Truth and Strange Fire

By Jimmie Brodersen:

They are not of the world, as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by the truth; Your word is truth  – John 17:16-17

God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” – John 4:24

The Word of the Lord God Almighty is TRUTH. Sadly many add and promote adding practices from other religions, as well as whatever they consider helpful, in order to have a mystical/supernatural experience. If you think about it, this action is a statement saying “the Word of God is not enough”, and even questions whether the word of God is truth. Praise, worship, and all aspects of our lives as Christians are to be pure, and follow the word of the Lord. We are not to reach outside and bring in pagan practices; that is a form of “strange/profane fire”. Do you recall how much the LORD detests strange/profane fire?

Then Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, each took his censer and put fire in it, put incense on it, and offered profane fire before the Lord, which He had not commanded them. So fire went out from the Lord and devoured them, and they died before the Lord. And Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke, saying: ‘By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified.’ ” So Aaron held his peace. ” – Lev 10:1-3 (NKJV)

Aaron’s sons were not permitted or authorized to give an offering of praise however they saw fit; it was unauthorized, and therefore profane. We are not authorized to worship, praise, and serve God however we would like to, it must be within the guidelines of His word. We are not to add mysticism. It is not acceptable to add chants/mantras/transcendental meditation, go into trances, or to pray to anyone other than the Lord. When someone does so, he or she is before the Lord with profane practices from other religions, practices from outside of His word. Strange fire is disobedience, and disobedience is sin. When a person is involved with mystical practices the person is also inviting demons into his or her life. While a demon cannot possess (enter and control) a born again Christian, a demon can still oppress and be influential. Even without the demons these practices provide deceiving experiences that give a sensation of a divine encounter.

These practices are increasing in popularity. Much of the influence comes from popular pastors and worship leaders who have learned from the Catholic Mystics writings, and or new age mystics (some of whom also studied the Catholic mystics). While many of these pastors are known to be emergent or otherwise false teachers, less is known about the worship leaders. Some people do not care about the background of the worship leaders, which is ignoring the influencing factors of the songs.

Have you ever sat down and considered lyrics to worship songs? Why do so many of the modern worship songs lack lyrical content? Why do so many of the modern songs repeat one or two phrases, or even one word literally a dozen or dozens of times? Do people not realize that is chanting? Some people claim that the repetitions cause them feel connected to God, which is an emotional deception. Why are so many of the modern songs self-edifying, not actually praising the Lord, worshiping/adoring the Lord? Yes, sometimes we do need affirmation; however a church worship service is not the time, the time for us to receive affirmation would be during the sermon, then afterward we sing thanks and praise to the Lord. Some songs are stories, while others are not even of sound doctrine. To be blunt, many of the songs are not inspired by the Holy Spirit. Some songs were inspired by the Holy Spirit, but were not meant for church service. Many of the songs are inspired by mystic practices, false doctrine, or by imagination.

I suggest we consider what prayer is. To pray simply is to communicate with the Lord. There are types of prayers:

First of all, then, I urge that petitions, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone – 1 Tim 2:1 (HCSB)

Petitions are personal requests. The word for “prayers” means fervent prayer and worship. Intercession is to go to the Lord with concerns for other people; our request is for them rather than ourselves. I am sure we know what thanksgiving is.

And don’t get drunk with wine, which leads to reckless actions, but be filled by the Spirit:  speaking to one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing and making music from your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” – Eph 5:18-20 (HCSB)

When we sing songs of praise, thanksgiving, and worship to the Lord, we are communicating to Him, so we are praying. (Also, the Hymns here are not what the Hymns some people have been using for the past few hundred years) Not one of these types of prayers or songs in the bible involve certain physical positioning, chants, mantras, or going into a trance. Most of the book of Psalms are songs, read them and compare them to contemporary worship music.

I have noticed churches singing songs written by Kim Walker (Kim Walker-Smith). I would like to give you some background on Walker. Kim Walker-Smith is known not only for solo songs but also as part of “The Jesus culture” which is from Bethel Church in Redding California, which is part of a cult called New Apostolic Reformation. Bethel Church is full of false prophets and false teachers, among them are Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton.

Would you agree that the songs chosen by a church’s own worship team should represent the beliefs of the church? Why then unless you are part of the NAR would you sing songs from the NAR? Or songs by contemplatives/emergents/Catholics?  If you were part of church leadership, and perhaps you are, and you were putting together a special event, which includes guest worship, would you not want to have a group whose beliefs are the same as those of yours and the church you are part of? Would you not personally check the spiritual backgrounds of the groups? There are churches whose leadership does not check, or maybe they ignore, either way by using the songs or hosting these musical groups promotes and endorses these practices and doctrines.

