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Counterfeit is the imitation of something that is presented with an intent to deceive. If someone print dollar bills, that will look the same as the genuine, and circulates them as real, it is crime and sin, and the bills are counterfeit. Israel was the chosen people of God and they worshipped God. But at same time the people of Israel were worshipping other gods also. Christians also worship counterfeit God. You may not agree with me but let us see. For a while Joshua was the leader of Israel. When he was old, he gathered the people and said a few things. "Joshua 24:14 Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD." They have come out of the slavery of Egypt. It was a long time ago. It was the time of Moses. Not only Moses was gone, now Joshua is old, and he is about to be gone. Still, they continue to worship the gods of Egypt. "15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." Now Joshua is giving a choice to them, to choose the true God of Israel, or the gods of others; but not both. He also says, whatever you do you will pay for it; but I and my household will serve the true God. How many of you will take that stand that Joshua took on that day? Or, do you challenge to say that Christians do not have a counterfeit God? Let us see.
God is a Spirit, and he is omnipotent, and he is the creator; and if one of these three attributes are not present in a person, then he is not God. If we put this definition in practice, then he is the true God. "Isaiah 66:1 says, Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool:" Matthew 5:34&35 says the same thing, and Acts 7:49 also says, "Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool:" This God is in both old and new testaments. He is omnipotent Spirit. He was God the Word. Then, this God has become flesh, that is, he became a mere man; "John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." At this point he became a man, and he was no more God. He was flesh, but not a Spirit; he was not omnipotent, and he could not create a living being. He was crucified, died, and was raised from the dead. He ascended to heaven and there he was made God again; "Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (The omnipotent powers were given back to him to be God.) Hebrews 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. 9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Now the Omnipotent power is given back to him, and he is in the Omnipotent Spirit. He is made God and he will create new earth and new heavens. But, when he was a man, he was not God, and they killed him; and it was proof that he was not God. Now, he is God in Spirit.
I am from India. Hindus have thousands of gods. They make gods from wood and stones. But most of their gods are dead men, who were heroes. They project their dead heroes, and worship them as gods. So, people from India have no problem to accept Jesus, who was a dead hero, as god. But the problem comes when we say that he is the only God. Is our God Jesus a dead hero? That is the way we present Jesus Christ as our God! If someone ask you to show a picture of your God, will you hesitate; or will you show a picture of a man, who is nailed to a cross? "Numbers 23:19 says, God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man." God is not a man; neither he is the son of man, but he is a Spirit. That is what John 4:24 also says. How could anybody show 'God the Spirit' in a picture? Now tell me, who is your God? Is he not a projection of a dead hero, who died on a cross? If you still tell me that God is the dying man on the cross, may God have mercy on you. He is not God, but he was a man. And that man was dead. But God is a Spirit. Now Acts 3:26 says, "Unto you first God, having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities." According to scriptures, Jesus Christ is here as God in omnipotent Spirit, turning his people away from their sins. But we cannot see him, because he is a Spirit. But there are many preachers preach that they see him, walking around, healing the sick, in their revival meetings, and so on. Who is he that was walking around? Nobody; these preachers are fooling people by telling lies; they purposely deceive you. If there is some supernatural event happens, remember what Jesus Christ has said in Matthew 24:24. "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." These preachers deceive you, and so Satan is behind them helping them with such powers. Satan has power to do this.
"1 Corinthians 15:50 Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; 53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality." So, our body of flesh and blood will not go to heaven, but our soul must put on an immortal spirit body and then, it can go to heaven. "Ecclesiastes 12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it." Genesis 3:19 and Psalms 104:29 also say the same thing. When Jesus was a man, he was killed on a cross, buried, and was raised by God from the death. God cannot be killed, and that is why he became a man to be killed. When he was raised, he had a unique body that no one ever had. However, scripture says that flesh and blood cannot go to heaven. So, Jesus did not go to heaven with his flesh body, but his soul has entered the omnipotent Spirit body as before, and he became God. So, the true God Jesus is the Soul in the Omnipotent Spirit body, both when he was 'God the Word', and even now as he is 'God the Son' and as 'the Lord Jesus Christ'. But he is not God in the flesh. I hope you know the difference. If you know who he is, serve the living God, who is in Spirit. If we are not spiritual, only the worldly things will be tangible to us. So, we will have the tendency to follow miracles and men who perform miracles; since we are just religious, but not spiritual. In Acts 14:7 onward, we see the account of Barnabas and Paul came to Lystra, and healed a lame man. Because of the miracle, people want to worship them as gods. This is the nature of religious people who does not have the spirit of God in them. In Acts 14:15 Paul and Barnabas were saying, "Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:" They were shouting that the living God is the creator of all thing, but not the miracle working men. But people did not listen. It is sad that Christians are still in the status of religious people, and we do not have the spirit. So, we worship the Man Jesus as God, and reject the Resurrected Spirit God Jesus Christ, since we are not spiritual. To begin with, if Christians believe and trust the word of God, it will lead them to receive the Spirit of God. "John 8:30 says, As he (Jesus) spake these words, many believed on him. 31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Jesus Christ tell believers that if they continue in what Jesus Christ preaches, they will know the truth, and the truth will make them free. "1 Timothy 6:3 says, If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4 He is proud, knowing nothing, ..." So, we must stop listening stories of preachers, to learn what Jesus Christ tells us to do to be saved, and do them; and then only we will be saved. Most practicing Christians are religious. That is okay, as long as your denominational affinity does not prevent you to accept the true Jesus Christ, who is in the Spirit, who is present with you, and who has the holy spirit to give it to you, to make you a spiritual person. Instead, please listen, in the projection of your sentimental mind, if the death of the Man Jesus, stops you from receiving the true Jesus Christ in the Spirit, and if you are allergic to receive the holy spirit from him, your religiosity will stop you from being spiritual; and you will be a big looser, and you will lose eternal life with God, which is heaven.
"Acts 5:42 And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ." It is preaching about the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to know that he was 'God the Word', he became a man, about his virgin birth, his miracles, his death, and resurrection, now he is God again, and he is with us turning his people away from their sins. "Acts 16:10 ... the Lord had called us for to preach the gospel unto them." So, his disciples continued to preach the gospel which Jesus Christ has preached. It is to preach the commandments of Jesus Christ for the people to obey them and to inherit heaven. So, as servants of God, we must preach Jesus Christ, as well as we must preach his gospel. It is to tell them that Jesus Christ is God, and what he tells us to do in order to inherit eternal life. We must do what he tells us to do. It is his gospel, and they are his commandments.
Now, what is religiosity and what is spirituality? Preaching Jesus Christ is needed. However, it may take a turn to religion, since we may look at the man Jesus. We may celebrate his birth day, adore a manger scene, decorative displays, and such things are of religion. Celebration of lent season, good Friday, Easter Sunday, and such things also are part of religion. Actual worship is glorifying God in our righteous and holy life, but music performance in the name of Jesus Christ and such things are, religious worship. Collection of tithes and offerings are not to the Lord, and these are religious exploitation. God has nothing to do with these things and nobody will go to heaven by doing such things. But the true gospel is to obey God to do righteousness and to live holy. If we want to live such a life, we must look at the resurrected Jesus Christ, who is with us with all his power in his omnipotent Spirit, as in Matthew 28:18 and as in Acts 3:26. He has no birthday, lent days, good Friday, Easter Sunday, and such cerebrations. This resurrected Jesus Christ will help us, since by our own strength it is not possible to live a righteous and holy life, since we are born only in soul and flesh. So, he will give us spirit, grace, and his power, which are all spiritual. He will guide us in his ways with his spirit, intercede for us with the Father, may give us more gifts, may increase his power in us; and such things are spiritual. God will give us understanding of heavenly things, inspire our spirit, reveal scriptures to us, give us heavenly understanding, and these are all supernatural. So, in practical life, preachers and pastors may lead us in religious life, which will be profitable to them and to the church, but not to us. If we depend on the word of God and the holy spirit, God will protect us in the palm of his hands. Resurrected Jesus Christ will lead us in spiritual life, and as a result, we will become sons of God with all heavenly glory, inherit his kingdom, and spend eternity with God in heaven.
I will reply promptly.Thanks.
I am a retired
pastor of the Church of God (Tennessee).
My name is Isaac Livingston. I am from Neyyoor India.