Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WHY DO WE SING?

Singing is the sound of victory.
If you have no victory, you feel no need to sing.
Singing is the sound of praise, thanksgiving and worship.

From the beginning of time societies, nations and people have been identified by the songs which they sing.

Song poets write songs and make music to express their feelings and beliefs.
You can know the doctrine of those who write songs. They teach doctrine and propagate their beliefs in the songs which they write and sing.

The songs we choose to sing and the music we use to express ourselves ought to reflect what we believe. In many religious assemblies there is a certain hypocrisy in the people because they sing songs which teach doctrines they do not believe. You should not sing lies. If you don't believe it, don't sing it. Some people sing "Victory in Jesus" while they are still in bondage to Satan.

Psalms 100
1 Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands.
2 Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
3 Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
5 For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

King David was a song poet before he became King of Israel.
David sang about his faith in God. He sang songs which tell of God’s promises, blessings and divine protection. These songs become the heritage of the people of God. We are known by the songs which we sing.

David commands us to sing. It is the will of God that we sing the songs of Zion.
God deserves the praise and worship which sound forth from these songs.

Ephesians 5:19-21
19 Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.

Paul is exhorting the children of God to worship the Lord in psalms which is a song accompanied with a stringed instrument. There are several modes of expressing ourselves in singing. We can do it with or without stringed instruments or trumpets.

The songs of a particular society of people may be colored by customs but they must be constructed in the beauty of holiness.

Colossians 3:16-17
16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

“Psalms” SEC NT:5568 psalmos (psal-mos'); from NT:5567; a set piece of music, i.e. a sacred ode (accompanied with the voice, harp or other instrument; a "psalm"); collectively, the book of the Psalms: KJV - psalm. Compare NT:5603.

“Psalms” SEC NT:5567 psallo (psal'-lo); probably strengthened from psao (to rub or touch the surface; compare NT:5597); to twitch or twang, i.e. to play on a stringed instrument (celebrate the divine worship with music and accompanying odes): KJV - make melody, sing (psalms).

The apostle Paul’s use of the word psalms in these letters should be evidence of the approval of God upon the use of musical instruments in the worship service of God.

Isaiah 5:11-12
11 Woe unto them that rise up early in the morning, that they may follow strong drink; that continue until night, till wine inflame them!
12 And the harp, and the viol, the tabret, and pipe, and wine, are in their feasts: but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hands.

The word “viol” in this passage is sometimes translated psaltry but in this place it is translated viol because I believe the sound of blowing over the opening of a vase is intended. It is a woeful sound which does not express the joy of the Lord and the beauty of praise.

Amos 6:3-6
3 Ye that put far away the evil day, and cause the seat of violence to come near;
4 That lie upon beds of ivory, and stretch themselves upon their couches, and eat the lambs out of the flock, and the calves out of the midst of the stall;
5 That chant to the sound of the viol, and invent to themselves instruments of musick, like David;
6 That drink wine in bowls, and anoint themselves with the chief ointments: but they are not grieved for the affliction of Joseph.

Notice the expression “that chant to the sound of the viol.” This is the influence of a woeful sound upon the mournful and chanting sound of evil spirits. They invented musical instruments like King David; but their hearts and spirits were different from David.

Some music has a good spirit and some music has a bad spirit.

We ought to study the subject of music, worship and praise so that we may be properly instructed to know what pleases God.

Our world is full of people who do not and can not praise God because they have forgotten God. They do not know God, neither do they recognize His goodness or His works. Too many people have “three sneers for everything and three cheers for nothing.”

Psalms 33:1-4 Praise is comely
Psalms 47:1 clap your hands
Psalms 98:4-6 make a loud noise
Psalms 107:21, 22 Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of Men! And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.
Psalms 149:1 Sing unto the LORD a new song
Psalms 150:6 Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord.
Ezekiel 21:8-14 smite thy hands—smite thy thigh and cry and howl
Luke 17:15-16 with a loud voice glorified God
Luke 19:37-40 the stones...cry out
Acts 2:14,15 are not drunken, as ye suppose
2 Corinth 5:13 we be beside ourselves
Eph 5:18-21 psalms, hymns & spiritual songs
Colossians 3:16 psalms, hymns & spiritual songs
Hebrews 2:11,12 in the midst of the church
Hebrews 13:15 the fruit of our lips
Revelation 5:12 saying with a loud voice
Revelation 6:10 cried with a loud voice

