As I recall that fateful night when I opened the door of my heart to welcome my Savior, I felt a joy and euphoria that I couldn’t explain with my grownup intellect, but in retrospect, I now remember that unknowingly, I received it with the mind of a child when receiving a sought-out Christmas gift. Unfortunately, this feeling lasted only a few months as the reality of the challenges of daily life set in, and possibly the realization that all of those promises in his Book, that I‘ve been hearing in sermons and in my readings, were not matching up to my expectations. Specifically, the scripture in John 10:10 defied any explanation or pretext since our Lord was definitely referring to the here and now.
This kind of mindset and attitude, of course, opened the door to the enemy to cause me to doubt, not only my salvation, but God’s implications and intentions about all of His guarantees once we accepted His Son into our hearts. It’s fair to clarify that, as a babe in Christ, I literally took all these blessings and equated them to the physical realm in their manifestation. Of course, I now know that this is contrary to Jesus’s admonition that this is true only when we “seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” While this could be construed by many to be only my own experience, I am fairly confident that thousands, if not millions of other Christians would relate to it in some form or another. With this kind of shared experience in the body of Christ, then the great apostasy and deception, prophesied in His Word in these latter days, their root cause can easily be explained. It’s essential then to uncover the current malady affecting the organized Christian Church today, not in its structuring and not necessarily in its organizational approach, but in its role that they have appropriated that is contrary to what we find in God’s Word.
This book endeavor to present His solution, which has never been hidden or even veiled in His Word, which is that we must return to the true roots of Christianity if we are to enjoy the life He promises in John 10:10 which begins with the fact that each one of us is to become a disciple taught and trained not by pastors, priests, or rabbis but by God Himself, in the form of the Holy Spirit in us just as promised in Isaiah 54:13 and John 6:45, just as Jesus designed it, modeled it for us, and defined it in John 16:5-15 while He ministered on this earth. It passed the acid test of resiliency when it was mercilessly persecuted, as His disciples applied the principles as instituted and instructed by our Lord so that we could display it as a witness of His Power and Lordship to this lost world. God’s solution its still available today to anyone who truly desires to attain it and can fully understand that it is only through discipleship that a true believer is empowered and stirred with the same zeal and enthusiasm that the first century church experienced after the resurrection of our Glorious Lord in the commitment to fulfill John 8:31 and Matthew 28:19, in reaching those around them and us today, who thirst and hunger for the things of God, and in that process, experience the life
He promises we can live in the here and now. It is high time to abandon, once and for all, the current practices of mass-producing followers and cheerleaders and inscribe into our minds that the Great Commission was not to make believers but to make disciples. The early church didn’t churn out advocates and promoters but actual disciples, taught and equipped according to Ephesians 6:10-17, who then, as members of the body of Christ, led by His example, were transformed into a formidable, most powerful and effective force the Roman Empire had ever seen. This book is not anti-church as some may perceive it, but only to challenge the status quo that has been around for nearly 2000 2 years; just as our Lord challenged the religious establishment in His days. This book strives to do the same to those who dare to think for themselves outside the religious box that has been carefully built and maintained by the organized church.
This book hopes to revolutionize our churches, where discipleship is the top priority and purpose for its existence. I am critical of the current organized version that has taken the place of the real church, that nowadays is wasting vast resources and investing them in huge entertainment amphitheaters, and often dilute, distort, and obscure the true message and method to attain this real new life as designed and established by our Lord. Unless this change happens, we can’t truly reach and change a lost world. The Usurpation of Christianity by the Religious Establishment only seeks to point the way to those who are experiencing that gnawing sensation that there is much more to the Christian walk than what is being presented in those weekly sermons in our churches today.
Si vamos a seguir adelante y a restablecer nuestra vida a ser un discípulo que es lo que el Padre tiene en mente para nosotros, tenemos que volver a la fuente original de toda la verdad para que como adultos, no como niños de pecho aún chupando la botella de un bebé llena de una fórmula religiosa, lleguemos ya a consumir el alimento sólido que siempre ha sido fijado en la mesa del Señor, como se señala en Hebreos 5:12: “Porque a pesar de que a estas alturas ya deberían estar enseñando a otros, en realidad ustedes necesitan a alguien para enseñarles otra vez los primeros principios de la Palabra de Dios. Habéis llegado a tener una necesidad de leche, y no alimento sólido.”
