Archive for May, 2008

From zero to hero in one hour

May 31, 2008

Genesis 41:14 Then Pharaoh sent and called Joseph, and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon: and he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.

15 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I have dreamed a dream, and there is none that can interpret it: and I have heard say of thee, that thou canst understand a dream to interpret it.

16 And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace.

17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, In my dream, behold, I stood upon the bank of the river:

18 And, behold, there came up out of the river seven kine, fatfleshed and well favoured; and they fed in a meadow:

19 And, behold, seven other kine came up after them, poor and very ill favoured and leanfleshed, such as I never saw in all the land of Egypt for badness:

20 And the lean and the ill favoured kine did eat up the first seven fat kine:

21 And when they had eaten them up, it could not be known that they had eaten them; but they were still ill favoured, as at the beginning. So I awoke.

22 And I saw in my dream, and, behold, seven ears came up in one stalk, full and good:

23 And, behold, seven ears, withered, thin, and blasted with the east wind, sprung up after them:

24 And the thin ears devoured the seven good ears: and I told this unto the magicians; but there was none that could declare it to me.

25 And Joseph said unto Pharaoh, The dream of Pharaoh is one: God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do.

26 The seven good kine are seven years; and the seven good ears are seven years: the dream is one.

27 And the seven thin and ill favoured kine that came up after them are seven years; and the seven empty ears blasted with the east wind shall be seven years of famine.

28 This is the thing which I have spoken unto Pharaoh: What God is about to do he showeth unto Pharaoh.

29 Behold, there come seven years of great plenty throughout all the land of Egypt:

30 And there shall arise after them seven years of famine; and all the plenty shall be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine shall consume the land;

31 And the plenty shall not be known in the land by reason of that famine following; for it shall be very grievous.

32 And for that the dream was doubled unto Pharaoh twice; it is because the thing is established by God, and God will shortly bring it to pass.

33 Now therefore let Pharaoh look out a man discreet and wise, and set him over the land of Egypt.

34 Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint officers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven plenteous years.

35 And let them gather all the food of those good years that come, and lay up corn under the hand of Pharaoh, and let them keep food in the cities.

36 And that food shall be for store to the land against the seven years of famine, which shall be in the land of Egypt; that the land perish not through the famine.

37 And the thing was good in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of all his servants.

38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art:

40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.

41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.

42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;

43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.

45 And Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphnathpaaneah; (meaning: The Savior) and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt.

47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls.

48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same.

49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number.

Within an hour Joseph is elevated from the dungeon to the throne. From living in filth and squalor, to living in opulence and luxury. From being a “nobody”, to being second in command of a great nation. A pagan king even calls him “The Savior”.

God did it all. God hath showed Pharaoh what he is about to do.” vs. 25.

I find it amazing, what the Lord did with Joseph.

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Discontented with what Father has given you?

May 30, 2008

Numbers 11:1 And when the people complained, it displeased the LORD: and the LORD heard it; and his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and consumed them that were in the uttermost parts of the camp.

2 And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto the LORD, the fire was quenched.

3 And he called the name of the place Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.

4 And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat?

5 We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt freely; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlic:

6 But now our soul is dried away: there is nothing at all, beside this manna, before our eyes.

7 And the manna was as coriander seed, and the colour thereof as the colour of bdellium.

8 And the people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in a mortar, and baked it in pans, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil.

9 And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

10 Then Moses heard the people weep throughout their families, every man in the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; Moses also was displeased.

11 And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou afflicted thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me?

12 Have I conceived all this people? have I begotten them, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing father beareth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers?

13 Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat.

14 I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me.

15 And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness.

16 And the LORD said unto Moses, Gather unto me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the elders of the people, and officers over them; and bring them unto the tabernacle of the congregation, that they may stand there with thee.

17 And I will come down and talk with thee there: and I will take of the spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them; and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.

18 And say thou unto the people, Sanctify yourselves against to morrow, and ye shall eat flesh: for ye have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, Who shall give us flesh to eat? for it was well with us in Egypt: therefore the LORD will give you flesh, and ye shall eat.

