Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Dry Places


Air is used to signify the invisible influences of evil.  Ephesians 2:2 reads thus, “Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:” 

Satan is the prince of the power of the air in this world.  He is not the ruler which sits on the throne of the hearts of the children of God.  Satan’s greatest objective is to instigate religious disobedience. 

Our Prince is the Prince of Peace and He rules in our hearts.  But the spirits of devils are loosed upon the world to blow their evil winds of doctrine upon mankind.  In Revelation 16:17 we read, “And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.” 

The Seventh Seal ministry has poured out the judgments of God upon the air, which has been filled with the winds of false doctrine, religious disobedience.   Paul warned the Ephesian saints to be aware of “every wind of doctrine”  floating around in the air.  Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;”

Matthew 12:43 states, “When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.”

A “dry place” is like unto a desert marked by a lot of hot air.  It is not a fruitful and well watered place.  Spiritually speaking, a dry place is one absent the springs of God.   In Isaiah chapter 35, he writes that the Word and the Spirit shall be as streams in the desert and Isaiah 35:7 says, “the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water”  Too many worship services of the church of God have become repetitious and mechanical.  The fresh anointing of the Holy Spirit is conspicuously lacking in that spontaneous servitude toward God and one another.  The manifestation of the power of God is rarely activated by the faith of the believers. 

Perhaps there is yet to come a fuller understanding of the work of the Seventh Angel and the message of the Seventh Trumpet.  The Seventh Vial may be more in our future than in our past.  If the “air” is used to symbolize the doctrines which have hindered and hurt the church of God, then judgment must come forth against those doctrines/instructions which are contrary to the will of God.  In the silence of the Seventh Seal, there have arisen many ministers whose instructions have divided the saints and cause strife and mistrust.  The church of God has become so fractured that the world does not see the beauty of the Bride of Christ. 

God is looking for Spirit filled men and women who will rise above the lukewarmness of maintaining the status quo of our current religious systems. 

We need men and women who dare to make themselves a sacrifice for the service of the Kingdom of God.  We need people who will fast and pray more than the average professing Christian. 

We need people who will answer the call of God to go forth and take the gospel to the world of lost sinners who have not known the holiness of a sanctified life. 

We need people who are humble enough and have enough confidence in the administrative and operational control of the Holy Spirit that they can endeavor for the unity of the Spirit until the unity of the faith can be gained and enjoyed. 

A clarion call must be sounded calling saints to awake to righteousness and justice.  Stop condemning and criticizing others who do not understand every matter just like you or your pastor.  I do not propose that you embrace false doctrine; but rather that you be tolerant and patient until you come to the unity of the faith. 

Who will accept the call to extend the right hand of fellowship to every blood washed one?  Let salvation, not doctrine, be the basis for fellowship.  Don’t stumble over my words, don’t be hasty to find faulty and be negative.  I did not say that doctrine is not important or vital to the well being of the church.  Know this truth: Salvation comes first and forms the foundation for fellowship. 

Who will covet earnestly and humbly the gifts of the Spirit for the glory of God and His Son Jesus Christ?  Who will suffer with the Savior?  Who will eat His flesh and drink His blood, regardless of the opinions of men who would stand in your path and turn you back into the dry places?

I pray for you.  May the Lord reveal Himself to you with such love and power as to persuade you to follow Him and forsake the world with all of its hindering ideas. 

A Giving Attitude

I preached this message in January 2004 at the Church of God of Knoxville.  God had recently manifested His great power among us working several notable miracles. 

Spiritual victory has everything to do with attitudes.

Let’s look at attitudes!

Happiness, joy, peace and love is all about attitudes. 

One very important attitude is the one you have about “giving.”

What are some of these giving attitudes:
  • Charity
  • Benevolence
  • Hospitality
  • Alms giving, tithing and offerings
  • Sharing, helping and just being a friend

All of these are attitudes which have to do with giving of yourself and your talents, time and resources.

Brother Darrell and Sister Melisa received a real blessing this week:

Not only did God forgive them of their sins last Wednesday night, God healed their baby.

