Archive for February, 2013

BE STRONG

February 28, 2013

But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the LORD which he did. Therefore shall you keep all the commandments which I command you this day, that you may be strong, and go in and possess the land, wherever you go to possess it… Deut. 11:7-8

Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the LORD your God, he it is that does go with you; he will not fail you, nor forsake you. And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel, Be strong and of a good courage: for you must go with this people unto the land which the LORD has sworn unto their fathers to give them; and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the LORD, he it is that does go before you; he will be with you, he will not fail you, neither forsake you: fear not, neither be dismayed. Deut. 31:6-8

Then there came again and touched me one having the appearance of a man, and he strengthened me, And said, O man greatly beloved, fear not: peace be unto you, be strong, yea, be strong. And when he had spoken unto me, I was strengthened, and said, Let my lord speak; for you have strengthened me. Dan. 10:18-19

Watch, stand fast in the faith, be men, be strong. Let all your things be done with love. 1 Cor. 16:13-14

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Eph. 6:10

You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 Tim. 2:1

When God commands you TO BE STRONG then how do you BE STRONG? How do you do it? You would certainly want to press in to Him to find out. The answer is always in Him.

Then we find out that He is our strength.

Don’t be weak, be strong, is the Divine command. It means there is no time for self-pity or complaining, or self-indulgence. No time even to consider giving up if God has commanded you to be strong.

Rest in the knowledge that if God commands you to BE STRONG then He is strengthening you as you receive and accept His command: the power is in the command. It’s always been that way that when God commands He equips and empowers at the same time. Otherwise He would be unjust for commanding things and then not giving us the power to do it.

So if God commands you to BE STRONG then you can BE STRONG in the grace that is in Jesus Christ.

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Keep yourselves in the love of God

February 27, 2013

…How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These are they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But you, beloved, building up yourselves in your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude 1:18-21

Keep yourself in the place where God’s love can always reach, touch, surround you and bless you.

It’s not that God stops loving people if they backslide, it’s that His love can only benefit the person who is willing to abide in His love. When we abide in His love then His love works powerfully in us, transforming us and shaping everything inside us, and restoring our weary souls, and conforming us to the love which is in His Son.

So God defines our life for us as being a matter of whether we want to abide in His love, or wander away from experiencing His love and having His love in us.

In the above text there are three aspects of our being: To be…
a) In your most holy faith
b) In the Holy Spirit
c) In the love of God

Note the stress upon being “in” something. Everything in God’s economy is about being “in”, not “out”. Every grace works from being on the inside of God – in Christ Jesus. You are an insider, not an outsider.

You are “in” your most holy faith. Praying “in” the Holy Spirit builds us up “in” our most holy faith and keeps us “in” the love of God – the faith we already possess by grace becomes stronger thru prayer.

This is not limited only to praying in unknown tongues. Yes, that does build us up, Paul said (1 Cor. 14) but he also said he will pray with his understanding, so don’t think this is only referring to tongues, that would be silly. It means that when we pray with our understanding we should be praying in the power of the Holy Spirit and not just the power of our intellect. True prayer does not originate from man’s intellect alone, but from the Holy Spirit.

Our prayer life is really our faith connection to God – our prayer is our faith – faith prays. This is how we keep ourselves in the love of God – it is how He keeps us in His arms.

And note that authentic faith is called “holy faith”. It is holy because it comes from God and belongs to God – our holy faith is exclusively set apart for God, meaning, we cannot have faith in anyone other than Jesus.

SHOW ME THE MONEY!!!

February 25, 2013

When the whore is made naked

February 25, 2013

And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. For God hath put in their hearts to fulfil his will, and to agree, and give their kingdom unto the beast, until the words of God shall be fulfilled. And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth over the kings of the earth. Revelation 17:15-18

Religious “Christian” Babylon has a fiery end. She goes up in smoke. The Beast which she rides upon is going to turn upon her and devour her, but he will use ten kings to do it.

If you’ve been following the news you may have noticed in recent years that there has been a MAJOR EXPOSURE of sin and fraudulent activity within what claims to be the Christian Church.

The spiritual nakedness in the highest places in the dizzy heights of religious Babylon has been revealed in these years, and this trend is increasing.

Nearly every prominent Christian figure in America has been exposed of being involved in fraudulent activities in recent years; or more accurately, God’s people, His sleeping virgins, are finally waking up at this late midnight hour to realize what is fraudulent in the sight of God – the mystery of iniquity, and MYSTERY BABYLON isn’t so much of a mystery anymore.

