A Simple Rebuttal of the Rapture in Favor of the Resurrection

Please read this from beginning to end prayerfully before refusing or responding. As Christians, we are fellow servants one to the other. We each have our own God-given gifts for the edification of the church, and we need each other. This is written with love to you, and I ask that you please take the time to consider and respond thoughtfully.  

The truth is simple, but we have complicated the truth with tradition to such an extent that one cannot simply state what is true. In order to defend the truth, one must fend off multiple ideas—ideas that are widely known an accepted.

This is what I run into when refuting the rapture doctrine. Though what I believe to be true is simple to understand, tradition stops the ears and must be dealt with.

Knowing this, what is the most effective way to communicate these ideas?

I could pick apart some scholarly articles, and that was the plan to begin with, but that seems too simple and not entirely effective. Once I begin to do that, then another person could come along and pick apart what I have to say. The temptation to being unkind with our fellow servants might take hold.

There is enough of that going on these days, and I am not always as mindful as I’d like to be.

I think the best approach is to state the truth with simplicity, to the best of my ability. Scriptures are noted.

So, here goes.

As a Christian, the resurrection of life is my hope. Through faith in Jesus, I know that my sins are forgiven, and I will live eternally in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Jesus died for my sins and He rose again. He sits on the right hand of the throne of God, and He promises to return bodily. He said that He will return in the same manner in which He left.[1]

I think most of us agree so far.

You also might have heard that Jesus can come and rapture the church away at any moment.

Jesus teaches that He cannot return at just any time. He said that the gospel must be preached to all nations. He said there must be a falling away first and the Son of Destruction must be revealed.[2]

Jesus also said that many would not love the truth, and as a result they will believe the strong delusion that this wicked one brings.[3]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ provides more detail about this time of deception. Revelation provides insight into the nature of the faithful church. This book also provides insight into the nature of the apostate church and how this falling away takes place. Revelation offers insight into the coming of Jesus Christ, which as He said, is after the falling away.

The time of tribulation begins at the first trumpet. Jesus returns at the last, seventh trumpet, [4] just as Paul the apostle wrote in his first epistle to the Thessalonians[5] and in his first epistle to the Corinthians.[6]

Paul the apostle wrote that when Jesus returns, the dead in Christ are raised.

Paul the apostle also wrote of the transfiguration of believers who are alive at the coming of Jesus. They are caught up together and they meet Jesus in the clouds. This is an event that is synonymous with the resurrection, not a separate event called the rapture.

Jesus told us about His coming and the resurrection. He said that the time comes, and now is, when the dead who are in their graves will hear His voice. Some will rise at the resurrection of life and others at the resurrection of damnation.[7]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ provides more information.

Jesus tells us that there is a “first resurrection” which occurs at His return. Jesus will establish His Kingdom, and the rest of the dead will not live again for 1,000 years. After that time, the rest of the dead are raised and judged according to their works. Those who are not found written in the book of life are cast into the lake of fire, which is the second death.[8]

Let’s go back to the event of the first resurrection, which occurs at the return of Jesus.

Remember, Jesus said that He would not come until after the falling away, and at the last trumpet. He said that many would fall away because they did not love the truth, and therefore believed the strong delusion of the false christ.

Jesus mentioned this delusion during His ministry, and I will mention it here.

You’ve probably read about those who are “taken.” For example, there would be two women grinding at the mill; one would be taken while the other would be left. It is commonly taught that this scripture supports the rapture doctrine. How terrible it would be to be left behind…right?

If we read just a bit further, we will get a different idea.

When the disciples asked Jesus where they would be taken, He said, “where the carcasses are, there will the eagles be gathered together.” [9]

The Revelation of Jesus Christ provides more insight.

When Jesus returns and His dead are raised, they are not simply going to heaven. They are coming with Him in victory over the false christ and those who killed the servants of God. This is called the battle of Armageddon.

Those who are “taken” are those who were deceived into allegiance with the false christ and into battle with Jesus and His army of saints. This is not the rapture. This is deception that leads to death. We do not want to be “taken.” Jesus will be victorious, and there will be a blood bath like never before.

The carnivorous birds will feast on the flesh of the enemies of God—and this is the marriage supper of the lamb. He will avenge His bride who was slain, and it will be massive carnage. [10]

Jesus, who will destroy with the brightness of His coming, will divide the just from the unjust, and many are slain. He spoke of this in His parables of the sheep and the goats, the wheat and the tares, and the fishermen. [11]

There is no rapture. There is a resurrection, and there is the vengeance of the Almighty.

The Christian faith is hinged on the resurrection at the coming of Jesus Christ.

This is fundamental and important.

I know this raises a lot of other questions because all Christian doctrines are linked. So, in order to deal with one idea, we must deal with many and that is the complexity of this matter concerning the rapture.

For example, what happens when Christians die?

 I do not believe that Christians go to heaven when they die. I believe they are dead and waiting for the resurrection. However, I also realize that it is vanity to assume that God is bound to time as we experience it on earth. He is to and from everlasting. Therefore, if we could bend our perception, we can consider our dead to already be with the Lord. However, we are bound to this earth and this time, so our dead are buried.

There are also different ideas about the millennium.

What is that all about? The prophecies must be fulfilled, and the King of David must reign on this earth. Jesus will return and establish His reign. He must put all things under His feet.

We like to say that this earth is not our home, but Jesus teaches that we will inherit the earth. We will have work to do, according to our measure of faithfulness with that which we received (see the parable of the talents). There is much we do not know about that time, and we certainly do not know what is in store for us as heirs of everlasting life.  

There are different ideas about how we should interpret the timetable of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

I believe that all prophecy has a past, present, and future fulfillment until all things are completed and God reigns all in all. The opening of Revelation says that the things revealed include “things which are and shall be hereafter.” We get an example of that with the beast “that was and is not and yet is.”

