God's Truth In Love

Archive for April, 2014|Monthly archive page

His Cross or Your Cross

In Advice, Agape Love, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Truth, Uncategorized on April 29, 2014 at 8:37 am

You may submit your own question via the contact information on the “ABOUT” page. A link to the about page can be found at the top of any of the website pages.

Question Summary:

This man indicates that as he grows in his faith he is becoming even more confused about how to overcome issues in his life. He feels that his begging and pleading with God has fallen on deaf ears. He has tried reading his Bible and resisting but still struggles. He can sense something is wrong but does not know what is wrong. All he knows is that, try as he might he cannot seem to have overcoming victory, to be righteous. He is seeking input and feels very confused.

Reply:

Dear Sir,

Let me first say that your question is a question I have heard hundreds of times, if not more, asked in an untold number of different ways. You are not alone in your concerns and doubts. I was there at one time myself.

If you know Jesus and have truly made Him LORD of your life, you cannot become righteous, given that you are already righteous in God’s eyes and in the spiritual realm. The reader must first realize that he is asking Jesus to do something Jesus has already done. Jesus is not going to help you, me or anyone "overcome certain things in life" when He has already overcome those things for you, me, and all His children on the cross. We experience freedom from any form of bondage once we place our faith in the TRUTH that Jesus did overcome those things for us on the cross thus He is able to manifest the power of that overcoming victory once, by trust and faith; we fully accept what He did.

This is one of the major reasons I recommend Neil Anderson’s book, “Victory over the Darkness” to all new Believers in Christ. If we do not understand who we are in Christ and what His death on the cross accomplished for us, our spiritual foundation will be unstable consequently, our walk with Him will be difficult to say the least. All new Believers would do well to absorb this book fully in their spirits before taking on greater pursuits in the Lord. The book is filled with Scriptures and packed with Truth.

Dear man, stop asking Jesus to do for you and start thanking Him for what He has done. We accept victory the same way we accepted salvation by way of by trust and faith.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

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The Sin Struggle

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized on April 25, 2014 at 9:30 am

You may submit your own question via the contact information on the “ABOUT” page. A link to the about page can be found at the top of any of the website pages.

Question Summary:

I love God but I continually struggle with sin. Why?

Reply:

We all have a sin nature but once we have redeemed by Christ He has given us a new nature (2 Corinthians 5:17) to which we must yield ourselves. Therefore, when we cut away all the fluff, rationalization, and excuses your reason for your struggle with sin is the same reason we all struggle with sin in any particular area of our lives. Sin and disobedience to God is an option for us.

If disobedience were not an option, you would not be struggling.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Blessing of Good and Evil

In Advice, Agape Love, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 24, 2014 at 3:34 pm

You may submit your own question via the contact information on the “ABOUT” page. A link to the about page can be found at the top of any of the website pages.

Question Summary:

Why do people who are sinful get blessed? Why do people who are godly have trouble? Why do people believe sin causes trouble and blessings? How can we make sense of all the mess and injustice in the world?

Reply:

This is actually a combination of several questions whose answers have the same basic root. I have been asked this question in one form or another ever since I became a minister. It comes from the heart of hurting people or angry people who cannot understand how the world, Satan’s kingdom, and the eternal, God’s Kingdom work. Jesus is our example for all things so I will use situations surrounding Jesus to address these questions.

The first point I will make, regarding the evil aspect of the question, is that people can be rewarded, bribed, or compensated by Satan in this world. He can do nothing that has not been allowed by God, Job is an example of that, but Satan can in fact provide worldly blessings for sinful people. We have seen some of the most corrupt and depraved, sometimes privately, individuals and families receive blessings in this lifetime. Their ultimate cost however, for those evil blessings is something much deeper that they lack inside and their eternal souls many times. Satan even tried to bribe Jesus.

Matthew 4:8–11 (NKJV)

8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.”

10 Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve.’ ”

11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.

The first point I will make, regarding the godly aspect of the question, is that people can know God, people can profess all the right things but still be deeply rebellious in their hearts and that rebellion will cause them problems in life. Even Jesus chose obedience over rebellion. Scripture referring to Jesus, states how He had to hear the Father and choose not to have a rebellious heart. If Jesus had to consciously make that choice, while He was here in human flesh, of course we each must do the same every day. If we remain in rebellion, either inwardly or outwardly, against God’s Will we will not be consistently blessed in life.

Isaiah 50:5 (NKJV)

The Lord God has opened My ear;

And I was not rebellious,

Nor did I turn away.

Another reason we see both groups blessed and both groups suffer is because God has chosen such for His own purposes. Jesus taught that, when He walked the earth in the flesh.

Matthew 5:45 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

For a True Believer any suffering or difficulty they go through that is the type, which Jesus taught about above, has a guaranteed redemptive purpose. God wants to use what they went through. For the Unbeliever any difficulty they go through that is the type, which Jesus taught about above, are magnets meant to draw them to Him.

For the True Believer any blessings they obtain from the hand of God that is the type, which Jesus taught about above, are meant not merely as a form of reward but as a source to be used to glorify God further. For the Unbeliever any blessings they obtain from the hand of God that is the type, which Jesus taught about above, are intended to draw them to God through His goodness. Those blessing given to both groups are almost always removed one day if the Giver is not acknowledged and glorified.

There is much injustice, evil, and wrongdoing in the world. It is often hard to make sense of it all but people, most especially Christians must keep in mind this world is currently under Satan’s dominion and Satan can afflict people, including True Believers, with harm, disease, various afflictions, and general difficulties.

2 Corinthians 4:4 (KJV)

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

John 14:30 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

30 I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me.

Luke 13:16 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

16 So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”

Most dedicated Believers make claims about wanting to be like Jesus and to live for Him. They aspire to resemble their Savior but then are shocked and backslide when life, the world, and the Devil brings about difficulties. Yet, do they really know their Jesus, who He really was and is, as well as what He went through while walking the earth. I will end with passages form Isaiah, one of which that addresses some of what Jesus was to expect, and received, when He came to the earth. The passage also reflects how He responded.

Jesus knew and knows who He was and is, He knew and knows His power and ability, yet, He states what He choose to allow people to do to Him and how He chose to respond. We should pray for the grace of God to do likewise when we find ourselves in difficult circumstance for there is abundant life to be found in that type freedom, strength, and power.

