God's Truth In Love

Posts Tagged ‘Persecution’

Church Shooting – Questions about Compassion and Evil

In Agape Love, Anger, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Compassion, Confusion, Demon, Demon Possession, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Jesus, Loss, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Persecution, Suffering, Truth, Wicca, witchcraft on December 10, 2017 at 4:15 pm

Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click the comment link below. I will continue to address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

To address some additional thoughts and questions…

Compassion for Perpetrators

Yes, if we are unable to find compassion, which is an aspect of agape love, for those individuals who are so wounded or damaged that they wound and damage other people we are no different than the world. Scripture makes it clear that it is easy to love those who love us but not so easy to love those who mistreat us.

Luke 6:32–36 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

32 “But if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you hope to receive back, what credit is that to you? For even sinners lend to sinners to receive as much back. 35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil. 36 Therefore be merciful, just as your Father also is merciful.

I was wounded just recently by someone I care a great for, wounded more than they most likely realize. However, I have chosen to trust God to deal with the matter and not retaliate. I realize that the individual can only treat me with the spiritual, mental, and emotional maturity they currently possess despite what my heart might desire.

Evil

Yes, evil does exist! It is a powerful spiritual force that can destroy individuals and lives. Evil is a byproduct of the fall of both Satan and the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden. If we had to trace goodness back to one source that source would be God. Likewise, if we had to trace evil back to one source that source would be Satan. Evil and its father, Satan, are a very powerful force second only to God and not one to be taken lightly.

Please understand this point. Without God man is completely powerless over evil. Whether you are a child of God through the rebirth of your spirit or a child of God through creation who has yet to recognize God as their Father you would not be able resist evil without God’s help. Without God this entire world would be consumed with evil. The world is Satan’s playground, his domain in some manners and therefore we are not to be naïve when it comes to the evil that surrounds us in our society.

Ephesians 6:12 (NKJV)

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

The issue of labeling evil as demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, or consensual evil is in all honesty an extremely difficult thing to do. People like to place labels on things or actions but in order to truly label almost any action or behavior a person would require so much information that gathering said information would be almost impossible. This is why I find it difficult to respect people who place labels. Yes, we can offer insights and possible reasons for why someone will say or do something but to say, “we know” without doubt and place a label on that person is in my belief almost impossible – it also borders on condemning a person, the worse form of judging another person. Most people do not even talk to people enough to get a good understanding of what they think, believe, or to understand why they took certain actions much less gathering enough information to slap a label on them. Therefore, I would exhort you to be very careful before deciding what type of evil might be presence in a situation.

Evil is a topic that is challenging to undertake in such a forum as the sheer volume of what could be written on the topic is enormous. I will address just a few matters here but in no way, will I even scratch the surface of what should or could be written on the matter. I will confine myself to the previously mentions aspects of evil – demon possession, demonic influence, congenital evil, and consensual evil.

Demon possession did exist during biblical times, and does exist to date. Evil spirits aka demons where sent upon King Saul (1 Sam. 16:14). Both Jesus (Luke 7:21) and Paul (Acts 19:11, 12) acknowledged demons and demon possession casting demons out of those afflicted. There are situations where people are labeled as being mentally ill, which I believe without much doubt are cases of “demon possession” yes, demon possession. With that said, I also believe some people have been considered possessed by a demon when they were legitimately mentally ill. Overall, I believe there are a great deal of things labeled as mental illness or mental disorders that are in truth a form of evil influence or a result of sin.

People are prompted to do evil by the demonic influences around them or around someone who has access to their life, such as was the case with Ahab (1 Kin. 22:1–23). Demonic “influence” is possible for all people including Christians. For this reason it is extremely important that we examine our every thought, feeling, action, and prompting against the Truth found in God’s Word. Every thought must be taken captive, so we do not fall prey to the insidious influences that find their way into our own hearts (these influences enter people’s hearts through various means which I will not go into here, but it is not always the person’s own fault.)

2 Corinthians 10:3–6 (NKJV)

3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, 5 casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, 6 and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.