Some say that the church disappears from Revelation after Chapter 6.

In reality, the entirety of Revelation has to do with the Christian church—both the faithful and the unfaithful Christian church—and the results both can expect.

Some say that Christians would not suffer. They say that just as God preserved Noah and Lot, He will preserve us.

The Lord will indeed preserve us, but not in the way we might like. He preserves us by keeping us from “the hour of temptation.” He keeps us from being deceived and “taken” in by the false christ and his apostate church. Many Christians will suffer and die. There are numerous scriptures about this, and they did not solely apply to the time of the early church. Christians suffer and die every day. Western Christians will too.

“It is given to us on behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but to suffer for His sake.”

Jesus told us to watch. He told us to be ready. He told us to be busy doing His business, not busy being drunk with the drunken and beating our fellow servants. [12]

There are many forms of drunkenness. There are many forms of beating our fellow servants.

It is reasonable for Christians to disagree on doctrine, however; untrue doctrine can lead to drunkenness in spirit.

Untrue doctrine can make us vulnerable to deception. As Jesus said, we must receive a love of the truth. However, some truths are more important than others.

If we must disagree, then we must do so in love. We do not beat each other up over our disagreements, accuse one another as false Christians, or slander one another. It is the apostate church who is drunk with blood, not us.

However, we can earnestly contend for the faith. The Christian faith is hinged on the hope of the resurrection, and a little corruption of that teaching corrupts much.

As Jesus teaches and as Paul the apostle wrote, a little leaven leavens the whole lump. [13]

So, let us contend, but in love and patience with each other. If you think I am in error, love me enough to say so. If you want to discuss these ideas, I would love to hear from you.

[1] Acts 1:11

[2] Mark 13

[3] 2 Thessalonians 2

[4] Revelation 11

[5] 1 Thessalonians 4

[6] 1 Corinthians 15

[7] John 5:28-29

[8] Revelation 20

[9] Luke 17

[10] Revelation 16, Revelation 19

[11] Matthew 13, Matthew 25

[12] Matthew 24

[13] Galatians 5:9, Matthew 13

Terrible Mothers: Sabotaged Education

Fathers are of fundamental importance, but as a mother, I think a lot about the importance of good mothering.

My relationship with my own mother has been strained—and that is putting it lightly. Due to lack of proper example and a slew of mental/emotional problems I carried, I did not know how to be a good mother myself.

I made some big mistakes during the first few years of my sons’ lives. I have learned since and worked hard to reparent my kids—but first I had to reparent myself—and neither have been easy.

My third son was born a year ago, and he has a totally different mother than my first two sons had. It shows, and I lament that the first two did not have what he has, though I trust that God is in control and I can already see how He is using the past to shape them in a good way. They are all great kids, and I am so blessed and thankful for them.

Why am I writing about this?

I don’t know if this is a case of “much learning has made you mad,” but I see a connection.

As a Christian, isn’t the church our mother?

Did we have a good mother?

I’m not so sure we did. Maybe I am projecting, but I see some interesting correlations between things my own mother did and things the church has done.

For example, my mother purposefully sabotaged my college education. I was going to be a child counselor or a child psychologist. I wanted to help kids who grew up like I did. That did not happen. Even though I received scholarships, my mother made sure that my college application failed. She later admitted to doing so.

I feel like our church mother has sabotaged our education too. Our pastors are poorly trained, it seems. It seems like our church mother has sabotaged us…whether willingly or not…I cannot say.

Here is what led to this train of thought this morning:

This week I am working on an article about the different views on the rapture, and how I believe there is no rapture—only the resurrection and transfiguration. My one year old woke me up at 4 this morning, so I got an early start after putting him back to sleep.

I spent an hour reading educational articles from real seminary schools about the pretribulation rapture, and they are so terribly done.

I’ve been postponing this project because I was afraid that I might have trouble going against the educated, but now I marvel at how easy this is going to be.

So many scriptures taken out of context. So many half truths and false ideas.

What’s worse is these are our pastors, and they are brought forth from a corrupt mother. I am concerned…but I also trust in God.

Just as God allowed my mother to sabotage my education for my good, because I would not be who or where I am today otherwise, I know that God allows our church mother to sabotage our spiritual education.

I get how the idea I pose can be upsetting for people, but this is a hard reality that we should consider. That does not mean that there are not some amazing pastors. I’ve met a few who I have respect for. Maybe some doctrines are off, but they love people and encourage Christ-like living. That is what matters most.

I don’t blame well-intentioned pastors. I know that some are unbelievers, and they are just in it for the perks. However, I know that many are sincere and probably a bit brainwashed by a lifetime of church going and seminary school. Their mother corrupted their education.

I do blame our mother—the system that brings forth all Christians in general.

Life is interesting, and the working of God in our lives is astounding.

I was raised by a terrible mother, and I was a terrible mother. Yet, I love my kids and God was good to me and changed me so that I could be a better mother. This experience made me passionate about mothering, and I speak out about it on occasion.

I was also raised by a terrible church mother, but God was good to raise me up away from her and show me how corrupt she is—and to show me how corrupt I am and work in me to change me more into His likeness (I still have far to go). This experience made me passionate about encouraging the faithful church, and my entire ministry is devoted to this.

I had to reparent myself before I could reparent my own kids, and I also had to relearn the Christian faith before I could teach others. I think many Christians need to reparent themselves in the faith, and I am thankful that the Lord has raised some up to help us do just that.

I don’t like speaking ill of my mother–both my earthly mother and the church. I tried for years to have a relationship with my earthly mother. She kept doing damaging things without repentance. Another witness spoke out against these things, and now both of us consider this mother to be our mother no longer unless she repents. I don’t want the same fate for my church mother.

Am I making vain connections, or is my life prophetic? I don’t know. God created my mind to be one that sees connections and patterns in things, and I think in metaphor a lot.

