Category Archives: Pentecostal Church Spiritual Gifts

LEARNING THE LESSON

March 2019

While our memories are fresh we should pause as Americans to see what we have learned from our recent political discourse.  But you say, “It is not over yet!”  The ordeal might not be over but the lesson is apparent and ready to be learned.  It is amazing that with the multitudes of professions, spiritual intuition and educational knowledge available in our nation; it was the American media that saved the day.  They called out lies that the politicians, church and government would not.  They were a little slow calling a lie a lie but they finally got there.  Their reluctance in calling false statements as lies was probably due to their professional relationship with morality, whose guidelines for truth is rooted in biblical scriptures.  America has had its debate with truth and truth was tossed out on its ear in favor of public opinion.  Truth does exist, however, even though few public leaders want to validate the importance of truth derived from religious faith as the standard and foundation of our society.  Religious wars were fought and settled in nations before America was established as a God-honoring nation.  America must re-establish this baseline truth. We cannot re-fight religious wars within our borders.  Some things, like math, are universally accepted truths across nations and so must be the truth about God, which America had the most liberty to expound across the world.  Has America come to an epiphany about God and yet reverted back to pagan discourse?  Has the church failed at practicing what it has preached?

Chasing After “Shiny Things”

The media unearthed a truth that revealed people were running around in circles. “Shiny things” was a phrase that was repeated over and over by one media outlet who discovered the enemy was hiding the truth by causing the public to chase after “shining things.”  Little children love shiny things and will chase after them and amuse themselves in play with them all day long.  They can easily be distracted by shiny things.  The media found that they were being pulled off topic and off the scent of their journalistic search by shiny things introduced to lead them astray.  They caught on to the game, called it out and decided to stop allowing these traps to ruin their efforts in exposing real problems.  Would to God we all would learn this lesson and stop running after “shiny things.”

The real question is how we ever got into the mess our political system has fallen into.  It’s appropriate to consider: America loves shiny things!  We love the flashy, the bigness, the loudest, the richest and the most visible things.  We love our stars!  If there is a selection to be made, we want the “most-est” of the bunch.  We are Americans and we want nothing less than the best! So we chase after shiny things because they stand out and must represent the best.  We were groomed to seek after movie stars, celebrity preachers and greatness in leaders. Everything shiny is not the best!  Sometimes it’s just greased up.

Choosing Wisely

What am I talking about?  We, as Americans, must learn from our present situation, while the experience is still fresh in our minds, how to make proper decisions from a wide selection of options.  New elections are on the way!  We will have an opportunity to do it again and leaders can and have been proven to lead the masses astray with smoke, mirrors and flashes of light.  Did we learn the lesson?  If we have not learned the lesson, we are bound to repeat it.  I dare say some are reporting, we are already repeating our previous bad history.  The best leader is not always the best looking, tallest, wealthiest, most smooth-talking, charismatic, renowned person we can find.  Abraham Lincoln is believed to have been one of our best presidents yet his success as the 16th President of the United States was not based on popular criteria.

The best source for guidance in selecting true leadership is found in the Word of God.  If we refuse this sound guidance, we will continue to have more of what we are already seeing.  The devil does not need new tricks; the old ones work just fine.  Church instruction was supposed to teach us how to make right choices.  Our first great leaders were chosen by God and He gave mankind guidelines for selecting good leaders.  Here is some biblical instruction:

Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. Act 6:3

 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tensEx. 18:21 

 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had judged; and they feared the king: for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him, to do judgment. 1Ki 3:28

For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. Pro 2:6 

The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility. Pro 15:33 

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. Deu 18:18 

The scriptures above reveal God’s guidance for selection of a leader:

  • One from among us (someone we know and his ways)
  • One of honest report, fears God, Spirit-filled,
  • One who has judgment, wisdom, truth
  • And one who hates covetousness.

Inner-Struggle of Nation

Our nation started out as a God-fearing nation but now mostly choose to disavow God and shun His ways in favor of worldly leadership.  We have compromised our values for the sake of getting along.  The fact that none of us are perfect should not disqualify the guidebook that identifies our shortcomings.  We can see clearly where that has gotten us and we can look back at the list above and realize there is a lack of virtuous traits in our present leadership.  We should not settle for lest of men because we cannot find a perfect human.  We also should not look to man as God, which is idolatry or demagoguery (Suggested audio/video on demagoguery: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9IaGHbyWf7c.  This is the right time to look back over the last several years to see how far we have gone from God’s original instructions that the founders valued and we should each determine why we find ourselves in this present state.   Some would say we are doing that.  Unfortunately and as previously explained, the expertise of the media cannot produce repentance, which is God granted.  When America chose to refuse the Christian standard, it also refused godly leadership. Without God’s guidance and Christian values, we no longer have a standard on which to judge righteousness or the proper course for the nation.  When biblical Israel became corrupt both leaders and the people were in darkness.