Matthew 15:19 (NKJV) Jesus Speaking

For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.

Congenital evil has to do with those things we find that run in our families or as some would like to say, ‘are in our DNA.’ Evil can be passed on through families via the environmental influence that opens the spirit to such evil. There can also be evil in the heredity of a family, evil known as generational curses. However, through the power and blood of The Lord Jesus, The Christ, generational curses of all type can be broken whether physical curses, behavioral cures, or mental curses.

Exodus 34:6–7 (NKJV) – When Moses was being given the second set of Tablets in the Wilderness, after the Hebrew children of God had left Egypt.

6 And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, 7 keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation.”

Exodus 20:5 (NKJV) In relation to and inclusive in the Ten Commandments.

5 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

Restated in Deuteronomy 5:9 (NKJV)

9 you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,

That leaves us the final form of evil we will address here, consensual evil. A person can become demon possessed through opening themselves up to evil in their actions. Through choices they have made to involve themselves in evil actions, in satanic activity, etc. Christian can open themselves up to evil influence in a greater degree by involving themselves in sinful behavior and even evil activities. There are those people who claim to be Christians yet partake in tarot cards, horoscopes, evil media, attempting to channel, consulting spiritualist or fortunetellers, etc. These are not actions God would have His people partaking in, He expects them to shun all evil and cling to goodness, godliness, and Truth. I exhort you not to think you can play or tamper with evil without getting burned – run from all forms of evil, run quickly and far!

Deuteronomy 18:10–12 (NKJV)

10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you.

Romans 12:9 (NKJV)

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 (NKJV)

Abstain from every form of evil.

John 17:15 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

15 I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one.

Jesus’ prayer for his disciples is my prayer for each of you.

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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Church Shooting – Questions about Spiritual Abuse and Hypocrisy

In Abuse, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Fear, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Hypocrisy, Jesus, Persecution, Religious Freedom, Renewal, Revival, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spirituality, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click the comment link below. I will continue to address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

Several thought and questions have come my way. I will attempt to address these in this and the next posting.

Persecution and Church Effectiveness

I do not agree that there is one source for the anger and hatred toward the Body of Christ, the Church. Is there hypocrisy in the Body of Christ? Yes, absolutely. Is there spiritual abuse within certain denominations? I would say there is some spiritual abuse within all denominations as well as within churches that have no denominational affiliation. Have both hypocrisy and spiritual abuse affected the effectiveness of the Body of Christ? Without a doubt. The cause of persecution directed toward the church and the ineffectiveness of the church is not “just” or “simply” hypocrisy or spiritual abuse nevertheless I will address both.

There are different forms and motivations for hypocrisy. There is worldly hypocrisy (Matt. 23:5–7), legalistic hypocrisy (Rom. 10:3), evangelical hypocrisy (2 Pet. 2:10–22), and hypocrisy satanic (2 Cor. 11:13–15). Therefore, attempting to get into each in any depth does not truly serve any purpose in addressing the concerns here. Different groups or denominations may in fact show various forms of hypocrisy somewhat distinctive to that group but despite the current popular fade I do not believe “rebranding” those denomination is the answer. Dealing with the hypocrisy, the spiritual abuse, and the spiritual deadness is the answer!

There is a general distain for organized religion in the form of denominational religion for religion sake. It does seem as though people have assigned certain perceived acts of hypocrisy to certain denominations. The denominations answer to how turned off people are by organized religion is to rebrand themselves. However, a denomination renaming themselves to hide or remove all traces of denominational affiliation is counter productive in the long run because they go from being perceived as hypocrites in a specific area to being perceived as both hypocrites and deceiver regarding who they are and what they stand for.

We are seeing a great deal of the “rebranding” today because non-denominational congregations are the fastest growing and largest congregations in America today, while denominational congregations such as Baptist, Assembly of God, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Methodist, etc. are shrinking and dying off all together. There is a very good reason for this dynamic, one I believe is God driven (I believe this based upon something God showed myself and many other godly spiritual leaders in the 1990’s about what He would be doing with the Body of Christ during our lifetime). My response, I too left denominationalism at that time and involved myself in beginning what would become a very large non-denominational church and school of ministry.