So, take it for what it’s worth. I am not a good judge of my own prophetic ideas. I feel partially blinded, so I publish them for the elders of the church to judge. I think it is an interesting idea in any case, and I am sorry for all who were failed by their mothers—both in this earth and in the church. Most importantly, I know that God causes all things to work out for our good. I also know that He preserves all who belong to Him, and nothing can separate us from Him.

Rapture…or Resurrection?

The Rapture? … Or the Resurrection (and transfiguration)?

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:16-2416

For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised:

17 And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins.

18 Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished.

19 If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.

20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.

21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead.

22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.

23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming.

24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.

Revelation 11:11-15

11 And after three days and an half the spirit of life from God entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them which saw them.

12 And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.

13 And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.

14 The second woe is past; and, behold, the third woe cometh quickly.

15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

John 5:19

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will.

22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son:

23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.

24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.

25 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live.

26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;

27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.

28 Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice,

29 And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.

I will not publish content every morning next week because I will be working on an article detailing how there is no pretribulation rapture—in fact, there is no rapture at all. This teaching is a spinoff of the resurrection—a central and critical Christian teaching.

Here are some scriptures to hopefully inspire some to consider this idea for themselves in the meantime.

I will do my best to look at this topic from all points of view.

Triangulation from a Christian Perspective

Triangulation has differing definitions depending on the context. The context I am thinking about has to do with a certain type of interaction between people. In this interaction, one person is pulling the strings of two (or more) people, using them for their own purposes—almost always causing some form of drama that they will benefit from.

Examples of Triangulation

Triangulation can happen in a variety of ways, according to my understanding. This topic can get confusing. Let’s call the three people, Person A, Person B, and Person C.

Person A is the one creating the drama.

Division Among Friends

Person A, Person B, and Person C are friends. Person A is feeling insecure because Person B and Person C are showing each other a little more attention one on one. Person A has to be the favorite. So, Person A goes to Person B and casually mentions something about Person C that will implant a seed of mistrust within Person B. Person A then goes to Person C and does the same thing.

If both Person B and Person C trust Person A, they may never question it, and if this occurs in small and deceitful ways overtime, Person A can ruin the friendship of person B and C. Person A can then be the shoulder to cry on for Person B and Person C, thereby regaining their best friend status.

The Coverup

Person A said or did something terrible to Person B. Person A is afraid that the news will get out and ruin their reputation, so Person A preemptively begins to slander Person B to Person C (and maybe person D,E,F,G also), thinking that if no one trusts Person B, then they will not believe them when they out Person A.

Thriving in Chaos

Person A simply loves to cause drama because this places the attention onto themselves. Sometimes Person A plays the victim role, slandering Person B to Person C with false claims of misconduct. Sometimes Person A plays the hero, slandering Person B to Person C so that Person A can swoop in and save the day.

Fueling Jealousy

Person A and Person B are in a romantic relationship. Person A does not think that Person B is giving them enough attention or otherwise failing to meet the ideal partner image that Person A holds. Person A casually mentions something good or admirable about Person C, in attempts to make Person B feel jealous or work harder to gain the approval of Person A.

Why Does a Person Triangulate?

Triangulation can occur in so many ways, but the theme is always similar. One person is playing puppet master with two or more other people, causing division and strife for their own purposes. These purposes could be to retain power, to gain admiration, to avoid accountability, and more. Sadly, the people being triangulated are often unaware of it because Person A always holds the cards. They form trusting relationships with everyone, and they control the narrative about themselves, Person B and Person C.

Where Does Triangulation Occur?

Triangulation can occur in most any setting because all settings are hinged on human interaction and relationships.

Sometimes triangulation occurs between a mother and the siblings as she fuels division between the siblings, or between the siblings and their other parent. Sometimes triangulation occurs between spouses and an ex or other family members. Sometimes triangulation occurs between friends. Sometimes triangulation occurs in the workplace as one person attempts to climb the ladder while stepping on the backs of others.

Mass-Scale Triangulation Examples

  • Triangulation can occur between political parties and the people or between the government, the people, and the media.
  • Triangulation can occur between various religions or denominations within that religion.

How to Avoid Being Triangulated

One of the best ways to avoid triangulation is to avoid vicarious relationships in which one person acts as the go-between for you and another. If Person B and Person C formed a close relationship, or managed to without Person A interfering, then they would communicate and discover what Person A was up to.

Sometimes the people Person A draw into the narrative against Person B are people that Person B has no contact with, like friends of Person A. So, unfortunately, sometimes triangulation cannot be stopped. If Person B discovers that this is happening, they can simply walk away. Person A has already calculated for any defense that Person B would make, so any attempt to defend themselves would only fuel the narrative that Person A created.

Another way to avoid triangulation as a Person C is to be on guard against gossip. Sometimes people really are victimized, and they need someone to talk to; they just need someone who knows because they feel totally alone in their situation. However, in all situations, do your best to refrain from choosing sides because you never really know what happens between other people unless you witnessed the actions yourself. Definitely do not spread that information to other people.

Here is another tip. Do you notice a lot of drama in your family or workplace? Is there a person who seems to always be involved, no matter what is going on, either as the victim or the hero? If there is a common denominator within all the drama, it is very possible that person is the one creating it. That person could also be the scapegoat (Person B) and not the one causing drama, so be careful in assuming, but pay attention.

Triangulation from a Christian Perspective

As a Christian, I know that no thing has happened to me that has not first happened to Jesus in some form, including triangulation.

When the religious authorities (Person A) felt threatened by Jesus (Person B), they brought in as many people as they could against Him using slander and false accusations (Person C).

Jesus did not defend Himself.

“He was brought as a lamb to the slaughter, yet He opened not His mouth.”

Knowing what I know about Person A in these scenarios, Jesus could not have said anything that would have absolved Him of guilt because Person A would have been busily working at discrediting Him and pulling the strings of everyone, and anything Jesus would have said would have only confirmed the narrative of Person A.

