Sunday, April 14, 2013

I have never known you

            "“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’ They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’ He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did not do for me.’

             These are not atheist, Buddhists, Mormons, or Muslims. These are Christians, both the ones standing before Jesus and the ones Jesus is saying they never helped. They call him, "Lord" like they know him. This parable is preceded by the Parable of the Talents where he is dealing with his servants. And that one is preceded by the Parable of the Ten Virgins. All called. All waiting on the King. These are the same people that he referred to earlier saying, "Not everyone one of you who says to me 'Lord, Lord' will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven." These men have gone to Church, been baptized, pray, quote the Bible, and are respected in their communities. 
               "He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

          Jesus' character and attributes are under assault. His requirements have been tossed out and forgotten. People have truly created a false god that our forefathers have not known. Few search the scripture for truth. Many attend four year Bible colleges and come out only knowing what they are told or what they want to believe; and it sure isn't the Bible. The Body of Christ is an exclusive thing and it comes with benefits. We can see from the passage above that Jesus sent people to hell because they did not do good to Jesus' true disciples, those who do the will of the Father, his 'mother, brothers, and sisters'. Elsewhere Jesus says,
"And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward.” 
            There is a common thread going on here. There are so many outreach programs they cannot ever all be named. But we have food banks, cloths drives, soup kitchens, utility assistance, free daycare, drug rehab. And they are available to all. Churches spend tons and tons of money and resources giving to anyone who comes to their door. And this seems good because we have stopped searching the scriptures to discover and determine Jesus' character and cares. Jesus told the Samaritan woman, "It is not right to take the children's bread and toss it to the dogs." She then showed great faith and her request was answered because she demonstrated that she had the heart of one of his children. She was the vine grafted in.

             There are true lovers of Jesus here in America and the world over going hungry, losing their homes, having to send their kids to public school because they can't afford private or homeschool, utilities shut off, clothes ragged. It's not right! Stop throwing the Children's bread to the dogs! There are missionaries that need supplied! There are Godly prophets that need to be visiting the brethren! There are Christians suffering! Does this mean we should not help anyone who is not a Christian? Not at all! Paul said, "Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

            You must tend to the needs of the family first. If there is anything left over it can go to friends and strangers. This is simple stuff. Read His words! Know His teaching! If you do not do this He will tell you on the day of Judgement, "I never knew you." Lack of doing good to the Body of believers is the reason He sends people to Hell! Make sure you are getting this right!

Feel free to comment or ask questions!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nailing it to Door Part 5

Thesis Three: Discipleship is the foremost and primary concern of the Body

        Discipleship. How can I make this more clear? Discipleship is to Christianity what parenting is to being a parent.  The Church was not called to evangelize. It was called to disciple. He said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations..." Discipleship and evangelism are very different concepts. Evangelism is a message spoken to a group of people in a passing-though manner. It is not specific because you do not personally know all the people you are speaking to. What Peter did on the Day of Pentecost was evangelism. What Paul did in Corinth was discipleship, "So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God." Evangelism is good because it draws people in to be disciples. But it does not even come close to satisfying what Jesus meant to consume our lives and your responsibility to the one you lead to Jesus or the Bodies responsibility that you are apart of as that new babes family. Discipleship is very personal. It is invasive. It is consuming. Discipleship means you eat together, work together, live together. Day in, day out sharing Jesus and walking out his instruction and commands. This is the example that Jesus gave us with his disciples. When a person is an infant they are watched over with the utmost care. As they grow older they are given greater degrees of freedom and responsibility based on maturity. Believers in Christ should be treated the same way. When someone is new to the Lord they should live with a seasoned believer that can be there for them in the difficult times, to answer their questions when they are asked, and teach in a living, organic matter; the same way we teach our physical children to live. And to teach them to eventually do the same for another. No one sits down once or twice a week with their children and teaches them their lesson for the week and then sends them on their way. Neither should we do so with the children of God.

          To show the necessity of this invasive style of discipleship and to instruct those new to the faith consider this:

             "If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose     one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell."

We have gotten this whole conversion thing backwards. The usual scenario goes something like this: A person feels the tug of the spirit on their heart and they either seek out a church or someone they know to be a Christian.  They are then told who Jesus was, what he did and the sacrifice he made to redeem them. With the tug of the spirit pulling on their heart and the weight of  who Jesus is and what he did for them they are asked, "Do you want to give your life to Jesus?" Of course! How could I not! They are told to meet with believers regularly, read the Bible, pray often, and try to beat sin. Then they are sent back to their homes and to the same life they has just so fleetingly left for Jesus. Let me tell you how a conversion looked in Jesus' day.

          "As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will send you out to fish for people.' At once they left their nets and followed him. When he had gone a little farther, he saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets, Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him."


          "As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector's booth. 'Follow me,' Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him."

What we are seeing is this: Christians today are 'saved' in their sin and then are told that they should, little by little, work sin and influence out of their lives. Hopefully, when they die they will have taken a good portion of the world out of their lives. This is damagingly inverted. When one lays down his life and picks up his cross to follow Jesus he should retreat as far out of the world as it takes to get to a place of righteousness. Even if that means living in the desert as John the Baptist did. Gouge out your eye! Cut off your hand! Then, as they mature in the Spirit, He heals their infirmity and teaches them wisdom. They then find ways to venture back out into the world always maintaining their place of righteousness to fall back on. By the end of their life they should be a mature adult in Christ able to walk among the demons as Paul did and fearlessly preach the Gospel. This is going to be very costly to the new disciple. This is why Jesus sent away some who claimed to want to be his disciple and said, "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough to complete it?"

The cost has been counted, the life lain down, and the cross picked up and now comes the love that Jesus spoke of and walked in comes in for us who are trying to save souls and bring sheep into the fold. This is the where the love that we all claim that He has planted in our hearts as a flourishing, fruitful tree is put into practice. You who are mature must take these babes into your homes! If they have to quite their jobs, pay the bills for them! If they need you to be there to keep them busy so they will not fall back into sin, do it! A newborn needs constant care. Day and night. Fed. Washed. Cuddled and comforted. Compassion, affection, and love but also firm boundaries that forbid them from going where they are not capable of being safely.

All the 'Church' has done is create feral children. Have you ever seen or read about a feral child? If not google it. It's important you understand what we are doing to these, the children of the King! What happens is a child is born. If a child is neglected from birth it will die. And that happens a lot in the Church. But there is something more sinister and destructive. It is when a child is abandoned at four, five, or six years old. Technically old enough to care for it's physical needs, but completely underdeveloped emotionally and spiritually. They wander the woods or live in the dark corners of a basement. They do not know how to speak or operate socially. They are aggressive and only see to their own needs. They do not know how to love or how to accept love. They cannot be rehabilitated. They are ruined for life! This is what we have done to his children. A child is born into the kingdom of God and they are given just enough nutrients and teaching to begin to care for themselves and then are abandoned all together or are neglected. Visited from time to time and thrown a bone to satisfy our sense of responsibility. It's evil!

When Jesus was told his mother, brothers, and sisters were looking for him he replied, "Who are my mother, brothers, and sisters? It is those who do the will of God." The Body is a family. And that is not just a nice thing to say. There are immediate family members and extended family spiritually, and they should be treated as well and better than we treat our physical families. We must live together, work together, play together, learn together, suffer together, and die together. This is the example and pattern Jesus, the Apostles, and the early church gave for creating and caring for disciples. It is the only way to raise the Children of God to become mature adults that are equipped to serve the Master and do the same for others as they are born into the kingdom. "Greater love has no man than this: That he lay down his life for his friends." To die for someone you love is noble and honorable. But how much more that you live for them! Lay down your life for your brothers, Jesus' brothers! Your plans, your dreams, your ambitions, your time and your assets. "I tell you the truth! Whatever you do for the least of these brothers of mine you do for me!"

Feel free to comment or ask questions!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Nailing it to the Door Part 4

Thesis Two: Church meetings must be conducted as shown in 1 Corinthians 14:26-31

"What is truth?" This question defines the current period of American culture. We have become a culture of skeptics and cynics. Everyone seems to have their own truth. Everyone living in their own reality. We have come to a precipice in time where our society is defining whether the very concept of truth is tangible or something of our own design. But in a world of absolutes such as death and gravity, how could the emotional and spiritual side of life function as if they do not follow the same laws that the bodies in which they reside do? Can we really do away with all "traditions" and the "old" way of doing things? Or is what was true 2,000 years ago still true today?

It seems to me, that this would be an easy question for Christians. We do have many different twists on minor theological concepts and I do not think that is a bad thing necessarily. Jesus left somethings unsaid because what works for one person may not work for another as Paul taught in Romans, "...One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind." But, somethings are very clear and are given as a command. They are foundation stones upon which the grey areas are built upon. If your foundation is lain properly there is a lot of leeway in how the buildings can be arranged. But, how is it that the people think they can unseat the foundation stones of what makes Christianity what it is by rationalizing it away and manipulating it by man's logic. The very thing that brings us to faith in Jesus is trust in what cannot be proven because He has proven himself faithful in what we do understand. I am not being naive. Modern theologians and philosophers have woven very complex and convincing arguments. They are smart, articulate, and well rehearsed. But they have a gaping flaw that we, as Christians, should be bolstered by because of our faith in Jesus and the way He says life really is.

I feel like I am going down a bit of a rabbit hole here, but stay with me if you will. I'm not real sure how to explain this concept, but I will do my best. Life is like a game. A game that requires twelve dice to play. The world is only playing with three dice. These three are simple and standard. They are dice of the flesh. The world knows these three dice well. They have examined them. They have studied them. They have memorized their every facet and dimple. They are a part of Jesus' creation but only 1/4. The other nine dice are only clearly visible to those who love Jesus. The world senses their existence but cannot grasp them like they do the three fleshly they have and so they logically refute the nine's existence because they cannot define, govern, and prove their existence. These nine dice are brilliant and mysterious in color; boundless in shape and ungoverned in appearance by any laws of nature we know. They are preposterous in form; and we can barely begin to grasp the information that they add to the game, but their presence is undeniable and steadfast. The world is trying to write the rules for this game only using the three dice they see and understand. And in this we gain some understanding of their lack of belief in the concept of truth; truth being the whole game with all it's pieces. This maybe why the world does not believe in truth. They deny the very existence or three-quarters of reality.

So the question that is left for you and I is this, "Do we really believe that the other nine dice actually exist?" Is there really a God who, "chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise"? And how important is it that these other dice effect the way we play the game? Is it enough to play with the three simple dice and just believe in the other nine? Are the simple three even that important and relevant to the game in light of the majestic nine? To answer these questions read Jesus' own prayer to the Father in John 17. Jesus' desire for us and specifically his disciples was that the Father would, "Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth." I have said all of this to show without a doubt that Jesus commands cannot be changed or ignored without sickness and ruin comming upon. Yes, even us who desperately love Jesus as Paul described in 1 Corithians, "That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep."  Let's look at this truth in reference to his Church, the Body.

"What then shall we say, brothers? When you come together, everyone has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. All of these must be done for the strengthening of the church. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two--or at the most three--should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace...Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord's command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored. Therefore, my brothers, be eager to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues. But everything should be done in a fitting and orderly way."

Now picture in your mind the normal Christian Church service. What would happen if you stood up in the middle of the Church service and corrected or added to the speech that the preacher is giving? Members would be appalled. The clergy would be incensed. You would most likely be escorted out. You might even spend a night in the jail. You who would do this type of thing would be considered crazy and disrespectful. The preacher and staff are said to be the only qualified persons in the Body to teach and instruct. The worship leader, the only one with the right to arrange and decide which songs will be played. Sure, there are guest speakers and guest music, but the messages and songs must be approved through the staff. Where is that found in scripture? These leaders consider themselves gatekeepers of the Body. The Holy Spirit is the gatekeeper. He has proved himself faithful and capable.

What congregation has two or three prophets that speak at every service? What about members sharing their hymns, words of instruction, or  tongues and interpretation? Find for me the role of a modern all-in-one preacher in this scriptural instruction. Where is the clergy? Where is the staff? This matters! The modern church service is a performance, not a meeting; carefully scripted and rehearsed, literally. It is the three simple dice.  It is how the world would run their church. To take ownership and governance so it doesn't get out of their hands. Robots perform in this manner, organisms do not. A living, organic Church and church meeting are the 9 mystical dice with some of the three simple dice. What is called Church is an abomination against Jesus. He arranged and commanded his Body for a reason and with a purpose. But, it has been hijacked by self-righteous men and women greedy for power, security, recognition, and even money. Everyone can sense something wrong with Church as we know it and some have even attempted to hash out what that is. I am speaking at the Lord's command. How we arrange the body is killing us. The heart is in the head and the liver in the hand and the foot on the neck. It is a grotesque perversion of the beautiful form the Bride is supposed to be.

The deception of the Enemy is so cleaver and so devious. Not only has he convinced many to follow after other gods that our fathers, the early church, did not know, but he has also disarmed those in pursuit of Jesus with social and cultural morals that have no foundation in scripture. We are called to be in the world, but not of the world. And yet, we play by it's rules for fear of criticism and ostracization.  The Enemy has convinced the world though constant berating and mudding of the waters of theology that there is no way to be absolutely right about anything. That everything is up for personal interpretation. The Word is true and right. It is not up for discussion or suggestion. No one owns the Church and no one has the right to dictate it, no matter how innocently they smile and throw up their hands in  denial. It is through submission to the Holy Spirit that the Body is governed and disciplined. We must trust Him to teach us truth and that what he teaches is truth no matter what anyone tells us. We must trust Him to sort out the liars and guard the gate of our hearts and homes. And when he does give instruction and warning about a poisonous person we must have the courage to deny them entrance into our body. Remember the caution of Jesus, "Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees..." Their teaching and their presence is poison to the Body and we are not immune to it. Guard your hearts and minds!

The world uses the scientific method to discover truth. That method says that all truth comes though personal discovery. And this truth is only true until something comes along and disproves it. Therefore you can never be sure anything is true. Their is a universe full of all the things that you do not know.  And because of this, it would be wrong to demand others live according to your theology because you might be wrong and would then be responsible for their failure, spiritual injury, or death. It places every human and their life at the center of their own personal universe and makes personal preservation the ultimate moral. This is where the world derives it's doctrine of "Do not judge anyone else's decisions or beliefs." Though they don't actually live according to it. They mean live according to their theology. But, Paul  gives a much different command.

 "What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside. 'Expel the wicked man from among you.'"

Do not sit back and allow his children to be harassed and abused. I encourage you to bring this to those who call themselves leaders of your church. If they repent and return to the Lord, Amen! But do not be surprised if they quickly throw off their sheep costumes and come after you with their wolf-teeth.

I  do not understand why anyone who loves the man Jesus would either a) read over what the scriptures say, b) invert what it clearly teaches, or c) allow anyone to blaspheme the truth. Where do your affections lie? The pattern and model that has been and is used by almost all churches as services for the last couple of hundreds of years or so is nothing more than man replacing the commands of Jesus with the traditions of men just as Jesus accused the Pharisees of doing in Mark 7. In every church is a thespian, traditionally a man, but now sometimes a woman, who claims scholarship of the Bible and has a piece of paper hanging on their wall that testifies to the notion. There are most likely at least a few in the congregation who hold similar, equivalent, or even greater degrees in the institutional study of Truth. And then there are countless others who have spent many hours of personal study of the Bible and may even boast of it. So tell me scholars: How is it that you conduct your meetings in direct violation of the commands of the Word  you so adamantly insist you are masters of?

"I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book. And if anyone takes words away from this book of prophecy, God will take away from him his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.”
Amen. Come, Lord Jesus."

Feel free to comment or ask questions!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Nailing it to the Door Part 3

Thesis 1: A gathering of believers should be no larger than nine to sixteen people.

The word "church" means the Bride of Christ; more specifically, all believers. It is not buildings, places, or figureheads. But, a living, breathing  group of people with real connection and interaction. To say, "I'm going to church." is the same as saying, "I'm going to Mexican" You can go to Mexico where you will most likely find Mexicans. But, just because you find someone that looks Mexican in Mexico does not make them Mexican. Nor does simply going to Mexico make you Mexican. It is a matter of heritage.

 To be the Church is the same. It means you are a part of a race of people with lineage and a common ancestor, the Father. Some are the original vine, Jews. Some are grafted in, Gentiles. But inside this ethnicity, there are families. For a family to operate in unity and peace everyone must have a deep understanding of one another and an understanding of their role inside that family and how and when to perform it.

