Sayings of Truth Volume 5
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Having taken one wrong step, they lose the witness of the Spirit to their acceptance with God. Thus they fall into a state of discouragement and distrust. They dislike religious services because conscience condemns them. They have fallen into the snare of Satan, and there is only one way of escape. They must retrace their steps and with humility of soul confess and forsake their halfhearted course.
Let them renew their first experience which they have made light of, cherish every divine aspiration, and let those holy emotions which God's Spirit only can inspire, reign in their souls. Faith in Christ's power will impart strength to sustain, and light to guide. This practical instruction in religious experience is what Christian parents should be prepared to give their children. God requires this of you, and you neglect your duty if you fail to perform this work. Instruct your children in regard to God's chosen methods of discipline and the conditions of success in the Christian life.
Teach them that they cannot serve God and have their minds absorbed in overcareful provision for this life; but do not let them cherish the thought that they have no need to toil, and may spend their leisure moments in idleness. God's word is plain on this point. Jesus, the Majesty of heaven, has left an example for the youth. He toiled in the workshop at Nazareth for His daily bread. He was subject to His parents, and sought not to control His own time or to follow His own will.
By a life of easy indulgence a youth can never attain to real excellence as a man or as a Christian. This is the lesson which every one of us must learn. Those who study the Bible, counsel with God, and rely upon Christ will be enabled to act wisely at all times and under all circumstances.
Good principles will be illustrated in actual life. Only let the truth for this time be cordially received and become the basis of character, and it will produce steadfastness of purpose, which the allurements of pleasure, the fickleness of custom, the contempt of the world-loving, and the heart's own clamors for self-indulgence are powerless to influence. Conscience must be first enlightened, the will must be brought into subjection. The love of truth and righteousness must reign in the soul, and a character will appear which heaven can approve.
We have marked illustrations of the sustaining power of firm, religious principle. Even the fear of death could not make the fainting David drink of the water of Bethlehem, to obtain which, valiant men had risked their lives. Mark the character of Joseph. Virtue was severely tested, but its triumph was complete.
At every point the noble youth endured the test. The same lofty, unbending principle appeared at every trial. The Lord was with him, and His word was law. Such firmness and untarnished principle shines brightest in contrast with the feebleness and inefficiency of the youth of this age. With but few exceptions, they are vacillating, varying with every change of circumstance and surroundings, one thing today and another tomorrow. Let the attractions of pleasure or selfish gratification be presented, and conscience will be sacrificed to gain the coveted indulgence. Can such a person be trusted?
In the absence of temptation he may carry himself with such seeming propriety that your doubts and suspicions appear unjust; but let opportunity be presented, and he will betray your confidence. He is unsound at heart. Just at the time when firmness and principle are most required, you will find him giving way; and if he does not become an Arnold or a Judas, it is because he lacks a fitting opportunity.
Parents, it should be your first concern to obey the call of duty and enter, heart and soul, into the work God has given you to do. If you fail in everything else, be thorough, be efficient, here. If your children come forth from the home training pure and virtuous, if they fill the least and lowest place in God's great plan of good for the world, your life can never be called a failure and can never be reviewed with remorse.
The idea that we must submit to ways of perverse children is a mistake. Elisha, at the very commencement of his work, was mocked and derided by the youth of Bethel. He was a man of great mildness, but the Spirit of God impelled him to pronounce a curse upon those railers. They had heard of Elijah's ascension, and they made this solemn event the subject of jeers. Elisha evinced that he was not to be trifled with, by old or young, in his sacred calling.
When they told him he had better go up, as Elijah had done before him, he cursed them in the name of the Lord. The awful judgment that came upon them was of God. After this, Elisha had no further trouble in his mission. For fifty years he passed in and out of the gate of Bethel, and went to and fro from city to city, passing through crowds of the worst and rudest of idle, dissolute youth, but no one ever mocked him or made light of his qualifications as the prophet of the Most High.
The scene just described occurs hundreds of times a day, on virtually every day of the year. And most Christians completely agree with Pastor Smith: those who die without repenting and accepting Christ will spend eternity being punished for their sins. According to traditional Christian theology, Hell is the place or state into which unrepentant sinners pass after their physical life. Basically, th e Hell doctrine concludes that all men have sinned; therefore without repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, God must punish the unsaved sinner in a never-ending, fiery torment.