This summer the annual Harvest Evangelical Crusade held in Anaheim California, which is part of the ministry of Greg Laurie and his mega church Harvest, will include Contemplative and seemingly Catholic David Crowder, and Contemplative Gungor. I am not accusing the pastor of outright promotion of this mysticism, it may be a lack of wisdom by not doing research; however it is possible leadership may be ignoring information.  http://www.harvest.org/crusades/2012/anaheim/

“Now we realize that there’s almost a multiplication in what we are able to do,” continues Crowder. “All the guys want to keep making music and have even already started working on stuff. That part is really exciting. And for myself, I’ll continue to live the way I’m wired. And I feel like I’m wired to help figure out ways to serve the Church musically.” Of course of all our rituals, one of the most complex is understanding that there is a time to say hello, and a time to say goodbye. The David Crowder*Band has chosen their final record, Give Us Rest (A Requiem Mass in C [The Happiest of All Keys]), to represent their goodbye, “And it’s all centered around the Eucharist,” finishes Crowder. “And so we thought, man, this is a great place to finish things up—to just come back around this. I guess the period at the end of the sentence would be Christ and his sacrifice, and his in-dwelling.”

– from http://worshipleader.com/saying-goodbye-david-crowder/

In Gungor’s blogs he promotes contemplative prayer, emergent authors, and transcendental meditation. This link is to an article from last year. In other blogs Gungor speaks about something called “Gungor Common Book of Meditative Prayer” of which I could not find information about.

“Assisi helped me discover a new discipline for me that I can’t believe I had gone so long without Meditation. I had tried meditating a handful of times before, but it never really did that much for me. So I stopped. But in Assisi, we would get up every morning and meditate with each other for an hour. Than we’d do a movement meditation, then we’d go and meditate on our own for most of the day, and then we’d get together at night one more time and meditate for another half hour before going to bed. That’s a lot of meditation. And I finally got it. Now I understand why people from pretty much all religions do this. To be honest, when I first considered trying out meditation, I was a little nervous. I had some lingering little superstitions from my childhood about meditation floating around in my mind… As a kid, I was pretty much taught that if you meditate or do yoga or anything like that, demons are going to come in and take over your brain, and next thing I know, I’ll be bent over screeching like Emily Rose or something. If any of you have similar superstitions that have been inculcated deep into your psyche, I sympathize with you and I recommend just telling God about it. Something like, “Hey, I want to open my heart to you in this discipline, but I’m a little nervous about it for some reason. Help me out would you?” That’s a formal prayer from the Gungor Common Book of Meditative Prayer that you can memorize if you’d like. Anyway, for those of you that don’t know how to meditate, I’ll tell you what I do, and maybe it will help you if you are interested in trying out this ancient discipline.”

Taken from  http://gungormusic.com/2010/12/pilgrimage-pt-3-meditation/

Also read  http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?tag=gungor

How could somebody who promotes the central and most important of all Catholic dogma be included at a protestant/nondenominational event? If you do not understand the Eucharist, do some research; in short, it is a false gospel and idolatry. The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus is literally in the monstrance, Christ is the wafer. They teach that when a person drinks the wine and eats the bread that those sacraments literally become the flesh and blood of Christ (transubstantiation). People worship, praise, and give prayers of petitions and intercessions to the wafer in the monstrance.

Writing about matters like this, where serious matters in such personal areas of life are dealt with is not easy, nor enjoyable. I take this very seriously, and with a heavy heart. I want to be clear that in no way am I suggesting that these people or the churches that host them do not love the Lord, I am not even thinking about judging their personal salvation. I am writing only about the spiritual/mystical practices that have been incorporated. Please understand I am not attacking Greg Laurie, this is about the practices the worship leaders promote and engage in, and the fact they are not to be accepted.

Judgment must be used in the case of cults, false teachers, and false religions. We were warned false teachers would exist. We are to discern false teaching, the discernment comes from knowing the Lord, and some people have discernment of Spirits. (1 Cor 12:10) We are to shun those who teach Jesus differently than what we read in the bible, or teach a different means of salvation, when a different doctrine is taught from what we read in the New Testament.