19 Ye shall not eat one day, nor two days, nor five days, neither ten days, nor twenty days;

20 But even a whole month, until it come out at your nostrils, and it be loathsome unto you: because that ye have despised the LORD which is among you, and have wept before him, saying, Why came we forth out of Egypt?

21 And Moses said, The people, among whom I am, are six hundred thousand footmen; and thou hast said, I will give them flesh, that they may eat a whole month.

22 Shall the flocks and the herds be slain for them, to suffice them? or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, to suffice them?

23 And the LORD said unto Moses, Is the LORD’S hand waxed short? thou shalt see now whether my word shall come to pass unto thee or not.

24 And Moses went out, and told the people the words of the LORD, and gathered the seventy men of the elders of the people, and set them round about the tabernacle.

25 And the LORD came down in a cloud, and spake unto him, and took of the spirit that was upon him, and gave it unto the seventy elders: and it came to pass, that, when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

26 But there remained two of the men in the camp, the name of the one was Eldad, and the name of the other Medad: and the spirit rested upon them; and they were of them that were written, but went not out unto the tabernacle: and they prophesied in the camp.

27 And there ran a young man, and told Moses, and said, Eldad and Medad do prophesy in the camp.

28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of Moses, one of his young men, answered and said, My lord Moses, forbid them.

29 And Moses said unto him, Enviest thou for my sake? would God that all the LORD’S people were prophets, and that the LORD would put his spirit upon them!

30 And Moses gat him into the camp, he and the elders of Israel.

31 And there went forth a wind from the LORD, and brought quails from the sea, and let them fall by the camp, as it were a day’s journey on this side, and as it were a day’s journey on the other side, round about the camp, and as it were two cubits high upon the face of the earth.

32 And the people stood up all that day, and all that night, and all the next day, and they gathered the quails: he that gathered least gathered ten homers: and they spread them all abroad for themselves round about the camp.

33 And while the flesh was yet between their teeth, ere it was chewed, the wrath of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.

34 And he called the name of that place Kibrothhattaavah: because there they buried the people that lusted.

35 And the people journeyed from Kibrothhattaavah unto Hazeroth; and abode at Hazeroth.

God doesn’t need anything

May 29, 2008

The God who made the world and all the things in it, Him being Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor by the hands of men is He served, as though He needed anything, for He gives to all life, and breath, with respect to all things.

(Acts 17:24-25)

It’s worthwhile considering that God doesn’t need anything. It helps us to maintain a pure worship of Him, that is, in Spirit and Truth.

When we are IN CHRIST, then we also don’t need anything, for we are complete in Him.

Yes, God knows that we have needs, and He fulfills them in and thru His Son. But, in respect to where we stand in Christ, we don’t need a thing, as Christ also doesn’t need a thing.

Therefore, the life we now live by His life, should not be in respect to what we need, or to appease our conscience. Our conscience should have been cleansed, renewed and purified by the Blood of the Lamb (in those who walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh).

Now that our conscience has been cleansed from sin, we can worship/live in Spirit and Truth. There is never an issue anymore of God needing anything, or we needing anything.

The only issue now is His glory, His due : that He is WORTHY.

Much of christendom is not built on this foundation of freedom, won for us on the cross of Calvary. Rather, it’s built on, and driven by, either, a guilty conscience, or a personal need.

If any man wills to do His will

May 27, 2008

Steve Lumbley, on John 7:17.

Doctrines of demons

May 27, 2008

Now the Spirit explicitly says, that in latter times some will fall away from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having been seared with a hot iron as to their own conscience, forbidding to marry, commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who are believers and have come to know the truth.

(1Tim 4:1-3)

Demons have doctrines they bring to the Church. They are not men’s teachings, they are things which demons teach ; they have a demonic source.

The nature of these doctrines/teachings, then, is consistent with the nature of the fallen angelic realm, which is to mock Christ.

The simplest way to mock Christ is simply to contradict Him. When Jesus says one thing, say another thing which contradicts Him.

Much of Christendom has become blinded to the fact that if anyone disagrees with Jesus Christ, then they are judging Him, and also, making themselves superior to Him.

It’s very hard to think of much left in Christianity which agrees with Jesus Christ.

Nail your colors to the mast

May 26, 2008

A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a good moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic – on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg – or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great moral teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.

–  (An Englishman wrote this)  :)

16,636 views

May 26, 2008
Just wanted to let our friends in Christ know, who pray for us and our ministry, that this blog has had a total of 16,636 views since we began last October. Thanks for praying.

The enemies of the cross of Christ

May 26, 2008

I press toward the goal for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, as many as are mature, let us think this way; and if in anything you think otherwise, even this God will reveal to you. Nevertheless, to what we have attained, let us walk by the same rule, being of the same mind. Be fellow imitators of me, brothers, and look out for those walking this way, just as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom often I was speaking to you, and now even weeping I tell you, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame–who are mindful of earthly things. For our citizenship exists in heaven, from which also we eagerly await for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body, that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subject all things to Himself.

(Phil 3:14-21)

At that time there were many “christians” who were enemies of the cross. Now, there are far more.

They are those who are mindful of earthly things. They are earthly-minded. Their minds are set on this earth, this life. Their minds are set on rewards NOW, not deferred.

“Mind” here is:

G5426

φρονέω

phroneō

fron-eh’-o

From G5424; to exercise the mind, that is, entertain or have a sentiment or opinion; by implication to be (mentally) disposed (more or less earnestly in a certain direction); intensively to interest oneself in (with concern or obedience): – set the affection on, (be) care (-ful), (be like-, + be of one, + be of the same, + let this) mind (-ed, regard, savour, think.

Where one’s interests are. Where one has invested their life. Citizenship on earth, and all it represents, or citizenship in heaven?

Antichristianism

May 26, 2008

“Antichristianism is that which shall oppose Christ as a Head, and set up another headship; this is the peculiarity of antichrist and antichristianism.

“…Whoever shall obtrude any doctrine upon the church, to be believed by his own authority, he is guilty of antichristianism…. When any shall presume to obtrude upon the church any doctrine that holds upon human authority, to be urged by the authority of those that impose it, this, I say, is properly antichristianism, for it opposes Christ in his headship…. The imposing of any ordinance, any new institutions, upon the church, belongs to antichristianism…. The imposing of laws so to bind conscience as the laws of Christ do, here is antichristianism.

“Not only because these things are directly against the headship of Christ, but because these things set up another head….”

– Jeremiah Burroughs (circa 1600s), An Exposition of the Prophecy of Hosea (Reformation Heritage Books, http://www.heritagebooks.org/ , 2006 [republished]), p. 44

Pink

May 24, 2008

“Do you imagine that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified by going to worldlings and telling them that they “may be saved at this moment by simply accepting Christ as their personal Savior” while they are wedded to their idols and their hearts are still in love with sin? If I do so, I tell them a lie, pervert the Gospel, insult Christ, and turn the grace of God into lasciviousness.

– A.W. Pink

Is there any fear of God today?

May 23, 2008

Here’s a practical example, where the Apostle describes the reality of the fear of God in the Church.

For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats this bread or drinks this cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, will be guilty of the body of the Lord and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and in this way let him eat from the bread and drink from the cup. For he that eats and drinks in an unworthy manner eats and drinks judgment to himself, not judging correctly the body of the Lord. Because of this many among you are weak and sick, and many have died.

(1Cor 11:26-30)

He wants them to be in touch with reality. If they partake of the Lord’s Table in an unworthy manner, Jesus may kill them. Paul wants them to be aware of this fact. Many Christians had died in judgment, bcos our Lord judged them for this very thing.

A person’s response to this scripture would indicate whether the have the fear of God in them, or not. Most today just could not accept what this scripture says, indicating a lack of the fear of God.

Counterfeit love has removed the fear of God. It says, “I don’t believe a loving Jesus would kill Christians because they take the Lord’s Table in an unworthy manner!

Back to Eden, Eve lost her fear of God. “You shall surely die”, became, “you shall not surely die”. She was not afraid to disobey God.

The institution and the individual

May 21, 2008

Noam Chomsky: When you look at a corporation, just like when you look at a slave owner, you want to distinguish between the institution and the individual.

So, slavery, for example, or other forms of tyranny, are inherently monstrous, but the individuals participating in them may be the nicest guys you could imagine – benevolent, friendly, nice to their children, even nice to their slaves, caring about other people.

I mean, as individuals they may be anything.

In their institutional role they are monsters because the institution is monstrous.

http://www.thecorporation.com/media/Transcript_finalpt1%20copy.pdf

The Greater Love

May 20, 2008

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this, that one should lay down his life on behalf of his friends.

This is the core aspect of love which is ignored these days. Love has been biased toward the personality side of things : softly spoken, saying just the right things, etc.. which is obviously valid, yet the laying down of our lives for our friends, this has been ignored, generally, and, when it happens, not acknowledged.

Yet our Lord said here that this laying down our lives for our friends IS the greatest love.

Counterfeit love, then, would be where it’s all about how “loving” a person seems to be, yet they don’t lay down their life for their friends.

Down here on the planet

May 19, 2008

It’s heating up down here on the planet. Satan is angry and frustrated, knowing that he has only a short time left ; that his days of “freedom” are nearly over and an eternity in a dreadful prison awaits him.

The Father watches the whole planet. That’s easy for Him. He knows what 6 billion people are thinking, and He cares for them all, He really does. He sends the rain on the just and the unjust.

The planet looks beautiful from out in space ; an iridescent jewel floating in the blackness of a seemingly endless universe.

The Father sees the planet He made. He sees all the inhabitants. He sees the billions bound in sin, serving satan.

He sees and knows His own dear children too, He is acquainted with all their ways, when they get up and when they go to bed. He sees the sparrow fall to the ground and He cares even for them.

The Father has an eternal stake in the lives of His saints, who have believed in Jesus His Son. He is intimately involved in their lives : faithfully, persistently and patiently, over their whole life-time. Even though most of the time they fail to see what He is doing, and don’t acknowledge His care. They, many times, don’t understand that all that they now are, in Christ, is the work of grace, it’s all His workmanship. They still think that miracles are great, and can’t see the greatest miracle, the new creature in Christ, and the ongoing conforming of this new person to Christ, that they might know Him. What a work of God!

They are too busy to ponder on these things, many times, and to return the thanks to Him, acknowledging Him. Yet, He pities His own dear children, knowing our frame, that we are dust.

People are very busy, down here on the planet.

Paul Washer

May 19, 2008

A short message on the true gospel, by Paul Washer

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pBSXT443Ge8

A good message. When we preach the gospel, we must preach the cross and believe the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and that our cleverness and smooth talking is not the power of God. A good reminder from our brother.

Near the end of the clip he makes a poignant point, in effect, that christianity has come to the place now that when you teach plainly on the attributes of the God of the Bible, the average christian is scandalized/offended and rants, That’s not the God I serve !

Exactly. A new god, an idol, has been created.

Any other god, than the one declared in scripture, is an idol.

Pathetic messiahs

May 18, 2008

Then if someone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will be raised up, and they will show great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you in advance. Therefore if they should say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it. For as the lightning comes out from the east and flashes to the west, so shall also be the coming of the Son of Man.

(Mat 24:23-27)

There will be many pseudo-christos, false christs, false messiahs, counterfeit anointed ones.

What’s the significance of “anointed ones”, that is, “christs” ?

The word messiah (Heb. moschiach) , to the Jew, means “the deliverer”. When a Jew thinks of the coming of Messiah (Christ), he thinks of the one who is going to deliver them from their enemies and give them peace and prosperity on the earth.

Enter the new breed of messiah rising up (made in the USA) and being exported world-wide, and yours for only $19.99 (plus shipping).

There’s a wave of new messiahs these days, fulfilling Matt. 24:24, and there will be more.

People are going out into the “desert” to meet them, and they are saying to others ‘Look, here is the Christ!’. Not, “Here is Jesus!” but, “Here is the christ! , God’s man of the hour, the anointed one / messiah, the one who will lead us into victory, revival and prosperity on the earth”.

