Monthly Archives: November 2007

Lighten up II !!!!

During a recent Sunday service the Pastor told the congregation that “Today we are going to have a little Song Service”. He said “I will call out a word and whoever comes up with a song first, we will sing it”.
The Pastor said “Grace” and almost immediately someone said ” Amazing Grace”. So they sang it.
The Pastor said “Blood” and someone said “Washed in the Blood”. So they sang it.
The Pastor said “Power” and someone said ” There’s Power in the Blood”. So they sang it.Then the Pastor said ” Sex” and the church grew very silent. Then from the back of the church, an 87 year old grandma shouted out “Precious Memories”

 This is just a reminder of some of the lighter side of life through the eyes of a Christian. Come on by and check out some others or maybe even add one of your own!! KEEP IT CLEAN , PLEASE !!!

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Holiday Attitudes! Overcoming the world!

I have spent probably 60% of my adult life working in the public in retail Management. Christmas was always ” The Make It or Break It ” time of year and pressure was always there to “Make It”. You know, “MONEY”!

People start going through the “Hustle and Bustle” of the Holidays and the next thing you know, “ATTITUDES” come along. Tempers flare. I think you get the picture. For a lot of people, the joy is overshadowed by the commercialization of what should be ” Happy Holidays ” or ” Merry Christmas”

For us who consider Ourselves in the Body of Christ, we find ourselves not always immune from this phenomena of “ATTITUDES”.

So what kind of witness is it that we are walking around in during this time of year.

King James Version(KJV)

Revelations 12: 10And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

 11And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

 12Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time.

We, who confess Jesus as Lord of our life, have already overcome satan and all that the “world system” can throw at us , by letting Jesus be our Lord. SO, we have a lot to be “Thankful” for during Thanksgiving. As well as, every other day of the year.

My question is concerning your “testimony”. When we are out in the world, especially over the next few weeks, will our testimony be of “good report” or will it get mixed up with the things of the world and become of “bad report”. Will “anger” override “Love” from you during this time of year? Will “worry” override “trust” in the Lord? Will “sadness and loneliness” triumph over “Joy and Gladness” for all of the “Goodness and Grace” from God the Father?

What will be the report of your “testimony” this Christmas and Holiday season? Are you an overcomer of the world or have you been overcome by the world?

If you are a “Born Again” child of God, then your report should be good and you should be joyous in all things!

If you have not given your life to Christ Jesus, then I invite you to do so. Find a “Born Again” child of God and tell them of your desire to quit living under the guilt and condemnation of the world.

Romans 12:1&2 , tells us to “present ourselves to God as a living sacrifice”, which is an ongoing process that may take the rest of your natural life here on earth. It is a process that daily we come face to face with those things we have to ” Deal With”. Those “Issues” that we wish would go away. We have to let God reveal to us, through the Holy Spirit, all of the junk, “The ATTITUDES” we have, the”anger” we have deep in us , whatever it is that comes between us and God, We have to let Him show us and help us sacrifice those things in order to lead a life of an “OVERCOMER”.

We have to not “Be conformed” to the ways of the world. We have to get rid of that old “stinkin’ thinking” and have the “Renewed Mind of Christ”.

This Christmas season, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, be a blessing to everyone you come in contact with. Share with them the best Christmas present that they could ever get.

Let you “Testimony” be of the “Good News”! 
 

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“Apologetics”- a case for the Apostleship

 I find it ironic how the “Apologetic Movement” has really “made the case” for a restoration of the apostleship. The very idea that there is much wrong in the Body of Christ as far as error filled teachings and false doctrines, just substantiates the need for TRUE apostles in the governmental body of Christ. Just look at where we are 1500 years later without the type of leadership that was set in place by Father God and our Lord Jesus.

Part of the argument that “apologetics” uses is found in Jude. Let’s look at it:

Jude 1

 1Jude, the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that are sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ, and called:

 2Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.

 3Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.

 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

 5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

I have heard “contend for the Faith” from the “apologetics” folks, and yes I agree we should contend for the Faith, but Jude is speaking in verse 4:

 4For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Notice that Jude refers to “men of old”, “ungodly men”,men who “turned the grace of God into lasciviousness” and finally, men who “deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ”.

Jude goes on to say in verse 5:

 5I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.