I know that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. And men will rise up from your own number with deviant doctrines to lure the disciples into following them. Therefore be on the alert, remembering that night and day for three years I did not stop warning each one of you with tears.” – Acts 20:29-31

Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.” – Romans 16:17 (NKJV)

Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to keep away from every brother who walks irresponsibly and not according to the tradition received from us.” – 2 Thess 3:6

Whoever transgresses and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house nor greet him; for he who greets him shares in his evil deeds.” – 2 John 1:9-11

If anyone teaches other doctrine and does not agree with the sound teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ and with the teaching that promotes godliness, he is conceited, understanding nothing, but has a sick interest in disputes and arguments over words. From these come envy, quarreling, slander, evil suspicions, and constant disagreement among people whose minds are depraved and deprived of the truth, who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain.”  – 1 Tim 6:3-5

not that there is another gospel, but there are some who are troubling you and want to change the good news about the Messiah. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel other than what we have preached to you, a curse be on him!  As we have said before, I now say again: If anyone preaches to you a gospel contrary to what you received, a curse be on him!” –  Gal 1:7-9

We are told it is important to contend for the faith, which is to recognize false teaching in the church and speak against it, defending the true message of Christ.

“Dear friends, although I was eager to write you about the salvation we share, I found it necessary to write and exhort you to contend for the faith that was delivered to the saints once for all.” – Jude 1:3

Since we know conclusively, we are not to have Ecumenical meetings I am greatly disappointed to see Ecumenical worship at what is promoted as an “Evangelical outreach”. How can we go out witnessing with the bible if we do not obey it when we are evangelizing?  We need to understand the word of God is HOLY. The word of the LORD is to be taken seriously and with reverence. We do not take from it what we prefer and leave out the rest. The word of the Lord is not something to bargain with, we are not to compromise it. By accepting and promoting people who have compromised and disobeyed the scriptures we sin as well.

I began working on this on the evening of Sunday June 24th, after days in prayer. I spent two hours putting together thoughts and thinking about verses. I was very tired in a lot of pain, so I decided I would go to bed, and then continue putting this together Monday. I did not sleep. As soon as I had laid down, all of my painful health conditions faired up at once and did so until Tuesday night. I have several health conditions, and I never have had each one of them at their worst all at once. Monday night was worse than Sunday night, and I knew there were demons around for several hours. I have had demonic oppression in the past when working on writing about topics that involve demons. Satan and his demons do not want the truth exposed, they want people to believe they know the truth and know Jesus when in fact they are deceived. Satan and his demons want people to ignore the truth, and make compromises. The most popular compromises in this area seem to be “this will not hurt me” and “it still honors and glorifies the Lord”. Knowing the truth, we know that those are lies. God is not honored by strange fire, and He does not accept it, regardless of how sincere we are.

I wish everyone could understand how serious this is, and how heartbreaking it is to see good ministries go bad. Strange fire is killing the church! I submit to you that the apostasy Paul wrote about in 2nd Thessalonians chapter two verse three is occurring now. This ecumenical shift which has been taking place in the church around the world is a great falling away from the word of God and forming a new religion. I believe that while there is demonic influence which is causing this, a great deal of this falling away is due to laziness and apathy. Many Christians lack discernment because they do not engage in diligent personal bible study or any personal bible study. Without significant knowledge and comprehension of the Bible which brings discernment, people are caught up in all sorts of doctrines, and terrible ideas. We who know the truth need to allow the LORD to use us to inform other believers and start destroying the infection of compromise in the church. Each of us individually has to consider and decide the following:

Will I stand up for truth and righteousness, for and with the word of God? Will I glorify the Lord and Honor the Lord by obeying His word? Or will I cower and avoid conflict, and ignore the truth and hope it does not harm us as we disobey the Lord?

Let’s be sure our worship and service for the Lord is pure, not strange fire.

For more information about contemplative spirituality you can visit the following:

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/contemplativespirituality.htm

http://www.understandthetimes.org/commentary/c33.shtml

http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=2631

And I recommend the following books 

 “A Time of Departing” by Ray Yungen

“Faith undone” by Roger Oakland

 

In Christ Jesus,

Jimmie R Brodersen

Tagged with: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in Faith, Music, New Spirituality

A Warning About the Harbinger – Christine Pack

From one of my Facebook friends who also studies discernment topics.

DiscernIt

A Commentary on The Harbinger: A Warning About The Harbinger

by Christine Pack

Source

http://www.worldviewweekend.com/worldview-times/article.php?articleid=8385

A book called The Harbinger is fast becoming a lightning rod issue among evangelical Christians, with many Christians saying it is exactly what America needs right now to “wake up” and repent, and come back to biblical truth, but other Christians documenting that Cahn quotes liberally from extra-biblical and mystical sources for his book. The cover of Cahn’s book (right) boldly claims that The Harbinger is an “Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America’s Future.”

Could this be true? Could it be that there are hidden truths that need to be decoded and unveiled to Christians today? And if so, for what purpose? Cahn seems to think so, and has written a book which proclaims just that. The Harbinger is a fiction book, and features a character known as The Prophet who is slowly…

View original post 1,960 more words

Posted in Faith

If Jesus died on Good Friday, how could He be in the grave three days and three nights if He arose on Sunday?

If Jesus died on Good Friday, how could He be in the grave three days and three nights if He arose on Sunday?

This is a common mistake that people make.  Nowhere in scripture does it say that Jesus died on Friday.  People assume that Jesus died on Friday because they are not familiar with the Old Testament laws and terminology and how that terminology changed over the years coming into the New Testament. 

Exodus 12 gives the instructions for observing the Passover Feast.  In it, there is a week long period in which two of those days are designated as holy convocations in which no work is to be done.  The word “Sabbath” is used for any day in which the Jews were not supposed to work, it simply means rest.  In Leviticus 16:31 it says “31It is a sabbath of solemn rest for you, and you shall afflict your souls. It is a statute forever.” Other feasts called for two Sabbaths in a row.

Exodus 12:16 “On the first day there shall be a holy convocation, and on the seventh day there shall be a holy convocation for you. No manner of work shall be done on them; but that which everyone must eat—that only may be prepared by you.”

Yes, there is the weekly Sabbath that they acknowledge as the seventh day or our Saturday.  However, the Jews follow lunar calendar, therefore the feast does not fall on the same day each year.  In fact, this would cause up to three Sabbaths in one seven day period to occur most of the time once you take into account the first day and the last day of the feast and then add in the Sabbath on the last day of the week. 

Jesus died on the Passover Day which would have made the very next day a Sabbath no matter what day of the week it fell on.  John 19:31 indicates that the Sabbath that was going to be on the next day was a “high day”, another phrase for a “holy convocation.”  Therefore, the next day being referred to as a Sabbath did not have to be Saturday.  You can pull up Jewish calendars for many different years and see that the Passover moves around according to their lunar calendar, and that many times there will be two Sabbaths in a row.

John 19:31 “31Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.”

Most scholars believe that Jesus died on a Wednesday and was put into the grave before sundown that day since the Jews were not supposed to touch a corpse on a Sabbath and their Sabbath started at sundown the day before.  The Jews measured a day from sundown one day until sundown the next day. Therefore Jesus most likely died on Wednesday and was buried before sundown.  With Jesus rising on Sunday morning, He would have been in the “heart of the earth,” not hell, for Wednesday night, Thursday, Thursday night, Friday, Friday night, Saturday and resurrected Saturday at sunset, which would constitute three days and three nights.  This would fulfill Matthew 12:40 “40For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.”  References to the time of Jesus’ resurrection say, “when the Sabbath had past.”  However, it appears that the disciples did not go to the tomb until daybreak the next day, probably so that they could see what they were doing better.

 

Posted in Faith

PORTRAIT OF AN APOSTATE

PORTRAIT OF AN APOSTATE.

Posted by on November 4, 2011

“Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from [aphistēmi] the living God,” writes the author of Hebrews (Heb. 3:12 NRSV). For this scenario to occur, an individual must have once believed in the living God, in order for him or her to turn away from the same. The Greek word aphistēmi, translated here as “turns away from,” refers to a removal, an (active) instigate to revolt, to desist, desert, depart and withdraw self.1

Developing an “evil, unbelieving heart” cannot be thought of in fictional or hypothetical terms. Warnings in Scripture are beyond the scope of the nonsensical. If developing an “evil, unbelieving heart” is not possible for the believer, then warning the believer against such a state is nonsensical. Developing an evil, unbelieving heart is, according to noted Greek scholar A.T. Robertson, “rather the active disbelief, refusal to believe.”2 Hence, the believer actually devolves progressively into an evil, unbelieving state — not all at once, necessarily, but a gradual de-evolution into apostasy — a “drifting away from” truth once held (cf. Heb. 2:1), and he does so intentionally, not accidentally.

Retired Episcopal bishop John Shelby Spong is a portrait of such an apostate. This is not ground-breaking news. I am not communicating any truth here with which any orthodox Christian would disagree. He is a damnable heretic who preaches damnable heresies. He does not believe in the God of the Bible, nor the Christ of Scripture, nor in Scripture itself. We are as likely to see Spong in heaven, kneeling before the throne of Christ in worship, as we are to see Hitler doing the same.

I make such strong comments in order to shake up the complacent “believers” who would support Spong, including publishing houses which publish his books and people who attend his conferences. Such persons are promoting a man who opposes God’s kingdom. Spong’s repentance would be glorious, and I pray for his salvation. Only God knows how deep is his apostasy. From all appearances, and according to Hebrews 6:4-6, repentance may be too late, which is frightening, to say the least.

My real perplexity, however, is not how this man became an idolatrous apostate, but, much more importantly, why the Episcopal Church of the United States did not excommunicate him. This speaks volumes about the current state of the Episcopal Church in America than it does of Spong himself. This, as some of my closest friends know, disturbs me on a personal level, because I have so much respect for the historic Episcopal Church in America — the former State Church of Virginia, my birthplace.