Jesus said don’t go out to see them. They claim they are in a “portal”, an open heaven, so you need to go there, but Jesus warns, don’t go!

The claims of these false messiahs are messianic claims : that is, they proclaim that thru them the Kingdom will come, revival will sweep the world, and the Church will be delivered of her enemies and will conquer the world.

The latest thing is the “contagious anointing” : that is, you have to go to the false messiah to get “infected” with the false anointing, and then you can carry it to the world.

See how the last pieces of the jigsaw puzzle are coming together?

10 characteristics common to “the called”, by Mark Finger

May 13, 2008

Now the LORD had said unto Abram,

Get thee out of thy country 1,

and from thy kindred 2,

and from thy father’s house 3,

unto a land that I will shew thee 4:

And I will make of thee a great nation 5,

and I will bless thee 6,

and make thy name great 7;

and thou shalt be a blessing 8:

And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee 9:

and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed 10.

–Genesis 12:1-3

Consider these 10 characteristics common to the called, drawn from the above text:

1) There is a loss of personal security: for God says “get thee out of thy country.” Whenever we move out of the comfortable confines of the known into new territory, we lose the sense of security associated with being surrounded by what is common: for negotiating through new territory is neither instinctive nor relaxing and often presents unexpected and extraordinary challenges.

2) There is a loss of personal relationship: for God orders Abraham to “get thee … from thy kindred.” Relationships are altered, some severed, others postponed, and new, trusted friendships are not easily or quickly formed. A loss of time with loved ones may occur, a betrayal by a friend, a removal from a particular fellowship with the faithful. At some level, to some degree, in ways that are neither welcome nor appealing, a loss of personal relationship will occur. While some people remain with us forever, significant change will occur in the area of relationship when we answer the call of God upon our lives: for it is not possible to enter into our future until it is no longer possible to return to our past. The disciple does not look back: as Christ said, “No man, having put his hand to the plough (plow), and looking back, is fit for the kingdom,” (Luke 9:62).

3) There is a loss of personal identity: for Abraham is ordered “from thy father’s house,” the place where his identity was rooted and formed. Our sensibilities are offended in this time, and cultural supports are eroded. As we are encompassed about on every side by strange, new experiences, we begin to lose touch with the perceptions of self formed by race, culture, vocation, and peculiar interests and begin to question to what degree our personal identity has been fashioned by convenience and circumstance. It is a time in which every natural thing we have ever placed faith in is in some way threatened: and therefore, our carnal identity (who we are at the most fundamental levels of our souls) is questioned, threatened, and destroyed.

4) There is no personally identified destination: for God commands Abraham to go “unto a land that I will shew thee.” We may know where to go physically or how to begin spiritually, but we really have absolutely no idea of our final, spiritual destination in this life, where the wind of the will of God will carry us to and set us down. The word of God is “a lamp unto our feet,” according to Psalms 119:105, and a lamp only reveals the next few steps of the journey before us, not the entire journey, or our final destination. Besides, there is a natural, human tendency to lose sight of the larger, spiritual picture of our calling when we are focused upon the next few feet of the pathway which God has started us upon. God has a habit of working secretly in our lives, surprising us in the process of revealing who we are called (in Him) to be.

5) There is no personally identified process to follow to maturity (beyond the pattern of suffering and affliction). We are told “I will make of thee a great nation,” but we are unsure of how God will work to raise up and reap good fruit from our lives. Consequently, it is only far along the journey that we discover how God intends to raise up other spiritual offspring and disciples through us (in Abraham’s case at an old age through miraculous intervention). There are no glimpses ahead. An enduring faith is the required catalyst by which God eventually reveals His plans to man. The process by which God renders to man a broken and contrite heart before Him differs with each individual: the circumstances used by God to break one saint from the pursuit of self is completely foreign from those he utilizes for the next.

6) God says “I will bless thee,” yet, no personal blessings are specifically identified although the possibilities are multitudinous. No man receives all; rather, God blesses as He will according to the purpose He has for each man.

7) He tells us that He will “make thy name great,” but there is no specifically identified personal legacy in Christ. Although we know our lives in Christ are meaningful, we are unsure of what kind of lasting impact they will have. Do we not often wonder at times how much of a difference we are making? Unlike God, we cannot see the end from the beginning.

8) We are commanded by God to be a blessing (“thou shalt be a blessing”), but there is no personally identified work. What is the best way to go about doing the things that the Lord has already commanded (to clothe, feed, love, witness, and interceed)? We must not substitute good works of our own choosing for fulfilling what is the good, reasonable, and acceptable will of God. God’s will is revealed daily: for faith operates in the present, not the future. “Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself,” (Matthew 6:34).

9) God tells us that He will “bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee,” but, oftentimes, there are no personally identified friends or enemies. Whenever we determine to lay down our entire lives for Christ, we encounter friends who act as enemies (like Peter with Christ, attempting to restrain his Master from the cross) and enemies (like Judas) whose agency God uses to push us on toward the fulfillment of our spiritual destiny in Him.

10) Lastly, there is no personally identified purpose: for although Abraham is informed by God that “in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed,” he is not told what His purpose truly is at a practical level. Through Abraham, a pure and undefiled people are raised up to bear a perfect seed, Jesus the Christ. This Jesus, all man and all God, will be our once and for all time sacrifice for sin: something that Abraham, no doubt, did not forsee.

Abraham is the human father of our faith (although Christ is the author and finisher) and all who desire to follow his example of submission and service to God must traverse these same stones of uncertainty: for these are the characteristics common to the called. Though they have no answers, they answer God’s call with courage, faith, and conviction: for they know the Lord. And, for a time, God grants them an extraordinary measure of peace and grace. There is struggle, without question. However, the called continue to operate out of the context of their native identities, cultural worldviews, and past spiritual understandings: until, eventually, they discover that their past no longer applies to their present situation. Then come the fiery trials of affliction.

Mark Finger

Presumptuous, self-willed christian occultists leading the charismatic movement

May 11, 2008

Someone on RS forum wrote this, and it’s very relevant to current trends in the charismatic movement :

These things I wrote to you concerning those who deceive you. And as for you, the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
(1 John 2:26-27)

The things of the Spirit are taught by the Spirit – if man tries to teach you the things of the Spirit, they are leading you astray, (whether they know it or not), and not only that but what they teach you is a counterfeit.

If MAN tries to teach you how to have spiritual experiences, how to prophecy, how to do creative miracles, how to heal, etc, etc, it is a counterfeit because only the Spirit of God can teach the things that belong to God.

See if this sounds reasonable: If someone tries to enter the spirit realm of their own volition – they will not have the presence and protection of God from the demonic and fallen angels who also inhabit this realm – leaving them wide open targets for deception, demonic infestation, etc.

It is the Lord who determines who, when and if a person is to be taken up to the third heaven and He will take them there – man is not permitted to decide that for himself and go there when he feels like it. This goes for any spiritual experience . . . it is actually an occult-ic practice for man to do these things. This is exactly what mediums and spirit-ists, shamans, etc, do.

(2 Peter 2:10 presumptuous and self-willed)

End-time challenges ahead

May 10, 2008

There are challenges ahead of us. Be ready for the tumultuous last days. Be equipped to suffer for Jesus’ name and for His righteousness and truth. Stand, and having done all to stand, stand.

Another challenge ahead will be touching our concepts / understandings of Jesus’ Church, in relation to where we may find ourselves. The Spirit of Truth always works within the realm of reality. Yes, we must have a Scriptural ideal as to how things should be, yet, balanced with whatever reality our Sovereign God would have us face, and go thru, and overcome.

For example, Paul the Apostle knew all about how things were supposed to be, and how Jesus’ Church should be, yet, for him personally, he did not partake of the fruit of his labors, in the end ; all forsook him, and God’s will was for him to finish his course in chains and to have his head cut off.

The goal or consummation of Paul’s ministry was not that he personally would enjoy a perfect church fellowship, with all the benefits, comforts, security, fulfillments and joys that would come with that. Paul’s goal was, That I might know Him…

Letter from David Brainerd, on his deathbed

May 7, 2008

A letter to his brother John, at Bethel, the town of Christian Indians in New Jersey; written likewise at Boston, when he was there on the brink of the grave, in the summer before his death.