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise. 2Co 10:12

Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him. Pro 26:12 

The very definition of right and wrong has been publicly challenged and debated with vigor while the “Judge” over the debate has been muzzled.  We can continue on the wrong course and become worse and worse or we can stop now, acknowledge we went off course, check the guide book to see our error and be corrected.  It is time to seriously evaluate our experience and extract the lesson.  Without a vision the people will perish (Pro 29:18) and the vision of our nation was God’s direction for the nation.

A list of  worldly characteristics to judge the best candidates are usually: strong vision for the nation; ability to put the times in historical perspective; effective communicator; courage to make unpopular decisions; crisis management skills; character and skills (www.ushistory.org/gov).  Careful evaluation reveals the list was derived from biblical examples but it purposely leaves out God’s Spirit as the source of guidance.  We cannot use God’s wisdom while failing to acknowledge Him as the source and expect to be successful.  Kings, prophets and wise men have acknowledged God as the source of their abilities, whereas modern intellectuals show shame. The very nature of God and His commandments refuse to be ignored and demands recognition for who He is.  If we fail to acknowledge Him, He has vowed to deny us.  We are seeing the results of this denial without realizing the cause as forsaking God.  The nation that denies God subsequently goes into decline before experiencing bondage or destruction.

Many mainline Christian churches surely failed us when they showed a stubbornness toward accepting the spiritual gifts God sent to empower the church at the Azusa Street revival, resisted cross-race fellowship that led spiritually-hungry believers to enticement by celebrity preachers who beguiled seekers with false gifts, false doctrine, pursuit of wealth, abandonment of righteous standards in lieu of worldly fellowship and surrender to political leadership without God.

The first appointed leader over the children of Israel was a man led by God, named Moses.  Moses was given the authority to assign public leaders over the Israelites for service as priests, discipline, judge, worship leaders and social care.  All of these positions are part of our present society that we call community, church and government for the people and they are all derived from the original Lawmaker and Sovereign God, who set up foundation standards for the lives of His people and society.  Where we varied from that direction is the point where we went astray. We cannot allow arrogance due to our wealth, modernization, or intellect to cause us to deny the God who made us. The founders (well-versed in law, science and theology) acknowledged God and established, to the best of their abilities, the pattern they thought their descendants would follow and improve on any shortsightedness.  Rather than improve on what the founders did, America has flipped the script and gone all the way backward, ready to return to authoritarianism, monarchy, church dominance, over-taxation and class-rule.

Correcting the Path

It would be ideal to assume that America has learned the lesson from recent and still on-going errors, but there is still that fascination for stars.  We love our stars!  We want a star in the pulpit and as head of our government. Did we learn nothing from King James I of England, who considered his rule divine and unanswerable to men? Fascination with stars assumes that someone else is better than we, whereas Jesus came to disprove that theory and reveal great potential and the Creator’s power in each of us.  We must learn to look for signs of God’s selection of a leader in those who possess maturity, wisdom, integrity, humility, fear of God, honesty and a servant-spirit.  Those are godly characteristics that protect us from charlatans like those being charged in today’s news cycles. Christian ministers were supposed to teach us to resist looking for the glory of man but rather to give glory to Christ. Many instead taught us to glorify them and look for god in man.  The uniqueness of America is a God who gave a Savior and Lord in human flesh whom we as Americans are free to know, follow and emulate

It is so easy to chase after “shiny things” like children.  We must be more studious in our undertaking for leaders because what we do will affect our destiny, the next generation and the world watching us.  We should not miss the purpose of our faith which was to show forth Christ in all that we say and do.  If our present spiritual, political, and community leaders have failed us; we must not give up on the right path but rather return to the original guide book and pattern.  Once we can see the pattern and have the right model, we can pick up where they left off and continue on course, like Joshua.  No leader is to be set up higher than or instead of Christ. Misguided leadership does not have to be the end. God gave us Jesus walking an earthly path as our example to follow and He warned us of making gods of men.  We all have within us the same potential for greatness because we are all made in the image of the Creator.  We have not yet reached our highest national potential and we can still reject the trap of the enemy.  We have a long way to go still if we straighten out our course and reject tyranny. The enemy of our nation, his plan and false way has been fully exposed in plain sight in a time of weakness but we can still denounce the evil choice.  God has given us mercy at the crossroad of grace and destruction so we should learn the lesson and make the right choice. Let’s choose to reject the wrong path and press toward a better future!

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ONE LORD, ONE FAITH, ONE BAPTISM: FOR TRUE UNITY

February 2019

God Reveals Himself

The plan of God to restore mankind back to righteousness is presented through preaching the good news of the gospel.   Jesus Christ both brought this message and was the embodiment of the good news from the Father.  His instruction to his disciples was to disseminate the gospel message throughout the world to bring all people back into unity in God.  Jesus is still teaching His disciples to follow and preach the gospel today; however, some preachers distort His message for their own purposes.  The bible boldly declares there is “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Eph 4:5-6).  Everything outside of that truth is a lie spun by the devil, the father of lies.