How long would you have to work to pay the same amount of tithes that two legs on your baby are worth?  According to the sonograms which the hospital took on Wednesday, your baby should have been born without legs on Friday.  God created two good legs for your baby.  How much is that worth.  How much will you give of your life for God’s blessing?

Brother Mark/Sister Denise received a real blessing a couple of years ago:

In June of 2001 you lost 30 lbs in 8 days and should have died.  You had blocked bowels and you did not go into the hospital for an operation which according to the medical society you should have done.  Instead, you trusted God and He healed you.  How much is that worth to you Brother Mark?  I wonder what kind of medical expense you would be paying on if Jesus Christ had not been your physician?  How much tithes and offerings do you owe God for many years of having an healthy companion? 

Brother Matthew/Sister Rosemary a couple of weeks ago:

How much is your hospital bill for the surgery for your blood clot, heart operation, kidney treatment and arthritis?  How many hundreds of thousands of dollars could you be in debt if Jesus Christ had not been your physician?  Instead the doctors admitted you into the hospital and then the next day released because something happened and your problems all went away. 

Brothers in the congregation in the last two months:

How many of you missed whole weeks or a month of work because of the flu virus which went around recently. 

If God has given so much to us, what should we give back to Him and to others?

Would someone like to try to put a dollar value on all the blessings God has given to you?

The devil does not want you to think about the value of all that God does for you.

The devil wants you to think and feel like you are being cheated and missing out on so much by being a child of God.

Ps 91:14-16
14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.
15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.
16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

God has clearly said that He will satisfy those who love Him and worship Him.
He will not only save us, but He will satisfy us with a long life and according to the scriptures it will be a blessed life.

Psalms 103:1-5
1 Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:
3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;
4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;
5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's.

There are many benefits to being saved.
We are forgiven, healed, redeemed, crowned and satisfied.

Mark 10:29-30
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.

If Jesus has promised to bless us with so much, should we not promise to give Him our all?
How can we be so self-centered and stingy while God is so liberal and benevolent?
How do we give to God?
We devote our whole heart to Him.  He wants to sit at the controls of our heart. 
He wants to rule in our life.  He wants to guide us and tell us which way to go.
He wants us to enjoy being saved and enjoy doing His perfect will. 
He wants us to enjoy giving to others and being a help to others. 

Matt 10:7-8
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.

This is the righteous principle by which we live.  God hates covetousness.  He loves liberality. 
God hates self-centeredness.  We should be a people who take delight in helping others.

Acts 20:35
I have shewed you all things, how that so labouring ye ought to support the weak, and to remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive.

You may give thousands of dollars to the church every year.  But, I want to give you much more.  I want to give to you wisdom, peace that passes understanding, fellowship of love and all the good blessings of being a child of God.  If you took the thousands of dollars, let’s say for the sake of detail, that you take $5,000.00 which you gave to the church and bought something, a vacation, a car, etc., it would not produce the great happiness and blessings as when given to the kingdom of God.

Mal 3:10-11
10 Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.
11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.

God does not need your money.  He wants you to learn to give so that you can receive His blessings which are of much greater value than what He asks you to give. 

Do you have an attitude of giving?

In all your relationships with God and men, do you have an attitude of giving?

Do you have an attitude of serving others?

Do you have an attitude that makes you a good helper?

In order for the blessings of God to be released to you, you must freely give what God has given to you.

Give your love.
Give your attention.
Give kind and courteous words of encouragement.
Give respect and honor.
Give financially and materially according to your ability and the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

God does not want you to give anything to people who will consume your gift upon their own sinful lusts.

God does not want the righteous to sustain the wicked in their sins. 

True salvation will deliver you from being selfish and self-centered.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A FEW GOOD MEN

It is my burden today to encourage you in your faith towards God and in His good will to bless you and give you all those things which you need. 

Too often we are tempted to looked at the smallness of our congregations and think that God is not pleased with us because we are not many.  When in reality, God takes glory in doing His great work among those who are small, weak and few.  What God is looking for is a few good men who will trust, obey and believe His word. 

