This site along with its sister site, It's About HIM is undergoing maintenance so some links may not be working. Due to circumstances beyond our control, there are some broken links. Several websites hosting material linked to on this website have either shut down or made changes which have broken the links. We are working to correct this problem. If you have found any links and would like to help by alerting us to which link, you may email me and let me know. I know I haven't found them all yet. Thank you for your patience.

Hello, Beloved...

How nice of you to drop in and visit my page. It's actually not really about myself, but about the Lord Jesus Christ. This is a place you can come, should you find time, and find encouragement and free resources for spiritual growth. I pray you will be blessed and provoked to follow on to know the Lord intimately yourself. Seek HIM and HIS Face for HE alone is WORTHY!! He alone is lovely! Most of what is written on this blog is written by myself, during my study time with the Lord unless otherwise stated. If it's otherwise, the author's name will be included.

God is our refuge, a very present help in trouble. Psa 46:1


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Saturday, September 13, 2014

Desire for Revival, Change

This post is for those who feel they are alone in their grief over the condition of God's church. Your heart is broken as you see the church lean on religious traditions and man's human wisdom and strength. It grieves you deeper than you can say how many are unconcerned or satisfied. There is no passion for the lost or very little, but plenty of attitude toward those who don't 'measure up' to their standards of holiness. The prayer meetings mostly consist of a little lay me down to sleep prayer for a few minutes at the altar sporadically if there is a guest speaker, otherwise, the altar is mostly empty unless there are one or two in the church who really do pray. They look at you as if you are weird or something is wrong with you because you are not satisfied and you do not feel at home. They don't accept you nor do they understand you. And the enemy is striving to make you feel as if you are wrong, as if you have lost your mind. Perhaps the God you hear preached at church is not the One you are learning at home when you shut yourself alone with Him.

Take comfort, brother, sister, you are not alone. Not by a long shot. There are others the Spirit of God is brooding over and rising up within stirring up the same grief, the same desire for revival.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

A wonderful series "A Deeper Walk With God"  preached by Pastor Duke Downs of Living Waters Church in Chino, CA has been made available, for free. There are 13 lessons as of now. I highly recommend if you wish a deeper walk with the Lord Jesus Christ you get these downloaded and listen to them.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

If I Were the Devil (Paul Harvey)

This message begins with a recording of the late Paul Harvey from 1965

Death in the Pentecostal Pot

Pastor Duke Downs preaching at Victory Temple Church in Beaumont, TX

You may find Pastor Downs' church, Living Waters Church in Chino, CA HERE.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Healers of the Wounded

 This is a message the church must hear. "Healers of the Wounded" by Pastor Lee Shipp. Would to God we all had ears to hear and hearts to receive this message. There are so many prodigals, so many sinners who would come to God if the church truly had and manifested the heart and love of God. Preachers who preach without feeling the love and longing of God for the lost and dying and hurting in the world should not preach. Those who preach in anger and harshness, displeased with the appearance or mistakes or perceived wrongs of those around them, all wound and kill in the letter. If you haven't felt the broken heart of God for those in this world in desperate need you cannot be an accurate messenger or witness.

So many people would come home to God's House if they thought they could without facing harsh and unfriendly attitudes, hurtful comments because they have made mistakes, backslid, or for whatever reason don't "measure up" to the church folks' standards. This is a total misrepresentation of God and it delightful to the devil. Where is the burden for the lost? If the church truly believes Jesus is coming back any minute why are they so busy condemning or doing their own thing rather than seeking God for the lost? Willing to reach out in love that only the Holy Spirit can pour through us? Please, listen. So many have been wounded in the house of God by sharp and judgmental tongues or words spoken thoughtlessly. So many church folks are so busy trying to live their best life now caught up in purpose driven hogwash they have themselves completely missed the mark.

God have mercy on us and please forgive us for thinking more highly of ourselves than we should and neglecting You and Your purpose-which is at all cost to seek and save the lost. You didn't send a message of hell fire and damnation to the world, You sent Your Best, Your Son, who desperately loves humanity. He came to demonstrate who You are and how much You love people. God please forgive us for so misrepresenting You and please grant us the grace and courage to face you in an altar of prayer and sacrifice so You can change us into Your image.....

In the precious Name of Jesus,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Speaking the Truth in Love

Speak the truth in love out of concern for others well being. That is what this post is about. The Message link I want to share with you and hope you will take time to watch is titled "Feeding Christ" and pastor David Wilkerson recalls how the Lord dealt with him for his railing on other ministers, the church, thing that didn't measure up in his eyes. How sad he was when he saw what he had done. I see a lot of my Christian friends do this on Facebook. I have been guilty myself and had to repent. So I looked up what the Word of God says about railing because this stirred something in my heart this morning. Please read carefully. I'm asking God to shine the light in my heart and let nothing hide from Him.

1Co 5:11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one no not to eat. 

This is not directed at the world, but at the church. And look at the company a railer is included with. To eat is to fellowship, in the Word. 

1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.
1Co 6:11 And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. 

If we are washed and cleansed of these things, we do not need to continue in them, including railing and reviling, for it's a thing of the fleshly human nature, Amen? In a world so full of sin and darkness and cruelty, may God purge it from His house and people. Scriptures studied, with the definition in the Greek of the word railer/reviler inclued, in listed order. Please take time to examine them with an open heart. I know it's a hard thing, and will require divine help to overcome this. But what He says is serious and we need to consider it.

Scriptures: Luke 23:39, 1 Cor 5:11, 6:10, 1 Tim 6:4, 1 Pet 3:9, 2 Pet 2:11, Jude verse 9. In listing order, Strong's # G987, G3060, G988, G3059, G989, G988. 

Definition, of the word identified by Strong's number in listing order:
1-To vilify, speaking of another without reverence or due respect, to defame, revile, speak evil of, slander, speak lightly/profanely of sacred things. To dishonor, malign, hurl abuse verbally.
2-abusive reviler, one who attacks with abusive language, spreads negative information about (example given in dictionary was Nazi Propaganda)
3-to vilify, evil speaking, railing against
4-to slander, criticism which is sustained, overly harsh, blaming, condemning, venomous language used to express blame or censure, bitter, deep seated ill will against.
5-expressing offensive reproach because of, speaking slanderous, harmful and often untrue or exaggerated speech to discredit or malign 

You can watch any news channel right now with the election coming up and see all of this on display by unregenerate politicians or media people. You see it in the world every where you go. And in many churches, you hear preachers doing it from the pulpit against things they don't like. I see it on Facebook every time I do log on among well meaning Christians, and I realize they are just tired and frustrated by what is wrong and condemning it. Many curse the darkness instead of being a vessel through which His light and life can shine. When we rail on others, on things that irritate us, that anger dims our light. When we act this way, railing on things we can't change, because we don't like it, we misrepresent Christ. We hurt and discourage others. I've seen preachers beat people with the Word of God, with good intentions but when the Word is delivered in tired, frustrated flesh, without anointing, the wounded walk out so discouraged they give up and don't come back many times. God showed Pastor Wilkerson how to behave this way was not His heart. He said the Lord revealed to him that he should have been moved with compassion for those who are out of the way, not piling on them in their condition.(Heb 7:25)

