Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Who is the greatest in the kingdom of God?

Some time ago the Lord began teaching me things that I've considered to be from His deep counsel. I don't expect a lot of people to agree with me, but one thing I won't do is debate these principles. Nevertheless, with that being said, in this first of upcoming blog posts, I share with readers one of the first things He taught me. And it has to do with the number 5 in the Bible. It is significant because it represents the number of God's grace. All throughout God's counsel and workings there are always five elements that determine an outcome of a specific doctrine. In this post, I enlarge on a teaching that Christ gave us found in Matthew 5.

PS – It's one thing if you read this and disagree. But if you see anything in what I post to be blatant error, please contact me. I'm more than happy to stand corrected if you show me evidence from the Bible that I am wrong.



Jesus made distinctions between people in His kingdom as far as who would be the least to the greatest.


I realize that God is no respecter of people. But we all have a choice to whether we will go low or high. And the paradoxical answer to the latter is to go lower and to stay there as a lifestyle. Here are 5 points the Lord has taught me concerning how God ranks Christians as it regards to this. Notice that it's about a heart relationship from a believer to Jesus and that's it.

Afterward, I'll upload a song that sums up what I'm saying simply enough. Thanks for reading!

1. Do you go to Jesus Christ when you are alone and nobody else is around? Just how do you spend that down time when it's just you and the God who made you? The degree to which you do this will be one factor that determines your place in His kingdom.

2.To what degree do you allow Holy Spirit to guide and direct the details of your life? Many think this concept is foolish and unnecessary, but the Lord loves to be a part of every step of our walk as we'll let Him have. Watch God micro-manage your life and experience all the fullness that He has to offer. 

3. To what degree do you inquire about the hidden things of God and the things you don't know? Thru the centuries God has loved to take His servants up as they search out matters that God has kept secret before the foundation of the world. The Bible says it's the glory of the Lord to hide matters but the glory of kings to search them out. 

4. To what degree do you suffer for the sake of Christ? Paul told us that if we suffer for Him we will also reign with Him. The degree of hardships and persecutions we endure for the sake of His kingdom and righteousness will be direct reflections of the glory we will partake with Him in the ages to come. 

5. Lastly, how much do you obey? First, to His revealed will thru what is written. And secondly, to the Holy Spirit's promptings. 
By the way, three ways in which we always need to obey God are:

1. Immediately (Do it right after you know He wants you to do it. Don't wait. Example: When someone asks you to pray for them. Do it right there on the spot. Otherwise, you might go on about your day and forget.)

2. Completely (Be sure to carry out exactly and entirely what He says to do and leave nothing undone that you know He told you to do.)

3. With the right attitude (It's one thing to step out and do what the Father has commanded you to do, but what good is it if your heart isn't in it?)






 

Monday, July 22, 2019

8 Ways to Encourage Ourselves in God





1.) Secure our salvation.


 
You must know you are God’s child thru what Jesus called 

being born-again. If this isn’t your foundation, then all of 

what follows in this writing does not apply to you. What I

like to do is ask people to pause and reflect on what God

has done to bring salvation and their response to Him. If at

the end of this writing you find that you don’t have the 

correct response to this all too crucial question, then it’s my 

prayer that you will make Christ the Lord of your life from 

this day forward. 





2.) Settle sin accounts quickly.



The price has already been paid by the blood of Jesus.

But ask Him to examine you regularly. (Psalm 139:23-24)

And if there’s any trespass or sin that you haven't already

confessed, do so immediately and completely. (1John 1:9) 




If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm



 66:18). 
  

The LORD is far from the wicked: but he hears the prayer of the

righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).


He that turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer

shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9). 



  
3.) Study the Word of God.



Take time to pour over the scriptures. Personalize verses. 

Put yourself in the place of pronouns and read God’s word as

if it’s personally addressed to you. Meditate on it. Search 

out different verses in the original languages that it was

written in whether it’s Hebrew or Greek. There’s a depth

and richness to studying this way that often times our 

English misses out on.



"These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." (Acts 17:11)




"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth." (2 Timothy 2:15) 

 
"And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." (2 Timothy 3:15)






4.) Supplicate ourselves in prayer.






In other words, spend time in communication with the Lord. 

