Thursday, February 17, 2011

If I tell you a lie, can we still be friends?


An excerpt of my new book, ‘Battling the Son’s of Perdition’

The Advantages of Betrayal- Betrayal Motivated by Lust

The art of betrayal is not as uncommon as we would think. In fact, there are great advantages to be had from practicing this timeless art. I say that with a somewhat cynical frame of mind. The practice of betrayal was introduced in the Garden of Eden when Satan bewitches Eve and convinces Eve that God is holding out on them both. As she listens to Satan, which presented himself in the form of a serpent, Eve begins to aspire as to what they could really accomplish if, in fact, God was withholding the truth from them. It wasn’t long till Eve made her move which involved her husband, Adam. They both in turn, betrayed their very Creator which breathed the breath of life into Adam and brought life unto a woman made from a rib of man. They chose to listen and believe the father of lies, Satan, than to take Father God at His word and trust Him. God found Himself betrayed (but not by surprise) by His very own creation and to this day, Jehovah God has to continually pursue man if there is going to be any reconciliation on the part of man. The big picture here is if man had not fallen in the very beginning, we would have no need of meeting Jesus, the Saviour of the world. Almighty God desired that all men and women meet his only begotten Son, the LORD JESUS CHRIST by faith. The Apostle Paul gives this synopsis.

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:12-21

It seems, when an individual senses that something is being withheld that is deemed advantageous to them, it is this instigation of doubt that introduces the seed of betrayal. From that incident in the Garden of Eden until now, betrayal has become very convenient, competent, and has proved to be a very useful tool of manipulation. In reality, mankind is afraid of God for numerous reasons. And what man is afraid of or doesn’t comprehend, he cannot trust to begin with. Salvation of one’s soul is by faith.

I believe God disclosed a truth to Adam and Eve in the Garden that was hard to comprehend in their perfect environment and only to mention, their mentality, meaning their child-like innocence. The truth that was disclosed was that there is a tree in the Garden and not just any tree. But a special and unique tree that possessed properties of a spiritual nature. By divine decree a tree that could bring about applications of undesirable circumstances in enormous magnitude with eternal consequences. In fact, if they partook of the ‘Tree of Good and Evil’, they would surely die. This tree possessed all the knowledge of truth of this world, the universe and beyond. I feel this new information instilled a fear in their hearts for something that they were not familiar with, thus invoking fear and doubt. Someone once said that ‘ignorance is bliss’. It was the injection of an outsider’s point of view, a third party, if you will allow me to introduce Satan again, which reassured them that God was really attempting to pull the wool over their eyes. I’m sure they felt with the stunt of not revealing the whole truth of the matter, they were insulted and it set the stage to reject the words of truth more readily than ever. The real truth was they had never encountered this creature of Satan before in their realm of animals and reptiles. No doubt, they were well acquainted with snakes and lizards, but never one that was so eloquent with worldly wisdom. Therefore, any injection of subject matter from any source was more believable than the truth itself. Would it not be reasonable to say that truth coming from an outside source in such an unusual manner, had to be more believable than the plain ordinary display of truth from God?

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
Romans 1:18-32

As I understand this act of betrayal, there are three vantage points to be gained. One, the betrayer has in his or her power to manipulate another person with personal gain as the motivator.

Number two, is of the individual which is victim of betrayal was betrayed because it was the only recourse that could end the path of destruction they were so adamant to pursue. The fact remains that anyone that is apprehended and stopped from pursuing their debauchery, wickedness, or self-destruction, deems that they have been betrayed. The individual betrayed cannot see, being blind-sided by their out of control, lusts and desires, that being betrayed was the only act that could actually save them. This scenario is evident today just by focusing on the prison system, and mental hospitals around the country. When an individual is blinded by his or her own demon of demise, sometimes, it takes someone else to assume responsibility out of love or respect for the individual in peril. Perhaps it is a spouse, mother, father, or even their own children, that take the initiative and turn them in to certain authorities that would benefit their recovery process. One would only hope that their act of betrayal, in reality, an act of mercy, would benefit an individual and that some day that person incarcerated would come to their senses and understand that this was the only way if they were to survive.