Behind the resignation of the pope attention has been directed to what kind of sensitive information leaked out via the pope’s butler. It turns out that among the cardinals, from among whom the next pope will come, there is practiced homosexual sex and drunkenness, and the real power brokers inside the Vatican are corrupt; just common thugs and criminals.

Why does God reveal the nakedness of the “Christian” religious system? So that His people can come out.

When God has exposed all the major TV evangelists as frauds that IS YOUR CUE to stop supporting them or buying their books. God is revealing their nakedness so that our own nakedness would be exposed and we would repent.

If we went after TV preachers it was bcos the same pride and love of money which is in them was in us; they were telling us what our flesh wanted to hear.

Babylon: old and new: An instrument of judgment

February 24, 2013

(Rev. 17) Consider what Babylon mean’t for the Jewish people in the time of the prophets: Babylon represented a place of exile, it was God’s instrument of chastisement/judgment on His people who had strayed away from Him.

Similarly, Babylon the Great (the false/pseudo Christian religious system) represents God’s instrument of judgment upon His people who have strayed away from Him.

For example, a genuine Christian may have erred and begun to love money and success more than loving God, so God allows him to get sucked into the “prosperity gospel” (which is an aspect of Babylon) and there, in Babylon, he may come to his senses, just like the Jewish exiles did when they sat beside the Rivers of Babylon (Psalm 137:1). Then Jesus calls him out of Babylon (Rev.18:4).

So God uses Babylon to teach His people. It serves a purpose, like a foil. His people will come out, and the rest will stay.

Here is the principle of God using Babylon as His instrument upon His backsliding people:

Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts. Jer. 2:19

Babylon is like a mirror which reveals the true condition of our hearts: it is “Babylon THE GREAT” : That is, it appeals to our carnal ambitions of being great, it appeals to our flesh, to our love for the things of the world:

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. 1 John 2:15-16

But this is only for those who are Christ’s. For the rest in Babylon they are not under God’s correction (Heb. 12:5-10).

We are not “under the law” of Tithing

February 24, 2013

With not being “under the law”: There are two parts to the OT Law, the moral law, and the ordinances and sacrificial law.

Christ has fulfilled both the moral law, and the ordinances and sacrifices (Rom. 10:4, Gal. 2:16).

So then the person who has faith in Christ finds that they fulfill the moral law by His Spirit living in them (Rom. 7:4-6).

As Christ is the fulfillment of the law, then the person in Christ fulfills the moral law bcos Christ, the fulfillment, lives in them. Now it is their new creation nature to love God and man, honor parents, not lie, not steal etc.. The fruit of the Holy Spirit fulfills all the moral law (Gal. 5:18).

And then they realize that the ordinances, which are not moral commands, but were shadows of Christ, prefiguring Christ (Heb. 10:1) were perfectly fulfilled in Christ, the substance, and are no longer relevant (Col. 2:16-17). And that by His sacrificial death on the Cross, once and for all, there can be no more sacrifices made for sin.

Tithing was one of those ordinances/commands of the OT which has been fulfilled in Christ and we are no longer “under” it. That whole temple-priest system, of which tithing was just a part, has been fulfilled by the New Covenant.

If a person feels they need to tithe in order to please God: to be blessed and not cursed, then they would also need to recreate the whole OT temple priesthood system and observe it to the letter. If you follow the “law of tithing” then you can’t just pluck that law out of its context and ignore the rest, for you would then be obliged to keep the whole law and not just the law of the tithe (Gal. 5:3).

But on the other hand, freewill giving is simply the fruit of love. The love of God in us which causes us to give and help those in need, and support those who feed us God’s word, is the fulfillment of the moral law by the Spirit: it is the fruit of the Spirit (Rom. 13:10).

Which is why it goes against the Spirit to try and superimpose the OT ordinances over Him, for then we would have no need anymore to be led by the Spirit, the Holy Spirit would become obsolete and we would just follow the OT ordinances. But… If you are led by the Spirit then you are not under the law. (Gal. 5:18)

If we give as we are led by the Spirit then we have perfectly fulfilled the law of love. We should never think in terms of trying to fulfill the OT ordinances which have been fulfilled in Christ (Gal. 3:10).

And this is WHY tithing was never taught or practiced in the NT churches.

