When a man gets very sick the pain drives him to the doctor. When a man gets truly convicted of his sins the pain and the guilt drives him to the Savior. Conviction means convinced. If the sick man was not convinced he’s in danger he may not take action, and only when a man is convinced by the Holy Spirit that he is lost and going to hell does he realize he needs a Savior. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will convince of sin, righteousness and judgment, and this means that when people come under His conviction they realize they are sinners, they are fully convinced of it and thus they know they are lost and going to hell without a Savior. But there is a spirit at work in Christianity which does not do this and yet people think that spirit is the Holy Spirit.
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When I read the Book of Revelation I see that after the gospel has been preached to every tribe, tongue and nation then God will take over the “preaching”, He will speak from Heaven by shaking the foundations of the earth to its very core, and men will hide themselves in caves bcos they know who is speaking from Heaven. God will have the last word.
When we consider that the true Christian life springs forth from a revelation of Christ, then the Church in exactly the same way springs forth from the same revelation of Christ, with His commands for Assembling and His order which came thru the Apostles. So, just as a person can’t be a true Christian without a revelation of Christ, in the same order, how can a group of people function together as a true Church unless there is a revelation of the Word of God concerning the Church? That is, in the context where man’s traditions predominate and are even quite fixed in people’s consciences, there has to come a revelation of the Church which is powerful enough to over-rule the rule of man. This is why the beginnings of such a corporate expression, the laying of the foundation, may be painfully slow, as we are talking about revelation, not something which can be imparted into people at our will.
I hope i’m not engaging in reduction-ism (oversimplification) but I want to make an observation. Many of my Facebook friends post videos and updates from popular preachers and one characteristic of most of them is that they are man-centered (anthropocentric).
They begin with man and end with man: like, man has a problem etc. and Jesus or God or “grace” or “favor” can be used to tackle that problem and bring blessing, with the goal being what is perceived to be a better life for YOU, or a more “successful” life: You should do these things bcos “it will be good for you” and avoid those things bcos “it will be bad for you” : YOU is still at the center. Christ is not the center of it, He is not the Alpha and Omega of such teaching, He is not the goal… Jesus is sometimes referred to or used, but HE IS NOT THE SUBSTANCE OF IT, it is all man from start to finish.
It very deceitfully and gradually replaces Jesus with YOU, and Jesus is gradually eliminated in very small increments and YOU replaces Him, not suddenly, but a very subtle shift and exchange.
It comes down to a “Christian” formula or methodology for apparent success: the Scriptures are interpreted as solely there to serve man’s greed and self-centered-ness, and the Person of Jesus Christ is rarely seen at all: it depends on what you’re looking for, whether you are man-centered or Christ-centered (Christos-centric).
Marketers know that all you need to do is find out what people want and then sell it to them. So that’s easy then when it comes to marketing a ministry, all you need to do is realize that most people are selfish, so if you can appeal to their selfishness or their pride or ego, and give them advice how, as Christians, they can still make SELF the main goal in life and yet still use Jesus name, then they buy it.
Years ago there was an advertisement for a bank and their slogan was “For the most important person in the world, YOU”. This hits home and embodies the same ethos and drive of popular modern preachers, it’s the same subtle man-centered and Christ-denying message.
Don’t speak any bad words bcos that will not be good for YOU. Speak good words and that will be good for YOU.
Give your money bcos that will be good for YOU, and if you don’t give your money that will be bad for YOU.
Confess the scriptures bcos that will give YOU favor and success, and if you don’t it won’t be good for YOU.
Forgive others and that will be good for YOU and if not that will be bad for YOU.
Don’t worry as that will be bad for YOU.
Sin will have bad consequences for YOU and doing good will be good for YOU.
Pray that things go well for YOU and that YOU have favor, otherwise it will not go well for YOU. Pray for others that they will give YOU favor and so that your friendship with them will be good for YOU.
Love yourself and that will be good for YOU. Love others and that will be good for YOU.
Think positive and that will be good for YOU.
Have a vision and dream and that will be good for YOU to achieve YOUR dreams.
THIS SUMS UP THE MESSAGE OF MOST MODERN TV PREACHERS. Now you know this you don’t need to waste your time and money on them anymore.
Be Christ-centered not man-centered. Consider what is good for HIM before you consider what is good for YOU.
One thing about 666 is that it represents the ultimate self glorification of man (six is the number of man) so a man-centered “gospel” or “church” is of the spirit of antichrist.
(From the Archives)
The greatest thing happening in the entire world is happening right where you are, and in fact it’s happening right inside of you. It is the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit. It’s not the headline news on the networks but nevertheless it is the greatest thing happening on the planet. It is Jesus working in His people. When Jesus says to seek first His Kingdom and Righteousness He means that it is the greatest thing going on in the world, far surpassing anything else.
What is the greatest thing that could ever happen to you in your life? To be conformed to Christ.
Is to spend some time alone daily with the Lord Jesus the sweetest, most precious time of your life?
When Jesus came along He wasn’t popular with everyone. Unbelievable as it may seem, some folks even found fault with Him. You see, Jesus Himself said that He is the message: I am the way, the truth and the life. It came down to accepting the Man for who He claimed to be, the Son of God, and trusting what He said even if you couldn’t fully understand it.
Light came into the darkness. Those of the darkness hated the light. They found fault with Him, but the fault they thought they saw in Jesus was simply the reflection of their own sin-darkened hearts, seeing from their own twisted, evil perspective, and not truth.
But some folks checked Jesus out and they couldn’t find any fault with Him.
The Roman Governor was one. He was sitting as a judge over Jesus and he said, I find no fault with this man.
Prostitutes, sinners and the despised tax collectors found no fault with Him either. Why? They recognized Jesus was holy bcos they first recognized that they weren’t. Only a sinner can see a Savior. No one else can.
Two thousand years later Jesus Christ still stands at the center of human history as the greatest Man who ever lived, and He still lives. The fact that the western world takes His name and uses it as the curse of preference shows how much His name is etched into the conscience of those nations which have heard His gospel. You don’t hear people cursing Mohammed or Gandhi.
Man cannot be neutral. Man cannot ignore Jesus. If you say you can’t find any fault with Jesus then you are morally obligated to follow Him and not stay in the darkness. Once you’re confronted with Jesus Christ then it’s you in the dock, not Him – it’s you under examination, not Him. (When Jesus stood before Pilate it wasn’t Him on trial, it was the whole human race on trial, and the Cross was the judgment of the world) The great searchlight of God’s judgment finds you and remains shining on you. If you find some fault with Jesus then that is your own sin revealing itself, the fault you see is not in Jesus, it’s your own depravity.
So you’ve found fault with Christianity? With “The Church”? Fine. So does Jesus. But don’t use that as a lame way of justifying yourself.
Do you find any fault with Jesus? Is He who He claimed to be, the Son of God? Did God raise Him from the dead? What do you say?
And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom you will serve… Joshua 24:15a
Don’t be denied the fullness of Christ. He is yours.
And one of the elders said unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. Rev. 5:5-6
Jesus eternal, unchanging nature is likened to that of a Lion and a Lamb: authority and submission, power and meekness in harmony as one.
In these days, as always I suppose, we need to have His nature: both the steely resolve to stand unshakable and immovable as pillars of the truth in a wicked age, and yet at the same time have the nature of a lamb, willing to follow The Shepherd, willing even to be slaughtered if it is necessary in God’s plan, willing to lay down our lives sacrificially.
Some of us need more steel, and others more tenderness. Steel is lacking these days, there’s not many lions, there’s more kitty-cats.
How the nature of a lion and of a lamb can be harmonized as one nature is supernatural, the work of the Spirit and not the flesh.
When you think about the Lion nature and the Lamb nature: It really took a Lion to go the cross as a Lamb. It took the authority of a Lion to yield to the authority of the Father as a Lamb.
Christian martyrs are like lambs to the slaughter, but only bcos there is a holy steel inside them. In the Kingdom of God true authority is the authority to lay down our lives.
The Lion roars, He doesn’t whimper. These days we get a lot of pathetic whimpers and not much roar.
People in the system tend to be more fake or artificial in the way they talk and live, and those free from the system usually speak with more honesty, generally speaking.
Genuine expressions of the body of Christ functioning together (Church) produce genuine people, and artificial ways of being the Church produce artificial people: every seed brings forth fruit after its kind (Gen. 1:11).
The reality of how Christians relate to one another IS CHURCH in the sight of the Lord Jesus Christ: fake or artificial relating, then the life stays artificial : genuine relating, and the life becomes more genuine and transparent every day.
What a parody that people would think that attending a show amounts to the Church described in the NT. What a joke.
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Therefore by their fruits you shall know them. Matt. 7:20
What kind of fruit are we talking about? The fruit of righteousness and holiness (Phil. 1:11) which is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23). But even this is not enough for some, they still find it hard to tell a good tree from a bad tree.
It helps to consider that the good fruit a true Christian bears is actually the nature and character of Christ indwelling them, so then a lot hinges upon what kind of person they think Jesus is.
