Hey, it’s September, and here in the USA that means BACK TO SCHOOL. How I used to despise those three words that signaled the end of a carefree, blissful summer and the start of another academic grind. Well, in 16 years of school I never actually ground away at anything except recess, at which I excelled. Why not? Because no subject or teacher ever even skirmished with my attention, let alone arrested it.
BUT THEN, shortly after I graduated from college, the Truth of God’s Word was set before me and I became a student for the first time in my life. Why? Because I cared about learning everything I could, so I diligently applied myself to doing so. And how stimulating and fulfilling it was not only to see the amazing intellectual precision of God’s communication but also its total practicality and how it healed my life. Do you remember when your heart first burned within you as the heart of God was opened to you?
How many people do you think there are somewhere on earth who hunger and thirst for the Truth you and I have heard? We know from the Word that due to Satan’s dominating influence around the globe, it is, and always will be, a very small minority. But that could still be millions, and each of those men, women, and children is precious to God, and any one of them could turn his world upside down with the Truth just like individuals we read about in Scripture—AND like maybe you once did, or are still doing!
Accurately, dynamically, and powerfully set before people, God’s Truth will arrest the hearts of such people, no matter their upbringing, their culture, or their worldly status. OK, so who on earth is going to present the Word to them like that? Well, you could, if you know it and are willing to develop your ability to communicate it. Who said YOU are not a good Bible teacher? And/or you can also present the Word by financially supporting The Living Truth Fellowship so that we can travel, teach, write, film, counsel, and minister to people around the globe by every available means and medium.
Do you know that it was only about two and a half years ago that TLTF started from absolute “scratch”? That’s why we are filled with thanksgiving to God for what He has done with, for, and in spite of us in that short amount of time, in conjunction with a relatively small base of contributors. He has helped us develop a smokin’ website filled with fabulous YouTube teachings as well as superb audio and written expositions of Scripture. And we filmed 30 hours of video teaching (The End Times and One Day With The Creator). Every aspect of TLTF is moving forward despite the fact that we have only one person being paid on a fulltime basis. [NOTE: That’s why it is taking us a while to edit One Day With The Creator. We’d like to move forward faster.]
GREAT NEWS! Paul Knopf spearheaded finding and applying for a Google non-profit grant for which we just got approved. We had been spending $1500 a month ($50 a day) on Google ad words, with good results. The grant gives us $330 a day, which is $10K per month, so besides saving $18K a year, we get $120K a year. Cha-ching! Already we are seeing a big increase in our website hits.
We believe God is blessing our work because (a) we teach the Truth in love and (b) our hearts are honest before Him. How can you be sure? Just get up close and personal with us. OUR CALLING IS TO TEACH PEOPLE THE WORD SO THEY CAN USE IT IN THEIR OWN CALLINGS IN THE BODY OF CHRIST. As I survey the contemporary Christian landscape, I cannot help but come to the conclusion that both the content of what we present and how we present it are unique (and wait ‘til you see One Day With The Creator). We want you to benefit from our work to the degree that you give in response to a blessing, for that is the biblical pattern of hilarious giving.
How you use your money is a very concrete way of determining the priorities of your life and how much you trust God. Maybe that is why there is so much in Scripture about how God wants us to relate to material things. Giving allows you to see how God will give to you (2 Cor. 9:6–10). If TLTLF had the financial resources, we could reach countless people all over the world with God’s Truth. That means we either need a lot of people giving a little or a few people giving a lot, or both. So first dig into our work and see what it does for you. If it touches your heart, please pass it on to everyone you can, give as much as you can, and pray for the Lord to help us reach some bored billionaires. If you are a bored billionaire, call me.
I recently watched the first few segments of a video series by The Fuel Project, titled “Stay Free.” TFP also produced the 77-part series titled “Know Your Enemy,” which we have recommended in several newsletters, and which many of our readers have watched and enjoyed. In “Stay Free,” they do an excellent job of explaining why man must have a standard to determine right from wrong, and how nothing but Christianity and the Bible can provide that.
