“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.  (25)  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.  (26)  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Mat.16:24-26 KJV

Many try following Christ for those things He represents to them, the suit being settled and so engraved upon their minds, they scarcely realize Christ is not with them at all. He is able to represent a whole lot of things to many different “experts”: from money and welfare, to suitable doctrinal assets, emotional (un)happiness, true doctrine’s hope, and many more such things. None of these is following Christ the Savior ever – though it may still be following another Christ.

If you know a land, a country by map – what has it to do with knowing it of a truth, in reality, being fully acquainted with its customs, landscapes and beauty? Is the map the land? Can it ever be? It represents the land, but it will never be the land itself! The design of a house on paper – can any architect ever state it is suitable for people to live in there? Is the house the written paper itself ever? In the same way, the Bible is not Christ at all, the genuine living Word of God, unless He gathers with us! We may have the Bible without Christ, even though we will never have Christ without the Bible.

If one attempts to do without Christ in a living manner, if sin is so enabled to drive us to Bible knowledge and learning, if conscience’s pricks are ever to drive us to know a lot about the Bible and the God of the Bible, we are deceived and well-deceiving people and as far from God as we have never been before! Christ is the living word of God, “and without Him was not any thing made that was made”, John 1:3.  Are you trying to do without Him in a way which is able to make you believe He is with you?

The worst thing that can ever happen to any man, is to hold and withhold upon truth as he does with an illusion. People came from a phantasmagoric world where to lie is considered art, where church living is a mockery unto God, and where illusion is the only happiness of any soul – once they come to God, they keep their ways in a “Word” fashion, in a suitable way, feigning humility, recreating and reshaping truth according to belief and not according to what it is: Life, as genuine and as clear as it can and may ever be! God is not to be mocked. Yet, Truth is still supposed, as accurate as can ever be, for knowledge has run to and fro by now. That is how God is easily put aside, banished from His own Temple, imagined, prayed unto unreality.

Which doctrine do you take hold of, my dear man? Which man of God do you uphold constantly, even when you try to fall asleep? Know that you do that to honor yourself above all, trying to duck away from your own Life – that’s why you greedily, doctrinally, and in a discursive way uphold a man of God so high up that people around you come to reject the God of that man simply because you act as if you have what you have not, by associating yourself to such. Look at what was said about Simon who was known to be associated with Philip! “Then Simon himself believed also: and when he was baptized, he continued with Philip, and wondered, beholding the miracles and signs which were done”, Act 8:13. This was the man who tried to buy the power to grant the Holy Spirit to people being bitter inside!

Every man of God were ever men of God because they had their own share of eternal life on earth; so, if you uphold their share as yours, you are in all truth keeping yourself away from your own share, the one God came to attribute to you personally, as we read in Luke 12:37: “that He shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them”. This is how truth may and can be turned in an “own life” affair and issue, of which one may be asked to loose it so as to still stand a single chance to save it.

It happens to be so easy to preach upon and base preaching on truthful issues, seeing we may know a whole lot concerning it all by now, mixing it with that greediness to teach others as we never do or did towards ourselves! By teaching others, we easily fool ourselves by deceiving our minds we are as we are able to teach or better than that (even though teaching is good). Conscience easily quietens itself down when it shouldn’t afford to do so at all. Conscience may never be given reason to sustain itself upon lying, nor to state it can never find real peace because it has its own already, self worked and upheld from any pulpit – which things happen to be one and the same awful thing. That is never the peace as the world does not give – it can’t be.

The way out is but, as Peter stated, “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,  (5)  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ”, 1Pe 2:4-5 KJV.  God has to be called Emanuel, if we are ever to be as living as He is today ourselves. We find, therefore, people who wholeheartedly believe they have denied their own living, handing themselves up to the proclamation of those doctrines which in their mind are truthful – and truthful they may be. Yet, they deny their God and their God denies them the blessing constantly – something they are not willing to acknowledge at all. “If they shall confess that also they have walked contrary unto me; (41) And that I also have walked contrary unto them, (42) Then will I remember the land”, Lev 26:40-42 KJV.  Conscience should be given full freedom to believe at whatever is truth and truthful alone - never force it to believe. If God does not go out with His army, why should we ever state, for the sake of well-feeling, that God is with us when He is not, with His real presence? People devotedly go to the Temple so they may buy off God's presence, they say, yet it should rather be God's presence which should be able to take people to the temple instead, so they may not come to die as infidels – they go to church to spare their own life and not have it done away with. There is a constant refusal to die upon the flames of the altar of Calvary, where the Fire of it is the Holy Spirit Himself! It is in the Temple of God we find those killers and runners from the wrath to come, as if it is the city for those “cities of refuge that the slayer may flee thither, which killeth any person at unawares”, Num 35:11. The Temple has become the place where we find robbers and murderers of souls and not saviours!

People easily stay away from God by staying at the discussion of truthful matters. Does a man that still breathes discuss the air that he uses almost unawares? If he is taken with a sudden lack of air from his lungs, if he is on the verge of loosing his own life, does he get concerned with the compositions of it, the way he breathes? Dear brethren, let’s get used to take the word of God as a Life giving weapon and not as cloak, a city of refuge for unconverted killers! Let’s not discuss sin away, but grant whatever the Word states and promises – the salvation from it only.

We find that the same monster that used to give itself to prostitution, drinking and cursing, is now pleased to serve in the very temple of God, still thinking and longing for those things he is to be taken away from. People say today, those who came burning their witchcraft books were repenting, but those who brought their idolatrous money in had been offering! And so as to forget the temptations a sinner is constantly taken up with, because God is not with him, he grasps eagerly at truthful matters and doctrines towards greed and goes to discuss them to fill up their practical time with something ungodly. Christ Himself did discuss things when He was but a young Holy boy! But most people do that because they are away from God and not because they are near Him at all. The monster now learns with Paul, Wesley and many others too! Some even state they learn from Christ alone! Does it make a difference at all? “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?” 1Cor.1:12,13. If Paul is not crucified for us, is any other man of God? So, even to say we belong to Christ does not easily turn us into His possession for real!

Anyone is eagerly willing to follow Christ and believing in truthful matters as long as self is spared from dying! Even Satan answered the LORD, and said, "Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life!" Job 2:4. 

“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, (and we all know that Love is God within) I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.  (2)  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.  (3) And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing”, 1Cor 13:1-3 KJV 

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José Mateus