In the Old Testament book of Deuteronomy, Moses revealed to the church in the wilderness their God:  “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:  And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might” (Deu. 6:4-5).  God revealed Himself to Abraham and foretold that Abraham would guide his descendants in the fear of God (Gen. 18:19).  God loved and established David as king over His people because David reverenced God with love and worship with all his might (2 Sam. 6:14).  Zechariah prophesied: “And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one” (Zec. 14:9).  Old Testament prophets knew of this one-God truth and Jesus’ ministry confirmed it: “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment” (Mar 12:29-30).  Apostle Paul declared the truth of God to the Jews and Gentiles: “But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him” (1Co 8:6).  Paul taught a message of church unity upon seeing the division in the Corinthian church:

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.  For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.  Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? 1Co 1:10-13 

Throughout the bible, God declared and revealed Himself through prophets, teachers and nature to those who would hear. Jesus entrusted His message to disciples that would declare it to the world.  His trusted inner circle of followers and disciples received the message and started the first Christian church with this central truth. Even though the same message is written in the scriptures for all to read, it has somehow been distorted and a new message has been written that people are trying to follow.  Not only is God rising up ministers to declare His true message, but some ministers are rising up their own ministers to teach their distorted message.

Union through the Message

Our Christian faith is based on the truth of one God and we are baptized into the body of Christ.  That truth, that faith and that baptism leads us all into the one body of Christ that makes us the family of God.  Everything outside of it is of the world and rooted in the devil’s lie, but Christ is still the door which all people are brought into the unity as the body of believers.

The church, as it is known in America and some other nations, have done an extraordinary job of confusing the people.  Many who would serve God are being delivered a distorted message about the Christian faith.  Leaders, who could not be trusted like Abraham or David, have discipled a group of believers with a false gospel that have brought confusion to the church.  The bible teaches that the devil is the author of confusion and not God (I Cor. 14:33).  The voice of some teachers have invalidated the voice of bible scripture and therein lies the problem.

My people hath been lost sheep: their shepherds have caused them to go astray, they have turned them away on the mountains: they have gone from mountain to hill, they have forgotten their restingplace. Jer 50:6 

Paul taught:

For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things! (Rom 10:13-15)

God has sent His preachers with the true message; and Satan, as an imitator of God, has sent his false messengers to contaminate the true message of God.  The mistake of some seekers of God is their failure to compare the written word of God to the message of their preachers to see if it is truth.

And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.  Act 17:10-11

God has warned the believer of false teachers and commanded them to study the word for themselves.  There is amazing access to the scripture everywhere in America through libraries, bookstores, braille texts, radio, tracts, CD’s, computers, television and through church and outreach ministries.   Anyone crying out to God can expect a response from God so there is no excuse for ignorance of God in America.  With all the truth that God has given us through prophets, Jesus, preachers, the bible, and the Holy Spirit; the church and the gospel message have still been led astray by false teachings.  It is disheartening to watch some of the things taught by preachers, from snake handling to the “name and claim it” message.  We never saw Abraham, David, Peter or Paul teach some of the things that are being emphasized in churches today.  Paul was not trying to test God’s power when he was bitten by a snake.  He was going about the business of his ministry when a viper tried to abort the mission.   Neither did Abraham, David, Peter or Paul serve God to heap on themselves material things like the televangelists do today.  The early disciples were empowered with God’s ability because of their obedient service to God and their obedience brought the blessings of God into their lives without defrauding the people.  Though Abraham was abundantly blessed, we never saw him pursuing the things.  He refused the spoils of war offered him by Melchizedek, the priest of God. Elijah’s servant Gehazi was cursed with leprosy because of greed in seeking reward for ministry work. The most profound teacher of scripture, Apostle Paul taught more about aligning our lives with the will of God than on exercising faith for things. Jesus actually taught that we should seek God and take no thought about the things of life:

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?  (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Mat 6:25, 32, 33

Paul emphasized the Deuteronomy Chapter 28 teaching about obedience reaping good things and disobedience reaping evil.  He also taught about a people “Who changed the truth of God into a lie and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator…” (Rom. 1:25).  Man’s religion consists of his idea of serving God but it does not mean it is God’s way.  James taught in the New Testament that “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world (Jas. 1:27).  James emphasized love and service to God while loving his neighbor as evidence of pure religion.  The racial hatred, division and community corruption we see in our world today is evidence of a false religion, false worship and false god.  Pure religion will result in love of God and man, where peace and harmony exists in the community and the needs of people are met.