And remember: Prayer is a dialogue; not a monologue. God 

wants to talk to you too. So pour out your heart to Him.

Bring before Him your needs and petitions. Be grateful and

offer Him thanksgiving. Then shut up and wait for Him to 

speak to you back. 


 
5.) Sing songs of praise.







You don’t need to be in a service with a worship team 

leading to do this. You can engage in worship while driving,

taking a shower, or any other thing you can think of. 



 



"Speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the

Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord." 

(Ephesians 5:19)


Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and

admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and

hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts

to God.” (Colossians 3:16)



 



6.) Speak in other tongues.




This is a personal prayer language given to believers by

God and should not be underestimated. The Bible says that

we do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself

intercedes for us through wordless groans. And it is by praying in 

the Holy Spirit that we find edification for ourselves. (1 Corinthians




Now many people will stop and say that nobody should pray in 

tongues unless there is someone to interpret. In such cases where

the speaker is in front of a congregation and looking to 

communicate; this is true. But I’m referring to when a believer is

communing with God by himself. In those instances Paul made it

clear that they are permitted to speak in tongues all they want.






 

7.) Surround ourselves with like-minded believers.





The writer of Hebrews says in chapter 10 to "let us consider how to

stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet 

together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and

all the more as you see the Day drawing near."







But to give a word of caution: Surrounding ourselves with

like-minded believers is the key. Watch out for people who

don’t believe in all the gifts of the Spirit. Love them and

witness to them. But don’t allow yourself to be quenched by

their unbelief or ignorance. Also remember: The common 

denominator that all Christians in the body of Christ share is

Jesus and His kingdom. There are too many groups and

programs that mainly fellowship around the struggles and

sins of its members. This isn’t biblical. Yes, the Bible does

have things to say about accountability and confessing sins

to one another. But if that’s all a group of people are doing

then you need to leave. As Christians we must rally around

our victory in Christ rather than staying in a defeatist

mindset that doesn’t foster true growth and maturity.





8.) Share the Lord Jesus Christ with others.

 

This is where the rubber meets the road. Jesus gave the great 

commission. (Matthew 28:16-20) And if we are serious about our faith

and carrying out these principles, then going out to minister

will be the natural overflowing response after we’ve 

encouraged ourselves in the faith. I have serious doubts 

about people who lock themselves up inside somewhere and

spend their entire time doing what they call meditating or

other so called spiritual precepts and never evangelizing 

other people. Something is missing here. It’s like something 

that someone said to me years ago about witnessing: “How

can I not tell other people about this amazing God that did 

so much for me? I couldn’t keep it to myself if I wanted to!”




 --------------------------------------------------------------------------


Friend, is this your testimony? Do you know for a 100% 

certainty that you have eternal life? The Spirit of God is 
 

telling you at this exact moment to examine yourself to see if

you are in the faith. I’m not asking you what you said or did

by spiritual exercise in your life prior to this point. But at

this exact second, what are you relying on for salvation? 







The Bible says that there is only one correct answer to this

question. I would encourage you to read this quick link to make 

sure you have the right response to what God has done for you thru 

Jesus Christ. And after reading, if you realize that you're trying by

other means to attain eternal life; it's my prayer that you will make

the decision to come to God His way and not yours. In Jesus' name,

be blessed. Amen.


Monday, July 8, 2019

Transformed By the Renewing of My Mind (4)



January 23, 2019:

 Today I was reading about Enoch walking with God to the point his faith was so pleasing to the Lord, the Bible says he was taken.
And I started asking God what would it take to have that kind of faith. And not long after, Holy Spirit began speaking to me about it. He told me that in order to take the next step, I would have to never ask a human being for a single thing ever again in my life. Instead, God told me to move men's hearts, through God, by prayer alone. This is going to be a radical shift for my life. But it's one that I've been seeking for a while now. God has already taken me up by ceasing my prayers of understanding and only praying in the Holy Ghost and interpreting them when needed. So I'm ready. I know the tests are coming. With higher levels come bigger devils, but God's got this.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Obedience to the Faith






If I had to sum up what the epistle to the church at Rome is about,

I would point at two verses that serve as the “book-ends” of the 

book of Romans. They are found in Romans 1:5 and Romans 16:26


and state that the letter was written for the “obedience to the faith”. 

in this blog post, I attempt to share the five-fold grace of God that

believers take part in when they obey the Lord.

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1. From the heart. - (Romans 6:17) (Romans 10:9) This is the first 

step of any believer’s obedience. And it has the potential to be the

most difficult; but one of the most satisfying ways as well. I’ve 

frequently admired Christians as they operate in this grace of

obedience. It’s a beautiful thing to see people live simplistically as 

they go about their lives abiding in God, delighting themselves in

Him as He gives them their hearts’ desires. (Psalm 37:4)







2. From the Word of God(Luke 11:28) It’s an amazing thing

when people take the scripture verbatim and go about carrying out

what it says.






3. From godly counsel. - (Proverbs 11:14) (Proverbs 19:20)

There will always come times throughout the lives of believers

where we will need to obey the Lord thru the guidance and counsel

of other Christians who have insights on how we should go about

doing things. However, this form takes humility to confess we

don’t know as we ought and need help.



4. From Holy Spirit directly. - (Romans 8:14) (Matthew 4:1)


This has been my favorite way of obeying God for years. I just love

to hear personally from God. It has even gotten to the point where

the Lord has given more emphasis on other forms to bring me into 

more maturity of obeying in other areas of this five-fold grace than

just hearing from Holy Spirit. But it’s still a favorite.


5. From the needs of others. (James 2:14-18) (Matthew 10:42)


This one is similar to obeying from godly counsel. But it focuses on

being obedient to God by responding to the needs of others. Many

Christians throughout history have leaned heavily on this 

point to become obedient to the faith. And it is in no wise less than

any of the others when it comes to being faithful to God.



In conclusion, what I would submit here is that throughout the life

of a Christian, we will follow thru with all of these principles in our

walk. And while believers may put more emphasis on some rather

than others in this five-fold grace, the more we engage with each

one of them, the more mature we will become in time.

Transformed By the Renewing of My Mind (3)




This next post is going to serve as a reminder that one day I'm going to write a book on the topic of creative ways to allow the Spirit of God to manifest thru believers. The Bible says in Hebrews
10:24, "let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." 

Several months ago, we had the opportunity to go out to the streets to evangelize, and one of the ideas God gave me spontaneously to minister with were the following: There were 4 or 5 of us out witnessing. And we came upon one fellow who we asked if he wanted to feel the tangible, physical touch of God's Spirit. So we had him stand up. And then two men from our group stood on each side of him. I then told each person standing beside the man to lay hands on him and just think in their minds a part of the guy's body that they wanted God to touch. And without saying anything, I told them to wait. The first dude from out group went first. And after a few moments I asked the guy (who was having hands laid on him) if he could feel anything different going on with his body. And he said he was. And then I asked the brother who was laying hands on him what part of the dude's body was he wanting God to touch. And he said which part. Then I asked the guy again, where at on his body was he getting the touch. And it was the exact spot that the brother was thinking about. This exact same thing happened with the brother who was on the other side of him too. It was simple. But it was the first sign I had ever seen. And in retrospect, the reason why enjoyed that experience so much and like sharing it is the fact that the Lord used 3 different people beside myself to show His love and power to. 


Now some people will stop and object to this sort of thing and ask what real good does it do. And while I agree, people do need to be born-again. And ministry shouldn't stop at this. But I will remind you of what Jesus said in John 14:11. He told people to believe and even if it were the works themselves that caused them to come to faith in Him then so be it. So what I submit is that this kind of Spirit on flesh ministry is profitable in at least two ways. 

1. Hebrews 10:24 - It causes us to consider how to spur one another on unto love and good works

2. John 14:11 - It gives the evidence for belief that God is and is able to do what He said He will do.

Amen

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Transformed By the Renewing of My Mind (2)



In my previous post, yesterday, I spoke out against the mega-church model and explained how they are not God's original intent for fellowships. Today, I'm taking the next step and speaking out against other things you find in churches that I don't believe are of God either.



I think many of us who have been going to worship at churches for a good length of time in the 21st century have encountered this style of church and it's the lights, glitz, and glamour fellowship. And in large, the displays put on by these events are not much different than concerts or entertainment extravaganzas shown by the world. But what I would submit in this blog post is that they are unnecessary and tacky. In fact, I believe there are a large number of millennial's growing to agree with me. They are getting sick of theatrics and want something authentic. And as long as leaders are using gimmicks to draw crowds, then there will always be faulty premises which will inevitably lead to messed up ends.


