholic church, and continuing to this day, and in all religion-businesses; those with spiritual eyes witness the deception of these religion-businesses; the idea that people can spend their lives trading time for mammon (money), sharing a cut of that money with the religionists they enable on the weekend, and then go to Heaven in the end. But Church is nothing more than a ritualistic addendum to an (otherwise) antiChrist existence; the wanton monetization of YHVH for which no other human sin-act can rival.
Today, we see this as a very normalized process; it is called religion, but religion is antiChrist in every possible way. The Pharisaic businesses of religion are satan's response to his eternal doom (John 12:31; 16:7-11), which was secured by the Resurrection: an empty tomb marked satan's doom.
The Elect of YHVH spend more time serving YHVH than they/we do serving mammon (Matt 6:19-24). The Godless-religious spend most of their earthly existence serving mammon, and the churches provide for them (for only a few hours weekly) the illusion that attending church equals an eternity in Heaven. They convince their audience that salvation is a product that can be bought with a tithe and a self-belief. You merely chant the salvation prayer and, like any spell, you're magically Saved.
Yet, even the option to select a church-business is part of the pride-pathology; that pride of personal choice is but a manifestation of ego: Pride is the eternal doom of the masses on Broadway. The time spent consuming worldly products, including church-business enabling, is the time YHVH expects of the Elect (the purpose behind the Parable of the Unjust Steward).
The well-cloaked rage of hatred, which covertly dominates the secular masses, is so fascinating that if I had not experienced it, in-person, I would struggle to believe it if the story were shared with me in the Kingdom of Heaven. I suspect when we (of modernity) try to tell our story to the ancients in the Kingdom of Heaven, they too, will struggle to believe it. We are aware of evil people, but to hold such disdain for progeny is just too hard to fathom, once you have been enlightened to see it.
Without being enlightened, the Godless and the Godless-religious, will live and die, utterly oblivious to their massively (and mercilessly) destructive lifestyles. Without that inner light, the masses grope in darkness, and as such, their world is the size of a house; for the Elect of YHVH, our world is the larger than the galaxy. Indeed, we live entirely different existences upon this earth, and then beyond.
This is why it is important to be light unto a dark world; a lifestyle that is strongly recommended by our Master and Lord, Yeshua the Messiah; however, as the end draws near even that effect is becoming futile. The curse of capitalism has rendered the masses, the slaves of materialistic consumerism; who are trapped in/by blind enculturation, where religious adherence is itself, but a show on the social stage of life.
Obviously, we are long-past the word-of-mouth evangelism that was instituted by Yeshua the Messiah in 0030 AD (when no one knew His name), and once the B'rit Chadashah (the Messiah Scriptures; the New Testament) was completed and widely distributed, there was no need for people to leave their walk-able circle; therefore, what remains is Lifestyle evangelism (Matt 5:13-16) as witnessed in the Americas via the Amish, as well as other simple living communities globally.
The Europeanization of Messiah Yeshua is clear to us disciples of today, with hindsight and Spiritual sight. Scripture itself was the first victim of compromise that monetization infected; it all went downhill from there! Modern-day evangelism is (unfortunately) a mere religion-business recruitment marketing ploy: Proselytism!
Naturally the money-dependents must try to make distinctions here. Like church attendance itself, it is outward and thus, is a manifestation of works-righteousness (Titus 3:3-7). It is what some would call a Messiah Complex (or a god-complex; a hero-complex; a rescuer-complex), where egotistic religionists believe they have a higher calling than all the other mere peon mortals around them.
Both protestants and catholics were (and still are) more interested in Inculturation than they are of personal relationship-building Communally, because an egalitarian Community makes us all equal and non-hierarchical, and most people cannot live that way: The Kingdom Way, which always results in a nonconformity to the world and a true, family-level of daily living and sharing equally, regardless of genetic ties (the Acts Koinonia summarized). Conversely, church professionals prefer to keep their flock of sheeple in the proverbial barn.
This is why individualism dominates all facets of life, and especially here in these end-times. This is why selective bigotry is accepted by the religionists; why compromise is a must for the money-dependent; why true equality is a mystery to the Spiritually blind; why misogyny blossomed to make Pauline Christianity the dominant production of a culturally inherited, male-led religion known of as Christendom (and thus mimicked by Islam).
Unfortunately, in the past, some have implied or even outright accused men who would join a religious sect as Monks, to be weak men who were afraid of many things; economic competition; hard labor; much of this depending upon the individual and the setting that individual lived within. More people were becoming nuns and priests during wartime than during peacetime, implicating a fear of war itself and thus seeking a safe place to hide.