To say that the ALL of the persecution or ALL of the ineffectiveness the Body of Christ is undergoing at this point in the history of The Church is NOT OF GOD, would be inaccurate – aspects of the persecution are God driven, some are society driven, some are sin driven, and some are driven by evil. To place a single label on any specific persecution can be vey difficult.

Spiritual abuse to me is not a denominational issue it is an individual issue with a leader. Leaders who repeatedly spiritually abuse their people should be removed, period! People should not put up with spiritual abuse, nor should they allow hatred to build for a denomination because they were spiritually abuse by an individual within a specific denomination. Spiritual abuse happens almost everywhere unfortunately from the Catholic Church to a non-denominational church and all denominations in between.

I acknowledge that the spiritual abuse is there, and I sympathize. I have seen it, counseled those who have been through it, and heard of all kinds of spiritual abuse – ranging from sexual abuse, verbal abuse, public shaming, manipulation, gossip, character assignation, exploration for greed or profit, deliberately damaging a person’s reputation with people through misrepresentations, lies, and gossip, leader driven shunning, over working people, misrepresenting the Scriptures, and so forth. All spiritual abuse causes wounds, wounds can cause anger if not dealt with correctly, anger can lead to bitterness, and bitterness can lead to persecution of a person or group. If you have been spiritually abused in any manner get godly spiritual and emotional help from a godly minister, please.

It saddens me that both of these issues, hypocrisy and spiritual abuse, have diminished the respect people once felt for Christianity as a whole and Christian people in general.

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.

Church Shooting

In Agape Love, Anger, Anxiety, Apostasy, Bible, Bible Study, Biblical Principles, Chrisitan Lifestyle, Christian, Christian Living, Christianity, Confusion, Courage, Encouragement, End Times, Evil, Exhortation, Forgiveness, God, God's Voice, Godliness, Godly Counsel, Grief, Hate, Hatred, Holy Spirit, Humanism, Jesus, Mental Disorder, Mental Illness, Peace, Persecution, Prayer, Prophecy, Psychiatric Drugs, Religious Freedom, Remnant, Renewal, Revival, Rhema Words, Spiritual Activism, Spiritual Activists, Spiritual Fruit, Spiritual Remnant, Suffering, Truth, Uncategorized, Wisdom on November 8, 2017 at 6:43 pm

This will be one of the longest pieces I have written for posting in a couple of years but if you will stick with it and read the whole thing you just may find it was well worth your time. Please feel free to send me any of your own thoughts or questions, locate and click on the comment link below. I will address them in follow up posts. This post and/or related posts will be the only post[s] I will be making available for the next few weeks, as I believe this topic needs to stay front and center for a season.

Since Sunday afternoon I have prayerfully contemplated how to address this matter, when to post this piece, and the content of this posting. Ignoring what happened in that congregation, to those members of the Body of Christ on Sunday morning during their time of worship was not an option but providing an answer to the “Why?” questions regarding why it happened was also not an option. Therefore, what to do, I asked God and myself. My answer, not to attempt to provide any answers or spiritual platitudes that hurt more than they help but instead to simple reflect on several insights provided throughout the week that should be reflected upon and considered in light of the tragic events of Sunday, November 5th, 2017 in Sutherland Springs, Texas at the First Baptist Church.

Compassion, a word, or a choice.

It is my desire through this posting to allow God to use me to express some thoughts for reflection that might actually help us, us being the Body of Christ, really help us in due course and overall instead of just soothing us and placating us. The safest and simplest way to approach this topic would be to demonize the man who killed all of these people and move on. However, to handle the situation with that type of approach would be very spiritually short sided for a godly Christian spiritual leader. As Christians we like to say that we have compassion but how many of God’s people can find compassion for this man, this gunman, that killed their brothers and sisters in Christ? Compassion for what he must have been going through to turn to such a horrible and evil act. We, the Body of Christ, should have compassion for both, the victims, and the perpetrator.