Of course, He did not defend Himself because He had to endure the cross for our sins as an obedient Son to the Father, but I also wonder if it would have done any good (aside from calling down a legion of angels. That might have stopped them).

In His manhood, He might not have been able to stop the triangulation, but in His divinity He could have.

Sometimes we have power to do things, but that does not mean we should. Sometimes we should not open our mouths either. Just because someone slanders us, does not mean we have to speak evil of them—even if it is the truth.

This is something I need to think more about. As someone who is routinely triangulated, maybe I should shut my mouth too. I could speak up about what these people are really like, but vengeance is God’s.

I should also remember to treat others the way I’d want to be treated, even my enemies. I don’t want vengeance for the things I have done; I want mercy. I don’t want my dirty laundry aired out without my consent. I want opportunity to have the Lord work in my heart privately. So, as much as I might want to speak, I think that maybe I should not.

In some instances, we should speak up. We can speak up about those mass-scale triangulation issues. We can handle our personal triangulation experiences in private by opening communication between us and the other puppets. However, we need to remember Jesus and sometimes we just need to shut up and face the cross, trusting in Him to raise us up and deal with the problem.

I am not a mental health professional, but life has taught me much about trauma and Jesus, who is Life, has taught me much about recovery. I’m a work in progress like us all, but I want to share what I have learned to help others, because there is a lot of information out there but not a lot of Christian-focused information. I intend to publish articles like this every Thursday. Questions and comments are welcome in the comments and through private message.

Share Your Story

I see two extremes in our society right now in how people deal with their painful stories or darker selves.

On one hand, we are encouraged to stay positive and to put our best face on for others to see. Social media is well-crafted to fuel addiction, so that we get a nice boost of dopamine with every reaction to the posts we make and with every notification.  

We live in an age of selfies and photo filters, which make it so much easier to put our best life on display for others to see and react positively to. It feels good, and we want to connect with others—and even more when we are confined due to isolation restrictions put in place by our government.

On that same hand, we have a discouragement of being real about our struggles. We fear the shame it will cause us, or maybe we think that no one really cares. People are busy and don’t want to be bothered by our mess. It does not help when people are openly hostile to our struggles, and in this digital age, chances are we have run into more than a few.

On the other hand, we are encouraged to speak “our truth” and to be ourselves no matter what. We are encouraged to be loud and without shame. We are encouraged to accept who we are without being accountable for our shortcomings; there is always someone else we can blame. We are encouraged to call our darkness light—and as for those who oppose, we call their light darkness—because they are just bigoted, phobic, brainwashed, or self-righteous.

I understand some reasons why these extremes exist.

If a person has a problem, but people do not want to hear it or help but only shame or dismiss, then one of two things will happen. A person will either bury it behind a partially false image of themselves, or they will become further emboldened in their problem—even to the point of pride and boasting about it. If we are proud and call our darkness light, then who can hurt us?

On top of that, we have a constant onslaught of social pressures and influences through various forms of media that tell us to be positive, and to be who we are without any regrets. To hell with anyone who stands in our way. They are the problem. We are perfect just as we are. Bow down and worship me…okay maybe that’s too far…for now.

Here is the problem.

When we put on a false version of ourselves for others to see, we lose something inside of us. We lose trust in ourselves, and we instead begin to trust in others and what they think of us. We lose self-accountability, and instead look to the plethora of sources that give us opportunity to blame others.

Without accountability, we cannot look at ourselves honestly and we cannot grow. The false self grows and takes over until we are a shell of our former selves. We are void and empty, but we look good from the outside, so that’s what matters, right?

No. That emptiness is consuming.

So consuming for some that they cannot rest until they find other people to drag down with them through social movements that accuse, destroy, and slander that which is good—all the while telling those who participate that they are something special. You are part of the good crowd. Those other people, they are bad. They are evil. They must be destroyed. You’re such a hero.

Please see what is happening.

Here is one thing I propose we do to combat this problem: share your story.

Share your story, and the real version of it, darkness and all. What has happened in your life to shape you, good and bad? What lessons have you learned? What kind of person do you want to be, and what about you stands in the way? What dark things do you struggle with, and which have you already overcome?

Share your story in honesty, and in humility—not calling darkness light and light darkness, but with accountability and no small dash of self-forgiveness and grace.

You don’t have to hand your dirty laundry out online, but you can if you want—just remember to think of others who might be affected by your story and use discretion when needed. You can also talk to a safe friend who will not condemn you or share your story with others without your permission.

Write your story down in a journal so that you can face yourself honestly in a safe space.

Most importantly, I encourage you to tell your story to the One who already knows and cares: Jesus. When we are honest with Him, He shows up in a big way. He does not condemn us for our darkness, because we are already condemned by it.

He shows up to forgive us and to heal us so that we can move on and grow. He will tug on our heart and bring things to light that we may not see, and we might feel shame and guilt, but He doesn’t do this to harm us, but so that we can find healing through Him.

I’m sorry if this does not sound like the Jesus you know. I’m sorry that many Christians, including myself, have given Him a bad name with our overly harsh criticisms that target certain sins while overlooking our own or the sins of others. It is human nature, and Christians have that nature too.

I am thankful that Jesus can change our nature. He takes our pain and our sin struggles onto Himself so that we do not have to carry them anymore, and we are free. He then turns our past into strength, insight, and compassion; He takes our pain and transforms us into Himself by His power in us.

It is an amazing gift, and not one that we can repay. However, we can be faithful to this gift by investing it into others.

We can be a listening ear and a compassionate heart, just like He is. Not condemning. Not slandering. Not gossiping. But also, not condoning of behaviors that harm those we love. We can bring their darkness to light gently as He does, not to hurt others, but so that they might be healed.

