Thursday, March 19, 2009

The prodigal church and our need to move forward.

The last few days I went through some books I had on the shelf to do some research.
I went through one in particular and ended up on some statements from a gentleman named Frank Bartleman.
He was writing about the great Azuza revival. In this book I came upon the following;
"Beloved, when we stop going forward, we go to milling around. When an individual stops going forward for God, he begins to go in a circle, just as a man when he is lost in the forest ceases to go straight forward but wanders in a circle. So it was wiht the early church. When they ceased to go forward, they started wandering in a circle and became so lost in the Dark Ages. The devil had found he could not destroy them or stop their march by persecuting and killing them; so he removed the cross, offering them titles, positions, honor, salaries, profits of every kind-and they fell for it."
This was written in the 20's. He later goes on to talk about how history repeats itself. And that it is that way with our great church bodies of today. (20's) And even for now if not worse.
He goes on to talk about how out of the dark ages the great ecclesiastical, Roman hierarchy came about to dominate both the world, politics and religion. He then says " And the same condition has developed out of every fallen movement. An illegitimate, hybrid monster. has come forth."
Then Luther came and tried to bring about the change of reform from the seed that was buried in the rubble of the dark ages.
Bartleman, states that through the labors of the reformers and others the prodigal church
has began the journey home.
He brings about a situation that is so true. In that each time a fresh deposit of the Spirit and truth brought forth by the reformers and others, has sooner or later stopped short of the full goal. Although in the process gaining much ground and experiencing tremendous blessings from God. Though again, each group that was changing ceased to go forward as the body and completely return to the early New Testament standard and reality.
Again as the church has climbed from the depths of some sectarian strangleholds, with various stages of formalism and spiritual darkness, only to find itself falling again, within only a generation at times, into sometimes an even worse state than before.
As this happened, each time though some new light and understanding of truth and God's ways have been given upon which the next group of people could build upon.
Then again as is the failure of men, not God's, each new group has only gone so far.
God's desire is to fully restore the church to her first estate and love, is as true with all who fall back.
When we cease to move forward and keep on the offensive for God, we stop and die as a people.
A movement is no longer a movement when it stops moving forward. No matter if it is the first revivals to what is happening now.
Bartleman again stated, 'it may continue to increase in numbers and in wealth, but that is not necessarily a sign of life and power with God. All anti-Christian movements can show that kind of growth."
No movement has ever recovered once it has gone to the skids.
"We don't have to leave movements, we simply move on with God."
The one movement that will never cease is God's plan to redeem a fallen world through His Son Jesus Christ. We must be working for the kingdom of God in all areas of our life.
He feels that the hinderance of a lot of the moves of God has been because we (people) have started to work for a pet project, organization, or movement. So in doing that it stops us short of the task at hand. Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
"We have worshipped certain doctrines, party standards, partial experiences, and such , all fine as far as they go, but abnormal in themselves and only part of the whole."
Most of these have been unbalanced, and overstatements of the truth at best. And they usually bring bondage instead of blessing.
He said later that every company ends up repeating the mistakes of the early church. "They compromise to escape the cross and accept positions, salaries, titles, and ecclesastical power."
There must be a readjustment to all of our doctrines to the fullness of God's word.
Frank Bartleman came out of the pentecostal move and even back then in the 20's and 30's he seen the problems facing the body. Man and tradition.
I just want to present this. We are not the first to see the problems that has a risen in the modern church, but we could be the last. If and I mean if we don't repeat the same mistakes.
We must not get ourselves side tracked into moving forward and then stopping short of what God is laying out in front of us.
If you are doing the work of God, don't compromise your beliefs just to earn a paycheck or recieve a donation for the ministry. No, keep moving forward as God is our provider.
We are going to hit some roadblocks, but how we handle those will determine how much our faith will grow in turn moving forward even more.
I can't sell what I see as truth for a morsel of bread and stew, just because I am hungry and want some nourishment. I won't do it.
Please keep moving forward and don't conform to what the culture thinks the church should look like. Because God is the same yesterday today and forever. He never changes! His ways never change. WE are the ones called to repent, NOT God!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Building one another up in order to stir each other.

Words of the bible. Build and stir.
Who is the wise master builder?
Who is the one who will build HIS church?
Why do we come together in our meetings?
How is it that when you come together each of you has.....!
You see Jesus will build HIS church. Not mine or yours or anyone elses. He is building HIS!
In doing that we are to come together in HIS image to build and stir each other up.
Why? Why do we have to be the ones building and stirring each other up?
Can't Jesus just do that through us individually?
Yes, He can and He does. Except that He chose us specifically to be helpers for others.
We are His hands, feet, arms, legs. He is the head. What does the head contain?
It has the eyes, mouth, ears, brain.
He is our eyes, mouth, ears and He is our maker who has all the ability to do all things for His glory.
Yet He uses our hands to shake, hug and grasp others. He uses our feet to run, walk and go help get us to where we are to be helping.
When I work out I use my arms, hands, legs and feet. Not to mention abs etc. Without them I would be helpless.
So why does Jesus use us to build one another up? Because we are the physical location of His body on this earth. We are the ones who serve Him. By doing.
We are the ones who feed His sheep by working.
It is all who are His who are needed to do the work.
I honestly don't know where I am going with this thought or if it even makes sense, but I felt the need to blog about this.
I see what is happening and how we are seperating ourselves from the rest of the body at times.
We must stop. We need to be apart of each others lives.
It boils down to this. If we are to build and stir one another, then we need to be in relationship with each other.
All for one or one for all!
We are in this together, so let's walk accordingly. Christ gave Himself for the church! The pure spotless bride He is going to have when He comes back.
Go and and stir.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Why so many denominations for "One Body?"

I would like to start this post by saying this, there seems to be so much controversy on what one person or church believes over another. Which in turn has caused so many "new" buildings and denominations to be built.
Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 1:9-17 "God who is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it has been declared to me concerning you my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions among you. Now I say this, that each of you says, 'I am of Paul,' or 'I am of Apollos,' or 'I am of Cephas,' or 'I am of Christ.' Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I had baptized in my own name.
Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas. Besides, I do not know whether I baptized any other.
For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of no effect."

We have come so far from the true reflection of Jesus' words "I will build my church."
It has come down to who can have the bigger building or who has the right doctrine. Some fellowships have even split over the color of the carpet.
Come on get real! How stupid it is to be in such a state of selfishness as to leave fellow believers just because you don't agree what the color of the carpet should be.
As I have stated on some other forums I feel the biggest issue of why we have come so far and have so many disagreements is PRIDE!
Pride is sin. If we are truly a believer then we should be yeilding to the Holy Spirit. As that happens we should be walking in LOVE. Love one another. Instead we take each other to court and sue if we don't like what is going on. Or we leave and have bitterness towards another.
All of these go right against what the scripture says. Christians of all people should be the most forgiving, loving and God fearing people on the planet.
Yet there is so much disunity it is sickening.
We want power and prestige. We want to be right. We want to fulfill the lust of the flesh. When we need to be crucifying the flesh.
We should be falling on our knees daily and seeking God for each other.
We need to be in the inner court proclaiming our praises to the Father. We are adopted into the family of God.
Who is in control when a baby is adopted? Does that child have a choice on who they want to be with? No! God chose us first. So where do we get off thinking we can divide over issues that make no sense.
Paul pleaded that the Corinthians "speak the same thing" and "that there be no divisions among you," and that we be "perfectly joined" together in the "same mind" and the "same judgment".
What should we be speaking?
Nothing except Christ and Him crucified!
What if our eyes decide to stop functioning because they are jealous of the ears? We would be blind. Then we can't see where we are going. In turn our whole body would be off as we have to learn to adjust. In turn wasting precious time.
So we should be "perfectly" joined together. Who is it that keeps us perfectly joined?
Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
We need to be on the same mind and judgment. In turn the first shall be last and the last shall be first. Also the least will be the greatest. We will all be servants seeking to serve and not wanting to be served.
We would have all things in common. We would all forsake everything for the sake of Jesus.
We would have LOVE!
Love for Jesus and for one another.
Then the kingdom will grow from the inside out.
I don't see where a new building or house will help us gain souls.
I don't see where a new "pastor' would be helpful so let's get rid of the old one.
I don't see where a new "program" will help us.
No, we need the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. We need to be united under the cross of Christ.
We must be about our Father's business. Not our quirky agendas.
We each have a gift and we must all be helping each other exercise in those gifts in order that God will get all the glory.
That is the bottom line. Who gets the glory?
GOD does!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Correction on the previous not .com...sorry about the mistake.

The link for the 501c3 status is
I would like to add also that a friend of mine did check with a legitimate CPA on this very issue.
The CPA showed him where the church is NOT required to register. Because they already have tax free status.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Separation of church and state. The 501c3 erroroneous teaching.

I have a question to ask. How many pastors and the like realize that a church or ministry doesn't have to be a 501c3? I searched this out about 6 months ago. Just one of those random questions that came up on why do they do this and can it be avoided without penalties?
What I found was astounding. I will provide a link that will better suit any questions that may be raised as to the legitimacy of all this.
This site is the one I found during my research back in August of 08. It has lot's of information and facts on why churches don't need to be registered with the internal government agency.
My thought was, do most people give to the church just so they can get a "tax deduction" and really don't put any thought about the Lord in their efforts?
That's when I found all of this. I was astounded by what I read and checked it all out. It is legimate. It is not one of those way out there anti-government types of sites.
They present the historical evidence of how we got to where we are.
It seems that as the United States becomes more social that the question "what if" comes to mind.
What if we become fully socialist and the government will already have a foot hold in the church buildings. So essentially what you would have is government registered and run churches.
Everything is in place for that to happen.
Now I will say, I am not an end time zealot who worries about government issues etc.
No, but it is something we should be prepared to deal with as with all aspects of life.
I would ask you if you are reading this to talk with your leaders about this issue and show them the evidence. I feel it is just like other practices we have in our church systems that no one really knows the history of why, they just continue in the same direction that the previous generations brought into the body. While never questioning those practices.

God's will for us sanctification and praise for Him.

I hear people quite a few times ask the question, what is God's will for my life?

Well, those are some good questions. Sometimes they go on not ever being answered, because most would not know what to say to that person. I can't help, but to think of what the scripture says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3. "For this is the will of God, your sanctification..."
He is sanctifying us all in order that we would abstain from the lusts of the flesh.

This past week the Lord has been reminding me that we are to be giving Him all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise.
Not some, but ALL!
In the same scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4:1-2 Paul says this, "Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you recieved from us how you ought to walk and to please God; for you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus."
It is and has been in my heart to praise the Lord always. Even in the tough times I find myself coming out of everything praising God. He allows us to go through times of trouble in order to bring about His will. Sanctification. In turn then we should be praising Him.
Now granted I don't always pursue Him during the times of heaviness, but it doesn't take long for me to realize my mistake. How we handle situations brings either glory to God or brings heartache to Him.
He never promised a life filled with happiness throughout. Jesus said, there would be tribulations. Everything that happens is all for the glory of our Saviour and creator.
We are justified by faith, redeemed because of a glorious God who sent His only begotten Son to take on the punishment of our sins on the Cross. Then He rose again on the third day. He is seated at the right hand of the Father. Forever interceding for the saints. Why? For our sanctification and for His glory!
So that He can get all the glory. Our purpose in life is to give Him glory. We give Him glory by testifiying to others what He has done for us. We give Him glory by proclaiming the good news to the lost. We give Him glory by feeding and clothing the homeless, poor, sick and orphaned. We give Him glory! He gets all of the honor and praise. There is more to worshipping God than just going to a church and hearing a few songs, raising our hands with our eyes closed. It is more than hearing songs being sung by a "worship" leader. It is being a SERVANT! As Christ was a servant so we should be also. In all of this we are being sanctified and He is being praised.
The Lord is our King. He is our creator. He is the one who gives and takes away. Praise the Lord God Almighty. Lord of heaven and earth. Praise Him, praise Him, praise Him.
I love the Lord. I love to praise Him. I love to be His servant. All for the glory of our King.
I can't help, but be so passionate about the things of God. He is my all and all. He has taken me through fire, storms, car wrecks, being robbed at gun point, bullied as a child, losing friends who committed suicide, losing friends by drunk drivers, losing family members who were murdered, seeing people dead in the middle of the road after their truck turned over in front of me.
Then meeting the love of my life, having 4 wonderful children, living in a wonderful city, having wonderful christian friends, meeting new christian friends from all over the world via the internet. All for my sanctification and all for His glory. I can praise God through it all, because He is my refuge and peace.
Take time out of your day to reflect on what God has done in your life. Then Praise Him!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

My wife school teacher and a missionary.

I just wanted to post a shout out to someone so beautiful inside and out that I feel like the most blessed man in the world for being able to call her my wife.
I won't mention her name for the sake of where she works, so I will just say my wife.
My wife is a public school teacher in a big city school with a big mixture of cultures and backgrounds.
My wife is a Christian who loves Jesus and believes what the bible says about Him.
My wife loves being a high school teacher as she felt since grade school her calling was to be in the public school systems to teach.
What makes her such a great teacher is not her love for the money or the notieriety.
What makes her such a great teacher is her love for the students. She really poors her life into them everyday.
Her Mission field.
She poors her heart out for them everyday. The kids she gets are a mixture of different backgrounds.
I love to here the stories she comes home to tell about the students. Some of the most hardened and hurt kids can come into her class and open up to her. They since the peace of Christ in her.
She has kids who live in shelters who come to her class in the mornings before the bell rings for their classes just to visit everyday.
These kids don't have a home to go to so they come to school early and hang out in my wifes class. They know there is a peace that surpasses all understanding that radiates from my wife.
I am not bragging on my wife, just on what the Lord is doing through her.
Year after year she has old students who have graduated from previous years who come to the school just to say hi. They thank her for being not only a good teacher, but someone who listened, who disciplined and who cared.
Kids she has to send out to the office or send to be suspended at times come back and apologize for making her angry. That is respect.
The frontlines are in our schools. Our teachers may be the only truly caring person some children may ever see.
She may be 5'4" and 97 lbs. but she gets the respect from some of the toughest students. They know when she gets mad that she means business, and as I said earlier most come back and apologize for making her have to get angry.
She shows the love of Christ to over 250 kids everyday. How many of us can say we can talk with that many people any given day.
That is the missionary part of her job. She doesn't have to go downtown or out of town to reach the lost. No, they are in her classroom every semester in every school year. And she shows them how a Christian should be by her actions.
Teaching high school kids is a gift. Especially in todays dangerous atmosphere.
I just want to shout out to all the teachers out there who truly see their job as a ministry.
I also want to shout out to all the teachers out there who just walk in the school for a pay check.
If you are a believer then you have an open ripe harvest in your care everyday, what are you doing about it?
I love my wife. For her to have put up with me for almost 19 years and then to teach 250 kids come home and be a mom to 4 of her own says a lot. A lot about the grace of God.
Thank you Jesus for my lovely bride!
Thank you Jesus for her mission field in the public schools.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The gospel proclamation for salvation...Acts 3:18-23

The words of Peter spoken from Solomon's Portico.

"What God foretold by the mouth of all the prophets, that his Christ would suffer, he thus fulfilled. Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that he may send the Christ appointed for you, Jesus, whom heaven must receive until the time for restoring all things about which God spoke by mouth of his prophets long ago. Moses said, The Lord God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers. You shall listen to him in whatever he tells you. And it shall be that every soul who does not listen to that prophet shall be destroyed from the people."
Acts 3:18-23

So what must we do to be saved? REPENT and BELIEVE on JESUS CHRIST.
How many people who hear that even knows what repent means? How many even know what sin is?
I am sure there are a lot in the church who don't know the meaning of those words much less those outside on the streets.
How can something be good news to someone when they don't realize they need it?
That is where the Holy Spirit comes in. It is he who brings us to realize our need for change.
We must be proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and Him crucified. As we do, it is the soveriegn move of God who opens peoples hearts to realize "yes I do need a savior", because the Holy Spirit brings conviction upon the hearts of those who "hear" the word.
That is something the Lord does as HE wills. He will call those who are His and they will want to change as they believe.
We as believers have one charge! Go out and proclaim the goodnews to the sick, broken hearted and downtrodden. We do the proclaiming for the Lord and He does the saving.
I praise God for "giving" us an opportunity to go out and work for Him.
It is He who is control. He doesn't need our permission, nor does He even need to use us, but He "chooses" to use us. Mere lowly servants.
So go out and proclaim the good news. If you are a believer then you have the GOOD NEWS living inside of you. For you too once was a wretch in need of a Saviour.
Remember that as you go.