I Indeed...But He-My Utmost For His Highest

My Utmost for His Highest

Wednesday, August 22, 2012
"I Indeed... But He"
I indeed baptize you with water . . but He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire."  ”
Matthew 3:11
Have I ever come to a place in my experience where I can say - "I indeed - but He"? Until that moment does come, I will never know what the baptism of the Holy Ghost means. I indeed am at an end, I cannot do a thing: but He begins just there - He does the things no one else can ever do. Am I prepared for His coming? Jesus cannot come as long as there is anything in the way either of goodness or badness. When He comes am I prepared for Him to drag into the light every wrong thing I have done? It is just there that He comes. Wherever I know I am unclean, He will put His feet; wherever I think I am clean, He will withdraw them.
Repentance does not bring a sense of sin, but a sense of unutterable unworthiness. When I repent, I realize that I am utterly helpless; I know all through me that I am not worthy even to bear His shoes. Have I repented like that? Or is there a lingering suggestion of standing up for myself? The reason God cannot come into my life is because I am not through into repentance.
"He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and fire." John does not speak of the baptism of the Holy Ghost as an experience, but as a work performed by Jesus Christ. "He shall baptize you." The only conscious experience those who are baptized with the Holy Ghost ever have is a sense of absolute unworthiness.
I indeed was this and that; but He came, and a marvellous thing happened. Get to the margin where He does everything.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

"Do nothing unworthy of Him who represents you in heaven, and whom you represent on earth. He is faithful to you; be you so to Him...Be His witnesses; be His mirrors; be His living epistles. Let Him speak through you to the world. Let your life tell your fellow-men what He is, and what He is to you. Speak well of Him to men, as He speaks well of you to God. He has honoured you by giving you His name; He has blessed you by conferring on you sonship, and royalty, and an eternal heritage: see that you do justice to His love, and magnify His greatness."-HORATIO BONAR

Just a thought for today, well worth praying and meditating on......

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

We Must Choose The Way of Christ

This is posted on a wonderful website, Authentic Christianity.

We Must Choose the Way of Christ

**The following article is from the book - Living in the Heavenly Realms - and the chapter entitled "The Christian's Work: “ Believing and Yielding."

We often hear Christians condemning the Jews for choosing Barabbas over Jesus. And we wonder how this could have occurred. It may be helpful to realize that Barabbas represents someone who tried to further God's kingdom through his own efforts. The Son's way is to plant the seed in the ground in death and then to become fruitful in resurrection life. The way of Barabbas is to save self and then live for God through the zeal of human works. When presented with these two different ways, most people choose to save the flesh-life.

They will say, "Give us Barabbas."

But in the end it always results in the death of the Christ-life. And because it is effectively choosing carnality, this way of Barabbas is still killing others. Many have been turned away from Christ by the words that come out of the carnal hearts of professing Christians. Thus, we find this tragedy of the first century being repeated over and over again in the church today.
Someone once said, “Self is willing to permit the believer to do anything, give anything, sacrifice anything if it can only live.” People do not mind serving God if they can direct their own steps and have some of their own glory. But this is what permits Barabbas and Agag, with their carnal nature, to live.

Again, it has been said, “The Cross can only sever what you consent to part from. The severing of the Cross is not an actual experience, unless the will of the believer desires and consents to the actual separation in fact and practice.” God is very gracious. He patiently waits for each individual to make the choice to follow Jesus through the cross. Those who will honestly make the same decision that He did in the Garden of Gethsemane, can depend on the Spirit to then take them through the cross and into resurrection life in due time.

But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh (Rom. 13:14)

Since the Holy Spirit only works through yielded faith, how can He provide a complete severance from the old man and all that pertains to the old creation if you are still making ample provisions for the flesh? Whatever becomes food to the flesh  is dry fodder, or the food that perishes,' to the Spirit, and vice versa.

Do not love the world or the things of the world. With the Spirit's guidance, look for the things of the world that you tend to use for your spiritual support. What is it that your flesh insists on having? Examine your habits and routines. What leads you to do what you do? Again, what do you rely on for your spiritual support? While the body does have natural desires that will need to be met, they should never have dominion over the Spirit. Are you being led by the flesh or by the Spirit? Are you still seeking to have some of your own glory through the works of your own hands? If Christ's rivers of Living Water are not yet consistently flowing out of the heart in both good times and bad times, there is something preventing it. There is a need to search the heart with the Spirit and be prepared to surrender the most dearly loved Isaac.

God has provided all things to enjoy. But He did not intend for us to live by the flesh and turn the things into idols. Once we are truly living through the life of Christ in the heavenly realms we are enabled to walk in this world without being dependent upon its things for our spiritual support. Jesus lived in the world, and He was able to enjoy God's creation, but He did not receive His life from the world. The Son came to dispossess, to displace and to dethrone that old self-life so that God may gain complete possession of the human personality. It will never do to intellectually crown Christ as a puppet King and then live under the rule of Self-desire.

Of self, for self, and by self has remained the threefold principle that governs the lives of countless members of Christ's church. A believer cannot wholeheartedly set his affections upon the things above while he is still living for the things of this world. And it is unimaginable to think that someone who has truly been seated with Christ in the heavenly realms, and has begun to share with Him in every spiritual blessing found in His life, could still be hankering for the things of earth and of time and of sense.

Some of our readers may have tasted of the heavenly life at some point in their past. But since that day they have slowly weighted themselves down with the things of this world. It has resulted in a loss of what they once possessed. If this is your case, may God give you the desire to lay aside every weight and once again look unto Jesus for His life in the heavenly realms. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. The only way to successfully combat the desires of the flesh is to implicitly obey every prompting or motion of the Spirit, be it ever so slight. Whether it be a warning, a check, a leading, or a teaching, all must be followed. Do not permit others to turn you away from truth with their human wisdom and rationalizations. You must listen to the Lord. Those who will yield to the leading of His Spirit in all matters, even though it may result in some difficulties and suffering, can depend on Him to faithfully take them into the life of promise where it is possible to reign with Him over all the works of the flesh.

But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith {so you may fully trust in God}, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now {in the lives of Christians in this world} and forever. Amen. (Jude 20-25)

In closing, we pray that each of God's called-out children will honestly seek the Lord in faith. There is a life of promise within the heavenly realms, and we need to begin living there today. Every member of the body needs to submit to the work that God has previously planned to work out through their lives. (Eph. 2:10) It is our only means for truly revealing His light of life and drawing other spiritually poor and lost souls out of the darkness of this world and into His heavenly kingdom on the highest plane.

He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. (Eph. 4:10-16)

When I read this article, I was very much convicted by the truth it contains. I can only add this quote from the late Pastor BH Clendennen "If we will make the right choice, God will enforce it."

Monday, January 9, 2012

Divine Order in the House of God, Part 1: The Tabernacle

This is a very revealing study on why there is such a famine for the actual Presence and Power of God among many of His people today. To read the entire notes, you may find them here. I must warn you, this is a word many will reject because it leaves no room for anyone but God's Holy Spirit to operate and be glorified. There is no provision for human nature, human wisdom, human effort in God's plan, in God's House. This is an offensive truth to many church goers. Still-we must realize it is so much better to listen to and take heed to this awesome God who never makes a mistake, is never wrong, never forgets or leaves anything out, and is infinitely wiser than we could ever be. 

I'm just going to list the highlights of this in depth study. Ask yourself how can we know the divine order-or God appointed order of His House? We go to the Word, we study, and we pray and ask Him to help us understand what He is saying in His Word. Specific Scripture References are given in the notes, but you can read this outlined in Exodus, Chapters 25-30, and chapter 40.

1. The first example of divine order in the House of God is that only God gives the Pattern for the House
of God, its service, its ministry, who is to operate in this ministry and service, how and when. It is not
up to man how to run the House of God, nor is it to be man's decisions on whom shall serve in the
House of God.  God set the requirements for their service.   

