You Can Be As Certain as What The Bible Says As You Are About A Dress Being Red

This is a thread excerpt from a discussion on our “Religion Think Tank.”

For the Christian religion I propose that understanding the Word of God, God Himself, or the things of God is as un abstract as seeing a girl with a red dress, and knowing immediately that her dress is red.

In the case of the girl with the red dress, our natural senses working with knowledge allow us to know that her dress is red. Notice, that I used the word to know. God uses the very same faculty of knowing in conjunction with our spiritual senses.

The Christian religion says the following. Man is spirit, soul and body. Adam, was in fact, a spiritual being living in a human body.

God is a Spirit.  Adam conversed or spoke to God, spirit to spirit. When sin came in, the relationship between God and Adam was broken and his spirit literally died or became inactive. The effect of sin, separates man from talking to God. Man’s spirit becomes dead in relationship to God.

When man accepts Jesus Christ, Christ comes into man via the Holy Spirit into his spirit.  His spirit is revived and he is again able to hear and converse with God.

As there are natural senses, there are spiritual senses. With the revived spirit, man can hear, see and hear spiritually. The same faculty of knowing physically that the dress is red, is given by God in a spiritual dimension. As a matter of fact, the Spirit of God uses two types of knowledge in the spiritual, as we use two types of knowledge,  in the visible world.

First,  there is progressive knowledge.  This is the type of knowledge that one acquires in a college class as he learns from day to day. Secondly, God uses intuitive knowledge, which is the immediate knowledge that the girl’s dress is red. One does not need to go to college to learn that the girl’s dress is red.

This is why there are not many interpretations to the Bible.

Secondly, the knowledge of  truth about God does not need to be abstract, because of this.

A man  or woman with a restored spirit, who has God speaking and living in their spirits, hears the spirit of God in conjunction with progressive and intuitive knowledge and can understand the Bible and the things of God in exactly the same way that he can know and understand that the girl’s dress is red.  One is physical intuitive knowledge, and one is spiritual intuitive knowledge.  When a person looks at the red dress, he does not try to interpret the dress. He uses intuitive knowledge. When a person reads the Bible, He does not interpret it. The Holy Spirit in him, interprets it using spiritual intuitive knowledge, spirit to spirit.  The spirit will then reveals the knowledge of God to the brain of the man. You can be as certain about what God is speaking as you are about the dress being red. You can be as certain about what the Bible says as you are about the dress being red.

A Cup Of Colombian Coffee and Some God Thoughts

The danger of some of the new culturally friendly, politically correct, palatable paraphrase versions of the Bible is that for many, it will create dumbed down, bound in chains, and weakened believers.

Transformation and metamorphosis into the image of Christ will cost you all that you have. It’s hard work, but its worth is above all money and riches.
We live in times where we want everything to be easy, pleasant and with little sacrifice. God many times works  in opposite ways to these.
The image of Christ has no pain. He dwells in liberty and power.

The image of Christ is created in you in proportion to how closely you live your life by the untainted exactness of God’s Word. The huge inaccuracies of these new paraphrases will not transform you into a place of freedom.

For the unchurched, I can see some value.
I perceive in part these new paraphrases as used by the enemy to keep believers in bondage through the mediocrity of cultural relevancy, the unobtrusiveness of political correctness, rather than the freedom which is produced through sacrificial studying to find the unalloyed precision of the Word of God.

Believers beware and see where the cunning hand of enemy might be used in these new paraphrases.

We must study the revivals of the past and its leaders, William Seymour, Evan Roberts, Charles Finney and Smith Wigglesworth. However if we go back to simply cherish in the glories of these people, without learning, and then looking immediately forward to how God can use us now, we commit a grave mistake.

 If you are in to just read and read, you have sorely missed the boat.

  I believe that revivals and awakenings are more needed now than when these people lived.

We live in far more perilous times than them.

