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Beyond The Four Spiritual Laws

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1Cor 16:22 . . If anyone love not the Lord, let him be accursed.

One's love of The Lord is evidenced by loyalty.

"If you love me, you will comply with what I command." (John 14:15)

"Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me." (John 14:21)

"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching . . He who does not love me will not obey my teaching." (John 14:23-24)

Does a Muslim have to be a terrorist to be accursed? No; they only have to be a loyal follower of Muhammad ibn `Abdullāh instead of a loyal follower of Jesus Christ; same goes for Atheists, Nonreligious, Baha'i, Buddhists, Chinese Universalists, Confucianists, Jains, Kabbalah mystics, Shintoists, Spiritists, Taoists, Zoroastrians, Jews, Sikhs, and Hindus-- they're all accursed and there is nothing to be gained in arguing about it.

How many people am I talking about? Well, as of mid 2014, worldwide there were:

550,000 Scientologists
1,500,000 Mormons
8,200,000 Jehovah's Witnesses
7,794,000 Baha'i
515,951,000 Buddhists
451,292,000 Chinese Folk Religionists
8,424,000 Confucianists
974,597,000 Hindus
5,567,000 Jains
14,142,000 Jews
1,673,590 Muslims
2,819,000 Shintoists
24,918,000 Sikhs
14,183,000 Spiritists
8,660,000 Taoists
196,000 Zoroastrians
828,594,000 Nonreligious
692,111,000 Agnostics
136,483,000 Atheists.

The grand total of just those categories alone is 5,369,071,000

If those figures are in the ball park, and if classical Christianity is the reality; then a minimum of at least 75% of the earth's 2014 population of 7.2 billion people didn't love the Lord.

NOTE: Jehovah's Witnesses and Mormons are Christians, yes, but not in the classical sense.

Joseph Smith's movement is a spin-off; in other words: there's some classical Christianity in Mormonism, but comprises only a portion of Mormonism. The rest of it is extreme, to say the least.

Neither do Jehovah's Witnesses qualify as Christians in the classical sense. Charles Taze Russell's movement is a spin-off too. There's some classical Christianity in the Watchtower Society's doctrines, but comprises only a portion of Russell's doctrines; and his slant on it is very peculiar.
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2Cor 2:5-10 . . The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him. Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. I urge you, therefore, to reaffirm your love for him.

The cause for which Paul wrote that section was a guy in the Corinthian church sleeping with his stepmother (1Cor 5:1). Paul had commanded the Corinthians to not only hold the man's feet to the fire, but also to ostracize him.

Some time had passed since then, and the man was apparently regretting his actions, and broken off the illicit relationship with his kin, so it was time to let him back into the group. No doubt the humiliation of it all had a tremendous impact upon his attitude-- probably upon the congregation's too because at first their attitude wasn't all that good about it either. (cf. 1Cor 5:2)

Here in America scolding and ostracizing a church member would probably just make them indignant rather than repentant.
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2Cor 2:9-11 . . If you forgive anyone, I also forgive him. And what I have forgiven-- if there was anything to forgive --I have forgiven in the sight of Christ for your sake, in order that Satan might not outwit us. For we are not unaware of his schemes.

One of the opposition's tactics is to create disunity in a church. Sure enough when that happens-- as when one portion of the congregation believes in judging and ostracizing while the other doesn't --people start taking sides and the church will end up divided into cliques and factions. According to the lord and master of New Testament Christianity, a house divided against itself cannot stand.

Paul mentioned that his extension of forgiveness was "in the sight of Christ". There exists some controversy as to the exact meaning but I think it's just saying that Paul's forgiveness of that man was done in accordance with Christ's approval; to the end that the Corinthians all go along with it, i.e. stand together as one.
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2Cor 5:20-21 . . We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God.

There's two different aspects to reconciliation. One is a criminal justice kind of reconciliation (Rom 5:6-11, Rom 6:3-11, 1John 2:2) and the other is a fellowship kind of reconciliation. (Gen 4:1-7, Gen 5:22-24, Gen 6:9, Gen 17:1, 1John 1:3-7)

For example, a man and his wife may not be speaking to each other; and sleeping in separate beds; but they're still married: they're just not getting along; in other words, they're out of fellowship with one another. It's God's wishes that His own walk with Him in fellowship while they're waiting for their departure; and the Corinthians weren't doing very well at it.

In order to restore diplomatic relations between themselves and their Father above, that congregation had to knuckle down and deal with sin in their midst in accordance with their master's wishes rather than their own. Compare Josh 7:2-26 where Moses' people couldn't win anymore battles until they first dealt with a sin in their midst.

It's ironic that a fully functioning Christian church like the one at Corinth was in need of reconciliation with God. How many Christian churches are just like that today? They pride themselves in being Spirit-filled congregations, yet their congregational attitude is completely out of touch with Christ. Yes, Christian congregations are oftentimes out of touch and need to come to their senses and reconnect or else they risk becoming like the church at Laodicea where the central figure of Christianity is depicted outside the building banging on the door trying to get someone's attention to let him in. (cf. Rev 3:14-22)
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2Cor 6:1-2 . . As God's fellow workers we urge you not to receive God's grace in vain; for He says: In the time of my favor I heard you, and in the day of salvation I helped you. I tell you, now is the time of God's favor, now is the day of salvation.