On Spong’s website, you can listen to a brief snippet of his message “Beyond Theism,” by clicking on his “About Bishop Spong” tab. In the opening of this brief lecture he states:

Suppose we change our “God” definition? Suppose we take God out of the sky and strip God of the supernatural power which we have created in Him and placed upon this divine Being? And suppose we begin to think of “God” as a presence at the very heart of life?

What Spong really wants is to de-personalize God — transform Him into an impersonal force or presence. If we were to “change our ‘God’ definition,” we would be acknowledging a problem with Christianity’s “definition” of God for nearly two thousand years. But what is wrong with our definition of God? If we have missed God completely, how did we do so? What is our guiding principle for getting us back on track with accurately defining God? Well, for Spong, the answer will not be found in Scripture, because he does not believe in Scripture’s authority or divine origin. The Bible is no more than antiquated opinions of misguided farmers and uneducated, homophobic, misogynist fishermen.

Spong holds to what he calls Twelve Points for Reform.3 In this list he denies the basic tenets of Christianity. Spong is not calling for Reformation; he wants to redefine the principles of the Christian faith; he is seeking to lay another foundation for Christianity. He denies deity to God Himself; he denies the virgin birth, incarnation, atonement, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ; he finds no reason to accept miracles; he rejects the creation account — the world being created by God, as well as the creation roles given by design to humanity; he denies the viability of prayer; and he denies reward and punishment in eternity based on “behavior.” In other words, he has denied every facet of orthodox Christianity held since the time Jesus walked the earth, and has imagined for himself a god made in his own, idolatrous image.

The so-called “warning passages” to believers throughout Scripture are not there to no purpose. This is why most Classical Arminians and all Wesleyan-Arminians hold to Conditional Perseverance. “Therefore we must pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1 NRSV). To whom is the author referring? Who are the we, who must “pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it”? If we, meaning “believers,” cannot drift away from the truth of the gospel, then why must we be warned about drifting away?

I have struggled with the warning passages since 2008, and I admit that I have floundered a bit between an Eternal Security and a Conditional Perseverance position. While I think there is greater weight for the latter, I empathize with those who hold the former. Every time I return to studying this subject, as I just did recently, I end up siding with the Conditional Perseverance position.  

Nevertheless, as we find example after example4 of believers who have turned away from the living God (cf. Heb. 3:12), who once held fast to Him, and given that the Holy Spirit has forewarned us that “in later times some will renounce the faith by paying attention to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (1 Tim. 4:1 NRSV), we must, then, as inspired Scripture informs us, “pay greater attention to what we have heard, so that we do not drift away from it” (Heb. 2:1 NRSV). Men like Spong began their drift toward apostasy when they rejected the inerrancy, infallibility and authority of Scripture. We would be wise in Christ our Savior to cling to Scripture in the same absolute manner as did He: “It is written” (cf. Matt. 4:4).

__________

1 James Strong, Strong’s Complete Word Study: Expanded Edition, ed. Warren Baker (Chattanooga: AMG Publishers, 2004), 2039.

2 A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament: Concise Edition (Nashville: Holman Bible Publishers, 2000), 563.

3 Spong’s list includes the following:

  1. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found.
  2. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt.
  3. The Biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense.
  4. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ’s divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible.
  5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity.
  6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed.
  7. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history.
  8. The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age.
  9. There is no external, objective, revealed standard written in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time.
  10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way.
  11. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior.
  12. All human beings bear God’s image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one’s being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.

4 For a very brief list, we have in our own day not only John Shelby Spong, but also well known figures such as Marcus Borg (and so many other Episcopalians and Presbyterians and Methodists and Baptists, etc.), John Dominic Crossan, Bart Ehrman, John Loftus, Richard Dawkins, Hector Avalos and a host of others who could be named.

 
Posted in Faith

Feed My Sheep

The Lord has had me repent of pride in correcting a brother or sister many years ago. He showed me:

Romans 14:1-4 “Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. 2For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. 3Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him. 4Who are you to judge another’s servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.”

As I prayed about the meaning of it, the Lord reminded me of how He restored Peter after He had denied Jesus. Remember that Peter had boasted in pride about his own faith that he would never abandon Jesus or deny Him. Yet, he did deny Him three times within Jesus’ hearing just as Jesus told him he would do. When Jesus restored him and asked him if he loved Him, He told Peter what he could do as an act of love toward Him. It was Jesus’ passion and purpose to die for all of mankind so that they wouldn’t have to spend eternity in hell. Jesus wanted Peter to “feed My sheep.” Many today think that they are to beat the sheep into subjection, but if we do that we are beating the very ones Jesus died for and instructed not just Peter, but all of us to do… feed His sheep. We get so caught up in being “right” about an issue that even if we don’t beat them, many times we do not feed them. We all grow at different rates.  Also, we have not all had the same life experiences to learn from. So where one may be more mature in one area, the other may be more mature in another because God has already brought them through certain trials to teach them. Jesus would rebuke His disciples from time to time about having little faith, but that is fine, He is the Lord.  Romans COMMANDS US to bear with those who are weak in faith either in all areas or in just some areas of life. Jesus isn’t concerned about how RIGHT WE ARE in a debate, He wants us to lead and plead with not only the sinner but also the faithful who simply may not understand. HE IS NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH. He rebuked the Pharisees for traveling land and sea to win one convert but then because of their harsh rigidness would make that convert more a “child of hell” than they themselves were.

 

Romans 14:9-11 “For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11For it is written:
“As I live, says the LORD,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

We see here that God will have His day and that one day everyone will know He is Lord. The question is, did we show everyone in our life the love and forgiveness that Christ did so that they could know Jesus died for them. Could they look at the way we treated them and know it was true that Jesus cried out from the cross, “Father forgive them for they know not what they do.” John 3:17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” Do we negate such a message of love by being harsh with our brethren? Romans 14 is saying that we are RIGHT in thinking we can now eat foods as long as is is received with thanksgiving, but if our eating of that food causes our brother to be offended then we have sinned against our brother.

Romans 14:12-18 “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.
14I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. 15Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died. 16Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; 17for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.”

Yes, we are to “prove all things” but we must be cautious in the way in which we do it. We must prove things, not people’s hearts, that’s the work of the Holy Spirit, not ours. I see all too often mere men trying to do the work of the Holy Spirit and it is ruinous in the hearts of the hearers! This is what the Holy Spirit was saying through Paul in Romans 14:22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.” In other words, don’t go around all puffed up because you have faith in areas that others don’t.  Don’t be haughty because you understand and someone else doesn’t. We are ambassadors of Christ, we have been given a ministry of reconciliation, so that the world and even the apostate church, His bride for whom He died, would be reconciled unto Him.

Romans 14:19-22 “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another. 20Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense. 21It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak. 22Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.”

When I get too critical of others, the Lord reminds me of this scripture.

James 5:9-11 “Do not grumble against one another, brethren, lest you be condemned. Behold, the Judge is standing at the door! 10My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. 11Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord—that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.”

My heart breaks for some of the bickering I’ve seen within the church and I kept silent asking for the Lord to intervene by His Spirit and I would not speak up until He instructed me to. Children of God, we must get back to feeding His sheep, His sheep, His sheep, they aren’t ours to do with what we will!! Behold, the Judge is at the door!!! And He has a message for His church! GET OUT OF MY SEAT!!!!!!

May God have mercy on us all. Please LORD, restore us unto Yourself!

Tagged with: , , , , ,
Posted in Faith, Godly Correction

MY GREATEST FEAR IS “CHRISTIANS” WHO DO NOT LOVE JESUS

MY GREATEST FEAR IS “CHRISTIANS” WHO DO NOT LOVE JESUS.

Written by from his blog “WilliamWBirch.net” on September 27, 2011

The apostle Paul closes his letter to the church at Corinth with these words: “If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed. Maranatha” (1 Cor. 16:22 NASB). “Maranatha” (μαράνα θά) translates, “Our Lord, come.” The word for “accursed” in Greek (ἀνάθεμα) refers to “a thing devoted to God without hope of being redeemed” (link). I give you the original Greek words here so that you can see how nearly every letter used to make up “anathema” is also used for “Maranatha,” mentioned only here in the New Testament. Speculation has been made about the connection of the two terms, but this post is not meant to further that conversation.

I do wonder, however, if those who profess to be followers of Christ but who do not love Jesus are those who are devoted to God without hope of being redeemed (anathema) when the Lord returns (Maranatha). What is more important, in my opinion, is the immediate question posed to all who profess to be Christians: Can you admit with honesty and integrity that you love Jesus? I did not ask whether you “believe in God” or if you “believe (in a historical way) in Jesus Christ,” nor did I ask if you are perfect. I also did not ask if you love Jesus perfectly. But some people profess to believe in God or in Jesus and the confession amounts to nothing more than mere words. Do you love Jesus?

I heard a story about a pastor’s son, now in his thirties, who supposedly “accepted Christ” at a young age but presently demonstrates no fruit (evidence) of a changed heart or life (and has not since his youth). The son cannot confess that he loves Jesus. The pastor baptized his young son, and this pastor has always been a passionate proclaimer of God’s word, including the doctrine of necessary perseverance. In other words, the pastor has always been convinced — as is the son today — that once a person “accepts Christ” (and of course follows that “acceptance” with believer’s baptism), he or she is saved eternally. Nothing that person can do (or not do?) will forfeit his or her salvation, since salvation is by grace through faith in Christ and not of works (i.e., any deeds we do).

