How to Know God


"Truly I say to you, whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child shall in no way enter into it." (Luke 18:17)


Summary:

This article deals with the most important issue for the follower of Joshua/Jesus which is how to truly know Joshua and his Father.

The one problem that prevents us from knowing Joshua and his Father is our not having a childlike faith in them.  We simply don't believe what Jesus/Joshua of Nazreth says.  That is the root cause of not knowing him nor the Father he speaks of.

Many like Joshua's promises of heaven and eternal life, but they don't like what they have to do in order to attain to that - we don't want to love others and live selfless lives.  So, the primary way people try to get around their not wanting to have faith in him, is to create a religion around him in order to 'have their cake and eat it too'.  In other words, we will make up a whole bunch of stuff we don't mind doing and say it is for him, even while we will not do the things he says we need to do.

Un-faith or unbelief is just that, no real faith, and it means that one refuses to believe him. But if we can expose some of the stuff people substitute for what he really wants, perhaps some will have less justification for their non-faith?

Substitutions for an Actual Knowing of God: 

Religious Knowledge

And what is the main thing people substitute for a child-like faith in Joshua and his Father?  It is trying to approach God primarily through the mind instead of primarily through the heart by faith. It is the way of the intellect, head-knowledge, and education about God, instead of the Way of faith as a child. 

And what is the primary manifestation of this error?  It is people listening to men and their theology instead of listening to Joshua' simple Truth...it is people doing the religious rituals instead of doing what Joshua says.  There might be much talk about Joshua or lip service to a few of his more agreeable teachings, but very little obedience to Joshua' teachings, especially his supreme teaching of love.

What is a primary way to nullify Joshua's teachings in favor of what others want?  It is to explain away Joshua' teachings using cultural nullification arguments. It is nothing less than religious relativism, the sister of secular relativism. This is manifest when the clergymen starts in with, 'well, you see you need to understand the cultural background of that passage (or some nuance in the original language, etc.), to see why it does not apply to us today...'  Another variation of this tactic is, 'well, those words of Joshua don't apply to us, only to those he spoke to at the time' - a powerful half-truth which can be used for good or evil.  Sadly, in organized religion, it is mainly used for evil.  It helps if you have lots of educational credentials in order to proffer this stuff and pass this stuff off on the people [see my article, Education-olotry: Are Seminaries Biblical?].  Of course the truth is that this stuff can only deceive people due to the people trusting the clergyman and his credentials instead of the Words of the only good Shepherd, and of course the root problem of non-faith is the cause of this.

Another error which distorts understanding God is to not understand how the old testament relates to Joshua teachings. The old testament must be understood through Messiah's Words. The old testament contains the story of God working through a people who did not have the privilege of knowing the Light's teachings - of knowing Messiah - Who came, and Who's Words and Way are recorded in the gospels. A NEW covenant has been established, and the believer in the ekklesia age is bound only by their love of Messiah Joshua and his example, teachings and commands, and thus, the old covenant has no authority over the disciple of Messiah.

Introduction

Joshua says, "But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you." (John 14:26)

"And Joshua called a little child to Him and set him in their midst, and said, Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18:2-3)

"But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Messiah. " (Matthew 23:8-10)

Perhaps the greatest error of people responding to God at some level is for them to rely primarily upon other people to teach them about God, and of course this is due to unbelief against God. The Messiah leaves no such room for this error. The entire religious system of men - from Christianity to Islam to Buddhism to Judaism to New Age - is built upon human 'experts, anointed ones, scholars, enlightened ones, highly educated clergymen, PhD's and popes, ThD's and reverends, pastors and priests', etc. etc. Christianity is especially guilty of this spiritual-death-bringing error, as it has more 'highly educated clergymen' than any other world religion.

But what if God's Son Joshua is right? What if all a person needs to know God and to experience His love and salvation is Joshua' Words, God's Holy Spirit, and a humble heart in order to know, trust and obey God? If this is true, what would that mean for organized religion, which is based on the clergymen and their alleged expertise in being the possessors of religious truth and the ones with important religious knowledge and insight into being accepted by God? It would mean that the religious systems would go away, and many religious people would be out of good paying jobs or a comfortable life-style! It would also mean that God's children could be the Family that He intends - all truly brothers and sisters (Matt. 23:8) and all dependent upon God and His Son and not upon sinful man and his religious substitutes.