2. Every bit of material, every structure, every piece of furniture that was to go into the Tabernacle, everything  was going to be sacred, and set apart for divine service. (We are to live unto and for and by the power of God, serving Him in the power of His Holy Spirit, not serving ourselves, for we are not to live for ourselves, continuing to function in our own natural strength and reasoning and doing it our own way.)

3. The Tabernacle was called the Tent of the Congregation and the Tabernacle of Witness. These two
titles convey important truths. A gathering place of God's people, so He could be close to them, and a
place that would reveal to them His character, His nature and His Word. When we go to the House of God, it is to be a set apart place where we gather to worship God, learn of God, and fellowship with God and in the process be strengthened by God. We are to go to give ourselves, our praise, our worship, to God, not just going to get something from Him.The Word we hear should confirm what He has been teaching us at home. And yes, we should be seeking Him at home, spending time alone with Him ourselves. 

4. The Tabernacle was to be erected at the appointed time, by the people God appointed to set it up.  This was not work one could choose or not choose to do, or do it his own time or his own way; it was a calling God gave only to a select group of people. It was to be put up on the first day of the first month of the year. God told them it was to mark the beginning of the calendar year. He's the Beginning of everything, amen? And what would the Tabernacle be but a place, a vessel that would contain the Presence, Power and
Word of God? This leaves no place for people to get upset over something they don't like and go start their own church, now does it? It's God's way, not ours. He is to choose the minister, the singers, the teachers, the workers. Amen? He never makes mistakes for He knows the hearts. With God in control there will be no idolaters or adulterers in the pulpit, folks, nor in the Sunday school rooms or the choir.

5.  We see here a picture of the Tabernacle-a foreshadowing of Christ, surrounded by flesh. He was at
the Center. He is to have the Preeminence in all things. He is the Source of all life, of all that is holy,
and all that is true. The Divine Design of the Tabernacle speaks of the order of God.

6. The Tabernacle itself was to be anointed with the holy anointing oil, and all that was in it. Every vessel, every dish, every bowl, every piece of furniture, everything was to be anointed with the oil. This sanctified it and qualified it to be in the service of the Tabernacle of God.  It was to hallowed---pronounced, and observed, regarded  by all as holy or hallowed. (This illustrates the necessity of being born of, filled with and led by the Holy Spirit. His Presence in us sanctifies, or sets us apart for God's divine purpose.)

7. It was to be a sacred place, set apart by and for the ministry to God and of God and His high priest. Nothing else. Service was to be done in there to God, that the people might be blessed and fed spiritual truth-the Word of God. There was to be bread, which is the Word of God. There was to be oil for the light in the Tabernacle. This is the Holy Spirit who gives light, or understanding to the hearer of the Word, and makes it alive within them-makes it a reality not just a dead letter. There was to be light--revelation-again from the Holy Spirit who alone is able to reveal truth to us, to reveal Christ to us.

8. There was to be incense offered up before the Ark, on the golden altar of incense which stood in
front of the Ark just outside the veil in the Holy Place. This golden altar represents the intercession of
the High Priest, Christ, that is before the Throne with the prayers of the saints. The incense is the prayers of the saints, offered up to the throne of God with the coals of fire from the brazen altar of sacrifice that tested the purity of the incense, offered with the fragrance and intercession of Christ to make them acceptable. This means these prayers must also be inspired by and aided by the Holy Spirit for we know not what or how to pray as we should. Anything that is not hid in Christ, or tries to goes to the throne not through Christ will be rejected. He said His House was to be a House of Prayer. There was to be regular and special times of communication with God. Prayers from people not sanctified, not set apart who are casual about the things of God can and will bring judgment and wrath-not answers. (See Lev. 10) For a minister to lead people who aren't serious about the things of God in prayer is to lead them into gross sin against God. They offer strange fire-something that is the result of human inspiration, human effort, human desires, to God. There is no provision for flesh in His Presence. 

9. Every vessel in the Tabernacle, including the Tabernacle itself, every instrument had its own God
appointed service just as we are to abide in the calling wherewith God has called us. He did not
consult with Moses and ask Moses who he wanted to do any of these things. God chose the people He
wanted to do what needed doing when it was to be done. The leadership is to be chosen by the Holy Spirit and the resulting choices men make concerning those who will be serving and ministering in the House of God must be given to them by the Lord as they seek Him in prayer. 

10. Every vessel (person operating in the ministry or service of the Tabernacle) had to be sanctified-which means it was or they were set apart by and for God for the purpose He chose.  This Tabernacle was only to be used in the service to and for God-as He prescribed. He alone was the Source of life, help, provision and deliverance to His people.

*****God never granted any reason or precedent to even wonder if there were any exceptions. He left no room for drama teams and plays, no political activism, no skits, no bake sales, puppet shows, dance and praise teams, no singings or fund raisers, power teams or pagan holiday celebrations-except for those He prescribed which pointed to spiritual truth and His Son. This is flesh trying to raise money to fulfill its religious desires because God will not. Sometimes these are sincere and want to do good, but we must operate within the bounds God set.

11. Right outside the Door of the Tabernacle-another illustration of Christ who is the Door-the only
entrance into God's Presence, was to be the bronze laver. This was a basin to be filled with water. The
priests were commanded to wash their hands and feet before entering the holy place inside the
Tabernacle. To enter without washing meant death. This shows us it's necessary that those who
approach God must have clean hands and clean feet. They must be living clean and honest lives-according to God's ways not man's nor their own ideas. 

Now you ask yourself this: when Israel walked in the will of God, did He not provide for their every need?  Did He not ensure they left Egypt with everything they would need in a wilderness to build this Tabernacle? He provided everything.  It's only when we operate in the natural realm we run out of provision and have to either hit our knees and cry out to God or resort to other methods and human effort.  

There were to be no worldly things or events in or around the Tabernacle, like bingo games, trunk or treat or any other thing that would entertain the flesh. This is an offensive truth to people and it provokes that human nature that is always opposed to God and what is holy. I have diligently searched this Holy Word of God and can find NO precedent, no allowance for any of these things that are so common in what is supposed to be His house today.  It's simply not there. Maybe that is why His glory and His presence isn't either. I do find Him instructing us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ and make NO provision for the flesh. To do so, to bring any of the world's methods of operating in to the Sanctuary is to profane it, defile it and can and will result in bringing God's judgment and wrath down on it and the people. He will not bear witness of what is not truth nor what He refuses to sanction.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Lamp in the Dark: The Untold History of the Bible

                                            A Lamp In the Dark: The Untold History of the Bible

This is a historical documentary about the opposition of Rome and the Papacy, to prevent the people access to the Word of God. While watching this, I have been so struck by the similarities of the spirit of the Pharisees and religious rulers who demanded Jesus be crucified and the Popes of Rome, the Catholic Church-all the way back to Nero. This is a must watch for those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Please go to the Voice of the Martyrs and purchase this instead of Amazon.com or elsewhere...you couldn't make a more precious investment than sharing the Gospel with someone who lives in a persecuted country and may never have heard the lovely name of Jesus or His precious Truth.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Truth That Makes Us Free

Php 3:1  Finally, my brethren, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you, to me indeed is not troublesome, but for you it is safe. 

 Sometimes it's hard to rejoice in the Lord because we find ourselves plagued with life's problems. We have a natural tendency to think and operate in our own strength and understanding which are always insufficient to the task of ordering our own steps in the right way. Sometimes we do all we know to do and things still don't work out right, and we end up frustrated, tired, and discouraged because we expected more of ourselves than we should.

