I recently watched a sermon on my newsfeed that was delivered by a pastor many years ago, perhaps the 1980’s. I watched it from beginning to end because a concept he shared in the beginning horrified me, so I instantly decided I needed to watch the whole sermon and then address some concepts. I felt it necessary because it could lead people astray, and folks were lauding his message without realizing the hemlock they were drinking. I will give a quote (rendered approximately), then a brief response:
Pastor: “The Almighty has no personality except in man, as man. He is not a ‘big man in the sky’, the Almighty is the real man in me.”
My thoughts: The implication here is that man can eventually become—and even is—Divine! Setting aside the blasphemy, even the most primitive logic contradicts this falsehood. Consider: It takes a personality to beget a personality. For a personality to be born (baby), it takes another personality (mother) to birth it. The Universe and all Creation is filled with personalities: human beings, animals, beings, Angels etc, and even the Universe itself has a consciousness observable through its adamantine and infallible Laws. Consequently, the Almighty Himself must be a Personality with a definite Form. For it must have taken the Higher Personality of the Almighty to birth and create the Creations and all the lower personalities operating within it. Therefore, his assertion of the Almighty having no Personality except man is wrong and illogical, is a product of a diseased imagination, and is even outright defamation against the Almighty Himself.
Pastor: “God in the sky is no good to you. Only the God in you is of any value to you”.
My thoughts: Man on earth must dismount his horse of spiritual arrogance. Look, there is NO Divinity within man! A human being can NEVER have the Almighty within him! All that is within the human soul is “spirit”. Spirit is a creature of the Universe, a work, just like animal is a creature of the earth. Spirit has an intuitive faculty which is like an altar that has the capacity to “perceive” and “intuit” the energy that flows from the Almighty, but it can never host the Almighty Himself! The spirit can be filled with the transformed power from the Almighty, just like the body can be filled with the cooled-off heat from the Sun, but we can never host the Almighty, just like the body can never host the Sun! Furthermore, the energy from the Creator is not the Creator, the same way the heat from the Sun is not the Sun. Absorbing some energy from the Almighty does not mean we are the Source that can dispense this energy, the same way absorbing heat from the Sun does NOT make us capable of producing the Sun’s heat. Only the Two Sons of God—Jesus and Imanuel, have God within them, for They issue from God directly.
Pastor: “The Lord works for me from within my very own mind”. This statement was preceded by the comment “The Lord does not work for you from up in the sky, He works for you from within your own very mind.”
My thoughts: How conceited is the human spirit who dares to believe that the Almighty works FOR man! That He is man’s bellhop Who is meant to stand guard and serve man with all the bounties of His Power! That the Almighty is stationed only to satisfy the lowly desires of human earthworms who refuse to exert even a little effort to truly understand Him. The Almighty does not work FOR man, but it is man who should work FOR and serve the Almighty with all the fervor of his being! He must devote his entire existence to the vigilance of perceiving what the Almighty desires and even rightfully demands of His creatures, in order thereby to exert ALL his energy to fulfill these demands and thus serve His Divine Master in purest humility! The Almighty does NOT need man, but man NEEDS the Almighty! Any stubbornness in clinging to the conceited misbegotten notion—that the Almighty works FOR the human spirit, prepares the spiritual the coup de grâce that must hypnotically snap the already lethargic human spirit into eternal sleep… unless it forthwith comes to its senses. Go read the Parables attributed to Jesus! He always spoke in different occasions of a Master owning a vineyard or field, and then hiring tenants to work FOR Him. This clearly indicates Jesus was depicting the Almighty as the Owner and Lord of Creation, and He employs the human spirit to work in HIS property, for HIM, and that all the profits are due to HIM alone! Thus, the exact opposite of what this man preached.
Pastor: “Your faith is no good until you learn to have faith in yourself. How in the world can you believe in the somebody in the sky but you do not believe in the somebody in you? How… can you believe in the Jesus that walked in Galilei, but not believe in the God that walks in you.”
My thoughts: Notwithstanding the already addressed fallacy of “the Almighty in you”, the notion of believing in yourself and “having faith in yourself” is a commonly spoken notion we have to unwrap and clarify. What does it mean? And is the underlying concept even correct? The notion of “believing in yourself” is not wrong as to the outcome, but wrong as to the concept of the operation. You see, the farmer does not have faith in the seed when he plants it; but his faith is in the consistent and infallible activity of the soil and weather that he believes will germinate the seed into fruit! Faith in the seed does not bring forth a harvest, for the seed does NOT harvest itself by any power; it is the perfect condition, lawful operation, and mysterious working of the soil and weather that harvests the seed. Consequently, faith is not a belief in “personal greatness and capacity”, but in the first place it is confidence in the infallible nature and consistent outworking of the Divine Power that surrounds and permeates the Universe, which then harvests into fruit and circumstances the seed of desires and capabilities within the human soul!
It appears like semantics, but in this lies a universe of difference. For this power does not originate in man, but flows through him. Man’s faith is as useless as a seed unless it is activated by Divine Power! And this Power is the “soil and weather” to the seed of his abilities and desires. So, when man “believes in himself”, what he does not know is that this Divine Power works automatically and creates outcomes. Consequently, since man judges everything superficially and sees only the physical outcome and not the spiritual process, he falsely concludes that believing in himself alone is what produced the outcome! Hence, instead of humility and veneration for God to deepen, his conceit and arrogance in his own “greatness” increases! So, the true faith in “oneself” in its essence is actually confidence in the characteristics and nature of the Divine Power that issues from God and works consistently and inexorably to harvest into fruition the desires of the soul. “Belief or faith in oneself” then, is really just the capacity to hold the seed of desires long enough for the soil and weather to harvest it. Doubt is when we either don’t plant it, or when we prematurely uproot it. Either way, the magic is not with the farmer or seed, but with the soil and weather, i.e. the Divine Power of God.
Concluding thoughts: Everyone is allowed to believe what they wish…uninfluenced. But it should be noted that a wrong belief is like a locked Gate guarded by Cherubs with flaming swords that stands immovably shut and blocks the road of man’s journey upward. The gate is as rigid as man is stubborn, the cherubs are as severe as man is vain. It will not open and will prevent him from continuing his journey, for the password is the humble admission that his concepts concerning the Almighty were erroneous and false. The gate will thus remain shut until the moment he himself relinquishes these delusions and realizes in sorrow that he had believed in false shepherds, and that the scrumptious bread he thought he was eating turned out to be stones. But should he refuse to abdicate these man-made illusions before time runs out and the terminating Bell tolls, then his portion shall be gnashing teeth. For the Cherubs will take the keys and hurl it into the bottomless abyss that will open up and swallow all who still stand obstinately before the Gate. Then all will be ended.
Consequently, we have reached the decisive Hour when every man must finally decide to either muster all his energy to strive to grasp the Truth as It really is, or continue believing in man-made illusions. The choice is free for everyone, but the consequences are final.
~Ikenna Q Ezealah