We must become the revivalists and awakeners of today.  Their ceilings should be our floors. We have infinitely far more Biblical resources than what they did.

God Gives Money On Airplanes

We got to our gate in Bogotá on Friday to board our flight back to Miami. There, we briefly struck up a conversation with a lady, who is a Christian just like us. We bid her farewell as we boarded the plane.

As the passengers boarded the flight, this lady ended up sitting across me in one of the aisles. The plane that we were on has the two aisles and the middle section of seats.

To my amazement her seats had been changed in the last minute and so had ours and now she had ended across me.

We realized that this was what we call a “divine appointment” from God.

I spent three and half hours talking with her about the things of God.

As we landed in Miami, she said to me, “Wait, God told me to do something”. With that she scrimmages  into her purse and pulled out six one hundred-dollar bills.

Little did she know that we were about one thousand dollars short on our funds for our Flagstaff trip in just two days.

God is great and likes to give money on airplanes!

God Answers The Atheist

I recently got into a conversation with a gentleman who is was a deep agnostic bordering on atheism.

He was a mathematics professor in a university.

I asked him, what it would take for him to believe. He told me that God, or if there is a God, He would have to show him concrete and tangible proof of Himself.

We had been having Holy Ghost meetings. To my surprise, this man not only came to the meeting, but hung out with us way before the meeting began.

Jesus never chased anybody who did not want Him. Neither do I.

From the commencement of the meeting God came in with a tremendous bang of healing power.  In a matter of minutes many were on the floor visibly “under the influence” of God’s sweet love, if you know what I mean.

I prayed for everybody, except this man, wishing to respect his atheist’s views.

My beloved wife Mary touched me on the shoulder and asked me, “Are you not going to pray for him?”  I fumbled and said to her, “Oh, I did not think that he wanted prayer.”

I turned to the gentleman and asked, “Do you want me to pray for you?”  “Yes”, he told me.

I lifted him up from his chair and extended my hand toward him, being careful not to touch him.

The visible glory of God came upon this man as he stood with eyes closed. For almost ten minutes he stood there with his eyes shut.  I prayed, “Lord, give him the undisputable concrete proof of You that he needs! “I moved on to the next person but kept on glancing towards him. When he opened them, and his and mine met, he had a big smile on his face. What occurred, I have no idea.

Ten minutes later I had healing line of four people.  As I prayed, the man at the end of the line about 10 feet away, suddenly collapsed under the power of God with no one to catch him.

My atheist friend who had been comfortably sitting, lunged from the couch in a desperate effort to catch him. He caught he man and both fell on the floor with the man squarely on top of my atheist friend, in one big heap.

My atheist friend looked at me sprawled on the ground, a body on top of him. He had a big grin on his face.

I do not know if this was his concrete proof or not. Surely God is great and has a great sense of humor, though.

Our Vision for America


Bogota 2012!

We just got back from a stupendous trip to Bogotá Colombia.  I had never been to South America, and was honored that God brought me there this week.

Apart from the fact that Bogotá has too many cars and too little roads, the experience was unforgettable.

Bogotá is a beautiful city perched on a large savannah and surrounded by mountains. Its sights are breathtaking, the food exquisite, and the people are courteous, humble, well learned, talkative, smart, and inviting.

Impressive was the scarcity of text messaging and cell phone conversations. The people are simply more interested in socializing with each other.

From the moment that we landed to the one that we departed God brought beautiful people to drink from the power of His Holy Spirit.

Holy Ghost meetings were organized every day. Every meeting had new faces, all of them very hungry for God! Most were Catholics, who had never experienced the power of God, being slained in the Spirit, or being touched by healing prayer, or getting a word of prophecy.

Some had a blend of Catholicism and new age stuff, others were atheists, and most of them had never opened a Bible and did not know what they were coming to the meetings for. But the one denominator was hunger for more, hunger for the God whom they did not know, and a humility and openness to receive and be taught.  And guess what?  God moved! Yes, God moved mightily.  After the power stopped, the tears were wiped and many picked themselves from the floor, then they sat for hours to listen to the word of God which they had never heard.