There is a time to be silent and there is a time to cry aloud.
There is a time to meditate quietly and a time to sing loudly with the voice of praise.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The Church of God One Body Is

The following letter is just one witness of the faithfulness of God in helping ministers and saints see the need of UNITY OF THE SPIRIT among the children of God. Much too long have saints been divided by men who have had strong personal opinions about how to build and control the church of God. We have suffered greatly in this Evening Time Apostasy. I believe the time is drawing near when the church and the world will hear the loud voice of "The Seventh Angel" ministry as they declare the truth in righteousness and holiness. If you share the vision of the minister who wrote and published this letter, you may request his contact information from me and I will give it. Pray for one another that you may be healed. Bro. Jim Storts.


To All Pastors, Ministries, and Gospel Workers,

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ. It seems that we are in the midst of the greatest number of divisions and schisms the church has ever known. But even in these times, we rejoice that God has not left himself without a witness. There are souls of every nation, race, and tongue that long to see a visible unity. God has left himself a remnant throughout the world, which in comparison to the planet's total population is very small, but is still large enough to fill us with great excitement. Brethren, we are on the brink of a GREAT REVIVAL ! The works of the faithful, such as E. Faith Stewart, Eldon Henry, and W. Brown, that have gone before us in reaching to the world, still impact souls today throughout other countries such as India, Cuba, Philippines, Nigeria, Honduras, Mexico, China, Egypt and many others. God is faithful! These faithful ones, whose vision was not one of earthly reward, gave of themselves and worked for the salvation of souls. The recognition of men, the power struggles of proud and preeminent religious leaders, the schisms and feuds of church-goers, was not what their vision and goal was. God help us to put aside the things that would distract us from our duty and give ourselves for this same unparalleled calling.

The camps and groups that we now see, are best known to us by the names of men who head them. The only difference of one group from the other is the strong personal convictions or preferences of the men that head them, while each call themselves the true Church of God. These groups are taught by the men that head them, that other groups are false, backslid, unsaved, and Babylon. Men lording over the flocks of God's children and ruling the congregations with a heavy hand, ministers using extortion and excommunication threats as the Roman Catholic church did during the Dark Ages, should not be named once among us! How all our hearts weep for the precious God-fearing souls under such leadership. There are poor souls doing their best to obey these leaders, trying to be all they can for God. Some of these mislead ministers are now spreading distrust and lack of confidence about anyone else's salvation who is not part of their group, making sure that their control is not questioned.

Thank God for those of us who have become awakened to our obligation of being one that the world might believe that God sent Jesus to save souls from sin. He has a church whose hearts are filled with the love of God which is shed abroad by the Holy Ghost. We are those that see the field all white and ready to harvest. We see the broken homes in a bad world's economy, dysfunctional families who lack the skills to be loving husbands, wives, parents , and children. We see the prostitutes and drug addicts with no ambition or skills to enter the work force. We see the children who are left without any direction in life, unwed mothers without any help other than the welfare system, the constant rise of molested and abused children with no place to run for real help. We see the devastation of Satan's dismal sway on souls. We are those who believe that we must be One Body, as great a force as possible, to reach out to this world. We are in a day when souls the world over are searching for something better than what they have and what they have been shown.

Many, who are in opposition to this call for visible unity, are using slanderous rumors with no foundation to discredit this effort. The world needs to see us in great numbers living holy, upright, filled with a love for one another and for all souls. God is working a great awakening among us. It is a Revival that is long overdue. It is a Revival being brought about by God, who is so graciously working among us. What God is in cannot be overturned by men. There are brethren, even to this day, who are heralding a great message of Revival. We are thankful for the desire among us to come together, as the apostles did in Acts 15, that God, in his true church, might be magnified in a world bound under Satan's spell of manmade religion. We are increasingly thankful to God for the desire we share to band together as happy pilgrims that souls can come to experience the results of knowing the truth. Truth has characteristics unlike any other attribute. The characteristics of truth can only be interpreted one way. These characteristics are; Charity -unmerited kindness, care , and compassion; Peace - a relationship with God and with others without strife; Good will - deeds of kindness without any expectation of reward; Longsuffering - working as long as necessary to ensure a good outcome; Patience - the cheerful endurance of contradiction against ourselves so that the greater good can be accomplished; Righteousness - fair and equitable judgment, judging others as we would want to be judged; Comfort - giving aid because of pity and empathy, and cannot we all say, "There go I if it were not for God's mercy"?
Many are making inquiries concerning the setting up of a neutral place and time where we can become more acquainted and share our burden for unity and reconciliation. Please make this a matter of prayer. We are open to suggestions through God's leading. Please remember that our efforts will not be without opposition from those who feel we are unsaved because of our desire to be united with some who they feel no freedom to fellowship. " The Church of God One Body Is serves only as a means of contact to the "Church of God" the world over. Those in opposition to this call to unity have labeled it as a work of Babylon, part of the Eighth Beast, etc. Some are even preaching that none are saved unless they come by way of their ministry or altars. While these groups oppose the efforts of unity and are in opposition to each other, the church that Jesus said HE would build is marching on, going forth conquering and to conquer.