Por lo tanto, es tiempo de deshacerse de ese chupete religioso que ha puesto al cuerpo de Cristo en un sueño profundo, chupando nada más que palabras huecas que salen de los púlpitos y atriles, y conseguir el coraje de hacer la elección de volver al verdadero maestro y tutor, el Espíritu Santo. Seamos conscientes de que ya tenemos la habilidad y la perspicacia de reconocer la voz del Buen Pastor como Jesús nos dijo en Juan 10:27, “Las ovejas que son mías, oyen y están escuchando mi voz, y yo las conozco y ellas me siguen.” ¿Suena esto como si vamos a oír y seguir a un papa, profeta, sacerdote o cualquier otra persona que quiere entrar a su billetera? Pero más importante, ¿resuena esto en su espíritu, conocimiento y mente? Si no lo es así, esto podría ser la razón por la cual el cuerpo de Cristo es corto en fe y de larga al fracaso y la falla, algunos no lo hacen, sino que rehúsan escuchar la voz del Pastor principal ignorando Romanos 10:17, donde Él nos exhorta: “Así que la fe viene por oír (lo que se cuenta), y lo que es oído viene por la predicación (del mensaje que proceden de los labios) de Cristo (el Mesías mismo).” Es lamentable que la mayoría prefieren ser llevados “como botín o te haces vos mismo cautivo de la llamada de la filosofía o el intelectualismo y falaces y vanas (ociosas fantasías y plena tonterías), siguiendo la tradición humana (las ideas de los hombres de lo material en lugar a la del mundo espiritual), solamente nociones crudas que siguen las enseñanzas rudimentarias y elementales del universo ignorando [las enseñanzas de] Cristo [el Mesías]” (Colosenses 2:08).
Una vez más, ¿están estas escrituras diciéndonos que el mensaje de Cristo viene de la boca de un papa católico, un presidente mormón o de un ayatolá? Por supuesto que no, ya que la voz de Dios se escucha sólo a través de su Espíritu Santo, que es el vocero del Jesucristo mismo, punto final de la historia. ¿Por qué no puede el cuerpo de Cristo, discernir que su único deseo es hacernos crecer, captar Su visión y poner en práctica su método e instrucción de estudiar Su Palabra? Y en llegar ahí en fe, ponerla en acción para activar su poder en cada momento de nuestra vida, hasta el día que Él regrese.
A passionate series of chapter-long reflections on the true nature of the Christian calling. In his nonfiction debut, Zelaya continues a long Christian tradition that began with the epistles of St. Paul. He transforms a series of Scripture lessons, originally designed for use in prisons, into a handbook for an intense, renewed personal faith, rather than “passive fellowship,” which he warns is the false premise of too much major-denomination Christianity.
The Christian faith, he says, is not, in fact, a religion, but rather a “bonafide” intimate relationship with the Godhead.” In order to experience it, he asserts, the faithful must be willing to “exchange the worldly things that hold the affections of life” for a straightforward, wholesale life of faith. He deals with the subject of prisoners, who have, in many cases, faced the rock bottom of their lives; to these and other readers, he offers kindly but hard-line testimony about what true, non-dogmatic Christianity requires from those who seek its mercy: total surrender. “Let’s get rid of that religious pacifier that has put the body of Christ into a deep sleep…and get the courage to make the choice to return to the true teacher and tutor, the Holy Spirit,” he writes.
He earnestly calls for Christians to “imitate and duplicate” the union that Christ Jesus had with his Father, and stresses that all the faithful need to do so is to hold the Scriptures and the Holy Spirit inside their own hearts. To help that process, Zelaya provides a great many learned, readable scriptural analyses throughout this book, including “Dispelling Religious Myths about the Kingdom” and “Removing the Hurdles of Entering the Kingdom.” These textual lessons will be valuable to Bible study groups, and Zelaya’s frank, searching account of his own personal interpretations of Christianity’s heart will interest all other believers. A stern but friendly treatise on the obligations of faith.