Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Power of Fear

God created men, women and children to have emotions. Everybody has emotions.
Love - hate
Joy - sadness
Peaceful - fearful
All these things are powerful, emotional state of mind positions. God wants us to love good and hate evil; but, we can choose to love evil and hate good. God wants us to be full of joy and peace; but, we can choose sadness and fear. Today, we want to ask God to teach us about FEAR. There are two distinctly different definitions of fear.

Proverbs 9:10, "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: and the knowledge of the holy is understanding."
1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

These two scriptures sound as if they are contradictory; but, they are not. In this first scripture, Solomon is talking about respect and reverence toward God. In the second scripture, the apostle John is talking about the anxiety of expecting punishment. If you fear God and keep His commandments, you will not be fearful of His punishment. It is very important that we have strong confidence in our relationship with our Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 3:6, "But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end."
Hebrews 3:14, "For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;"
Hebrews 10:35, "Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward."

In a relationship of love, trust, honor, respect and reverence, there is no room for fear of punishment. We know that if we obey God, He will bless us and not curse us. If we keep His commandments, He will reward us with His great riches. We must have confidence in God and we must have confidence in our own relationship with God. “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hat great recompence of reward.”

When do we cast away our confidence in God and in our relationship with Him? It is when we disobey Him and go lusting after our own wants and ways. When you do that you ought to be afraid of what God can do to you. Jesus told His disciples: "fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." Additionally, you must resist false accusers who will try to steal your confidence in your salvation. We are warned by the Holy Scriptures, "Let no man take thy crown." If you believe false accusations, you will surrender your faith and confidence in your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Many people disobey God for frivolous fears.
They fear someone will not like them.
They fear they will lose their popular reputation.
They fear someone may talk about them in a negative way.
People are afraid they will be judged based on the cost of their clothing.
They are afraid of what someone may think of their hair style, car, house, etc.
People fear poverty more than they fear God.
They fear sickness and suffering and do not trust God for the blessing of divine healing.
People fear the policeman who sees very little more than they fear God who sees all.
What do you fear? What are you afraid of?

Proverbs 8:13, "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate." God wants us to hate evil. He wants us to hate the corruption of pride and arrogance. God wants us to hate every evil way and the mouth that promotes evil.

Abraham was a man who believed in God. He had faith in God and he feared God in a proper way. However, he allowed his fear of man to cause him to tell half the truth when he should have trusted in God and told the whole truth. "And Abimelech said unto Abraham, What sawest thou, that thou hast done this thing? And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not in this place; and they will slay me for my wife's sake."

When you are among evil men, Satan will tempt you to fear them more than you fear the chastisement of God for not being bold for the truth. When you are in the market places of the world, the market place of merchandise or the market place of knowledge, Satan will tempt you to be quite on your testimony of faith in God, because someone may be offended at your religious beliefs. Listen to Jesus, "But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven." "Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels."

If you are ashamed of Jesus, then you are more fearful of men than you are of God. You respect the opinions of men more than you respect the opinion of God. To be a Christian, you must talk like one. You must tell others about Christ. Witnessing to the people of this world is part of your obedience to Jesus Christ. If you fear God, you will seek after Him to know Him and to obey His commandments. Fear God and not men. Bow down before God and do not fear what men may do. Remember: “perfect love casteth out fear: ... He that feareth is not made perfect in love.