With thousands rallying to the call, our vision is to number in the hundreds of thousands so that the impact on our world can be great before the Lord returns. "Oh, how sweet this bond of perfectness that binds us all together..." We believe that the church today should be working with a greater force and with a more visible witness of God's power. We believe that we are the continuation of the vision that Bros. Byrum and Warner had in Birth of A Reformation and The Cleansing of the Sanctuary. We that are strong must bear the infirmities of the weak and we who are weak must say that we are strong. We believe that those of us who are spiritual must restore those taken by faults in the spirit of meekness. We also believe that if the ministry before us would have adhered to the principles of Ephesians 4 at the first sign of trouble, we would not be weighed down with this great burden of disunity that we have inherited. We need ministers, who are unafraid of opposition, to herald the truth without fear of man, without the desire for recognition and preeminence, who desire to make a difference in this our generation, and add redeemed souls to that number spoken of in the book of Revelation "a number that no man could number".

May God bless you greatly in your labors and endeavors for him
The Church of God One Body Is

Saturday, November 26, 2011

SEND FORTH LABOURERS

Matthew 9:37-38
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

What did the Lord mean when He said “Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.”?

He said this to His disciples. He was not talking to His Heavenly Father. He was telling His disciples that they ought to have a burden to pray that He, the Lord of the harvest, would send forth men to labor in the harvesting of souls. And while you are praying, pray for yourself. The Lord of the harvest may want to send you somewhere to labor for the salvation of souls. The Lord of the harvest may call you to go forth; and, your family and friends may ask you to stay home.

Unless you are equipped and qualified to go, don’t go.
If you are equipped and qualified to go, don’t go unless you are called by the Lord to go.

What are the qualifications and characteristics of the person whom the Lord sends forth?

Noah:
Genesis 6:8, “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.”
Grace = to bend or stoop in kindness to an inferior; to show favor and kindness.
Genesis 6:9, “These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God.”
Genesis 6:22, “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he.”
Genesis 7:5, “And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.”
Ezekiel 14:20, “Though Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither son nor daughter; they shall but deliver their own souls by their righteousness.”

Will you go forth to labor for the Lord, even if you have to go alone?

Moses:
Hebrews 11:24-27
24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter;
25 Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;
26 Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
27 By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

Why did Moses refuse to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter?
He saw Him who is invisible.
He saw the value of the righteousness of God.
Rather than enjoying the pleasures of sin and this world for a season, he chose the riches of heaven over the riches of this world.

Hebrews 3:1-5
1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;
2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.
3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.
4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.
5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

Moses built the tabernacle of God and he was faithful in all the service of that tabernacle. Because of his faithfulness, Moses became an example of a son of God.

Numbers 12:1-8
12 And Miriam and Aaron spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married: for he had married an Ethiopian woman.

Ethiopian = OT:3569 Kuwshiy (koo-shee'); patronymically from OT:3568; a Cushite, or descendant of Cush:

Adam Clarke comment on Jeremiah 13:23, “[Can the Ethiopian change his skin] Can a black, at his own pleasure, change the colour of his skin?”
Barne’s Notes states: Jeremiah 13:23 “ By the Ethiopian (Hebrew: Cushite) is meant not the Cushite of Arabia but of Africa, i.e., the negro.”

The sin of racial prejudice has existed since the days of the children of Cain and Seth, the sons of Adam and Eve.
Genesis 4:14-15, “I shall be a fugitive and a vagabond in the earth; and it shall come to pass, that every one that findeth me shall slay me… And the Lord set a mark upon Cain, lest any finding him should kill him.” By this mark we now have two ethnic races of people. From this time there is the Asian race of which Seth by Adam was the progenitor. And subsequent to Cain’s sin, his curse and his mark, there is the Caucasian race the descendants of Cain. After the flood, after that Noah and his sons came out of the ark; and, after the curse and mark was put on Canaan because of his father Ham’s sin, enter the third race of people which were the Ethiopians, the descendants of Canaan and Cush.

2 And they said, Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? hath he not spoken also by us? And the Lord heard it.
3 (Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.)
4 And the Lord spake suddenly unto Moses, and unto Aaron, and unto Miriam, Come out ye three unto the tabernacle of the congregation. And they three came out.
5 And the Lord came down in the pillar of the cloud, and stood in the door of the tabernacle, and called Aaron and Miriam: and they both came forth.
6 And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.
7 My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.
8 With him will I speak mouth to mouth, even apparently, and not in dark speeches; and the similitude of the Lord shall he behold: wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?

King Saul:
God chose the first three kings over Israel, His people.
He chose men with special integrity whose hearts were humble before God.
1 Samuel 9:2, “whose name was Saul, a choice young man, and a goodly: and there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he:”
Goodly = beautiful, best, better, bountiful, cheerful, at ease, favour, fine, glad, good graciously, joyful, kindly, kindness, loving, merry, most, pleasant, pleaseth, pleasure, precious, prosperity, ready, sweet.

This is the quality of men and women whom God chooses to work for Him.

King David:
Men of God whom the Lord would choose to send into the harvest must know how to behave themselves wisely. There have been men of God who have fallen into sin. Some have been recovered. Many of those fallen never were restored. King David was such a man who did that which was right in the sight of God. Although he did commit sin, when he was reproved, he repented with much godly sorrow.

It is recorded in 1 Kings 15:5, “Because David did that which was right in the eyes of the Lord, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite.” For this great sin, David was punished and he repented.

King David’s biography is told in great length, more than any other single person in the Bible. A full account of his life is recorded in 1 Samuel chapters 16-31 and 2 Samuel chapters 1-24 also 1 Kings chapters 1 and 2.
1 Samuel 18:5, “And David went out whithersoever Saul sent him, and behaved himself wisely:”
1 Samuel 18:14-15, “And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the Lord was with him.”

When King Saul hated David, the man of God warned him against his hatred.
1 Samuel 22:14, “Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king's son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house?”

1 Chronicles 18:13-14, “Thus the Lord preserved David whithersoever he went. So David reigned over all Israel, and executed judgment and justice among all his people.”

I Chronicles chapter 29 gives us the final account of David’s life. King David’s final days were spent encouraging Israel and his son Solomon to keep the commandments of God.
1 Chronicles 29:28, “And he died in a good old age, full of days, riches, and honour: and Solomon his son reigned in his stead.”

Looking into the New Testament record we continue to see the righteous character of God’s chosen vessels. We find Jesus calling such men as Nathanael.

Nathanael:
John 1:47, “Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” GUILE: decoy, a trick (bait), deceit.

The New Testament writers have much to say about the character and qualifications of God's chosen workers.

1 Peter 2:1-3, “Wherefore laying aside all malice (hatred), and all guile (trickery), and hypocrisies (deceit), and envies (jealous competition), and all evil speaking (false accusations, all unjust and unrighteous conversation), As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.”

Luke 12:42, “ And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?”

1 Corinthians 4:2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.”

1 Timothy 1:12-14
12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.
14 And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:1-2
1 Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
2 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.

What is this character called “faithful”? This word comes from the Greek word, pistos (pis-tos') which means trustworthy, sure, true.

The men and women whom the Lord calls to go forth into the harvest must be worthy of the trust of the people. They must have this reputation that they are worthy of trust in teaching the righteous principles of God. Some have handled the truth in unrighteousness.

Romans 1:18-19
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.

Many men of God have fallen from their calling because of the temptation to become drunk on the honor, the power, the authority and the glory of the work of God.

Are you a vessel, an instrument of righteousness, which the Lord can use in the saving of souls?

Do you have enough wisdom, humility and faith to remain obedient in your own heart?

1 Corinthians 9:24-27
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

The world is in desperate need of men of God who can go forth under the anointing of the Holy Spirit to work for the salvation of souls. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Abortion and Planned Parenthood

There are certain news items in the world which need to be repeated often and in as many forums as possible lest we forget the truth and disregard the reality of Satan’s intent to destroy.

The following article was published by LifeNews.com Note: Ken Connor

According to its website, “for more than 90 years, Planned Parenthood has promoted a commonsense approach to women’s health and well-being, based on respect for each individual’s right to make informed, independent decisions about health, sex, and family planning.”

There is in this glowing self-endorsement a subtle tribute to Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger. An unabashed eugenicist, Ms. Sanger’s “commonsense” approach to unwanted pregnancies and undesirable demographic groups, such as minorities and the handicapped, was clear and unambiguous. She maintained that “the most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it,” and that “birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.”

Sanger would, no doubt, be proud of the legacy begotten by her monstrous ideology. Planned Parenthood is by far the largest abortion provider in the United States. In 2009, surgical abortions accounted for 97.6% of their services to pregnant women. In other words, “Planned Parenthood” has become a euphemism for “the abortion business yields big bucks.” It might tout itself as a “commonsense” organization that provides a wide array of family planning services, but the truth is in the statistics.

There is one major difference between the Planned Parenthood of today and that of Margaret Sanger’s time: Margaret Sanger was brutally honest about her disregard for the unborn, while contemporary abortion advocates hide behind the language of “choice” in order to disguise the ugly reality of what they advocate.

Unfortunately, this campaign of misdirection has been wildly successful. Many women instinctively rally behind a woman’s “right to choose,” without giving much thought to the reality behind the choice at issue. In the abortion debate, we aren’t talking about choosing between chocolate or vanilla, fried or scrambled, with fries or without. We are talking about choosing whether a baby will live or die, whether we will kill it or give it life, whether we will destroy or protect an innocent child.
So powerful has our delusion about the reality of abortion become – and so powerful the pro-abortion lobby behind Planned Parenthood – that our elected representatives allocate hundreds of millions of dollars each year to Planned Parenthood. This funding has withstood year after year of budget debates and political controversy.

Make no mistake about it, however, that money is blood money. Planned Parenthood preys on the fear and ignorance of women faced with unplanned pregnancies as a means of advancing their twisted worldview. Instead of celebrating life as a blessing, even when unplanned, Planned Parenthood’s operatives peddle the myth that pregnancy and parenthood is some kind misogynistic social construct used to keep women dependent and servile. They tell women that the right to choose abortion is a right intricately tied to their female identity, rather than a betrayal of a sacred duty bestowed by the author of the universe. They tell women that choosing abortion is an empowering decision, not one that can impact future fertility and inflict emotional and psychological scars that last a lifetime.

Advocates of life must not give up in their quest to shed light on the true nature of Planned Parenthood’s work and the repugnant ideology that inspired its founding. They must continue working to support organizations that offer women true choice: the choice to view their unborn child as a blessing, and the vocation of parenthood as the greatest calling a human being can answer. The time is long overdue for Planned Parenthood to be denounced as an agent of death and despair and its abortion activities declared illegal.

LifeNews.com Note: Ken Connor is the chairman of the Center for a Just Society and co-author of “Sinful Silence: When Christians Neglect Their Civic Duty.” A pro-life attorney, he was intimately involved in the fight to save Terri Schiavo and is the former president of the Family Research Council.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Spiritual Blindness

1. What is spiritual blindness?
It is that condition when the mind does not comprehend the truth.

John 1:5, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”
This happens. Woe to them to whom it happens.
Light shines but some people are in darkness and do not comprehend.
Truth is heard but there is no understanding of that truth.
The Holy Spirit is speaking but certain people do not hear Him.

Ezekiel 12:2, “Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house.”
The most common reason for darkness is rebellion, disobedience.
James 4:17, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.”
If you know what the will of God is for you to do the right thing; and you refuse to do that which you know that God wants you to do; that is sin.
If you commit sin, you are in darkness and you will not understand the voice of truth. You will not see the light of truth when you hear it.

Matthew 13:10-16
10 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables?
11 He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
It is a reality that God hides truth and understanding from people who are disobedient and scornful. It is a dangerous thing to scoff at truth. It is a dangerous thing to not seek and search for truth with all your heart.
God puts blinders over the eyes of those who refuse to listen to the Holy Spirit. I am careful about how I respond to what someone says. I do not want to fail to recognize the Holy Spirit using someone to teach me truth.