The fake elements of worship churches are going to great (and expensive) lengths to create are merely counterfeits of what could truly happen if a people came together to worship and lift up the name of Jesus. Consider the following two examples:



The fog machine: These machines emit smoke which I've been told mimic prayers. And combined with different kinds of aroma makers, these are supposed to resemble what the Bible calls the incense of the saints.  



Light shows: These serve no purpose other than contributing to headaches parishioners get when sitting under their influence for long periods of time. (Other than what I've already mentioned) I honestly don't know why leaders choose to incorporate different lights in their services. But I know one thing: The majority of times when I've been in a church and experienced the supernatural, whether it was angels or other activity of Heaven coming to earth, it wasn't in places where light shows were being demonstrated.



Again, these are just two examples of errors the church has been engaging in for years now. The Bible says that we have an enemy that masquerades as an angel of light. And the Bible says that he will even use lying signs, powers, and wonders to deceive people. 
In conclusion, what I want to submit is this: Leaders need to stop operating their churches like circuses and giving the devil footholds to counterfeit the things of God. People are asking and looking for the real deal. And if all you have to offer are things like a bunch of lights, fog machines, etc..Then what are you doing for the kingdom of God? Amen.
 

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Transformed By the Renewing of My Mind (1)




On the night of June 24, 2019, God started (what will last 2 years) of time being spent renewing my mind in regards to things that have been warped in the church for years. He told me (if I sought Him) that He would give me one insight a night that will go toward bringing back His original design for the church. The first insight He gave me, I've made public in this post. And in the spirit of Matthew 10:27, I will continue to post things He reveals to me in this blog for the duration of the two years it takes to finish. All further entries in these matters will have the same title except they will be numbered in the order they are given. 
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The first thing I would submit is this: We're doing church wrong. God never intended a local church to be a mega-church or even a congregation of hundreds. Although this practice is prevalent across the globe, this mistake is seen the worst in western churches; especially in America. And the main reason why it's perpetuated the most is because of money! Why do those who plant churches find it necessary to build great buildings to hold services in when this wasn't the way it was in days long gone? The errors of the mega-church go far beyond leaders collecting money from the hundreds and thousands of people that visit their churches every week. Other implications that arise from large congregations are as follows: (I will post examples and give solutions)



It fosters "consumer Christianity". There's no reason why hundreds of believers should sit at one time under any preaching of the Word. This is a result of Hebrews 5:12, and symptomatic of the western church as a whole. Instead, what should be taking place in the ministry is more believers serving rather than sitting in pews. I'm not suggesting that Christians should never spend time in corporate worship or getting exhortation. But look closely at the majority of churches. When the agenda revolves around the status quo of people coming, giving, maybe singing a few songs, listening to a preacher, and then leaving..Many things are missing.



Now some may interject and say, "Of course, we know the ideal goals in ministry, but how are those things accomplished?" The answer to that starts with the leadership ministering the Word of God. There are many preachers only saying the things others want to hear. In other words it's 2 Timothy 4:3 being played out across the board. And what happens is this: When your ministers never say anything hard then the culture of your church becomes conducent to lukewarmness. I'm not suggesting that preachers need to preach with mean spirits. But what I am saying is that there needs to be times when the counsel of the Word gives place for the Lord to purge His people. An example of this can be seen in the gospel of John 6:66 where many disciples decided to no longer follow Jesus and fell away. 






The last thing I would cite as a problem with the mega church is the fact that it's evidence of a ministry not properly discipling and deploying its people. One of the biggest mistakes I've seen is a church rallying around a person's personality and it being a one man show. Granted, a preacher may be charismatic, but when all you have are multitudes of people coming to listen and give some kind of intellectual or emotional ascent to what's going on, then there will be no sustainable growth or significant outreach from that ministry. Instead, what I would submit is that churches (when they get to a certain maturity and number) should decide to form another local assembly. I realize some ministries are better at this than others, but we're a long way off from saying no the mega church. And again, while money is the main reason why we don't see more of this. It doesn't stop there. Other reasons why leaders latch on to the mega church model are pride and power. But there is coming a day when they will have to answer to God for these things. Amen.