Notice again Jude is referring to those who don’t believe!

The argument about “contending for the faith” should be about those who are NOT believers, not with your Brothers and Sisters who are in Christ Jesus already. All this does is sow discord and doesn’t promote unity within the Body of Christ.

The Apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:

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

 17And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.

 18For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

 19Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;

 20And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

 21In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:

 22In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Paul is recognizing and declaring that The Lord Jesus has done all the work needed to bring God’s people into unity with the Father. He states that such unity brings about “An habitation of God through the Spirit” [v22]

This unity is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and the prophets” [v20] with “Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone”.[v20]

Such unity is needed and declared in verse 21 when Paul states “All the building fitly framed together  with the results being “groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord”.

Unless the entire building is built in accordance with Jesus’ “building codes” it won’t pass the final inspection. It will have a good foundation in Christ , but without the apostle and the prophet there to oversee the final construction phase, you could end up with something that has “A form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof “.

No one is arguing the point that there is need for correct teaching and accountability in The Body. The argument is, why not use that which Christ Jesus himself gave us to keep order and decency in The Body with?

Ephesians 4:11-13  states that “He [Jesus Christ] is the one who gave these gifts to the church : the apostles, the prophets, the evangelist, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ, until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ”.

The results for following the “building plan” of Jesus is found in verse 14&15 “Then we will no longer be like children, forever changing our minds about what we believe because someone has told us something different or because someone has cleverly lied to us and made the lie sound like the truth. Instead, we will hold to the truth in love, becoming more and more in every way like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church”

Now finally listen to this in verse 16 “Under his direction [Jesus’ building plan], The whole body is fitted together perfectly. As each part [that includes apostles and prophets] does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love”.

WOW! What more do you need! If any part of The Body is missing, then “The whole body”  can’t be “Fitted together perfectly”.

 So why do we need Apostles and Prophets today? Just look around and ask yourself, ” How healthy is the body of Christ?” The very point that ” Apologetics” state they are needed confirms the need for True Apostles and True Prophets today, just as much as ever in the body of Christ, to accomplish that which was started 2000 years ago!! 

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Lighten up!

There was this guy who went to the local Baptist church. He went down to the new Barbershop one day for a shave. As he was sitting in the chair, the barber said ” didn’t I see you down at the church last Wednesday night?” “Why yes” said the customer. It turned out that they both were going to the same church.

The customer said to the barber, ” I want a real good shave now, OK?”

The Barber got through and told the man it would be $20.00 for the shave. The customer thought “my goodness that is a lot for a shave”, but at the risk of offending his new found Brother, he reluctantly paid.

The next morning, the man got up and went in to get ready to go to work. He looked in the mirror and to his amazement, he didn’t need to shave. The next morning the man got up and went to get ready for work. “WOW! How can this be!”, he thought, when again he didn’t need to shave. On the third day after his visit to the barber, the man woke up again to find his face was as smooth as the first day. By now he was thinking that maybe he was wrong and needed to repent for thinking so wrong of his Brother, the barber. On the fourth day, when he woke up to find the same results, he rushed off to the barbershop.

“Brother, please forgive me”, the man said when he got into the shop. “I thought you charged me too much for my shave when I was here the other day”. The Barber looked at him with forgiving eyes and said, ” That’s all right Brother, you know what they say, “Once shaved, always shaved”!

The Joy of the Lord is your strength! SO LAUGH !!!

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Apostles for today, Yes or No?

According to some in the “Apologetic Movement”, there is no need for Apostles in todays modern Christian body. They base it on two things that really don’t hold water.

Here are the stances on this from one such group.

[1] The 12 apostles named by Jesus were the only chosen Apostles. If this was the case, then “Houston, we have a problem”! In the Book of Acts 14, we read of Paul and Barnabas in Iconium. In verse 4 it says” But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.” There are only two people mentioned here teaching the Gospel, Paul and Barnabas. In verse 14 it says this” which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul ,heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people,”. Here it is as clear as day, Barnabas was looked at and called in scripture an apostle. SO when did Barnabas get recognized as an apostle and by whom? I will answer that one later!