12 For whosoever hath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken away even that he hath.
There is an important reason why you possess the truth which you have; and, there is a reason why some people do not possess truth. Are you in a spiritual condition to receive truth; or, are you in a condition of blindness and darkness?

13 Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.
14 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive:
Why does this happen? Because their heart is not right with God.

15 For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.
16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
If you see and understand the truth, it is because God has recognized that you are honest and humble and desire truth more than anything else.

2. What causes spiritual blindness?
Rebellion causes blindness.
A love of the world causes blindness.
Pride, self-exalting, lack of submission causes blindness.
Envious of others.
All these things will cause you to sit in darkness and not see the light of truth which God is giving to those around you.

Matthew 27:15-23
15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
The religious Jews knew the letter of the law of Moses; but they did not know the spirit of Moses. They exalted themselves instead of truth.

These things happened because of spiritual blindness.
We live in the midst of a world full of people who think they know everything. Most people do not want to know your opinion because they like their own opinion so much they are not interested in what you have to say. The Holy Ghost had the apostle John describe the condition of our day with these words:

Revelation 3:17, “Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

People do not know what they need.
They think that they “have need of nothing.”
They do not want you to tell them anything different from what they have.
They are afraid to hear truth because they don’t want to admit their error.

3. What are the end results of spiritual blindness?
Separation from God.
Loss of wisdom and understanding.
Empty soul.

Matthew 24:38-39
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
2 Peter 2:5, “And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;”

The people in Noah’s day had heard Noah’s warnings and all the things he preached for 100 years, but they did not want to know what Noah had to say. They did not want to hear the message which God sent to them. They liked their way of living better than the way Noah lived. They liked what they believed more than what Noah believed.

They “knew not until the flood came.” When will you and I know truth and understand it? It is when we search for it will a whole heart and with a sincere, humble desire to know the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
For so many people in our world today: they will not know until it is too late.

4. What is the cure for spiritual blindness?
Love for God and truth
Obedience
Humility

Obedience with humility is the key to spiritual enlightenment.
Our obedience and humility is first toward the guiding light of the Holy Ghost. It is obedience and humility toward righteousness and the tender mercies of God. After that it includes obedience and humility toward the man of God, whom the Holy Ghost has anointed to teach you truth.

Some people have erred from the truth because they have submitted themselves to the full influence of a person who holds a leadership position without first seeking the guidance of the Holy Ghost with fear and trembling and with prayer and fasting.

Ephesians 4:11-13
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
These gifts and abilities are given “for the perfecting of the saints.”
Jesus Christ was given “for our salvation.”
The man of God can not save you from your sins. However, he can teach you how to avoid sin and perfect your knowledge of the truth.

Some people are looking to their pastor for their salvation. They are depending on him being right so that they can be right. You must work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. There is no substitute for being personally responsible for your own salvation. And this responsibility is carried out with humility and not with stubborn independence.

You can not rely on some other man to do what God requires you to do.

If you are saved, you have the mind of Christ.
If you have the mind of Christ, you will recognize truth when the light of truth comes to you. The child of God is easily entreated, but we must be careful that we are not easily deceived by men whom Satan plants in our midst to draw us away from the truth.

Matthew 18:7, “Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!”

Offences will come. Men will come with false doctrines. Satan will continue to tempt you to leave the path of light and enter the path of darkness. But you have been warned by men of God and by the Holy Spirit to watch and pray that you enter not into darkness. Your decisions have directed you into the path which you are on right now. Your future decisions will continue to direct you.

Are you walking in spiritual light and understanding?
Or, are you walking in spiritual darkness?
The Lord Jesus Christ will come to you by the Holy Ghost, if you seek for Him with all your heart.

We have this promise:
Matthew 7:7-8, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

No one can keep this commandment for you. You must do it for yourself.


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

SUDDENLY

What does the word suddenly mean to you?

If someone throws a ball at you suddenly and you are expecting it and waiting to catch it, then the suddenness of this act is of little consideration.

However, if someone throws a ball at you suddenly and you are not expecting it and the ball hits you hard with a sharp sting, it is very shocking.

Jesus warns us to watch and be ready. As children of God, we ought to be expecting God to act suddenly. We must not wait until we are hit with the reality of God’s action to prepare ourselves for what He has told us to be ready for.

Matthew 24:37-44
37 But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
41 Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.
42 Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

Merriam Webster Dictionary definition for SUDDENLY: 1. happening or coming unexpectedly; 2. marked by or manifesting abruptness or haste; 3. made or brought about in a short time.

When God comes upon the scene to perform His will, it is often with suddenness. People are not expecting God to act. They do not think that God will do what He is about to do.

Consider the following passages of scripture and may the Lord give you understanding.

Deuteronomy 7:4, “the anger of the Lord be kindled against you, and destroy thee suddenly.”

People are like little children who disobey their parents and do not expect to be corrected or punished. When the mother or father suddenly takes up the rod of correction, the child is surprised, because he thought he would escape the punishment for his disobedience.

Most of the people who are disobeying God do not think that they will be punished for their actions. They expect to be forgiven. They expect that they will repent someday before it is too late.

Proverbs 6:15, “Therefore shall his calamity come suddenly; suddenly shall he be broken without remedy.”

My question and the subject of my searching the Holy Scriptures is: how frequently and significantly does God reveals things suddenly?

We know that God warns and instructs people to choose to do the right thing; however, when God acts in retribution or blessing he does so suddenly.

The Day of Pentecost was a sudden event.

Acts 2:2, “And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind,”

Miracles are most frequently punctuated with suddenness.

Divine punishment comes suddenly in many of the scriptural examples.

Proverbs 29:1, “He, that being often reproved hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.”

God does not say, “Here I come. I’m going to get you right now.”

Isaiah 29:5, “as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall be at an instant suddenly.”

Punishment comes suddenly, in an instant, without any expectation.

Isaiah 47:11, “desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know.”

Jeremiah 51:8, “Babylon is suddenly fallen and destroyed:”

Malachi 3:1, “the Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to his temple,”

This same characteristic of suddenness is show when God moves in a wonderful and miraculous way to perform His mighty works among His children.

The Morning time revival was a sudden event. Thousands of souls were saved daily.
The Sixth Seal revival was a sudden even. In just a few short years thousands of cities and communities around the world turned to Jesus Christ.

Will the Seventh Seal Earthquake not also come suddenly?
Are not all earthquakes punctuated with suddenness?

Mark 13:36, “Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.”

Are you prepared for God to do something suddenly?

Acts 9:3, “suddenly there shined round about him a light from heaven:”

Acts 16:26, “And suddenly there was a great earthquake,”

2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.”

When the Lord comes it will be suddenly and without warning.
Those who are ready will be expecting Him and not be surprised.
Those who have ignored and refused His commandments will be surprised.

1 Timothy 5:22, “Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men's sins: keep thyself pure.”

God may do things suddenly; but we must be very careful to do nothing hastily or suddenly, except we should be quick to obey the voice of God.

2 Chronicles 29:36, “that God had prepared the people: for the thing was done suddenly.”

This refers to the suddenness of the people to cleanse the temple of all the uncleanness that they found in the temple of the Lord. Chapter 29 is a report of Hezekiah commanding the Levites to clean the temple.

1 Corinthians 15:52, "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed."

Are you ready, waiting and watching?

There will be no preparation time for you to get ready when that great day of the Lord shall come in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye.

Prepare yourself for the sudden move of God.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

TRUST IN ZION

Our subject today is “Trust in Zion.” Our text scripture is found in Isaiah 14:32.

Isaiah 14:32, “What shall one then answer the messengers of the nation? That the Lord hath founded Zion, and the poor of his people shall trust in it.”

I have not lost my vision of the Bride of Christ, Beulah Land, the Apple of God’s eye, the church of God. We may not have all the answers to every question; but we are not in spiritual darkness. We still have the light of truth to direct our steps and comfort our soul in time of war. We are in a war of right against wrong; truth against error; righteousness against wickedness. But the victory belongs to Zion, the inhabitants of the city of God.

I am very confident in the truth of my words when I tell people that you can trust in Zion, which is the church of God. I know that the church of God is the true organization which Jesus Christ established, built and purchased with His own blood. There is not another organization like the church of God. Everything you need for the salvation of your soul can be found in Mr. Zion, the City of God.