Looking at this subject of betrayal from a different perspective, love its self, can be a motivator of betrayal. You might ask, how in the world could anyone betray someone they loved? I believe if someone you loved and cared for was in the process of breaking the law, or ignoring their responsibilities to their spouses and cheating on them with some other extra-marital relationship, I feel this type of action would warrant the act of betrayal. I know from personal experience that when faced with the possibilities of betrayal, one would hopefully think about their actions more carefully and choose a better path to pursue. To their advantage, make an about face maneuver. Sometimes, with just the threat of being betrayed, one will change course and the disastrous possibilities will be thwarted. The extreme side of this is when the threat of betrayal is ignored and one continues down the path of destruction. The other party involved has no other recourse but to follow thru with the plan of action if their intended is determined to self-destruct. They are more than willing to carry out this plan of action knowing all along the repercussions of their actions. Desperate times no doubt calls for desperate measures.

Falsehood Number Five

My wife and I have the privilege to minister to many people from many walks of life. There is not a day that goes by that one of us, if not both of us are in a position to counsel and console individuals that come to us via the internet e-mail, phone call, mail, or in person. One day my wife received an e-mail from another preacher’s wife who opened up to us with the disturbing news that her husband was preoccupied with internet porn to the extent that it was incurring tremendous debt. This distraught woman was desperate enough to divulge her feelings of despair to us and pleaded for prayer and Godly wisdom. We both shared in her pain and anguish when we discovered that this problem had been going on for years. Now it was to the point that this desperate wife was looking at the possibility of leaving this husband/ preacher but was strapped financially and didn’t seem to have any option but to weather this storm. She disclosed that she had already left him once before but reconciled their marriage only to be faced again with this attack from the devil. All along this husband, this pastor, is in a state of denial and attempts to play mind games with her. It is evident this man is a chronic covenant breaker. He makes her out to be the unstable one of the family leaving his wife wallowing in guilt. In light of his past, he had to leave another pastorate in a different state due to the fact that his church assembly picked up on his promiscuous ways of living. As I mentioned afore, this distraught wife had already left him at one time before after discovering an extramarital affair. This unscrupulous pastor pursued courting his wife once again into coming back and he would make things better for them both. Now they have acquired another home in another state and he has presumed with his charade of pasturing a flock that doesn’t have a clue to his past escapades. This debauchery is covered up by his domineering power and outlandish salary while controlling the finances and restraining them from the wife. This unscrupulous behavior has left the wife with little or no options and is trying to raise two sons all along the way thru this muck and mire of one man’s sin. My wife and I have made this situation a matter of prayer and our hearts are engrossed with concern for this vulnerable family. My wife asked me the other night as to what I thought this preacher’s wife should do under these circumstances. As I contemplated on these revealed events, I questioned as to how this distraught wife was praying. There is no doubt this husband/ pastor, doesn’t have a clue about prayer as he demonstrates his ability to pursue his lustful desires. I have gathered thru his wicked life style that he is self-centered, arrogant in his sin, and in a state of denial. I discovered she was asking the Lord how she could come up with a way to leave her husband and still support the children and herself. The Holy Spirit started revealing to me other means that would have a better outcome for them. I simply stated that this wife needed to change the request of her prayers towards God. The truth of it is that man’s ways are not always God’s way of dealing with matters of life. We have to look for wisdom that only comes from God in these times of distress and duress. As I have stated before, ‘desperate times call for desperate measures.’ In making the decision to go about prayer in another direction, we can broaden the playing field and give God more liberty to act for the betterment of all involved. In reality, we are not giving God more choices in which to choose from by trying to attempt to put God into a little box of our making, but disclosing to God through prayer that we have a greater understanding of how and why He works in mysterious ways. When we are too close to the flame, our mind is not aware of all our surroundings but focused on the intense emotional strain we are encountering at the moment. When we loose our focus, we do not have the ability to pray correctly and according to the perfect will of God. It is times like these we need help from another source.