However, there is a time for sharpness too; some hearts are hardened and can only be pierced with a sharp word. Sometimes, our sharp words that Jesus gives are necessary to defend ourselves and those who are unable to defend themselves, and sometimes those sharp words destroy just as they make alive. His Word is a sharp-two-edged sword—but if our words destroy—they better be His and now our own.

In all things, the goal is to defend others against darkness and to lead them to Jesus, because He alone can forgive us and raise us from the dead. No amount of self-help can do that.  We can help others carry their cross until they have solid footing in Christ, then they can do the same.

It is like the story of John the Baptist and Jesus. John was that voice crying in the wilderness, preparing the way for the Lord and making His path straight. We do that for others. We pave the way for Jesus to enter their lives, and we hold their hand while He grows inside of them because this process is painful. Once He begins to emerge, we praise Jesus as He takes over and allows that person to be a John for someone else.


Embrace your own time in the wilderness. Get away from the influences of others who want to tear you down or cause you to embrace and boast of darkness. Get acquainted with yourself, get acquainted with Jesus, and then tell your story. Tell it with whatever amount of boldness Jesus places in your heart, and He will give you strength because you first told your story to Him and He will use your story to help others and lead them to Himself.

If you would like to receive motivational articles like this one on Wednesdays, subscribe to thelordalone.com. Feel free to comment and share. If you want someone to talk to, send a private message or email. I would love to hear from you! ❤

Why I Believe in Jesus—He is the Good Shepherd

I wrote previously about the night I called out to Jesus and the effect that had on my life, but I want to share more about where I was before that night.

I got “saved” and was baptized in 1996 when I was 9 years old. My mother gave me a King James bible, and I still have that bible today. As a child, I remember having a lot of questions about Jesus and about the bible. I tried to read the bible and I understood some of it on a superficial level. I remember reading Matthew 5 over and over. I loved the teachings, but I had been taught that no one could live up to the teachings of Jesus.

I remember waiting for the school bus one morning and thinking how great it would be to live without sin. I thought, maybe I can, and I will start right now. Well, that did not work out, obviously.

By the time I was in my late teens, I hardly thought about Jesus, much less read my bible. Yet, if anyone had asked me if I was saved, I would have said yes.

By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I discovered that I did not really know who I was, because I spent my whole life people pleasing in futile efforts to avoid abuse and neglect. I just wanted to be liked and loved, but no one really liked or loved me because no one knew me. I did not even know me.

By the time I was in my mid-twenties, I was drinking way too much and I used recreational marijuana regularly, and these substances became a crutch for me that I used to fight depression, social anxiety, and relationship problems.

Yet, I was not all together unproductive. I had ambitions also. In high school, I planned to go to college to pursue a degree in psychology so that I could become a child counselor or child psychologist. I had great grades and graduated with honors. My college education was purposefully sabotaged by my mother, which I did not realize at the time, but she later admitted to.

Years later, I was living with my high school boyfriend and attempting to make something of myself through a community college education. I decided to become a paralegal, because I had an interest in law and I could obtain a degree in two short years.

At some point during that education in the year 2010, I had an interaction with the Lord, but I mostly ignored it. And no, I was not under the influence. He came to me in a dream and said, “a great evil will come from Cairo.” I did not understand it then, but I do now.

I told my grandmother about it, and she told a man at her church and I talked to him about it. That was a strange time, because that man claimed he was a prophet and said things that made me very uneasy. He nicknamed me, “wildflower.” I don’t think it meant anything. If anything, I think this man had some evil spirits, because he was not mentally well.

This encounter scared me off from hearing the calling of the Lord. That, and I was determined to get a degree, even if it was a measly two-year degree.

I got the degree, even though I was high a lot and dealing with some severe personal problems. Soon after I graduated, my first child was born.

I began reading my bible and praying after he was born, but only occasionally. I wanted to clean myself up and teach him right. I also wanted to stay home with my kid because I did not trust daycares, so all of my effort went into finding a way to work from home. I only worked as a paralegal for about 4 months, then I returned to my previous job as a Certified Nurse Assistant.

My second child was born a year and a half later. I was working from home at that time, but with limited success. I was again dealing with severe personal problems, and depression took hold of me in a big way. I began drinking again. I felt like life was hopeless.

I was nothing. I still did not know who I was. I had not made anything of myself. I had been watching a TV preacher every day, and that helped some, but the over-all situation was too much for me. I was poor, my relationships sucked, and I had two children that I did not know how to care for. I had no idea how to be a mother. I was on the verge of losing faith or adopting some strange New Age version of the faith when Jesus intervened.

That is when I called out to Jesus and He took over—and this time, I was not going anywhere. I was a lost sheep for most of my life, but Jesus did not give up on me. Though I have gone astray in smaller ways since, He never allowed me to wonder too far because He has work to do with me, and I know that I will not get away from it. He has made it so that I cannot, even if I wanted to.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

I think we all go through times when we go astray from Him, in lesser and greater ways, but I know for a fact that He does not lose a single person who belongs to Him. He will do whatever is necessary to bring us back. I also believe that He allows us to go astray so that we can experience things, because this makes us better servants. Yet, He is always there. We might not feel like He is always there, but He is.

John 10:11-18

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.

13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.

14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.

15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep.

16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.

17 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.

18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.

I intend to write articles every Tuesday about the working of Jesus in my life. If you have questions or if you want to share your own story, please leave a comment or send a private message. I also welcome sharing the testimonies of others.

Considering Proverbs 9:13-18

13 A foolish woman is clamorous: she is simple, and knoweth nothing.

14 For she sitteth at the door of her house, on a seat in the high places of the city,

15 To call passengers who go right on their ways:

16 Whoso is simple, let him turn in hither: and as for him that wanteth understanding, she saith to him,

17 Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant.

18 But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell.

In this Proverbs study, we have been comparing the personification of wisdom and the personification of the “strange woman” with the faithful and unfaithful Christian church.