The earliest Christian writings about Hell are found in 2 nd Century literature so why was nothing written for over years? And t he doctrine has been around so long , few Christians ever consider questioning it. O nce the doctrine of Hell got going, the institutionalized church viewed it as a strong incentive for Christians to lead a righteous life.
It was the fear of judgment and Hell that led a terrified Martin Luther into his quest for spiritual enlightenment. But f or many potential Christians, Hell has been a major stumbling block to accepting Christ. These people find the claim that God torment s and burn s people for all eternity so repulsive, they cannot accept that He can be loving, kind and merciful.
Furthermore, the doctrine of H ell has caused many a seasoned Christian to walk away from the faith. Allow me to pose several questions about the doctrine of Hell — this belief that most Christians never seem to question:. And if indeed this were true, would you be able to enjoy the eternal bliss of Heaven , while watching your parents, grandparents, and deceased children, along with tens-of-billions of other people being tormented in Hell?
Would you feel safe and comfortable around such a Being? And would a God who is capable of dishing out such anguish be the kind of Deity you would want to worship, follow and have fellowship with for all eternity? The reality i s that most Christians are secretly uncomfortable with the Hell doctr i ne. Incredibly, most Christian believe that G od considers it more important to punish sinners, than it is to reach out and try to save them!
S o most Christian s just go along with the crowd, believing they have no option but to accept the reality that God will eternally torment most of humanity. Here is what you will learn in this volume :. It then was adopted by the Catholics, who later passed it on to Protestants;. And they did this to generate support their humanly-devised doctrine of eternal punish ing. I f I could prove all of the above statements, would it change your opinion about Hell?
Many years ago, I shared a n article about Hell with friends. The subject was how the King James Bible modified various passages to support th is doctrine of eternal punishing. For most of these people, the doctrine of Hell was not open for discussion. This movie has hours of testimony by pastors, theologians, and religious authors — experts who carefully document why the traditional teaching of Hell cannot be true. But few Christians were interested in th e movie; while most of those who watched it came away disbelieving its thesis.
And now just a few years later, Hellbound rests in that large pile of forgotten movies. A fter 1, years of churches promoting Hell, the doctrine is so deeply ingrained in Christian ity, that most believe it spiritually dangerous to even talk about it. T he following chapter s will cover a great deal of Scripture. So get ready to read over 8 0 passages that prove the doctrine of Hell cannot be true!
T he doctrine of Hell has defined the nature of God. Hell tells us about a God who makes no compromise with sin. A God who forces every sinner pay for every last unrepentant sin. The God who created Hell is incredibly terrifying and frightful! And I believe this is why many Christians want pastors between them and God, so they can keep their distance from this terrifying Deity. And what if God does not eternally torment sinners?
And what if in reality, God is busy saving all sinners? If all of the above really w ere true, would it change your understanding of God? So fasten your seat belt, because you are about to take a trip through Scriptures that will literally redefine the nature of God. These passages will introduce you to a God who is virtually unknown to Christianity. You will meet a Creator who is always loving, always caring, who always forgives every sin except one — a tender and merciful God who is working hard to save every human being that has ever lived!
The Bible contains many Scriptures that openly contradict the concept of eternal torment in Hell. U nfortunately, most pastors pay little attention to these passages , because their seminary training told them to unquestionably believe in Hell, just as they have trained church members to do the same.
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. According to Jesus Christ , this is how Christians are to behave toward sinners. And then in verse 45, Jesus explain s why :. That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. Jesus asked Christians to love their enemies, to bless people who curse them, and to do good to those who hate them because this is what God the Father does.
And when Jesus spoke about those who curse, hate, abuse and persecute others, He was talking about sinners. According to J esus Christ, G od the Father — the highest spiritual authority that exists — loves sinners and wants to do good for them! So do you believe what Jesus said in the above verses? Earlier I mentioned how the doctrine of Hell concludes that all human beings have sinned , therefore without repentance and acceptance of Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, all m ust suffer eternal torment.
So even if you grew up and lived in a place where you could not hear about Christ, where you never learned that you are a sinner, where no one ever told you of your need to repent, God must consign you to suffer in Hell. And even if you lived a perfect life, but committed only one sin of which you ha d not repented , you must be punished for all eternity. But now I want you to compare the above paragraph with what Jesus said in Matthew Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him?
Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven. Jesus said that ordinary people — people just like you and me — are required to forgive sinners. Moreover, the Lord said we must forgive those who sin against us a minimum of times! So imagine this situation. You have a neighbor who constantly argues with his wife. And quite o ften, he gets upset — very upset. So h e starts drinking. Then he decides to go for a drive. And as he is backing out his driveway, he hits your fence.