“The gift of talking”

February 23, 2013

Never confuse “the gift of talking” with an actual gift of the Spirit to preach and teach, or confuse “the gift of a big mouth” or “loud mouth” or “smooth talker” with the true anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Many times these days people just assume that if someone can talk a lot, or has a big mouth, or can preach well, or has “the gift of the gab”, then that means they truly have a gift of the Spirit.

When that is people’s understanding then they think that the person with the biggest mouth, or most forceful personality, who has the gift of talking, should naturally be the leader of the Church, and when that happens it is merely a work of the flesh.

But we only know whether something is a gift of the Spirit to the extent that Jesus Christ is revealed, manifest and glorified.

Even Paul confessed that he wasn’t a good speaker, yet in reality he was the best speaker in God’s sight, but not by man’s criteria (2 Cor. 10:10).

Never try to be “a good speaker” but desire to be a mouthpiece, a vessel whom Jesus Christ can speak thru.

Answers to our deepest questions

February 23, 2013

When the answers to our deepest questions are hidden IN GOD then it means we will have to press in to God to find those answers, for they are hidden in Christ, in God. Many people want a short-cut, they would like quick and easy answers to their deepest questions without pressing in to God and really knowing Him, without being fully committed to knowing HIM.

…To the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ; In whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Col. 2:2b-3

Do you have fellowship with Jesus Christ?

February 22, 2013

I’m not doubting your salvation. I’m not asking if you are saved. I’m asking whether you have fellowship with the Father and His Son? I’m asking you to consider the question.

I suppose the first consideration is, what does that mean? What is fellowship? What is fellowship with God? What is it like? How do you describe it? And how do you know it is the one and only true and living God you are fellowshiping with and not another? How can you prove that you are not imagining it?

Are there any times when you are not fellowshiping with God?

If the question irritates or annoys you then please by all means ignore it.

Don’t give to the man who covets your tithe!

February 21, 2013

Ed Young (SBC) on tithing:

He says that its all about the money: yes, it’s all about Ed Young’s love of money, he covets the money of the church, he covets the tithe. He looks out over his congregation and he longs to get hold of their money. He is expecting Christians who follow him to, not only support his needs, but to make him rich so that he can live in the lap of luxury. You would have to be stupid to give $1 to such a person.

I wrote back in 2002:

Jesus and Money

“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 then how can God entrust ANY spiritual riches to you? If He can’t trust you with money, He can’t trust you with anything more.

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

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

Isn’t the whole drive behind collecting tithes and giving tithes indicate covetousness, the love of money?

A leader who is “faithful in the unrighteous mammon” won’t demand people give him money, and certainly won’t collect tithes so that he can live it up in the lap of luxury.

If anyone really, really wants to tithe, let them tithe to a leader or teacher who actually feeds them, and who does not seek after money, or take up offerings for himself, but who trusts God for his support, like Paul did. Or distribute the tithe to needy believers (Doing good to the household of faith – Gal. 6:10) remembering that the body of Christ IS the one true universal Church, the house of God – His people constitute His Church, not an organization.

But when a believer really understands what it means to be FAITHFUL with the unrighteous mammon, then the issue is stewardship: giving according to the Lord’s direction, not tithing – led by the Spirit not the law. To be faithful in the New Covenant means to be obedient to the Spirit, not the law.

Faith always leads to a course of action

February 20, 2013

Faith, what you believe, always leads to a course of action, so much so that it’s hard to separate the faith or belief from the action when the action is the result of faith, which is what James said, that he will show us his faith by his works or actions (James 2:18). Meaning: You only know a person’s faith by their actions, not by their talk.

Like it would be hard to separate the belief that you can walk from, actually, walking. We do according to what we believe – perfectly.

Here’s some simple examples: You believe that it’s going to rain heavily today so you take an umbrella with you. You look before you cross the road bcos you believe there is a danger of being run over. You believe a storm, flood or fire is coming so you get away. You believe that a certain company is a good investment so you invest in it. You believe a certain car is the best so you buy it. You believe that it’s safe to fly with a certain airline so you go ahead and book your ticket.

You believe that Jesus is the Son of God so you pray to Him, love, trust and obey Him. You believe that God hates and punishes sin so you repent. You believe there is a heaven and a hell, and the course of your life testifies to that belief.