 Another case of someone outside of the original 12 called by Jesus as apostles, is James the Lord’s brother. Galations 1, Paul is telling us of his calling from God and his visitation from Jesus. In verse 18 Paul tells us that he went to Jerusalem, spent 15 days with Peter, and in verse 19 says” But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord’s brother.” Here again I ask, by who and when did this James get called an apostle?

The definition of apostle is

apos·tle Listen to the pronunciation of apostle
Pronunciation:
\ə-ˈpä-səl\
Function:
noun
Etymology:
Middle English, from Anglo-French & Old English; Anglo-French apostle & Old English apostol, both from Late Latin apostolus, from Greek apostolos, from apostellein to send away, from apo- + stellein to send
Date:
before 12th century

1: one sent on a mission: as a: one of an authoritative New Testament group sent out to preach the gospel and made up especially of Christ’s 12 original disciples and Paul b: the first prominent Christian missionary to a region or group2 a: a person who initiates a great moral reform or who first advocates an important belief or system b: an ardent supporter : adherent3: the highest ecclesiastical official in some church organizations

apos·tle·ship Listen to the pronunciation of apostleship \-ˌship\ noun

You will notice in this definition from Webster’s online dictionary, that the main role of apostle is “one sent out”, which is often entwined with “desciple”. In Matthew 10:1 they are called “desciples”, but in the very next verse they are called ” apostles”. You will also note that in Webster’s they included Paul in their definition of apostle, but they left out, much like the “Apologetic Movement”, that there were other people in scripture named as apostles, namely Barnabas[Acts 14:14] and James the brother of The Lord [Gal.1:19].

[2] The second area that the “Apologetics Movement” miss the mark is the theology that as apostles, these men spoke for God and that after the Canonization of Scriptures, there was no further need for anyone to speak for God, because all we needed to hear was made available to us now in the Holy Bible.They also use this same stance in their view of the “Prophetic” ministry. I would like for those in the “Apologetic Movement” to consider this. If the original 12 apostles are the only one capable of writing scripture, oh and let’s include Paul, then how did Luke get involved with the writing of scripture. And where are the Books written by Thaddeus and the son’s of thunder or Judas Iscariot. The scripture [Matthew 10:1-5]calls these men apostles also. Were they less an apostle than the others? Was Luke called an apostle? If so, by who?

The “Apologetic Movement” says we don’t need apostles today because nothing is to be added to scripture. How about the role of “going out” and starting new churches. Oh, I know! Let’s call them “church planters” today, not apostles. That’s funny. In Ephesians 4, “church planter” is not mentioned. Apostles,Prophets,Evangelist,Preachers and Teachers are mentioned as a “gift” to the church. If God saw fit to give us such a gift, then why do so many reject it? In many of todays churches, Man has become his own god and therefore rejects the “things ” of God. A “wise man seeks correction, and a foolish man runs from it”. Could it be that the reason they don’t “need” an apostle in their life is they don’t want correction? This runs the risk of ” every man doing what is right in his own eyes”, with no one to bring the order that was spoke of by Paul. Those in the “Apostolic Movement” are accussed of trying to reinvent the very foundation of building the church, and in some cases the accusations may be right. But, there definetely is a need for some True Apostolic direction for the Body of Christ.

Even the”Apologetics Movement” recognize a need for direction, but they don’t recognize that they themselves are “acting apostolicly” in their attempts to bring correction.

The other area that “Apostolic” direction is needed is in the true meaning of “equipping” the saints. When “equipping” the saints is reffered to in the Bible, it is for the purposes of getting them prepared to “go ye therefore” and do the work of the ministry. Too often “equipping” the saints has become a teaching on whatever that builds them up. What I and some others catagorize as a “Me Gospel”. What’s in it for me and how will it help my situation. This is to be expected from someone who is immature in their walk with The Lord, but after a time of growth, it becomes time for the “bird to get out of the nest”. Someone who is only looking at their own needs, rarely is able to see that there are others out there who are probably worse off than them selves. The true apostle recognizes the need to “equip” others to “go ye therefore”. They will help people to grow spiritualy in their walk with The Lord.   

The final area that I want to look at in this post on “apostles” is this. An apostle is someone who transforms the culture of a given city, town, region or country. When a true “Apostle” is in the area, things change. There is a change in the spiritual atmosphere and in the physical atmosphere where true “apostolic” teaching is going on. In the Book of Acts 17:6 we read: 

 5But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people.  6And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also;  7Whom Jason hath received: and these all do contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus.