But later he sobers up, comes over, and apologizes for his actions. So w hat is your Christian responsibility? You must forgive him. But then a week later, your neighbor gets into another argument and does the same thing: he dr i nk s too much , gets in his car, and damages your fence. But again , he comes over and apologizes. S o you forgive him. And he does this week after week, year after year, for an incredible nine years! Over the years this man has damaged your fence times ; but because you are a Christian, you have obeyed Jesus and forgiven him each time. According to Jesus Christ, Christians should never stop forgiving someone who genuinely repents.
Now l ook at Luke , where we find the story of Jesus being crucified:. After almost beating Jesus to death, several carnally-minded, sinful and unrepentant Roman soldiers brutally nailed their Creator to a tree, so He would wither and die t ake a few seconds and consider what kind of person could do that.
But Jesus was saying, Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing. These men were carr ying out the supreme pinnacle of human rebellion against God, as t hey laughingly Luke crushed the life out of their Creator. The n they ridiculed the Holy and Majestic Creator of humankind , as t hey watched Him suffer and die! Furthermore, these soldiers were not the slightest bit repentant ; neither did they have any desire to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
But instead of confirming that these sinner s were destined to suffer in Hell, Jesus asked God the Father to forgive them! At the same time Jesus was crucified, there were two thieves executed with Him. Save Yourself and us! And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong. These men had been sentenced to death for their crimes. Both men seemed to know wh o Jesus was. B ut they had not responded to His gospel.
How do we know? Because Matthew tells us they yelled insulting words at Jesus as He was being crucified. Therefore, according to traditional Christian doctrine, these men s hould have gone straight to Hell. But one of the men cried out to Jesus for help , even though there was no time for repentance , o r to hear the gospel , o r to accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and be baptized.
Yet our Lord and Savior said this unrepentant sinner — this hardened criminal — would find himself in Heaven with Jesus that very day! T hink About This. This convicted criminal went to Heaven — he did not go to Hell. A t the time Jesus told this individual he was going to Heaven, there were many other people around the world facing death. And with certainty we can know that just like this man, some made last-minute cries out to a God they did not know, follow, respect or worship. Modern Christianity tells us that because these people were sinners — because they had never heard the gospel , repented and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior — that God had no choice but to send them off to be eternally tormented in Hell.
The Scriptures we just read remain unsolvable problems f or those who promote Hell. And indeed, there is another way to look at these passages :. You may have noticed how pastors are unwilling to discuss the subject of Hell. They may preach long Hell-fire sermons designed to scare the daylights out of you, but few are willing to sit down with you and explain the Scriptures we just read.
And should a pastor through his own study generate enough interest and co urage to question Hell, he or she will find the full weight of the Christian community bearing down on him. Pastor Holtz wrote a short post on his Facebook page support ing a book by Rob Bell , a n author who is critical of the traditional view of Hell. Two days later the church fired pastor Holtz. I suspect that Mr. Th e Hell doctrine portrays a cruel God who genuinely desires to torment every sinner in horrible anguish for all eternity.
Yet even though Jesus volunteered to pay the penalty for our sins, we are told that God establish ed strict rules that prevent most people from being saved. First, a person must be in the right place a t the right time, so they can hear the gospel. Then they must choose to believe th e gospel and repent of their sins. After this they must be baptized. And finally they must receive the Holy Spirit. In I Thessalonians , the apostle Paul wrote that Christians should question everything they hear and believe. Thus a ccording to Paul, we should never accept what others preach to us.
And t he apostle John felt the same way. But n ow that almost 2, years have passed and there are thousands of disagreeing Christian denominations, how many f alse prophets are there today? And do you know why? Because the apostles had never heard of a God that could torture sinners for all eternity. Most Christians assume that God give s every human being an immortal soul. But what if this belief in an immortal soul is incorrect — a nd human beings are not born with eternal life?
In this chapter, you will read many Scripture s proving that human beings do not have an immortal soul. Y ou will also see how the Bible teaches that G od only grants eternal life to those who repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. Mathew records a discussion between Jesus and a worshiper:. There is only One who is good; but if you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments. Jesus told this person he could have eternal life, if he did certain things. T his p erson did not already possess an endless life.
Then in John — one of the most famous verses of the Bible — we again read the words of Jesus Christ :. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. T hen a few verses later in John , the apostle John wrote this:. He who believes in the Son has eternal life ; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life , but the wrath of God abides on him.