If you do a word search of repentance, repent, repented in the NT you will note that, from God’s perspective, the proof that people believe in Jesus is that they repent of their sins. God sends the Gospel and then He looks for repentance as the proof they believe. See: Luke 5:32, 10:13, 11:32, 15:7, 24:47, 2 Cor. 7:10, Matt. 9:13, Mark 2:17.

True conversion, true salvation from sin is a matter of God working repentance in us: both the faith and the response of repentance is all His grace. Therefore to “believe” and not repent is a rejection of His grace.

God has made man in such a way that everything he is hinges on what he believes. All a man consists of is what he believes. Unless of course he is a vegetable.

Classified as holy

February 19, 2013

Jesus not only died to save us from hell, He died to make men holy. If you do a word search in the NT for the words holy and holiness you may feel, like I do, that when comparing the language of Scripture with the language of modern Christians, that the words holy and holiness have nearly become extinct and obsolete, and even to the point that in some circles they would almost be considered dirty words. Certainly they offend and jar the typical modern Christian.

Of course, the Christian life is not merely about saying the “right” words on cue, like a parrot, but our language reveals where our heart is, Jesus said (Matt. 12:34).

If the word holy is not used much anymore it must reveal that the concept or truth it represents and conveys has become a lost truth, or one that has fallen by the wayside. This was probably due to a failure to grasp it’s meaning, and then a popular misunderstanding of what it means took hold and then it got swept aside. It came to mean something other than what it means in Scripture.

But put all that baggage aside. When you think about holy think about the Person of Jesus Christ, the Holy One of Israel. Don’t think religious “holiness”, think Jesus of Nazareth. He is our HOLY MAN! : the only perfectly holy Man there has been or will ever be.

It’s from His life we learn what is holy and what is unholy, what is pure and what is corrupt.

It’s what Jesus classifies as holy which is holy (And the Apostles simply agreed with and reflected His standards). If our thoughts, words, affections, actions or teachings agree with Jesus of Nazareth then they are classified as holy. They must agree with the indwelling Holy Spirit to be holy.

Do we have any thoughts, desires, speech, actions of which Jesus would not classify them as holy before Him? : Which would “miss the mark” and He could not classify them as holy? Do we love all men? Anything which is not of love and not of faith is not holy.

Whatever it is, cast it away if it is not holy. We have to test it: Is this holy?

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found your works perfect before God. Rev. 3:2

Let’s be watchful and desire that every part of our life is classified as holy by God. Exhort the brothers and sisters, that without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Heb. 12:14).

Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy... Jude 1:24

God even cares about sparrows

February 18, 2013

Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins, and not one of them is forgotten before God? But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: you are of more value than many sparrows. Luke 12:6-7

Consider that God cares about sparrows. We don’t care much about sparrows but God does. We would barely care to notice if a sparrow dies, but God notices. When we think of God as great and all powerful we would do well to also consider how great His capacity is to love and care for us, and sparrows: to care for nearly 7 billion people at one time: to know each one of them intimately and care for every one of them.

I don’t know how many billion sparrows there are, but the Father sees and notes when any of them die. The Lord Jesus wanted us to consider that, so we should take the time to consider it.

And we have to take it literally that the Father really does know how many hairs are on our head. It’s not that He is interested so much in hair, rather, the person beneath the hair! He wants us to consider that He is great enough to care for even you and me. No one is forgotten. No one is overlooked. Do you believe this?

So therefore we should not think of God as being someone like us, like: I don’t care too much for sparrows so therefore God doesn’t – I don’t care much for people, therefore God doesn’t. It’s a big mistake when we try and make God into our own image, but if we follow Jesus we will be made into His image. Rom. 8:29, 1 Cor. 15:49, 2 Cor. 3:18, Col. 3:10

Choose this day whom you will serve

February 16, 2013

And I have given you a land for which ye did not labour, and cities which ye built not, and ye dwell in them; of the vineyards and oliveyards which ye planted not do ye eat. Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve ye the LORD. And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods… Joshua 24:13-16

We cannot serve both God and sin. We have to choose. We can’t have both. Each is mutually exclusive to the other.

We have to decide which one we will love – a choice between two loves. If we sin it is bcos our sinful flesh loves to sin. Then God asks us to love Him more than sin. It comes down to that, whether we will love Jesus Christ more than the passing pleasures of sin.

This may seem like a crude illustration, please bear with me: You go to Baskin-Robbins ice cream and you eye all the flavors. You only have enough money for one scoop. You whittle the choices down to two flavors, chocolate or raspberry. Which do you love more, chocolate or raspberry? You decide that you love chocolate more than raspberry and you buy it.