There are also those who have emotional problems that make people reclusive or introverted. These ideas could explain why some religious professionals will commit heinously evil acts, such as pedophilia (among priests and pastors), though they posed as trusted religionists, which the Godless-religious blindly follow, and for reasons that have zero to do with a profound and epochal personal relationship with Father Adonai. But since organized religion is among the greatest manifestations of evil on Earth, once should expect such consequences from them.
For some, it was just a show of piety; to prove they were as devout as proclaimed; we see this same tendency with title-giving among the mentally corporatist or capitalist religionists. These accusations might seem extreme, until we understand that there is a Spiritual component to this life, and incorporate that into long-term calculations (1Co 4:1-5).
Apostolic succession no longer has any meaning (and perhaps it never did): We, the Elect of YHVH, are unified, not by genetics or bloodlines, but by the Spirit that dwells in us (Matt 12:46-50; Mark 10:28-31; Gal 3:16-19). The tether of the Indwelling Holy Spirit is the only "succession" that YHVH recognizes, for all humanity has only one Father, who is King, Lord, President, CEO, Commander, and Master over all.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it (Santayana). Insanity is repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results (Einstein). Agreed. Indeed, there's always hope; as one way of living fades, so another emerges. The solution may not be what some would want in the short-term. However, destroying the natural world; segregating ecosystems with human-made obstacles; replacing the natural world with a people-centric world; these cannot be sustained (they will not be).
The Godless, in concert with the Godless-religious, are hurried to bring about end-time events, though they do not (indeed, cannot) see themselves as collaborators. Nominal Christians will believe they are going to Heaven (Matt 7:22-23 kjv), even as they are being cast far into the blackness of Darkness; extreme outer space: The Abyss (Matt 6:19-24; 8:12; 22:13-14; Jude 1:12-13).
The movie Avatar was a fictional representation of a very real and living unity; a designed interconnectedness; a symbiosis of corporeality; a collective unity that Earth shares with its inhabitants. Likewise, Avatar accurately represented the human lust for power, militantism/militarism, greed, destruction, death, and the many justifications therein: The casual way that the militant-backed corporations destroyed, was beyond mere psychopathy; it was/is evil.
The Xians of Religianity, still trapped in the (enculturation tainted) theological briarpatch of Manifest Destiny, were therein, forced to criticize Avatar. The infantile "my religion's better than yours" still haunts the fear-stricken, carnal us-against-them primal-driven, neighbor-hating Xians of Religianity. As Faithless-Godless-Loveless people, they merely selected Christianity from the social/cultural menu; remaining unregenerate (unSaved), they bring the same base fear, adversarialism, hierarchy, dominion and competitivism into their religion-businesses, which in turn, shapes and influences them in the world.
The rage-anger and the hunger-lust to cut down (to kill, to steal, and to destroy) YHVH's natural creation, and replace it all with human-made things; to tap it dry; to dig and drill and bulldoze it; all for its money-rich resources; to monetize YHVH; to humanize space; these satanic passions and obsessions overwhelm the Godless masses, for they know not, what they do (Luke 23:34): The Spiritually blind cannot be expected to see (Rom 8:7). They will assuredly figure all this out, in outer darkness, but while on Earth, there's no way for the (Spiritually) blind to see; no way for them to see it or learn it, while on Earth, apart from the Indwelling Holy Spirit enlightening them to it all, and few there be that find it (Matt 7:13-14).
Indeed, human history exposes the fact that every major urbanized area on Earth faded into dust (with rare exceptions excavated archaeologically): Humans cannot deforest the creation, slaughter the indigenous animal kingdom, cover the earth with concrete and buildings, pollute it, industrialize it, mine and tap it, and then expect to survive long-term into that future. But these are the end-times, and thus, so is the theological battle, putting the (infinitesimal and inconspicuous) Elect of YHVH, in danger from the Xians of Religianity who (alongside the rest of the secular world) are the warriors of/for satan.
Humans were/are made for the natural world: for the forests; the soil; the streams; the lakes; to cooperate with nature; to learn to live with the wild animals, rather than destroying them (driven by fear, paranoia, ignorance, and evil). Dominion and subdue in Genesis (Gen 1:28) did not mean destruction or extinction or urbanization; the Genesis account means management and stewardship of the natural world; it means protection and propagation: to be fruitful and multiply, not subtract! Here in these end-times, the Elect of YHVH are so few that this task is handled primarily by the secularized scientific community.
However, as the end nears, powerful leadership will accelerate the actions of the masses, which will snowball to rapidly drive humanity into end-time prophecies (just remember; it's always darkest before dawn). Humans were originally created to eat naturally and organically; to drink mineral-laced water from pure aquifers and trapped rainwater. YHVH created a perfect ecosystem; the Garden of Eden paradigm: We are to eat from an abundance of trees, plants, and herbs. When the Soul is filled with Living Water, Simple living is its fruit (1Ti 6:6-11).