The church today needs a few people who have great faith.
We need a few people who have great consecration.
We need a few people who are little in their own eyes but great in spirit.

1 Samuel 15:16-17
16 Then Samuel said unto Saul, Stay, and I will tell thee what the Lord hath said to me this night. And he said unto him, Say on.
17 And Samuel said, When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lord anointed thee king over Israel?

It is human nature to want to be big.  Little children grow up wanting to be big.
People what big homes, big cars, big bank accounts and big parties. 
We have an old adage which says, “The more the merrier.”
People have a mind set which thinks, “The bigger, the better.”

Because of this psychological attraction to being big, we are tempted to have negative thoughts about a small congregation.  We are tempted to think that they are not as useful or desirable to God.  God has always used a few good men to do great things.  When a large group of people achieve a great task, the glory goes to the greatness of the people.  But when a small group of people achieve a great task, God’s miraculous power is more noticeable. 

Judges 7:1-7
1Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.
2 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.
3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.
4 And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.
5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the Lord said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.
6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.
7 And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

A large group of people are tempted to “vaunt themselves against” God and say, “mine own hand hath” done this thing. 

The people of Israel were not a great nation because of their might or their great number, but because God has chosen them to be a witness in the world. 

Psalms 105:1-15
1 O give thanks unto the Lord; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
2 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him: talk ye of all his wondrous works.
3 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.
4 Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.
5 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done; his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;
6 O ye seed of Abraham his servant, ye children of Jacob his chosen.
7 He is the Lord our God: his judgments are in all the earth.
8 He hath remembered his covenant for ever, the word which he commanded to a thousand generations.
9 Which covenant he made with Abraham, and his oath unto Isaac;
10 And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant:
11 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance:
12 When they were but a few men in number; yea, very few, and strangers in it.
13 When they went from one nation to another, from one kingdom to another people;
14 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;
15 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

David was not able to overcome Goliath because of his great physical strength, but because of his great faith in his God.  The people of Israel feared the giant Goliath because of his large size.  David had learned that the bigger the enemy the greater the power of his God. 

Oh, that we had a few good men whose faith in God is bigger than any danger, any challenge, any enemy. 

1 Samuel 17:42-51
42 And when the Philistine looked about, and saw David, he disdained him: for he was but a youth, and ruddy, and of a fair countenance.
43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
44 And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
45 Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
46 This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee, and take thine head from thee; and I will give the carcases of the host of the Philistines this day unto the fowls of the air, and to the wild beasts of the earth; that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel.
47 And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord's, and he will give you into our hands.
48 And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine.
49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.
50 So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David.
51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

Goliath’s opinion of David was based purely on the size of David’s stature.  He thought that David was weaker because he was smaller.  Goliath did not compensate for the great power of David’s faith in God. 

Can God do great things with a few people?
Does God need more to do more? 
Is God limited by the number of people and things?

Matthew 15:32-38
32 Then Jesus called his disciples unto him, and said, I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.
33 And his disciples say unto him, Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?
34 And Jesus saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? And they said, Seven, and a few little fishes.
35 And he commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground.
36 And he took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to his disciples, and the disciples to the multitude.
37 And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full.
38 And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children.

Was Jesus limited by the size of the resource?
No, all Jesus needed was that the resource be given to Him.
We need people and resources which are given to Jesus.

Zechariah 4:8-10
8 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
9 The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you.
10 For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.

The enemies of Israel thought that because the people were few and the work that they were doing was so small that the importance of what they were doing was insignificant.  The enemies of Israel despised them and the work.  But the prophet of God said of God’s chosen people, “They shall rejoice.”  “They are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro though the whole earth.” 

We must not forget that we are the people of God whom He desires to use to manifest His great power.  God does not need multitudes of people, He needs consecrated people of great faith.  