Isaiah 50 (NKJV)

The Servant, Israel’s Hope

50 Thus says the Lord:

“Where is the certificate of your mother’s divorce,

Whom I have put away?

Or which of My creditors is it to whom I have sold you?

For your iniquities you have sold yourselves,

And for your transgressions your mother has been put away.

2 Why, when I came, was there no man?

Why, when I called, was there none to answer?

Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem?

Or have I no power to deliver?

Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea,

I make the rivers a wilderness;

Their fish stink because there is no water,

And die of thirst.

3 I clothe the heavens with blackness,

And I make sackcloth their covering.”

4 “The Lord God has given Me

The tongue of the learned,

That I should know how to speak

A word in season to him who is weary.

He awakens Me morning by morning,

He awakens My ear

To hear as the learned.

5 The Lord God has opened My ear;

And I was not rebellious,

Nor did I turn away.

6 I gave My back to those who struck Me,

And My cheeks to those who plucked out the beard;

I did not hide My face from shame and spitting.

7 “For the Lord God will help Me;

Therefore I will not be disgraced;

Therefore I have set My face like a flint,

And I know that I will not be ashamed.

8 He is near who justifies Me;

Who will contend with Me?

Let us stand together.

Who is My adversary?

Let him come near Me.

9 Surely the Lord God will help Me;

Who is he who will condemn Me?

Indeed they will all grow old like a garment;

The moth will eat them up.

10 “Who among you fears the Lord?

Who obeys the voice of His Servant?

Who walks in darkness

And has no light?

Let him trust in the name of the Lord

And rely upon his God.

11 Look, all you who kindle a fire,

Who encircle yourselves with sparks:

Walk in the light of your fire and in the sparks you have kindled—

This you shall have from My hand:

You shall lie down in torment.

Isaiah 55:1–13 (NKJV)

An Invitation to Abundant Life

55 “Ho! Everyone who thirsts,

Come to the waters;

And you who have no money,

Come, buy and eat.

Yes, come, buy wine and milk

Without money and without price.

2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread,

And your wages for what does not satisfy?

Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,

And let your soul delight itself in abundance.

3 Incline your ear, and come to Me.

Hear, and your soul shall live;

And I will make an everlasting covenant with you—

The sure mercies of David.

4 Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people,

A leader and commander for the people.

5 Surely you shall call a nation you do not know,

And nations who do not know you shall run to you,

Because of the Lord your God,

And the Holy One of Israel;

For He has glorified you.”

6 Seek the Lord while He may be found,

Call upon Him while He is near.

7 Let the wicked forsake his way,

And the unrighteous man his thoughts;

Let him return to the Lord,

And He will have mercy on him;

And to our God,

For He will abundantly pardon.

8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord.

9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

So are My ways higher than your ways,

And My thoughts than your thoughts.

10 “For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven,

And do not return there,

But water the earth,

And make it bring forth and bud,

That it may give seed to the sower

And bread to the eater,

11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;

It shall not return to Me void,

But it shall accomplish what I please,

And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.

12 “For you shall go out with joy,

And be led out with peace;

The mountains and the hills

Shall break forth into singing before you,

And all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

13 Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress tree,

And instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree;

And it shall be to the Lord for a name,

For an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off.”

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Peace and Unity

In Advice, Agape Love, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 23, 2014 at 5:10 pm

Question Summary:

The quest for peace and unity or oneness in all circumstances, is that always good? Like in the case of world peace, community peace, family peace or unity, religious unity, and so on.

Reply:

As stated in the past, without specifics about a person’s circumstances it is hard to address a situation in an absolute way that will honor God and be a wise godly answer. However, I can provide some various insights about the topic.

This I can state with absolute authority that honors God and is in keeping with His Will and His Word. If keeping the peace or having unity or bringing about oneness requires an individual or group to compromise God’s Word, God’s Will, or God’s Purpose then it is an ungodly form of peace, unity, or oneness. Satan often brings a form of peace that is ungodly in order to bring about some form of evil. Again, if it causes you to dishonor God, then it is wrong.

Religious unity is not of God and is not supported anywhere in Scripture. Scripture teaches the opposite on numerous occasions. An example can be found with Muslims, the Koran states that Christians are considered infidels and if they refuse to renounce Christ when asked to do so, they are to be killed. As peace loving as some Muslims may appear, the text they consider holy gives this mandate. Some Muslims will even deny the Koran states this mandate. This is why these two groups Christians and Muslims, and their members, cannot be reconciled as friends. Now unity of Jesus’ Church, The Body of Christ, is supported throughout the New Testament.

Unity among Believers and unbelievers is not supported by Scripture for we are not to be yoked with unbelievers in any form of attached relationships, (2 Corn. 6:11-17) however, we can live at peace with unbelievers provided doing so does not cause us to dishonor God.

2 Corinthians 6:11–17 (NKJV)

Be Holy

11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them

And walk among them.

I will be their God,

And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them

And be separate, says the Lord.

Do not touch what is unclean,

And I will receive you.

Keeping the unity of a family or keeping peace within a family, again, is subject to whether or not the Believer in Christ can honor God and remain in unity or keep peace with other family members. This is not always possible as beliefs will differ and bring about division and even the simply desire to honor and follow God will bring division.

Luke 12:49–53 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

Christ Warns of the Costs of Discipleship

49 “I came to send fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to be baptized with, and how distressed I am till it is accomplished! 51 Do you suppose that I came to give peace on earth? I tell you, not at all, but rather division. 52 For from now on five in one house will be divided: three against two, and two against three. 53 Father will be divided against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”

The idea that following Christ brings about some type of utopian love-fest with all people is simply not true and has not bases in Scripture. If Jesus states that following Him would bring division within families, in the most intimate relationships, will it not bring division among, friends, colleagues, associated, and people in the world? Of course, it is going to do so. If you believe you are doing all God has instructed you to do in following Him and find yourself at peace with all people and everyone likes you, something is very wrong with your walk with God.

Additionally, many times in Scripture we find that had people not left family and homeland to go where and do what God had called or asked them to do they would have never been able to fulfill His Purposes for their life. Abraham, the Father of our Faith had to leave his family and homeland (Gen. 12 & 13) to fulfill God’s Plan for His life and our ultimate enfolding into the gospel message.

Community and/or global peace are much larger issues. Global peace and unity sounds wonderful and seems like such a noble idea but it is clearly the work of an Anti-Christ Spirit. (See the books of Revelation and Daniel.) It may seem great for a season to unbelievers and immature or carnal Christians but it is a concept whose end will be horrible for True Christians, the CURRENT Spiritual Remnant of God and mankind in general.

