Archive for June, 2012

The Holy Spirit does not replace faith

June 30, 2012

The Holy Spirit works according to our faith. If we walk by faith, then we walk by the Spirit, in that order. It’s not, Walk by the Holy Spirit, and then you will have faith. If that’s the case, you will crash in a heap, while you’re waiting for the Holy Spirit to give you faith. He will say to you, Believe!

Here’s an example of a Christian who thinks the Holy Spirit replaces faith: Did you pray today? No, the Holy Spirit didn’t lead me to! He didn’t tell me to pray today..… That person is trying to substitute their faith with the Holy Spirit, and that can never be, for that would be unbelief. The Holy Spirit will not work with an unbelieving person. He works according to our faith, He doesn’t replace our faith.

Such an unbelieving person will find that the “Holy Spirit” is no longer leading them to do anything, so they won’t do anything.

Yes, we are to be led by the Spirit, yet the Spirit inspires and reminds us to walk by faith, for only by faith can we please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Walking by faith means that what you believe shapes everything about your life, and who you are, more than what you feel.

Lord, I just don’t feel led!
He will say, Yes, but what do you believe?

If you will trust God today IN your situation then the Holy Spirit will meet you in a glorious way.

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Can you watch the grass grow?

June 29, 2012

And he said, So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; And should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how. For the earth brings forth fruit of itself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full grain in the ear. But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he puts in the sickle, because the harvest is come. Mark 4:26-29

If you stand on your front lawn watching your grass grow you will be disappointed. It just doesn’t seem to grow, right? Nothing happening there, right? But if you come back a few weeks later, what a difference.

…First the blade, then the ear, after that the full grain in the ear.

Jesus says that the kingdom coming in our lives is like that. Growth is evident over time, and it is an inexorable growth, an unstoppable growth. If we have the perspective of the increase which God is giving in His time, we are encouraged when we see what He has done and is doing.

If we don’t see things from His Kingdom perspective, then we may be like the guy who looks at the grass and says, Nothing happening here!

…And the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how. The work of the Holy Spirit by the Word of God in a person’s spirit and mind is truly miraculous and mysterious. It is a mighty work of God, which never ceases, just like the wheat, which keeps growing day and night and we don’t know how.

If it is done by faith in Him, then it is HIM doing it in us

June 28, 2012

Whatever we do, IF it is done BY FAITH in Him, Faith in Jesus, then it is HIM doing it in us:

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10

It is all reception and appropriation of His sanctification. What do we have which we have not received? Paul asked (1 Cor 4:7). That way ..no flesh can glory in His presence.

Whatever we do, IF it is done by faith in Jesus, then it is HIM doing it in us.

But I like it! So how can I repent?

June 28, 2012

I don’t go outside every morning and beat my head against the wall, or get a hammer and wallop my hand. I don’t do that bcos i don’t like it. No one has to hold me back from doing destructive things which i don’t like.

If we sin, its bcos we like it. We may hate the consequences of it, and even hate ourselves for doing it, but we do still like it, if we are continuing to do it. It is a love-hate relationship for us. It is double-mindedness.

Jesus will ask us, Why do you like something which I hate? Do you know that you are trying to re-crucify me? Do you realize that you are rejecting me?

We can respond, LORD help me to hate it as you do. Help me to see it as you see it. Help me to see my sin thru Blood-stained eyes, thru the lens of your Cross. Help me to love YOU more than i love my sin, and purify my heart.

The road to freedom will always be via such honesty and accountability WITH GOD, and never thru any self-justification.

If we do not come to a place of personal accountability for our sin, that the Cross removes every excuse, then we would still be bound and waiting for God to deliver us. We would still be making God accountable for our condition, and blaming Him for our sin (that He did not deliver us) and that won’t cut it on judgment day. “Lord! You never delivered me! It’s your fault!”

Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and everyone that loves him that begat loves him also that is begotten of him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not burdensome. For whoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. 1 John 5:1-4

Our faith” is certainly that God is now our Father and we are His beloved children, and Jesus our LORD, based entirely on His finished work on the Cross, and this faith is the victory which overcomes the world.

It means that the only way to have power over sin is to believe that God has already reconciled you by His Blood. You are “IN”, and therefore you agree with God, and accept HIS victory over sin, and the power of the Holy Spirit is yours – kept by the power of God.

Jesus and Money

June 27, 2012

If therefore you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? Luke 16:11

If your heart is not pure and blameless toward money and wealth, how then can God entrust ANY spiritual riches to you? If He can’t trust you with money, He can’t trust you with anything more.

It means that the covetous-prosperity-money-preachers are spiritually TOTALLY BLIND. Anyone who loves money is spiritually blind, they have nothing from God.

https://ianvincent.wordpress.com/2010/01/05/jesus-and-money/

http://www.youareallbrothers.com/current/show_article.php?id=025,20020901

Full article in COMMENTS

How do Christians get HARDENED?

June 27, 2012

And what does it mean to get hardened?

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God. But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be HARDENED through the deceitfulness of sin. For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation. Hebrews 3:12-15

The wonderful influence of the Spirit of Christ produces softness of heart.

The influence of sin produces hardness of heart.

What is softness? It is to CARE. Softness denotes SENSITIVITY.

Hardness denotes not to care, INSENSITIVITY. Just like hardened, calloused hands and feet lose their sensitivity to pain.

To care about what? To care about what Jesus cares about, and to care for whom He cares for. To care about the issues He cares about.

Sensitivity to Jesus Christ, thru UNION with Him, by the Spirit.

...Lest any of you be HARDENED through the deceitfulness of sin… Lest any of you become insensitive to Jesus Christ, the glorious LORD of Glory, and insensitive to His commands. Lest you no longer care about your brothers and sisters, whether they are walking in the LIGHT with Jesus or not… Lest you only care about yourself.

Softness of heart toward Jesus Christ always results in practical caring for His people. Hardness of heart always results in, “I don’t care.. I only care about my own needs..”.

Kong Hee arrested

June 26, 2012

Authorities have arrested the founder of one of Singapore’s largest evangelical churches and alleged millions of dollars in church money was used to aid the career of his pop singer wife.

The Singapore Police Force said it plans to charge City Harvest Church founder Kong Hee on Wednesday with conspiracy to commit criminal breach of trust. The police statement Tuesday said four other church leaders would be charged with breach of trust and conspiracy to commit falsification of accounts.

The Charities Commissioner said at least $23 million Singapore dollars (US$18 million) of church money instead financed the music career of Kong’s wife.

http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/singapore-church-founder-arrested-fraud-case-16649466#.T-mfwJFRzFw

Faith in Jesus atoning work on the Cross

June 26, 2012

Faith in Jesus atoning work on the Cross simply means that you rest in the fact that God the Father has accepted you as His child on the merits of the death of His Son, alone. You’re accepted in the Beloved Son.

That issue is resolved once and for all, that you’re accepted by God. And on that basis you …work out your salvation with fear and trembling.

Whether or not you are accepted is no longer the issue, as you KNOW that you are accepted. Now the issue is honor and glory. Our sanctification is on the basis of being “on the inside of God”, IN CHRIST, and not on the outside trying to get in by good works.

We are “on the inside” and we are dealing with the issues of our sanctification, our struggles with sin, from that position of victory.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

Under pressure to conform to the world

June 26, 2012

And don’t be conformed to this world: but be transformed by the renewing of your mind… Romans 12:2a

This means that the world is trying to conform you to it. There is a spiritual force in the world which continually applies pressure on you to make you bend in conformity to it. Like the JB Philips version says, Don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold.

Firstly we have to …present our bodies a living sacrifice to God (Rom 12:1) and then …be transformed by the renewing of our mind... (Rom 12:2), in that order.

There is a REAL spiritual power which pressures Christians to conform to the world’s values, standards, morality, principles and thinking. It’s powerful.

