By Carol D.
Without question the Word of God, the Holy Scriptures, the Bible... is our source of God's truth to us... alongside the Holy Spirit which will always agree with God's Word. Christ did not leave us alone. We have now Text and Teacher... the Bible and the Holy Spirit... to guide our every thought, word and deed... even the attitudes of our heart.
Before I move on with the discussion I must add... to live and to move and to have our being in Him (Christ via the Holy Spirit in us)... we must be as mature Christians fully convinced of God's Word specifically Acts 2:38... "Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized (by water) every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost." We must not be without the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit in us... for it is He who teaches us and transforms us daily into the likeness of our Savior... born of spirit and of water...
Looking at the Greek translation and meaning of the world 'be baptized' here we see clearly it is translated to mean physical water Baptism... then later at the end of verse 38 we see it refers to 'recieveing the gift of the Holy Spirit'. But first and foremost... the to 'be baptized' or βαπτίζω from the Greek... meaning to be submerged, to dip, sink, specifically of ceremonial dipping; I baptize.
Strong's Concordance baptizó: to dip, sink Original Word: βαπτίζω
Part of Speech: Verb
Phonetic Spelling: (bap-tid'-zo)
Definition: to dip, sink
Usage: lit: I dip, submerge, but specifically of ceremonial dipping; I baptize.
Often we side with the opinions of men in our present day... making less of God's actual Word... because we do not want to upset the status quo... of how things have traditionally been in ones own denomination or sect. But this should not be... if in fact it is wrong. And if men still see the truth... yet continue in the traditions of men... that man's faith is not in God or His Word... but that man's faith is in men and the tradition of men. But does not God tell us to humble, to have a teachable spirit. Yes. So let us be Baptized in water... that then we may be filled with God's Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. Let us take God's whole Word as our Text... and not negate any of it.
Sorry... but I felt lead to bring water Baptism up. Only God knows why... maybe there will be someone who reads this who will need to know... for there are many professing Christians in this land... but few possess the Holy Spirit... few have been water Baptized. Many believe it is enough to be baptized as a baby... but Acts 2:38 is clearly speaking of a person who has full understanding of what they are doing... where as babies do not. Water baptism is essential for receiving the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit we may have good intentions but being led by our own unctions and thoughts... and not by the Spirit of God. It would be a practice in futility and unbiblical stubborness not to be water baptized. Most who would retort Acts 2:38... have been muffled by modern theology. If this is not doctrinally important then why would God have Luke write this verse. He did write it as inspired by God. And we are to obey God.
The Title... "The Modern Muffles Of The Church" is very much inspired by the Holy Spirit in me... along with the New Testament letters to the seedling churches warning them of false movements, false doctrines, false gospels and even false Jesus'. Even today these false movements hold some truth and on the outside seem appealing but their very core is black. That is why we must carefully look at and try to stop these encroaching movements before they become the norm... deceiving many... and causing many to fall away.
These are some of these modern muffles in the church today with is another gospel and another Jesus. I am heart broken by what is happeing to our American churches today.
1) Lack of Baptism water and spirit / being Born Again in the church
2) Female pastors in the church
3) Homosexual pastors in the church
4) Lack of preaching the full Gospel in the church
5) Lack of integrity in the church
6) Lack of helping the poor, widows, orphans, sick, imprisoned etc.
7) New Age within the church... Yoga, philosophy, hypnotic repetitive beat music in praise and worship 'feeling the presence of God' sessions seeking an experience with God instead of seeking to be obedient to God. Some call this 'soaking' or 'soaking rooms'. The rooms are dark... usually with candles. There is no talk of repentance... dying to self... and walking in God's truth and in God's love.
Please feel free to add any Bible scriptures... or thoughts on this issue of the muffling of the church. I believe we need to talk about these issues... because it is spreading like wildfire... BECAUSE we don't talk about these things but we should. Yes we can pray... but then as lead by the Holy Spirit... must act on what the Holy Spirit is clearly telling us to do.... for the Word will agree with what the Holy Spirit is saying to us. And we are the church. Amen.
Let us use God's Word to correct, reproof and give instruction in righteousness to those around us... no matter who they are. The Lord has set me before church leaders, pastors and even a few Jewish Rabbis. I am called as all Christians are called... to be a light of God's truth... as the Holy Spirit and God's Word leads us every day. For many are too afraid to correct the modern shepherds of this day. But they need to be. Pray for boldness and the Lord Jesus Christ will give it to you... to speak His Truth in Love... where ever you are... He will give you the words to speak. Use God's Word to correct them. Speak His truth in His love. I meet them in the market places. I meet them in the churches. We are all called to be a light... especially now... as the world gets crazier and crazier.
Be bold... give God's Word out... with out shame... be bold! Rip as many out of the fires of hell as you can. Life is so short. Life is not a joke. It is very serious. Many will perish into eternal damnation... but NOT ON OUR WATCH! NOT IN OUR CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE! LET IT NEVER BE THAT WE THE CHURCH BE ASHAMED OF JESUS CHRIST! NEVER! EVER!
Here is your weapon church... to put out the darkness in this land... "All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works."... 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Joh 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, "Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!"
Points to note:
The lamb was a sacrificial animal among the Jews. God had taught His chosen people to slay a lamb and to sprinkle its blood as a sacrifice. The lamb was killed as a substitute and its blood shed so that sins might be forgiven. However, the blood of the lambs slain during the OT period did not put away sin. Those lambs were pictures or types, pointing forward to the fact that God would one day provide a Lamb who would actually take away the sin. All down through the years, godly Jews had waited for the coming of this Lamb. Now at last the time had come, and John the Baptist triumphantly announced the arrival of the true Lamb of God. Whereas the Jewish sacrifices as a type were intended for one nation only, the fulfillment of the type is intended for all nations. Rev 5:6-7
(6) And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.
(7) Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.
Points to ponder:
The power of the Lamb The riches of the Lamb The wisdom of the Lamb The strength of the Lamb The honor of the Lamb The glory of the Lamb The blessing of the Lamb Rev 5:11-14
(11) Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,
(12) saying with a loud voice: "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"
(13) And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and honor and glory and power Be to Him who sits on the throne, And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"
(14) Then the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.
A Point to be aware of:
Without the shedding of the precious blood of the Lamb there would be no salvation for anyone, either now or in the Judgment to come !!!
(Thanks to the Believers' Bible Commentary for material collated)
Hi there, i'm very new to this website so I hope i'm doing the right thing haha.
I was wondering for some advice and prayer as for years I have struggled with feelings and thoughts of condemnation and fear of judgement. I gave my life to Jesus 8 years ago. It was the best thing to ever happen in my life. I grew for 2 years in close relationship with God and felt very secure and loved by my Father. After 2 years of my walk, I started to have terrible panic attacks about judgement from God. I couldn't sense His presence. I thought I was being cast aside from God, I was overcome with crippling fear and anxiety. It's now 6 years later and i'm still struggling with this. I worry too often about how narrow the path is to Life and whether I could be one of those people that Jesus could say "depart from me, I never knew you". I really struggle with this and struggle to become close to God with terrible thoughts of doubt over salvation. I believe Jesus died in payment for my sins and rose again however these terrible thoughts I can't seem to shift. I'm a very insecure person and I just can't seem to receive piece of mind over this. Even if I do for a short time, it will creep back in and send me into terrible panic. I've had people say to me that you can't loose salvation however others who have said you can. I'm stuck in this pit of confusion and I really need some help to overcome it.
Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Please be as truthful as you can in your response. I would appreciate as much response as I can get as i'm coming to a realy desperate place of wanting to be free from this. I know we aren't to have any doubts but this is what I can't shift.
Before reading, just know that is a long text, and may seem like something ridiculous and not needing to bother with to most of y'all, but this means a lot to me, and I keep hoping to find answers, but can't find any, so that's why I'm here...
Hey, Everyone! I am fairly new to this Forum and excited to be a part of it! I was born into the faith, and have been a Christian my entire life (I'm 17 years old, lol). It wasn't until around I was about 12 or 13, though, that I began to become more interested in Christianity and the Bible, and at the age of 15, I discovered Apologetics, which helped me retain my faith that I was struggling with at the time. Thanks to that, I now have learned much more about Christianity than I ever thought I would, and I am so happy to know that Christ is Lord and that I am a Follower of Him!
So y'all are probably wondering "what does any of this have to do with Tupac Shakur, as named in the title?" Well, that's where the questions come in.
For any who don't know, Tupac Amaru Shakur (1971-1996) was a rapper who went by the stage names MC New York, 2Pac, and Makaveli. He was born in New York, and then moved to Maryland where he attended the Baltimore Academy of Arts (I believe that's what it is called), but then moved to California at the age of 17, where he was introduced to the drug and ghetto culture, where dealing, gang violence, sex, and robberies were frequent and even promoted. He was brought up as a thug, due to this, and incorporated this message in many of his songs.
Unlike many rappers today though, when Tupac rapped about drugs and crime, he didn't do it in an attempt to glorify them, he did it to show the consequences of dabbling with them and tried to show those that didn't live that lifestyle, what it's like to live it. Tupac even made songs that, to me, were very powerful. His songs such as: Changes, Dear Mama, Brenda's Got A Baby, Until the End of Time, etc. are enough to make one tear up (I did with Brenda's Got A Baby). Me, being born into the ghetto and being raised in a household of domestic violence, I began to feel extremely attached to his music and his message. I began to binge several of his interviews, videos, albums, films, etc. It got to the point to where he felt like a friend of mine, or even, family.
Then, I saw an interview where he was asked his religious views, and this is where it gets downhill. His songs and poems show that he was an extremely strong believer in God, but when he is asked about what he follows, he responds, stating that he believes that if you are good in your heart and do good things, then you are closer to God. But if you're evil in your heart and do bad things, then you're closer to the Devil. But he then went on to say that the Bible, he believes, was made by a person who wanted to find a way to control people. He says that the Bible says that certain people (prophets, patriarchs, etc) are good because they suffered a lot. He then went on to say that he got shot 5 times, and that he was 'crucified' by the media, and he 'walked through with the thorns on', and he told the thief (probably someone in the jail he was in) that 'this ain't supposed to happen, I'll come back for you.' Then he clarified by saying that he ain't saying he's Jesus, but that people go through that type of 'stuff' everyday. He then went on to attack a lot of what he sees as selfishness by megachurches and gigantic cathedrals who won't help homeless people who need God (although I don't have an issue with that point). During this interview, he was quick to make sure that he wasn't trying to disrespect anyone's beliefs, and that these things he's saying are simply his opinions only.
This broke my heart. I thought Tupac, someone who I see as an inspiration, was a full on believer! I began to overspeculate, and came to several conclusions, one of which was that Tupac wasn't being entirely truthful in the interview, as he does have different tones with different interviewers, and that he truly did believe in the Bible, but then I felt like I was lying to myself. There several factors that contribute to my continued belief that Tupac was a Christian. Such as:
- He had a giant tattoo of a cross on his back
- He had a tattoo of a cross, along with Jesus' face, with the words "Only God Can Judge Me" on his arm
- His most frequently worn necklace was a necklace of a cross
- He was extremely close to his mother, who was a very devout Christian, who even claimed that the group she was in (Black Panther Party) failed because they didn't involve God
- In many of his songs, he implements Christian tones: "Hail Mary", "Only God Can Judge Me", "Black Jesuz", "Ghetto Gospel", "I Wonder If Heaven Got A Ghetto"
- Many of his lyrics point to a Christian belief:
"Father please forgive me for my life of sin, my hard stare seems to scare my sister's kids.." (Until the End of Time)
"Get on yo knees to pray, Oh Lord, Help me change my ways, and show a lil mercy on judgment day, it ain't me I was raised this way.." (Hell 4 a Hustla)
"Is there a ghetto in heaven or do I go to hell?" (Gotta Survive)
"Picture a world where black babies can survive past five, but we must keep hope, quotin the reverend from the pulpit.." (Everything You Own)
"Question for the Lord, why don't He like me, please guard my soul" (High Speed)
"Just another lost soul stuck callin Jehovah.. Father how the heck did I survive these five shots?" (All Out)
"and I wonder if the Lord ever heard of me.." ([Song Title Contains Profanity])
"and I pray to black Jesus to please take the rest of me.." (As The World Turns)
"Before I go to sleep I pray and thank the Lord for another fruitful day.." ([Song Title Contains Profanity])
"Dear God I been feeling like I'm close to Jesus.." (Catchin Feelings)
"And God said He should send His one begotten son
to lead the wild into the ways of the man
Follow me; eat my flesh, flesh and my flesh" & "Catch me father please, cause I'm fallin," (Hail Mary)
"Cry later but for now let's enjoy the laughter
God bless the dead" (God Bless the Dead)
"Dear Lord..How can I survive? Got me askin white Jesus
will a brotha live or die, cause the Lord can't see us
in the deep dark clouds of the projects, ain't no sunshine
No sunny days and we only play sometimes" (Still I Rise)
"Keep yo' head up and try to keep the faith
And pray for better days" (Better Dayz)
"Searchin for Black Jesus
It's hard, it's hard
We need help out here
So we searchins for Black Jesus
It's like a Saint, that we pray to in the ghetto, to get us through" (Black Jesuz)
"Who do you believe in?