Things around us in this violent, evil and selfish world are disturbing with no peace to be found. He warned us there is no peace to the wicked. They are tossed about like waves of the ocean with no rest. Why is there no peace for the wicked? (Isa_57:20-21) That word peace actually means safety, prosperity, rest of the soul, and inner peace that comes from knowing Him who is our Peace. They may appear to prosper financially or have worldly fame, but inwardly they are never satisfied, never at rest. As for the word 'wicked' that simply means people who are morally wrong, who are condemned because they are guilty of violating the law of God and refuse to accept the sacrifice for their sins of His Son. He offers us HIS life but many reject Him because they prefer to be their own god.

He told us in Joh_16:33 that in this world we would have tribulation, trials, suffering, problems. But in HIM, not in ourselves, not in this world, not in this world system, but in HIM we would find peace. We can rejoice because He knows us, saved us, is saving us, and wants to reveal Himself to us. He's everything we need. He's everything good and pure that you will never find in this world, or in any human being. Regardless of what goes on around us, in our environment, we can rejoice in Him if we have our thoughts and hearts stayed on Him. He promises that He will keep them in perfect peace whose minds are stayed on or fixed continually on HIM. These are those who remember God is in control when it looks like everything is out of control.  These are they who trust Him, think on Him, depend on Him, love Him, and know He will not fail. They prefer His life, His truth, His way to their own. They refuse to be overcome by the evil around them because greater is HE who is in them and they are learning by His Spirit to refuse that frustrated flesh the opportunity to express its displeasure with the way things are going. They are better able to resist their own impulse to fall apart and instead fall on Him. Only the power and leadership of the Holy Spirit can take us to this place and teach us how to do this.

Even though there is darkness, wickedness, corruption and violence all around, we can rejoice in the LORD. He is holy, pure, kind, merciful, faithful, honest, righteous, just. We can rejoice in His absolute fair justice, His loyalty to us, His truth, His light, His way, His selfless compassion and goodness. I myself haven't felt much like rejoicing for so long. I've had my eyes on the situations too, instead of on my glorious Savior. Lord forgive me and thank You for not giving up on me when it would have been so easy to have given up on myself. We can find comfort in the Word of God if we will present ourselves to this Word and depend on, ask the Holy Spirit to minister it to our troubled hearts. He only has the Word of life. Where else is there to go? There is such a difference when HE teaches and ministers the Word to us! Why would we ever want to sit down with the Bible and try to read it ourselves without Him? It would not profit us at all. 

Php 3:2  Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision.

Make sure you are careful to avoid, protect yourselves from such. Consider them, examine them, know what they are. What is the concision? Literally it means mutilators. The Jews hated the Christian faith as much as they hated and rejected Jesus Christ. It was so offensive to them who were in darkness, spiritually blind to the truth, to be told the only way to be saved was to believe in and accept HIM. They had all this religion of the law pounded into their heads from birth, by non-spiritual men. They had been fed a dead letter by unregenerate men and it had made them harsh, contemptuous, arrogant and unkind. They took pride in the suffering of their flesh, the cutting off of the foreskin. They saw it as a badge of honor, a mark of acceptance of God. It was after all the symbol of the covenant God had made with Abraham. 

Still, they did not obey God or follow after God, or have an intimate relationship with God as Abraham had. They did not walk as he walked, they took it forgranted. I'm circumcised, I'm a Jew, I know the law, I'm saved. How many people today have with their mouths professed to believe in Jesus Christ, and because they were told if you believe on Him you're saved, and people take it forgranted they are saved, yet in their hearts do not know Him at all? They are unchanged in their hearts. These are just as lost as a sinner who avoids the church like the plague. Considering what Jesus Christ went through on the cross how can we sanely think we can take how we live our lives and sin forgranted? 

In Rom_2:17 Paul addresses this attitude that apparently lingered in those who had been born again into the church. He said, Look, you are called a Jew, and you still rely on the law and brag on being accepted of God because of this? You know His will and you know what matters, being instructed out of the law. You are sure that you are one who can lead the blind into truth, that you are a light to those who are in darkness. It's not enough to know the law and will of God, you must be a doer of this. You must be the message you preach to others about. You are still relying on the fact that you have the mark of the circumcision, that covenant God had with Abraham. 

Paul was teaching them how vain it was to trust in any accomplishment of the flesh, because the only circumcision that counts is the spiritual one done in the heart by the Holy Spirit of God. This one has been circumcised in the heart, they have had their own moral corruption exposed to them by the Holy Spirit. They know there is nothing good in them to bring to God that they are saved not by anything they could ever in their wildest dreams hope to achieve but it's by what HE did for them, what He does IN them, what HE IS that saves. We can't believe in ourselves, we have to believe even though we could never be good enough it's because HE is our righteousness, He is our holiness, our purity, our sanctification, our redemption, our wisdom, our access to God. He paid the price for our sins and it cost Him dearly. We have no right to take sin casually or take it forgranted that we can sin and confess and just keep doing that and get by with it. 

 In Rom_2:28 Paul explains he is not a Jew (spiritually speaking, which is God's elect or chosen) that is one outwardly. I know there is debate on who is God's chosen but He chooses those who obey Him, who follow Him wholeheartedly and submit to Him, depend on Him, commune with Him. They take nothing forgranted. He is their life and they know it. They are willing to lose everything but Him. Paul said neither is he a Jew who keeps the rituals and rules of the law that are external, or obvious to others. There were the religious Jews who kept the commands of the law that flesh could keep. They circumcised their males, dressed to the letter according to the law, washed their hands, refused to associate with those who were unclean, or not a Jew. They wouldn't eat anything the law declared unclean. Jesus called these religious folks like the Pharisees hypocrites, blind guides, fools, like whitewashed graves, so they appear to men outwardly to be righteous but inside they are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.

They took pride in their religious appearance, even though the keeping of these things which flesh could keep was tedious, they did this and because they did it, they became arrogant,  proud, mean viewing others who hadn't arrived where they had with contempt.  They did it-and they took the credit for it. But the keeping of these laws did not make their heart pure or holy. It did not make them acceptable to God. 

Paul said he is a Jew-God's chosen, spiritually, not naturally, who is a Jew inwardly-whose HEART has been circumcised, in the spirit not in the flesh, who is not praised by men but by God. Circumcision of the heart is so much more painful and personal than that of the flesh. Only God can do this kind of cutting. What is the circumcision of the heart? It is the Spirit of God in us working in us to show us there truly is nothing in us naturally that God can use because what we are naturally is always going to resist and oppose Him. He is selfless but we are selfish by nature. He is pure and we are unclean inwardly, craving that which He considers abomination. We are taught from the cradle to be self sufficient, exalt self, promote self, improve self, help self, decorate self, please self whatever it takes or costs. And we have no problem with this, we can rationalize our own actions when our conscience troubles us to shut it up. 

He works in us to expose the inner workings of our natural self life that must be overcome, put down like a dog because in the kingdom of God it is not allowed. He cuts away the notion that we can bring our talents and abilities to God and expect Him to bless them and be grateful and think He can use any of it. We have nothing worthy to bring Him except our faith, which originates from Him, and our life, which also originates from Him. The key thing is that HE is to become our life, our Source, the One we are to follow and live for, depend totally on. 

He shows us the futility and error of our religious ideas. He has been very misrepresented by the greatest part of what professes to be the Church for so long. It comes as quite a shock to a seeking heart to find that this Great God when He draws you to Him and chooses to begin to reveal Himself to us by His Holy Spirit, we find He is nothing like we were led to believe. As someone raised Pentecostal, I have lived this. He is nothing like I was led to believe in church as a child and as a young Christian in the Lord. 