But you also like raspberry. You may have preferred to have both, but the reality you had to face was that you can’t have both, you are forced to make a choice between the two. You can’t love both the same. You have to love one more than the other insomuch that you are willing to forfeit one to gain the other.

The true Christian is faced with a similar choice. He can’t have Jesus Christ and sin. If he wants both then he forfeits Christ and loses his own life as well, a double strike out.

So likewise, any one of you that does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33

The Lord Jesus asked Peter (in John 21) whether he loved Him more than these, meaning, more than anyone or anything else. And Jesus was persistent in getting an answer from Peter over this, and He will be persistent getting an answer from us as to whether we love Him more than anything else.

Over the span of Peter’s life it became evident that he did indeed love Jesus more than anyone or anything else, and even to death.

And Peter is just like us in many ways, his life was not perfect, but he had to choose and he chose to love Jesus more than anyone or anything else, so we also can.

It comes down to a choice, and the issue is love (John 14:21-23).

There is just Jesus

February 13, 2013

For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Phil. 1:21

For Paul, to live was not money; to live was not possessions or wealth; to live was not religion or philosophy or knowledge; to live was not any good thing this world offers : for Paul, to live was Christ : to live was to know a Person and live for Him.

Whatever you make of the Christian life, of Church, of Christianity or Christendom, of the Gospel, of ministries… There is just Jesus, the Person. If it is just about Jesus, then He has the preeminence and He is in the center. If it’s about things other than the Person of Jesus then He is not in it. Just the nature of something should tell you whether the Person of Jesus is in it or not, by reason of how much it reveals Him and His words and commands.

Whatever you are facing in this life, face the Person of Jesus, the Son of God. Look thru your circumstance or your trial and see Jesus and hear His voice and obey.

To live is nothing other than the Person of Jesus. See thru the temporal sufferings to see Him.

Paul suffered a lot and endured a lot of hardship – we have no idea, really! Yet he did not say, to live is suffering, to live is trial; he said to live is Christ – he had his eyes on Christ in the midst of his difficulties.

May we have the same testimony: To live is Christ and to die is gain.

Changed from glory to glory by seeing Jesus Glory

February 12, 2013

But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the veil is upon their heart. Nevertheless when they shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away. Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Cor. 3:15-18

The blinding veil over the heart, like a blindfold, is not exclusive to the unbelieving Jewish people, but all sinners are similarly blind and cannot see the Glory of Jesus. But when they turn to Jesus the veil is taken away by God.

To us who have obtained mercy, obtained the common precious faith of Jesus, the veil has been taken away so we can see the Glory of Jesus.

Do you want changes in your life? Do you want God to change you? Then it will happen only as you earnestly seek to behold the Glory of Jesus. And not an inglorious “jesus” but the true GLORY of Jesus, the real one.

If you have done this today, then even today there has been a change in you, from one level of glory to a higher glory – into the SAME image. God has brought that change, by the Spirit of the Lord.

So, what are we expecting to see? God has taken away the veil so we can see, but what do we expect to see? Just see a picture of Jesus? No. To see means to understand and comprehend, to lay hold of His promises – a moral apprehending – an almost desperate desire to be like Him and to put off our old man and to do His will. Our spirit cries out to Him and our inner man hungers for Him, to be changed into His image from glory to glory. To earnestly desire to be like Him, to know Him, to walk in agreement with Him as His friend, to always do that which is pleasing to Him, and to fellowship with Him.

But if you are not earnestly seeking to behold the Glory of the Lord Jesus then you will not be changed and will not become like Him.

It’s to behold Jesus. Not Facebook, not the useless attractions of this world.

Look and live! Everything in God’s economy: studying Scripture, prayer, fellowship, Church is not an end in itself, they are simply vehicles by which to behold the Glory of the Lord Jesus so we can be changed. If they are not, and we are doing all these things but not beholding the Glory of Jesus, then they are in vain.

Beholding “as in a mirror” needs to be explained. The mirrors in ancient times were nothing as good as we have today. Then, the image you saw in the mirror was a very blurred image, but at least you saw something. So, in the same way, as we see thru the eyes of faith, we do see, but we see imperfectly while we are in this tent. But we do see, and that is the main point.