The persecution of the American Church, the Body of Christ in America.

For far too long the Body of Christ has buried their heads in the sand when it came to persecution in America. The persecution, again, in America, does take another form now, then it did during the early church’s history, and a different form than it does in other countries. In America Christians have become targets of lawsuits for living out their beliefs. They have become targets for those who wish to use the legal system to try and silence Christians from expressing their beliefs in a public forum. Christians have become people targeted by a psychologized society that believes psychology has all the answers and that there is no place for God in the equation, a society that refused to accept absolutes or the individual who has firm beliefs and refuses to back down or be quite about them. Christian who still believe that talking about Jesus in their everyday lives at work, in businesses, and other public forums is a normal way to function and their God given, as well as constitutional right, are considered extremist that people avoid. And in the most extreme form of persecution we find our dear brothers and sisters of First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas, who suffered a persecution unto death by someone who was so hurt, damaged, angry, and/or evil that he chose to express it through killing – just as nine of our brothers and sisters were persecuted, being killed by a gunman in June of 2015 in South Carolina at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The Body must face that they are being persecuted in various forms in America and band together to resist such persecution while at the same time showing compassion for the spiritual blindness that causes their persecutors to act as they do.

It was once said to me when I expressed concerns over the fact that a congregation only had one race and culture represented, ‘Don’t you think it is simply because we all tend to stick to our own?’ Well, for the record, no I do not think that is why you find congregations with only one race or culture represented. Yet, when persecution happens to the Church the barriers of race, culture, education, and economics are quickly dropped to band together for a greater cause, Us, The Body of Christ. I was in Charleston, South Carolina shortly after the killings that took place there and every race, class, education level, culture, and economic group of Christians were represented at that church in a powerful show of unity and spiritual support. In those tragic times we can find the time to leave our congregations and reach out to other congregations or members of The Body of Christ in general, however, this should be a regular practice at all times. There is no doubt that the Bible teaches us, and the history of the Christian Church teaches us, that God uses persecution to grow and/or change His Church and people.

The influence of evil.

I was interviewed a few years back for a book on a serial killer who had once tried to kill me along with about a dozen other people the early 1980’s. According to the author of the book I was the only person he could find to interview, most of the people were dead and a couple unlocatable. The interview was many hours long and during the course of this interview the author wanted to know how I could consistently express so much compassion for this serial killer knowing so much about his history and all the horrible things he had done, and how could I show no anger, bitterness, or resentment toward the man who had been the source of my physically body being damaged to the point that I still lived with the results causing difficulty and pain in daily life. These questions opened up the door to discuss the influence of evil. There was one profound thing that God over the years had helped me to understand, which helped me place the responsibility for evil acts where it lay – with Satan.

That truth was…

Evil causes psychological damage, and psychological damage opens the door to evil.

As long as the psychological community continues to disavow the spiritual side to mental and emotional problems we will continue to see people who never actually get better, change, or heal. As long as the Christian community continues to either, a) ignore the emotional and mental damage done through the wounding of people or b) allow themselves to become so psychologized they no longer make the spiritual connection to a wounded person’s emotional and mental problems, we will continue to see ourselves as a Body grow spiritually weaker and weaker as our biblical worldview becomes overshadowed or at least mixed with a secular worldview. We must find the balance that allows the Church and the mental health community to both realize that they have pieces of the puzzle that will help wounded people become whole again.

Church effectiveness and respect for Christianity within our society.

People do not respect the Christian community like they once did in America. This is our fault, the Body of Christ’s fault in general. There are so many reasons this has happened over the years there is no way to exhaustively address the reasons. However, just to address a few: 1 – We have become too much like the society in which we live. If you are no different than I am in your standards and practices why should I respect you. 2 – Our behavior whether it was intended to be or not “appeared” or “appears” hypocritical to people. We need more transparency that allows us to share our own struggles, yet still promote God’s Truths and His Standards for how we are to aspire to living our lives. 3 – The Body of Christ lacks backbone anymore. What might the zealous Peter and bold Paul say about the stands we take today for Truth or lack thereof, and the boldness we lack in expressing Truth as found in God’s Word.