Many of our churches are teaching a “Me” gospel where one seeks to satisfy self with all he desires while preachers illustrate a model of greed that is never satisfied regardless of the multiple houses, cars or planes acquired.  A church focused on things causes disunity because greed repeals while giving draws and promotes love and unity.  Churches are failing to deal with the moral issues of our community while busy reaping material things for self-glory.  The self-sacrificing service and Christian surrender of Acts Chapter Two is visibly missing.

Christ taught the church to be at the forefront and gave warnings of danger and strategies of the enemy.  Here is an Old Testament example of a warning pertinent in today’s society: “Curse not the king, no not in thy thought; and curse not the rich in thy bedchamber: for a bird of the air shall carry the voice, and that which hath wings shall tell the matter” (Ecc. 10:20).  That wisdom given to the children of God gave forewarning of days like these where one’s words are carried by electronic devices from the bedchamber to the public arena to be used by an enemy.  Imagine if some of our exposed leaders had heeded that biblical warning!  When the church is caught up in pursuing money, it puts itself in a place of temptation where the enemy lies in wait.  This temptation by Satan for money was one of the first lessons Jesus revealed to us in scripture.  When the church craves money just like the world then the world loses its moral teacher.  With little or no moral guidance, money temptations have led some of our leaders astray from within and without the borders.

The Church’s Responsibility to Unite

At the core of the problems facing America as a nation is a church failing to do its job.  It was given one job and that was to imitate Christ and make disciples.  If you think, “Impossible!” then consider these questions.  To whom did Jesus:

  • Make heir of His power and authority on earth? (Luk 9:1)
  • Give power to declare the message of salvation and loosen captives? (Mar 16:15-16, 18)
  • Assign power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy? (Luk 10:19)
  • Declare that nothing would be impossible to them that believe? (Mat 17:20)

Jesus did not come to Jerusalem to blame the sick people for being sick. He came amazed at finding no doctors to heal them.  If the doctor has no knowledge to operate, he has no business being called a surgeon or going into the operating room.  When Jesus came to Jerusalem there were plenty of surgeons with no power to heal and he called them out for their inability.  God described the religious leaders as: “…dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber” (Isa 56:10).  Jesus called Jerusalem’s religious leaders: hypocrites, vipers and serpents.  Marveling over the lack of watchmen or ministers to help the people, Jesus began to heal, deliver and set free those in bondage.

Among my early writings online was an article inquiring of pastors: “How Much Are You Like the Lord?”  That is the assignment of Christ’s ministers: to be like Him.  People looking for Christ should find His ministers doing the healing and delivering that Christ demonstrated.  The healed will then return home witnessing that God still heals and glorifying Jesus, that he is still alive!  Where is that witness to bring glory to God and why are people asking if God is dead?  Jesus called out the Charlatans that deceived the people for filthy lucre who left them broken, hurt and disappointed.  He came to heal the people but he rebuked the leaders who did not know Him or His Father.  God had already prophesied this through Jeremiah: “Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD” (Jer 23:2).  God is requiring a change from the head down because leaders should lead the people in the right way.  That is why God is exposing American false leaders at all levels that have defrauded His people and led them astray.  He is challenging us to look higher than men to Christ.  True leaders are those that know God; they have His power, authority and knowledge to represent Him to the people.  King David was a blessing to the people of his kingdom because of his love for God.  Believers should be able to recognize the difference between true and false leaders: a King Saul compared to King David.  Jesus taught us about a separating of the sheep from the goats. Neither God nor Jesus ever commanded that people had to believe and follow all leaders.  They taught the difference so believers would not be deceived.  Peter taught: “We ought better to obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).  Jesus taught:

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:  And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. Joh 10:27-28 

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.  And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers. Joh 10:4-5

True Christian ministry starts with one who has known the Father and His Son through an encounter or intimacy like that experienced by Abraham, Moses, David or Paul and one who goes on to disciple family and the world for the love of God.  “And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!” Rom 10:15).

Christians have one Lord who is Christ; one faith which is the finished work of Christ on the cross and they are united in the one body of Christ.  Christ’s kingdom and church in the earth prevents the rule of the evil one in the earth.   Satan cannot possibly head a true Christian body and certainly cannot come near without sounding bells and whistles; Christ will always rise up His trumpets and trumpeters.  Satan can, however, rise to the head of a false church without any alarms going off because it is his.  Organizations or groups where evil rises to rule as head are void of Christ, even if they once recognized Christ.  True believers will not follow a false lord but will flee from him as Christ taught.  Those religious people who pursue money are actually pursuing a false god, not Christ.    Christ commanded His disciples to follow Him, not things. Jesus Christ is Lord over the Christian church, but Satan lords over many false religions.  The devil has led people astray in church, organizations and government where he lords and is preparing to one day manifest himself as their leader.  Where some people may believe they are too entrenched in certain unions to deny the devil that has them bound, freedom starts by denouncing Satan and professing Jesus Christ as Lord.  Jesus taught the sinner that he must be born again (Joh. 3:7) and He came into the world to save those that were hopelessly lost and enslaved to the devil.  They can be “born again” into the family of God when they receive Christ as Lord. Through faith they become baptized into a new family:  the body of Christ.