Dear brother,

I am now just on the verge of eternity, expecting very speedily to appear in the unseen world. I feel myself no more an inhabitant of earth, and sometimes earnestly long to “depart and be with Christ.” I bless God, he has for some years given me an abiding conviction, that it is impossible for any rational creature to enjoy true happiness without being entirely “devoted to him.” Under the influence of this conviction I have in some measure acted. Oh that I had done more so! I saw both the excellency and necessity of holiness in life; but never in such a manner as now, when I am just brought to the sides of the grave. Oh, my brother, pursue after holiness; press towards this blessed mark; and let your thirsty soul continually say, “I shall never be satisfied till I awake in thy likeness.” Although there has been a great deal of selfishness in my views; of which I am ashamed, and for which my soul is humbled at every view; yet, blessed be God, I find I have really had, for the most part, such a concern for his glory, and the advancement of his kingdom in the world, that it is a satisfaction to me to reflect upon these years.

And now, my dear brother, as I must press you to pursue after personal holiness, to be as much in fasting and prayer as your health will allow, and to live above the rate of common Christians; so I must entreat you solemnly to attend to your public work; labour to distinguish between true and false religion; and to that end, watch the motions of God’s Spirit upon your own heart. Look to him for help; and impartially compare your experiences with his word. Read Mr. Edwards on the Affections, where the essence and soul of religion is clearly distinguished from false affections.

Value religious joys according to the subject matter of them: there are many who rejoice in their supposed justification; but what do these joys argue, but only that they love themselves?

Whereas, in true spiritual joys the soul rejoices in God for what he is in himself; blesses God for his holiness, sovereignty, power, faithfulness, and all his perfections; adores God that he is what he is, that he is unchangeably possessed of infinite glory and happiness. Now when men thus rejoice in the perfections of God, and in the infinite excellency of the way of salvation by Christ, and in the holy commands of God, which are a transcript of his holy nature; these joys are divine and spiritual. Our joys will stand by us at the hour of death, if we can be then satisfied that we have thus acted above self; and in a disinterested manner, if I may so express it, rejoiced in the glory of the blessed God. I fear you are not sufficiently aware how much false religion there is in the world; many serious Christians and valuable ministers are too easily imposed upon by this false blaze. I likewise fear, you are not sensible of the dreadful effects and consequences of this false religion. Let me tell you, it is the devil transformed into an angel of light; it is a brat of hell, that always springs up with every revival of religion, and stabs and murders the cause of God, while it passes current with multitudes of well-meaning people for the height of religion. Set yourself, my brother, to crush all appearances of this nature among the Indians, and never encourage any degrees of heat without light. Charge my people in the name of their dying minister, yea, in the name of him who was dead and is alive, to live and walk as becomes the gospel. Tell them, how great the expectations of God and his people are from them, and now awfully they will wound God’s cause, if they fall into vice; as well as fatally prejudice other poor Indians. Always insist, that their experiences are rotten, that their joys are delusive, although they may have been rapt up into the third heavens in their own conceit by them, unless the main tenor of their lives be spiritual, watchful, and holy. In pressing these things, “thou shalt both save thyself, and those that hear thee. ”

God knows, I was heartily willing to have served him longer in the work of the ministry, although it had still been attended with all the labors and hardships of past years, if he had seen fit that it should be so: but as his will now appears otherwise, I am fully content, and can with utmost freedom say, “The will of the Lord be done.” It affects me to think of leaving you in a world of sin: my heart pities you, that those storms and tempests are yet before you, which I trust, through grace, I am almost delivered from. But “God lives, and blessed be my Rock:” he is the same Almighty Friend: and will, I trust, be your guide and helper, as he has been mine.

And now, my dear brother, “I commend you to God, and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up, and give you inheritance among all them that are sanctified. May you enjoy the divine presence both in private and public; and may “the arms of your hands be made strong, by the right hand of the mighty God of Jacob!” Which are the passionate desires and prayers of Your affectionate dying brother,

DAVID BRAINERD.