One of the most precious things He has to cut away, cut out of us is our own notion of who He is and how we are to serve Him. Pentecostals are taught for the most part a strict code of conduct and rules that are to govern their manner of dress, their external appearance and outward behavior. They don't see the wickedness of this. Dressing and looking different is not in itself wicked unless it competes with Him for preeminence. I believe in a decent, moderate dress. The wickedness is making those rules and external things the focus, the center of their doctrine, instead of Christ. So much emphasis is placed on these external things, while very little emphasis is placed anymore on the necessity of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.We must learn the leadership of the Holy Spirit and walk in dependence and obedience to the Holy Spirit who alone can make Jesus real to and through us. He alone is qualified to reveal Christ. AND THAT IS THE PURPOSE OF BEING A CHRISTIAN-to reveal Christ to a lost and dying world. But we must know Him ourselves first before we can be like Him and we can't learn Christ apart from the Holy Spirit ministering the Word of God to us in Spirit and in truth, not as a dead letter.  

read more here

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Ephesus: Getting Back To Our First Love

Rev 2:1-7 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things says he that holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands; I know your works, and your labor, and your patience, and how you can not bear them who are evil: and you have tried them who say they are apostles, and are not, and have found them liars: And have endured, and have patience, and for my name's sake have labored, and have not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against you, because you have left your first love. Remember therefore from where you are fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto you quickly, and will remove your lampstand out of its place, except you repent.

The first thing Jesus says here is I Am (Rev_1:8) We have read it, but have we ever understood the reality of those two small words? I, the Creator, the Word of God that was made flesh, that came and lived among men, that was vilified, crucified, and put to death by wicked men, I exist. I AM. I have always been. I was, I Am, and I will always be. I Am without beginning and without ending. I AM bigger than your feeble minds could even begin to understand. My goodness, can you wrap your mind around that truth?

John was here, having been banished to the isle of Patmos. He's in the Spirit--this was a man who had learned how to walk and live in and by the Holy Spirit of God. He had given himself wholly to the Lord. That's what it means to be in the Spirit. One who has given himself wholly to the Spirit, who lives and moves according to the direction and leading of the Spirit, not his own self will or desire. John hears this loud, mighty voice. Remember when HE spoke, worlds were made. He commanded and it was done. He hangs the stars in heaven on nothing but His Word. He looked upon a dark, shapeless, chaotic world and said Let there be light and instantly there was light. He says I Am the Alpha and Omega, the first and last. He has always been and always will be. He's the beginning of everything. Everything that has ever been made was made because He desired it to be.

He tells John what you see, what I'm going to show you, look and understand it, take heed to it. Write it down and send My Word to the seven churches which are in Asia. The Lord identifies each church by name and His message is to be sent to the angel, or pastor of each church. He speaks to the leadership first.

As the Lord is speaking from behind John, he turns to look and see who this is, although by the Spirit, I know he knew. This was the man who was so profoundly moved by the love of the Savior as His disciple, He stayed closest of them all to His side. Now he looks upon the glorified Christ, and is stunned beyond words. He sees seven golden candlesticks and in the center of them is Christ. HE is truly to be the Center, the Preeminence of all, church. That simply means He's to have first place in everything. The seven golden candlesticks are the seven churches but the light and life of the candlestick or the church is the Holy Spirit. You can see this illustrated as well in Zec_4:2-6. The church can do nothing of its own accord for Jesus plainly tells us without Him we can do nothing.

He addresses the church of Ephesus first, and remember, He is speaking directly to the leadership there, to the pastor who will then have to notify the congregation of what the Lord said. He said I know what you're doing, how hard you're working. I am aware of all the trouble and toil you are enduring. I see how you have been hurt, your pain, your weariness. I see how you have endured, waiting with hope and how you can't bear them which are evil. I know you have tested them who say they are sent by Me and found them to be liars. You have carried the load patiently, and for My Name's sake you have worked hard even though you're tired. You have not grown weary or sick to the point of giving up.

First, He commends the things He has found pleasing in this church. But then He points out the flaw: You've left your first love and that I have against you. They had endured, been steadfast, for His Name's sake, and not given up, not given into weariness and fatigue. But He had something against them: they had forsaken their first love. They had allowed something else, be it the work for Christ, or the battle they fought, or other distractions of life to replace what was of utmost importance: the preeminence of Christ in their heart, affections and life. Remember He shows us in Rev_1:12 HE is in the center, the focus, the Source of the Churches. His Holy Spirit is the life and light of those churches and if they do not deal with the things He exposes, if corrections are not made, He will remove their candlestick. He'll take His Holy Spirit from them and they will lose their place in His Kingdom.

Without His life and light they will deteriorate into the impotent religious institutions you see on every corner today, going through the motions and rituals of religion while the world around them goes to hell untouched by this great God who died so they could be saved. This might offend a lot of church goers but it's true: Nowhere in the Word of God is there given an example or even a hint of church programs, skits, plays, puppet shows, clowns or dance and drama groups as a God accepted method of spreading His gospel. He showed us very different-a five fold ministry under the leadership and power of the Holy Spirit who alone does the work. He offers us a chance to be partakers and co-workers with Him in this but we are never to be in charge. HE is.

Now, Christ tells Ephesus you best remember where you have fallen from and repent, and do the first works. You best agree to cast out anything that interferes with what is most important in your life and that is Me. You can't serve anyone else if you don't first serve ME. If you don't abide in Me, stay connected to Me, then I will remove your light, and you will walk in darkness unless you repent. Unless you turn away with abhorrence for your sin and turn to Me. That was the warning here to this church at Ephesus where this doctrine and pattern of behavior illustrated by the Nicolaitans was trying to infiltrate a church that was operating in the flesh. These people were being faced with a teaching that allowed indulgence of the flesh, changing God's commands, going easy on the flesh so it can enjoy itself and not have to suffer for being separate, different. He acknowledged that they hated the deeds and behavior of the Nicolaitans as He did, He commended their hard work, their pain and suffering, acknowledged it, even. He understood. But He also knows if you don't love Him you won't remain, you will fall away. LOVE is what causes those who follow Him to follow Him. You would have to love Jesus to follow Him for the path He takes is not an easy journey. It's straight, narrow and uncompromising. And when He no longer has first place in our lives and we are walking in the flesh, sooner or later we will begin to fulfill the lust or desire of that flesh.

Remember what He told His disciples? Walk in the light while you have the light lest darkness overtake you. He said remember from where you've fallen. That means you've lost something, you've become inefficient, all the work you do has no effect. Why? Because it's no longer born out of communion with HIM. It's human reasoning, trying its best to serve a Master but many of His people, even in the ministry, don't spend enough time with Him to know Him, to draw the eternal life and strength from Him that is needed in this hour to bear fruit. How can you know what He wants you to be if you don't get alone with Him? How can we serve Him when we don't know Him, don't know or share His heart's desire? How can we represent Him accurately when we don't know Him intimately ourselves? He said I Am the way, the Truth, and the Life. If we try to use our way, if we try to interpret His Word ourselves, if we try to run on the resources of our human life, we can only miserably fail Him at BEST.

The key is love. You have to love Him to follow Him because His way leads to the cross and flesh wants to run from that. Self doesn't want to be crucified, denied and totally rejected. That sounds like lunacy. No wonder He said the way is straight and narrow and many will strive to enter in and not be able. Self can't get through that door, only what is hidden in Christ makes it through.