I put my faith in God
Blessed and still breathing
And even though it's hard
That's who I believe in
Before I'm leaving
I'm asking the grieving
Who do you believe in?" (Who Do You Believe In)
These things often comfort me. In regards to Christianity, the closest he ever came to "insulting" it, is saying that the Bible wasn't "written by God". He harshly criticized pastors, priests, and especially televangelists, but he never once, not once, ever spoke bad about Jesus Christ. And even though he didn't hold the Bible in the same regard as we do here, he never insulted any prophet or person in the Bible that is shown as good.
What's strange though, is that, in an interview after this, Tupac, while acting in a movie called "Gang Related", states that his faith is in "Black Jesus" and that he has "been gifted by God, by Black Jesus". Here, Tupac refers to Jesus as God, (the reason he uses the term "Black Jesus", is because he wants to make it clear that he doesn't have the same thought pattern as WASP Christians) (also, note that this interview isn't part of the movie, lol).
In an interview with MTV (I believe this was his last interview before he was eventually shot and killed), he compares Judas' Betrayal to his competition in the music industry. I don't remember what he said exactly, but it's easy to find online, and it's very short.
After he was shot, he didn't die on the spot, but instead, fell into a coma and was rushed to the hospital, where he was alive for about 3-6 days until he eventually died from his wounds. During this time, he was visited by his mother, Afeni Shakur, and his aunt, Gloria Cox, both of whom were devout Christians, and they had with them, in Tupac's hospital room, an Evangelist, who was Tupac's aunt Gloria's cousin, who visited Tupac all the time and prayed over him, and also put oil over him and put a healing cloth on him, while he was still shot up and unconscious, but still alive. He eventually passed away, with the last ones seeing him pass on, being his mother and aunt.
Now some of y'all may have a question of your own when reading this: "Why do you care so much?". Well, because I feel extremely close to Tupac, and he touched on so many things that meant a lot to me, and what he said are things that I very much relate to. He feels kind of like a best friend, or even a brother sometimes. I don't let this cloud my judgement, though, as there are aspects of him that I don't agree with. I don't want to follow the life he lived, and I believe that Biggie handled their feud in a much more mature manner and tried to calm people on both sides down, whereas Tupac, due to growing up in the ghetto and already being shot 5 times, became extremely paranoid and reacted somewhat militantly (though, only verbally, not physically). But as Tupac said, he didn't want to be seen as a role model, but instead, show the world what he alone was like.
With all this being said, there are some questions I have regarding this.
1) Tupac promoted songs and messages of righteousness, with some gangsta-type themes, only so he could connect and reach out to the people who lived in ghetto hood areas. First and foremost, 2Pac believed in helping the poor, and fought for those who couldn't, but often times his anger did get the best of him, and he would act out on it, but then regret it later on. ~ Does this make him more of a no good thug rather than someone who can be seen as good?
2) Despite him not believing the divine context of the Bible (at least not at the time of the interview), do you think he could still be considered a Christian? He held a very strong and firm belief in God, and believed in the teachings of Christ as well. His Gang Related interview shows him calling Black Jesus, God. Maybe he could've been what is called an "Agnostic Christian"? What is the minimum requirement to being called a "Christian"?
3) Would you say that Tupac made it into Heaven? Or that it seems like He could've? He did exactly what Jesus taught people to do in His Parable of the Sheep and the Goats, but he didn't seem to believe in Biblical authority, but he did refer to Jesus as God. This means he took Him as his "Lord", but I'm not sure if he then also took him as his "Savior". His body art and songs seem to show a promotion of Christian belief, though. I remember reading about King Solomon who was once righteous in the Eyes of God, but then turned to idolatry and had several women as his wives and concubines. I don't think Solomon would've landed in Hell though, so I don't think that what Tupac did, would've landed him in Hell (but I'm not the one to make that judgement).
Sorry for seeming somewhat dramatic, and over thinking the faith and actions of one man, but the reason I do this, is because I love Tupac and I genuinely care about his condition and his faith. If there's anyone here, especially a fan of 2Pac who may also know about his life, who can give an answer, then as Tupac said in Dear Mama, "you are appreciated". I kindly ask for as many answers that can be received as possible. Thank you, and God Bless!