Not one was offended by God’s power and His sometimes weird manifestations and prophesies. As matter of fact, everybody loved them and wanted more. Even the atheists! LOL!

In thirty three years I can count on one hand those whom have been offended by the Holy Spirit’s power and it’s never been a Catholic.

Its behooves some of us Protestants, who want the squeaky clean 60 minutes, services, colored by  the civility of the Holy Ghost’s absence, to learn from Bogota’s scripturally untrained Catholics, new agers, and atheists who are humble and hungry for the unknown God.  With them this God, Christ Jesus, is moving like wildfire.

Are some of us indoctrinated Protestant Christians committing spiritual suicide by drinking the potion of  apathy, debate and unbelief against the living God?

We need to be careful that God does not leave us behind and move on to those who really hunger for Him. Lord take me back to Bogota in 2012!

Mat 21:31  Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to Him, The first. Jesus said to them, Truly I say to you that the tax-collectors and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

Mat 21:32  For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him. But the tax-collectors and the harlots believed him. And when you had seen it, you did not repent afterwards so that you might believe him.

I was just a fat man trying to get to heaven

I had a supernatural experience with Jesus Christ in 1979 which radically altered my whole life.

Though my family had been Catholics in Cuba, it was simply in name, because we hardly ever went to church. I remember as a four-year old kid during Good Fridays in Havana, that radio stations would only play somber and quite messages commemorating the Christ whom had been crucified for the sins of the world. I still recollect sitting in my father’s car as the announcer spoke austerely about Jesus, and I peered into the graying sky of dusk just knowing that there had to be a God.

I never prayed growing up as a teen. We lived in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands in the late sixties. There I had to do a Catholic confirmation. I went to a priest who was sitting behind a dark grail and had to confess all my youthful sins. I was so darn nervous.

At the age of fifteen I began drinking beer. I was accepted to Vanderbilt University in Nashville at the age of 18 and left my family in the Caribbean as an absolutely lost, frail, and totally insecure young man. It wasn’t more than a few months later that I was smoking tons of marijuana from bongs and reefer, abused my body with bi amphetamine 50’s ( black beauties), during midterms and finals, took some occasional Quaaludes, went to TGI Fridays, got bombed, dated girls…..the whole scene.

Vanderbilt is called “The Harvard of the South” and fitting is that title. At Vandy one must be a relatively decent student to get C’s, an excellent student to get B’s and a zombie study fanatic with absolutely no social life to make A’s. You can imagine me on drugs, so lonely, lost and insecure. I was making D’s!

I began to date a girl who had serious psychological issues. One night she telephoned me in an extremely depressed mood. She was suicidal. As I desperately tried to encourage her on the phone I heard her open up a bottle of pills. As I frantically talked to her, she passed out on the phone. Madly I ran a mile to the girl’s dorm and told the security guard what had happened. The RA and other girls barged into her room and found her passed out. They were able to make her vomit and by a miracle of God she did not die.

That night, I think that I came close to recognizing what a nervous breakdown is. I felt like a vegetable. I could not think, I could not function or process and I felt paralyzed and comatose. I regained my senses, but in the ensuing weeks I developed a deep insomnia and persistent chest pains.

One night after that I laid crumpled on the bed of my tiny room in the Carmichael Towers, totally engulfed with self-pity, hopelessness, and fear. I had made an appointment the next day to go the campus nurse because I was petrified of the chest pains which I was getting.

My brother George, who is now deceased, was a freshman at Vanderbilt as well. He came to visit me. He had an experience with Jesus Christ through the folks from the Campus Crusade for Christ. As I laid on my bed, George told me, “Why don’t you ask Jesus to heal your heart.” After speaking to me a bit more he left.