Fair enough. I will not take any issue with the doctrine of Perseverance (or the contrary view). This post is not about Perseverance. The moral of that brief story of the pastor’s son is that this son has the mistaken view that he is still saved — saved, even though he cannot confess that he loves Jesus — saved, even though there is no evidence whatsoever that his heart has been changed as a result of “accepting Jesus.” I want to address this son and all like him. Friend, the matter is not merely that you are not “living as you should.” The matter is much more severe. You cannot confess to love Jesus, which speaks volumes about your present condition with regard to salvation.

I admit that I am uncomfortable with the language of “accepting Jesus.” In my Southern Baptist context, I have heard the phrase used by pastors. They mean no harm by its use. For them, the phrase means the same as “receiving Jesus.” For John the Immerser (Baptist, Baptizer) states, “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God” (John 1:12 NASB). I prefer the language of receiving Christ as Lord and Savior (not just as Savior but also as Lord). I do not think the Greater (King Jesus) needs to be “accepted” by the lesser (sinful human beings). If stated any other way, we (the lesser) need to be “accepted” by God (the Greater) through Christ — this is the biblical way to understand the matter, in my opinion. For Scripture states that God “predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved” (Eph. 1:5-6 NKJV, emphasis added).

If you cannot confess with honesty and integrity that you presently love Jesus, you can be guaranteed one of two truths: 1) that salvation has not yet come to you (so that you still need to be born again), or 2) that you have backslidden into a state from which you need to turn away or forsake. The words of John the Immerser still speak to you today: “Therefore bear fruits in keeping with repentance” (Luke 3:8 NASB). I like the way the New Living Translation reads: “Prove by the way you live that you have repented of your sins and turned to God.”

This message was given to Jewish people who were relying on their heritage to make them right with God. Some “professing Christians” today are relying on their baptism, or their connection to God through a parent or a grandparent, or their good deeds, or, in the case of the pastor’s son, on a pastor’s teaching of perseverance — that a one-time confession of accepting Christ rather than an on-going faith in and love for Jesus amounts to eternal security and salvation — to make them right with God. They fail to consider that each individual will have to appear alone before the judgment seat of God in Christ to give an account of his or her life. Faith and repentance are individual experiences. No one will be admitted into God’s presence by someone else’s faith and repentance.

Scripture teaches that “the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Rom. 5:5 NASB). When a person believes or trust in Christ for salvation, the Person of the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within that individual. The “love of God,” whether it is love for God or His love for us and others, is then evident in that person. The person who does not love, Scripture teaches, does not belong to Christ: “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love” (1 John 4:7-8 NASB).

We had no love for God prior to being born again: “This is real love — not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” (1 John 4:10 NLT). More to the point, Jesus Himself states, “He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father’s who sent Me” (John 14:24 NASB). Our faith in and love for Jesus is most clearly demonstrated when we obey (a result of repentance) His commandments. Those who live their lives for themselves, in direct disobedience to Christ, do not love Him. No matter what they profess about their supposed Christianity or their belief in God or in Jesus Christ, if they do not love Jesus (exhibited by a life of obedience), they are not now and will not later be saved, but instead cursed.

Today is still the day of salvation. May the Lord grace your heart toward repentance and faith in Jesus, demonstrated in genuine love for Christ through obedience. My greatest fear, for many people whom I know, is that they will be among those to whom Jesus says, “I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws” (Matt. 7:23 NLT). For Jesus confesses, “Not everyone who calls out to me, ‘Lord! Lord!’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those who actually do the will of my Father in heaven will enter” (Matt. 7:21 NLT). Please, do not let this moment of grace pass you by. Trust in Christ Jesus and you will be born again and/or reconciled to the Lord. You will then love Him in sincerity and with humility, obeying Him from the heart. Do not be deceived: Our Lord will return (Maranatha), and those who do not love Him will be without hope of being redeemed or saved (anathema).

Posted in Faith

Sifted Into the Eternal Weight of Glory

This is an email of encouragement my cousin, Randy Murieen sent to a pastor friend.  He shared it with others and I was blessed so much that I wanted to share it with everyone else.

Hi Ryan,

Here we go, start at the beginning of Luke 22 as it leads up to Luke 22:31. Jesus knows what is in our hearts and if we are really the person we are saying we are! Peter was not the rock yet! But soon to be after he fell so in love with Jesus that he could never deny Him again.