If you are afraid of God, you have lost your confidence. If you are afraid of men, you have forgotten the power of God’s punishment for evil.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Joy is Mine

Joy is an emotion produced by happy thoughts. Joy brings strength to the soul and health to the body when you choose to be happy regardless of external conditions. When confronted with false accusations and physical violence, the apostle Paul said, “I think myself happy, because I shall answer for myself…” Joy is purely the result of how you think concerning your circumstances. An attitude of joy is the reward for trusting and believing in the promises of God. Joy is the expectation of receiving something good and desirable, which hope we have in Christ Jesus. We have often been reminded of the words of Nehemiah when he told the people, “the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Obedience will bring joy to the child of God because there is a great sense of safety in the knowledge of being delivered from all harm by the grace of God. When the disciples of Christ went forth doing the will of God, the Bible records, “the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.” Disobedience separates man from the life-line of fellowship with Christ. Sin breaks the power-line to our source of strength and joy. The prophet Joel spoke of this condition: “the vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered; because joy is withered away from the sons of men.” The born again child of God has every reason to be joyful; however, we can let Satan rob us, steal our joy, and make us weak. Sadness will come because we will experience adverse conditions in this life. But, we must not let our circumstances overwhelm us with too much grief and worry. “Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation.” We must press onward and forward in our battles with faith that after we have done all that we should, the Lord will add grace and guide us to victory. With joy we look forward to the joys of heaven. We greatly desire to hear our Savior say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.” In the meantime, let us enjoy the blessings of salvation here and now in this life. If we plant the seeds of righteousness, we will eat the fruit of holiness. Because, “the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance:…” and all the unsearchable riches of Christ. “For ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace: the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Now go forth today and conquer the world because our Captain has already overcome for us and made us overcomers in His power. Rejoice! and again I say, Rejoice!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Live or Die

Bear with me a little this morning. My subject and burden can not be adequately expressed in a few words. Consider the following six scriptures and ask yourself: What do they teach? After you read these verses, let me stir up your mind with a few questions and statements.

Matthew 16:24-26
24 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.
25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
26 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?

John 12:24-26
24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit.
25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.
26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.

Romans 8:13-14
13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

John 10:10-11
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly .
11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.

Mark 10:28-30
28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.

1 John 2:15-17
15 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.
16 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.
17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

Who are we living for? What are we living for? What is the motivation for how we have set the priorities for our daily life? Are we living a sacrificial life for Christ? Are we denying the flesh that we may please our Lord and do His work? I am not writing this to the few people who have consecrated themselves and all that they have to the Lord Jesus Christ. I am talking to the majority of the church who live their daily lives primarily to meet the needs and desires of their flesh in this world. I am talking to the ministers and pastors who are responsible for setting before the people “an example of the believer.” I will provide you with two lists; one consumes your time for the needs and desires of this world, the other is your reasonable service for the Kingdom of God.

Needs and Desires of the Flesh -vs- Reasonable Service in the Kingdom of God
Secular employment -vs- Daily devotions
Time at home - house work -vs- Prayer and fasting
Cooking and eating -vs- Preparing notes and lessons to feed others
Sleeping, resting, napping -vs- Local missionary work – witnessing
Recreational reading -vs- Foreign missionary work – evangelistic
Secular studies -vs- Charity and benevolence
Recreational activities -vs- “Unto the least of these my brothers”
Family games -vs- Family devotions and instructions
Visiting with friends -vs- Church attendance to worship
Lawn and garden work -vs- Church attendance for revival
Home improvements -vs- Bible studies for teaching and learning
Talking about your life -vs- Talking about the Christian life

Can you examine your life style and determine how much time you are dedicating to this world and how much time and effort you have consecrated to the Kingdom of God? Is God satisfied and pleased with how you are spending your time and energy? How do you see yourself, your congregation and your pastor? Do you see yourself and others as being devoted to the work of winning souls and meeting the needs of those around you; or, do you seem to be "sleepy" in spiritual things. Sleepy people do not like to be disturbed. I understand the discomfort of crucifying the flesh and making sacrifices for the Kingdom of God.

In every person's life there comes a time of spiritual awareness of the necessity of consecrating oneself to the work of God. When God calls to us, we have the wonderful opportunity to walk in that abundant life. We may choose the pathway wherein the Holy Spirit leads us into the power of an endless life. This is what the apostle Paul was speaking about in his letter to the Roman saints.