Some of Christ's followers are sort of on hold as they look forward to God's patronage and providence after they die; but Paul says you can lay hold of those benefits now. In other words: the cross not only qualifies people for Heaven, but also for obtaining God's earthly patronage and providence. However, that earthly aspect of the plan of salvation comes with a string attached-- obedience.

"No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned." (John 15:1-7)

Nobody really wants to be a stick of ol' dried up yard debris, but that's what happens when Christ's followers go off-reservation and follow their own noses instead of walking in the light.

"When somebody loves me, they will obey my teaching; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me." (John 14:23-24)

In other words: according to the Father's testimony as an expert witness in all matters pertaining to fellowship: a Christian not obeying Christ has disassociated themselves from both Christ and his Father (2John 1:9). But they aren't lost; they're just lapsed. (cf. John 5:24)
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2Cor 6:14-18 . . Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? and what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? and what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?

. . . for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith The Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith The Lord Almighty.

That commandment clearly forbids intermarriage between Christians and non-Christians. Failure to comply is not only grossly disobedient, but it's unwise and can have tragic results; for example:

"When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose." (Gen 6:1-2)

If we assume that the "sons of God" were believers and the "daughters of men" were not; then it would appear that back in Noah's day, believing men threw caution to the wind and built themselves harems of unbelieving women. What happened to those believing men when it came time for the Flood? Well, for one thing; they had lost their piety.

"The Lord then said to Noah: Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation." (Gen 7:1)

None of the other sons of God in that day were righteous; hence they weren't invited aboard the ark. All of those men-- whose women were chosen based solely upon sex appeal sans any spiritual prudence whatsoever --perished in the Flood right along with everybody else.

Another incident is located at Nehemiah 13:23-31; which led to the break-up of homes. Were Nehemiah to do so in our day, the media would crucify him for cruelty to children. But Nehemiah wasn't the one at fault. The Jews had entered into illegal marriages; consequently their families became collateral damage.
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2Cor 7:1 . . Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us cleanse ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of deference to God's wishes.

Webster's defines "deference" as affected and/or ingratiating regard for another's wishes. Deference is the opposite of resistance, rebellion, defiance, indifference, and stubbornness.

Contaminations of one's body would include things like drug addiction, alcoholism, adultery, promiscuity, gluttony, eating blood, etc.

Contaminations of one's spirit likely refers to one's mind and so would include certain kinds of entertainment; i.e. books, music, art, and movies; viz: things that are seen with the eyes and/or heard with the ears.

The promises are those listed at 2Cor 6:14-18.
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2Cor 8:11-15 . . If the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written: He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.

NOTE: "if the willingness is there" tells me that church officers should not pressure and/or shame their people into giving, viz: break down their resistance; like talking people into buying cars and vacuum cleaners, so to speak.

The directive is an excellent passage for debunking the so-called Faith Promise; which is a popular scheme for tricking church members to pledge money they don't have while expecting God's providence will somehow provide it. That is not the Lord's wish. By means of Paul, the Lord says to give out of what you already have, not what you hope to have later; I mean: it is not His wish to copy ENRON's mark-to-market accounting practices and/or futures trading with pork bellies and soy beans.
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2Cor 9:7 . . Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion for God loves a cheerful giver.

Towards what end is the giving spoken of in the New Testament? To finance ambitious building programs? Well; Christians back then met in homes. Did their contributions go towards obtaining more homes to meet in? No.

Within the context of the New Testament, giving in the early church was charitable. It met needs rather than expenses; and those needs were typically congregational rather than universal; viz: their charity went towards those amongst themselves and/or other congregations that were hungry, sick, injured, homeless, alone, helpless, missionaries, full-time-church officers, orphans, widows, abandoned, and/or persecuted, etc.
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2Cor 10:7 . . If anyone is confident that he belongs to Christ, he should reconsider that we belong to Christ just as much as he.

It's amazing that any Christian's ego would be so inflated as to think themselves holier than an apostle, however, there are some people out there with a pretty bad case of conceit who are up to it. I can just hear the sneer in their voices as they think to themselves: "What's so special about him? He puts his pants on one leg at a time just like everybody else." That's the voice of one of the most destructive human passions there is: malicious rivalry. It got Abel murdered (1John 3:12) and it got Christ crucified. (Matt 27:15-18)

"And they send unto him certain of the Pharisees and of the Herodians, to catch him in his words" (Mark 12:13)

Just look at that! The Lord's enemies actually stalked him, hoping he would slip up and say something they could use against him. Who were the "they" in that passage? None other than Judaism's religious elite: the best of the best among Moses' people.

"And as he taught them, he said: Is it not written: My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations? But you have made it a den of robbers. The chief priests and the teachers of the law heard this and began looking for a way to kill him, for they feared him, because the whole crowd was amazed at his teaching." (Mark 11:17-18)

"Then the chief priests and the elders of the people assembled in the palace of the high priest, whose name was Caiaphas, and they plotted to arrest Jesus in some sly way and kill him. But not during the feast-- they said --or there may be a riot among the people." (Matt 26:3-5)

You've got to wonder how it came about that holy men ordained to represent God, and to speak for God, ever became so Machiavellian.
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