"JUST FOLLOW JESUS"
God has been preparing me my whole life to follow Jesus. Much of the preparation involved being exposed to manmade doctrines and teachings that are prevalent in many Christian religions. Shortly after I obeyed God by attending graduate school at ORU I went on a mission trip to Mexico in October 1986. One day I was praying non-stop for over two hours for people who had room to walk by but would stand in line to receive prayer, after visiting with 5 doctors (3 Americans and 2 Mexicans) and nurses and receiving a bag of medicine. I didn't know my picture was being taken until several months later when it appeared on Richard Roberts TV show. Then because of some negative publicity for Oral, several people told me they saw my picture on national news shows. As a result of my increase profile, I was invited to spend several months in 87 as a guest of the largest Church in the world in Korea. God told me to write a book about the church while I was there and change my major so I could use the book in my Master's Thesis. My new major was theology.
I knew from Greek that the word 'Theology' was from 2 Greek words that conveyed the idea of "what man said about God". In one of my theology courses, I was reminded repeatedly that Jesus, the "SON OF GOD" (Lk 1:35), was fully man, the "SON OF MAN" (Lk 5:24). At that time there was no mention in theology books or by professors that Jesus was a Theologian and yet God had me connect the two that Jesus, being fully man, was a Theologian when He talked about God. I kept asking people and no one would support the idea until one day we had a visiting lecturer who spoke Greek like we speak English and had obtained his PhD in Theology at the University in Antioch in Greece. I asked him, "What do you think of Jesus as a Theologian?" I will never forget his response as he kissed his fingers and flung them in the air and said in his accented voice, "Jesus is Theologian par excellence!"
When God told me to "JUST FOLLOW JESUS" in spring of 88, I questioned God about how much we could rely just on Jesus' teachings, since all preachers seem to need to quote other New Testament writers, such as Paul. I remember telling Him, "no way, that is unheard of and not possible to just follow Jesus". Then in addition to handling a full course load, God had me spend weeks in a quite place in the library and search every word of Jesus in the gospels. I had a separate piece of paper for every subject that Theologians usually cover such as End Times, the Holy Spirit, God, man, etc. and I would write down the chapter and verse of Jesus words on the appropriate page. Some pages had to go to 2 and 3 pages. YES, I DISCOVERED THAT JESUS COVERED EVERY SUBJECT of Theology. The rest of that year I grew in understanding and begin defending the position that as a Christian, we could rely on Jesus words 100%. When God had me start a church, He had me name it Jesus Center as we center on Jesus.
People would help me grow by challenging me with questions:
"What about God?" I would remind them that when you center on Jesus, one of Jesus' main purposes was to lead people to God. Jesus quoted or referred to the Old Testament over 96 times.
"What about the Holy Spirit?" Again, I would remind them that it was Jesus that promised to ask His father to send the Holy Spirit and described what the Holy Spirit would do in John 14 and 16 and Acts 1.
"What about Paul and others?" This response is provided by Acts 17:11 (NI) where we read "Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true." If what Paul wrote lines up with what God or Jesus taught, then we should support it. Otherwise, we might consider that it could be the expression of Paul's personal opinion. We should use the same guide line for other men and women of God both in the Bible and even those alive today. Check to see if what they say lines up with what God and Jesus teach.
I am still learning and growing daily as to what it means to just follow Jesus, after over two decades of following Jesus and sharing over a thousand teachings from Jesus. Initially, I tried to accommodate the manmade teachings and doctrines in Christian religions when I read Jesus words. Today, I simply follow what Jesus says which is the purest form of Christianity.
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