1 Kings 17:1-16
1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said unto Ahab, As the Lord God of Israel liveth, before whom I stand, there shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my word.
2 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,
3 Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
4 And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I have commanded the ravens to feed thee there.
5 So he went and did according unto the word of the Lord: for he went and dwelt by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.
6 And the ravens brought him bread and flesh in the morning, and bread and flesh in the evening; and he drank of the brook.
7 And it came to pass after a while, that the brook dried up, because there had been no rain in the land.
8 And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying,
9 Arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.
10 So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
11 And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
12 And she said, As the Lord thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
13 And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
14 For thus saith the Lord God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the Lord sendeth rain upon the earth.
15 And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
16 And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.

Elijah asked the widow from Zarephath to give her last meal to him.  Before she prepared a meal for her and her son, she was asked to give it to the man of God.  Because she obeyed and trusted the man of God, a great miracle was given to her. 

There is a glorious day coming in the future of the church.  I want to be a part of the beautiful bride of Christ who is prepared for His coming. 

Although some may disagree with me, I believe that the great spiritual earthquake of the Seventh Seal is still in our future.  Since the end of the Sixth Seal and the opening of the Seventh Seal, when there was silence in heaven, there is not written or visible evidence of a spiritual earthquake as is described in the 11th and 16th chapters of The Revelation.

If it has not happened then it must happen before the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Revelation 11:15-19
15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,
17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.
18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

Revelation 16:17-18
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.

Let the Remnant of God’s people prepare themselves to be used of God before the great coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hypocrisy Is Found In The Tongue


HYPOCRISY IS FOUND IN THE TONGUE

James Chapter Three, Verses 1-18. 

1 My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.

“Love labour, and hate the rabbi's office.”

This caution [quoted above] is still necessary; there are multitudes, whom God has never called, and never can call, because he has never qualified them for the work, who earnestly wish to get into the priest's office. And of this kind, in opposition to James, we have many masters-persons who undertake to show us the way of salvation, who know nothing of that way, and are unsaved themselves. These are found among all descriptions of Christians, and have been the means of bringing the ministerial office into contempt. Their case is awful; they shall receive greater condemnation than common sinners; they have not only sinned in thrusting themselves into that office to which God has never called them, but through their insufficiency the flocks over whom they have assumed the mastery perish for lack of knowledge, and their blood will God require at the watchman's hand. A man may have this mastery according to the law of the land, and yet not have it according to the Gospel; another may affect to have it according to the Gospel, because he dissents from the religion of the state, and not have it according to Christ. Blockheads are common, and knaves and hypocrites may be found everywhere.   – Adam Clarke, Bible Commentator

2 For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.

A perfect man is that person who can control his tongue at all times.  If you can not control your tongue at all times, you are not a perfect man.

Some people can control their tongue part of the time, but only a perfect man can control his tongue all the time.

A perfect man is that person who has been delivered from all his sins and the power of his carnal nature.  When we fully become partakers of God’s divine nature (2 Peter 1:4),  then we possess the grace of God to control our tongue all the time.   

3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.

Do you have a Holy Ghost bit in your mouth?

If you do, then the Holy Ghost will control your whole body and every action of the body as well as every attitude of the heart. 

4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.

The Holy Spirit is like the ship’s “very small helm.” 

The Holy Spirit is not massive in His outward appearance; but His influence is miraculous.  He is like a “still small voice,” but His power is greater than all other powers in this world.  God does not overpower us with His awesome divine presence, else we would crumble in the terror of the Lord.  God draws us with the power of His love.  We come to understand and believe in His compassion, His provisions and the Covenant He offers to us.

5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!

James 1:16-26

16 Do not err, my beloved brethren.

17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

26 If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.

6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.

Take heed that you do not let anger, disappointments and offences build a fire in your heart and it become a raging fire with flames on your tongue.

Satan wants you to be hasty with your words.  He wants you to exercise your liberty to say what you think and feel.  But the Bible tells us: “let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.”

If you speak words which vent your emotions and feelings without the grace of God, you will grieve the Holy Spirit. 

Satan does not rush a child of God into any unrighteous conduct.  Satan takes advantage of a hurt feeling or a disagreement and begins to justify your displeasure.  He will emphasize your liberty to speak your opinion.  He will expound on your responsibility to stand your ground.  He will distract your mind from any thought of reconciliation or forgiveness.  He will override Holy Ghost caution and counsel by magnifying the wrong which you perceive has been done.  Giving vent to your carnal nature, you will be convinced you are doing the service of God.  With your tongue you will cause strife and division among the people of God while you claim to be separating the wheat from the tares. 