The true gospel has the power to put us on the path to becoming one with the body of Christ.  It is the responsibility of Christ‘s ministers to help believers come into full maturity ready to carry out their own Christian witness.  What we have seen too often is Christ giving liberty and then some “churches” bringing people back into bondage to their church rules and guilt. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty.  Church rules do not have the ability to unite the body across lines of physical division, but Christ’s power can.   Strong church leaders can lead people into a unity with Christ or to a false god through ignorance and people must know who is lord over their religious fellowship.  Christ has come to set all men free and give us the Holy Spirit who brings union with the body of Christ as one people and one family.  It starts with confession of sin and receiving Christ’s salvation.  Liberty and maturity in Christ leads us into a united body of believers across gender, race, cultural and physical lines.  This is the unity America was destined to display for the nations.  Christ’s prayer to the Father before His crucifixion was that believers would become one as He and the Father are one.  We become one through recognizing and walking in: One Lord, one faith, one baptism that unites believers in the one body of Christ.

By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (Joh 13:35)

 

 

There is Nothing Wrong with Christianity – There IS Something Wrong with Today’s Christian

November 2017

The religions of the world are formed based on certain beliefs, principles or idol gods; and there is no end of religions that govern people’s mindset or life. Religions bring people together in unity and establish civilizations. Religions can work for good or evil depending on the motivation on which they were founded. Of the five most popular religions of the world (Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism), Christianity and Islam are the two most popular religions. The roots of Christianity can be traced back to the beginning of time where the founding principles were established by Creator God. The religion of Islam was established based on the visions of a human founder born long after the birth of Christ.

 

Of all the world religions, Christianity alone is founded solely on the words of Creator God and those inspired by His Holy Spirit. This God, who describes Himself as perfect in all His ways, a God of truth without iniquity (Deu 32:4); has given us a religion that is designed to bring man in line with His perfection. Christian preachers often preach, and it is true, that Christianity is the only religion with a Living God and a Savior who is not in the grave. He ever lives to intercede on behalf of those who trust in Him and He freely provides for the believer everything that pertains to life.
Since Christianity was given by a perfect God, perfect Savior, perfect Messenger of a perfect salvation; it cannot be wrong. If there are faults with the religion of Christianity, it cannot be the fault of our God. The fault has to lie within those that practice this perfect faith but who have not yet envisioned or matured to that perfection.

O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? Gal 3:1

Apostle Paul had been as avid student of the law before conversion to faith in Christ and had spent his Christian journey denouncing Jewish legalism, teaching the ways of Christ and bringing souls to the knowledge of the Savior. He was aghast that these well-taught Christians in Galatia would now turn back from a religion of faith to one of works. He scorned them for being removed from grace and accepting another religion which he explained was not really another religion but a perverted gospel. Paul marveled that the Christians had allowed themselves to be removed from the simplicity of the gospel of faith and declined to a religion of ceremony and rites. He had warned his son, Timothy,  and us this would happen in the latter days:

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 2 Ti 4:3

The nation of America has allowed itself to lose the advantage of the simplicity of the gospel of faith. It has gone on to build a religious system that God never thought or imagined for His people. Christians have gone from simple faith in Christ to a mega-religion of extravagance and theatrics. The poor, sick, orphans and widows are an offense and a bother to the business of church. The poor lost soul had better get in line or be run over. The gospel message has become so complicated that one could hire a tutor for help and still not understand it. Worst of all, some of today’s churches have gotten so big that it manage businesses and exploits the people of God for profit. Whoever thought that the simplicity of the gospel could be distorted to become such a monster!

 

Jesus did not want Christians to be ignorant of the devil’s tricks.  He taught and warned believers about religious error and false teachers. However the Christian church today seems afraid to give this warning. The true church is set up by Christ to be the head, not the tail.  The church has been given everything it needs to be victorious at this hour.  Paul loved the Galatians people so much that even in his shock, he was willing to teach them again, love them again, and birth in them again the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Christian leaders must maintain the simplicity of the gospel to save the lost, help the poor and needy as well as watch over the souls of the people to lead them back to God when they go astray. The church must be whole in order to be a preserver in the earth.  Believers must stand fearlessly for the truth, knowing that Christ is with them.  Jesus was depending on the Christian Church to preserve the faith and the land. How do we lead American Christians back to true religion in a climate where multi-million and billions of dollars are spent publicizing a false gospel and where pride has set in with the leaders. Each Christian must seek earnestly for the truth.  Jeremiah, the prophet, prophesied this dilemma:

