Though it is repeatedly taught in the New Testament that what is called “Christianity” cannot be lived out through the natural will and strength of human effort as a religion, from the first century until now sinful human beings have kept trying in futility and shame.1 Of course, Satan delights in this reality since it helps sell his lie that what God has gloriously accomplished in Christ to save mankind from our sins is really just another of the many equally valid religious inventions of men. Those of us that know and love the truth grieve with the heart of God that a counterfeit form of Christianity exists competing with the real thing either ruining or turning away earnest seekers (2 Timothy 3:1-9).
The Person and work of Jesus Christ crucified, buried, risen, ascended, glorified and coming again to rule this earth forms the biblical core of “the faith” (Jude 3-4, NKJV). He and the Father have sent the Holy Spirit into the earth to actualize the divine will to save souls through the preaching of the Gospel about and witnessing of Christ (Luke 24:44-49; Acts 1:8). Still concerned about how Satan has confused things, I wrote this edited 2012 repost as the Spirit led to stress again how He in life changing residence and power is the central and essential superior factor that distinguishes an authentic Christian from one that is a mere professor (John 3:1-8,14:15-18; Acts 19:1-10).2
Originally Posted March 11, 2012
One of the major reasons the history of the churches on earth is filled with confusion, stained with human blood and pot-marked with evil corruptions of all kinds is the deadly, formal appearance of Christianity as a flesh driven religion not long after the first century eyewitness apostles passed from the scene. In fact, the Lord Jesus apparently deals with a church in the onset of religion first in messages He gives to seven churches of Asia through John, most likely the last living eyewitness apostle (Revelation 2:1-7). The reality that Christ not only has first-hand knowledge of what is going on within, but judges every local church in all generations accordingly should be totally sobering to us.
The once spiritually vibrant church at Ephesus had been nurtured by the apostle Paul who also foretold the devastation that would come by corrupt shepherds (Acts 20:17-31). Still, by the time of John’s recording of His Revelation later in the century, the Lord Jesus commends the church’s resistance of false apostles and teachers along with their persevering labor for His name sake. But He then calls for the individuals making up this church to repent from the one thing He had against them: they had left their “first love”--Him (Revelation 2:4, NKJV)! This matter is so serious to the Lord, He promises to remove the church from among His churches unless they repented! Why?
Is it not because our individual relationship with and corporate devotion to the risen Lord in Holy Ghost fired love is His highest priority for us (Luke 14:25-26; John 21:15-17; Romans 5:5; 1 John 4:19)? And had it not been the loveless, flesh driven works of Jewish religion that put the Lord on the cross (Acts 2:22-24, 3:11-17)? Besides all of that, the Christian life is a supernatural life that cannot be lived in the flesh nor can flesh works please God (Romans 8:6-9). All throughout the biblical record whenever men turn their hearts from God, sin and the rigor mortis of outward religion soon set in to His great displeasure (Isaiah 1:10-15; Matthew 23:1-33).
In my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics,3 Jesus Christ is shown from the Bible as a Man full of the Holy Spirit and power for His service from the time of John’s baptism (Matthew 3:13-17). Having the preeminence in all things and blazing a trail of example for us who would believe in Him thereafter, aspiring strong men of God and the churches they assemble in are all likewise baptized in and live full of the Holy Spirit. This means the Spirit initiates then leads, controls and empowers the aspiring strong man of God’s life moment by moment. It also means God’s power through the Holy Spirit not human effort characterizes his life in all things.
There is no substitute for the Holy Spirit. Not even studying and knowing the entire written Word of God can replace the Spirit’s priority and manifold work in the life of a believer. Indeed, it is of the highest form of futility to know the Word, but have no power to do it (Romans 7:14-24). But now, fully related to Christ Jesus in faith, the aspiring strong man of God is able to love, obey and serve Him in power through the agency of the Holy Spirit (Romans 7:25-8:5)! This is the Christianity of the apostles and New Testament of the Bible. Anything else is an empty knock off of manmade religion destined to destroy its practitioners and be destroyed (Revelation 17:15-19:4)!
1 See the August-September 2016 posts on Christianity as a powerless religion of human invention beginning with the two-part, Christianity The Religion Of Men on
August 21st under the category, Instruction.
2 Read my March 1, 2015 post, The Mark Of A Genuine Christian and those that follow through March 22nd under the category, Instruction.
3 The book is available at all major internet book sellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
The Lord and necessity stirring my heart, I write today celebrating the thirty-second year since this Ministry began operations October 1, 1985 and to follow up a post I made back on July 9, 2017 entitled, Laboring To Restore Men under the category, The Cause. In both instances I hope that you will allow the Holy Spirit to stir your own heart to come along side of and financially support the Ministry that has made possible this biblically sound, instructional, thought provoking, challenging and edifying weekly Strong Man Of God Blog as well as all of the resources including my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics that are available at this critical hour in world history.