In the darkness of my bedroom I cried out in desperation to the unknown God whom I had never prayed to. I said, “God if you are real please heal me!” After crying out some more, I suddenly felt an invisible hand reach into and inside my chest. It felt like a painless spiritual surgery. I passed out into a deep sleep similar to what happens when you are administered sodium pentothal in a surgery.  In the morning, I woke up and realized that I had missed the appointment to the campus nurse. All of the chest pains and anxiety were gone. I was absolutely healed.

I began to hang out with the Campus Crusade for Christ folks. I will never forget that even in those lost and dark days, there was something so different about them. Their love, kindness, peace, and holy living not just to me but among themselves attracted me in a mysterious way. I could not put my finger on it then, but I knew that they were unlike me and all of my druggie friends. One day I asked them that if I followed Jesus I would have to give up my partying. I was so scared that this Jesus was out to rob all of my fun. All that I knew were the serious and somber Catholic priests whom I had met and seemed to have no fun as Christians. The Campus Crusade people told me that I in some way would have to give up my partying.

I turned my back upon Jesus and went back to the bars and drugs of Nashville. Five more years of this lifestyle finally did me in. I dropped out of Vandy as a junior and went to Key Biscayne, Florida where my family was now living. When I flew in to Miami my parents were in the heat of a divorce after twenty-eight years of marriage. My father packed up his bags one day and left our home, never to come back.

Two more years passed. I was unemployed, drinking and taking more drugs. One night I was with a girl at Rickenbacker Causeway. We had the pipe and a baggie of pot out in the car. All of a sudden a brilliant and blinding light shone through one of the windows of the car. It was a policeman. I know now that God was protecting me though I hardly knew Him. The cop just told us to get out of the beach. So many times I drove to and fro from Joe Flannigan’s Big Daddy’s wasted, stoned, and dead drunk through the streets of Miami, yet without getting into an accident. The gracious and Almighty God protected me. His love is so great.

In 1979, my father hired me to be a file clerk at his insurance company on SW 1st Street and 13th Avenue in what we call with endearment “Little Havana.” By that time my life had hit the rock bottom. I went to see a prestigious lady psychologist who had treated me in Cuba twenty years earlier for a severe speech impediment. Now in her 70’s, I recounted to her how messed up my life was. She said to me “Jose, get close to God” At that moment a light darted through me. I remembered the kindness of the Campus Crusade people whom I had met five years earlier. I am sure now that they had prayed for me all of those years.

Next to my father’s office was an empty Episcopalian church which was always opened. I was so broken, so fearful, and so helpless. During my lunch breaks, I began to go into the empty church and pray to the God whom I did not know. I had done some spiritual searching and had read about tarot cards.

I did not know if God was Jesus, Buddha, Allah, Krishna or Confucius. For about ten days I went to the empty church, got on my knees and cried out to the roof of the church for help and mercy. Nothing happened; there were no bright lights, no voices, just stark silence. Close to the tenth day a Presence of the sweetest, most innocent, and most delightful love came upon me and enveloped me. I instinctually knew that this Presence loved me, could be my very best friend, and was totally pure, innocent, and trustworthy. I knew that this Being would never play a mind trip or a head game with me. I was so hungry for more. I visited the church again and came into contact again with this wonderful being.

I was to realize later that this was the magnificent Holy Spirit. As I my encounters continued my heart was impelled to go to the nearby Christian bookstore and buy a Living Bible. As the weeks and months progressed I realized that this was Jesus, not Mohammed, not Buddha not the crystals, not the energy or an aura and not Krishna. This glorious Presence had drawn me only to Jesus! I had a born again experience all by myself.

God changed me and healed me and has given me the most fantastic wife, beautiful children, a wonderful global Christian family and the most fulfilled life possible.

As I got to know Jesus, I came to realize that everything that I had been always seeking in girls, money, drugs and drinking, Jesus was the answer. I realized that He was the key to my heart. I was enthralled and captivated by His tender love and friendship and by a continual protection over me that only a mother hen can give to its chicks.