We lack effectiveness in our society today as well. We lack effectiveness as Christians because we have either checked out of our society or we wish to avoid the ugly side of our society. We are barely able to allow ourselves the ability to remain in relationships long enough to allow ‘iron to sharpen iron’ much less invest ourselves relationally with those who might need our help. What happen to the need to show agape love for people, that love Jesus asked us to show, love that is displayed by our actions, our investment, and our involvement with people.

Proverbs 27:17 (NKJV)

As iron sharpens iron,

So a man sharpens the countenance (character) of his friend.

John 15:13 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

13 Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.

Luke 6:35 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

35 But love your enemies, do good, and lend, hoping for nothing in return; and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High. For He is kind to the unthankful and evil.

Matthew 5:44 (NKJV) Jesus speaking

44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,

In the early 2000’s two young boys barely in their teens living in the Pensacola, Florida area are convicted of killing their father and burning their family home down. Allegedly a result of years abuse and the influence of a child predator who also lived in the area. On the road leading up to their home, which was located in the 1,100 block, there were eight churches before the 1300 block and 4 churches within the 1070-1200 block. All of those churches in that community but how many of those congregations were “in that community” with their time, actions, involvement, and love – especially if some people in that community were tough to love.

Now back to this shooting at the Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. The sheriff, Tackitt, in an interview stated that the pastor of this church, Frank Pomeroy, had stated in the past that he did not want the gunman, who had previously been involved in the congregation, in his church and asked the sheriff, “How do I run him away from my church?” – yet this was not the pastor present on the day when the gunman killed 26 of his congregation members (25 men, women, girls, boys, and 1 unborn child) and injured 20 more. The gunman’s mother and father-in-law were members of the church, also not present on the day of the shooting. Dare I pose the question, but I must, how might things have been different had that pastor reached out with love, invested his time, and attempted to help this damaged young man instead of searching for ways to ‘run him away from “his” church?’ Yes, pastors must protect the flock but protecting them does not have to involves ridding yourselves of all those you deem undesirable, it should instead involves helping those you see who are wounded or damaged by life.

Religion acceptable, true godliness is not – a hate breeder.

People are watching what the Christian Churches are doing to each other and to their own people. It is not just the churched that are affected when things are not handled in a godly manner, those looking from the outside or sidelines are also affected. Far too many godly people who love Jesus have left many church congregations and many have been incredibility wounded by their brush with religion. Religion seems to be very acceptable in most of today’s churches, but true godliness or aspirations to that end is not welcome. Sadly, in far too many congregation it is not acceptable to believe that God’s Truths are still a valid standard for living today. We live in an age where the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm churches (Rev. 2-3) reign and truly devout congregations aspiring to God’s Principles and acting with Jesus’ agape love are rare. Religion in every capacity has taken over and controls the leadership thus by extension the people. They do not hunger or thirst for Jesus and to grow in Christ, they do not long for revival to sweep across our land, they are just about the business of church. My biggest challenge and greatest heartache is dealing with the types of Christians, Spiritual Leaders, and churches found in Revelation 2 and 3- the loveless, the compromising, the corrupt, the dead, and the lukewarm.

These types of congregations and individuals have hurt so many people who truly love or loved God, desire or desired to be all God wanted them to be, and yearn or yearned to see the Body of Christ be all Jesus means for it to be. The religious people and congregations have caused wounds great enough that individuals have pulled back from the poison of religion without godly spirituality. Let us never forget that our LORD, our Saviour, Jesus, the Messiah, the Christ, was persecuted, maligned, and His crucifixion brought about through the Religious Leaders of His day! If devout people can be affected by a religious society this way, how much more would a wounded or damaged person be affected by this type of treatment from people who are supposed to be “the best people on earth” – Christians? I have heard it said that this man who was the gunman in this attack on this small church was an atheist, and very vocal about his atheistic views. Atheist do not go to church, seekers, the confused, the agnostic goes to church in search of something – if religion is all we have to offer them, then I fear their hate for us will grow.