Our mind serves our spirit

February 8, 2013

What goes on in your spirit-man, your newly created inner-man, in your heart of hearts, this is what should govern what goes on in your mind, your thought life. This is to put the horse before the cart, meaning, God’s order, that our mind becomes a servant of our spirit and serves our spirit, where the Spirit of Christ dwells and is in union with our spirit.

How well do you know God?

February 8, 2013

It’s not how well we think we know God or the Bible, it is whether God knows us. If we love God then God knows us. This clarifies for us what knowing God really is:

And if any man thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any man loves God, the same is known by him. 1 Cor. 8:2-3

But now, after you have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn you again to the weak and beggarly elements, to which you desire again to be in bondage? Gal. 4:9

So in the matter of knowing God the real issue is whether we love Him or not. Inasmuch as we love God, that is our knowledge of God, and that is His relationship to us – Him knowing us, thru love. This is the knowledge of God that we love Him.

Not every one that says unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name? and in your name have cast out demons? and in your name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, you that work iniquity. Matt. 7:21-23

So the question is never, Do I have enough knowledge of God? The question is always, Do I love Him? It’s no longer, Do I know God? But rather, Does God know me? If we love Him we will obey His commands and hate sin and love His righteousness, Jesus said. If we love Him then He knows us.

Our concern will always be, Do I love Him? Before anything else this is always the first and central, core issue with God.

Because, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Rom. 1:21

Just consider how an unthankful person appears before the Throne of God? In the shadow of the Cross of Calvary, or rather, in the Light of the Cross, how does the unthankful sinner appear? A person who thinks that it all amounts to nothing and that they don’t need to be thankful to Jesus Christ? And then to even turn against this mighty love, rejecting it, and making oneself an enemy of God?

Simple thankfulness to God for His great love and mercy thru His Son and for all His loving-kindness to you all your life: this is a great starting point to know Him! Thankfulness is a very good reason to talk to God, yes? To thank Him.

Concluding with this verse:

But you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. Rom. 8:9

Here Scripture makes a very clear distinction as to the nature of the Holy Spirit. Some people have some weird ideas about the nature of the Holy Spirit. Paul says here that He is The Spirit of Christ – The Spirit of Jesus Christ. If any one has the Spirit of Jesus Christ in them then they are becoming like Jesus.

No temptation taken you but such as is common to man

February 7, 2013

Therefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. Therefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry. 1 Cor. 10:12-14

a) Take heed lest you fall. Paul tells it straight. No namby pamby talk like, Oh there’s no possibility you could ever fall! No. Take heed lest you fall.

b) Paul assures us that our individual case is not unique, and no we don’t have a tougher time than anyone else, so that no one else would understand: No temptation has taken you but such as is common to man... That should encourage us, and that was Paul’s intention. It is encouraging to know that the temptations coming your way are common to man: you are just one out of millions facing the same temptations. And if Jesus is helping so many people overcome and have victory, who are having the same temptations as you, then what makes you any different? Why can’t He help you in the same way? Why should you miss out?

c) Jesus always makes a way to escape from temptation. Next time He offers you the way of escape, take it!

d) Flee from idolatry. It seems funny to some of us westerners how anyone could bow down to a piece of stone or wood. But we have other idols we need to flee from.

Just jump thru the hoop

February 7, 2013

My comment on a blog: Even in the ministry of the Lord Jesus you see Him actually turning away from many who said they believed in Him, when He perceived their hearts were not changed, and He would not commit Himself to them.

Now when he was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in his name, when they saw the miracles which he did. But Jesus did not commit himself unto them, because he knew all men... John 2:23-24

And, as Joseph Prince has been mentioned in this thread: people often quote him on Facebook. What i’ve noticed with his message is that salvation is the “hoop” you jump thru to get into the REAL business which is all about YOU getting all that you want in life, getting “favor”, “success”. The only limiting factor is your faith. If you build your faith then the sky is the limit you can get everything you covet after. He says that just as you got saved by faith, now IF you have enough faith you can get everything you ever wanted in this life. It is anthropocentric – the gospel is twisted around to be all about YOU and your success and you getting what you want.

And this is becoming the normal these days. Reminds me of Rick Warren’s PDL : Just jump thru the hoop, it’s quick and easy, will only take 5 mins of your time to accept Jesus, and then you can forget about Jesus and get into pursuing your selfish desires. Jesus is presented as a means to another end. It’s not really about Him, its all about you.

Put Paul the Apostle alongside any of these and they would look like a joke.