I want to remind readers that it is my belief that the faithful and unfaithful church today exist in spirit among all Christian denominations and sects. This is a heart issue, first and foremost, and not one we can go around judging others concerning.

I want to consider the above scripture in terms of the unfaithful church, not to accuse anyone, but so that we might gain some insight that will help us grow and become stronger in the faith.

The gospel is simple, but preaching sound doctrine that considers the whole council of the scriptures while applying this understanding to our Christian walk is not simple.

There are churches that hardly preach the name of Jesus, much less the sinful state of man and our need to be redeemed by Jesus alone. There are churches that seem to know so little about the Christian life, and instead encourage Christians to live just like everyone else—just with better jobs, bigger houses, and fancier cars than everyone else.

There are churches that promote practices from other religions, turning the Spirit of God into a Star-Wars like force of nature that you can manipulate to your will. Teachings like the Law of Attraction make suffering for Jesus’ name into a sin, because only the wicked suffer; if we do well then we can only expect pleasures and riches in this life. They steal teachings from any and all sources, including other religions, to give people something newer, edgier, and more exciting.

Yet, it is true that the dead are there.

A church without Jesus Christ is dead. A church that denies the sinful state of man and the need for redemption is dead. A church that condones sinful living without repentance is dead. A church that encourages worldly prosperity and pursuit of pleasure is dead. A church that replaces the Spirit of God with modern-day witchcraft, sorcery, and idolatry is dead.

These churches rake in congregants—and make a ton of money—by corrupting the name of Jesus and of Christianity.

However, in my estimation, churches such as these are all too easy to pick on and there are plenty of people out there who speak up about this corruption. That is good.

However, our mainline, everyday churches have problems too, and that is where I concentrate my efforts.

Why? Why not go after the real problems?

I go after that which I know—and that which I love. I love my brethren, and I believe that most sincere Christians are aware of the corruption of these ministries—yet they are blind to the corruptions of their own denomination—and all corruptions can be used by the enemy to deceive us.

Even today, we see a trickle-down effect from these larger ministries into our small, local churches. I have seen it. I have seen half-truth gospels that focus on forgiveness and grace without pursuing the righteous life Jesus promises through a change of heart in Him. I have seen perversions of the Holy Spirit, either by making Him into a show to impress others or by denying that He still works today just as He did in the days of Acts.

I have heard teachings that deny Christian suffering, and instead equate blessing with a prosperous life in the things of this world. I have heard teachings that replace the resurrection with the term, “rapture” which confuses many and closes their ears to teachings that would prepare them to stand with Jesus during the tribulation and rule of the false Christ.

I have heard common place teachings that slander the character of God—such as the idea of eternal conscious torment for those who do not choose Jesus. I have heard common teachings that reject the sovereignty of God over our salvation. I have heard teachings that promote a works-based salvation through reciting special prayers or adhering to legalistic lifestyle changes.

I have seen how mainline churches talk badly about one another, slander and falsely accuse without considering their own shortcomings. I have seen how you cannot disagree with a church without being asked to leave; I have not been able to join a single church because I cannot affirm every doctrine as true. I agree with all in part and disagree with all in part; I love all and have a place with none. Yet, I am the arrogant and misled one.

I know how I seem, but I also know that what I write and how I live is not about me; it is about Jesus. I will not deny what He has taught me for anyone. I will fellowship with any Christian who is humble and welcoming; otherwise I will go my way with peace in knowing that Jesus is merciful to me and my brethren, and a few misguided teachings does not make someone of the Great Whore church.

We can disagree on much and remain faithful to Him.

So, let us be faithful to Jesus by showing patience with our brethren—no matter which denomination they are from. Let us be faithful to Jesus by loving one another and helping each other grow in our Christian walk so that Jesus alone is glorified. Let us be faithful to Jesus by trusting in Him, knowing that He is in control of all things and everything will work out for the good of those who love Him and trust in Him. Let us be faithful to Jesus by placing Him first in our lives, or growing in that direction. This is what sets the faithful church apart from the unfaithful church.

However, even the faithful will receive correction from Jesus so that we can be freed from the corruptions of our churches. This is what the Great Tribulation is about for us. For the wicked, it is deceit and destruction. For us, it is refining and glory to our Lord, Jesus.

However, the more attached we are to that which deceives and destroys, the more painful that time will be for us—and I also believe the less likely we are to make it all the way through. In His mercy, Jesus will allow many to lose their lives at the beginning, because if they did not, they would inevitably worship the Beast and his Image.

God never sends an enemy without warning us first—without giving us ample time and room to prepare ourselves. So, I’m telling you, be prepared.

I don’t know when that time will come, but I know that preparing for that time by encouraging Christians to grow in faithfulness and in truth is what my ministry is about—and there must be a reason for it—because I know my limitations, so I know any good and true thing I do comes from Jesus and not me.

If you would like to receive these Monday bible studies by email, subscribe to thelordalone.com. If you have questions or concerns about my teachings, or if you just want someone to talk to about your Christian walk, leave a comment or send a private message. I’d love to hear from you. ❤

Gaslighting from a Christian Perspective

Photo by Emre Kuzu from Pexels

What is Gaslighting?

Gaslighting is a manipulative tactic in which one person attempts to distort the reality of another.

  • Gaslighting is often done to escape accountability for wrongdoing.

For example, person A might have said or done something hurtful to Person B. If Person B were to bring the matter up to person A, person A might deny their actions. Person A might take it a step further and insult the sanity of Person B. Person A might take it another step and project their words onto Person B and act as if they, Person A, is the victim.

  • Gaslighting is often done to maintain authority and control over another.

Person A could assert authority with well-crafted and strategically spoken lies that twist the truth so that Person B believes the claims to authority and truth that Person A makes. Person A might slowly belittle Person B over time, question Person B’s ability to do anything right, and create a feeling of inadequacy and dependence on Person A.

If Person B began to challenge the authority of Person A, then Person A might deny that there is a problem, assert that Person B is the problem, or project the matters in question onto Person B. Person A might fear exposure or uprising then begin to slander Person B to others or otherwise destroy the life of Person B.

Have I Been Gaslit?

If you often question your sanity, your memory of events, or feel overly dependent on the thoughts, feelings, and verification of others, then you might have suffered gaslighting. If you feel emotionally child-like or otherwise stunted in your cognitive maturity, then you might have suffered gaslighting.

This form of manipulation often occurs slowly and over time until the person experiencing gaslighting is easier to control by sheer means of self-doubt and codependence.

Why do People Gaslight?

The reason behind these behaviors can be complicated, but it helps if we look at the results, which seem to revolve around retaining control over others.

The deeper reasons could be things like unsolved feelings of deep shame and fear of abandonment. Though gaslighting is wrong, we can find compassion for these issues because they likely stem from a history of pain and trauma.

A darker reason could be a need to get away with harming others without consequence, simply because the person lacks any real care for others and feels entitled to do as they please. Another dark reason could be the notion that they are superior to all others, so their way is best, and people should defer to them by any means necessary.  

Can a Person Learn to Stop Gaslighting?

As with most behaviors, gaslighting exists on a spectrum. Some people might have difficulty accepting fault for wrongdoing, so thy deny, deny deny—but it never goes beyond that. If a person were made to feel safe with their faults so that they could heal their deep shame, then the gaslighting might end.

If a person who gaslights has real empathy for others, then having their behavior and the damage it causes exposed might cause them to evaluate themselves and stop the behavior—even in more extreme cases of insulting and blame-shifting.

If a person who gaslights has become so hardened that they no longer feel true empathy and compassion or guilt for their wrong doings, then the behavior will not be acknowledged and dealt with. Attempting to get such a person to admit to gaslighting could lead to an explosion of abuse, so it is best to leave the person alone in such a case and find a way to protect yourself.

If their gaslighting is minimal, you might be able to ignore it and continue the relationship. If not, find a way to safely walk away.

How Do I Protect Myself from Gaslighting?

As with projection, one of the best ways to protect yourself is to get in touch with what is true. People who have a sense of self and a solid sense of reality in general are less likely to fall victim to these manipulative tactics, though no one is completely impervious to it, especially when gaslighting occurs slowly and over a long period of time. It also helps if you begin to recognize the sources of gaslighting.

Who Gaslights?

Gaslighting can occur in parent-child relationships, between romantic partners, in work settings, and among various relationships between family and friends.

Gaslighting can also occur on massive scale through religion, media and political propaganda, and social reform movements.

Gaslighting from a Christian Perspective

As a Christian, I am thankful to have a relationship with Jesus because He is the Truth. The more I get to know Him and rely on Him to lead me, the less vulnerable I become to all forms of manipulation including gaslighting.

As a Christian, I am thankful to have a relationship with Jesus because He is my strength and validation, therefore I do not need to rely on the validation, opinions, or instruction of others.

As a Christian, I can learn about gaslighting in a meaningful way by studying the life of Jesus. The authorities in His day did not like that Jesus questioned them, so what did they do?

They denied blame, insulted Jesus, lied about Him, falsely accused Him, and blame shifted. Yet, they could not manipulate Him. Though they tried to catch Him in His words and actions at every turn, He remained unapologetically Himself—all the way to the cross. Though they did kill Him, He was not defeated. He rose and He Lives. Jesus reigns and one day His total authority will be known.

As a Christian, I know that the authority of man is corruptible, but Jesus is incorruptible. Though He asserts authority, He is truly benevolent and self-sacrificing for His people. He is not a liar, a manipulator, a man pleaser, entitled, hypocritical, or hungry for power at the expense of others.

As a Christian, I know that Jesus is gracious, and He shares His power and authority with those who serve Him faithfully. “Those that overcome will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame and am sat down with my Father in His throne.” There is none like Jesus, and He never gaslights.

As a Christian, I know that Jesus is merciful, and no sinner is too far gone for Him to reach. Even the most hardened of hearts can be softened by Him, so I can hold hope for those who gaslight. However, I also know that He will avenge the blood of His servants who stand up for what is true—especially when we stand up for Jesus who IS True.

This world is a confused place that is full of deceit and those who want to exert power and control over you. I know that questioning those who assert power and control over you can have dire consequences, just as they did for Jesus. Most importantly, I know that Jesus is Truth and He will make all things known to us so that we can stand by Him faithfully—and if that means our death, then He will raise us up again. Then we will see Him, and everyone will bow and confess that Jesus alone is Lord.

The term “gaslight” came from an old movie. In this movie, the dimming and brightening of gas-powered lights revealed hidden deceit. In like manner, those who are filled with the Light of Jesus will remain in the truth, no matter how dark this world gets.

I am not a mental health professional, but life has taught me a lot about trauma, and Jesus who is Life has taught me a lot about recovery. I want to share what I have received with others in hopes that they can find healing, comfort, and clarity in Jesus.

I plan to write a recovery-themed article on Thursdays. If you would like to receive these by email, subscribe to thelordalone.com. If you have a topic you want to hear more about, questions, or something you’d like to share about your own trauma and recovery, leave a comment or send a private message.

Keep Moving Forward

Photo by Guduru Ajay bhargav from Pexels

Conscientious Christians who want to grow in the faith and in service to Jesus can often become discouraged.

Sometimes we become discouraged by slow progress.

We know that Jesus changes lives, and we want to see more of that change within our own life. Waiting for that change can be painful because we know that we carry the name of Jesus and we do not want to bring any dishonor to His name. We know the high price He paid for us, so sins large and small weigh heavily on our conscience.

When we begin to feel down and discouraged because our progress in Christ is not as fast as we’d like it to be, it might help if we ask ourselves this question: where would I be without Jesus?