We need to abandon these old, destructive paradigms; we must return to ancient but proven ways of living; simple living, where we plant, fish, farm, raise small animals, walk and hike and run and swim. We must maturate and quit following everyone else like children do (1Co 13:9-13; 14:20); we must transcend enculturation and recognize that we do not have to follow others; we can think for ourselves; via critical thinking, we can think outside the box; we should abandon our old-life boxes, altogether.
The effects of the car on societies is stunningly damaging to Earth, and its inhabitants; for humans, so is debt and usury, trinket bling, consumerism, and general Affluenza. These are lifestyle choices, not commandments or life-requirements: Indeed, they are (collectively and effectually) antiChrist lifestyles. Verily, YHVH is in the business of dis-enculturation: That is how the Indwelling Holy Spirit works in us, then and today. You (and I) have a choice about how we live on Earth; please, let it be Messiah-centric. It is the beacon of light; the living testimony; lifestyle (not religion) is the barometer of our true Spiritual status.
Via hindsight, we know that the bulk of his society ignored the warnings of Noah, until it was too late; so too, will it be in these destined end-times (Matt 24:32-36, 37-39; Heb 11:6-7; 1Pe 3:15-17, 18-20, 21-22). Pride is the eternal doom of the masses, and they will take Earth down with them. Thankfully for us purposed stewards of all YHVH created, there's plenty of planets to serve out our eternality (Isa 65:17; Rev 21:1-5). The vacuum of empty space, far beyond all star matter, will be the unfortunate destiny for the Soul of the masses on Broadway (Matt 6:22-24; 7:13-14,19-23; 22:13; John 3:19-21; Jude 1:5-7,12-13).
To mimic the lifestyle of my Master, Messiah Yeshua, I had to begin to speak and write in a way that was not a part of my original personality, which was initially shaped by capitalism and thus, I was all about false flattery and being complementary at all times. I read most of How to Win Friends and Influence People back when I was a budding young capitalist, marketing myself for mammon riches. The idea of speaking pure truth, and to the point that I angered the organized religious establishment, as well as the secular politicians; this way was not a part of my cultural assimilation or Americanization.
Even when I went from an Atheist-to-Agnostic-to-Protestant, the church-business professionals that I followed around like a fool, were also Faithless-Godless-Loveless materialistic money-loving egocentric YHVH-hating capitalists, and so I had no Messiah-centric human model at all. But even in that vat of perverse theological rendering, the Holy Spirit was able to work within me, and without ever violating volition; that was a miracle!
Indeed, being dominated by the Indwelling Holy Spirit for decades now; with such enlightenment, plus hindsight, it was/is easy to see worldly people who have only experienced cultural or socialized Christianity; they experience christianization, but not Spiritual transformation; they are never metamorphosized. The caterpillar dies on the ground. Christendom does not represent Messiah Yeshua! But when I was among only the churched (in the 1990s), I was unaware of this reality. The Holy Spirit was providing many hints, but the desire to be obedient unto men (to fit-in), which is a learned mentality, is difficult to be freed from.
Once I finally died to me, and surrendered all of myself over and unto the actual, living Lordship of my Master, Messiah Yeshua, the subsequent Indwelling Holy Spirit (only then) transformed me, just like the (metaphorical) metamorphosis from the caterpillar unto the butterfly. It is painful; radical; epochal; transformative: But it also develops into an entirely different existence (now, and thus forever); this molting is trying and uncomfortable, but also freeing and glorious, once completed.
Conversely, religion attendance is just a mere addendum to an otherwise antiChrist existence. The butterfly never again lives like the caterpillar; no, not even close: Only a faint remnant of the caterpillar remains. If you still participate in the Car Cult – as just one example among dozens – you are so far from the Cross of Messiah Yeshua; so consumed by your enculturation; it is unlikely you will acknowledge this during your Earth-time (Luke 9:1-5). But hope abounds within all who are driven by the Love of YHVH (Rom 8).
Until YHVH can release you from the bondage of your enculturation, you will remain a subject therein; indeed, you will be subjected to its forces, and altered because of it! It almost sounds as if it's not your fault, and in some ways, this is true; we are all shaped by forces that we do not even recognize as forces, until something shocking happens to us to compel us into circumstances, which aid us in gaining a radically new perspective (hence, the word culture shock).
But we all have volition; the volition (or free will) to seek truth for the sake of wisdom alone. We can choose to be led by our enculturation, or we can surrender our will over to a power, much-much wiser than we can ever be on our own: The Indwelling Holy Spirit! The mind of Messiah Yeshua (1Co 1:10; 2:12-16; Php 2:1-5); only then can we go from pride-ego-emotion, to Love-wisdom-humility; to a state of existence that will transcend the here and now, even while here-now!
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