The Root of Unbelief

As stated above, the main problem facing men is that we are sinful creatures. That is, our metaphysical make-up is hopelessly corrupt. Joshua teaches this plainly in such passages as Matt. 7:11, 19:17; John 15:5.

Since our metaphysical nature is corrupt - that is it's normal disposition is against God and His ways - our 'normal' way of thinking is anti-God or unbelief against Him. We need some way to overcome this problem, for we cannot overcome it by ourselves. The way that God has made for us to overcome this problem is faith.  He brings this to pass by drawing us to Himself by His Spirit, and for us to respond by repenting of our unbelief so He can place His Spirit in us so that we can start to know Him and His ways. Without His Spirit, we can never truly know Him, nor can we understand His ways. Without real faith, we can know ABOUT Him, but not Know Him in a real, personal way.  The Messiah put it this way...

"Joshua answered and said to him, Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus said to Him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born? Joshua answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, Unless a man is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, you must be born again"." (John 3:3-7)

The main problem in view in this article, is that men try to know and understand God PRIMARILY by their intellect/mind and then rely upon each other to try to know God. They do not humble themselves and allow God to birth them with His Spirit, and so they cannot know God nor His ways. Men refuse to truly trust in the Father by faith.  Even after a man is born again, he retains his mind/intellect, and the war begins as to who is going to rule the man's heart/life/spirit ' God's Spirit or man's soul/mind. Unfortunately, christianity is run by men who either don't have real faith, or who do not allow His Spirit to rule their lives. Thus, they are relying PRIMARILY upon their mind/intellect to know God, and thus they can only know about God or have a shallow, immature relationship with Him.

A direct and obvious proof of this fact is all the religious institutions of 'education' that men have created. If God is known by the Spirit and only reveals Himself to those who are humble as children - which the Messiah teaches (Matt. 11:25) - then obviously these institutions granting Bible degrees and other such approvals of men are men's way of error. This error is more fully exposed in the article, Are Seminaries Biblical: Education-olotry?.

Traditions of Spiritual Death

The unbelief problem referenced above is compounded as men seek other men to teach them about God. Instead of seeking the Lord God by His Spirit through Joshua' Words, by real faith, men start accumulating bible and religious ('religious' being defined as doctrine about God or religious organizations, which contradict Joshua' teachings in the gospels or have no reasonable basis in Joshua' teachings) knowledge in their minds and then set themselves up as teachers of God and His ways. Yet Joshua says plainly...

"But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Messiah." (Matthew 23:8-10)

These are some of the most ignored, explained away and nullified-by-traditions Words of Joshua. This is so because these truths destroy the religious ruling class and the associated religious systems of men e.g. the christian religious system. Joshua plainly states that he, the Messiah, will work through the Father's Spirit in teaching men, and that he is to be considered the only Teacher of God the Father and His ways.  Messiah himself says that there is "one Shepherd" (the clergymen translate the same exact Greek word "pastors" in Eph. 4:11 that is translated "shepherd" in John 10...one might want to seek the reason as to why), not two or more (John 10:16).

In opposition to God, Satan has set up christian religion's clergy* whose purpose is to nullify the Son of God's words and thus to help prevent people from knowing God and following His Son. The clergy's role is to serve as a substitute for Joshua - this is the doing of the ruler of this world (John 16:11). In the same way the Father placed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the midst of the garden, to test Adam's faithfulness and loyalty, so God allows the ruler of this world to set up christian religious organizations and their clergy in just about every city, town or village on the planet. Then each person who says they want to know God, will have a 'tree of the knowledge of good and evil' in relative close vicinity to test their faith. Will they follow Joshua or will they follow their local religious leaders?  Sadly, the vast majority follow their religious leaders instead of Joshua (Matt. 7:13-14).

*('clergy' is defined as religious men who do not know God or have dim heart-knowledge of Him, but are interested in making people outwardly moral, running religious organizations they think make people moral, and making a 'career' in having people submit to them and their organization's purposes, politics and programs)

Once a person commits to a religious organization, then the nullification of the Words of the Lord will begin a pace. Here is a sample of some of the teachings that you will hear from the religious leaders and their faithful followers, when someone in the organization detects a variance between what Joshua teaches and what the organization teaches, and approaches someone about it. A proper response will be in the following sub-paragraph in italics:

So, who decides which commands of Joshua are relevant and which ones are not - which ones are nullified do to cultural reasons, and which ones are not? The answer given is 'our educated clergy' or 'our anointed leader(s)';

So who decides which teachings of Joshua apply to me, and which one's don't? The answer given is 'our educated clergy' or 'our anointed leader(s)'. Or, 'whatever one's fit into my current lifestyle'.