For example, are there many kinds of Jesus? Is there a slippery Jesus, a money loving covetous Jesus, a lustful Jesus, a proud Jesus, a dirty Jesus, a fornicating Jesus, a lying Jesus, a shifty Jesus, an unreliable Jesus, an unloving Jesus, a bitter Jesus, a false teacher Jesus, a superficial Jesus, a worldly Jesus, a millionaire televangelist Jesus, a pope Jesus, a false prophet Jesus, a statue worshiping Jesus, a religion business Jesus, an effeminate Jesus, a macho Jesus, a red neck Jesus, a cussing Jesus, a philosopher Jesus, a political Jesus, a new-age Jesus, an inter-faith Jesus, a merchandising Jesus, a rocker Jesus, a cool Jesus, etc. …. ??
The fruit always matches the tree, and the fruit never falls far from the tree. None of these bad fruits match The True Vine. Therefore the only way to stay ON THE WAY and not get seduced away from the narrow way of the Jesus of the Bible is to get to KNOW THE TRUE NATURE of Jesus and the H-o-l-y Spirit. To immerse yourself in the NT and find out what the nature of the real Jesus is. If we don’t know His nature then we will accept things which are against His nature.
Therefore if we are confused about what real Christianity is, and what it is not, and what is true teaching and practice, then it is only to the degree that we are confused about what kind of person Jesus Christ is. Everything hinges on what kind of person Jesus Christ is.
For Jesus Christ indwells His people, and therefore they bear the fruit of this reality:
…To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus… Col. 1:27-28
Once the concept of Christian Character is lost then all is lost, and the lights go out on Christianity and all that’s left is an empty shell. We are fast getting to that place where Christians no longer have much of a concept of what Christian character is, like that was something back in the old days: It’s a place where Christians can’t even relate to the concept.
Every disciple of Jesus is a witness or martyr of Jesus, for martyr means witness.
Some martyrs die quickly and others have a slow martyrdom, they are living martyrs. Our faith in Jesus is a faith to die for and a faith to live for: only those who die for their faith truly live for their faith.
Paul said, ...I die daily. I Cor. 15:31
…Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we who live are always delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. 2 Cor. 4: 10-11
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The only way to stay on THE WAY and not get seduced away from the Jesus of the Bible is to get to KNOW the TRUE nature of Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
During this video you may think it is genuine, as the guy is healed of deafness, but wait till the end and see how Benny is able to USE the spirit/s which attend him AT WILL (at Benny’s will) to perform a meaningless stunt, for right on cue the whole choir falls over like dominoes. And Benny says that this stunt is proof that this is from God.
Then skip over into the New Testament and the Apostles… Do you see them performing such stunts? If you did not know the nature of Jesus and the Holy Spirit then you could verily easily accept this power, which is a very real power, as being from God.
Just bcos it is done “in Jesus name” doesn’t mean a thing (Matt. 24:11,24).
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Please see COMMENTS
It is strange to me how prophets and disciples of the Bible lived hard lives, most of them estranged from their family and homeland, and most of them didn’t really want to be who they were, but they did it because they loved God. In America, everybody and their brother wants to be a prophet or have some kind of title, and in turn, most of it has some kind of man made prestige behind it. That is weird, Christianity seems so fake sometimes. Jesus is awesome, He is real, He is humble, He is everything we should imitate. My eyes are open to this garbage within most four walls they call “church” here in America.
~ Jeremy Gilliland
From a post on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/jeremy.gilliland3
Good post Jeremy. People either “drink the Kool-Aid” or they “drink the Truth serum” and then tell it like it is, and we love that honesty.
Had a discussion on Facebook about gold dust and feathers. If a believer gets gold dust will that really strengthen his faith in Jesus?
Consider these signs:
And he does great wonders, so that he makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, And deceives them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, that had the wound by a sword, and did live. Rev. 13:13-14
Just note that not one believer will believe these false signs, but only unbelievers will believe them.
Why? Because believers aren’t looking for signs, they already believe. Signs are only for unbelievers.
Does Jesus gives signs (like gold dust and feathers) to believers to increase their faith?
Is this how Jesus works? …That mature disciples of Jesus know that He loves them and is with them so they don’t seek a sign to confirm that (other than His words/promises) and Jesus doesn’t give them signs because He knows that they believe, but Jesus gives signs to immature believers who are still not fully convinced of His love, so to them a superficial sign (like gold dust) would be what they feel they need so that they can be sure of His love? Is this how Jesus works?
How could that be?
If that were the case then Jesus (the real one) would be doing the immature a great disservice by giving them the sign they seek after because the only way our faith can grow is to believe His promises and not signs, to walk by faith and not by sight, by the Spirit and not the physical senses.
Signs are only for unbelievers, and once they become a believer then the all sufficient sign they have is the sign of Jonah, and fact of the Cross, the Word of God and the seal of the Holy Spirit in their hearts.
God can use signs and wonders, miracles and healing to help people believe in Jesus in the first place, but once they believe and are born again the only proof they should seek is the authority of His Word.