If I could sum up the history of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. as the organizational parent of Strong Man Ministries and source of all our other activities in a phrase, it would be “faithful and fruitful.” How glad I am that this phrase finds great favor with the God of the Bible and indeed, He gets the glory that the Ministry can be described in this way since He made it possible (Deuteronomy 7:9; Psalm 31:23, 124; John 15:1-8)! Through so much adversity mostly from carnal, religious professed and compromised Christians, God has enabled us to persevere to do His will in faithfully proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the lost while also teaching and warning those in opposition face to face and using many media tools which today incorporates the internet.
Tens of thousands of human souls here in America and many parts of the earth have been reached by this Ministry in thirty-two years. We will not know the full extent of the fruitfulness our God has caused us to have until standing before Him to receive the rewards of service in the Day of Judgment (Romans 14:10-12; 2 Corinthians 5:9-11). All of what has been done to date has been done with very limited human and financial resources--again, to God’s glory! When I look back over the years, I am amazed at all of the expensive media stuff from billboards to national radio broadcasts God has made a way for us to do with little or no money declaring His uncompromised Word.
Following the conventional market driven wisdom of doing non-profit and Christian ministry, we certainly would not be proclaiming God’s uncompromised Word as it is written. Doing so, of course, is the primary reason relative few Christians have stepped up to support us. Market driven non-profit and Christian ministry sees needs or surveys what people’s felt needs are and seeks to create products and services to address them. Having Marketing in my educational and work experience, I initially saw the unmet need in 1985 for Christian media programming targeting black Americans. I set out to meet it through founding this Ministry and raising funds from Christians to make it happen.
However, after six months, it was clear I was running into the same religious brick wall I had been introduced to as a baby Christian that lacked with other things, Kingdom vision among many black American Christians and churches; toleration of the sin of racism among my white brothers that could not fathom helping me help anyone.1 Thirty-two years later, this state of affairs largely remains intact--though I thank God for the exceptions to it that have supported us. Also, in market driven wisdom I have had my share of closed doors among major publishing entities that equally reject authors that they do not believe have content people--Christian women in particular--will buy.
Praise God, rejection has not been the whole story! At the end of that first six months He answered my “why” prayer by plainly making known my calling to me modeled after that of the prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 2:1-3:11, 16-21, 33:1-9). Then, I understood, though I never dreamed I would be suffering faithfully with God’s help at this despised task so long. For I am treated as an enemy by many of those I have been sent to serve in the love and mercies of God. My messages are not my own; they originate with the Lord who does not do marketing surveys to determine what may be popular or controversial (avoiding controversy because of God’s Word has never been possible for His faithful servants including the Lord--Luke 6:26; John 7). He cares that the lost hear the Gospel to be saved; those professing to know Him obedient to retain what they have (1 Corinthians 15:1-2)!
Not the lost nor even the baby or weak in faith Christian, but the faithful who appreciate faithfulness and fruitfulness as God does are those that we seek to help support this Ministry in its work! Where are you? Or do you also as so many in line with the world today no longer see the proclamation of what is considered the intangible Word as of utmost importance in the human condition, but only what is tangible in ministering to physical needs? The Lord preached the Gospel and met physical needs, but clearly made the need to be restored to God the priority (Matthew 4:1-4, 12-5:6, 6:25-34; John 6)! We will not fraudulently change or add to our God ordained mission as a first priority to tug at your heart over human physical needs just to get your money.
The mission objectives of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. through its varied ministries has remained preaching the Gospel, teaching God’s Word uncompromised, helping willing churches do their work and being faithful representatives of Christ in the world to whatever end He has willed. Please support us because of these Kingdom rooted mission objectives and the still Heaven esteemed values of faithfulness and fruitfulness this Ministry exhibits.2 You can give securely now on our Web Site, https://www.thestrongmanofGod.org/Give.3 Otherwise, send your cash, check or money order made out to Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. to: P.O. BOX 56704, Portland, OR 97238. Your gift is tax-deductible and a letter receipt will be sent. Thank you.
1 See my two part August 21-28, 2016 blog, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction and the October 2, 2016 post, Gifted With A Prophet’s Heart,
under the category, Call To Repent to learn about some of my early experiences with Christianity as manmade religion.
2 To see a summary of our recent faithfulness and fruitfulness click the Learn More link on the Operational Needs Page.
3 This Ministry does not see or handle your debit or credit card information and uses PayPal as its trusted, exclusive online payment processor.
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