26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. 27And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26, 27

I encouraged my wife to pass along my thoughts and concerns as to how to respond in prayer. I also encouraged my wife to pass along that I would have this pastor’s wife to praise God for His continuing mercy and make sure she has all her sins confessed before a righteous and holy God. She doesn’t want to have anything in the way that would hinder her heart’s desire before the God of the universe. Ask God for wisdom and grace first of all so our eyes will be opened by the Spirit of God to see the whole picture and just not the small place in which we are standing. The Lord just might have us go through this trial of faith a long ways before He intervenes on our behalf. Sometimes, God desires to purge us with fire and cleanse us, way before He moves on the intended. Remember, we are the one that has presented ourselves to the Throne of God, not the enemy we are coming there for. I encouraged her that we must be prepared to make this painful journey with strength, courage, and trust that God knows what He is doing. The Scriptures encourage us to pray for our enemies as to heap coals of fire upon their heads. At this point, this selfish husband/ pastor, is the enemy in the camp. This soul searching will bring about a repentant heart for the one that is praying for wisdom and proves to God that we do not have a vindictive spirit about us.

Trust me when I say, God will search the heart and will know were we truly stand in His light. Instead of asking God to show her the way to escape and bring about shame and disgrace to the church assembly and only to mention the children and herself; I would have this distraught wife to pray and ask God, if it be His will as to remove this backward husband from the scene of life and restore this congregation and family with dignity and tranquility once again. By now you are asking, are you asking God to kill him? Earlier on, it was disclosed to me that it is a reality that this man has suffered a heart-attack some years back and that he still suffers from ill health. Believe me, as I see it, this man is playing with dynamite in attempting to tempt God with this debauchery. It is like he his flaunting insubordination in God’s face and saying, catch me if you can. If, in fact this husband/ pastor truly is a child of God, being taken off the scene is not deemed as unreasonable, for this request would transform him into the presence of Father God and his only regret of not serving God as a good steward. Remember, we have to see things as God sees things thru the big picture and events that transpire thru His providential care of us. We forget that God is on both sides of life and life eternal. The term and state of death has an entirely different meaning to God and it isn’t one that we would so readily understand. Let me put it this way, how can we stand in front of God and be dead as we know it? Understandably, death is a transition from one state of being to another. To be brief, I feel God’s definition of death is an eternal separation from Himself and His Son who is the entire embodiment of all that we can conceive of life. Death equals separation in any instance.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a man keep my saying, he shall never see death. John 8:51

I look at this situation like this, on one hand, if the wife in despair asks God to make a way of escape for her and the children, it is they that will take the blunt end of criticism of society and become a scandal from the church’s point of view with her being the one who left their poor and unknowing pastor and will be forced to live on the system of welfare while waiting for the alimony checks to arrive in the mail. Only to mention the children, who will know that their father still lives and only sees him from time to time with the opportunity to tell the children dirty little secrets about their Mom and try to sway their allegiance. As I have said in the past, this is no way for a child of God to live out the rest of their days in shame and reproach. Presumably, this man started out with good intensions and would never have compromised, but it happened none-the less. Probably because he listened to Satan and allowed himself to be lead down the breadcrumb trail of deceit telling him-self all along the way, I can stop this anytime I get ready. He allowed himself to be taken as the Old Testament prophet Balaam; he became a man of God for hire. Many have fallen to that old trick of Satan, and many more will soon follow.

If the distraught wife asks God to have His way in the matter and deems to take this man off the scene, the family and the universal church will have been saved from shame, disgrace, and social indignation. Let us take a closer look at the advantages, if you will. First of all, the widow of the husband/pastor will be comforted by the church assembly and full compensation will be awarded to her and the children for the rest of their lives, presumably if they stay in good standing with God and this particular church assembly.

Second, the scandalous escapades of the husband/ pastor will be stopped and with his demise, the rumors and potential shame forthcoming will be thwarted for the Church not to endure. For all involved, peace and tranquility will resume once again and these good people can resume their lives, as God would have it to be.