Romans 13:11-14
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent; the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, nor in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

WILL YOU ANSWER THE CALLING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Church of God

The Church of God is the Bride of Christ. Men have built many churches of their own; but, Jesus only built one. The Church of God is not a denomination. It is not the result of a religious division. It is not a sect. It has no earthly headquarters. It is not governed by men except that they be filled with the Holy Spirit and operate under the guidance and control of the Holy Spirit. The government of the church of God rests upon the shoulders of Jesus Christ. The Church of God is a living, spiritual body. Its members are only those who have been born again by the cleansing blood of Jesus Christ and the power of faith and the grace of God. All of its members are equal, although they have different responsibilities. The Church of is not limited to a nation, race or group. The field of labor for the Church of God is the whole world. We reach our hands in fellowship to every blood washed one, but it is not a “fellowship” group. The word “church” is derived from a Greek word which means “called out” because we are called out of this world of carnal affairs to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. The Church of God was established by Jesus Christ and empowered on the day of Pentecost by the Holy Spirit. It has continued since that day and will continue until Jesus returns again to receive His Bride into heaven and present Her to His Father. Only the pure, the holy, the obedient will be part of the body of the Bride of Christ. Sin separates a person from God and His church. Repentance and obedience reconciles a person to God and His church. The Church of God is not a building or a congregation. The Church may meet in a building and where two or three saints are gathered together they form a congregation. Men may be confused on what constitutes the Church, but the Bible is very clear in its description of the Church. When an individual reads the Bible and practices its principles, he will desire to share the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ with others and be gathered together with others who have the same purpose. Attitudes, emotions, opinions and judgments must be submitted to the Holy Spirit who will teach us all things and lead us into truth. Religion is about spiritual matters. Man is a spiritual being; therefore, he is religious. Whatever a man believes is his religion; whether he be an atheist, agnostic, humanist, Budhist, Hindu, Islamist, Christian etc. Since you can not separate man from religion, you also can not remove religion from society or political governments. Where ever men are employed there will be the influence of their religious beliefs. Therefore the doctrine of separation of church and state is foolish and evil. Those who try to force the doctrine of the separation of church and state are doing the work of Satan. The founding fathers of the Constitution of the United States were religious men and did not attempt to hide their belief that Christianity should influence our society, its laws and its governance. The person, the family, the community, the nation who forgets God will be turned into hell.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Process of Repentance and Forgiveness

Revelation 2:20-23
20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.
22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

Revelation 3:18-22
18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

The sequence of the work of salvation:
1. Holy Spirit enlightens the heart to its sinfulness.
2. Holy Spirit brings conviction upon the heart, knowledge of judgment and condemnation to come.
3. Sinner acknowledges his sins with humility, godly sorrow, repentance and a commitment to turn from all his sins.
4. Jesus Christ knows the thoughts and intents of the heart and sees the sincerity of the penitent sinner.
5. Jesus Christ forgives the sinner and brings peace into his heart. He is the Prince of Peace.
6. The sinner is pardoned, justified and restored to a holy relationship with the Father and the Son through the work of the Holy Spirit and the blood of The Lamb.
7. The child of God is privileged to eat at the Father's table and enjoy the marriage supper of the lamb with all the family of God.

Repentance always activates forgiveness and produces reconciliation. Unless the transgressor is accepted and received in fellowship by the mutual works of repentance and forgiveness then either repentance did not take place; or, forgiveness did not take place. A person is not forgiven if he continues to be rejected and denied fellowship. When a person is born again, he becomes part of the bride of Christ; we are married to Jesus. What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. To reject or cut off a child of God from the fellowship of the saints is division. God hates division. Woe to that person who initiates division.

Forgetting should not be a part of the definition of repentance because it is not possible for men and women to erase from their memory certain severe trespasses. Although they may not be able to forget, they can forgive and not demand requital. They can cover that transgression with love and receive the transgressor back into their fellowship. We have been commissioned to practice a gospel and ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
18 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Symbolic Language in the Bible

The divine design and use of symbolic language can be better understood by studying what the Bible teaches concerning this method of communication. Jesus made popular use of symbolic language in His parables. A parable is a fable or allegorical relation or representation of something real in life or nature, from which a moral is drawn for instruction; such as the parable of the trees choosing a king, Judges 9:7-15; the parable of the poor man and his lamb, 2 Samuel 12:1-7; the parable of the ten virgins, Matthew 25:1-13. There are seven parables, symbolic stories, given by Jesus in Matthew chapter 13. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, men make many errors in interpreting the word of God. They spiritualize those things which are intended to be taken literally. They literalize those things which are intended to be symbolic. Many false doctrines are put forth upon the people because some preachers do not have the Holy Spirit to give them understanding. God will help the pure in heart to rightly divide His Holy Word. In fact, the mysteries of God are clearly designed to be hidden from those who are not pure in heart. Two very common false doctrines: 1.) the future millennial reign of Christ on earth, and 2.) Satan was once a good angel in heaven, are misinterpretations of symbolic scriptures.

In Matthew 13:10-17 and v. 35, we learn that Jesus did not intend for the world of sinners to understand the mysteries of God. "Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given." When King David prophesied of the teachings of Christ, he wrote: "Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us." (Psalms 78:1-3). Also, in Matthew 16:5-12, we see that the disciples of Christ did not understand His use of symbols until He explained it to them.

Ephesians 3:3-5, “ How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words, Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;” Revelation 10:7, “But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.”

In all places where the errors of the ministry and the people are not corrected, spiritual silence will continue. It should be the earnest desire of every saint to correct the slightest error in doctrine. Often times a minor error can evolve into a major problem.

Just Sitting By

I believe that the majority of the church is in a sleepy condition and needs to be awakened by the sounding of the gospel trumpet and stirred up to consecrate themselves to the work which needs to be done before Jesus returns. There are many who have disagreed with me and opposed me as they do not believe this. There are some ministers among us today who teach that the Church of God is more glorious and enjoying a greater unity than ever before in the history of the church. This position is unrealistic and in stark opposition to the historical records of the church which describe the work of God in the First and Sixth Seal periods of time.

There is a sequential and progressive nature to the works of apostasy and backsliding. When you become weak in one area, it will weaken your spiritual life in other areas. I believe that the church member’s entanglement with the affairs of this world, the neglect of the Great Commission and a lack of prayer and fasting has led to a lack of faith.
- and to a lack of consecration to the will of God
- and to a lack of obedience
- and to a lack of anointing
- and to a lack of the presence of the power of the Lord to heal.
Luke 9:1-2, “Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.”

Under the inspiration and anointing of the Holy Spirit, The New Testament writers inform us and warn us of the condition of the church immediately prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ. Will we take warning and counsel, or will we turn over in our spiritual slumber and ignore the call to awake to righteousness and the duty of God’s faithful servants.

Sad to say, as it was in the days of Jesus, so it is today. There are many who will hear these words and refuse to wake up to consecrate themselves to the work of God. Many are just “sitting by”.

Luke 5:17-25
17 And it came to pass on a certain day, as he was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Too many people have been trained by the TV to just sit and watch, sit and stare, sit and listen, sit and wait, sit and think about it. It is a time for action. It is "high time" to arise out of sleep and slumber and "go forth" in the power of the Holy Spirit to do the work of winning souls. He that winneth souls is wise. Wisdom comes only from God. "Get up!" "Get right!" and "Go forth!"

It is not my desire to offend people. It is my desire to stir you up to believe everything which is taught in the word of God. Stop being part of that group who are just "sitting by."

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Meaning of Sin

We must understand the meaning of sin.
Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
Sin.noun.1. Transgression of the law of God; disobedience of the divine will; moral failure, esp. as religiously interpreted, as contrary to the will of God; failure to realize, in conduct and character, the moral ideal, at least as fully as possible under existing circumstances; failure to do as one ought toward one's fellow men.