A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof? Jer 5:30-31

For among my people are found wicked men: they lay wait, as he that setteth snares; they set a trap, they catch men. As a cage is full of birds, so are their houses full of deceit: therefore they are become great, and waxen rich. They are waxen fat, they shine: yea, they overpass the deeds of the wicked: they judge not the cause, the cause of the fatherless, yet they prosper; and the right of the needy do they not judge. Shall I not visit for these things? saith the LORD: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this? Jer 5:26-29

History often repeats itself and this once-Christian nation is sinking in apostasy, like biblical Israel, while mega ministries are busy preaching day and night a gospel that has left the truth of Jesus Christ to establish their own gospel. It has happened before and it continues to happen because of the carnality of men, not because of any weakness in God, Christianity or Christ. Because so many churches have left their first love, the nation’s morals have fallen victim and this once-Christian nation is in great jeopardy. Righteousness has been overthrown for false religion and the goal of prosperity. Paul warned Timothy about the temptation for the love of money (1Ti 6:10) and that the love of money was the root of all evil. In America, everything is judged by prosperity, even the gospel, though Christians are taught the just would live by faith. Those that have lost faith in Christ are betting on a good life now in hope that there will be no God to judge them in the end. Some leaders are deceived and lead others into their deception. While Satan’s deception has led many of the religious into his anti-Christ system, there will still be those that seek diligently the truth. The apostasy of the some will not prevent the true church of the Lord Jesus Christ from prevailing. God is not mocked. The truth shall forever stand though Satan spins his lies. While some follow the broad way and miss heaven as home, God will still have His number. In the midst of the world’s corruption and political discord; the church will yet be perfected and made ready. Christ will have His bride. Jesus foretold:

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. Mat 16:18

America Has a Monarchical Complex

America has come full circle.  A people descendant from those that once rebelled against their homeland of England to be individuals rather than subjects has proven to be fickle or bipolar.  After over 200 years of demanding individual rights and discarding the ideas of monarchy/aristocracy and communism, the nation now appears to want a bit of both.  America believes in having equal rights and provision for everyone but she now wants a monarchical/aristocracy personality to administer it.  Its people have become too individualistic and divided and demand a strong hand for leadership.  America wants a king or queen!  Never mind integrity, right or wrong; the only question is who best would serve as this new monarchical ruler.

Our nation has been unique in the western hemisphere because of choosing democracy, a system of rule that allows its citizens to have a voice in the governing power over them.  The founders of the nation had seen the confusion, tyranny, greed of rulers and poverty for citizens that were produced when one person solely had his or her way in governing a people.  So the founders used wisdom in dividing the power structure of the developing nation into the three sectors of legislative, judicial and administrative governing authority and gave the deciding voice ultimately to the people as they chose their leaders. American citizens have enjoyed great freedom and financial benefits under democracy as a form of government while many surrounding nations are still subjected to the rule of a single person or party and experience great poverty under their monarchy, aristocracy or dictator type of government.

When the American people fell into a time of great poverty during the Great Depression, our three-party governmental system approved a system of provision for its citizens that put food on everyone’s table.  When threaten by war, our three-party political system made the united decision with the people’s approval to go to war and defend the nation.  When the people protested the horror of unjust war and burden of its cost, our government leaders had to listen and consider cessation of war. The nation permits any qualified citizen the opportunity to become political leader or president. Corrupt leaders can expect to be exposed and prosecuted. Citizens have the right to be whatever they desire and are willing to work for while having their voice heard.  This has been the American way of life.

In any place where there is plenteous supply and inadequate accountability, people can become dependent subject to the crafty who boldly plunder the defenseless.  While the U.S. government defended the rights of the poor in America, some level of balance was maintained.  But the persuasion of wealthy companies using lobbying and payoffs to influence congressional leaders, media slant, and financing of political candidates have caused some to gain power and their way in U.S. society.   The powerlessness of people to prevail against an overpowering wealthy sector that deliberately attack the people’s rights and persuade government toward their efforts have caused the people to crave strong leadership in government for their protection.

History has always worked as a preventative weapon to keep us from repeating the bad judgment of the past.  But a people at ease and rest tend to ignore their required responsibility of ensuring sound government and leadership while they are in the midst of enjoying their leisure and pleasures.  Over two hundred years of freedom has dulled the minds of American citizens about the founding of this nation from oppressive monarchical rule in Europe and American rights have been taken for granted.  Now that the nation is headed back to that same kind of oppressive government, American citizens are seeking an answer in the same proven system of erroneous monarchical-style leadership that was previously experienced in Europe.  This error shows that our nation has failed to rehearse our history for the people and uphold these learned lessons in our school textbooks, literature and media. We hear the age-old cry: “Give us a king to judge us” (1Sa 8:6).