There is one thing we have to examine before we can close this chapter and it is the perfect will of God. What if, God sees fit not to take this husband/pastor off the scene but bring about a work in this man’s life that all can witness too. As we can see, it is easy to ask God for the things we might consider best for us, and what is best for others. But, just what if this is not the intended will of God. We seem to look for the easiest way out of a situation and the path of least resistance. From the scriptures, we can attest that it is the will of God that “all men come to repentance.” Yes, this also includes the saved as well as the un-saved. I, for one, believe prayer changes things and prayer from a contrite spirit will motivate God faster than anything else in the world. God wants to hear from His children and sometimes we can really get to know Him better only through the pains of trial and hardships. God never promised we would have it easy here on earth, but He did promise He would never leave us or forsake us, no matter what. That means He goes with us into the fire and comes with us out of the fire only to be purged, purified, and fit for the Masters ultimate gain. How are we to console others and understand their feelings if we have no experience in the matter? We live and experience for the consolation of others. In time, your turn will come and you will need someone to share your trial of faith too. As for this husband/ pastor and his wife, if she truly trusts God for what is best for her, her home, her children, and the Church, she will ask God for more Grace and wisdom and persevere as a good soldier of the cross. Her rewards will be waiting for her on the other side of Glory with the Father and the Son of God.

I would like to bring this thought to our attention; God is in the business of reconciliation or bringing about change. He has the ability and power to change our minds, our hearts, and our eternal spirit. It is within His realm of power and majesty to turn undesirable situations around for the Glory of God. Remember, Christ Jesus was betrayed and He as a professional can console you if this comes your way. God is in the miracle business and He can make things happen that no doctor or medicine can. Doctor Jesus is always in the office of interceding for you and in time, your prescription will be ready to be administered to you with results in which Father God will be pleased for His Honor and His Glory.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

If I tell you a lie, can we still be friends?

Part Four

Falsehood Number Four

Once again it has come to my attention that the church seems confused with just what the qualifications of a pastor really are by Biblical standards. I had a young lady write me lately with grave concerns that her local assembly wasn’t going to follow the Bible on choosing the right man of God. Her church had just lost their pastor who was looking for greener pastures. I believe she had enough insight to see what lay ahead and she was deeply concerned with what she saw. I don’t know what it means looking for greener pastures, considering that I believed God calls or matches the man for the flock that is in need. I cannot understand how it is that a so called man of God can just pull-up and move out when he went through arduous times of just getting where he is. Just getting the education that the denomination requires today is enough to push any man to the brink of mindless tedium and burnout. He hasn’t even started his career when he is pushed and prodded into the mold of the denomination, no matter which one. It is irrelevant considering they all believe they are the only one that wields the truth. Being indoctrinated by the denomination is just the first phase of many. After jumping through all the whoops to obtain proper credentials, then appears the mirage of being placed where the denomination desires. Just what he was called to do, I wonder. It seems to me that after seminary, the calling is lost to grandiose speculation of what the ministry should be by other than the man of God himself. How does the denomination assume it knows better than the LORD JESUS about whether or not the man is qualified? Much less, where it is he is supposed to go. How can a seminary better equip a man that has unction from Almighty God? I fear what the denominational seminary has done for the man of God is to teach him to question God. The man of God is trained not to trust in his LORD but trust the denomination instead.

According to this enlightenment, I am sorry to report that the Disciples and Apostles that the LORD JESUS called would not be qualified today to perform the ministry today’s congregations are in need of. Through further investigation, it seems that the Apostle Paul was the only one qualified by today’s denominational standards. Paul had high marks from his teachers which had very high aspirations of Paul and his future influence of Judaism. No doubt, Paul had a sure grip on the Mosaic Law. In today’s church I feel sure that he would have been rejected though on the grounds that it was God alone that gave Paul his ‘insider’s information’ and the direction in which he should lead the new found Church which Judaism didn’t have a clue was in the making. The mark against Paul now, is that he was pulled aside from the influence of religious dogma and was re-programmed by the Holy Spirit on the backside of the Arabian Desert for three years. Equipped by the Holy Spirit, Paul had in his arsenal of gifts the gift of tongues. Paul was known to speak fluent in seven different languages, capable of reaching far into countries which had never heard the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul was sent into the mission field with orders straight from Almighty God to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ, organize these new converts into a local assembly, and branch out from where they started into the entire world.

It was a well planned and organized task that God gave Paul until religion and its denominations gained the upper hand and revamped the commission from God. Today, the man of God must be loyal to the denomination rather than be loyal to the LORD JESUS. It seems that if the man of God does not adhere to the regiment of the denomination, he stands to lose all the privileges they offer. For the man of God, fear of losing the pulpit alone would make him stop and think before he does what God would have him to do. There is a lot at stake for the man of God which hangs in the balance. I dare say to speculate a little, there are many missions or journeys that God desires for His army of called men. Missions of God and His Kingdom are wanting and in need of fulfillment. The LORD JESUS is searching for men who will sell out to Him and Him alone.

“Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:24-26

From my perspective, it seems that many denominations and their local assemblies do not possess the ability, much less the spiritual insight, to choose the man God wants for that particular congregation. I ask another question. Who is it that is doing the screening for the LORD JESUS? Who are these so called qualified men and just what do they look for in a man of God? Who are these people to assume they know better than God himself? God alone knows the intensions of a man’s heart.

I have come to the conclusion the reason many local assemblies do not have a pastor is because these usurpers’ enjoy their new found power of guiding the flock. They have bypassed the pastor/ shepherd and intend on running the church like a business. I mean after all, it does generate a lot of money and acquires many landholdings. Let us face the truth, these men and women are business minded people. Unfortunately, they have adopted the Human Resources ideology of the world’s corporations. On the other hand, the local assemblies which have been manned by the denomination appointed and approved man or woman, orchestrates the local assembly as a corporation would do and uses the same criteria to govern the man or woman for the job. I fear that Holy Ghost conviction and spiritual insight has been thrown out the window. I wonder do they realize that they will be held accountable to God alone? Would you really want that responsibility to rest upon your shoulders to be accountable to answer to God for the welfare of His people when in fact, God has a man handpicked instead to do His bidding? I am convinced they have no understanding of just what the calling from God entails for the called out man. There again, they assume they know and that is why some local assemblies flounder for years in search for their man. As I see it, no one fears Almighty God Jehovah anymore.

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.” Colossians 1:12-20

I guess by now you can tell by this writing, I do not follow the drum beat of any denomination. But like the Apostle John, a humble nobody, follow rather the heartbeat of my LORD and SAVIOUR, JESUS the CHRIST, the SON of GOD.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

If I tell you a lie,can we still be friends?

Part 3

As we continue pursuing the untruths propagated from denominational pulpits today, we will be encouraged to take a closer look at church finances and the practices in which the flock is coerced into giving of the wealth and finances. I have always felt we live in a day and age where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is for sale and everyone who is talented enough makes a living at selling out the Kingdom of God. But it just didn’t start on my watch or in my lifetime. This selling out of the Kingdom of God started back in the Apostles time. So, this practice of fleecing isn’t really anything new just polished to perfection by all denominations, here and around the world.

“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.” Book of Act 2:38-47

“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness. And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common. And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all. Neither was there any among them that lacked: for as many as were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the prices of the things that were sold, And laid them down at the apostles' feet: and distribution was made unto every man according as he had need. And Joses, who by the apostles was surnamed Barnabas, (which is, being interpreted, The son of consolation,) a Levite, and of the country of Cyprus, Having land, sold it, and brought the money, and laid it at the apostles' feet.” Book of Acts 4:31-37

Falsehood Number Three

In the above Scripture reading we have eyewitness accounts of what happens when the Holy Spirit of God is poured out on people who were in other ways before, sinners, selfish, full of debauchery and wickedness. At this particular time, Religion hasn’t had an opportunity to unveil itself until disgruntle religious sects become jealous of the Christian’s winning over new converts. Religious sects then and now demand death to anyone who proselytizes. Try to convert a Muslim and see what happens. But the Gospel of the LORD JESUS took hold in their hearts and that is where everything changed for those who partook of God’s Holy Ghost. Yes, I know for a fact, when you receive Christ as LORD and SAVIOUR your heart becomes so enlarged with love for others it is most overwhelming, to say the least. I was just like these new converts as they were enjoying their new found freedom in Christ Jesus.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” II Corinthians 5:17

This Scripture gives us a full explanation of how a person can be transformed into someone alien to the world and its ways. From the outset, we who are born-again have a completely different way of thinking, a different vocabulary, and a different walk in this world. It is like we have a different culture that is unknown to the world. For a truly born-again child of Almighty God, we can never fit in and will have a terrible time conforming to the ways of the world. According to Scripture, the fighting of this world isn’t our fight for we are just sojourners, passing thru. We soon find out that the closer we get to the LORD JESUS the further we get from the world and its gravitational field of influence. The world perceives us a weird and unmanageable people. But unfortunately for the Kingdom of God, old Satan discovered a way to gain the upper hand on Christian assemblies. Danger was looming on the horizon. Satan isn’t going to just sit back and do nothing. This warrants an all out attack from hell. Satan planted subversives in our midst going along with and taking advantage of our big bleeding hearts for the poor and destitute, our deeds of forgiveness, and our love for our enemies. This became very lucrative for those who have ulterior motives of the Kingdom of God.

“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul: So that from his body were brought unto the sick handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from them, and the evil spirits went out of them. Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, we adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? And the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and overcame them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this was known to all the Jews and Greeks also dwelling at Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.” Book of Acts 19:11-17

Pretenders might flourish for a while, but sooner than later, they begin to expose their intensions by their evil deeds being carried forth through the flock of God.

“But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.” II Peter 2:1-3

I have witnessed pastor’s stand in the pulpit Sunday after Sunday preaching and teaching law and grace mixed. I discovered for myself that if anyone wanted to know the truth, all they had to do was follow them in the Scripture and the truth will be revealed to them. These men that take charge of the flock of God preach that tithing is mandatory for all Christian’s if you want and desire the full blessing of Almighty God in your lives. Anyone who reads their Bible for themselves will know this is not the case. The Apostle Paul gives
the Body of Christ the guide lines for giving and it is recorded for all of us to study and have the Holy Spirit to show us the truth.

“But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work: (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever. Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;…” II Corinthians 9:6-13

Paul is saying that graceful giving with no strings attached is better before God than having ulterior motives. Being an expert of the Mosaic Law, Paul would never succumb to mixing the two. Paul was also enjoying his freedom in Christ. To teach Old Testament tithing would be mixing law and grace. Paul certainly steered clear of that spiritual trap. It is simply like this. If we give of our personal resources, which means our time, money, or our personal property out of necessity or grudgingly, we give in vain because it is bound by law and not of grace. On the other hand, if we give of all we have because we love others and are motivated by their plight in life, the Holy Spirit moves us to action and performs the doing of it. It doesn’t have to be wrung out of us as the preachers believe. Believe me; God has a way to motivate me when the time comes. Christian’s should know in their heart that all they are and all they have in possessions are the LORD’s and we are just stewards of what God has blessed us with in ways of our talents, which is being able to some things better than others.

I have asked the question, will the Kingdom of God suffer because I fail to give properly? The answer is NO. If in fact I do fail to give when God tells me to, I stand to lose. The Kingdom never loses to anything according to God’s perfect will. Here is one explanation. There are some children of God that are very talented in making clothes. Some are very talented in building structures. Some are very talented in making beautiful music to sing before the congregation and before the LORD. And there are some more gifted in banking, financing, and money exchange, than most are able to do. By the power of the Holy Ghost within the body of Christ, the Body of Christ has its needs met by these gifted people. If there is a need within the Church would not Almighty God already have known about it? The fact is the need, whatever it may be, will be met by able children of God and not by children who don’t have a clue to how to begin to meet the need. God isn’t going to ask something of you without first supplying the talent, materiel, and a Holy Ghost conviction to lead you to obedience. In short, a truly born-again person doesn’t need a pastor to lead them to perform the right thing. I am so weary with these pastors who try their best to be my Holy Spirit. That is the Holy Spirits job to move me and motivate me to perform whatever is within my realm of ability. My LORD will not ask me to perform something I cannot do because He knows my ability and resources within my sphere of living. Would you ask someone to pilot an airplane if they were not qualified? Would you ask someone to teach Sunday school if they were not qualified? Or would you ask someone to give when they were in need themselves? You see, we do not have the ability to see the heart much less, what that heart is in need of. The truth is all the pastor was called to do was to be obedient in preaching the WORD of GOD in season and out of season, when it’s popular and when it isn’t popular. That pastor cannot see my heart, much less, my need, but my LORD can and does. In short, my LORD sees the need, supplies the need, and gives me the ability to share what I have with others. But first, the need of the individual has to be met by the LORD. I would venture that there are more needy people within the church walls that really have needs that are not being met by the church. I have seen this with my own eyes.

“Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things. I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.” I John 2:18-21

Yes, a born-again child of God will know the truth and has no need that any men teach him if the individual would stay in the Bible and discover truth for themselves.

“These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you. But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.” I John 2:26-29

That’s right Christian, you need no one to teach you when you can read it and study it for yourself. The LORD has blessed you and me with a sound mind and the Holy Spirit to guide us. The LORD intends for us to think for ourselves and read for ourselves what it is that God would require of us. In our day of false preachers and teachers it would pay great dividends to read your Bible for yourself and get your understanding straight from the Holy Spirit which lives within you. God’s Holy Spirit will not lie to you but a man will, who is motivated by the desire of his flesh.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for He dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.” John 14:17

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

If I tell you a lie, can we still be friends?

Part 2

As we continue this message on the false teaching of our time, let us consider for a moment those who stand by the truth of the written Word of God. Standing by the truth has proven to be above all things, costly. There are a few who will adhere to the truth, but for the most part, most people won’t because it means giving up worldly possessions, social status, and sometimes, your lively hood and your home is at stake. It costs because you choose to stand for what is right and what is right isn’t always popular. In fact, the popularity contests are out the window when the decision is made not to compromise a Christian individual’s Holy Ghost convictions. In most cases it starts persecution, unrest, and segregation amongst so- called friends. In some extreme instances, I have had to separate myself from professing Christian’s because of their worldliness and cavalier life style. The Christian doesn’t have to do anything but follow the LORD Jesus and eventually they will discover that they cannot walk the same road as the world. The LORD Jesus demands separation.

“And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” II Corinthians 6:16-18

I do want to be careful as not to cast stones around a lot of windows. But, I cannot apologize for the Word of God because it would be foolish on my part to apologize for something I didn’t do or say. I am just quoting the LORD because He is the final authority. Only a fool would begin to deny the authority of the living God. Not everyone in the Kingdom of God has wicked intensions as these false prophets, preachers, pastors, and evangelists of our time. I am convinced like this, while reading this message the Holy Spirit of God will identify those who are in error. I don’t have to resort to call a name, which is the Holy Spirit’s prerogative. As the Apostle Paul says;

“God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, that thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.” Romans 3:4

Almighty God is more than capable to identify those who are false and those who are true to God. So, let us continue with the exposure of the deceits of the false prophets. The main purpose of this writing is to expose the deeds or works of fraud, deceit, and falsehoods; you can decide just who the individual is. Remember this verse of Scripture so it will guide you in your search.

“Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.” Matthew 12:33

Falsehood Number Two

There are many denominations that preach and teach that a born again Christian can lose their salvation. I was associated with one of them in my early years as a new Christian. The Bible is very clear on this basis of security of salvation. There are many who will contend with this doctrine of eternal security. Their main stance against it is the idea that eternal security gives license to the believer to commit sin with no repercussions. Well, we know that is not true because of the Scripture to back it up.

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:7-9

Yes, when a born-again Christian fails in their daily walk with the LORD Jesus, there are repercussions. The first one is cutting off the communication with God until the proper confession with humility is made to restore communication properly. I have always felt that these people are attempting to become my judge and rule my life with the law. The main problem, as I have mentioned earlier, stems from people making false professions, therefore, when the heat of persecution is turned up, and it will be turned up by the LORD, many fall by the wayside. The health, wealth, and prosperity propagators have proven to be the biggest attraction and instigator by getting people to profess Christ as LORD by peer pressure and emotional hype. For the record, the born-again Christian stands to lose their rewards in heaven if they ensue the sin in their lives. This scenario is dealt with in Scripture.

“Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.” I Corinthians 3:12-15

On the other hand, people who make false a profession of faith or play church, stand to lose their eternal soul in a devil’s hell. I believe that unconfessed sin is the number one cause of Christians failing in their personal relationship with their LORD and Saviour, Jesus Christ. According to the Gospel of John, a truly born-again child of God cannot lose their salvation. There is ample Scripture to back up this claim.

“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.” John 10:10

Let’s look at what the Apostle John had to say from God concerning the believer’s security in their daily walk with the LORD.

“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you, that ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. John 6:35-37

“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. My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father's hand. I and my Father are one.” John 10:27-30

“Henceforth I call you not servants; for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth: but I have called you friends; for all things that I have heard of my Father I have made known unto you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.” John 15:15-20

The reality of the truth is this; if in fact a person falls from grace and dies in their sins, just whom of the living is going to know where they go in eternity. Unfortunately, those are presumptuous, who place themselves on a platform and pretend to be the judge. We are all alike in this case where we tend to be the judge, jury, and the executioner, without knowing the full extent of the truth, and without having access to an individual’s heart. In short, we are not qualified to judge anyone but ourselves, standing in light of being judged also. I am encouraged to judge myself on the basis that it is I and the LORD that sees the intensions of my heart. Anyone else, I don’t have anything to go on but the fruit they bear out in the open for all to see. The Lord encourages us to become fruit inspectors, not judges.

The Apostle John knew what it would cost him to stand for the truth. He was persecuted and placed in isolation on a prison island. In one of his writings, the Book of I John, he describes just what it is to be a born-again child of God. John describes the attributes of a true Christian and how to identify the false ones.

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full. This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” I John 1:4-10

In short, true Christian’s seek the truth and the light, they shun evil and falsehoods. On the flip side, false Christian’s seek their own glory, weave deceit, and manipulate people for their personal gain. You might know of these people personally because they have infiltrated every assembly, many stand in the pulpit. I have always said that Satan is the most faithful of the church goers because he has so many he manipulates in the congregations. They seek to slate their lusts using the church as their cover. Their love for each other is limited and when it is convenient. They harbor militant tendencies that can lead to war at home, on the job, with neighbors, and even with other countries, when suitable.

Apostle John continues to distinguish between the true Christian and the false individual. I say individual because they don’t’ possess Christian tendencies but instead possess traits of selfishness and high-mindedness. These selfish individuals will not adhere to the commandments of the LORD because that means they will have to give up something in which most are not willing. On the other hand, a true, born-again Christian will surrender all to serve their master, their LORD, their personal Saviour. You can know a Christian by their acts and works motivated by love for others, including their enemies.

“And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning. Again, a new commandment I write unto you, which thing is true in him and in you: because the darkness is past, and the true light now shineth. He that saith he is in the light, and hateth his brother, is in darkness even until now. He that loveth his brother abideth in the light, and there is none occasion of stumbling in him. But he that hateth his brother is in darkness, and walketh in darkness, and knoweth not whither he goeth, because that darkness hath blinded his eyes.” I John 2:3-11

By now you are probably asking what being different means concerning security of one’s Salvation. I’ll say it like this, if you don’t understand the difference between the true Christian and the false individual, you are most likely to be of the false individuals because there is no distinguishing traits in which to gauge by, not judge by, mind you. A true born-again Christian will possess traits of his LORD Jesus and of his God Jehovah, gracious, forgiving, and above all, showing love towards all. The unsaved, unregenerate soul will be empty of all these and searching desperately to fill the vast void within themselves which makes them outwardly and inwardly very selfish beings. The unregenerate soul that professes to be a Christian will strive with the Brethren to be popular, to be first, and to be noticed in public places, to compete with other Christian’s in the music, in the teacher’s spotlight, and also contend with the pastor. These are not very hard to spot in the congregation if you know what fruit to look for. Would you know the difference between a fig and a palm date? You might have to take a second look but you will be able to see the difference and taste the difference when you partake of their presence.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” I John 2:15-17