The same devil who tempts you also took the LORD Jesus up into a mountain and tried to tempt Him by offering Him the world.

Yet, this same LORD Jesus who overcame sin, the world and the devil, lives in us, His redeemed, and He is our only hope to stand.

We acknowledge the pressure bearing down on Christians to conform to the way everyone else thinks and does things is powerful and very real. (Perhaps the majority of christendom has already buckled under that pressure, and now they are not much different to unbelievers, except for the Christian jargon.)

But more importantly we acknowledge the transforming, and uplifting power of the LORD Jesus to conform us to Him.

And this is done thru the renewing of our minds, which transforms us, …that you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. – That’s the goal. Very simple. He just wants you to know what His perfect will is, and do it.

Proven under the pressures of life. Proven means experiential – you’re LIVING IT, that’s how you know and understand His good and perfect will.

The very moment you die

June 25, 2012

The very moment you die, the very moment your heart stops beating, and you breathe your last breath.. THAT powerful reality and realization of meeting your Maker, THAT should be the glorious reality we LIVE by, the kind of faith we LIVE by… that we are always before Him…. we’re always coming to meet our Maker and living before Him….and HE is our joy, and glory and the lifter of our head.

But so many professing Christians are living in such a way that it would be terrifying for them to die and stand before God. They are living as if they are hoping that the Bible is not true.

Increasingly, I’m encountering “christians” who will lie point blank to my face. What if they die that moment they are lying? Won’t be fun. Terrifying.

THAT reality and realization of facing your Maker, THAT should be the glorious reality we LIVE by.

And by this we know that we know Him

June 25, 2012

And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. He that says, I know Him, and doesn’t keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoever keeps His word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: by this we know that we are in Him. He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. 1 John 2:3-6

He that says he abides in Him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

It would only be reasonable to expect that we would walk as Jesus walked if we are actually walking WITH HIM today.

Walk with Him today, being very sensitive to take heed to the conviction, leading, promptings and the Truth of the Word, which the Holy Spirit imparts to your spirit, and you will walk as He walked, today.

And by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments.

And this is life eternal

June 24, 2012

And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. John 17:3

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
Hebrews 11:5

And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him. Genesis 5:24

Jewish tradition says: Enoch went walking with God one day and they went a long way together, and God said, Your place is too far to go back to, come home to my place instead…

This is something of what it means to KNOW GOD and have the eternal life which is in His Son Jesus Christ.

You can’t KNOW or WALK WITH an idea, a concept, a philosophy, a theology or even a religion.

You can only know and walk with a real Person.

Enoch walked with God. Enoch walked with a real Person.

Having a good tribulation?

June 23, 2012

The time of the great tribulation is nearly upon us. When it starts will we post the same stuff on Facebook?

Or, like this, Have a great tribulation day! How’s the end the world look like where you are? Not good, uh? Having a bad-hair day? ……. : )

The fellowship of Jesus

June 23, 2012

God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our LORD. 1 Corinthians 1:9

This fellowship with Jesus we are called into is by virtue of being brought into UNION with Him by the Holy Spirit, where He lives in us and we in Him – Christ IN you, the hope of glory.

It’s not a fellowship you can visit or attend, it is a fellowship which is your very BEING and IDENTITY and LIFE, your very HEART. Christ IN you should define your life now – who you are, and what you do with your short time here.

Last night we were enjoying some sweet fellowship with some of our friends, and we discussed this fellowship of Jesus. I mentioned that the reason we talk about Jesus all the time, and He is our message, is that He lives in us. His LIFE and PRESENCE in us determines how we live and what we do. When He lives in a person, and that person has been brought into fellowship with Him, then naturally, Jesus will have the preeminence, if it’s TRULY the LORD of GLORY we fellowship with.

A walk of faith, to walk in the Spirit, means to live in fellowship with Jesus. Living in the flesh means not living in fellowship with Jesus. An unstable and unfruitful Christian is one who is “in and out” of fellowship with Jesus.