Sin.verb.1. To depart voluntarily from the path of duty viewed as the will, or law, of God; to violate the divine law in any particular, by actual transgression or by the neglect or non-observance of its injunctions; to violate any known rule of duty.

Holy Bible, King James Version:
Romans 4:15, "For where no law is, there is no transgression."
James 4:17, Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin."
Romans 14:23, "for whatsoever is not of faith is sin."
1 John 5:17 "All unrighteousness is sin: and there is a sin not unto death."
Romans 5:13 "(for until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.)"
James 2:23, "Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God."

Understanding the Meaning of Sin:
Sin is a willful and knowingly disobedient act or attitude against a law of God.
Sin is a personal, voluntary violation of the known will of God.
If God has not established an understanding of His will in a person's mind, then a law is not in force and any transgressions which is not known is not imputed as sin; for where no law is, there is no sin.

Willful sin is always a moral failure. We are morally obligated to walk in the light as we receive the light. However, a spiritual weakness may exist without any condition of moral failure. The Bible exhorts us to grow in grace and knowledge. Christians should and do experience a maturing process whereby they realize a spiritual increase by means of self-examination and Holy Ghost correction. To admit a spiritual weakness and to possess a desire to be strengthened in that area is part of the process of spiritual growth.

We do not have any righteousness of our own. Man's self-righteousness is as filthy rags. Abraham believed God and obeyed the commandments of God. Because of his faith and obedience, righteousness was imptuted to him. God imputes or does not impute according to the knowledge, understanding and obedience to His will which He has given to each individual. If we do not have knowledge of a law of God, then He does not impute sin. If we believe and obey, then He imputes righteousness.

Our God is always just, merciful and righteous. It is not His will that any perish but that all come to the knowledge of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord, Master and Redeemer.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Who am I?

Good morning! It is Sunday morning. I am a child of God and I am happy to be part of the family of God. I am not a Protestant. I am not part of any denominational organization. By the virtue of faith in Jesus Christ and the grace of God, I have repented of all my sins and I have consecrated myself to obedience to God. I have been delivered from the bondage of human opinion and I have been set free to take the gospel of my Lord to all the world. The church of God, which I became a part of by being born again, by the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ, is one and the same as the Kingdom of God. I know many theologians and pious persons have debated the distinctive difference between the church of God and the Kingdom of God. But, my simple faith and study of the Bible teaches me that they are synonymous. People who claim to be Christians and do not have the power of the Holy Spirit working in their life to lead them into all truth will always wrestle with the scriptures to their own self-deception. Regardless of the impressive command these men may have of their native tongue and their knowledge of what is written in the Bible, if they do not have power with God to fulfill the Great Commission, they will not experience the fulfillment of the words of Christ: "greater works than these shall he do." Concerning a faithless people who did not believe or trust in the Messiah, it is written, "And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them." I am convinced that we are living in the Seventh and last church era described in the prophetic book of the Revelation. Of our day it is written, "And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write:...I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot." Within the holiness movement in America, it is hard to find people who are "hot." With the vast majority, their faith and their spirit are "lukewarm." I have heard it said too many times, to the discomfort of my soul, "We don't need any D.S Warners in our day." "We don't need any super-spiritual people in our congregations." Perhaps, because of a fear of people becoming zealous and getting out of order, disruptive and controversial, congregations and ministers have erected great walls of protection. These "walls of protection" were built as protection against fanaticism and compromise. However, they have isolated the people from that ardent, spirit-filled fervency which keeps the church on fire for our Lord Jesus Christ. "I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich, and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent." The apostle Paul wrote: "For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power." Jesus told His disciples. "But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth." It is time to wake up and prove all things. It is time to examine who we are and see if we be in the faith or if we have been deceived and put to sleep by the fair speeches of men.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Talents and Abilities