So, to understand God's commands, I need to study Greek? God hid his commands in one or a few languages? And of course, 'our educated clergy' or 'our anointed leader(s)' have the answers.

So, we need extra-Biblical history to understand Joshua' Words? So, you are saying that Joshua' teachings not enough to know God and His ways?  Joshua' Words are therefore irrelevant to future people since most of them only applied to people who had specific customs?

I thought we were under the New Covenant, not the old? Why do we obey that particular ceremonial law and not all the other ceremonial laws in the Old Covenant? The true answer is 'because it fits into our religious traditions quite well, or because it can be used to support our clergymen, our religious organization and its programs'.

The problem with all these answers from those in christian religion is that they don't point people to God and His Messiah, but rather to men and their wisdom. All these answers have one thing in common - they reject Joshua' Words, and instead rely upon the words of men. This is the way to spiritual death.

'Proper interpretation of the Bible' is a matter of the intellect/mind, but in contrast, knowing God is a matter of the heart/spirit. This does NOT mean that we don't use reason when approaching Joshua's words in the gospels. We must use reason to find truth versus error.  Rather, it means that unless we have true faith and thus are yielded to His Spirit, and humble of heart as a child, we will not be able to receive His words no matter how well we think we understand them in our mind. If we are not yielded and humble, then our sinful nature will twist God's words to avoid them and to justify our sin. Also, we will not be doing what God says, but rather we will be paying lip service and admiring His words while our lives are out of compliance with the Way.

The first four example bullets above are responses from religious relativists. That is to say, that they do no actually believe that Joshua' Words put forth absolute truths that have a relevant bearing in every generation. Most people in christianity have a mixed belief in this regard. They say in their statements of faith documents that they believe "the bible" contains absolute truth, but what they are actually saying is that the bible contains absolute truth regarding those things which will not force them to change - for the things that would force them to change, well that is all culturally relative. Usually over ninety percent of their absolute truths in their statements of faith have nothing to do with Joshua' Words, nor a practical living out of following Joshua. Rather, their absolute truths have to do with head-theology about God.  But God never says he will receive us due to knowledge in our head-knowledge about Him - rather He says He will receive us if we receive the Words of his Son and DO them.

Examples of absolute truths that churchianity claim are things like the trinity doctrine, the doctrine of the inspiration of the scripture, Messiah's alleged atoning work for our sins, that Messiah was born of a virgin, and things about Joshua' return. Please note that these beliefs have NOTHING to do with how we live out the faith we claim to have. Rather, they are things we are told that we must believe in our minds in order to be right with God. Some of the more legalistic branches of christianity do have some practical things that they claim we must do that are absolute, but they are almost always of the religious ritual variety and not specifically addressed by Joshua e.g. head-coverings, dress codes, hair-habits, how to perform what they call the Lord's supper, etc.

So, christian religion preaches 'absolute truths', but the 'absolute truths' that they preach have nothing to do with how we are to live out our faith on this earth. The commands of Joshua that do tell us how to live for him in a practical manner, are where people are religious relativists. It is very convenient to be a relativist when it comes to the commands of Joshua that we don't want to obey, because we can deceive ourselves in rationalizing away that which we don't want to receive. You know, all the 'well, you need to understand the culture of that day to understand why we needn't obey that command of Joshua today'; Or, 'well, you need to understand the original languages in order to understand why we needn't obey that command of Joshua today'; Or, 'well, you just need to trust pastor and the scholars he studies in order to understand why we needn't obey that command of Joshua today'; Or, 'are you suggesting that pastor is wrong in his understanding of the scripture?'

Unfortunately, many christians use the bible as their reason for not following Joshua.  The bible is a big book, and since they are taught and believe that all of the bible is God's Word to men, they now have opportunity to reject the Truth (Joshua and his Words).  They choose to believe that which fits their lifestyle and reject the teachings of Joshua that contradict those other bible teachings which justify their life-style [see Is the Doctrine of Biblical Inerrancy Taught by Joshua?].  Instead of listening to Joshua, and doing what Joshua says, christians spend their lives accumulating bible knowledge in their head, thinking this is pleasing to God.  It is the way of the intellect and following the bible, instead of the Way of faith and following the Way.