The exact kind of sweet fellowship we have with the LORD Jesus, He wants us to have with His people, His body. He wants us to understand how we cannot separate loving His people and loving Him – fellowship with Him and fellowship with His Body. If we don’t want to fellowship with His people, then He takes it that we don’t want fellowship with Him, for it is the same thing.

He wants, and requires, that His Church function AS the Body of Christ, with every part contributing. We are simply to LIVE-OUT of what God has established as true. God brought you into Christ, and caused Christ to be in you. So then, live according to that fact. Similarly, God made us to be the Body of Christ, so we should simply live according to that fact. That’s what faith is. You’re just agreeing with, and accepting, and embracing what God has done. Not trying to achieve anything.

We get together with Jesus people and fellowship with them bcos God has made us ONE with them, in His Son. God has done this, so we simply agree and live according to that fact.

Verily I say unto you, whatsoever you shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever you shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth concerning anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father who is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. Matthew 18:18-20

Jesus always fellowships with us, and when we are lonely only His sweet fellowship will comfort us. YET He reserves an even greater fellowship which is revealed when we fellowship with His Body. When we gather in Jesus name, that is, representing Him and His Kingdom interests and participating with Him (so that we pray together in agreement for His will to be done – doing the Father’s business), then He is manifest in a much greater way than when we are alone. He is always with us, but when we want to be with His people, then He is manifest in a much greater dimension. He always has fellowship with us, but when we want to truly fellowship with His people then He fellowships with us in a much greater realm, and He is revealed (John 17:21-23).

So true fellowship with Jesus in the midst is FAR more than mere socializing. It is participating together as ONE in His fellowship, in His purpose. True fellowship will leave you FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT, where mere socializing cannot.

True fellowship with one another is REALLY fellowship with Him. It is Jesus manifest in us and thru us together, which IS the fellowship. He is our fellowship. It’s Him. It’s not us.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. Acts 2:42

They lived according to the fact that Jesus Christ was truly living in them.

Consumer-Driven Church

June 22, 2012

What church has evolved into is simply the outward expression of what is in peoples hearts. The nature of their church is according to their aspirations – for better or for worse.

It became this way when people looked to find affirmation for their life in the church. They looked to church as a mirror of themselves – something to affirm them and tell them they’re OK.

e.g. The man who loves money will naturally be drawn to a church which will affirm that trait, or that desire in him, and so forth – that to love money is OK. He will be naturally attracted to money preachers, and repulsed by those who preach the truth.

He wouldn’t even know a Godly man if he walked into one on the street.

Neither would he know a Godly church if he accidentally came across one.

If he is not Godly, then he wouldn’t want a Godly church. Such would seem a threat to him, to his dreams of wealth and prosperity.

Therefore, we see a consumer-driven factor in the way that “churches” come into being and are maintained.

Church becomes what people want it to be, what reflects and affirms their own choices and values in life, and not necessarily what God wants it to be.

Church becomes the PRODUCT of consumer-driven market forces, rather than THE representation on the earth of WHO Jesus Christ is.

Therefore, false leaders are, in one respect, simply finding a need and supplying it – finding a gap in the market and filling it. They are simply meeting the demands of consumers (who pay for it) and laughing all the way to the bank.

Faith, repentance and love are all the same thing

June 22, 2012

As faith works by love (Gal 5:6) and Jesus said that it is only the repentant person, who obeys Him, who loves Him (John 14:21) therefore, TRUE faith and repentance and love are really all the same thing – different aspects of the same thing. They cannot be separated. The unrepentant “christian” has no faith, they have cast it away, or they never had faith to begin with.

True repentance is not “works”, or “law” or “earning salvation”, it is faith.

Otherwise, the backslidden Christian, when rebuked by Jesus to repent, would think that he maintains his salvation by the “works” of repentance – that each time he repents he has “earned” salvation.

That’s wrong thinking. It’s the wrong perspective.

Jesus doesn’t see it that way.

He sees rebellion against Him as unbelief and a rejection of Him.

He doesn’t see repentance as the situation of a person doing something to maintain their salvation, per se, bcos the real issue with Jesus is whether that person truly wants Him or rejects Him. To continue in sin is to reject the Person of Jesus Christ. That’s the way He takes it, that you don’t want Him. It’s not a matter of “keeping score”, it is a personal matter, a question of love.

Therefore, to truly repent is not a “work” or “works”, rather, it is to decide not to reject Jesus Christ, but to desire Him and worship Him, and esteem Him as worthy, an expression of love and faith.

To simply give up the rebellion and yield to Him by faith is not “works for salvation”, it is faith. It is the ONLY Biblical faith. Any other “faith” is a crock.

But when we consider the reality of this, we realize that the way Christianity is heading, into the end-time delusion, the falling away, it is fast becoming a Christianity which has no true faith at all, bcos there is little true repentance from sin.

Like Jesus said, When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth? (Luke 18:8).

Live unto Him

June 22, 2012

He gave you life. You threw that life away.

Then He gave you life from the dead, the life of His own dear Son, Jesus Christ.

Don’t throw Him away!

Simply live for Him and He will be your life – He will live with you.

If we live in a way that is not UNTO Him, that’s the flesh, and that gives rise to sin, and sin leads to death (James 1:13-15).

Take the time today to get alone with God your Father and tell Him, I just want to live for you!

There is a vast eternal difference between living unto Him, and living unto yourself.

In your weakness, in your pain, in your suffering…. and even in your confusion, you can still do one thing… you can still live for Him.

Therefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator. 1 Peter 4:19

Commit the keeping of your soul to Him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Unto you that hear shall more be given

June 21, 2012

If any man has ears to hear, let him hear. And he said unto them, Take heed what you hear: with what measure you measure, it shall be measured to you: and unto you that hear shall more be given. For he that has, to him shall be given: and he that has not, from him shall be taken even that which he has. Mark 4:23-25

He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever has, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance: but whosoever has not, from him shall be taken away even what he has. Matthew 13:11-12

The subject here is …the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven.

The principle here is that if you LIVE-OUT that which God has given you, He will give you more. If you HEAR and obey, you will hear much more.

But what if a guy wants to “know the Bible better” or “know theology”, BUT he wants to BYPASS the “living-out” part? He doesn’t want to actually do the things he knows he should do, the things the Holy Spirit has told him to do?

He will receive nothing more from God.

By simply taking heed to what you’ve already heard, and already know, is the only way you are going to hear more and know more, and progress – it the only way God can enrich our knowledge of Him and His Word.

When Paul saw the brethren he thanked God and took courage

June 20, 2012

And from there, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as the Appii Forum, and The Three Taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage. Acts 28:15

When we see the brethren, we can also thank God and take courage.

The Tipping Point

June 20, 2012

I realize we are in the last of the last days, the days of the falling away from the truth, when men will be having love affairs with themselves (2 Tim 3:1-2) and think it is normal Christianity.

There’s a “tipping point”, a point of no return. Here’s some checks as to how close any of us are to that “tipping point”:

What value do we place on true Christian character, in us, and in others? Do we even understand what character is, these days? If Christians no longer have role-models of Christian character, could even the concept of character face extinction?

Do we know what sincerity is anymore? If Christians don’t know anyone who is sincere, could even the very concept be lost to antiquity?

Could this saying have become acceptable: If you can fake sincerity, then you’ve got it made!

Here is perhaps the most crucial issue facing Christians today:

Salt is good: but if the salt has lost its taste, how shall it be restored? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the manure heap; but men cast it out. He that has ears to hear, let him hear.
Luke 14:34-35

If a Christian becomes a fake, then everything that their life amounts to is fake.

When Christianity becomes fake, then everything is redefined in fake terms.