7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Will you understand that no man can tame the tongue?  It is not possible for your to control what you speak all the time without the grace of God operating in your soul.  The tongue tells what is in the heart.  A man’s tongue will witness to others what he thinks and what he understands.

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.

11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?

12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.

The tongue may witness that a person lacks understand and is in need of instruction.  A person can lack wisdom and understanding and still be pure in heart.  But if the tongue speaks evil, then evil is in the heart.  This is the danger of a false witness.  A false witness is a lie and we know that all liars will have their part in the Lake of Fire which is hell. 

Prove all things and do not be a party to gossip and false accusations.

13 Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.

A sanctified person will always have meekness with his wisdom.  He is not arrogant or given to exercise dominion over his fellowmen.  We are not masters over one another.  We do not force people to obey or agree with us.  We are teachers of righteousness and we work with meekness of spirit. 

The character of meekness is is the display of humility and mildness of manner.  The Christian is a gentleman and a lady.  They are not bold in a brazen and boastful manner.  So many people have either lost or not understood the conduct of a saint as they fight the good fight of faith while holding fast to humility and mildness. 

14 But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.

Knowledge is of little value if you have envying and strife in your heart.

You may know the truth and handle it in unrighteousness if you can not operate with humility, meekness, mildness and with the love of God in control of all that you say and do. 

15 This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

16 For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.

17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Our tongue must bear witness that we have divine wisdom.  God forbid that our tongue should bear witness that our wisdom is earthly, sensual and devilish. 

18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

If righteousness is in your heart, it will produce the fruit of righteousness.

Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

The ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a ministry of reconciliation.

Our work is to reconcile the sinner to Christ through repentance and faith.

Our work is to reconcile the saints to one another when there is disagreement and a lack of understanding.  We are peacemakers, making peace with God and one another. 


Dear Friend, do not allow hypocrisy to be found in your tongue. 

Be a doer of the gospel of Jesus Christ and not a hearer only.

Do not compare yourself with others who are weak and lame and have not the understanding which God has given to you.  Be an example of the believer.  Show others how the grace of God gives you power over your tongue. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

WHAT IS UNITY?


WHAT IS UNITY AND HOW DO WE PRODUCE IT?

Can a selfish person produce the love of God toward others?

The answer is “NO.”

This world is full of professing religious people who claim to love others and have the love of God in their heart.  In reality, they do not possess what the law of God’s love dictates. 

Webster Dictionary Definition:  Selfish:  1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others

Just as sin and holiness can not mix, neither can self love and God’s love mix.  A selfish person is full of self love.  Self love and God’s love will not mix together.  Unity can not be produced until the love of God is possessed.

Marriage makes two people one in the flesh; but, it takes the gift of salvation to make two people one in the Spirit.  Fleshly love is the emotional and physical attraction of one person to another.  The love of God transcends and has absolute dominion over fleshly love.  The person who has the love of God will make himself a sacrifice for a person who is not worthy.  The love of God in your soul will not allow self love to act.  Self love is the sinful manifestation of fleshly love. 

The gift of salvation is not given to a person because he is worthy, because there is none good or worthy.  The gift of salvation is given to the penitent believer because God is love and God is the originator of true love. 

Therefore, this unity and oneness of which we speak is a product of the love of God.

In order to produce unity, a body of people must be able to achieve certain actions and attitudes in their relationship with one another.  This achievement is only possible with those and among those people who are full of the grace of the Holy Spirit. 

They must be willing and able to communicate to one another.

They must have a positive attitude of hope while they are patient with each other. 

They must not give place to suspicion and mistrust.

They must be willing and able to respect each other’s beliefs.

They must hold confidence in the honesty and integrity of each other.

They must be willing and able to submit to God and each other in the absence of agreement.

They must be willing to explain and teach, explain and teach again. 

There can not be unity in the presence of sin. 