Unfortunately, the dear brethren who produced it do not understand
the administrations in Scripture and think we may already be in the
Tribulation. They intimate that the Rapture of the Church is an escapist
mentality that causes Christians to sit around and wait for Jesus to
take us out of the world. ACTS-ually, our Hope should make us ACT more
urgently because we realize that each day could be our last chance to
“pull someone out of the fire.” TFP also makes typically erroneous
statements about man being a spirit being and “hell” being everlasting
torment and “conscience” being a moral gyroscope that everyone
inherently has, but aside from those errors, there is a lot of excellent
The winsome young gentleman who narrates the video shows a very old and moldy apple, stating that no one would choose to eat it—because we have seen what a good apple looks like and why it is so much better for us. That is, we have the standard of a good apple by which to determine a bad apple. Ditto for human behavior—and God provides that standard in His Word. An understanding of good gives one an understanding of evil. The narrator then quotes C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity:
When a man is getting better, he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When he is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less…This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping… You understand drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil. Bad people do not know about either.
Cha-ching! The narrator goes on to speak of the need for a “moral compass,” which of course only God, the Creator, can provide for man. A compass works only because of the fixed reference point of true North, and God is the steadfast “True North” for man whom He created. The narrator quotes Romans 1:19 and 20, showing that each human being has the same opportunity to clearly see from Creation the beneficent nature and character of the Creator, so that those who reject Him are without excuse.
He then speaks of “Satan’s Golden Rule,” which he defines as “Do what you want,” and states that anyone who rejects God’s “Golden Rule” (“Do to others what you would have them do to you”) automatically accepts Satan’s, which is nothing more than self-deification, the old “man-is-god” trick, which leaves one with neither a hat nor a rabbit to pull out of it.
On our YouTube channel we have a video titled The Golden Rule is Golden. In it I assert that the standard by which the Lord Jesus will judge those who never heard the Gospel is this: “Say, dude, did you consistently do to others what you would not want them to do to you?” “You did? Sorry, bro.” Sure, because everyone knows what he does not want others to do to him, and if he regularly does those things to others, he is a bad person. NEWS FLASH: You and I can regulate our behavior according to that same simple standard.
The Fuel Project folks say that each human has a conscience that is his internal moral compass to know right from wrong, but that doesn’t make sense because millions of people are running wild doing evil and enjoying it, with no remorse whatsoever. Consider the following verses:
Romans 2:14 and 15 (NASB)*
(14) For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law unto themselves, (15) in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness, and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending [excusing] them.
Biblically, one’s “conscience” is his moral habit patterns acquired by adherence to his belief system. It is one’s conscious self-testimony based upon the effect and result of his faith. That is why, in verse 15 above, the conscience of one who thinks that stealing is wrong will “accuse” him and the conscience of one who thinks stealing is right will “excuse” him.
The video then vividly shows to what degree Christianity, with its standard of right and wrong, has informed, restrained, and civilized the world for the betterment of all mankind, even unbelievers. In pagan Greek and Roman cultures, human life was cheap, and infanticide, abortion, and murder-for-sport abounded. So did homosexuality and pedophilia, to the detriment and destruction of thousands. It was Christianity that taught people God’s standard regarding the sanctity of human life and abolished many of these practices, at least in the lives of those who embraced the faith. And how about the treatment of women? In some cultures, widows whose husbands died were then killed. It was Jesus who elevated women to spiritual equality with men.
In many pagan cultures, cannibalism was also prevalent, even up to modern times. The narrator tells the story of a Communist who once chanced upon a tribal people. He warned them about Christianity and exhorted them not to believe the fables about God that a missionary might tell them. The chief replied that the man should be thankful that a missionary had already been there and taught them the Word, for otherwise they would have eaten him.
Clearly, it is Christianity that is responsible for most all of the truly humanitarian endeavors on earth. Most importantly, only the Gospel of Jesus Christ leads one to salvation and everlasting life, and only that Gospel gives one the knowledge he needs to live a fruitful life in this fallen world.
(9) And this is my prayer: that your love will abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, (10) so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ. (11) filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God.
This is why the ministry and mission of The Living Truth Fellowship are so valuable. We are teaching what God really says about life and godliness. There is absolutely no substitute for the Truth of God’s wonderful Word, and it is only that Living Truth that will set people free from bondage of all kinds. What a privilege we have to know, to live, and to share such a treasure! Thank you for praying for us.
* Scripture quotations marked (NASB) are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission.