Please, What is your answer? I

In the Old Testament, the Priests do receive the tithe as a part of God’s blessing to them. In the New Testament, we are all made a priesthood of God, then who should receive the tithe? 

Does the Scriptures present, in the New Testament, a picture of some Group of people who love God casting their tenth in a box or generously sharing together with each other as God had blessed them? 
I appreciate answers in the comment box. Thank you! 

“God Was Never Unloving”

Dream of His awesome love

I pondered through a blog which I had read and then I had my mind on one of the many words during that moment, “God is more focused on the process than the product.” 
One truth is Father was never unloving: He has always been the loving Father who’s more concerned about our journeys than we are, and is able to get us through the process as we walk with him. We are often so concerned about the product—how we think we should become, or how we think God wants us to be—but rarely do we realize that the process is the foundation, and what we become is the product. Which is more important to be focused on? 

When we have our eyes on trying to become what we think God wants us to be, rather than trusting him to help us through the process, we either succumb to our abilities in trying to become that way. 

Gradually, our focus becomes perfection, so we have to struggle just to be perfect. Yet, Father desires to walk alongside in the process of our journey. When we focus our attention on perfection, we startup a life of struggle to get what God promises to make a reality in our lives. The result is frustration and anger toward God, plus a measure of guilt. His desire is that we just have to shy from trying to make something happen because He knows we’re not there yet. 
Isn’t it so blessed to wake up every morning in the reality that God is so loving and is treasuring to take us on this road each day, all by Himself? 
#Love

Do You KNOW God? 

The journey to knowing God is amazing, but what does knowing God really mean?

I bet it would have been easier asking, Do you love God? for I would be getting a Yes. Yes, of course, I do. Who wouldn’t like to admit that he does love him? Yet, the lips isn’t the final yardstick to measure if we do or not. To say you know God isn’t pride: it’s a fact you find out in your work with Jesus. 
However, what does it mean to know him? Here are three things people think knowing God is about, but they in themselves aren’t what it is to know him. When we see people who express these, we often conclude they know him. 

  • Each morning, I pick up my bible and read for an hour or two. Then I pray for thirty minutes before heading to work. I feel I know him. 

I enjoy prayer, but I know it’s possible to pray a lot and not know God. Do you think so as well?

While I can’t say that this is wrong (for I do it as well), it’s not what it is to know God—it’s just what you need to step on to know him. Yet, it’s possible to step on this without having any contact with Father that brings a transformation in your life, or draws your heart to see his love. The Bible is just a stepping stone to knowing him. If what we read in there isn’t being displayed in our lives to bless the world, we have only come to know about him, but we haven’t come to know him. 

This is amazing as well, but this doesn’t mean Knowing Him.
  • My father’s best friend is so good in preaching and teaching of the Word. He speaks in tongues; casts out demons from people; performs miracles; heals many people. He has this zeal for the things of God. This man so knows God than I have ever imagined. 

This is so interesting! 

But this isn’t what knowing God is about. . . What?! 

Relax! 

One thing is all this are just gifts and they aren’t what tells that we know him. It’s possible to do all of that and still end up being so miserable that we hunger to find Jesus to fill our heart with his love. When you get to know why it was so easy to say that Jesus knew God, or that the people at Antioch could conclude that the Apostles knew God, you’ll finally come to give up judging how well people know him through that. 

The generous is blessed, but only out of a loving heart. Does this also mean he knows God?
  • Alfred Hinn, a fellow Theologian, usually doled out clothes, money and shoes to people. Mother once said, Alfred knows God, Bob. He spreads relief to everyone. Yet, he’s a fellow who does this hoping people would do likewise to him. 

While it’s possible that people who know God do show this generous works, it’s not to be easily or completely used to judge if someone knows him or not. Obviously, individuals and corporate groups as well who have no affection for God do these things too. Even Paul wrote, 

And if I give all my possessions to feed the poor. . . but do not have love, it profits me nothing. 

—I Corinthians 13:3, NASB. 

Therefore, these three good deeds doesn’t tell that we know him: but love when it becomes the foundation does bless the world with these. 
SO IF KNOWING GOD ISN’T DETERMINED BY THESE, WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN TO KNOW HIM?

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 

—I John 4:7—NASB.

From the above verse, we see, Everyone who loves knows God. Isn’t that amazing that we know those who know him by how much they love others? Why? Do I mean to know I have to love others? Loving others is just the fruit of loving him. Love for him produces love for others and that tells that we have been with him. Love doesn’t begin with our affection for others, but realizing the affection Father has for us. Then we learn to love him as well; and in the process, we find ourselves loving others—not conditionally but unconditionally. Unconditional love tells who knows Father and who doesn’t. 

And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.  

—I John 4:21,KJV.

Its impossible to love others unconditionally if it doesn’t originate from loving God first after realizing that he first loved us. Of course, there are heathen men who do good deeds too, but there’s a difference. 

Jesus talked about it several times: 

  • People who really walk in love (who know him) do love their neighbors and their enemies as well. Whatever act of charity they do toward their neighbor is what they do toward their enemies. 

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you. . . —Matthew 5:43-44, KJV. 

God does likewise—

. . . for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. —vs 45.

  • Those who walk in love don’t live to earn men’s praise. They don’t do good to get a reward. They don’t love because someone loved them back: loving someone who loves you back is not love. It’s selfishness! You ain’t really loving, but giving because others love you. They don’t have a heart to hate. They would rather not do anything than do anything outside of love. 

RECALLING THE THREE

Remember the three expressions people use to judge if a person knows God? 

  • Praying; having quiet time. 
  • Preaching, teaching from the Scriptures. 
  • Acts of generosity. 

Love does all three and even more, but it’s possible that these three be done for personal aggrandizement, selfishness, or self righteousness. The first could be done as a routine. 

Knowing God isn’t theorical, but practical, for love isn’t just in words but in deeds as well. 

Remember, it begins with loving God before it gets to loving others. If you love in spite of what goes on in this world, you know God. 

He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. —I John 4:8, KJV. 

  • Did you get any new insight as you were reading this, do share it in the comment box. 

Thank you! 

Is TERRORISM God’s Punishment Or A Result of Man’s Misuse of Dominion? 

Do you think God is punishing the world through Terrorism?

      This question was of interest to me when a fellow blogger, Debbie L. on WordPress posed a question on how the world misinterprets God’s love based on the unrest in the world. And it has been asked several times by a friend of mine in the Philippines, but I decided to write on it as a sequel to, Where Is God In A World Of Pain? 

If you haven’t read it, you might love to read it here:  https://lovestreamoflife.wordpress.com/2016/08/26/where-is-god-in-a-world-of-pain/

    One truth I have discovered about God’s love is that it’s His nature. He’s not just the Source of our love for one another but Love Himself. So, terrorism, civil unrest, suffering, slavery, etc doesn’t change who God is and how He reveals himself as love in the midst of man’s brokenness, but it does seem to revolutionize how men see God and which is the reason why they question that love. This is going to be a lengthy one but God willing, I may divide it into parts. To answer such a question, we’ll need to go through different parts of Scripture beginning from the creation. 

A BEAUTIFUL WORLD 

     The world was a beautiful place to live in the beginning, for there was no disease, no hatred, no terrorism: man had no idea what sin was. Although, God already knew what good and bad was, He made a man who had no idea of both, but had an idea of LOVE. He lived to love the animals, garden and all of Father’s creation, and in the midst of such undefinable love was an atmosphere of peace. Surely, Father wasn’t selfish! 

Do you believe this was how the world was?


THERE WAS NO TERRORISM OR EVIL, SUFFERING

     God made man and gave him dominion over everything He had created. Reading the Book of Genesis, you’ll discover that man used his authority, or dominion appropriately: He made the right choices before the fall. Besides this choice, he had a major one to make, “Choose the Living Tree or taste of the Tree of Knowledge and break God’s word.” 

    How does planting the Tree of Knowledge tell of God’s love for us? Father was making sure it wasn’t something that required force but a choice, proving man’s affection for Him. Man’s obedience was the most important! He didn’t put that tree for man to stumble, but to prove his affection for Him. 

     Unfortunately, it was man’s wrong choice that resulted in the presence of sin, but don’t get it wrong, man didn’t  lose that dominion. He lost the desire to make the right choices and when his eyes were opened, he couldn’t tell what sin was, so the Law was given so he could differentiate between what is good and what is sinful. Also, this is God’s love in action as well, hoping that would help prevent man from walking in his evil ways. 

     With sin coming in, all that was sinful came in, and with that came the willful misuse of that dominion. Honestly, from a supernatural sense of authority, the dominion over the entire world is God’s, but from the perspective of the natural, man still has that dominion which is why whatever choice he makes either results in good or evil. And this good or evil results arising from man’s misuse of authority confirms where he got such foolishness from—Tree of Good and Evil. 

     Thus, terrorism, diseases, war, civil unrest all resulted from man’s misuse of authority. Also, the problem with the outside world is Ignorance. We have no idea that we still have that dominion, if not we will be very careful whatever choice we make in this world, knowing it leads no where, but even affect our generations to come and destroy the world we think we can make beautiful. 

WHAT?! HOW DARE YOU SAY THAT? MAN’S DOMINION WAS TRANSFERRED TO THE DEVIL, WASN’T IT? 

     No, it wasn’t! In the beginning, man was working with God since He’s the overall Ruler, and they shared relationship. When Adam named the animals, God was delighted. Yet the devil wasn’t in the picture. He got into the picture by luring Adam away from God who was the One with whom Adam was able to make the right choices. Today, since the devil knows that man has that dominion over the natural world, he’s using man to destroy the world God created by being the brain behind all his suggestions. Over everything that exists, God remains the Ruler, but over the world, the devil stepped in to be the Prince. 

     The peace in the garden wasn’t just about how EDEN was made, but the presence of the Prince of Peace Himself. When man took his eyes away from Him and hid the Devil’s suggestion, he placed himself beneath his guidance. Man grew up with a heart for misusing that authority. 

     Scripture gives details of people who shared relationship with God in the Old Testament and God was the one guiding man on right ways to exercise that dominion in the world. Although, like the beginning, Satan repeatedly tried to get in, but when man left his eyes on God, he exercised his dominion rightly. If he took his eyes away from Him, that dominion was wrongly exercised. 

      The writer of Hebrews wrote, 

YOU HAVE PUT ALL THINGS In SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET ” For in subjecting all things to him, He left nothing that is not subject to him But now we do not yet see all things subjected to him.—Hebrews 2:8.

    Was that part talking about Jesus? No. It was talking about man. You HAVE PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER HIS FEET, yet the fact is nothing looks subjected to man yet because this is not the original kind of dominion given to man. Jesus’ death was to take over as man’s guide in exercising that dominion rightfully, but in His Name and by His Wisdom as it was in the beginning. So, God gets restored in the picture and we Christians now have the relationship which Adam lost, to put the rightful use of our dominion back in place. 

For every species of beasts and birds, of reptiles and creatures of the sea, is tamed and has been tamed by the human race.—James 3:7.

      Therefore, terrorism, wars are a results of man’s misuse of authority. At present, Satan is working through man in the misuse of that dominion to destroy the world, but Christ, working  in and through man is restoring all that Adam lost, drawing us back to the Paradise of God which is much better than EDEN. 

A serious blast destroys a building. The world man once tried to make beautiful for God, he now destroys as he works WITH the devil.

Next: WHAT GOES ON IN THE WORLD DOESN’T CHANGE HIS LOVE. 

Civilization Is Filled With Lies 

FROM GOD’S FINGERPRINT NOVEL. . . by Samuel Junoi Samuel —Chapter 2

I’m very sure you’ll recognize some of the persons here who were also written in the  I Corinthians letter of Paul. 


​The house of Chloe was warm in spite of the cold which had fallen over Corinth. This was a result of the fire-lamps which Gaius had stationed at different corners of the house so everyone could warm up themselves. She was still putting on John’s coat to stay warm, and he had gone out to talk with Crispus who was also a friend to Gaius. Jane chuckled at how loving John was and thought it would be nice to take him to Civilization with her. 

    She felt a gentle touch on her arm and turned to see who it was. It was John! She blew a sigh of relief, then put on a smile on her face. 

    “You scared me,” she laughed heartily. 

    “Did I?” John laughed as well, taking a seat beside her. “It’s been a cold morning, and after a long night as well. How are you feeling?” 

    “Warm,” She replied. “Thanks.” 

    “Oh, it’s nothing,” John laughed again. “It’s what I do most times, Jane. I was just talking to Crispus a while ago. He told me Paul would be visiting Corinth in a day or two.” 

    “Paul?” 

    “Yeah. You know him?” 

    “I sure do,” she said, hiding her hands in the coat. “I have read his letters several times as a little girl and weeks back in the University. His writings aren’t so easy to understand.” 

    “Paul must really be so popular,” he joked, laughing as he glanced toward the people who sat round a camp fire outside the house. They were having discussions which produced repeated laughter among them. 

    “I’m so glad they are having a nice time together,” Jane sadly said. “I don’t know how my mom feels about me being away for a long time. I just wish I could write her.” 

    “We could help you with that,” John offered. “We have good writers here who can help. We’ll just deliver it to Civilization, hoping your mom will get it.” 

    “Oh, you don’t have to worry,” she said, realizing he had no idea that Civilization wasn’t a country but a state of modernity. 

    How do I tell him? She thought. 

    “You don’t have to tell me,” he said. She thought he was replying her thoughts. “It’s okay with me if you don’t want to have it sent.” 

    “Yeah,” she chuckled, thinking of a good way to ask him what she thought she didn’t know about the Corinthian believers. While she was at Ephesus, she began to comprehend what she read in Paul’s letter to them by been there. Now, it was no different from Corinth. “Is it true the believers here almost broke into groups?” 

    John answered, “Yes, they almost did. Paul had to talk into it before he talked about anything else.” He turned to look at her. “Why did you ask?” 

    “Well, ahem, we have something like that in Civilization,” she replied. “The people here were upholding some ministers above others, saying they are of Paul; they follow Apollos or Peter. Back there in Civilization, we’ve got Christianity in thousands of factions, as Paul calls it; and it’s no longer amazing, now that I’m here. I see the difference.” 

    “Yeah, sometimes history does repeat itself. Only people who don’t understand that tend to repeat it,” John said. 

    “You’re right,” she agreed. “My mom had once told me that. We have Catholics, Pentecostals, Protestants and many larger groups, but there are also Calvinists who are followers of a French Protestant John Calvin. And there are Lutherans as well who base on the teachings of Luther. 

   “It’s making much difference now that I see Corinth.” 

   “What really caused that?” 

   “I believe they were once like this before they got one whole group with traditions before the Protestants broke away after the Orthodox, and then the Pentecostal as well.” 

    “Strange!” 

    “We’re having new ones each day claiming they are the true Church but they don’t seem to live up to the life I see you folks living here.” 

    “Jane, it was all about love.” 

    “Love? I don’t get it each time you say that, John.” 

    “If there were no groups, Jane, there would be nothing to break away from; nothing to join, leave or start up. It was all about love. Jesus gave the body brothers and sisters who are more advanced on the journey to encourage them to focus more on their relationship with Jesus and fellowship with each other. It was never something they possessed but a reality they were part of. Division is the result of thinking these people are ours. No they are God’s. That’s why the believers in Antioch first called us Christians—they saw us following Christ, not each other. But we’re loving each other.”

    “Which means the divisions we have in Civilization are results of trying to manage people?” 

    “Yes,” he answered. “When we take our eyes off of loving Him, we simply don’t realize we stop following Him. That’s why when Chloe told us they were already branding themselves as Paulians, Apollosians and Peterians, we did the best we could to deal with it before it got too tensed.”

    “Well, that’s not so easy to do in Civilization,” Jane regretted. 

    “Why?” 

    “There are thousands of groups, John, each with their own beliefs,” she replied. “And those who stand up to help others see how divided factions has made us become are always tagged heretics speaking heresies. No one wants to listen.” 

    “It’s clear to me that most people talk like that, not because those men’s words are incorrect, but they just react out of how different it is from theirs. Everyone hold their interpretation so dear and use the Scripture to agree with them, rather than letting the Spirit open the truth in Scripture to them and agreeing with Him.”

    “I never thought of that,” Jane confessed. 

    “When we replace love with our selfish attempts to protect our beliefs, there’s no loving way we can embrace each other. It would be like being friends as long as we know the same thing; not because we are learning to love others.

    “Conformity doesn’t produce love, Jane. It leads us to togetherness as long as we conform to one particular system.” 

    “Oh I see. . . So that’s why the people were together when they agreed to the same tradition, and split into Protestant, Orthodox and others when they didn’t?” 

    “Exactly. And there would be togetherness if they would just come back and assume their place with those who love tradition.” 

    “That would also be based on conformity, not love,” Jane observed. 

    “And it wouldn’t last, Jane,” John continued, “When we stay together in love, our differences in opinions doesn’t qualify to divide our unity. Unity based on tradition or sameness in beliefs will always lead to factions when we fail to agree. It’s like breaking into different political parties since you don’t share the same interests. What happens when a people split into parties?”

    “They’ll think of themselves more qualified as the real people to be elected, or the true ones to get more followers,” Jane replied, finally comparing it with Civilization’s attitude in Christianity. “I hate politics!” 

    “I do as well, but I love the people involved,” John said. 

    “Hm. . . What if we look past the branding to love one another again, without minding where people attend but simply loving and learning to follow Jesus together?” 

    “That would be awesome!” He commented. “But don’t think it’s going to be easy. There will be many who will turn their backs on you and call you ‘heretic’, but just remember that the manifestations of love aren’t often comprehended by people who carnally view fellowship with others.”

    “Perhaps, talking them out of it will make it easy, wouldn’t it?” 

    “No, it won’t, Jane. You will only hurt as many people than you can imagine in the process of trying to force truth into people, or force people into truth. We can religiously do both thinking it helps, but it doesn’t.” 

    “Isn’t truth so important?” She asked, gently drawing her gaze to the kids dancing playfully outside the house. 

    “It is; but not the way you go about it. You’ve been taught to tell truth engaging endless argument. However, almost every time that doesn’t work. Love is the most important part of truth which means you can’t separate both—you need both. In fact, trying to convince people into leaving could indirectly be like opening doors to establishing your own group. At the end, when things get worse and they never really followed their hungers to leave but were persuaded to, there will be further enemies for you to look into, and more divisions to unfold.” 

    She sighed. “Blame Constantine!” 

    “Constantine? Who is he?” John asked; those loving eyes questioning her. “Is he from Civilization too?” 

    “No. . . I mean ‘yes’—he was,” she sniffed. “He’s the one who brought the whole thing. For many years, we met together organically, enjoyed fellowship as brothers and sisters without having branded organizations, but he unified Christianity and paganism together and. . .” 

    “That’s a big mess!” He sadly commented. 

    “You talk as if you were there,” she laughed. “But it was really a mess. We had the first building and we began attending each Sunday. He changed the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday, and his successor made attendance compulsory. It’s really nonsense now!” 

    “Is it?” 

    “Of course,” she answered. “Those methods of Christianity still survive until today. If you attend regularly, you’re considered highly spiritual. Miss a day or a week, or even a month, you’re either a backslider or an unserious believer.” 

    “Then when you stop attending, it means you’re no longer Christian,” John said, drawing my attention to what I had never thought about. “And when you don’t attend their group anymore, most have to give you a little space. What happens when you get back?” 

    “It all gets to become normal,” she finally realized. 

    John nodded. 

    “No wonder we determine who knows God by their attendance to church meetings, or seriousness in keeping to quiet times and even covenants,” she said. “It looks weird now.” 

    “Yeah, it’s really weird,” John shook his head. 

    “If knowing God isn’t about these, John, what’s it about?” 

    “It’s about love again,” he said, to her surprise which gave way for a frown. 

    “That’s what it’s about?” She asked, so desperate. “Don’t we have to work so hard at it?” 

    “No,” he answered. “At least, not in the way you see it. You’ve been taught that knowing Him requires you try so desperately to put one or two things together, or join movements, Jane, but it’s nothing like that. If you want to know Him, enjoy loving Him and others just the way you realized He first loved you. It begins with Him—never us. Do you know that those who love are actually those who know Him?”

    “I didn’t know that.” 

    “Because God is love, Jane,” he continued, “If you know Him, you will love others in spite of their imperfections, failures and difference in beliefs. Loving others tells that you know Him.” 

    “Which means if I don’t love others, I don’t know Him?” 

    “Yes.” 

    “I can’t believe it’s that simple! It’s so contrary to what we do in Civilization.” 

    “Yes, it is,” he agreed. “It’s love that determines who is God’s. Those who learn to live in His love find themselves growing and yearning to love others. This wouldn’t be in words but deeds as well. It does result to a desire to share his life with other believers as well.” 

    “I see,” she nodded, releasing a knowing sigh. “I don’t think I want to go back to Civilization again.” 

    “Why?” 

    “I just think it will be awesome staying here, rather than going back to live in that confusion.” 

    “If you run away from them, how will they ever find this out?” John asked, shrugging his shoulders. “What can I say? Besides, you need to get back to your mom.” 

    “Yeah. You’re right! I almost forgot that.” 

    “I guess you already did, Jane,” he said, getting up to reach for his overall. “I have to see some people some miles away and won’t be getting back until tomorrow.” 

    She stood up with him, trying to pull off the coat he had given her, so he could have it in case he needed it, but he wouldn’t take it. He let her keep it since it was really cold. 

Copyright ©2017 Samuel Junoi Samuel 

All Rights Reserved! 

Love IS God’s Fingerprint 

That’s the cover of the new novel I’m writing.

    I’ve been writing on a story for a while now. It’s taking me over two months already to write what I’ve learned of God’s love as his fingerprint in our lives. I believe it’s the best story I’ll ever write! 

  • THE SUMMARY 

    JANE HARPER, an American student studying in Scotland, arrives Phoenix, Arizona to join her mom during the holidays. Days after her arrival, a storm—more like a tornado—sweep through the streets of the villages. Everyone finds their way to the underground hideouts while Jane limply carried firewoods to warm up the house because of those who had been affected by the cold before the storm. Her mom cries for her to abandon the sticks and save her life but she pleads with her mom to save hers instead. Unfortunately, the storm overtakes her and she’s recorded as missing by the Search Party. 

    Jane finds herself in the first Century about AD 58 on a mountain side, almost the peak, hoping to find her way back to Civilization. A man in his fifties arriving her became her guide to Ephesus. She discovers him to be John the Apostle, brother of James Zebedee. Her journey to Ephesus in the first chapter began her quest to comparing Christianity in the First Century to that of Civilization, realizing there was much difference, finding out that love is the Fingerprint of God that keeps the body of Christ together and leads people’s hearts to experience Jesus in all sides of their lives as love that transforms from within, aiding the renewing of the mind and fixing of our eyes on him. 

    Her journey to Corinth where Jesus’ mother, Mary was staying with Stephanas awaiting John, is the second chapter. She studies the reason why the Corinthians were placing themselves as followers of Paul, Apollos, Peter and finds out when we take our eyes off love, we think of being followers of the ministers of Christ rather than Christ himself. The similarities between that nature of division and the one at Civilization was explored and the way it’s compared will surprise you. 

    Other chapters of the story contains her journeys to Philippi, Thessalonica, Galatia, Rome, Colosse, with Paul and several others accompanying her. 
NOTE: 

  • This is an exploration on Scripture proving that love is God’s fingerprint and that all the acts of God in the world are acts of love, confirming it to be his reason for Creation, his purpose, thought and action toward us. 
  • It brings an undeniable expression of love being an important part of truth and that sharing truth without love is catastrophic. While we enjoy loving people, we share Jesus with them as the Truth of God. 
  • Here, God is presented as loving, merciful and Sovereign, and where God is in the midst of the pain, sickness, disasters and wars in the world is discussed. 

    I hope this seems a great summary and hint on what I’m writing about this year. 

    Let’s be generous enough to contribute questions” in the comments box that deals with God’s love and what you think he’s doing in the world, and our lives as well. 


Thank you!