Sin, which is the only grounds for separation, must be provable. 

Producing unity requires the exercise of certain actions.

Reconciliation must be the objective of each person.

Restitution must be exercised by any individual who has trespassed against another person.

Webster:  Restitution:  1 : an act of restoring or a condition of being restored: as a : a restoration of something to its rightful owner b : a making good of or giving an equivalent for some injury. 

If you have damaged the reputation or property of some person, you must be willing to do all that you can to restore that person’s reputation or property. 

Failure to restore what belongs to another will prevent unity. 

Reconciliation is produced by love.  It is charity, mercy and forgiveness at work according to the righteous principles of God. 

Reconciliation is a divine work; it requires the grace of God to perform its unifying influence.  The carnal man will produce division.  The sanctified ones are able to endeavor in the spirit of unity until the unity of faith is reached. 

Carnality is always present when the fruit of division is found and where sin does not exist.  Division is sin because it requires disobedience to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit.   Unity will prevail when people give heed to the Holy Spirit and bear the fruit of the Spirit. 

Psalms 16:2-3        O my soul, thou hast said unto the LORD, Thou art my Lord: my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth, and to the excellent, in whom is all my delight.

Our relationship with God is dependent upon our relationship with one another.  Our goodness can not reach God if it does not reach each other.  If you can not love your brother whom you have seen, how can you love God whom you can not see? 

1 John 4:20-21, “If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?  And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.”

People have reached the wrong conclusion when they believe that you must have agreement to have unity.  It is not so.  Unity is based on Love not Doctrine.  Doctrine is very valuable and important; but, it is not the foundation for unity.  Some ministers have said, “Fellowship is based on doctrine.”  That premise will allow controversy to cause division, divorce and destruction.

Ezekiel 34:4, “The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them.”

The work which Ezekiel describes is the work of people who love one another. 

It is the work of mercy, longsuffering, patience, kindness, faith and hope. 

This is the work of the disciples of Christ.  It is Satan’s objective to stop this Christian activity. 

1,  The diseased have ye not strengthened, i.e. like a physician tends to the needs of his patient.  The true disciples of Christ have the cure for every moral and physical evil. 

2.  neither have ye healed that which was sick, i.e. because you have not carried a burden for the needs of the sick.  You have cast them away.  You have not ministered with compassion.   

3.  neither have ye bound up that which was broken, i.e. you

4.  neither have ye brought again that which was driven away,

5.  neither have ye sought that which was lost;

6.  but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled them

Matthew 5:24        Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.

What do you have to offer God, if you have nothing to offer your brother?

How can we serve God, if we can not serve one another?

How can you say you love God when you do not do the works of love?

Do your actions and attitudes truly reflect the love of God?

Have you deceived yourself by thinking that you have the love of God in your heart when in reality you do not have the love of God in your heart. 

2 Corinthians 5:18-20        And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 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.  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.

In the last 80 years, we have had very few ministers who have made themselves a sacrifice for the ministry of reconciliation.  The congregations of the church of God have been rift with carnal, fleshly division makers.  Ministers and congregants have been hasty in their criticism, judgment and willingness to excommunicate one another from their group’s fellowship. 

Ephesians 2:16      And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:

The grace for reconciliation is not present where the Holy Spirit is absent.

Hebrews 2:17        in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

1 Peter 2:25, “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.”

John 10:16, “And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.”

The perfect will of God did not and does not allow for the saved Jew and the saved Gentile to be separated or divided in fellowship.  Jesus Christ has reconciled us into one body.  One flock, one fold, one Shepherd. 

1 Corinthians 1:9-10, “God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord.  Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”


Ephesians 4:1-16
1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
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:
14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

The work of the Holy Spirit can not be produced without the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit will provide the grace of God which enables you to speak, act and think in love. 

Do you have the Holy Spirit abiding in your soul?

Are you producing the Love of God and the Unity of the Spirit? 

You may deceive yourself and one another, but God knows all about you. 

Ask God to reveal to you what He knows about you. 

Be honest.  Be humble.  Your eternal destiny is quickly approaching.