Monday, December 20, 2010

"A dispute arose among them, as to which of them was to be regarded s the greatest."

And he said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those in authority over them are called benefactors. But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.
For who is the greater, one who reclines at the table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves."

Luke 22:24-27

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A question?

Today this thought came to me and I am asking this as a question.

Where is the unity of one faith that is spoken of in Ephesians in today's modern church?
Considering that in most of the American churches there seems to be a competition between each group trying to get the most people even if it means taking from the others congregation.

What are your thoughts on this?

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Tithe something not taught in the Church.

Every year I try to start the new year off by reading through the whole bible.

Old Testament all the way through the New Testament.

Some may ask why bother reading the Old Testament when we have all we need in the New Testament?

And to that question I will give this scripture:

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16

You see to know the Old Testament is to know the New Testament also. It helps us get a better understanding of Jesus. It helps us get a better understanding of what he and the apostles had to deal with concerning the Jews and their religion. Plus the Old Testament has some great words of wisdom. The main issue though is knowing the Old Testament speaks of Jesus from Genesis-Malachi.

Another reason to know what the Old Testament says is to be able to discern if what is being taught in churches truly is correct.

One area I want to deal with in this post is the tithe. This is one subject that gets spoke about almost every Sunday throughout churches. Yet very little if any is taught about what the tithe truly was.

Even more is the very fact that the tithe is not even apart of the New Covenant/ New Testament. Yet you won't hear that taught in the churches on Sundays.

My focus is to present some Old Testament scripture showing what the tithe was and the uses for the tithe.

As with everything I try to post I will allow the scriptures to answer themselves.

We here a lot about Abraham tithing to Melchezedek, but were you ever taught what Abraham tithed and where they came from?

"After his return from the defeat of Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him at the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the Kings Valley). And Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. (He was priest of God Most High.) And he blessed him and said, 'Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth;
and blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.'
And Abram gave him a tenth of everything." Genesis 14:17-20

The tithe of everything Abram gave was what he took from the kings of which they stole from Sodom. Not his own possessions.

I want to point out some of what is taught in Deuteronomy about tithes and who chooses where they go.

"But when you go over the Jordon and live in the land that the Lord your God is giving you to inherit, and when he gives you rest from all of your enemies around, so that you live in safety, then to the place that the Lord your God will choose, to make his name dwell there, there you shall bring all that I command you : burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the contribution that you present, and all your finest vow offerings that you vow to the Lord your God." Deuteronomy 12:10-11

Notice the word says "the place that the Lord your God will choose."

Now the following scriptures will describe what the tithe was.

"You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always." Deuteronomy 14:22-23

The tithe was seed, wine, oil, and livestock. Notice the word says "in the place the Lord your God chooses."?
Did you read where it says you shall eat the tithe?

I hope so because this isn't taught in the churches is it?

"And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the Lord your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the Lord your God chooses, to set his name there, then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the Lord your God chooses and spend the money on whatever you desire-oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the Lord your God, and rejoice, you and your household. And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you." Deuteronomy 14:24-27

Again look over that scripture and ask yourself why haven't I heard this taught in churches?
The tithe isn't money! It was grain, oil, wine and livestock. It wasn't money until they sold their tithe and then it wasn't given to a fund for someone else to decide how to use it. No, it was used for whatever that family desired, along with some being given to the Levite.

"At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns. And the Levite, because he has no portion or inheritance with you, and the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow, who are within you towns, shall come and eat and be filled, that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do." Deuteronomy 14:28-29

Once again look over that scripture and study it. What was another use of the tithe? Feeding the Levite, traveler, fatherless, and the widow. Not just one person or staff of people. Not a building fund. Not salaries.
Ask yourself why haven't I ever been taught this in church before?

In the Old Testament/Old Covenant the Levite was caretaker of God's house on earth. And they couldn't own anything or get an inheritance. So to help them God set up the tithe/offerings for them to have something to eat and clothing.

"The Levitical priest, all the tribe of Levi, shall have no portion or inheritance with Israel. They shall eat the Lord's food offerings as their inheritance. They shall have no inheritance among their brothers; the Lord is their inheritance, as he promised them. And this shall be the preist due from the people, from those offering a sacrifice whether an ox or a sheep: they shall give to the preist the shoulder and the two cheeks and the stomach. The firstfruits of your grain, of your wine and of your oil, and the first fleece of your sheep, you shall give them. For the Lord your God has chosen him out of all your tribes to stand and minister in the name of the Lord, him and his sons for all time. And if a Levite comes from any of your towns out of all Israel, where he lives-and he may come when he desires-to the place that the Lord will choose, and ministers in the name of the Lord his God, like all his fellow Levites who stand to minister there before the Lord, then he may have equal portions to eat, besides what he recieves from the sale of his patrimony." Deuteronomy 18:1-8

If you ever hear someone say you must pay the Levite first I would suggest qouting them this scripture and asking if this is what they want.
There are many well meaning men of God out there in the churches who honestly believe that they are teaching the truth about the tithe. Yet they themselves have probably never read these descriptions of what the tithe was.

Now to the famous and most quoted scripture of all time when it comes to giving! Malachi 3

"Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, 'How have we robbed you? In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house." Malachi 3:8-10

This scripture again is the most quoted and misconstrued word of God that gets used everytime giving is low in the modern church.
Notation: I myself have been guilty of using this very scripture when it came to taking up the offerings on Sunday mornings! So I am as much to blame as anyone. And for that I apologize to all those I mislead!
This scripture was written to the leaders of the nation of Israel not the modern church. The storehouse mention was the temple in Jerusalem, not the building where people meet every Sunday. The tithe again was food, not money.

Now lets take a quick look at some New Testament teachings on giving.

"We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints-and this, not as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then by the will of God to us." 2 Corinthians 8:1-5

The reason for their giving was to help the saints who were in need. Out of their own poverty they gave according to their means. No compulsion, no tithe, but a sacrificial offering to others in the body.
Please take the time to look up 2 Corinthians 9 also. There are numerous other areas in the New Testament that talks about giving the New Covenant way, not the Old Covenant. Not tithing, but giving.
God's kingdom is not a building, a salary or a staff. It is the world. And who lives in it and needs the help. The gospels have so much in them that talks about how we help Jesus feed the poor and clothe them. Our giving should not be out of compulsion it should be out of reverence to the Lord.
If you see someone in need you don't have to wait until Sunday to give an offering to the Lord. You can give to that person in need. As that is how the kingdom of God works.

One more scripture to help illustrate the importance of the truth.

"Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. But have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God." 2 Corinthians 4:1-2

I would urge all of you who read this that if you haven't done so, read through the whole bible and pray for understanding.
Look for the Living Word as you read the scriptures. Discern what is right and what is wrong and test everything with the word of God. Even this post!
My heart is for the truth to be revealed, not to bring anyone or group down. No, but in the service of the Lord God almighty and His glorious Son Jesus Christ. I want to lift people up to Him.
I must decrease so that He shall increase! That should be all of our goal!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Slave: one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence

I wanted to present the word slave from the biblical perspective and present what the bible has to say about being a slave or slaves.

How many of us live our lives without realizing that we are subservient to something? Whether it is a certain vice, or idol. For instance I used to be a slave to alcohol. Then it went from that to sodas.
Some people are slaves to other things. A certain lifestyle etc.
In all of this they constitute one thing. Sin!
You see without Christ we are slaves to sin. Slaves to the devil.
If we are in Christ then we are no longer slaves to the devil and sin. Not saying that we won't fail.
Again let's just look at some of what the word of God says about the word slave and slavery.

"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 ransom for many." Matthew 20:25-28 ESV

A great example of being subservient to those greater than you in a loving manner just as Jesus became subservient to the cross for our sake.

"Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever, the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:34f

Slave to sin! Yet the word says the slave doesn't remain in the house forever. Only if you repent and believe though then you will be set free.

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus." Galations 3:28

Colossians 3:11 here it also repeats what is in Galations.

"Do you know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness." Romans the rest to 23 also.

You see again you are a slave to something, whether to sin or obedience. That scripture is pretty well self explanatory.

"Older women likewise are to be reverant in behavior, not slanders or slaves to much wine." Titus 2:3

This again tells us not to be slaves to a certain vice. In this case wine. It doesn't say not drink wine. It just says not become a slave to it.

"For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another." Titus 3:3

Again self explanatory as is all of the word of God.

"For freedom Christ has set us free, stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery." Galations 5:1

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Joshua 24:14-15 ...."But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

"Now therefore fear the Lord and serve him in sincerety and in faithfullness. Joshua 24:14

".....And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve........" Joshua 24:15

"But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15b

"....we have no need to answer you in this matter. If this be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up." Daniel 3:16b-18

"The king declared to Daniel, 'May your God, whom you serve continually deliver you!' " Daniel 6:16b

" 'You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.' " Matthew 4:10b

"Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervant in spirit, serve the Lord." Romans 12:11b

" And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will recieve the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ." Colossians 3:23-24

"For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?" Hebrews 9:13-14

"...These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve Him day and night in His temple." Revelation 7:14b-15

A lot of opinions and thoughts are being talked about, printed, published and blogged talking about serving.
Yet most of it is about serving others and serving the poor. So much so that the One whom we are to serve first seems to get a back seat in lew of the others and the poor.
Yes, I know that by serving the poor etc. that we are demonstrating our service to the Lord.

Yet I also know that what gets lost in translation is the who gets the glory as we serve?
Who are we trying to impress by all of our talk?
Are we trying to be man pleasers or God pleasers?
Are we bragging about what we are doing in God's kingdom or what God is doing through us?

Take a back seat for a moment and meditate on the scriptures above.
Our government is in the business trying to serve. There are so many community service activists and groups out in the world that serve.

What distinguishes us from them? The answer should be Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Is this getting forgotten all in the name of being the first on the scene to administer "service" to the poor and hurting?
If so then we are in emnity with God, because the "glory" belongs to him, and we are to serve him first.

Our words that we speak. The words that we type on blogs, facebook and other avenues. Are they always God glorifying and serving the Lord's purpose?
Our way of criticizing the president of the United States by calling him names and wishing him harm. Is this serving the Lord?
Is our "Christian" walk and attitude showing the world how to serve the Lord?

I have been guitly of these also. So yes I am also pointing out the LOG in my eye!

I am not saying we don't have a right to be upset about the policies coming from Washington etc.

The word of God tells us to "expose the unfruitful works of darkness." And yes this means what is happening in the world.

These are areas that the Lord has been showing me lately and I felt the need to post it so, yes, you all could see it.

Just as the scriptures that I posted point out. Serve the Lord!

Serve Him in everything, yet also be discerning to know if what you are doing is for the world to know or just between you and God.

Pray for the leaders as it says in Romans.
Expose the unfruitful works of darkness, because the days are getting more evil! And there is more and more things going awry in this nation.
We have been lied to and will continue to be lied too.
Get in the Word and read it, live it and serve with it!
All to the Glory of the Lord!

I would also urge those who just sit and listen to sermons on Sundays to realize we are all called to serve.
We must be as Jesus and be willing to wash each other's feet and give our lives for each other.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We are family all of my brothers, sisters in Christ and me!

Being a Christian means you are apart of a family. The family of God.

I want to bring out some definitions of some words starting with family. And then see they apply to our daily walk with other believers.

Family: a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head. A group of persons of common ancestry. A people or group of people regarded as deriving from a common stock.

Looking at those definitions from a biblical standpoint let me do this: A group of individuals living under one roof (the kingdom of God) and under one Head (Jesus).

A group of persons with common ancestry (Adam and Eve) and ultimately (Jesus Christ) of which He is still alive and in us.

A group of people regarded as deriving from a common stock. Again Jesus Christ.

Community: a unified body of individuals. Joint ownership or participation.

Hum! A unified body (in Christ Jesus) from individuals.

Joint ownership (in Christ Jesus) of which we participate in His death and resurrection.

Personality: the quality or state of being a person. The complex of characteristics that distinguishes an individual. The totality of an individuals behavioral and emotional characteristics. Set of distinctive traits.

We may be of the same body, but have different personality's. As individuals in Christ we still have a complex of characteristics that distinguishes us in the body. IE. gifts etc.

Our behavioral and emotional characteristics continue in our walks as believers. One body, but differing....etc.

True believer: a zealous supporter of a particular cause.

Christianity! The Way! Jesus Christ and Him crucified!

Sanctification: the state of growing in divine grace as a result of Christian commitment after baptism or conversion.

That is pretty much self explanatory.

Now when you put all of these together you get a small complilation of what the body of Christ is made of. I said, small and not all ok?

Yet we as an earthly family may have the same parents (in most cases) and yet are very much different from our siblings. (for those who have siblings) And I am not leaving out the others who don't. So please bear with me as I explain.

We may not look alike and again we don't act the same way.

I for example have 4 children. Three daughters and one son.

Two of my daughters are twins. Yet they both look alike and act alike, yet have two very distinctive personalities.

One is very errr and the other is more passive.

Yet they love each other and when one is gone the other really gets beside themselves without the other.

My oldest daughter is very independant and has social anxiety. She can exert her dislike by crying and such.

My son on the other hand is very laid back and self aware.

My children don't always get along with each other, yet when the dust settles they continue to love each other and move forward.

They have two things in common though. They both came from the same parents. And they each have the traits of each of us.

I have a strong personality along with social anxiety.

My wife is a very quiet passive person.

In time we have grown and are growing closer to each other. All the while our personalities conflict at times.

Yet again in the 20 years we've been together the sanctification if you will has been taking effect as a believing married couple.

The Lord uses each individual trait to make a family who through marriage became one.

So it is in the body of Christ we are individuals with different traits brought together striving for one unity all along having the One who brings us together. Jesus! The Head.

We may not always see eye to eye and may have our times of errr, yet we must be able to come back together in LOVE!

As we still have the same Dad! Our heavenly Father.

So the next time you get together with the fellowship of believers remember this, "We are family all of my brothers, sisters in Christ and me!"

And though we are one we will still have different traits.

Love one another in brotherly affection, putting up with each other knowing that the time is drawing near. (paraphrased).

Friday, March 5, 2010

Welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God.

The answer is in the following scripture:

"May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." Romans 15:5-7

Jesus our only hope in this dying world would have us as believers follow thru with the above word.

Yet there is so much disunity in our assemblies. Why? Because of so much false teaching, pride, and tares among the wheat.

Our lives as believers are not our own and when we come together we should live that out in front of the 'one anothers' or otherwise known as the saints.

We must be willing to stand for the truth in our meetings without compromise in order that we can be of one mind and body.

The end purpose of our meeting together is to Glorify God!

God gets the glory when we are in unity. He gets the glory when the focus of the meeting is about Him!

When the apostles were told how to pray, Jesus started it out by saying; "Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..."

Our meetings should begin with acknowledging the Lord God almighty and end with acknowledging Him!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Words defined that effect how we function in the body of Christ

In our Christian walk we usually hear certain words used concerning why we should meet. Men in pulpits urge the people "not to forsake the assembling of ourselves".
Of which I agree that we as believers must be willing to meet with other believers. And in saying that I would like to show some of the words that are associated with what we do when we meet. Along with them I will post the definitions. All of the definitions I will use in this illustration is from the "Webster's New Universal UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY" in other words a really big blue book full of words and their meanings.

I urge you to read these words and see the meaning behind them, then relate all of this with how and why we meet. There has been too much weakness in our meetings. We seem to have become anemic in how we come together. We must all be willing to participate when we come together. And doing so remember the meanings I have given. Maybe this will stop a lot of confusion and hurt.
These words are all used in the Bible at various places in the New Testament;

ADMONISH: to caution, advise, or counsel against something. 2. To reprove or scold, 3. to urge to duty; remind

BUILD UP: a process of growth, strengthening; development. A process of preparation. An increase, as in potential, intensity, pressure or the like. Encouragement.

EDIFY: to build up or increase the faith.

EXHORT: to urge, advise, or caution earnestly, admonish urgently.

EXHORTATION: an utterance, discourse, or address conveying urgent advice or recommendations

REBUKE: to express sharp stern disapproval of; reprove, reprimand

STIR: to incite, instigate, or prompt , to affect strongly; rouse, foment, arouse, provoke, stimulate, goad, spur.

WARN: to give notice, or intimidation (to a person or group) of danger, impending evil, possible harm or anything else unfavorable

WARNING: the act of utterance of one who warns

Now I would ask this. Does this remind you of any meeting of the saints you have been in lately?
At anytime there should be one of these words being shown in action during our times of assembly.
Whether on a Sunday morning or other type of group settings.
We as Christians must be willing to operate in the Spirit which exudes LOVE in order to see people become stronger in our walk with the Lord.
The word says that we are to attain the unity of one faith.
So be prepared when you go to meet. You may be the one the Lord uses to bring about some of what is mentioned above.
The word of God is sharper than any two edged sword.

"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." Proverbs 27:17

When you do some sharpening of two pieces of iron there will be sparks. Yet the end result is to get the rough edges off and have a nice sharp piece.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Binding and Loosing....the devil is not biblical!!!!

Feel free to comment on this statement if you want, but I will show you from the word of God that the only place the devil is bound in the scripture is found in Revelation. Even then it is done by Jesus and not us.
Too much is biblical error has been around concerning this unbiblical practice of binding the devil and his demons.
If this was truly a biblical reality then why didn't Paul do it when he had the messenger of satan buffeting him?
Also why didn't Jesus just bind satan when the devil was tempting him in the desert?
Why isn't there any clear biblical statement in the word on binding the devil?
Hum...maybe because there isn't any!

Monday, February 1, 2010

What does Christianity have to do with politics?

Lately I have been truly struggling to seperate my drive for the gospel from my drive for politics.
I have been trying to truly focus on the Lords work and not worry about the political landscape here in the U.S. .
What happened is I can't! It can't be separated no matter how hard you try.
Let me say this before I go further into this.
I am not a Democrat nor a Republican!
Now that I got that out of the way I will continue to try and answer the question of what does Christianity have to do with politcs.
First of all most of the governments in the world are comprised of religions. Communism, Islam, Hinduism, Buddism etc.
And here in the U.S. a lot of what has been put into the Constitution is from the Bible.
Yet in our time most of what is being brought about is Socialism which can and will lead to Communism or Facism.
Right now our very religious freedoms are being taken over by these factions.

You see the religious of Jesus' day were afraid of the Roman empire. They were concerned that the things Jesus was doing would get them into trouble with the government and in turn they would be forbidden to continue in their traditions.
"If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation." John 11:48
In so doing they sought to kill him. They also wanted to kill Jesus because he claimed to be God.
Yet in their zeal to try and keep unity between them and the Roman government they wanted Jesus dead.

You see the false religions of the world want to destroy Christianity and those who believe in the true God!
Anything that has to do with the name of Jesus is an enemy to the world and it's system of false religions.
So the only way these religions have to try and stifle Christians is to use government.
That is what was being done in Jesus's day. The religious tried to use the government to stifle the Word that became flesh.
As believers we don't have to be afraid of the government system. No, we are to be praying for those in leadership and be prepared for those who will be seeking answers. So that we can give them the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.
We as believers in the U.S. must be ready for what is going to happen. As the freedoms of this nation get taken away so goes the freedoms to express our Christianity openly.
Our nation is taking the steps of other nations in trying to make it illegal to speak openly about Jesus Christ in public places.
The government already has a hold of the religious system called the church. Using the 501c3 laws and such telling the leaders what they can or can't say or they will lose their tax free status.
You may think that the U.S. church is free, but in reality it is in bed with the government having allowed itself to use the laws of the government in order to build bigger buildings etc.
Yet as the Lord seems to be moving in the U.S. especially when it comes to how and where we meet, who fights this?
The machine called the U.S. church.
In China when people meet in homes it is called church. Yet in the U.S. when Christians meet in homes it is not recognized as the church.
Again I am not saying one is correct and the other is wrong. I am stating that what is happening is the Lord is preparing a move that is taking people away from the machine system and putting them into a more simple way of meeting.
How does politics fall into all of this?
The government is already one step into controling the church system, just like in China. Where the government has to approve of what is church.
Yet those who are hungry and wanting to truly follow Christ and are willing to risk their lives are meeting in homes and other places.
The government has already got a foothold in the modern church of the U.S. and it is just a few steps away from taking it all.
So to the conclusion of the whole matter and back to the original question.
What does Christianity have to do with politcs?
Just as in the day of Rome the religous of the day were afraid of what the government will do to them if Jesus continued to preach the truth. They didn't want to cause a rift with government.
They wanted to keep the status quo, so they could continue to meet the way they did.
As with today, there are many in the U.S. church system that don't want to cause a rift with the government, because that would hurt their enterprise.
Yet Jesus and the gospel will always cause division!
And if it means meeting outside of the box and going against the government then so be it and be ready.
Wake up oh sleeper! Wake up!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"I am the true vine, and my Father is,the vinedresser." John 15:1

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit." John 15:1-2

In this scripture Jesus states who he is. He is the true vine! And his Father is the vinedresser.
Do we really believe this?
You see as people meet, there are those who bear much fruit and there are those who don't bear any.
Those who do bear much fruit will be known by their fruit. They will have the love of Christ in them and they will want to do what the Lord asks of them.
Plus they will be pruned! Tribulation, discipline and hated by the world. That constitutes pruning.
Do we think pruning is a comfortable thing? No, it is painful, but in the end it will produce more fruit.
You see when God prunes it is the process of sanctification. A purging of all that is not good being replaced with all of God's goodness. In turn we will be more zealous for His works.
As individuals this will become a daily issue.