So John repeated exactly what Jesus said: belief in Christ brings eternal life; while unbelief brings destruction and death. Jesus made several more statements about whether or not human s have eternal life. John My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; a nd I give eternal life to them , and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.
He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life , and I will raise him up on the last day. John Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread , he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh. John Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life , and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.
John Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word he will never see death. In the second and third passages , the Lord said that without accepting His sacrifice, one cannot have eternal life. In the fourth verse , Jesus explained how belief in His message causes one to pass from death to eternal life. And in the last verse , He said we escape death through observing His teachings.
So understand: certain prerequisites must be met before God will grant the gift of eternal life to human beings. Then we must believe the words Jesus brought from God the Father. Finally, we must practice what Jesus commanded. Therefore , we can summarize whether or not humans are born with eternal life with this statement by Jesus Christ:.
John For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life t o the world. H uman beings are not born with an immortal soul. And if a person does not accept the sacrifice of Christ, believe His teachings, repent of sin, and practice His commandments, that person will not be allowed to live forever. They claim that sinners do not really stop living after their d eath ; instead, their immortal soul continues on in a place that has no access to God. Ecclesiastes For the living know they will die; but the dead do not know anything ….
Psalm KJ V For in death there is no remembrance of thee …. Isaiah The dead will not live, the departed spirits will not rise; Therefore You have punished and destroyed them, And You have wiped out all remembrance of them unless God resurrects them.
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Isaiah KJV For the grave cannot praise thee, death can not celebrate thee: they that go down into the pit cannot hope for thy truth. The Bible teaches the dead have ceased to exist. The y are not merely separated from God ; they have been permanently separated from conscious life itself unless God resurrects them.
And then a few years later , the prophet Ezekiel wrote down these words of the Lord :. Ezekiel Behold, all souls are Mine; the soul of the father as well as the soul of the son is Mine. The soul who sins will die. Ezekiel The person who sins will die. Then about six-hundred years later, the apostle James w rote the following:. James Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
And the apostle Peter wrote:. II Peter KJV But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption. For the wages of sin is death , but the free gift of God is eternal life i n Christ Jesus our Lord Romans And finally, the Lord explained the end-result of unrepentant sin:. Now on the same occasion there were some present who reported to Him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices.
The Old Covenant prophets, New Testament apostles, and our Lord and Savior were quite clear: sin produces unconscious and permanent death. For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. As we have already seen, the penalty for sin is death. Yet since the beginning of creation, self-appointed spiritual authorities have been claim ing that humans have eternal life — even when they remain rebellious , unrepentant sinners. This claim started way back in the Garden of Eden:.
Notice how the very first lie Satan introduce d into human minds was the falsehood that we are born with an immortal soul. Emotion belongs to the animals. They are creatures of emotion entirely. It is not sacrifice of a high order to die for one's young. The animals do that, and just as readily as any human mother ever did. It is no sign of real love to do that; it is merely blind emotion. We are for ever trying to make our weakness look like strength, our sentiment like love, our cowardice like courage, and so on.
Say to your soul in regard to vanities, weakness, etc. This does not befit thee. Never loved a husband the wife for the wife's sake or the wife the husband for the husband's sake. It is God in the wife the husband loves, and God in the husband the wife loves. It is God in every one that draws us to the one we love, God in everything and in everybody that makes us love. God is the only love. Oh, if only you knew yourselves! You are souls; you are Gods. If ever I feel like blaspheming, it is when I call you man.
If I do not find bliss in the life of the Spirit, shall, I seek satisfaction in the life of the senses? If I cannot' get nectar; shall I fall back upon ditch water? Pure water! Everyone makes shipwreck on the rock of would-be Guruism, except those souls that were born to be Gurus. The term "social progress" has as much meaning as "hot ice" or "dark light".
There is no such thing, ultimately , as "social progress"!
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If a thing be unreal, it is not. What is unreal does not exist. Strange things are natural phenomena. I know them to be matters of science. Then they are not occult to me. I do not believe in occult societies.
They do no good, and can never do good. There are four general types of men—the rational, the emotional, the mystical, and the worker. For each of these we must provide suitable forms of worship. There comes the rational man, who says, "I care not for this form of worship. Give me the philosophical, the rational—that I can appreciate.