The Holy Spirit Who has been given to us from God to remain with us, to live in us, to teach, guide, direct, empower, reveal truth to, expose what is unlike Christ in us so we can repent and be cleansed, to take what Christ has available for us and show it to us, make it a reality in our lives. In Rom_5:5, the Word of God tells us it's the Holy Ghost that pours the love of God into our hearts. Eph_3:19 says to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge, it transcends the knowledge of religion or anything else. It's a far more excellent thing-hard to understand, but it's a reality. The Holy Spirit can so pour the love of God out in to our hearts, because when He is in us, HE is God, He is LOVE, and He will reproduce in us what He is. When He is active and working in our lives, there is evidence, the fruit or result of the Holy Spirit working in us. Love, peace, joy are just the first three. The kingdom of God is that we have peace with God, peace in our minds, we're covered by the righteousness of the Lord Jesus Christ, because we have none of our own and we are strengthened, taught and fed by the communion of the Holy Ghost. (Rom_14:17) In His Presence is fullness of joy so why is it so hard to pray? To make ourselves and our troubled minds be still until we know once again HE is God, not us? He's responsible for the results, not us. We can't change the world but He can through us if we yield to Him, follow Him. He will change what needs changing, He will accomplish His will. But we must understand what that will is. It's not make this world a rosy place-He's already condemned this planet. His purpose is to seek out the lost, to call and reach out to those in darkness and deliver them from the grip of the devil. Satan is a merciless and cruel jailer. Only Jesus has the key to their prison.

The Word of God says in HIM was life and that life was the light of men. That Holy Spirit in Jesus Christ was the life that lit up the way for men in darkness. Oh, Hallelujah! No wonder the devil has lured people away from the preaching of the cross, from the preaching of the necessity of the Holy Spirit and being baptized by the Holy Spirit, walking in the Spirit. HE is the One who makes the Word real to our hearts, opens our understanding to its mysteries and makes it possible for us to be nourished by the Word of God. Without Him, the Word of God is a dead letter that only kills. The ministry of the Holy Spirit is vital to the Christian. Let us, like Ephesus, get back to the cross, put self out of the way and bow our hearts before the Lord, gripping His Word to us. No man can call Him Lord but by the Holy Spirit. No one can come to Him unless the Father draws them. When He draws them, the Lord won't refuse them. Without Him we can do nothing. We can't love, we can't order our steps right, we can't think right, do right or be right. We must realize we are totally dependent on HIM. He alone can get us back to our first love. Our flesh is too strong and we've made too many mistakes. For so long the church has been wearing herself out, trying to put God in a box, thinking wrongly about how it is supposed to be. Too many people in the church follow more of man's traditions and rules than God's commands. It's either name and claim it or a bunch of rules. Heavy emphasis, as with the Pharisees, is placed on external things by the church because these are things flesh can accomplish without God. But those things which require the work of the cross and the Holy Spirit in our lives, the weightier things, they are neglected, misunderstood, and rarely preached. The result is a tired, worn out, ineffective church that's operating in the flesh.
Sometimes we can get so busy, so set in our religious rut that we just don't see that's why there are so little results. He can't bless or anoint the flesh. Won't do it. But there's a remedy.

If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land. (2Ch_7:14)

Read entire notes HERE.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Offended and Growing Cold

In Matthew 24, Jesus has been at the temple with His disciples, who are boasting in the glory of and showing Him this building and the buildings attached to it. You might wonder why they felt the need to defend the temple. That word 'shew' here comes from a root word that means to prove, demonstrate, to put on display something that belongs to one's self. That's indicative of pride and confidence in that thing. But Jesus turns to look at them and says all these things you see will be torn down. There won't be anything left of them. What a shock His declaration must have been to these disciples. Immediately they get alone with Him and want to know when this will happen and what will be the signs, or indications that these events are near, especially His return, His Presence, and the completion of the age? When will be the end be? What are the indicators that it is close?

First, He warns them about being deceived. Take heed that no one leads you astray, or seduces you from following the straight and narrow way. Many shall come in His name, (in His position, place, professing to be the voice of God, the man of God, claiming they have the anointing of God). Christ means 'anointed One'. There are many things that would lead us astray. There is the tempter, who tries to seduce us, and our own human reasoning which the devil can exploit and manipulate if we are not careful. There is the pull of the world, and again, our own human, carnal desires. And then you have so much corrupted teaching of the Word of God. There are so many religious celebrities out there-which is clearly not Scriptural but they have a disturbingly large following. They make merchandise out of simple people who take it for granted they speak truth and do not take the time to search these things out for themselves.

He said there would be warfare, and I believe that means both in the natural and the spiritual. The spiritual warfare raging against God's children right now is hard, and wearing many out. You are going to hear reports of wars, but don't be frightened for all these things must come to pass. There is going to be nations rise against nations, (racism will be rampant), kingdom against kingdom. People will be hungry and destitute because food will be scarce. Again, I believe this applies spiritually as well as physically. There is a great lack of shepherds in the pulpits actually feeding the sheep. There are those who are, but for the most part, it's a dead letter being ministered by a carnal preacher who is not filled with or led by the Holy Spirit or one who has let the oil leak out of his vessel. There truly is a famine for the Word of God but He promised to feed His children in such times. The key is looking to HIM, depending on HIM not man. And for those who are hungry, He knows how to lead you to green pastures. He knows if you want truth and will lead you to it.

He said there would plagues, disease, pestilence, earthquakes (a great shaking in many places), and there have been literal earthquakes that have been devastating. But there is also a shaking in our lives, too, or will be, in which He will shake those who are His loose from anything they are holding on to that is not Him. The famine, the pestilence, the warfare, the racism, the earthquakes, these He said are just the beginning of sorrows, like the birth pangs of a woman who is about to give birth. He warned them His people would be betrayed, surrendered or given up to prison, to be pressured, persecuted, unfairly burdened, and that great tribulation and trouble, and great anguish. Many would be put to death, and those who are His will be hated, persecuted for being like Christ, for Christ is the One who is hated. Remember He said they have hated me and they will hate you.

It will be a time of rampant racism, with deceivers on every corner, warfare raging all around, famine and hunger which leaves people weak and vulnerable, and everything that can be shaken is being shaken. It's a time when God's people are being terribly burdened, persecuted, accused, hated, with many being slaughtered simply for being like Jesus, belonging to Him, and standing up for what is right. What is the result of such an environment?

Mat 24:10-13 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall grow cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

There are a lot of things happening right now in the news that are stirring up a very unholy wrath in people. I have seen such a vicious hatred and malice directed at this young lady in Florida who was acquitted on charges she murdered her daughter that is is every bit as evil as the crime she was accused of committing. To partake of such will make you unclean. This is something that as terrible as it was, will pull at you, manipulate human emotions and seduce one into speaking evil and thinking evil.

Our government is doing things, saying things and behaving in such a way that makes you wonder if they haven't lost their minds, while they make this country the laughingstock of the world. This also can manipulate human emotions into wanting to get in the flesh and do something, fight against these things with carnal weapons. Flesh always wants to do something, amen? But it will distract you and seduce you away from your primary post and mission which is the kingdom of God and His purpose is to seek and save the lost. Remember, saints, Jesus testified that if His kingdom were of this world, then would His servants fight. Our warfare is not carnal, but spiritual. Don't be drawn away from Him and His life, His purpose by being seduced into getting entangled in this world's affairs. It's not your home if you belong to Him. Don't be moved away from that hope, and from His mission.