Thirty years later, my friendship, love affair and hunger for more of Jesus continue unabated. He has never stopped being my friend. He tenderly guides me and my family from moment to moment. As the song says, “Oh what a friend I have in Jesus.” All you need to do is ask Him to be your friend as well….because for all  I knew I was just a fat man trying to get to heaven.

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My Vision of Hell and Why I Don’t Toy With My Eternity

I have got some very good comments on my blogs, most in a defense of Rob Bell’s theology, which a loving God will not leave anybody in hell.  May I submit to you my 1979 vision of hell, and even if God would pull you out, which is unscriptural, would you want to be there for just one minute? Why toy with your eternity?  Love Wins because I have the One who won over hell Inside of me. Why do we want to complicate, rationalize and theologize such a simple thing? Christ Jesus is your airplane ticket to eternal life, plain and simple.

I got saved in 1979.

When I came to Jesus, I was on drugs and alcohol and dropped out of Vanderbilt University. I flew back to Miami from Tennessee to live with my parents who were in a midst of a divorce after twenty-eight years of marriage. I gave my heart to the Lord Jesus, which in itself is another detailed blog entry. I met Jesus by myself without the help of any pastor, priest or church. A few months later, God had changed my heart towards drinking alcohol and given me a thirst instead for His Spirit and His Word. I was still however, smoking marijuana and when someone treated me to the more expensive cocaine, which I could not afford, I would indulge in it.

Kenny Loggins was coming to South Florida. Though he was not one of my favorite rock stars, Kenny is a very gifted musician and I was thrilled to see him in Ft. Lauderdale. I did not know any Christians and was still hanging out with my worldly friends. We bought the tickets and rode up to beautiful Sunrise Musical Theatre. I was surprised when one of the guys pulled out a stash of high-grade cocaine. As the concert progressed we snorted more and more of the white powder and were literally flying sky-high.

Today when a concert ends, people shout “encore” or “more” and pull out their lit cell phones waving them in the air. In the 70’s and 80’s there were no cell phones. People would light up matches or pull out their lighters in the air.

When Kenny finished his last song, the shouts of “encore” and “more” began to resonate through the marijuana smoke-filled air. Thousands of matches and lighters in unison illuminated the dark auditorium. Right then, and at that very moment, the Lord Jesus transported me in the Spirit and into a vision.

In this revelation the thousands of match flames became meshed together into one massive fire that engulfed me on all sides, and the myriads of voices around me crying “more” became the thousands of shouts of demons saying “more fire”, “more fire”, “more fire”. It was sheer terror, utter fear, and a sensation of not been able to think or focus on anything else but upon the incident of the immediate horror surrounding me.

I crashed from the drug high that I was on in less than a minute. I was numb and in a silent state of panic. The lights came on and all of my friends, stoned and red-eyed, congregated around me to excitedly remark on the incredible concert. I could not speak. I could just nod. I could not drive myself back home. Somewhere on the one hour trip back to Miami, as I slowly recollected myself, I heard the Lord tell me in His sweet and quiet and still small voice, “My son, no more drugs.” All of my drug habits were instantaneously cured on that day of 1980. I have never touched a drug again, because I never want to experience the fright and the horror of this vision of hell.

Jesus preached about hell three times more than he preached about heaven. To this day, I have never experienced this type of fear again. It’s not His wish that anyone would ever go there. The masses send themselves to hell by rejecting His provision for eternal life. I was in a vision of hell for about five minutes. I can’t foresee what the real deal is for eternity. I do not wish hell on the worse of my enemies. Unfortunately many have gone into it and will end up in it, out of their own choosing.

Children Of The Onion

I will describe now one of my biggest battles in dying to my old life and having the Christ in me take full control.  Until today, I was still one of those children of the onion. Let me explain.

Suffice it to say that the battles will never be over, and Christ will never be in full control, until we get to the other side of that “sweet by and by.”