There comes the worker. He says, "I care not for the worship of the philosopher. Give me work to do for my fellow men. As for the mystical and the emotional, we have their respective modes of devotion. All these men have, in religion, the elements of their faith. I stand for truth. Truth will never ally itself with falsehood. Even if all the world should be against me, Truth must prevail in the end.
Wherever you see the most humanitarian ideas fall into the hands of the multitude, the first result you notice is degradation. It is learning and intellect that help to keep things safe. It is the cultured among a community that are the real custodians of religion and philosophy in their purest form. It is that form which serves as the index for the intellectual and social condition of a community.
I want you to keep your own belief; I want to make the Methodist a better Methodist; the Presbyterian a better Presbyterian; the Unitarian a better Unitarian. I want to teach you to live the truth, to reveal the light within your own soul. Happiness presents itself before man, wearing the crown of sorrow on its head.
He who welcomes it must also welcome sorrow. He is free, he is great, who turns his back upon the world, who has renounced everything, who has controlled his passion, and who thirsts for peace.
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One may gain political and social independence, but if one is a slave to his passions and desires, one cannot feel the pure joy of real freedom. Doing good to others is virtue Dharma ; injuring others is sin. Strength and manliness are virtue; weakness and cowardice are sin. Independence is virtue; dependence is sin. Loving others is virtue; hating others is sin. Faith in God and in one's own Self is virtue; doubt is sin.
Knowledge of oneness is virtue; seeing diversity is sin. The different scriptures only show the means of attaining virtue. When, by reasoning, Truth is comprehended by the intellect, then it is realised in the heart, the fountainhead of feeling. Thus the head and the heart become illumined at the same moment; and then only, as says the Upanishad, "The knot of the heart is rent asunder, and all doubts cease" Mundaka Upanishad, II. It is for this reason that one finds, in studying them, that the two parallel lines of Bhava and Jnana have at last met, as it were, in the plane of the Vedas and become combined and inseparable.
The scriptures of different religions point out different means to attain the ideals of universal love, freedom, manliness, and selfless benevolence. Every religious sect is generally at variance as to its idea of what is virtue and what is vice, and fights with others over the means of attaining virtue and eschewing vice, instead of aiming at realising the end.
But as we are to attain the highest virtue through the means laid dozen in our respective scriptures, we should try our best to follow them. Moreover, they should be tempered with reason and discrimination. Thus, as we progress, the riddle of virtue and vice will be solved by itself. How many in our country truly understand the Shastras nowadays? They have only learnt such words as Brahman, Maya, Prakriti, and so on, and confuse their heads with them.
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Setting aside the real meaning and purpose of the Shastras, they fight over the words only. If the Shastras cannot help all men in all conditions at all times, of what use, then, are such Shastras? If the Shastras show the way to the Sannyasins only and not to the householders, then what need has a householder for such one-sided Shastras? If the Shastras can only help men when they give up all work and retire into the forests, and cannot show the way of lighting the lamp of hope in the hearts of men of the workaday world—in the midst of their daily toil, disease, misery, and poverty, in the despondency of the penitent, in the self-reproach of the downtrodden, in the terror of the battlefield, in lust, anger and pleasure, in the joy of victory, in the darkness of defeat, and finally, in the dreaded night of death—then weak humanity has no need of such Shastras, and such Shastras will be no Shastras at all!
Through Bhoga enjoyment Yoga will come in time. But alas, such is the lot of my countrymen that, not to speak of possessing yoga, they cannot even have a little Bhoga!
Suffering all sorts of indignities they can with the utmost difficulty only meet the barest needs of the body—and even that everyone cannot do! It is strange that such a state of affairs does not disturb our sleep and rouse us to our immediate duties. Agitate ever so much for your rights and privileges, but remember that so long as we do not truly elevate ourselves by rousing intensely the feeling of self-respect in the nation, so long our hope of gaining rights and privileges is like the day-dream of Alnascar.
When a genius of a man with some special great power is born, all the best and the most creative faculties of his whole heredity are drawn towards the making up of his personality and squeezed dry, as it were. It is for this reason that we find that all those who are subsequently born in such a family are either idiots or men of very ordinary calibre, and that in time such a family in many cases becomes extinct. If you cannot attain salvation in this life, what proof is there that you can attain it in the life or lives to come?
While visiting the Taj at Agra he remarked: "If you squeeze a bit of this marble, it will drip drops of royal love and its sorrow. When the real history of India will be unearthed, it will be proved that, as in matters of religion, so in fine arts, India is the primal Guru of the whole world.