I have been researching the science behind the size a group can be and still operate properly and efficiently. This is called network theory. Network theory requires two conditions:
First, what is the group intimacy required.
Second, what is the individual intimacy required.
Based on these two conditions you can determine an acceptable size of a group or network that can function inside of the parameters and requirements it was designed for.

What group intimacy is required?
How much interaction should I have with individual members of my spiritual family? Is it acceptable to not know and understand anyone in your immediate physical family? Of course not! How ridiculous would it be if someone did not know more than just the name and face of their own brother or sister? In fact, if that was the case I do not think I would believe that those two people were even related. So, if you are a family of the church you must be familiar on a personal level with every person.

What personal intimacy is required? 
Who can you trust? Who's testimony is reliable? It is those very closest to you, your best friends. For the sake of staying on subject, I will just assume that everyone agrees that as a lover of Jesus, your best friend is going to be someone who shares a relationship with the owner of your soul. After all, oil and water will never mix. So how many best friends can one person have? Most people are lucky to have three in their entire life. So I would put the maximum at three to four intimate, closer than a brother people. Three or four people who know everything about you and understand you to the core. So does this mean that the family can only be four people? No. I believe we can trust the testimony of a firsthand witness. I do not have to have the deepest, most personal relationship with everyone in the family. But, I should be friends with one of their best friends so that I can have eyewitness testimony to their life and character. This is where the "network theory" comes in. This is a two node connection. We do not have an immediate connection, but do share a common bond. I can say I am familiar with everyone in my family and know and understand them. Based on these conditions, if everyone has three good friends that evenly intermingle the maximum group size is nine. If four, than sixteen. Anything beyond this size and it would be secondhand information. And we all know how the game of telephone goes.

Jesus said, "Who are my mother, my brothers, and my sisters? It is those who do the will of God." Our individual expressions of the larger ethnicity of Church are to be our families. And for our families to be healthy and strong they can not have room for deception and manipulation. I do not think it is a coincidence that Jesus and his group of disciples numbered thirteen. I believe it is a pattern for us to follow. Our families should be growing in maturity and wisdom. If they exceed sixteen than the group should brake into smaller groups and grow into larger families and on and on. In this way discipleship could actually be accomplished. And we would be safe guarded from the Enemy sneaking in among us like a wolf in sheep's clothing. 

Feel free to comment or ask questions!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Nailing it to the Door Part 2

This is not meant to be a cure-all to every problem the Church faces. Rather, a diagnostic for those that don't think there is a problem and a preventative screening for those that see the problem and want to be sure they stay immune to it. Do you passionately desire the Lord above all else? Listen to what the Spirit is saying. The Enemy has invaded our midst and is trying to destroy us from the inside out. The Lord desires us pure and undefiled. But we are allowing anyone to redress the Bride however they like. The world called her self-righteous for her purity. But why would she care what another man thinks of her? Sadly, she is now a slave to the fashions and designs of the very people that call themselves enemies of her Bridegroom. His heart is broken...

    "They cling to deceit; they refuse to return. I have listened attentively, but they do not say what is right. No one repents of his wickedness, saying, “What have I done?” Each pursues his own course like a horse charging into battle. Even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the   thrush observe the time of their migration. But my people do not know the requirements of the Lord. "

The warning cry has been sounded. The death rattle can be heard in the streets. A somber spirit has settled in the valleys. A cancer has spread and it is the Church that has infected itself. These are the birth pangs before the Trumpets of Judgement are sounded. The Church is divided, weak, delusional, and dizzy. If this age of the Church were a boxing match, our corner-man would be ready to throw in the towel. But, as if that wasn't bad enough, we also have a suicidal level of arrogance and pride about the whole situation. We refuse to see the death blow coming. We refuse to admit our weakness. We have built our life, our hope, our future on man-made stories, lies, and traditions; and are not willing to repent and leave it all so as not to go down with the ship. It's insanity.

This is strong language. They are harsh words. But who among you can deny the sickness that is evident. "Christians"  justify and rationalize this sickness in every way imaginable; some even celebrate it. But our self-centric theology will not save us in the day of testing; much less the day of judgement. We are living the fulfillment of the words of Jeremiah: "They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. 'Peace, peace,' they say, when there is no peace."

But there is still hope. The final trumpet has not been blown. We can be restored to the glory the Bride once possessed. "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." We must turn our hearts back to Jesus. We cannot be too simple about the situation though. The Body is a living organism and the problems it faces are complex and deep.

Martin Luther was a man who loved Jesus and hated the world. I don't mean he hated the people, but the world's ways, lies, manipulation, and love of power. As his maturity in Christ increased his understanding went deeper and deeper in what Jesus really wants for us and from us. This revelation drove a divide between the Church as he knew it of his day and the reality of the Bride of Christ. He spent years trying to rationalize and reconcile the two, but was never able to justify the injustices and outright evil that were displayed. It began with his issuing of the Ninety-Five Thesis on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences and continued in a life time of culling the truth from the lies.

I have prayed and meditated on this debilitating sickness for years now. And I have gone though many stages of understanding, compassion, anger, and judgement in this process of revelation. The Holy Spirit has been presenting me with the truth little by little as He saw fit. And He has now given me a ninety-five thesis of my own to be nailed to the doors of the Church. Mine does not contain ninety-five though, but only three. Three things that all churches and anyone who claims the name of Christ should do that will remove many of the tumors that plague the Church and get it back on a road of health so that we can spend our energies doing the will of our Bridegroom and not merely gasping for breath.

The contents of this will be hard for many to reconcile with what they know and have been taught their whole lives. Whether you are one who has been raised in the Church or possibly even if you are new to Jesus or do not know the man Jesus at all, this will be a challenging teaching. There are some things that grace covers. And then there are other things that drive a wedge between Jesus and ourselves. Things that give the Enemy a foothold and, eventually a full hold. The Church has opened their flank wide open and now Satan is the lord of the organized church of today. Jesus said, "If you are not for me, you are against me." He always reserves a remnant for Himself as He did in the days of Elijah. But, the organized church is in it's final moment before it's body begins hemorrhaging and dying in spectacular fashion just as Israel was before it's  physical destruction. The organized church has surrendered it's heart and loyalty to it's own self-serving needs. Power, money, titles, and moral justification are the apple of the these church's eye.  They sit under a strong delusion. And we know that lies can only come from one source: The Father of Lies. He truly is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The greatest man who ever lived was Jesus. And as Jesus said, "Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist." Both of these men had a simple and singular message as they walked the Earth, "Repent! For the kingdom of Heaven is near!"  As you read these pages I ask you to open your heart to what the Shepherd is saying. His return is very near and He is calling out to His people. I preach the message that my Master and Lover preaches "You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first... He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the paradise of God. "

The Holy Spirit has left us with a complete revelation for the operation of the Body just as He gave the Israelites a complete revelation for the operation of their nation. It was a fatal offense to add or subtract from the Law. What the Israelites experienced as a physical truth in the Law and through divine judgement and correction on their physical beings; we experience in spirtual truth and feel the repercussions of our actions in our hearts and souls. To operate outside of the Law would cause death and disease inside the Camp. To operate outside of Jesus' commands for the Body causes spiritual death and disease inside the Church. It is of the utmost importance that we know what Jesus expects of us and how he wants His Bride to operate if we are to be healthy and alive.

Feel free to comment or ask questions! 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nailing it to the Door Part 1

I don't know if I have written a more important message in my life. I want to see the Church healthy , joyful, and strong. Personally, I want Jesus and nothing else. I know that many have said that before me. So if you doubt that I don't blame you. But, there is nothing I wouldn't give, do, or a place I wouldn't go if my Jesus required it. If he wanted me to live in the woods as a hermit. I would be there. If a palace, then call me prince. If I am to be celibate, then celibate I will be. If he wants me to have a harem of erotic sheep and chickens than you can call me Old McLover. I have no affection for religion, traditions, intellectualism, or acceptance. You could never know this about me unless you knew me personally. Most will never get to know me this way. It is true though and I welcome any who love Jesus to come share my life and see that he is my hearts only desire.

I said all this because modern "churches" are usually built around some person or small group of persons that have created a doctrine to massage their own insecurities or egos. What you will read here is not that. This is the message the Holy Spirit has given me in these last days. He is calling His True and Faithful out from among them. The world has tarnished our light and brilliance by proximity for too long. He desires us to be in the world, but not of the world. To be a city set on a hill or a lamp on a stand. I know this is also the desire on many of your hearts. We can all sense that something isn't right though. Most of us started out in the Body one way or another as children or teenagers. It probably began for most with passion, faith, and enrapturedness. Then, as we tried more and more to walk out the Gospel as our leaders told us we became disheartened, and disillusioned. The promises of the Word didn't follow though like we were told they should. Our leaders turned out to be no better than their follower, if they even measured up to be their followers.

We are so used to feeling this way that we have created entire new doctrines to cope with the inadequacies of our churches, leaders, and fellow believers. New standards, undefeatable grace, and mental rewriting of the very words that we claim to save us is what it takes to make it work. It is not supposed to be this way. It doesn't have to be. The Lord has shown me a life that bathes in all the power, confidence, and joy that the apostles and their disciples did. There is a life that not only feels true, it's power is evident and addictive. I used to follow the doctrine I was told because I could see that the world was false. That was obvious. The Word didn't quite add up to what it should have though. It seemed flawed at times. Powerless to help me when I needed it most. I convinced myself that these were just the thoughts of a young, immature believer. I saw how confidently the leaders strutted and how loudly they spoke their truth and couldn't bring myself to call them liars and pretenders when I didn't have a better answer to the problem.

But then something happened that change me forever. I spoke with Jesus. I actually spoke with Him. I can not come close to describing how this actually happened or what it was really like. There are no words. It wasn't a vision, a dream, or even in this world. It was with my spirit. I now know that a person's spirit is as much a "body" as the body it resides in; it sees, it hears, it speaks, and it feels. I was deep in worship with friends of mine when he showed up. We had been praying and singing for hours when I felt him approaching. It was like being in the woods when you feel an animal is near. You can not see it or really hear it . You just sense it somewhere deep inside you that your are not alone. That is the closest I can get to the feeling. And then there He was. I saw him, heard him, felt him with my spirit. I communed with him. I can't tell you what he looked like, sounded like, or felt like. Humans sense are to this experience as a pencil sketch is to ascending Mt. Everest. But my spirit knows and testifies to my mind about it if that makes any sense at all.

I have said all this in hopes that you would understand that when I say something isn't genuine that it isn't because I can tell you what is wrong with it, but that I have tasted the genuine and know the difference with a complexity that I am inadequate to describe. But I do know this without a shred of doubt in my heart. The Church is the Bride and Body of Christ. As such, it contains the real Jesus. If I taste of the Church, I taste the Jesus I know. He is surpassingly good and no counterfeit can replace him. If I taste the Church and do not taste the Jesus I know, I know that it is not genuine. The things I am going to say about Church as we know it do not come from a logical exercise or systematic theology. They are not my own ego or vision for the way I want things to be. I have tasted the Lord and he is so, so good. I want everyone of you to feast on him with me. I want you to see the filth the Enemy and his agents have been feeding us for longer than humanity remembers. Jesus have mercy. Open their eyes that they could truly see, open their ears that they would know your voice, open their mouths, rinse and cleanse them, so that they can taste your goodness. Please Savior, save us from ourselves.

Feel free to comment or ask questions!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jesus is looking for a hot date

John and Ashley had a great first date. Dinner under candle light. A walk by the ocean under the moon light. They talked for hours about life, love, and everything in between. John was walking Ashley back to her house when he started hinting he might want a kiss to end the night. Ashley wasn't so sure and smiled the subject away. When they finally arrived at her house all the lights were out and it appeared that everyone was asleep for the night. John leaned against the door-jamb and looked longingly into Ashley's eyes. Using his smoothest, most charming voice he asked, "Didn't you have a good time?" Ashley answered back quickly, "Oh, yes! I... I just want my first kiss to be special. To be about love, not just feelings." Thinking quickly John responded, "That's just it. I think I love you more than anyone I've ever known. I just want to show you." Ashley didn't say anything. She was looking at the ground not wanting to hurt John's feelings and risk not getting to see him again. John tried on more time, "It's just  a kiss. It would mean a lot to me." At that moment the porch light came on and the door opened. Ashley's little sister was standing there looking half asleep but said firmly, "Dad says just kiss him. And if you won't that I should. And if I don't want to do it he will come down and kiss him himself. But will ask him to please quit leaning against the intercom button?"

I am having a hard time figuring out why people who claim the name of Jesus don't seem to understand or know that Jesus was very clear in what he was here to do for us and what he wanted to us to do for him. I've heard the Salvation by Grace side. And the Forgiveness by works side. And then there is the Jesus Will Save Everyone No Matter What They Do. That one just makes me laugh. And a whole slew of ideas in between. You would think that what God wants for us and from us would be the easy answer and the how would be the hard one. But for some reason everyone has got this backwards. Everyone is so sure on prayer, worship, church, giving, missions, and personal study. But hell would freeze over if you ever got the same answer from two people about what the Gospel is and what the Gospel requires. It's like knowing what to do while in school, but not knowing how to apply.

I have some shocking news. Salvation isn't by grace or works...technically. Jesus said the first and greatest commandment is love him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. He also said if you love me you will obey me. So loving Jesus means obedience to the commandments. Whoa! That sounds an awful lot like the Old Covenant! You can hold that order and the chips too, right? But then Jesus also went on to say that once you have done everything he told you to do to call yourselves unworthy servants for you have only done your duty. Ugh... this is getting confusing. Are we under the law or aren't we? Is it grace or obedience? Earned or free? The thing about Jesus and the Bible as a whole is that you have to read it as a whole not in parts. Sounds exhausting, but there is no other way to go about it. And don't trust anyone else to do it for you. Just because  they say they have been to Bible college and read it cover to cover does not mean they are not lying, do not believe them. Read it for yourself and get to know the Shepherds voice. That way no matter who you are listening to you will not be led astray because you will know if it comes from Him or not.

Thankfully, Jesus didn't leave us hanging on this most fundamental, elementary step. The answer is simple, it's just not easy. And He did that on purpose. Those who seek will find. But those who do not seek will not find. No one stumbles upon the truth of God without effort. He doesn't allow it. I'll give you the simple run down, but it is up to you to search out the truth of this. You must know it for yourself in your heart. Knowledge of the head seems the same as knowledge of the heart, but it is not and it is a pseudo foundation to stand upon and you will fall when the storm comes. The truth is it is grace and works. Jesus requires that we give Him everything and He gives us everything in return. Jesus is offering us a trillion dollars in gold and we are staring at him blankly and saying, "I don't have anywhere close to a trillion dollars!" and He replies, "Okay, give me everything in your pockets." and then we pull out a crumpled dirty five dollar bill and he gives us the full reward. People get all fussy about those who say we must do things to qualify for salvation and say, "You can't earn the gift of salvation!" That's true. What you bring to the table is basically worthless. These say that you don't have to do anything to be saved except to believe in Jesus. Don't you know that even the demons believe, and shudder? The other side of the fence gets all fussy when you say that it isn't our actions that give us entrance to the throne room. They say that our actions garner us rewards in heaven. That is also true. But God doesn't owe you anything. It is His generous nature that awards you your rewards. Believe me, you do not want Jesus bringing out the balance sheets of your life and paying out accordingly. The beauty of grace is that it makes life not fair. Even if you lived a perfectly correct life it would not equal the value of the trade that Jesus is making. Only the priceless God being offered in payment for the gift is sufficient. You owed the bank. He stepped in and payed your bill. Now He expects you to give-pay Him everything you have got even though it will fall far short of the balance originally due.

If you correlate yourself with the name of Jesus at all it behooves you to find out the truth and sweep of what this means. Don't forget the words of Jesus in Revelations, "I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!  So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.  You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.  I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.  Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest, and repent." You will know a tree by it's fruit; and salt water and fresh water can not come the same stream. The secret and mystery of salvation is passion. Passionate pursuit of Jesus and all that He is. Jesus judges the motivations of the heart. You can do right with the wrong motives and be condemned. Or you can do wrong with the right motives and be forgiven. But the key is to quit lying to yourself about why you do what you do and your actions will start to change dramatically. Seek the truth, repent, and never look back. We are the Bride and He is the Bridegroom. Jesus is looking for a hot date. I will leave you with this simple, but profound mathematical truth:

         1 x 1 = 1, valuable.
 (-1) x (-1) = 1, workable.
    1 x (-1) = -1, worthless.

Feel free to comment or ask questions!