The primary reason the nation has arrived at its present predicament though is the failure of moral leadership which has always come through our churches.  The wealthy have influenced our political leaders but that influence has also subjected our moral leaders to laws and persuasion that bind the voice of truth through the preached word.  It was the strong voice of religious leaders that influenced the early founders and politicians of the nation in moral guidance. Laws and policies pertaining to “equal rights for all” were derived from the promises and values taken from bible scriptures that kept the majority of American citizens and politicians convicted enough to follow a moral path. The silence of preachers and their failure to confront sin and immorality in all areas of our civilian life have given license to the rise of immoral leaders from an immoral population who covet wealth as incentive rather than righteous leadership.  We have witnessed one by one the compromise of our leaders in politics, business and ministry as they sought wealth and pleasure over a life of integrity and solemn leadership.

America was begun with strong desires for individual rights, religious freedom, fair taxes and equality for all people.  These rights were promoted through the commitment of strong God-fearing, bible believing citizens who became preachers, business owners and politicians.  Now that our nation is refusing the religious and spiritual aspects of our past, we are to seeing a quickening downward spiral in morality and politics of the nation.

Where the nation started out proclaiming itself to be “One Nation under God” and seeking God through congressional and public prayer for guidance, it has now decided to throw off trust in God in favor of the personal guidance of a leader and his or her individual beliefs.  Whereas God taught us to have no other God before Him and expected the nation to evolve into a place where it realized the need for every person to have integrity and God’s personal guidance through Christ, the nation has instead decided consolidate its voice behind the head and heart of one person without any proof of a relationship with God. God rightly prophesied today’s dilemma:

“And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them” 1Sa 8:7

God went on to advise Samuel to tell the people what kind of leader they would have because of asking for a human monarchical leader or king.  God, who promised to reign over them as Lord and supply all their needs with love and kindness, was rejected for a trust in man and his governmental rule over them.  We have seen a lean toward human monarchical rule in our churches for years as one-person-leadership has become the rule rather than the multi-level, multi-leader style leadership established by Christ (Eph 4:11).  Even God reigns through a three-person agreement of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  We have seen the advantages and disadvantages of man’s rule as president and politicians as they have led us according to their values.  We have the advantage of knowing what kind of government we can expect from the candidates of our choice for president and lower political offices through their political statements and reports through the media.

American has come full circle by rejecting God and the best example thus far for civilian rule under God’s authority.  This nation has become more like the nations it was formed from rather than the nation it set out to be. The warnings of the forefathers have been ignored and the failed example of past nations has not deterred our people from following the same path. There is always an opportunity and hope of turn around from a destructive path; but regardless of what happens from this point forward, we all can know that we cast our vote and made our choice.

 

RESURRECTION CELEBRATION

The Easter season that we celebrate as a holiday was not intended to be a celebration once a year as we do today. The true meaning of the season is resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; and it is a celebration that was to be realized every single day as a triumph of light over darkness. Darkness had invaded the earth and the Heavenly Father sent His Son, Jesus, into the earth to expel the darkness so that His children could again enjoy fellowship with God, their Father. It was to be the beginning of light coming back into the earth and a triumph of light’s power over darkness throughout the generations. Only light can expel the darkness. God empowered His children with enough power and knowledge through fellowship with Him to hold back the power of darkness. But they would only have this power as long as they held on the light, which comes from God.

As the evil one tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden, he is still determined to make men doubt God’s purpose in His rule over them and draw men into his darkness. The temptation comes in suggesting to man that those things withheld and denied to man by God are more important and exciting than they are. The darkness of death is what God was withholding and denying man and what the evil one offered. “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death (Pro 16:25, KJV).” Everything is revealed in the light and darkness cannot dwell there. The Heavenly Father freely gives His children knowledge and shared participation in all good things and the temptation of Satan is all a lie to entice man away from God.

If mankind would stay with God in the light of His love, provision and power; there would not be a need of anything else, just as there was nothing missing in the Garden. There is total fulfillment in God. As man looks for fulfillment in other places, he is drawn further into the darkness of Satan’s temptation.

We see our world today being pulled into the darkness by rejecting God’s way and accepting Satan’s enticements. That brings further darkness unless man rejects the way of darkness and return to God’s light. God created the light and dispelled darkness which had taken over the earth. The earth was in state of confusion, emptiness and a deep darkness (Gen 1:2) until God created light and brought the beauty of flowers, water brooks, sunny skies, singing birds and everything joyful and pleasant. Mankind is working vigorously through Satan’s temptations to take earth back into that past state of darkness by destruction of the earth’s beauty, corruption of mankind and threats of nuclear devastation.

The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly. Joh 10:10

And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Joh 3:19

God is still actively working in mankind and the universe to restore the beauty that was originally formed in the earth. Mankind is God’s helper in that process and Jesus has secured the way to restore man and the earth through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross.

I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness. Joh 12:46

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. Joh14:6

Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Rom 8:21

Easter Sunday is more than just a time to put on our Sunday best and rejoice for one day; it is a time to realize that the Resurrected Son has brought resurrection power back to the earth to restore that which was lost to darkness. It is a celebration of man’s opportunity to be reborn.

Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Joh 3:3

Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again. Joh 3:7

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Joh 3:16

The tempter and temptations are still here but so is the choice to return to the light of God’s love. Every day we have the opportunity to come closer to the light of the Father through the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord.

 

Happy Resurrection Celebration

CHRIST OF CHRISTMAS:THE STONE THAT THE BUILDERS REJECTED – HE IS THE LORD

December 2015

And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Lk 20:17
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS. Rev19:16

This is the time of year when we joyfully remember that God so loved us that He sent His only begotten son to be our Savior, born in a manger and wrapped in swaddling clothes. We rejoice at the miracle of His birth through a virgin and the promise of His reign in the earth. We rejoice because we know that this miracle was for our deliverance from sin and translation into the Kingdom of our God. The prophecy came forth from God in the Garden that there would be a seed from the woman that would bruise the head to the serpent and this was the beginning of its fulfillment.

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Gen 3:15

God continued to speak through time by His prophets that a promised Messiah would come:

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6

The hope and promise of the Jews was that this King/Messiah would come to save and deliver them from their oppression. Their religious symbols, service and worship to God reflected this hope of the coming Messiah. Yet when the promised Messiah did come to save and deliver them, He was not recognized nor honored by the devout religious leaders. How could they have missed this moment?

Architects design buildings with a strong foundation to enable a tall structures that will endure the times and adverse weather. They spend time testing and preparing the land for the footing. Strong enduring materials such cement or stones are used at the base of the new structure. Where stones have been used through the ages, choice stones are selected while defective ones are rejected or discarded.   The stones are examined to determine strength and detect any cracks or defects that would weaken the structure.   The stones are selected based on outer examination and a stone that looks weak and fragile would not be selected because of inferiority. A cornerstone holds a prominence place in the foundation of the building.

We judge people the same way: by their outward appearance. How many stones have we rejected because of outer appearance? Rich people in expensive apparel are preferred above people in poor apparel. People may be rejected because of appearance, language, place of origin, work, financial status or family. Many rich people now dress down in jeans and shirts and may drive economy cars making it impossible to tell who is really rich. Poor people sometimes buy and wear clothes and cars outside of their reasonable financial means. The wise counsel of Jesus was that we should not judge people by their outer appearance because it does not reveal the true value or worth of a person. Samuel, God’s prophet,  was taught that God does not see like man but that God looks at the inside of man, into his heart.

There may be people we have devalued that were God-sent blessing to us. We may have missed the very thing we were praying for because of disregarding someone based on outward appearance. God often tests the heart of his steward before sending a blessing as He did with Abraham.

And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;… Gen 22:16- 17

The Book of Hebrews has taught us: “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares (Heb 13:2).” When Jesus came into Jerusalem He did not arrive as a rich man would in a carriage, on a horse or stallion. He came walking in sandals without a royal place to abide. The King of Kings was born in a stable because there was no room for Him at the inn. He was not born to a royal earthly family with the means to give him a palace in which to dwell. He could not be distinguished from the locals by his apparel or royal behavior. He ate and slept like the locals and yet He was higher than any rich man or king. Jesus came meek and lowly and He humbled Himself to the governing authorities of the land. Christians are taught through the teachings of Jesus to show no respect of persons but to love and treat every man as himself. Jesus walked the way that He commands us to walk: in humility and love toward everyone.

Our society today pays homage to men of wealth and status and place them above others of lesser means. And yet God is still sending great wealth in undesirable packages, undetected by man’s eye. Jesus, the Christ, was rejected by man but accepted and approved by God. Many people that God will use are still being rejected by man though approved by the Father. Jesus is still being rejected as undesirable even though He is now seated in heaven.  Those that determined that he would not rule over them will one day have to bow their knee to Him.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6
Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. (1Pe2:7 -8)
And he beheld them, and said, What is this then that is written, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner? Lk 20:17

Today God’s church is built upon a sure foundation where the Corner Stone is Jesus Christ the Messiah and Redeemer. We, that believe, are likely stones built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone… (Eph 2:20).   Jesus came low and walked in humility until it was time for Him to be exalted on high. And now He reigns as Lord of Lords and Kings of Kings.

In this season where we traditionally celebrate how the Savior came low to identify with  and save us, we should remember an important lesson from the story: Do not judge people because they are a stranger, poor, homeless, weak or distressed in their present situation. We do not know the destiny God has put in anyone. If we obey the royal law to love everyone without respect of person, we could possibly come to a place where we witness that we have longed for as did Anna and Simeon at the birth of the Savior (Lk 2:28-38). Some may yet be entertaining angels, their breakthrough or miracle in disguise.

MERRY CHRISTMAS

THE SAVIOR IS BORN