God's numeric inequities do not constitute injustice or unrighteousness. Be very careful that you do not charge God foolishly. We see things and know things only in a partial measure; God sees and knows all. He knows the end from the beginning. Nothing is hidden from our omniscient God. "For the kingdom of heaven is as a man traveling into a far country; who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several [personal] ability; and straightway took his journey." This parable of the Kingdom of Heaven is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. It is given to teach us about how God operates in the church of God. Jesus has given and entrusted us with His goods. He has given gifts according to each person's personal ability. People who have greater "natural" abilities are given greater goods and greater responsibilities. People who have few abilities are given smaller goods and less responsibility. Those who have few abilities are tempted to feel unworthy and to hide their talents and thereby neglect their responsibility. They will not be excused or guiltless. God did not require the man with one talent to produce ten additional talents. He only expected the man to produce an increase. God did not create every person with equal talents and abilities. When you do not understand why God creates or allows a specific condition to exist, do not presume to judge God as unjust or unrighteous. You can not increase in understanding and ability if you do not fully use the ability which you already possess. If you faithfully use what God has given you, then perhaps God will give you additional understanding and ability. Being fearful that God will require too much from you is disrespectful of the kindness, mercy and love of God. God will always supply you with all you need to obey His commands. It is possible to receive gifts from God and then because of your irresponsibility, lose your gift and talent and be cast into Hell. How sad to be cast into the outer darkness of an eternal Hell. The time between your failure and your day of reckoning may be long; but, judgment is sure and it is coming. If you are not using your talents for the Lord Jesus Christ, repent and turn from your fears and failures, today! Give yourself wholly to God and He will bless you with His gifts, both spiritual and physical. Salvation is to them who obey Him. Enter into the joyful work of the Lord. I believe that every person has the ability to win at least one soul to the Lord Jesus Christ. Some have the talents and abilities to win ten, some an hundred, some even greater. Use what God has given you and He will give the increase. Don't keep your seed in the barn. Sow beside all waters and it will not return void. May God bless you richly.

Friday, February 19, 2010

What is Rebellion?

Rebellion against God brings death to the relationship between man and God. Let us examine an often used example. The prophet Samuel told King Saul, "...rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the Lord, he hath also rejected thee from being king." This judgment was not the conclusion of Samuel's discernment. This judgment was a direct revelation from God, for God told Samuel, "It repenteth me that I have set Saul to be king; for he is turned back from following me and hath not performed my commandments." What did Saul do? Saul was given specific instructions in regarding Amalek who was an enemy of God's people. King Saul was told to "...utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not..." However, when Saul and his army saw the riches and valuable things of Amalek, they coveted those things. They took possession of Amalek's chief things which God had clearly commanded to be destroyed. Saul and his people excused their disobedience with the claim that they intended to make a sacrifice to God with some of the valuable spoils of war. Saul was not ignorant of the will of God. He was not in need of instruction to clarify what he was commanded to do. Saul was not confused by the conduct or testimony of his fellowmen. Saul rebelled against the commandments of God which had been clearly made known to him. When you charge someone with being rebellious like Saul, be sure that what you say is a revelation from God and that all the parameters of righteous judgment are present. Remember that God does not alter His will; although in response to men's decisions, He may will an alteration.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

DISCERNMENT vs SURMISING

Discernment and surmising are two very real activities of the mind and spirit. They involve a critical process of examination and evaluation followed by a conclusion. When the Holy Spirit gives a righteous person discernment (He never gives an unrighteous person discernment) and a righteous and merciful judgment is achieved, the person in error will accuse the other of surmising. Conversely, when a person is guilty of surmising (a conjecture based upon scanty evidence) he will emphatically claim that he has discernment. Jesus gave us wise counsel when He said: "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." The Bible clearly teaches us that we are not commissioned to condemn. We are sent forth to teach and instruct men and women in the way of holiness. No person should ever be condemned except by the testimony of two or three witnesses; and they must be proven trustworthy.