In verse 5 Jesus states again; "I am the vine; you are the branches." John 15:5

This is the church! Jesus is the vine and the church is the branches! We are all apart of the vine, and that includes the leaders ie. pastors, elders, and deacons.
We are all a branch attached to the vine.
What seems to be happening in the body is the vine is too full of branches and not enough fruit.
How many mega churches are there in the U.S.?
You see the goal of many "pastors" is to grow, grow, grow! Which means bigger buildings for all of the branches be in.
Yet God is in the process of pruning his church. With so many branches in the body, where is all of the fruit. It seems not much fruit is being produced.
A fruit tree needs to be pruned in order to be more healthy. In turn the branches that are left over end up producing more quality fruit.
Quanity is not always the way. Quality good fruit producing branches do more good than lots of old dead looking branches that can't hold anything.
The pruning going on in the body of Christ right now is being done by the Lord as He is changing the way the body meets.
He is changing the way we evangelize.
He is bringing us back into the confines of what He laid out in scripture.

He is gathering all of the old branches and burning them, because they aren't bearing fruit.
Those that are left will be able to produce more quality fruit.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not about the numbers!
God is not a numbers God, if he was then He wouldn't have picked Israel. He chooses the foolish things of the world to despise the wise.
He uses the small Gideon army to take on the enemy.
He is pruning all of the bad branches, ie. mega churches and bringing the body back into reality!
The road is narrow!
What is the end of all of this?

"By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." John 15:8
True fruit prove to be his disciples!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men" A. W. Tozer

"My soul, wait silently for God alone. For my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength. And my refuge, is in God. Trust in Him at all times you people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us." Psalm 62:5-8

I love the quote of A.W. Tozer as it is definately a true statement.
We will be despised by men for our belief and trust in the Lord. Yet we are not on this earth to please men.
Those who are truly saved believers in Christ are on this earth to please God our creator and our saviour.
That is why I love the above scripture as it is what I want for my life in Christ while walking on this earth.
What we say has no backing unless it is from the Lord. He is our rock, defense, salvation, glory, refuge and salvation!
Pour out your heart before Him!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

An excerpt from Spiritual Authority...

I have been laying off the blog a lot lately. My comments and thoughts have mostly been posted on my facebook page.
I have so much in my heart to talk about and blog yet I haven't taken the time to really sit down and put it on here.
Today I just happened to pick up the book Spiritual Authority, by: Watchman Nee. Love him or not he has lots of great insight into the work of the Lord.
Though not many have ever heard of his writings. I would highly recommend most of his books.

Anyway I happened to turn to a page in his book that I had marked a while back and this is some of what I read.

"God does not look at how fervently we preach the gospel or how willingly we suffer for Him; He looks to see how obedient we are. God's kingdom begins when there is an absolute obedience to God-no voicing of opinion, no presenting of reasonings, no murmuring, no reviling.......Although God has His first-born Son who is the first-fruit of obedience, He is waiting for His many sons to be like the First-born. Wherever there is a church on this earth which truly obeys God's authority, there is testimony of the kingdom and there Satan is defeated."

Nee continues by saying, "Satan is not afraid of our work so long as we act on principly of rebellion. He only laughs in secret when we do things according to our own thoughts."

Our works should be the works of God and His will. What we have as opinions should not usurp the word of God. We should be willing to hear each other out only as it pertains to bringing glory to the kingdom of God.
Why should we continue to express ourselves openly in a negative light in front of the whole world?
If we were truly following the Lord's word which is confirmed to and in us by the Holy Spirit then shouldn't we be wanting to help one another?
I am asking these as a question.
I am and have been hungry for a mighty move of the Holy Spirit.
I still believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit for today.
What are we to do without the Helper?
Nothing, because left to ourselves we become worthless rags. Isaiah talks about our righteousness is as filthy rags.
Let knowledge pass away, but love endures forever.
Praise God for His word and for His Word!
Use them wisely!