I can say, however, that the one huge stronghold of my control over that of Christ’s fell today.

Any area where our lives are not under the loving control of Christ is one area where the demonic will have its spidery legs wrapped around our soul, health, wealth, and body.

I call it spidery, because recently, God has revealed demons as spiders. Spiders do not have to move much. They are simply there. They suck the life out of you. They roost on top of the sin which you love. They slowly destroy you from this beach head of sin. From there, they weave their spidery webs in the recesses of your soul.  Their long legs wrap themselves into the subconscious areas, and by them, create fortresses of hostility towards God, all in your mind.

The work of demons is obscure. Demons are onion lovers. They hide in onions.  These onions are their cocoons. These types of onions are sins. As the layers of sin peel off, as that of an onion, the demon spider is finally exposed, and Christ expels it out from your life. At the core of every onion called sin, there is always a demon. He is the last one to come out, and only when you have peeled the onion, with the knife of repentance. You can never get to the demon, until you get to the sin. You can never get to the sin as long as you love it.  As long as the onion is there, the demon is right in there, too. The only knife that works is that of repentance.

Demons make you feel that you are the one with the problem.  You are the one who is sick. You are the one who is anxious. You are the one who is ADD. When in fact it’s his attack. He will wound you by means of the spidery legs which work from the shadowy cocoon of sin’s onion.

This well hid spider deceives you.  Its deceptions create a false identity which you embrace.  The identity could be to become famous, or rich, take up a cause, or extol your personal rights, or worse still, to disobey God.

It could be a need to stay sick, in self-pity, to be a martyr, a victim, one who is offended, depressed or unable to forgive.  These breed negative attention. Others attend to you because you are a victim, a martyr, or someone who is ill.

This identity becomes a fortress, a citadel in your mind. You live and die for it. I was still holding to a false identity. Worse still, I was wishing for this identity, and asking God to make me into the person who owned it. This false person had become me. We call this a pseudo fantasy, a false imagination. We idolize our imaginations and fantasies and what we create in them.

The only real identity is Christ in me. Every other identity must die. Every other identity bows its knee to Christ.  Demons only respect Christ. They don’t respect me, or my false fantasies. They don’t respect any other identity, except the one which Christ has, and which is Christ.

So as long as you love any sin, remember that it is an onion, which has a demon at its core and which is still preying on you.  You are still the children of the onion.

The Root of Sin is Pain

The world is full of pain. The root of all sin is pain.

Sin, is a fallacious way to anesthetize it.

I ponder if liberalism is a way to medicate the pain of rejection, and disappointment with authority, pastors, and parents?

The hippie and drug cultures were rebellion against the pain of perception of unloving parents.

Much of our identity is woven in pain. Pain is us.  Lashing out, hatred, violence, and mockery are stimulated by hidden pain.

Christ Jesus, the new man, is painless. He is rooted in God’s identity.  God is joy, power, liberty, exuberance, transcendentalism, love, authority, and painlessness.

The challenge for the believer is to leave the house of pain. Pain, must not be us, or in us, anymore. We must not halt transformation until every personal response is rooted in painlessness.  The walk out is laborious and slow, but is well worth it.

Freedom comes by God’s revelation knowledge. You shall know revelational truth and its work will free you.  Those who are devoted disciples to the Word will glean abundant revelation which will free them. If you are not a fervent disciple of the Bible, don’t expect complete liberty.

You must use time in the presence of the Lord. Whenever God manifests, He causes sin to break down and become nonfunctional, ineffective. If you do not apply time to prayer, don’t expect every chain of bondage to break.

You must obey every impulse of the voice of God. This is the only way to develop confidence in how He talks. If you are wrong, it’s better to err traversing deep waters, than dwell in delusions of fear.

My father told me, for everything you want in life; there is a price to pay. The greater is your want, the greater will be the price.  How much are you willing to pay for liberty in Christ? Anything you do towards that end is well worth it.