Notice that there is always going to be opposition to the “true Gospel” and that many will do whatever they feel is “right” to oppose such a “move of God”. A true “apostle” teaches the true Gospel , even if it has “turned the world upside down”.

True “apostolic ” churches make a real difference in the place they are at. It isn’t about how large of church that is built, but how many lives are changed and led to saving power of Jesus.

This is all I can post on this for now, but please feel free to comment on your views of this subject!! 

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God and Sex Education

I find it pretty disturbing how, over the past 30-40 years, our public education system has been hit with a hard dose of immoral ideals and standards.

As a Christian, I am constantly amazed at how the basics of education have been replaced with” whatever seems right in man’s eye “. To become politically correct has replaced even “good ole common sense”.

Here is where we are today in public education, at least in the area of “Sex Ed”.

[1] They teach our children that it is alright to have sex outside of the covenant of marriage. How? By offering them condoms in school. Forget anything about abstainance and waiting for the “sanctity of marriage”.

[2] Now some teachers are taking it upon themselves to offer personal, one on one training in how to have sex. All you have to do is listen to the nightly news and you are hearing more and more of teacher/student sexual relations.

[3] Don’t worry about it if you get pregnant by another student or maybe a teacher, the school will help you get an abortion without even notifying your parents.

[4] If the thought of traditional relationships between a man and a woman aren’t your thing, don’t worry! They are making it more acceptable for you to act out your fantasy of homosexual activity now. Last night they were talking about a controversy where 2 girls, who are lesbian, were named “The Cutest Couple” in the Yearbook at their school.

All of this in the name of ” Sex Education “. I remember when they first started offering “Sex ED” in schools. It was said that if they offered it and taught it in schools, that it would make things better. WOW!If today’s “Sex Ed” is an example of ” making things better”, it probably would have been better to leave things well enough alone.

When you take God and His principles out of the schools and out of our society, then what should we expect? By who’s standard is anything based on or judged to be fit or right for society.

Is this what is meant in scripture by “Every man doing what is right in his own eyes”?

Now I know that NOT ALL public schools are this way, but in the beginning NONE were this way. As these things become more and more acceptable, what is the next thing they might try to push on us, “Beastiality”?

No wonder more and more parents are homeschooling their children or sending them to a private school that fits their views and moral standards.

God, please forgive us and help us to stand for the things that are right and pleasing in Your Eyes! 

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I had a dream! I saw the Hand of God.

On September 16,2007 I was given the following dream.Let he who has an ear to hear, hear what the Spirit of the Lord is saying.

I was in a deep sleep and I was shown a large Holy Bible. There was an antique looking lock, similiar to what you see on old trunks. This lock was in the middle of the Bible. I saw, what I knew in the Spirit, to be the hand of God, reach down with a key and open the lock.

I woke up at this point and asked the Holy Spirit to give me an interpretation of what I had just seen. I was told that “The hand of God is what I saw and that He, God, was going to start opening up the mysteries of the Bible to those who have an ear to hear and to those who can receive what He is showing them at this time.”

I know that there are those who will say that this is fluff and that there is nothing new to be revealed in scripture. I am not saying that there is anything new added to the scripture, but that the things of God that only the Spirit of God can show, are going to be opened up to a people who are willing to hear.   

Jesus said  in John16: 12-15

 12 “There is so much more I want to tell you, but you can’t bear it now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. 14 He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. 15 All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.’

Jesus makes it clear that there is more than even what He was able to tell at that time, but in time He would reveal to man through the Holy Spirit, the things of God.

Paul, the Apostle said this to the Church at Corinth,

1 Corinthians 2

 1And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  2For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  4And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. 6Howbeit we speak wisdom among them that are perfect: yet not the wisdom of this world, nor of the princes of this world, that come to nought:  7But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: 8Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.  9But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 10But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.  11For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.  12Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.  13Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  14But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. 16For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.

This wisdom clearly comes from God the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, to reveal to us the things HE wants to show us.

God is sovereign and CAN and WILL do as He pleases.

Show us your mind and give us the wisdom, Father God, to do your will here on earth, now Lord, as it is in Heaven.

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