I am fortunate to have GA Caputo as a friend. To explain why/how would turn my words into a book, not a preface. It's enough to say that this caliber of human is rare... He has not been to this site since late March, and the reasons are not my business to explain, but he did write one more document for this site... I save whatever he writes that seems to me to somehow outdo the rest. This document is one of them. After long debate, I decided to post it myself...I am now a dead man "The reason that there is so much discussion about the simplest concept is beyond understanding. The instructions for gaining entrance into Heaven are quite specific and are not subject to alteration and they are given to us from within the Bible. There is nothing difficult or confusing about the way in which we reach paradise; all we need to do is follow the rules… All of this discourse concerning biblical doctrine is meaningless unless it is to assist others that may be having difficulty with understanding the rules. But, that is not always the case when people speak or write about the principles which we are attempting to follow. What we see is individuals looking for aspects of the beliefs of others in order to tell them that they are wrong… If what a person believes is in alignment with biblical teachings, then they cannot be wrong. What is wrong is other “enlightened” individuals judging what others say and giving their view about it. This is not Christian behavior and it is an example of people offering opinions concerning something about which we cannot have an opinion. The Bible is not subject to opinion or interpretation, it is absolute…A person speaks or writes something concerning Christian doctrine and does not include anything about faith in their offering. At that point, many jump all over that individual telling them that faith is the essence of Christian belief and that the person has no understanding. The reality is that there is no option except faith and that faith is the only thing that carries us through our journey and most people do understand that, and so it is unnecessary to speak of it. We believe in a concept that was given to us by a Being that has never been seen and there is no absolute proof of the existence of such a Being and yet we theoretically give our lives to this concept. If this is not driven by faith, then the world is flat… It is also interesting to note that many of these critics are those that demonstrate the least amount of faith by doing and saying things that are out of biblical alignment. We demonstrate our faith by how closely and intently we follow the elements of doctrine given to us from within the Bible, whether we like or agree with them or not… What causes the confusion is how often man has altered the biblical rules to suit his convenience, and we saw what happened when the Old Testament people did the same thing…Now, let us discuss the simplicity of attaining eternal paradise… The Bible is quite specific as to how to achieve this incredible gift, but inexplicably, many seem to have difficulty grasping the means. Essentially, there are two aspects that should be understood; salvation and adoption. We are going to keep this as simple as possible and only touch upon the essential elements, so let us not get all excited if what you think is important is not discussed… If there is a list of ten items and one of them is incorrect, you do not dismiss the entire list, but that seems to be exactly what happens most of the time. The “enlightened” appear to be looking for statements that they think are incorrect so that they can correct the apparent error, in their opinion. So, we will keep this extremely simple because, in fact, it is extremely simple…Upon the atoning death of Jesus many events took place. The two most important were that if a person accepts the fact that the death of Jesus cleansed us from punishment of our sins, and truly believes that, then we are not required to experience any punishment for our spiritual sins. The second important event was that man could now go directly to God without having to go through an advocate. It did not, however, open the door to Heaven to us, but gave us the opportunity to advance to that stage. Many people believe that the death of Jesus and accepting His actions gave us entrance to Heaven, but that is not correct… For many years, people believed that there were only two places where we could go upon our death and they were Heaven or Hell. But, recently, more information is being revealed to us that indicate that there are other places; outer darkness, the lake of fire, outside of New Jerusalem and inside New Jerusalem, and perhaps others. The object is to pass through the gates and enter New Jerusalem and that can only happen to the adopted children of God…Entering the gates of New Jerusalem require again only two important elements; the first being to follow the rules given to us for our behavior, and the second is that we must be “born again”. Being born again may very well present a problem to those who were brought up in a Christian family, but that is another subject…We are not going to quote biblical verses because we are certain that all claiming Christians have read and studied the Bible and are familiar with these statements. And if we believe that, then we also believe that the earth is flat… However, when Nicodemus comes to Jesus and asks how to reach paradise, Jesus tells him that no one can get to the Kingdom unless they are “born again”. And since Jesus makes that statement, therefore it becomes absolute… Also, there is another statement made by Jesus that should have immense impact on all who read it and that is that very few will ever pass through the gate…The rules for adoption are given to us in the epistles and are specific and not subject to alteration by interpretation. We are given the rules and as we attempt to follow them, we will be tested to discover the sincerity of our commitment and then at some point, our names will be written in the Book of Life. At what point this will happen, we do not know and so we must continue to attempt to advance our efforts for the rest of our lives on earth.The reality is that it is that simple. The difficulty comes from our own ego and dislike for some of the rules, and in most cases, people just changed them. One of the excuses for these alterations is that the world is a different place and the rules do not apply any longer, but exactly the opposite is true. The world is now in a worse place because we have taken on the authority of God and altered His rules. If an individual is having a problem with understanding, then they should go to the instruction manual and ask God for wisdom. He promises to give it to all who ask for wisdom and we do not even need to be a Christian to receive it… Seeking advice from an “enlightened” individual will only get you their opinion, and this is where the confusion begins. God is the only One who has all the correct information and we must demonstrate our faith by doing what He tells us regardless of whether we agree or not. Faith is moving ahead even if we have doubts. It is not endless discourse concerning doctrine, which cannot be altered; and then expect to find favor with God and become one of His elect !!!"