The Bible: The Old Covenant

The last problem we will take a brief look at is the confusion between the old and new covenants. Let's start with an illustration.  If I have a business contract with someone, and one day I am given a new contract by that person which I am told will be the new basis for governing my business relationship, I am going to go by the new contract, not the old. In fact, you will throw out the old.  This is a simple and non-comprehensive example, but it goes to the heart of the matter. The OLD covenant was explicitly made with the people of Israel before YHWH sent His Son Messiah Yashua/Joshua. His Son did come, and he said that he was making a NEW covenant with all who would trust in him as their Lord and Master. The Way, Truth and Life are found in the Son for those who trust in him and love him above all else. He is truly their covenant with the Father. His words as contained in the gospels and his Words are our NEW covenant. This is beautifully simple, as God wants it, for He is pleased with child-like faith in Him and His Son.

So, what are we obligated to keep of the OLD covenant? Nothing except that which Messiah says we ought to keep of the old (see Follow Joshua, Not Moses!). What does He say we ought to continue to keep of the old covenant?  He doesn't say, "this passage or that passage".  You will find the answer to that as you read Joshua' Words.  The core of Joshua' teachings on what it is to be pleasing to the Father has to do with the state of our hearts, and how that if our heart is right with God, we will delight in His Son, and we will follow His Son. Again, beautifully simple, isn't it? Why do you want to complicate it?  Perhaps because it is easy to hide from God by using our minds or participating in flesh pleasing rituals?

So, when today's leaders of christian religion run to various aspects of the OLD covenant that Joshua does not validate by repeating in the NEW (or which are directly contradicted by Joshua' teachings), they are doing so in their flesh to avoid some command(s) of Messiah. They are going back to the old wineskins to say that something doesn't apply to them usually in order to justify a tradition which they use to support themselves, their organization or its programs (Luke 5:37-40). In opposition to this, Joshua wants us to follow him, and be his Family - the city on a hill, shining his bright light to the generation that we find ourselves in - the people truly marked by God's love. Again, the contrast is between a legal contract with God versus a living relationship via His Spirit with Him as His children and thus as His Family.

Perhaps the most glaring example in regard to the confusing the covenants is the practice of 'tithing'. Tithing is not taught by Joshua nor repeated in the new covenant as a necessary practice of God's people. Instead, Joshua gives a new standard in Luke 21:2-4. In that passage, Joshua commends an older widow who places all the money she has into the offering box. This is in contrast to the wealthy people who place their tithe and double tithe into the box. They are rebuked because they are giving out of their abundance and NOT sacrificially, while the widow was giving all she had and trusting in God to provide for her. This is totally consistent with Joshua' commands in Matt. 6, Luke 12:33 and Luke 14:33. The new standard of giving is our entire lives, not just some of the wealth we possess.

Now I ask the reader which is easier, to give a small percentage of our wealth, or our entire lives? The answer lies in whether we are truly willing to follow Joshua or not. Now, since most people chose not to follow Joshua - and the clergymen benefit from having the people follow them in their religious system - then running to 'God's Word' in Malachi to justify tithing works quite well. It makes no difference to the clergymen nor their followers that neither Joshua nor his sent ones ('apostles') validate the tithing command in the NEW covenant. The clergymen have their vocational income, and the people are deceived into thinking that they are somehow serving God by giving their money to their religious system. If someone asks why they need to keep the tithing command from Malachi or other places in the OLD covenant and not all the other outward/ceremonial type commands in the OLD covenant, then one will experience the deceitful words of the christian or messianic clergymen.

Conclusions:

Joshua says, "But the Comforter, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatever I have said to you." (John 14:26)

"And Joshua called a little child to Him and set him in their midst, and said, Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven." (Matthew 18:2-3)

"But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Messiah." (Matthew 23:8-10)

We always will have choices before us if we chose to follow Joshua.  There is the broad way that leads to destruction, and there is the narrow Way of the Son which we must strive to walk on that leads to Life. We can humble ourselves and become like children and thus move towards entering the kingdom of God. Or, we can play the religious game of storing knowledge in our head while never truly repenting of our pride or lack of faith, and thus deceive ourselves as we actually reject the kingdom of God and continue to love our life in the world.

The choice is yours as well as mine.

Send comments to: Tim 

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