The idea of a utopian society has been around since just after the fall of man and early creation. It is a notion driven by and based in sin. It is about the desire to be independent from God or to reach God and/or heaven on one’s own terms or to ascend to god-ship one one’s own terms. Man wants to be their own god and man wants to reach God on their own terms. That is a concept, idea, and practice God has been disturbing from the beginning and will continue to frustrate and disrupt until the end of time. Only God will bring about the true world peace and Divine unity in the New Jerusalem (Rev. 21). Therefore, we do not compromise God’s Word or dishonor God even for community or world peace.

The earliest reported account of an example of man’s attempt at this ascension is found in the Book of Genesis. God’s response then, and ever since, has been to bring about circumstances that disrupted man’s ability to succeed at such behavior.

Genesis 11:1–9 (NKJV)

The Tower of Babel

11 Now the whole earth had one language and one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar, and they dwelt there. 3 Then they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They had brick for stone, and they had asphalt for mortar. 4 And they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower whose top is in the heavens; let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.”

5 But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower which the sons of men had built. 6 And the LORD said, “Indeed the people are one and they all have one language, and this is what they begin to do; now nothing that they propose to do will be withheld from them. 7 Come, let Us go down and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.” 8 So the LORD scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they ceased building the city. 9 Therefore its name is called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth; and from there the LORD scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth.

It amazing me when I see individual people, a community, or a society that thinks they are going to be in charge of life, they are going to create and make their own destiny, or they are going to live independent of God on their own terms. No they are not, only if God allows them to live as such! At any moment, God could require their life of them, yet they think themselves so in charge.

Ezekiel 3:16–21 (NKJV)

Ezekiel is a Watchman

16 Now it came to pass at the end of seven days that the word of the LORD came to me, saying, 17 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore hear a word from My mouth, and give them warning from Me: 18 When I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, to save his life, that same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 Yet, if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, nor from his wicked way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

20 “Again, when a righteous man turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, and I lay a stumbling block before him, he shall die; because you did not give him warning, he shall die in his sin, and his righteousness which he has done shall not be remembered; but his blood I will require at your hand. 21 Nevertheless if you warn the righteous man that the righteous should not sin, and he does not sin, he shall surely live because he took warning; also you will have delivered your soul.”

Well here is your warning…

As I stated at the beginning of this reply; this I can state with absolute authority that it honors God and is in keeping with His Will and His Word. If keeping the peace or having unity or bringing about oneness requires an individual or group to compromise God’s Word, God’s Will, or God’s Purpose then it is an ungodly form of peace, unity, or oneness.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Children and God

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophet, Prophetess, Truth, Uncategorized on April 21, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Question Summary:

Is there a specific age when children become accountable before God?

Reply:

People are often confused by this topic. When do children become accountable for their sin? Do children go to hell? This is an area where spiritual leaders have tried to find a definitive answer in order to appease or comfort people when there is no definitive answer according to Scripture.

There are denominations that teach that a child becomes accountable for sin at the age of twelve, a belief that has been derived by combining scripture, psychology, a legal mentality, child development theories, and a specific event in Scripture. There are other denominations that believe baptism of the child must take place in order for the child to enter heaven, thus, accountability in some proxy form via the parents begins at about a week old. Neither is absolutely true as neither one is actually based in a clear mandate specifically for children from Scripture.

The specific event I referred to earlier was Jesus’ appearance in the temple when He was about twelve years old (Luke 2:42-50). The train of thought is that if Jesus, at age twelve, was aware enough that He knew He need to be in the Father’s house, then children are accountable by age twelve, thus age twelve became the age used to mark firm accountability before God. All of that sounds wonderful and yes, by age twelve a child is self and sin aware but that awareness of self, sin, and God can come before age twelve as well.

God is characterized in Genesis as knowing that the heart of people is sinful and evil early in life, in their youth.

And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. Genesis 9:21

Youth in the Hebrew is a “young person, childhood, the state of juvenility” then when you dig even deeper into the meaning back to one of the root words, one aspect of the word means “a boy or girl” from “from the age of infancy to adolescence” which is a wide range of age.

Therefore, the age of accountability is not one set age but differs from person to person based upon their mental, emotional, and spiritual makeup and development. Whereas, one child may be very self and sin aware by age eight another may not be until age ten. Many children have had their spiritual conversion long before age twelve. I myself became saved at age eleven with much evidence to support true conversion. Likewise, my child converted to Christ at a very young age, seven, was writing salvation tracts at age eight, on her own, and by twelve was having dreams and vision, which came to pass almost immediately and repeatedly. I am aware of a little boy who was converted at eight, and was prophesying shortly afterwards with Scriptural accuracy and consistency for a long period of time. True spiritual accountability before God will vary, sometimes greatly, from person to person.

Once a child begins to show evidence of self, sin, and God awareness, they should be presented with the Truth of the gospel and encouraged to turn their lives over to the Lordship of Jesus, the Christ. People should not assume that they have until that child is twelve to concerns themselves with that child’s salvation. Jesus should be shared as soon as the individual is aware of God, aware of his or her own sinfulness, and aware that sin is wrong.

Our God is also a just God and a loving God. Children who died in infancy or before they are fully aware of God, and their accountability before Him, are taken to be with Him because they are clean in His sight, having never really understood and therefore never really ever rejected Him.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Resurrection Power

In Agape Love, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Prophet, Prophetess, Truth, Uncategorized on April 20, 2014 at 6:00 pm

It is my prayer that each one of you, who have truly embrace Jesus as your Lord, have awareness of the Resurrection Power living inside of you. It is also my prayer that in the year to come between this Easter Sunday and the next that you will grow in your understanding and execution of this Truth and the use of that resurrection power.

Romans 8:11 (NKJV) But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

As you celebrate the glorious resurrection of the Messiah, Jesus, the Christ, this Resurrection/Easter Sunday in your own way, I pray His Presence will not be far from you and He will be continually in your thoughts. Despite what we might do today we must always remember today is about HIM and His glorious victory.

Today will be, and has been, filled with many activities for each of us. Such as our usual Easter Sunday; a wonderful morning service to celebrate the Triumphed King followed by a massive family reunion at our family compound also know as my great, great, aunt’s (long since gone to be with the Lord) sprawling home tucked away from the world. This family reunion dates back to before I can even remember attending and is inclusive of every family member imaginable past and present; every aunt, uncle, cousin, etc. and for a family who enjoys reproduction that is a throng of people. There will be all the kiddies with their Easter clothes and Easter baskets. The adults of a certain generational group will be called to the caretakers house in the back of the property where the elders of the family, men and women alike, will dispense the wisdom and lay down the law (as I like to call it) for how the family matters and business will be handled for the next year. No one would dare dream to tell them otherwise; you respect your elders and your leaders and God blesses you, you don’t and He doesn’t. I know for many people they will experience a very similar day, which is wonderful and I believe God rejoices over such gatherings, but I want to suggest something more you might want to do with your day.

If the server for this website works correctly, you should be receiving this posting or it will be available via the blog in the early evening, my time, on Easter Sunday. The day will be coming to a close in just a few hours and you just may have a few minutes for the following. I would like to encourage you to take a few moments alone, just Jesus and you, and read the account of the first Good Friday and the first Resurrection/Easter Sunday.

Luke 23:26–24:12 (NKJV)

Christ is Crucified

Also found in Matt. 27:31–56; Mark 15:20–41; John 19:16–30 .

26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. 49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Christ is Buried

Also found in Matt. 27:57–61; Mark 15:42–47; John 19:38–42.

50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.

In the Grave

56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

The Resurrection

Also found in Matt. 28:1–8; Mark 16:1–8; John 20:1–10.

24 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments. 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’ ”

8 And they remembered His words. 9 Then they returned from the tomb and told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. 10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them, who told these things to the apostles. 11 And their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. 12 But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened.

We too should marvel at the great power of our Savior!

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Gifts and Money

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophet, Prophetess, Rhema Words, Truth, Uncategorized on April 19, 2014 at 4:45 pm

Question Summary:

Is it right for pastors, leaders, ministers and bishops to take gifts and money this is given directly to them?

Reply:

The person who posed this question did not provide many details to work with and this is a topic that can be very hard to discern without a good bit of information. Therefore, the best I can do is show examples of what is godly and righteous and what is ungodly and unrighteous in the arena.

In the end, it comes down to the motive of the giver and the receiver. If people are trying to manipulate people into giving them money and gifts, then it is ungodly. If people are giving money and gifts in order to gain favor or be able to have influence, then it is ungodly. However, it is not ungodly for people to give or receive money and/or gifts in every circumstance.

I have seen, experienced, and heard, from reliable sources, numerous and various situations in the arena of money and gifts, some that were godly and some of which were ungodly. Both extremes exist out there.

On one end, I have seen pastors bleed dry and manipulate their congregations for money through the use of reciting chants (the repetition of a word or phrase for the purpose of brainwashing); while he showed off his Rolex watch to those people he considered leaders. On the other end of the spectrum, spiritual leaders have given some people hours and hours of their time over the course of a long period and never received anything from those people for their efforts, not money, not gifts, not even a meal or cup of coffee bought for them. I have seen all kinds of scenario in-between the two extremes as well.

Real life examples of less than godly scenarios. Amassing wealth and materials on the backs of your struggling congregation, like buying Rolex watches while most of your congregation struggles financially. Browbeating your congregation viciously over a $400.00 monthly shortfall in the budget while you and your spouse drive to church in fairly new Sport Cadillac and a Cadillac Escalade. Working for a non-profit organization while driving the company car, a Jaguar. Going out into the woods and building a mansion with money from the church coffers. Spiritual leaders moaning to people about the things they need in the hopes that the people, or some individual, will buy what they want for them. Trying to manipulate people into buying you things you want by making sure they know you want them, on purpose. Buying big houses and driving Lexus cars while you refuse to counsel Believers in need because they cannot afford your $100.00 an hour fee.

One has to keep in mind that the hunger and thirst that people have for money comes from greed and a poor mentality. The fear of being without, of being poor, drives people to hunger for money. It does not seem to matter if they have ever been poor or not. Their worth is tied up in what and how much they have. The “love” of money, or the things money will buy, causes people to act in the ways described above. 1 Timothy 6:10 (NKJV) “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” Inside themselves, their value is nothing because their value is based on what is on the outside. What is on the outside will always decay (looks, health, physical ability) or could easily be taken away (money, home, possessions) in a moment. Most individuals who act like the people described above usually end up in very bad situations. If you doubt this truth, watch them over the course of a lifetime. They rise and they fall.

Real life examples of where leaders acted in a godly manner, which might have resulted in either their detriment or good. Spiritual leaders struggling to make ends meet while they serve people who never give them anything, neither in money or gifts. I have seen spiritual leaders starved out of the ministry, literally. Their congregation was stingy with money and/or gifts and supplies that they could not afford to live, they were literally going hungry at times, because they did not have enough money. They had to return to secular work. I have seen spiritual leaders given vehicles they needed but could not buy without going into debt. I have seen spiritual leaders given to hospitality, leaders who hosted people in their home continually, cooking for them regularly, have a new dual oven bought for them as a gift in thanks. Women leaders treated to clothes and shoes by those they served, so they could look nice. Men and women leaders alike given watches, Bibles, supplies, computers, etc. all to aid them in their ministry work.

Before anyone determines that I am for or that I am against giving either money or gifts; I will share some personal examples that will help you discern my views more accurately.

Years ago when I first starting out in the ministry I was one of the churches co-pastors and I was teaching my first Bible Study course. At the beginning of each session we spent time just chatting with one another before we would start. During one of the first few sessions, I was talking about how my spouse loved espresso and that perhaps I would buy my spouse an espresso machine. The next week before class started someone walked up and gave me an espresso machine they had owned for several years but only used a couple of times. Did I take the machine? You bet I did and my spouse enjoyed it for years.

I received that machine before I ever even received my first paycheck in the ministry. That machine was my first compensation for ministry and to this day, it sits on a bookcase shelf in my study.

The person who gave me the espresso machine was so blessed by giving that machine to me and it made them so happy. I was so blessed that someone cared enough to listen to a casual conversation and meet my need, or more aptly my desire, in life. It made for a beautiful start in ministry.  Therefore, under the right circumstances I have no issue with giving spiritual leaders gifts.

I do believe in giving money to spiritual leaders, and others, either directly or indirectly. Let me explain. I do not share this often but here I believe it can serve a godly purpose.

My spouse and I very much believe in giving, so much so that we give 55% of all sources of our total revenue and income to the work of Kingdom of God. We live in the neighborhood that makes that possible. We bought a house that makes that possible. We drive the cars that make that possible. You get the point.

We do believe in giving indirectly and anonymously whenever possible. This is not always possible however thus giving directly at times does have to take place. We also believe that giving does not have to be done only to churches, ministries, or spiritual leaders it can be given to any work or effort that will glorify God.

As Believers we do have a responsibility before God to give our money wisely but with that said if God leads me to walk up to a stranger and hand them $100.00 I am going to do so. If God leads me to buy a strangers gas or meal, I am going to do so. Anywhere God tells me to put His money is where the money need to be. What we will not do is use that money to buy influence with a church, group, or a person, which is why giving anonymously in cash is so important to us.

My spouse and I also will not give money to God then deduct it on our taxes thus getting our money returned to us in another form. If it is going to be given to the work of the Kingdom of God, it is going to be fully given without looking for a refund of said money later.

Give and give freely, directly or indirectly, to your pastors, spiritual leaders, ministers and bishops. Give them either money, give them gifts, give them serves, or give them all of these things. However, to whomever you give just do so wisely and under the guidance and direction of God. It is not a one size fits all answer of whether it is wrong or right for spiritual leaders to take money, gifts, or serves; it is something that must be determined in each circumstance, every time, considering all the people involved and their motives. What is okay with God for you to do today might not be okay with God next month or next year. We always seek Him in all things.

Proverbs 3:5–6 (NKJV)

5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart,

And lean not on your own understanding;

6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,

And He shall direct your paths.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Faith and Freedom

In Advice, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 18, 2014 at 6:37 pm

Alliance Defending Freedom Online Town Hall

 

Living out Your Faith in an Increasingly Hostile Culture

 

http://www.alliancedefendingfreedom.org/home/detail/8962

Near-death Experiences

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Truth, Uncategorized on April 17, 2014 at 4:43 pm

Note

I decided years ago when I began doing Q & A Forums that I would not address questions, which were too vague to answer wisely or questions where the answers required too many variables of explanation, thus making answering in a few paragraphs all but impossible and neglectful of godly quality. Those types of questions typically just go unanswered. This next question boarders on that type of question, yet, I am going to go ahead and address this topic because I believe it is of immense importance to many people. That said, please know my answer will not be exhaustive on the topic and should anyone have any follow up questions I encourage you to send them instead of assuming what I might be attempting to communicate.

Question Summary:

Are near-death experiences (like in the new movie, Heaven is for Real) true and if they are how can this happen since we cannot go to heaven and back according to Luke 16? Are ghost real? Can we see the dead?

Reply:

First, let me clear up the question about Luke 16. Here is the primary verse that prompts the misunderstanding and the entire parable Jesus taught will be listed at the end of my reply. Luke 16:26, Jesus speaking, “ 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

People say we cannot cross the chasm but what is their interpretation of crossing the chasm. For the person who asked the question; the chasm, and crossing the chasm, is misunderstood and perhaps has been taught to them incorrectly.

That “great gulf” is in the Greek Language is most definitely an “impassable chasm and interval” of that we can be certain. However, what was Jesus saying here? Was He saying no person could see heaven and live, if so what about John the Revelator who wrote the Book of Revelation. Was He saying no living person could have a vision of the other side or people there or beings [angles] there, if so what about the prophet Elijah [1st & 2nd Kings and 1st & 2nd Chronicles] or the experience of Jesus, Peter, James, John, Moses and Elijah on the Mount of Transfiguration, Matthew 17 and Mark 9. All too often we try to tell ourselves that the experiences of the people in the Bible are completely over and none of that stuff happens today but upon what do we base this mistaken assumption.

The correct teaching for Luke 16:26 is that once we die we cannot pass between heaven and hell. Once we die our opportunities for salvation through trusting in and depending upon Jesus, the Christ, for our redemption, is over. We have until that moment of COMPLETE death to either accept Him or reject Him. However, once COMPLETELY dead and in heaven or hell, we will not be allowed to pass between the two. We will be either in heaven or in hell for all of eternity, no person will go from one to the other after death. That is what Jesus is teaching in Luke 16:19-31.

I have personally known, talked to, heard of, saw interviews with and read accounts of people who have stated that they had a near-death experience, died and came back to life, or have seen people who have died. Of these accounts, some individual’s experiences were of heaven and some were of hell. Not all of these accounts seemed credible to me. However, there have been some accounts that did seem credible. I personally believe each individual account would have to examined carefully through a theologically sound lens in order to determine its validity. I have heard accounts where what God expressed to the individual did not line up with the God of the Bible, therefore, their account cannot be considered credible to me. The Word of God is the Standard we go by for all things for He has made it clear that He is not one who would alter His Word. God will not contradict His Word.

Now let me address this movie specifically, Heaven is for Real, which opened yesterday. I did go and see the movie yesterday and brainstormed with others afterward about the theology of the movie. If you have been thinking of going to see the movie, I would not deter you from doing so.

http://www.movies.com/heaven-for-real/m69482

Whereas, the movie covers some areas that there is no theological way of proving or disproving about the physical state of human beings in heaven, the balance of the movie has redeeming value. I believe it is a good choice for an Easter movie.

The movie shares the account of a near-death experience of a small child about five years old. Small children typically are not able psychologically to cultivate elaborate lies. In the movie, you get to see a spiritual leader struggle with his own faith, struggle with what he teaches, and struggle with what he truly believes himself. You see examples of those individuals who have allowed wounds they carry to affect their faith to the point of almost complete loss of faith. You see the religion of people who claim to believe the Bible until they are confronted with the Truth of the Bible. Most of all you see how one persons experience can affect the lives of an entire community.

At the very end of the movie, a real painting will be shown that a little girl painted after her near-death experience. For anyone who sees the movie I would like you to look closely at the eyes this little girl painted for Jesus. When you look closely at the eyes there seems to be an endlessness to them. In my spiritual mind, those eyes represent the vastness and endlessness of my Savior, Jesus the Messiah of all of mankind, who always was, always is, and always will be. That aspect of the film was very profound.

I once talked with a small child who was three years and few months old who stated they had a vision/encounter with an individual who had died several years before. This child, like the child portrayed in the movie, knew things the child had no way of knowing in the natural. This child’s account of seeing, or having a vision of, someone who had previously died did seem credible to me.

Luke 16:19–31 (NKJV) – Jesus speaking

Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. 20 But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, 21 desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. 22 So it was that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels to Abraham’s bosom. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 And being in torments in Hades, he lifted up his eyes and saw Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom.

24 “Then he cried and said, ‘Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus that he may dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.’ 25 But Abraham said, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things; but now he is comforted and you are tormented. 26 And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed, so that those who want to pass from here to you cannot, nor can those from there pass to us.’

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.’ ”

 

Regarding movies, I do have questions about the movie Noah, which may be addressed at some point. I do want to state this about that move. The movie Noah is incredibly inaccurate theologically and biblically. It is not a movie I would recommend anyone see. My concern as a spiritual leader is that people do not study the Word of God for themselves enough and therefore, might actual base their beliefs about the flood on a movie produced by Hollywood, not even a Christian media source.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

God Time or Self Time

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophet, Prophetess, Rhema Words, Truth, Uncategorized on April 16, 2014 at 7:03 am

Question Summary:

This question also falls into the category of a leadership question. The overall content of the question comes down to three questions for which I will provide an overall basic answer. How do we manage all God has called us to do? How do we rid ourselves of the time stealers in our lives? How do we keep our own desires from sealing our time?

Reply:

At times, I too find myself spending the precious hours that God has given me in life on things that do not glorify Him or satisfy me. Then once having done so I ask myself why, realizing two hours or six hours I will never get back in life have just passed.

Over the years through trial and error, I have notice that when I am in God’s Will and doing what He desires me to do that He measures out my time and energy making sure both go a long way through His grace and Holy Ghost power. However, when I am primarily focused on or doing something for the purpose of self-gratification it seems I never have enough time. The latter displays self-reliance, I set my schedule, and the first displays God-reliance, God sets my schedule.

God will always make sure we are able to keep up with His Will, His pace, His Purpose and His schedule. It is quite the struggle to keep up with self-indulgence no matter what form it takes.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Ribs

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Prophet, Prophetess, Rhema Words, Truth, Uncategorized on April 15, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Question Summary:

What about the extra rib is it factual? Genesis 2:22

Reply:

Genesis 2:21–23 (NKJV)

21 And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall on Adam, and he slept; and He took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh in its place. 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man.

23 And Adam said:

“This is now bone of my bones

And flesh of my flesh;

She shall be called Woman,

Because she was taken out of Man.”

Women do in fact have a small extra rid (bone) in their rib cage area. Science proved we had a Creator when the x-ray generator was invented in the late 1800’s. God’s Word and claim to creation preceded man’s machine, man’s proof, by thousands of years.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Qualities

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Rhema Words, Truth, Uncategorized on April 12, 2014 at 9:40 am

Question Summary:

This is a question that is asked quite often and is always a joy for me to read or hear. Primarily the question is, ‘What does it take to be a good godly spiritual leader? What are the top two or three qualities needed?’

Reply:

First, I would like to say someone who actually wants to know what it takes to be a good godly spiritual leader is on the right track because his or her heart is in the right place. They want to assess themselves and see if they are measuring up so to speak.

Let me start by stating none of us measure up. None of us are worthy of being a spiritual leader. We can assess ourselves all day long everyday and only comes away with one conclusion, ‘Why me Lord Jesus?’ It is because of Him, not us that we are able to walk in what He has called us to do. If we allow our shortcomings to stop us we will never get started because we will always have shortcomings.

Top three qualities of a leader:

1 – Obedience

2 – God-reliance (as opposed to self-reliance)

3 – Faith

I would add a number 4 – Trust in God’s Wisdom (as opposed to their own or worldly wisdom).

Why obedience?

“to obey is better than sacrifice” (1 Sam. 15:22).

God called Samuel to do some unusual things, there is no doubt about that, but Samuel obeyed God even when he did not understand why he was doing what he was doing.

Why God-reliance instead of self-reliance?

A whole host of reasons but the one I will highlight here is, the need to be able to hear God’s voice and share what you hear with other people. You cannot hear God if you are relying on yourself instead of Him, as you have vexed His Holy Spirit.

Why faith?

In order to lead others you will need to be given to prayer. People with little amounts of faith pray very little, people with great amounts of faith pray continually. Communication with God will build your faith and your faith will make room for God to act.

Why trust in God’s Wisdom instead of your own or worldly wisdom?

A good spiritual leader must be a person who is given to God’s Word, and therein is found the wisdom of God, which never fails. Good spiritual leaders obey God and exhort others to do likewise.

Now let me address what one might call a rookie mistake that budding young spiritual leaders often make.

All too often I personally have experienced being part of an environment where leadership was lacking. In my earlier years of ministry, I would just jump right in and provide the needed leadership. However, this was not always appropriate, as many times, my “help” was not sought. Why did I do this however? A leader, God’s natural and spiritually gifted leaders can walk into any room, any group, look around and see immediately how things could be improved or what needs to be done to provide leadership and order. Now while this is a wonderful God-given ability, that does not mean you always need to use that ability. I had to train myself to just be a part of a group and not try to lead the group, always standing ready should God decided He wished to use me in the situation. Learning this valuable lesson took time and only happened as I matured in ministry. The timing of this question is wonderful, as this month I celebrate my 20th year in fulltime ministry.

I applauded anyone seeking to improve as a spiritual leader so that people are served in a greater degree and God is further glorified; after all, if God is not glorified through our leadership what is the point.

 

Regarding worldviews:

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Stay or Go

In Advice, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Encouragement, Exhortation, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Rhema Words, Truth on April 9, 2014 at 4:34 pm

Question Summary:

A Christian woman moved in with her non-Christian boyfriend, he cheated on her repeatedly citing an abundance of sexual needs, therefore, ultimately she moved out breaking the relationship off. Later she restarted the relationship after he promised repeatedly to stop cheating; yet, he did not and has not stopped. Perplexed by what she should do, she wonders if Christian love should cover this situation and if she should reenter the relationship, again, resume living together, and pray that her good conduct as a Christian woman will bring her boyfriend around so he will become a Christian and stop cheating.

Reply:

This entire situation and relationship is built on a faulty foundation, which is unbiblical and secular. You, the readers, have only read a summary of the question I have read and know much more about the situation, thus, I can discern the heart of this young woman and the complexities involved in her decisions. This is not a situation, which is solely the product of ungodly choices it is also a product of wrong biblical teaching. Here are some of the distorted teachings found within her situation.

The first distortion found in this situation is the idea that Christian Love means we overlook people’s sins. Scripture does not teach that, Scripture teaches we forgive people’s sins. Habitual sin is something that should be addressed, not overlooked. The distortions in this teaching are derived from a couple of Scriptures that have had their true meaning twisted.

1 Peter 4:8 (NKJV)

8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.”

This Scripture does not teach that we are to ignore the sins of our brothers and sister in Christ. What it teaches is that if we truly love one another, or more accurately have charity for one another, as we should, that love will hide, keep, cover, us from sinning against one another because we will be given to benevolence and compassion toward one another. Benevolence is kindness, compassion, and goodwill in action.

We are not to shout other people’s sins from the rooftops. However, do not equate not telling others about a person’s sin with being tolerant of habitual sin. Habitual sin is to be confronted, addressed, and dealt with appropriately. As we read in the following Scripture from the book of James, by rebuking another Believer and helping them to get back on a godly course of action, we are actually used of God to cover a multitude of what would have been future sins.

James 5:19–20 (NKJV)

19 Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, 20 let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins.

In this passage from James, we know the church leader was talking about Believers because they are referred to as “Brethren” and are found ‘among them’ having ‘wandered from the truth’. You cannot wander from what you do not know. These individuals are acting as a sinner would act, not as a Devoted Believer would act. James urges us to do what we can to turn someone from sin because sin will kill the soul of a person, even a Believer.

Application to question. This man’s sin should not be tolerated because it is habitual sin from which he refuses to repent. He only gives lip service to his repentance not real change.

The second distorted teaching found in this situation comes from a passage in 1 Peter.

1 Peter 3:1 (NKJV)

Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives,

This passage is written for a couple of different application. 1 – If a woman should be saved after marriage and her husband is still unsaved. 2 – If both husband and wife are saved but the wife believes and is adhering to God’s Word more than the husband.

This passage is not meant to be used to support the idea of a Christian woman marrying, or being in relationship with, a non-Christian in the hopes that her godly conduct will turn the man to Christ. This passage only applies to an unequally yoked relationship in either spiritual maturity or one that became unequally yoked after marriage due to the wife’s conversion to Christ. Christians are not to marry or date or be business/ministry partners with or have intimate friendships with or even close associates with non-Christians because if we do it will cause us to be “restricted” in life. Which when you research the Greek language for the term used here in 2 Corinthians 6:12 we find that these unequally yoked relationships will only cause “calamity, anguish, and distress” for the Believer.

2 Corinthians 6:11–18 (NKJV)

11 O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. 12 You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. 13 Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open.

14 Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 16 And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God. As God has said:

“I will dwell in them

And walk among them.

I will be their God,

And they shall be My people.”

17 Therefore

“Come out from among them

And be separate, says the Lord.

Do not touch what is unclean,

And I will receive you.”

18“I will be a Father to you,

And you shall be My sons and daughters,

Says the LORD Almighty.”

Application to the question. This young woman should not be, and should never have been, in relationship with this young man because he is a non-Believer. Therefore, she certainly has no moral obligation to try to win him to Christ by staying in relationship with him and setting a good example for him. By staying in the relationship, she is setting a bad example of what godliness is for him, because she is violating Scripture.

Precious Child of God,

This is a relationship, which never should have been entered and you desperately need to leave, not only to obey Christ but also for your own personal dignity and self-worth. If it has not affected you yet, if you continue in this unhealthy relationship it will. We cannot sin or allow sin to be habitually perpetrated against us and not be affected.

His sexual needs are not the problem his morality and self-esteem are the problem. That is something only Christ can fix. If your rebukes have not worked at this point, they most likely will have little effect in the future. His repeated broken promises have destroyed the trust base for your relationship.

You are violating Scripture if you continue in a sexual relationship, living with, or even dating this man at this point. If this is the man God has for you God will well able to draw him, save him, correct his life-view and morality, then bring him back to you.

I urge you not to leave your life on hold waiting for that to happen. Move on and see where God wants to take your life.

 

Regarding worldviews and dating.

Secular sources – self-help, advice, mass media – some of these resources can be useful in obtaining knowledge about what is going on in our world but they are not credible sources for a Believer when it comes to establishing beliefs, opinions, and directives for life. The gap between the two foundational platforms (biblical vs. secular) is too vast at this point in our present day society to bring reconciliation between the two. A Believer should seek out Christian lifestyle training, godly counsel, and Christian forms of mass media using those to shape their approach to life.

 

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Fruit or Vegetable Series ~ Part Sixteen – Self-control/Temperance

In Agape Love, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 7, 2014 at 6:12 pm

Monday, April 07, 2014

In this segment, we will look at the virtue of “self-control” and “temperance” which is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. What we will examine is godly temperance and godly self-control not the worldly version of self-control or self-discipline. When self-discipline is applied in a worldly setting, it commonly has the undertones of refining oneself into a self-god. Self-discipline is mainly applied to accomplish ones own goals or remake oneself in one’s own desired image. Godly self-control is about walking out the steps necessary for God to manifest His Will in your life. Temperance is about bringing balance and simplicity to life through bringing all things into subjection under the Will of God for your life. Though the differences may appear slight, the attitudes and motives behind the differences vary vastly.

What does it mean to be in subjection to God’s Will? Subjection per Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary means, “to make (as oneself) amenable to the discipline and control of a superior.” In order to come under God’s Will, and stay under God’s Will, a person must make any number of choices daily that places his or her will aside and chooses God’s Will instead. When we make those choices, we are exhibiting the virtues of the fruit of Spirit known as godly self-control and temperance.

Galatians 5:22–23 (NKJV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness [KJV – gentleness], goodness, faithfulness [KJV – faith], 23 gentleness [KJV – Meekness], self-control [KJV – temperance].

As stated previously in earlier writings, the word or term used in the King James Version of the Bible is the word needed in order to look up the exact meaning of said word in the Greek or Hebrew language. When researching biblical words one must always go back through the KJV 1611 Bible. Therefore, whereas the NKJV uses the word self-control the KJV uses the word temperance in this verse. The definition in the Greek Language for the word “temperance” used in Galatians 5:23 is as follows.

“temperance”

1466. ἐγκράτεια ĕgkratĕia, eng-krat´-i-ah; from 1468; self-control (espec. continence):— temperance.

1468. ἐγκρατής ĕgkratēs, eng-krat-ace´; from 1722 and 2904; strong in a thing (masterful), i.e. (fig. and refl.) self-controlled (in appetite, etc.):— temperate.

2904. κράτος kratŏs, krat´-os; perh. a primary word; vigor [“great”] (lit. or fig.):— dominion, might [-ily], power, strength.

Note: Continence has to do with sexual appetite and desires.

Let me make a distinction here. Self-control and temperance are not exactly the same things. They would affect, or effect, two different areas of a Believers life. Temperance will bring about a form of habitual moderation, which will spread over the entirety of the individual lifestyle. Self-control will deal with bringing control to a person actions, emotions and impulses. God uses the one, temperance, to allow God’s character to be walked out in a person over the course of a lifetime in every area of life. God uses the other, self-control, to break the bondages, bring order, and give victory to the individual in areas where their life does not exhibit godliness and could even be out of control.

For the reasons explained in the previous paragraph, I believe the change in Bible translations that brought about the use of the word “self-control” in place of the use of the word “temperance” has damaged the overall meaning God intended for this verse. This change, like so many others, has to do with the societal vices of our day and society’s attitudes toward excess. Habitual moderation in all things is extremely unpopular among the world and carnal Christians.

I also want to touch on another point very lightly. Temperance is connected to having “a sound mind” as described in 2 Timothy 1:7. Having study the various aspect of the mental health profession for many years, I can tell you that in almost all psychological problems an imbalance in behavior or thinking is present and is a factor in the cause of the problem. Just review in your mind the symptoms of most disorders and you will find a pattern of imbalanced behavior and/or thinking. Balance brings order to a person’s life, mind, and relationships. Extremes and excess bring disorder and destruction.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. – 2 Timothy 1:7

The definition in the Greek Language for the term “of a sound mind” is as follows.

“of a sound mind” =

4995. from 4994; discipline, i.e. self-control:sound mind.

4994. from 4998; to make of sound mind, i.e. (fig.) to discipline or correct:teach to be sober.

4998. from the base of 4982 and that of 5424; safe (sound) in mind, i.e. self-controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion):— discreet, sober, temperate.

4982. safe); to save, i.e. deliver or protect (lit. or fig.):— heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

5424. (to rein in or curb; comp. 5420); the midrif (as a partition of the body), i.e. (fig. and by impl. of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extens. [also in the plur.] the mind or cognitive faculties):— understanding.

5420. apparently a strengthening form of the base of 5424; to fence or inclose, i.e. (spec.) to block up (fig. to silence):— stop.

Note: “moderate as to opinion” is not inclusive of, nor an excuse for, compromising or watering down God’s Word.

Here are some examples of how we might express godly self-control/temperance toward God, self, and others as well as through service.* When we practice temperance in our daily schedule, we do not become too busy to spend a bit of time in solitude with God each day. We exhibit self-control and temperance toward ourselves by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, balancing our work and recreation, and not eating to excess. By deferring to other people’s desires and wishes in a balanced way, where the relationship benefits both parties, a person is showing temperance. Not allowing your Christian service to place you in a position where are too busy for quiet time with God or too busy for your spouse and friends is an act of using temperance, and through being balanced the quality of what you give to those you serve will honor God.

“the more holy the life the more mysterious it becomes by its apparent simplicity and littleness.”

Rev. Jean-Pierre De Caussade S.J.

*I have a question for all of you. I have written this series from a template I set up at the beginning of the series. That template included the following sentence. “Here are some examples of how we might express godly ________________ toward God, self, and others as well as through service?” Does anyone see a problem? The question mark is the problem. This is not a question it is a statement. All of you let me write this entire series and never once mentioned I had misused a question mark. Now I know several of you are writers yourself, others teachers, pastors, psychologists, etc. I guess that since it took me until the end of the series to catch the typo myself, then perhaps, most of you have suffered from word blindness and like me just placed a period there instead. Like I often say, thank goodness for proofreaders. Although I am not interested in hearing about every little typo, in the future, if you see me repeating the same mistake over the course of several postings please send me a comment or note and let me know. I would be grateful. As a Christian Community, are we not suppose to be our brother’s keeper? We are all supposed to be helping one another to be better, to do better, and not to inappropriately use question marks.

I hope you all have enjoyed the series. This concludes the Fruit or Vegetable Series and I will be undertaking your questions with my next posting. I have quite a few questions and I am currently sorting though how to tackle them. Questions I currently have, or that come in, which I consider high priority will be, answered a soon as possible. Other questions, I may just put in order by what book of the Bible they might apply to or if the topic has particular relevance in society at the time.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Thoughts and Answers

In Agape Love, Apostasy, Bible, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Devotional, Encouragement, End Times, Exhortation, Fruits of the Holy Spirit, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Love, Persecution, Prophecy, Prophet, Prophetess, Remnant, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Truth, Uncategorized on April 3, 2014 at 9:25 am

Thursday, April 03, 2014

Here are a few thoughts, pebbles of wisdom that will provide the answers to many questions, which have come up as of late. I realize these appear to be only one or two sentence answers to questions, which for many people are profoundly life changing, but I assure you often the answers in life are truly simply but accepting them and applying them can be extremely difficult.

If you are not confident that God loves you then you will never truly be able to love beyond yourself, with godly love.

A life void of individuals who will tell you the truth is a life lived like a masquerade party; no one ever knows what is behind the mask.

You cannot give away what you yourself do not acquire, apply, and cling too consistently.

It is better to feed a few spiritual thirsty Devoted Followers well than to pour yourself out on religiously dry bones found among the masses. Keep in mind Jesus’ core group consisted of twelve.

What is done over the course of a lifetime is what matters; you cannot live off one huge victory/success nor should you allow one huge failure/mistake to define your life.

The holiness of a Devoted Believer’s life should be both disturbing and soothing to non-believers.

 

Spiritual/Political Disclaimer:

This blog will not be for the faint of heart or the easily offended. It will not be in any way politically correct. It will make every effort to share the truth in love, [Ephesians 4:11-16], to a decaying and dying society and church. I share what I share not to hurt, harm, or offend any person[s] or group; I do it because Christ’s Standard and Truth is not being represented by enough of His Followers and I do it out of love. I love enough to tell His Truth.

Ephesians 4:11-16 NKJV

11And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; 14that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, 15but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— 16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.