Think of this, in the midst of our trials a miracle happens, our heart becomes His, we begin to love and trust God unconditionally!!! God loves us unconditionally, Job loved Him unconditionally. Do we? Or is he asking us 3 times if we love Him as He did with Peter? Many people never think of loving God unconditionally. No matter what happens to us, Peter soon did, Job did. Jobs wife blamed her husband and Almighty God- was that her faith test too? Job chose to love Him and told Him even though you slay me I will trust you! Many people do not grow spiritually because they blame God for the trial, they hurt and they do not understand why He would allow it? It is for our ultimate good. He has the right to test our hearts! He is purifying them. He is the Potter! We are the clay. In the end those who trust Him and allow Him to change them will be priceless fruit to Him! We are being redeemed into the fullness of Christ dwelling in us during the trial!! Yes, Christ in us the hope of Glory!! The first Adam failed, the second Adam is the Great Eternal High Priest that will never die and never fail!

How did Peter fall so deeply in love with his savior? The same way we do, through the trials!

To sift means to beat, separate, and reveal. As the husk is beaten off of the grain and separated and then who we are is revealed!! Jesus says if you want any part of me you have to drink my blood and eat my flesh! Many turned back! They still do today. Some turn away then come back and follow Him as Peter did. At first Peter said Lord I’m ready to go with you to prison or even unto death. After denying Jesus his heart was changed forever, to the point of asking to be crucified upside down….His undying, passion and alliance won many souls to his savior. He came from a not so certain identify, through the sifting process that turned him into a Lion! He learned who the real Peter was, the person God created him to be. Peter thought he knew himself. It took Jesus confronting him in the darkest hour then God revealed to him who he really was. Then God began revealing his love for him personally. Peter would never doubt again and go on fearlessly. We have to be with Jesus and have him show us who we really are. We will enjoy ourselves when we see who we really are! It is Christ in us! He is changing our very nature into His! Father make them one as you and I are one! Once we have our true identity in Christ! We know who we are! A new creature! And we will like being around other people who know who they are in Christ! We are made for the real fellowship in the second Adam not the falseness of the fallen first Adam.

Later on by one look from Jesus, Peter knows he is forgiven! He had denied him 3 times he was afraid when the servant girl recognized him. Later he preaches to 3,000. He has gone from fear to great faith! Jesus prays for him and tells him, "Peter now go strengthen your brethren!!" That became his life’s assignment and purpose on earth!! His writing inspired by the Holy Spirit has encouraged and strengthened us for centuries. Isn’t this every Christians life’s purpose? What a calling? We can strengthen each other and that person will go strengthen many others.

You have been faithful with a little, so He has given you much more, and many more souls to look after.

The greatest thing we have to give to the people around us is our true personhood in Christ! That is how others see Jesus in us! That pure unadulterated view of His love for Peter changed him forever. He captures our hearts the same way.

Satan understands us being sifted as he was sifted too! His pride made him fail his test; he chose to want to be above God rather than to love Him! God cast him down to earth!

We Christians are constantly being sifted, we may not recognize it, but we are either about to be sifted, or have just finished being sifted or we are about to be sifted again! That is the process of God increasing our faith in us, the rhythm of life! Since we are in the battle between God and the devil, The spirit of truth and the spirit of error, the antichrist spirit which is always operating, resisting the righteousness of Christ and the church. But the gates of hell shall not prevail…

Ryan if you take what is in the letter you wrote to me, it is the follow up FRUIT of this. These are only light afflictions; we have not suffered to bloodshed yet. I heard this; “no preacher is really a preacher until he has suffered for Jesus.” It is true, or we cannot identify with His deep suffering He endured in His Love for us! And the victory of overcoming the world for us so He could send us into it.

He did say to Peter I have prayed that your faith will not fail. So it appears that Peters faith was the trial…Jesus wanted all of his heart and no more unbelief and fear operating in him and organized the circumstances to train and test him!! Lord let us not miss the moments of your visitation when you are testing our faith!!! It is how we grow into people of great faith.

The sifting process is going on in our church as well as each individual. If we are following Him our faith is going to be sifted and tested and it will increase or decrease every day by how much His Word is dominating us in everything we think and do. We are either walking in faith (trust) or in fear (unbelief). We choose to follow you Lord with our whole heart in great faith and honor You. The man who trusts Him will NEVER be put to shame! He desires to impart GREAT faith in all of His people. To do GREAT things for those who know their God…. Do we really understand if God is for us who can be against us? May we all encourage one another and pray for each other’s strengthening. Amen!

Randy

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Faith
Archives
Share This With Friends
Bookmark and Share
Bible.is

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 199 other followers

May 2020
M T W T F S S
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
%d bloggers like this: