Friday, February 27, 2009

Abraham and Christ in the Old Testament....

Ok here we go for another round.

Abraham was called the "Father of Faith" (Gen. 15, Romans 4:16-18)

Jesus Christ is the Author, perfecter and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2)

Abraham the Father of many nations was willingly going to sacrifice Isaac his son. (Genesis 22:2)

God our Father was willing and did sacrifice His only begotten Son. (John 3:16)

Isaac had faith in his father Abraham as he was being laid down as a sacrifice. (Genisis 22:9)

Jesus had faith in His Father as He was the sacrificial lamb of God. (John 10:17-18)

Isaac was a type of Christ.... Jesus was and will always be the Christ!

God provided Abraham with another sacrifice.

Jesus was the sacrifice provided for us.

Abraham trusted in God to provide a way for Isaac to live by looking forward to Christ Jesus.

We can look back and have faith that God did provide the way for all who believes in His Son to live.

A ram was substituted for Isaacs life. (Genisis 22:8, 13-14)

That ram represented Jesus as our substitute who is the Lamb of God.

Again Jesus was substituted for us.

Innocent, sinless, spotless Lamb.

Substituted for filthy rags.

Isaac was the child of promise to Abraham (Hebrews 11:17-19)

Jesus was and is the promise that was raised from the dead. (Isaiah 9:6, 1 Cor. 15:1-11)

Through Isaacs birth all nations were to be blessed. (Gen. 12:3)

Through Jesus Christ all nations ARE blessed. (Acts 28:28, Matthew 28:18-20).

This just shows how awesome our God is.

He has provided the only pure sacrifice for all who call on His Sons name to be saved. NO OTHER WAY!!!

Nothing we do or say is pure. Only Jesus...

I want to give more opportunities for you to add what you see in Abraham, Isaac and Jesus in the Old dialogue....

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Jesus in the Old Testament part 2....Noah's ark.

When we hear the Old Testament story of Noah's ark what comes to mind?
Usually we think about a kids story. Yet the whole story is about a type of Christ.
The Ark (Christ body), the flood, (baptism), the rainbow (the promise of a new covenant).
When you start to see Jesus in the Old Testament the books become more than good moral stories, they become alive.
Noah was like a "second Adam" in a sense. After the flood all the human race came from him. (Gen. 8:15-9:17)
Jesus Christ is called "the second Adam" because eternal life is found only through him. (1 Cor. 15:47)
The ark Noah built was a refuge for a chosen few and animals. (Gen. 6:19-7:5)
It was representative of the coming salvation and baptism brought only through Jesus' death and resurrection and belief in him.
The rainbow also representing a promise of a new covenant.
All who are called by the Lord through Jesus Christ enter into his salvation by faith and mercy. He provides salvation for all who are called by his name. (Galations 3:27-29)
Jesus is the fullfilment of the new covenant.
The ark Noah built delivered Noah and his family from certain death. (Gen. 7:7) In turn giving them new life.
Jesus Christ's body "the church" was delivered from the wrath of God through His Son's blood and being immersed with Jesus in His death.
A baptism if you will. Not the physical, but a spiritual baptism. (Romans 5:9, 6:3-4 and 1 Peter 3:21)
Noah offered a sacrifice offered the blood of clean animals. (Gen. 8:20-9:6)
Jesus offered Himself. The ultimate sacrifice. (1 Peter 1:18-19)
Noah was not perfect. He was described as a" righteous man, blameless among all the people of his time. He also walked with God." (Gen. 6:9)
Jesus was and always will be the only perfect and blameless man. (Hebrews 4:15)

I want to add. There is much more to the ark compared with Jesus than what I have here. I would welcome other to add in the comments what they know. That is how we learn. I don't have it all. We each have a piece.

Tomorrow Abraham and Christ....

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Adam was the first person in this creation.
Jesus is the first person in the New Creation (1Cor. 15:23)
Adam was God's administrator. (Gen. 1:28)
Christ is God's Annointed who is King (Matt. 1:16)
Adam was the head of the human race. (Gen. 3:20)
Jesus is the Head of the New Creation (Rom.5:12-24)
Adam's actions brought sin and death. (Gen. 3:16-19)
Jesus' actions inputes righteousness for those who believe and follow. (Rom. 5:12-19) ,(1 Cor. 15:20-22, 45-49)
Adam joined Eve in rebelling against God. (Gen.3:6)
Christ brought redemption for His bride the church (Revelation 19:7-9)
Adam's nakedness required the sacrifice of an animal to cover it. (Gen. 3:21)
Christ was slain to cover our nakedness from sin. (Mathew 27:27-35)
Under Adam we experience lonliness,hatred, violence and rebellion against God and others. Through Jesus' redemption we can experience true life and a true love as only God can give.
We can boldly come before our creator and worship Him freely.Adam was the first man.
Who instead of following God, he rebelled and in turn cast all of creation into a life of sin and death.
With no hope!
Jesus became the second Adam in order to restore what was taken in the fall.
In turn freeing all who call on His name and believe in order to worship and have eternal life with our creator.
Jesus is our true hope! Only He can bring about true change. No one else was or ever will be able to bring hope or change like Jesus.

Monday, February 23, 2009

What is wrong with saying a prayer to get someone saved?

I have been wanting to find a biblical example of the sinners prayer. You know what? There is none.None, zip, no inkling of anyone ever repeating a prayer after someone. Because that is not how Jesus nor the apostles did it. They simply said "REPENT", "BELIEVE" and "FOLLOW".

The earliest form of the sinners prayer began about 500 years ago. Wow, did some feel that the word of God wasn't enough to bring conviction on the sinner. You see according to my bible it says something like the Spirit blows where he wills.
No one knows where he will go. My bible also says, that those who don't believe in Jesus are dead in their trespasses and sins. Also the word says, One plants, one waters and GOD gives the increase. Hum!!! Sounds like God is the one who gets the person to believe, right? You see saints we are not called to make converts and gather #'s in order to make God look good.
No, we are called to proclaim the goodnews. We are called to spread the seed. Then someone else comes along to water, maybe by praying or preaching. Then God opens the eyes of the dead and gives them new life.
All of these "salvation crusades" are nothing more than a man centered program which does nothing more than making false converts. We are making false converts with the words "repeat this prayer after me and if you really meant what you just prayed you are saved." There is no conviction, no brokeness.
Do most people even know what sin is? I don't think a lot of Christians know what sin is. According to the bible sin is "lawlessness'. And what is the law we have broken? God's law. So if we broke the law of God it will take more than a prayer to save a person.
The person must see their need for a saviour. And the only way for a dead man to see is if Jesus gives them new life. I can't go to a graveyard and cry out Lazerus rise!!! In hopes of someone coming out of their grave and walking again. So what makes us think we can go out on the street and give a person a few words then have them pray a prayer in which after that we pronounce them saved. Wow! Then we can go flaunt our progress by telling people we led #'s of people to Christ. We get our pats on the back and walk with pride and arrogance. That is straight from the pit of hell. It is a false doctrine. The invitation system is a false teaching.
We need to repent from mans ways and go back to preaching the gospel and yeilding to the Holy Spirit as He does the saving.Google sinners prayer and you will see how many biblical scholars and teachers refute this false teaching. It is only 500 years old people.
Do we think we can do it better than Jesus and the apostles? Granted some may have been saved during a crusade, but I can tell you it is not 100's or 1000's at one time. Jesus fed 5000 at one time. How many continued to follow him? Some who were His disciples even walked away when He said that He and the Father were one.

Please read the word of God and do your own research to see what I am saying is truth.

That is why America is not a Christian nation, because we have come up with get people saved schemes that don't work.
It is our job to proclaim!!! I can't emphasise it enough.
I am not hard line or hard hearted, no I just want the truth to be procalimed. I can't tell you how many people I encounter when I evangelize who had "prayed a prayer" and then went right back to the life they were living. They are baptist, catholic, church of christ etc. yet they are not followers of Jesus. We make them followers of a system and not followers of Jesus!!!!

A friend of mine sent me the following which would be a more realistic sinners prayer:
Here is a sinner's prayer you could use:
The hypothetical prayer from Jonathan Edwards:

Dear God, whom I hate with all my being precisely because you hate and threaten me with hell, I hate this punishment perhaps even more than I hate you. Or, maybe I should say that I love my comfort even more than I hate you. For that reason I am asking a favor of you. I want you to make me love you, whom I hate even when I ask this and even more because I have to ask this. I am being frank with you because I know it is no use to be otherwise. You know even better than I how much I hate you and that I love only myself. It is no use for me to pretend to be sincere. I most certainly do not love you and do not want to love you. I hate the thought of loving you but that is what I’m asking because I love myself. If you can answer this ‘prayer’ I guess the gift of gratitude will come with it and then I will be able to do what I would not think of doing now—thank you for making me love you whom I hate. Amen.

That would be more realistic.
You see we are enemies of God! No one seeks God, no one is good no not one. We all have gone astray!! The words of Paul the apostle in Romans.Quoting Is. . So you see if we aren't seeking God how can we make a decision to follow Jesus when we are a rebellious people? Who are bent for destruction? Only the Lord can open our eyes and call us children of God in His divine timing.Pray for the laborers. Pray for the saints, and pray for the lost, but please don't get them to say a prayer that they really don't mean.
It is wrong. I am not judging. I am warning about a false teaching that needs to be exposed. It is a doctrne of demons.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Things I need?

Well, it being Saturday I have finished the series of thoughts and issues I started on Monday. That said I was wondering where to go from here. Guess what? As the Lord would have it He has given me an opportunity to bring about the lighter side of me courtesy of Alan Knox from "The Assembling Church". Thank you Alan I needed this....LOL!!!

Here are the rules:

Google your full first name (not your nickname) and the word "needs" like this "Steven needs"
and then post the first 10 things that Google finds. You may have to go to the website and do a little reading. Then tag 5 friends (not including the person who tagged you) and pass it on.

This is what I need according to Google.

1. Steven needs A Permanent Home.
I thought the one I'm living in was permanent.
2. Steven needs you!
To pay off his mortgage so he really will have a permanent home. LOL!!!
3. Steven needs A Permanent Home of his own.
Yes, so please send me money.
4. Steven needs to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.
My wife may agree with this, so don't tell her.
5. Steven needs a Chart ASAP.
I need one so I can see why I must be admitted to the hospital for treatment.
6. Steven needs a Starcraft.
Yes, a Starcraft boat would be nice. Then I could fish on the lake.
7. Steven needs a laptop.
That would be nice.
8.Steven (NEEDS A BAND).
There you go all you drummers and lead guitar musicians I know let's do it.
9.Steven needs a profile on Linkedln
That is so I can promote my band Starcraft.
10. Steven needs a Public Profile on Plaxo.
Yes, that may help my new band get discovered.

That was pretty cool. I didn't realize all I needed and now I have to watch out for 2 big goons in white smocks. LOL!!! I think I may be going crazy!
Well that that that's all folks!!!!

I am going to tag hum? Let's see... Daniel, Bro. Lawrence, Nicolle, Phillip and Tommy. Don't feel you are obligated to do this. But to be honest it's actually a lot of fun. We need something to laugh about at times.
God bless all....
Now back to the ole ax grind...

Friday, February 20, 2009

My deliverance from the tithing law!

I have been struggling for a while now on the tithing issue.
Last year around this time the thought of why tithe came into my heart. I was constantly being asked by a fellow brother to go to an Indian reservation to witness. I kept thinking, I can't because I don't have the money. So I kept telling I would if I could.
After the tithe, every of dollar we made was being used to pay for our kids, house payment, car payment etc., the thing is we were not living beyond our means. For example our house payment is only $415/month and we owe on our van. Everything else is paid for. Praise God. We live a simple life. So after the tithe check again we bought groceries paid our utilities and gasoline for our vehicles.
Anyway back to the story. One Sunday morning I was at our church meditating on the Lord during our worship service. I was still thinking about the tithe issue. To know me, I was the biggest advocate of giving to God first. I used all the scriptures I was taught to verify my beliefs. So as I was waiting on the Lord the thought came clear as day. "You don't have to tithe you are a minister in Christ and can use the money to go out. I lept for joy in my heart as a big big burden left. After services were over I went to my brother in the Lord and said let's GO!! A big bright smile came on his face. So we set up a day and went to the reservation. It was a wonderful time in the Lord.
You see we are not obligated to give to a "church". No we are obligated to give from a cheerful heart, to give to the poor, orphaned and widowed. We are to give to each as each has need. Is someone hurting or having a hard time paying bills, then you are free to give. You don't need a deacon board to decide where your money goes. That is not the full biblical context in the New Testament. Let say people will use the scripture in Acts where they appointed deacons to take care of the needs of others. Well, if you look at that in the context it was after people sold all their things and had everything in common. It was when the movement was new. The apostles couldn't wait around and help. They had to go and start other groups, evangelize. Again that scripture is also used in order to justify paying pastors. I would again refute that teaching. Because if you read it in the context. Those who have to give themselves to prayer and ministering the word refers to none other than the "Apostles". Not Pastors!! The word pastor wasn't even mentioned until later when Paul preached about them in Ephesians. He was still Saul when that part of Acts was being lived out. So you can't logically insert pastor in that.
I say all of this to refer you to the following link on how tithing is unscriptural for a New Covenant believer. I hope this link comes thru. If not just type in and then the tithe issue will be on the site.
I also want to conclude this with a very big disclaimer: I am NOT saying deacons are unbiblical!!
No, I am saying the way we use that gift is not always the way the bible lays out. We are all servants. Some on the other hand have that special gift and so they may be operating as a deacon.
So much of what we do in the modern church has taken on a life of its own. In turn we are not operating in the original biblical way. Most churches put deacons in control of the body. When in context again elders are the overseers, not deacons. Again we are all priest in Christ, we are all called to give as the Spirit leads. We are all called to serve as the Spirit leads.
So what has the Holy Spirit put on your heart to go and do?
Have you said, Lord your servant is listening and then ignore the command?
If you have a neighbor or someone who is in need of financial help then give. You are not robbing Peter to pay Paul! No, you are doing what you've been told to do. Give, with a cheerful heart.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

What's your credentials? Are you bona-fide?

Lately I've been thinking, what is my role in the kingdom. I woke up Tuesday having a sense of anger and frustration. It's something that at first I couldn't put my finger on.
Then later I realized it was God dealing with me. He was showing me some areas that I needed to let go of.
Doing ministry work in the field is really wonderful then there are times you feel just alone. I've also been really frustrated and almost disgusted with the way the modern day church operates. As I was thinking on these issues the word "bona-fide" came to mind. I like watching the movie "O brother where art thou?"
One of the issues brought up with the main character towards the end of the movie concerns getting his wife to not marry another man. She said he wasn't bona-fide and so she was going to marry the other man because he was bona fide.
I came to realize that is where my hurts come from concerning the whole clergy/laity issue of the church. (Which by the way is an unbiblical teaching.) Having the opportunites to pray with pastors and elders I was exposed to the sort of underground elitism that goes on amongst the "clergy". Now granted most of those I associate with don't have an arrogant attitude, but there is still that clergy/laity seperation there. Whether they realize it or not. They had their meetings they went to that only the "ordained" pastors could be apart of. They have special prevliges at certain places and conferences only for "pastors'.
So in reality if you aren't an "ordained" pastor/minister you are not "bona-fide". Again whether most ministers realize this or not it happens. They cling to each other instead of mingling with the flock. So they end up having special status in most circles. It becomes elitism. That is where the church has gone wrong. Jesus never exercised elitism over his disciples or others. He washed their feet,He made them feel wanted and served them. He said, unless you welcome the little children...there is no place in the kingdom. People we are all EQUAL in Christ. The very system Jesus fought with in the New Testament has been resurrected again. The Pharisitical and Sadducees system. We are all preist in Christ. There is no one, who is greater than the other in the church. We are all equal. Now I am not saying there should be no elders or such. Not at all. I am just saying we shouldn't be putting them on pedestals like we do.
I have encountered pastors who were not shepherds. They had their degree and it was like they didn't want to associate with the peasants.
Is that a biblical discription of elders? No, it is not. Again we are to be servants. We are all to associate with the lowly, poor, sick and each other. So ministers please pray and seek God to see if you have accidentally fallen into this viscious cycle. No one man is to lord it over another.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My wife's you have fingers?

The following is a dream my wife got in 2006. I must warn it talks of amputations...
It is very interesting and reflects what seems to be happening today in the body of Christ. Again I don't place this higher than the Word of God.

"I had a dream that the government made a statement. They were going to take some sort of action if a certain result from a 'previous plan' doesn't occur the way they think it should.
Well, the government was NOT pleased with the results so they called together a team of doctors who worked for the government. The doctors were to amputate the perfectly formed fingers of babies. I actually watched as they carefully removed one of the digits and held it up for all to see. The whole hand was to be done that way. It was a deperate feeling that washed over me as I sat and watched."

The following is what she felt the dream meant:

The government: is the "system" of religion and that which is passed from generation through seminary, traditions and man centered teachings.

Doctors: those mature Christians within the body of Christ who should be looking after the newborns well-being; The pastors, elders and other mature Christians.

The babies(like tiny newborns): represent the newest memberes in the body (new believers)
Body of Christ. People who are young in the Lord and have recently given their lives to Christ.

The conclusion:
God has fully equipped each member in the Body of Christ, but the "traditional" church is set up to strip members of the fullness and completeness of what God has for them. Members end up "disarmed" and needy because they can't function properly and fully within the church. They end up dependant on the church leaders instead of finding freedom when the Body of Christ gathers.

*fingers are very tiny and are only a small percentage of our entire make-up but the role that they play in our daily functioning is great....they are amazing things.

Again this is a dream from my wife and the interpretation.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hear the Heavenly Voice........A repost....

The following is a word my wife Carla recieved from the Lord on 3-28-04. I again would preface this as to say that the Lord speaks to my wife in dreams and sometimes puts scripture on her heart and then gives her a word for it. I do not equate any prophetic word with the scriptures nor do I feel it is an adding to them. So please take the time to read what is being said and pray about it.
"See to it that you do not refuse him who speaks. It they did not escape when they refused him who warned them on earth, how much less will we, if we turn away from him who warns us from heaven? At that time his voice shook the earth, but now he promised, 'Once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heavens.' The words 'once more' indicate the removing of what can be shaken-that is, created things-so that what cannot be shaken may remain.
Therefore, since we are recieving a kingdoom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our "God is a consuming fire."
Hebrews 12:25-29

"There is a shaking coming to the church, a type of restoration. Be careful that you don't turn away from what God is saying and doing when he brings this shaking, because you will not recognize church as you know it now. Jesus shook up peoples' belief systems when he walked the earth, and that shaking of our belief systems is coming once again, but this time he is shaking us from the heavens.
The only thing that will remain in the church after he shakes things up is the pure uncontaminated Word of God. The church is going to return back to its pure form. We have strayed so far from that pure form of church by introducing our own church laws and traditions, and even pagan influences have made their way inside the church walls.
The church is a body, and the body can't function or even survive without the blood. The teaching of the blood (resurrection power of Christ) has been so watered down for so many generations that we hadn't even seen that the church was ill and not functioning according to God's original plan. It is just that time. It is just that season and we need to ask earnestly for the grace and wisdom to trust God in what he is doing, and even be able to recognize it as it comes.
God is coming with a consuming fire, and the church will see his manifest power and glory operating 'when it is time'. He is preparing us even now, preparing our hearts for this change that is true to the Word of God. We are being prepared so that we may worship him in an acceptable way full of reverence and Godly fear."

Again this was a word given to my lovely wife in 2004.

Monday, February 16, 2009

The three "R's". Repentance, Reformation, Revival.

Well, here I go on a topic that has been on my heart for a while.
As I stated in my previous post this is something I felt the Lord gave me in September 2003. I was of all places taking a bath. I apologize for that, but it must be brought up. As I was relaxing I felt the words "before revival there must be reformation" come into my mind. Then a lot of scriptures followed. I knew it was from God because at that time I haven't had something like that happen. He gave me a whole bunch of scriptures and showed me how to piece them together into a teaching. I got out dried off and put on some clothes. Then I went to my table with the bible and some paper in hand. He gave me visual pictures to go with all the scriptures.
Once I had everything done, I knew I was supposed to teach this at the church I was attending.
When I had approached the pastor about it, he was real hesitant. He was new and didn't want to share the pulpit. Does that sound familiar? Anyway he finally gave in and gave me certain Sunday to teach.
Here is what I got to say.
For a while now the Lord has been stirring my Spirit, with this question. "Why are the gates of hell prevailing in the church?"
We are becoming a nation of mega-churches. People can say we are seeing church growth, what is really happening is a church shifting. The Lord is shaking the foundations of the old mainline churches and people are wanting more from the Lord. I feel that even the mega-churches aren't fulfilling the real purpose God has set before His church. The church in America is a consumer minded church. We get just enough of certain things, then we go home bloated, but not filled.
We don't wait long enough for the Holy Spirit to fulfill His purpose for us. The result we go home still feeling broken down and depressed. And when the saints aren't feeling great we don't go out and reach the lost. The result is we are not seeing many people saved.
Again what I just wrote was given to me in 2003.
The Lord had given me pictures to draw. I put each of those pictures along with scripture in a box.
This is what I said again, "What is in this box is some areas the Lord has pointed out to me for the church. In order for us to learn from and to see change. This is just a part of what He of what He has shown me. The box represents where we put things until we need them or we carry them around so we can have excuses on why we can't follow through with God's promises. But as you will see there are the things the Lord wants us to do in order to truly see church growth and to fulfill His biblical purpose of the church.
I titled the message. The gates of hell shall not prevail, but why are they in the U.S. churches.
1. I had a picture of a building and a gate. Why has the gates of hell seemed to have prevailed in the church of America. Matthew 16:16-18
2. I had a picture of a clock. It represented how much time do we give to God. Psalm 31:15
3. I then had the words; masonry, witchcraft, and sexual immorality on a paper and how they have entered the church. Ephesians 5:11-12, Duetoronomy 18:10-14 and Proverbs 7.
4. Then I had the words Programs and Agendas. Representing where our priorities are.
Acts 1:8, Revelation 2:2-7
5. Pride: Proverbs 8:13
After saying all of this and pointing out to some obvious problems the Lord gave me some word and scriptures showing the way out.
6. Get Directions; 2Thess. 3:5, Ps. 5:1-3
7. The Cross: Romans 8:3-6
8. Then I had a picture of people coming together. Hebrews 10:25
9. Needing to be on the same page. Acts 2:46-47
10. Picture of praying hands. Acts 12:5, Ephesians 6:18
11. The word Laborers; Matthew 9:37-38
12. In doing #11 we should be able to reach the lost and see the kingdom grow. Acts 2:46-47
13. A picture of a musical note. Worshipping God!!! Revelation 19:5
14. The word GOD!! In order to accomplish these things we must not put God in a BOX! Revelation 19:6, Revelation 22:13
Then I was reminded to let the people know the importance of praising God and the result being we will have favor with people. Acts 2:46-47
You see most of our modern church services don't reflect what the scripture says.
I titled this post the three R''s because just as with old Israel they would fall far away from Gods original purpose. Then God would set a new king up who would find the law of God and cry out for forgiveness. He would repent (change) the way they were going and return to where God had them. Reformation. So Saturday as I was walking the Lord put it in my heart that what is going on in the body today. We have become like old Israel having strayed far away from the original purpose of the New Testament church. We have introduced our own traditions and left the original design of the church. I feel what He is telling us is to Repent! Change from what we call church and go back to the way He set things up. Reform! Then as we do this we will have Revival! The body will become healthy as each piece does it's part. 1 Corinthians 12:7-14,14:26; Ephesians 1:22-23, 2:20-22, 3:8-11, 4:11-16; Colosssians 2:19, 3:15-17; 1 Peter 4:8-11.
More to come....dreams and visions about the church....

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A New Series of thoughts and words.......

I want to preface this post with the following. I am a firm believer in the gifts of the Spirit. I believe they still operate today for all believers. I don't believe the canonization of the scriptures is the perfect spoken of in 1 Corinthians. I believe the scripture is speaking of Jesus Christ and perfect love. Which if you read from the beginning of the text it starts out talking about "love".
Love is more important than the gifts. That said let me continue with what I am about to say.
My wife gets dreams and she also has the gift of interpreting dreams. I also have been given words of knowledge from the Lord in the past as well as recently as yesterday. Some of what my wife has been given concerns the church.
Now before I ever new about "House Churches" or any such thing. I got a word from the Lord in 2003 concerning a New Reformation. He led me right to Acts 2:36-42. Where it talks about the apostles and disciples meeting and breaking bread daily house to house. At first I took it as being in the modern sense "cell" groups. Now after a few years and especially in the last I realize He was giving me the vision of meeting in Houses for church. Since I realized there are a lot of people doing just that. So I am not saying that it was a big revelation for all. No it was for me and a few others.
Granted there was more to that word which I will post later in another day or so.
Now to my wifes dreams. Again these were before we knew or even thought about meeting in houses for church other than cell groups. Some of her dreams concern what the Lord is doing in the body. I will also be posting them on this site in the next few days.
I say all this to sort of get people ready as the format of this blog will be different for the next week concerning these subjects. I also want to say that I DO NOT believe any word the Lord gives to an individual supercedes the scriptures. I do believe it is apart of what God continues to do in believers and is subject to being scrutinized by the scriptures. It is not equal!
Saying that I am also a firm REFORMED believer. So that is where I label myself a Reformed Charismatic.
So I will appreciate any comments on what I just wrote and any of the future posts coming up.
As this is an open forum subject to the topics at hand.
Sincerely, Steven

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Be a Servant! Someone has to do it!

On my way home today I was listening to a radio station. A young man from the Air Force who is stationed in South Korea called in to talk. After the conversation the D.J. said, "Thank you for serving." In which the young man replied, "Someone has to do it."
Those words resinated in my heart. Someone has to do it. Do what? Serve!
The police motto is "To Protect and to Serve." What an awesome motto to have.
I want to tie in a few scriptures as they pertain to serving.
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28
Look at that scripture a minute. Meditate on it and don't just write it off. There is so much "meat" in it that we can't ignore what is being said.
Jesus is saying He came to serve. So if He came to serve what makes us think we are better than Him?
"If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him." John 12:26
So do you want honor? Then serve! You say you are a follower of Jesus then are you serving?
How should people regard Christians? According to Paul he said, "This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" 1 Corinthians 4:1
Jesus set us free so we could serve the body out of love. "For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another." Galations 5:13
We must remember when we are helping each other that we are doing it all for Jesus.
"You are serving the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:24
We have had our conscience purified from dead works in order to serve the living God. Hebrews 9:14b.
In the end we will all be serving God in heaven after we wash our robes and make them white as snow. "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple..." Revelation 7:15
So how are you doing when it comes to serving the body of Christ? We are saved and washed by the blood of the ultimate servant Jesus Christ. So we should have a great hunger to serve others within the body. Being a servant is a lifestyle. Meaning we should be living our lives for others and not ourselves. Jesus came to the earth as a Saviour and servant. He washed the disciples feet. Imagine the King of Glory, creator of all living things, the one who has all authority coming down to the earth to SERVE! Knowing it would all lead to his death on the cross. The ultimate service. Giving His life so that all who would believe could have eternal life. If that doesn't make you want to be a servant then what will?

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Seven woes to the modern Scribes and Pharisees

The words of Jesus still live on:
"Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 'The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so practice and observe whatever they tell you--but not what they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi for you have one teacher, and you all are brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors (teachers) for you have one instructor (teacher), the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. But woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people's faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. Woe to you , scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make one single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves." Matthew 23:1-15
I read this in my daily devotion today. As I read it I realized this is still a relevant message for todays modern church. It transcends history. Why because for the most part there are those who still do as this scripture says in the modern church. They sit in pulpits (Moses' seat) and lay burdens on people. They are not serving, but wanting to be served. They do things to be acknowleged by the public. They dress up in their expensive Armani suits and drive their expensive cars. They have special parking spots in the parking lot. They have the front row seats in most churches. They love to be called apostles, prophets, evangelist, teachers and pastors, his holiness or father.
They love to go overseas and make disciples while their neighbors are perishing. Then come back and proclaim it to all the world on tv.
According to the scripture above we are to be humble. We are all brothers and therefore equal. Only one can be called our father and that is God! No man should ever be called father when it comes to the church. We have ONE!!! No one is to be called rabbi, pastor, teacher because we have ONE!! JESUS !!! We must take heed of these warnings from Jesus. Because as is the case of todays modern church we have fallen back into the Pharisees way of ministry. Whoever is the greatest will be the least. Jesus chooses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. Jesus was and is the only perfect example of a true humble servant. And He said, "Follow Me."
So my question is this are you following a mere man or are you following The MAN? Christ Jesus!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The two consecutive posts go together.

What was to be done mutually, or reciprocally, in the primitive community of the saints? In his wonderful thesis on the unified functioning of the divine organism, the apostle Paul points out that there are varieties of gifts, service, and working, although proceeding from the one source. The purpose of the gifts is thus described, “To each is given a manifestation of the Spirit for the common good” (1 Cor. 12:7). Here are a few of the mutual aspects pertaining to “the common good.”
1. Love. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God” (1 John 4:9).
2. Hospitality. “Use hospitality one to another without grudging” (1 Pet. 4:9).
3. Forbearance. “With longsuffering, forbearing one another in love” (Eph. 4:2).
4. Forgiveness. “Be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, for giving one another” (Eph. 4:32)
5. Comfort. “Wherefore comfort one another with these words” (1 Thess. 4:18) .
6. Edification. “Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another” (Rom. 14:19).
7. Exhortation. “Exhort one another daily” (Heb. 3:13).
8. Teaching and Admonition. “Teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Col. 3:16) .
9. Care. “The members should have the same care one for another” (1 Cor. 12:25).
10. Confession of faults. “Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another” (James 5:16) .
11. Service. “By love serve one another” (Gal. 5:13).
12. Burden bearing. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ” (Gal. 6:2)
Although, a community when newly planted, would be nurtured and nourished by the evangelist who begot them by the gospel, such a one, like a father, would train the new converts in every phase of service. He would seek to make them capable of doing without his presence, so he could be on with his primary task of taking the Good News to those who had not previously heard it. Every member would be given full opportunity to exercise and develop his ability, and the evangelist would work himself out, rather than work himself in. The goal of the infant community was to reach maturity, to stand upon its own feet, to further the cause without help. They had been called to minister, not to be ministered unto.
When men among their own number had attained the qualifications required of bishops, or pastors, these were selected by the community, ordained by the evangelist, and under their oversight, the community functioned as an independent unit. The evangelist was no longer required. His work with the congregation had been finished. To suggest that such a community “hire a minister” to conduct their corporate devotions, carry on instruction in exhortation and admonition, visit their sick, and administer their communal affairs, would have been an insult, a reflection against their growth in grace and knowledge, and an implication that they were still in a state of infantile weakness and incompetency. The measure of growth in one congregation of saints, is found in the words of the apostle Paul, addressed to them, “I am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.”
Mutual ministry applies to every phase of life and activity in the community of the holy ones. It utilizes for the common good every gift, talent, or ability, within the regulation of the apostolic doctrine. It is not limited to the public corporate worship of the community, nor does it exclude it. It does not make a majority of the saints a mere paying membership whose chief function is to provide a stipend for one to minister unto them, but it recognizes that all are ministers without exception, and the term “ministry” is an inclusive one which describes every act and function by which God and man are served.

Is Mutual Ministry scriptural? by: Carl Ketcherside...

The King James translators render the words of Paul in Romans 1:12, “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established, that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.” The RSV has it, “That we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” This is important because it shows that the word “mutual” denotes a reciprocal action. It is not “one toward others,” but it is “each toward the other.” The same word that is translated “mutual” in this place is 76 times rendered “one another.” The lexicons define the original with the terms, “one another, reciprocally, mutually.”
In 1 Peter 4:10 we read, “As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” This passage regulates the use of gifts which may be employed for the welfare of the community. The instruction is to every man. It embraces the proper utilization of every gift. God bestows no useless gifts. His grace is many-sided. It is reflected in diverse ways and means. But those who are recipients and possessors of gifts are stewards, and as such must render an account to the Master. To be good stewards, those entrusted with a gift, must minister the same one to another, that is, mutually. Here is “mutual ministry” and it is authorized by the God of heaven.
Those who oppose this clear instruction and are exponents and defenders of The System, which purports to be the church of God, seek by devious forms of argument to offset the teaching of the Spirit. Many who glibly quote the succeeding verse, which is but an exposition of this one, deny the applicability of the passage under consideration, to our present state. They wave it lightly aside by making it appear that it belonged only to the miraculous age, and the gifts to be ministered mutually are no longer obtainable, so the regulation for employment of the gifts of the holy ones has been abrogated.
This shallow reasoning is the refuge of those who have “an axe to grind,” and who are more interested in keeping what they have, than in restoring what God has authorized. The word charisma simply means “a favor which one receives without any merit of his own.” It may be either a natural or supernatural gift. In either case it is from God, for “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above and cometh down from the Father of lights.” The word is applied to the natural gift of continence, which enabled Paul to be free from the compulsion of sexual desire, and thus to remain unmarried (1 Cor. 7:7). He calls it a gift from God.
Supernatural gifts belong to the supernatural age of the community of the Christ, natural gifts belong to a natural age of administration. But the regulation for employment of the gifts of God does not change, and all such are to be ministered mutually, according to the ability bestowed by God. To attempt to deprive many gifted ones in the community from exercise of their abilities, and set up a system which would make such exercise impossible, and to do so on the basis that God removed the right to use gifts he now bestows, when he changed the method of bestowal, is to tamper with divine prerogatives in a manner which should make those shudder who are guilty of doing so. Certainly, if when men were directly endowed by the Spirit, all were to minister, it would be presumptuous to assert that since none are directly endowed, one may assume to do it all.
2. SCOPE OF MUTUAL MINISTRY W.Carl Ketcherside, Reprinted with Permission

The purpose of the church not the purpose driven church...

Last night I had the pleasure of going to a local fellowship and eating free pizza. Plus getting a chance to win an Xbox 360. I went because my kids came home from school with about 12-13 tickets that advertised this special gospel meeting. It was an outreach for the youth. A gentleman from Ft. Worth, Texas was brought in to evangelize to the youth and adults.
I actually had a good time. The pizza was good and the message was good also. Anytime you can be around someone to hear the message of Jesus should be good. Amen!
Anyway, to the title of the post.
What is the purpose of the church?
According to the bible it is the following: First and foremost it is to love the Lord your God and love your neighbor. Also we are to build each other up, fellowship by having the Lord's supper and preaching, teaching and singing all for the glory of God. Third is to go out. We are called to go out and reach the lost. We are compelled to go out into the world. Yet the way things are set up we are purposely driven to stay where we are and call the lost to come to us.
Jesus never invited anyone to the synagogue to hear His message. He went out to where the sick and lost were. Now He did go to the temple to teach, but remember who He was talking too. The unregenerate Jews. Or rather the lost.
You see the harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Those are the words of Jesus spoken to His disciples.
So we don't need to be a purpose driven church if the church was doing it's purpose.
What are you doing to help advance the kingdom of Jesus Christ our King?
Don't just sit and hear a good sermon every Sunday and think you have fulfilled your purpose. No, go out. Do you have neighbors? Then chances are you are around lost people who need Jesus where they are and don't ever have any intentions of setting foot in a building.
If you are a saint called out by God then you are the church set apart to fulfill the great commission.