Thinking about what Jesus has already done can bring us into a mindset of thankfulness and patience with ourselves. Even the slightest change in the right direction can have a huge impact, so sometimes it is better to focus on how far we have come instead of how far we have left to go.

Another thing we can do is focus on one small thing that we have the power to overcome through Him. Very often the bigger challenges we face are made up of smaller, more manageable steps. So, pray about what your next steps are and keep going.

Sometimes we feel discouraged by our past.

We know that Jesus forgives us, but we can have a difficult time forgiving ourselves or forgiving others. Sometimes the matters we stumble over result from repressed emotions or thoughts that we never dealt with.

Though we are forgiven, and it is good to move forward, sometimes we must allow ourselves to feel first—and feel it all.

Sometimes we must remember our past and accept it, feel the pain it caused, and ride those waves of emotion so that we can heal. Sometimes we make amends and sometimes we talk to people who hurt us, and sometimes we move away from destructive people and focus on our future in Christ.

There could be many reasons why a person would struggle with unforgiveness of self and others, but if we take this matter to Jesus, He will help us get through it.

Sometimes we feel discouraged by others.

Sometimes our desire to live for Jesus threatens others, and they do not want to see us improve. There could be many reasons for this.

Sometimes people are envious of the work Jesus does in our lives, and sometimes they don’t like how our faith and growth convicts them of their own sin.

Sometimes this leads to accusations of being self-righteous or arrogant. Sometimes this motivates a person to look at our lives for any sign that God is not really with us. Sometimes this motivates a person to look for any fault in our character or in our lives, so that they can gossip or otherwise feel better about themselves.

Sometimes our faith challenges the faith or the Christian worldview of another, and this leads to a visceral response of fear, triggering the need to fight or ignore. In some instances, hostility or slander results.

Some people can become very destructive and even dangerous to us when we follow Jesus. As Jesus said, “be wise as serpents and harmless as doves.”

In dealing with others, we trust in Jesus. He will help us to grow in wisdom, gentleness, and kindness towards all—especially towards those of the faith—so that we might encourage others, even those who want to see us fail. If encouragement is not possible, then we trust in Jesus to keep us until our service is done, and we trust that He will avenge us if necessary.

Are you feeling discouraged?

There are many reasons Christians feel discouraged. We can feel discouraged by the sin in this world or the state of our nation. We can feel discouraged by a seemingly impossible life circumstance. We can feel discouraged in service, thinking that we do not have what it takes to complete the task Jesus placed in our hands. We can feel discouraged by a temptation that will not go away, even though we know that “His grace is sufficient.”

Whatever the matter is, go to Jesus with it. Talk to a safe brother or sister and pray together. We know that He who is in us is stronger than any obstacle we face, and we know that even the most difficult of journeys is lived one step at a time. So,

In all things, keep moving forward and trust in Jesus. ❤

If you would like to receive motivational Christian articles each Wednesday, subscribe to thelordalone.com. If you want to share your story or could use some encouragement, leave a comment or reach out through a private message. Few things are worse than dealing with discouragement alone, so please do not hesitate if you need someone to talk to until you find your footing in Jesus.

Why I Believe in Jesus—He is Truth

In my last testimony article, I wrote about the point in time when Jesus began to take over my life in a meaningful way. I prayed and He answered in a way that I did not expect.

One of the main reasons why I prayed to Jesus that night was because I needed answers. I was very confused.

I was confused by all the different ideas about Jesus and the various Christian denominations. Which one was right? I was confused by some New Age notions, and I began to think that all paths to God were acceptable, and Jesus was one of many—but I wondered if that was true.

I was confused by my life. I did not know how to go on. I was dealing with personal matters that felt entirely hopeless, and I had fallen into a severe state of depression.

I will never forget the night that I called out to Him, and one thing that stands out most in my memory is this part of my prayer: “show me what is true, even if I don’t like it.”

Jesus began leading me towards truth, starting with a series of Online bible studies that helped me to understand basic Christian doctrines and what it means to live a Christian life. These studies provided a kind of foundation that would remain steady throughout all the hard times that the Lord would bring me through in upcoming years.

He would indeed show me much truth…and I would not always like it.

I prayed that prayer in the late summer of 2014, and a lot has happened since that time. I will write something about this experience every Tuesday so long as I am able.

For now, I want to say that the truth is simple, but finding the truth is not always so simple, neither is it simple to wield the truth appropriately.

We have to go through painful experiences that reshape the way we look at things. We have to be willing to step out of our comfort zone and deal with our biases. We have to learn to be moveable when necessary and firm at the same time, so that we are teachable yet not tossed around with the trends of the time. We have to learn to listen to the Spirit, because the truth can seem to contradict itself; it doesn’t, but our perspective needs to come in line with Christ.

Most importantly, we need to be honest about ourselves, both to ourselves and to Jesus. We need to see our sinful state so that we can repent and understand our dependance on Jesus for all things. He is the truth, and He has so much to share with us, but first our hearts must be prepared to receive Him.

I know that when I called out to Him, my heart was not full. My life was in chaos and distress, so much so that I did not feel like a real person. I felt like a void with a human shape, if that makes any sense at all. I believe that Jesus allowed me to get to that point so that He could begin filling me and refining me for His purposes.

I believe that Jesus will bring many more people to that same point of emptiness because we have not loved the truth but rejected it. We have rejected Him. However, I take comfort in knowing that all things are for our good if we trust in Him.

If you read these articles, you will hear this a lot in closing:

In all things, keep moving forward and trust in Jesus. ❤

If you would like to hear more testimony articles like this one, you can subscribe at thelordalone.com. The purpose of this website is to encourage myself and others to take the Christian faith more seriously—no matter how serious we already are.

If you have a testimony that you would like to share, please send a private message. I would love to feature the testimony of other believers as well. You can also reach out with questions or just to say hello.