At the same time, there are as Jesus warned, false prophets and teachers that are leading people into error. When you think of the great falling away that Paul warned about, look to the pulpit first, not those who have quit coming to church. For the most part, preachers have fallen away from preaching the cross, the new covenant, the necessity of the Holy Spirit having the leadership in our lives. It's all about being open minded and understanding or being so legalistic their holiness is all wrapped up in rules their flesh can be made to keep. I talk to believers and ask them do you know what the cross means in the Christian life? Have you ever heard or understand what the new covenant means? And I'm met with blank stares or admissions that they have never studied it in their Bibles. I can see they've never thought to study these things. Why? These truths are key to an overcoming life in these last days. I believe the enemy has so clouded or distracted people's minds with the lie that these truths are too hard to understand, and aren't relevant that people just don't seek understanding of these things. However, if you have heard BH Clendennen from Beaumont, TX preach, or David Wilkerson preach, as well as the other ministers at Times Square Church in NYC, then you likely have heard these truths. They are so vital.

Jesus said in the last days many would be offended. Why? What's going to be happening that will cause this? What does it mean to be offended? Remember, we aren't to lean to our own understanding, folks. Don't pick up the Webster's Dictionary to look up that word. Pick up a Strong's Concordance and look up the Greek meaning of the word. Remember, it's HIS truth not ours that leads to life. His way, His life, not ours.

That word offended (G4624 skandalizo) is to scandalize, entrap, trip up, cause to sin or stumble into apostasy, because of displeasure. Not pleased with the way things are, or upset about something that is going on and people are manipulated into sin because human emotion is being exploited and provoked by what is happening. It is a stumbling block that put is in someone's way that can or will make them fall into sin or apostasy. What about the great number of people who spent weeks watching this trial unfold in Florida and neglected their Bibles and prayer during that time? Vulnerable to manipulation, to being offended. It can cause them to begin to lose faith in the one they should trust and obey-i.e. God. It can cause you to unfavorably or unjustly judge another. This can also make you indignant, angry with displeasure at something, or someone, and provoke you to act inappropriately. As the remainder of Mat_24:10 says "many shall be offended and shall betray and hate one another."

So let's look at what He's saying will be the result of being offended. It leads to betrayal. That word means also to surrender or give up, to put in prison, or into someone else's hands as Jesus was at Gethsemane thrust into the hands of the Jewish council. To deliver up treacherously to be judged, condemned, punished, tormented, scourged and put to death. That is what the word 'betrayal' here means. Now, you say you are a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ, who came to seek and save the lost-including sinners whose behavior offends you, but you because you are offended by what they've done or got by with, you'd rather call down the fire of God on them? Think about that. It's unlike Christ. It's doing to them what was done to Him by HIS OWN PEOPLE. It's basically turning your back on them and by default handing them over to the devil to be destroyed without a fight or care for their souls. How wicked is that when you see it in the light of truth? Religious people get offended and they disagree over what Scripture means and instead of humbling themselves before the Lord seeking truth, they in pride assume they are right and distance themselves, often with contempt and utter disregard from the offending individual.

THANK GOD He did not treat us this way. They will hate one another-they won't love each other like HE said to. This word means also to persecute, or pursue one who is detested. Now, is this not what ill words do when spoken by someone offended by another? Instead of praying for that person for God to help them, teach them better or deliver them from their sin, they just write them off, judge them, condemn them and pronounce they are worthy of judgment (while meaning wrath) of God and go on unconcerned. I believe this is why Jesus warned about being careful how we judge others. That kind of selfish judgment is done because that person doesn't have the heart of God to suffer being hurt or let down, and would rather continue on their way being offended, telling everyone they know, every time they talk to somebody how this person did them wrong and how they didn't deserve to be so mistreated. I almost want to say "grow up crybaby!" here.

And then others may handle it differently. They may withdraw in bitterness and isolate themselves from those they feel have let them down or offended them. Both reactions are wrong and neither reflect the heart of God. Both are rooted in the selfish human nature which makes them evil. So what happened to the meek and quiet spirit God considers so valuable? How we need this operating in our lives! How many times I've vented my frustration about something or someone to another and later had to repent because who I vented to didn't see or hear Christ but a misrepresented something full of itself, concerned with its own needs and hurt feelings. Corrupt! Oh, Lord help me. Give me grace to face this. Please.

Iniquity is the condition of being without the law, ignorant of it or not, or to behave how one wants with contempt for the law, deliberately violating the law with contempt and utter disregard. Wickedness. Because we see this rampant in our society, it's going to have devastating results. Consider a pole with a concrete ball shaped object secured to the top of it. Now if every day someone with strong arms and determination stood there from daylight to dark pounding that concrete ball with a steel rod, how long do you think it would take to reduce the ball to powder? Now, consider the mind or heart of a true believer being pummeled daily by ungodly events and pressure from powers of darkness. All these terrible things we see happening around us are like that steel rod wielded in the hands of any angry devil. They are things he uses to constantly assault the love and faith of God's people. People get battered and bruised in this warfare, and he is speaking great swelling words to wear out the saints, as prophesied in Dan_7:25. All those disappointments, hurts, let downs, pain; he always reminds us and beats up on us about them and then we, filled with frustration take it out on others if we aren't very careful. For the most part, we are on the defensive instead of offensive. We are licking our wounds instead of fighting back the devil and his lies. And all the time he is whispering, if God's so good why would He let this happen? And that person who is tired, weary, hurting, can easily be influenced if they don't run to the Lord for shelter. But Jesus warned in Mat_24:12 'Because iniquity shall increase, abound, multiply, the love of many shall grow cold.'

This constant assault of a flood of evil will sweep them away if they are standing on a foundation of flesh, of human reasoning, human strength and human effort; they will not be able to hold on. Only those in Christ will be secure. Only those standing in the power of the Holy Spirit will be able to hold on because HE is their strength and He is able to secure them and keep them from falling. The enemy wears God's people out by wars, crusades, massacres, lies, constant attempts to deceive and lead astray, temptations, afflictions, troubles, trials, a constant stream of negative things shot at their minds, their eyes, to discourage and overwhelm them. This word for 'wear out' means to harass constantly, to wear away or wear out, to afflict.

Head to 2Th_2:4 and you not only have the behavior of the person who is called anti Christ but you have the definition of the human self will in every one of us. "Who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God and that is worshiped so the he as God sits in the temple of God (which we are) showing himself that he is (his own) God. He's the opposite, the adversary of all that is revealed as being like or of God. That which provokes a worship of God. He has to rule, he has to have the adoration, the attention, the praise, the glory drawn to himself and away from anything like or of God. Which leaves the beast, his nature, his ways will be worshiped and that is death, destruction and darkness. You have reality TV shows celebrating and glorifying it, you have lawmakers protecting it, and that which is good and right and Godly being vilified as hate speech, as politically incorrect. Calling evil good and good evil. This is where we are. And oh, why aren't we heading with burdened hearts to our prayer closets instead of the streets with inflammatory signs that are only going to stir up flesh and produce more evil? That is not how Jesus did it, folks.

Consider the recent passage of laws allowing same sex marriage in places like NY most recently and the people who supported this law were nearly partying in the streets up there, while many misguided (offended) Christians and religious people were up there holding signs up with vile things on them and inflammatory statements on them, screaming at these homosexuals and lesbians that they were demon possessed, that God hates this, and probably worse, I don't know I wasn't there. But I saw some of the pictures of the signs on the news, some of the people holding them. And I found this too, very offensive. I found the behavior of these people more offensive than those celebrating the passage of this law. They were misrepresenting Christ. And I find that very offensive-even when I have misrepresented Him in any way and I have had to repent for attitudes, feelings, thoughts, words, deeds that were unlike Him.

Sometimes things originate out of our human hearts and minds rather than His Spirit and His life. That is always a bad thing. But unlike many I wasn't enraged by these things, just deeply saddened and grieved. I recognized that sinners who have never known God, never had His light of truth shine into their darkness, they don't even know they are in chains in darkness. I say that because I know what that is like. I remember being bound by drugs, by hate, by fear, shame, and one day at the foot of my bed under heavy conviction, just hitting my knees with a desperate cry for help in my heart that couldn't get past the word "please!" I remember closing my eyes and seeing a vision of a door opening and seeing myself chained up like an animal in a dark corner. I saw this silhouette of HIM standing there, keys in hand, surrounded by this beautiful light I hadn't even known existed. Until that door opened I hadn't even known I was in chains or in darkness. But without a word, He let me know I was free and I heard those chains break and pop and felt them fall off me and I followed Him out of that place and I never want to go back. I guess that is why my heart hurts so much for even the worst of sinners-as He said 'they know not what they do.'

Church people, religious people are very quick to holler for judgment, for punishment, the "God will get you" stuff. Oh, how awful that misrepresents Him. How that trivializes the suffering He went through on the cross for their souls. I pray the Lord help us see this. I look around at the church, and so often what I find is a critical attitude coming from the pulpit, a total lack of understanding of sin and the human heart, an eager willingness to blame people for being sinners, and an inability to grasp why they wouldn't want to serve Jesus. Show them an accurate witness of Him and they will either run to Him or from Him but let them see TRUTH so they can make the choice based on truth not a lie!!!!

What I don't find is the manifestation of Christ or the life changing power of His Presence in our midst to deal with the many things plaguing society and the church in these last of the last days of time. And I grieve and I fret. I know I shouldn't fret and I try not to, I repent every time but I long for Him to show up in His might and power and deliver us from ourselves and from religion and its offended pride.

These are just three things that have been plaguing my mind lately. I have warned people about this dark hatred being directed toward Casey Anthony and her family and how they needed to realize God was willing to forgive those who crucified His only begotten Son and He's willing to forgive her. This dark, malevolent hate being directed toward her will make people unclean. I found myself getting angry when she was found not guilty and wondering but by the grace of God was not swept up this flood of rage and hate being directed at her.

1-Many would be offended, 2-because iniquity would abound the love of many would grow cold. 3-But he that shall endure to the end will be saved.

There is much to be endured, as we consider things that are happening and coming against the church of the living God in these last days. That word endure means to stay under, to remain, to bear the trials, persevere, to abide, patiently suffer these things. He goes right on and says but the Gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world. That is so the lost can be sought and rescued, folks. That is our purpose to reflect and be an accurate witness of Christ so those in darkness can see His life in us that is the light of men. The only way we can endure these things is to abide in Him. To lean heavily on His Holy Spirit for our strength. To stand on His promises that He is able to keep us secure and not let us fall. There is a remedy, there are safeguards against this:

"Great peace have they love thy law and nothing shall by any means offend them" Psa_119:165
His law is His Word and His Word was made flesh and dwelled among us. He left us His Word, and His Holy Spirit to make it alive in us and to us and through us. You cannot love what and who you do not know. The only place we can get the love needed to keep us from abandoning The Way, The Truth and The Life is from above as well. The human heart is not capable of this kind of real and enduring love that will be necessary to stand in these dark days. Rom_5:5 tells us where this comes from and 1Co_13:1 tells us what kind of love this is. We can have nothing that is not given to us. But it all depends on what we are feeding on. What are we feeding on? His life, His truth, which will strengthen and guard our minds and hearts from evil? Or are we feeding our minds on something that provokes our hearts and minds to wrath? We feel we just have to know what's happening? That kind of morbid curiosity is of the flesh and should be denied. It feeds the wrong nature. Even though we might call our response righteous indignation and begin to think and talk like the sons of thunder, like James and John in Luk_9:54? They got so offended over how people rejected Jesus and would not receive Him, they were ready to call the fiery judgment of God down on these people. Jesus quickly called them on that, did He not folks? Is not offended religious pride deadly?

Luk 9:55-56 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, You know not what manner of spirit you are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.

The wrath of man never works the righteousness of God, does it? If you follow the letter of the Word in the wrong spirit you are still wrong. Slow to anger, slow to speak, that's what the Word says. God gave us 2 ears, 2 eyes, but only one mouth, folks. What does that tell you? His people, His own disciples were willing to write these people off, cut them off and judge them and execute them right there on the spot. They were His disciples but they did not reflect His heart at that point, nor His purpose. They could have quoted the Scriptures and said Elijah did it. But that was a different situation and that was not the purpose of this precious Christ who came into our world.

In the Garden of Gethsemane, Peter took a sword, not understanding the Word of the Lord and or the heart of the Lord and cut a man's ear off trying to defend GOD. Consider that. As if this Almighty, Omnipotent GOD needed a puny man's weapon or strength to defend Him? Laughable. You know, flesh always wants to do something, to strike out. That's religious or personal pride that has been offended. That's a desire to inflict pain for pain. Payback. It's also ungodly and carnal. If we truly love Him, and remember where that love comes from-not ourselves but HIM, if we truly love Him, then should we not spend time with Him, in His Word, letting Him reveal Himself to us so we know HIM?

If the people who were in New York holding up hateful signs, giving the devil and the world opportunity and reason to mock His holy Name, His holy Word, had instead been obedient to the Word and brought that offended religious pride to the cross, and hit their knees acknowledging this is a spiritual battle that can't be won with carnal weapons, and began to fast and pray what might God have done? When He comes down by His Spirit He can melt the hardest of hearts and send fear into hearts that will be pricked and brought to repentance. Only the Holy Spirit can convince people of sin, folks. We can preach the truth from every street corner, but if our hearts aren't right, if our motives aren't pure, and in union with His own, He will not anoint that. If He didn't send us to do what we are doing it won't accomplish no matter how man Scriptures we quote. The Word of God preached by someone operating in their own strength, in their own wisdom and understanding will just bring people into bondage and death. It's when that Word is spoken through a surrendered, obedient vessel infused with the life and power of the Holy Spirit, letting the Spirit do the talking that the yoke is broken and captives are set free and blind eyes are open.

He said bless those who persecute you, don't curse them! Don't threaten them with His judgment! You are out of your calling and your place. That's like trying to describe the color blue to a man born blind-it can't be done. They can't see it because they are in darkness. It makes no sense to them. The natural man will not, cannot receive or understand the truths of God or the ways of God. They want nothing to do with Him. Remember Jesus said the Father had to draw them before they could even come? Oh, Father help us see people through YOUR eyes!

He said give place to wrath. That is a poor translation in the KJV. Examine it carefully, in context. In the Hebrew those words mean to give up, bring forth, to deliver up, strike or smite the condition, the location or spot where this wrath is (Rom_12:19). That thing in you that rises up in anger, take that thing bring it into captivity just like an evil imagination and lay it at the cross. It will not, cannot work the righteousness of God for it's rooted in a corrupt human nature.

Oh, Lord we don't understand except You show us and open our understanding to Your truth. Please forgive us for allowing ourselves to get drawn so far out of the way by the sight of our eyes, the pride of our life and the lust of our flesh. Please wash and cleanse us, as Your goodness draws us to repentance in ashes and mourning for our foolishness, for time wasted, for being such a misrepresentation of You while we thought we did You service. Please fix us, Lord, make us like You, and help us be willing to pay the price. Grant that Your love, Your wisdom, Your life which You died to give us be able to flow freely through us to a lost and dying world. Help us remember and understand where we were when You found us, and help us have compassion on those who don't know You. Holy Spirit, please come and take back control of Your church from the hands of man. We repent for our wickedness, we are sorry we presumed to try to run things ourselves.

2Ch 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

The land we need healing is our churches, folks. The world is going down and America with it. Our only reason for being here is to be a vessel Christ can live and work in to seek and save the lost.