I hope and trust the reason for Gacaputo’s absence isn’t some negative hardship on him in any way! I pray for his peaceful recovery if so.
As for this body of his you posted, and out of his attempt to escape reproof by staying with simplistic measures, I would like to amend one point he made midway:
Many people believe that the death of Jesus and accepting His actions gave us entrance to Heaven, but that is not correct… For many years, people believed that there were only two places where we could go upon our death and they were Heaven or Hell. But, recently, more information is being revealed to us that indicate that there are other places; outer darkness, the lake of fire, outside of New Jerusalem and inside New Jerusalem, and perhaps others.”
Continuing with; “perhaps others”, then afterwards comes that final destination of the two camps:
And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. (Rev 19:20)
And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night (Rev 20:10)
And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead which were in them; (Rev 20:13)
The last enemy to be destroyed is death. (I Cor 15:26)
And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:14)And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Rev 20:15)
May I point out that the repetition you display on "Enlightened One"..seems to single out a select few.. Isn't everyone that is IN Christ "enlightened?" Did they not have a light come on? I once was blind but now I see transformation? Why is it when a born again blood bought believer tells their "experience" with this "light"/Jesus..they are considered just one with an opinion? If a scripture that once was void of meaning suddenly jumps off the page at you in a "Leep for Joy" moment...such as the child leeping in Elizabeths womb, Is this not an enlightened experience? The Lord shines His light in and on verses and makes them come alive..And makes one want to share. When one gets so caught up in the religious doctrine that we have been taught for years( the familiar) and allows no more Truth to come in, are we not stifling the voice of the Lord? Christ is our Teacher now, Not the book ,but the Author of the Book...and NOT a set of rules and regulations that man in an old covenant mindset lays out. I say bring on the "enlightened moment," for the church at large has been in the dark way to long.
Concerning Satan, yes, he is real, but the Word says "As we draw near to God, He draws near to us and the enemy has to flee." The only power satan has, is the power we give him. People who do not know Christ need to know he is real... but sons and daughters of the Most High God...need not fear him, but SPEAK the Word. Get thee behind me!
Jesus came against the religious rulers that did not want to let go of their tradition. (Matthew 15:6) They did not want the Kingdom of God to disrupt their rules and regulations...."their kingdom" This is Religion in full force.. the divider of mankind...
What has been lost is a Kingdom, not a religion
Religion preoccupies man until he finds the Kingdom
A Kingdom Mindset is not ruled by traditions, which is law based, but by their King who dwells inside of man on earth. Fear Not!
We have not altered "His" rules...We have let "Him" become our Rule. Thy rod and Thy staff,(which is His reign and rule) they comfort me. He lifted the yoke of slavery and made us sons and daughters. We Trust in the Lord with all our heart, lean not on "our own" understanding, but in all our ways acknowledge HIM and HE directs our path... Provebs 3:5,6. This is KINGDOM Principles...not a religion.