You can trust in Zion for the right instructions on what you need to do to be saved.
You can trust in Zion for the encouragement and instructions on divine healing.
You can trust in Zion for the comfort and faith to believe in God’s divine protection.
You can trust in Zion for all the benefits of the Kingdom of God in Jesus Christ.

Acts 20:28
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Jesus gave His life and shed His blood to purchase Zion, the church of the living God.

He has equipped the church with everything you need to prosper in your soul.

I remember when I became disappointed with the church I grew up in. In my disappointments, I allowed Satan to turn me aside into the paths of sin. I left God and His church, because I did not see the church. I spent six years in sin, in confusion and in darkness. But God had mercy one me. I went to many different kinds of religious organizations, but I did not find Zion. I did not find anything that I could put my trust in.

One day God spoke to my heart and told me that If I would repent of my sins and doing things my way, He would lead me to the truth. He brought me back to His people in Zion. I see Zion! It is not a geographical location. It is a spiritual city which is populated with born again, children of God. It is a city full of holy people in whom is no guile.

Psalms 87:5-7
5 And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.
6 The Lord shall count, when he writeth up the people, that this man was born there. Selah.
7 As well the singers as the players on instruments shall be there: all my springs are in thee.

In Zion is where the seeds of God’s word are sown in the hearts of men and women to produce eternal life. This is where you can be born again and have your title changed from a sinner to a saint. This is where you can become established and rooted and grounded in the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. We have the words of life.

This is where you can have your works of repentance recorded in the Lamb’s book of Life and be counted among God’s people.

This is where you will hear people singing and praising God in the spirit of holiness.

This is where all the springs of living water flow from the throne of God to the hearts of men and women who are thirsty for truth.

Hebrews 12:22-24
22 But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
23 To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect,
24 And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.

Have you come to Mount Zion? We are not speaking of coming to a building with the name “church of God” over the door. We are speaking of a spiritual transformation and acknowledgement of truth which brings you into fellowship with the children of God in the Kingdom of God. To us who are washed in the blood of Jesus Christ, Mount Zion is not a literal place on this earth, but a spiritual state where all of God’s people are gathered together to serve the Lord.

You may ask, “What about all the divisions and strife I see among people calling themselves Christians?” I understand the disappointment and confusion which comes to us in the battle of right against wrong. People who willingly and intentionally cause hurt and division are not in Zion. But, God allows the agents of Satan to work so closely to our “safe place” that sometimes it seems they are inside instead of outside. We must never forget that there are no sinners in Zion. Listen to the instructions and warnings of the Apostle Paul.

Romans 9:31-33
31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

Jesus Christ is a stumbling block to the Jews and an offense to the Gentiles. Truth is a stumbling block to those who do not want to submit to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. When the heart of a person is defiled with unrighteous attitudes and motives, God will cause them to stumble over the truth and fall into a snare which will reveal the condition of their heart.

We know that works are a necessary part of maintaining your salvation. But works without faith is dead. If you do not trust in the Lord and have faith that His way is the only way, you can not be saved. You must trust God. You must trust in the organization and the operation of Zion, that city which is inhabited by the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. You must trust in Zion that the commandment and standard of Love will produce holiness.

Matthew 22:36-40
36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Is your life governed by these two commandments? Do you trust these two commandments to produce the way of holiness? Examine your heart. When you find yourself opposing another person, you ought to check to see if there is any guile in your heart. Is there an ill will, a bad attitude or wrong motive in your opposition?

1 Peter 2:1-8
2 Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings,
2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
3 If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious.
4 To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious,
5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
6 Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.
7 Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner,
8 And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed.

In Mount Zion there is no evil, no sin, no unrighteousness. However, there is a “stone of stumbling” and “a rock of offence.” We have a King to whom the world will not submit. He is offensive to the flesh which must be crucified to gain access into Mount Zion.

Are you stumbling over the rules and standards of Mount Zion?

Revelation 14:1-5
14 And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father's name written in their foreheads.
2 And I heard a voice from heaven, as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of a great thunder: and I heard the voice of harpers harping with their harps:
3 And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
4 These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.
5 And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God.

There is no better place in this world, than Mount Zion. It is a place of peace and safety. We invite you to come.

Revelation 21:9-10
9 And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife.
10 And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

The church of God is that “great city” which John wrote about.
You can trust in Zion to bring you to truth and eternal life.

We invite you to come.