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

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.

Fruit or Vegetable Series ~ Part Fifteen – Gentleness/Meekness

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 March 28, 2014 at 5:06 pm

Friday, March 28, 2014

In this segment, we will look at the virtue of “gentleness/meekness” which is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. What we will examine is godly gentleness/meekness not worldly apathy and passivity. Gentleness/Meekness, like many of the virtues found in the fruit of the Spirit, is both and inner and outer quality. A person can appear to be very meek and humble on the outside but on the inside, they sit with a constant sense of superiority rarely vocalizing the inner judgments they feel and the mental tearing to shreds of the people around them they participate in, all the while veining a mask of false modesty and false gentleness.

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 gentleness the KJV uses the word meekness in this verse. The definition in the Greek Language for the word “meekness” used in Galatians 5:23 is as follows.

“meekness”

4236. πρᾳότης praiŏtēs, prah-ot´-ace; from 4235; gentleness, by impl. humility:— meekness.

4235. πρᾷος praiŏs, prah´-os; a form of 4239, used in certain parts; gentle, i.e. humble:— meek.

Just as we should not misinterpret apathy, passivity, or false modesty as true godly meekness we must not misinterpret holy boldness and godly confidence as a lack of inner or outer gentleness and meekness. Just as individuals have their own temperament, the fruit of the Spirit is exhibited through that temperament in a way specific to that particular temperament. We are not all cut from the same mold but we are created in the same likeness, the likeness of our Creator, the Almighty God.

Humility is very much a part of meekness. If we cannot evaluate ourselves accurately, which is what true humility is, then we cannot be gentle or meek when we relate to others. A person who exercises true humility recognizes both their strengths and their weaknesses, understanding their capabilities and their limitations; essentially, they understand who and how God created them to be.

Here are some examples of how we might express godly gentleness/meekness toward God, self, and others as well as through service? With God, we exercise the greatest form of meekness when we subject ourselves to His Will, showing reverential fear for Him, and change in the areas in which He desires us to change. God will hear, and afflict them, Even He who abides from of old. Selah Because they do not change, Therefore they do not fear God.” Psalm 55:19 (NKJV) By understand and accepting ourselves as God created us we show the greatest amount of gentleness we can ever show to ourselves. People’s continual struggle with who they are, how they look, etc. is ultimately their greatest source of pain and the prison in which others can lock them. Choosing to deal with a sincerely distressed person, not an attention seeker, with gentleness and meekness shows them we love them. Giving time to, and showing care for, those individuals the world deems all put worthless and who are often overlook, is meekness found in the form of humility and gentleness; a great act of service for people who often have no way of repaying your kindness.

Meekness and gentleness is not a form of weakness. On the contrary, it is the exact opposite for it takes great personal inner strength to be gentle and meek. Jesus was our example of the highest form of meekness and gentleness.

 

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 Fourteen – Faithfulness/Faith

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 March 22, 2014 at 6:51 pm

Saturday, March 22, 2014

This part of the Fruit and Vegetable Series will be the most important part by far. The virtue of faith and/or faithfulness is without a doubt the aspect of the fruit of the Spirit that will impact the life of a Believer the most and leave the most lasting results, either positive or negative upon their life.

As we will look at the virtue of “faithfulness/faith”, what we will examine is godly faithfulness and faith not a worldly concept of dedication and positive thinking. Often the world and religious legalism are dedicated to a project or practice because it makes them look good or feel good about themselves. These practices and projects are not things done out of faithfulness to God and faith in what God has ordained.

Immediately I need to bring clarity to difference between faith and faithfulness and why they cannot be separated spiritually. Faith is about what we believe. Faithfulness is about what we do. What we believe will directly impact what we do. What we do and do not do will directly impact our faith. If we do not believe we will not act and if we do not act our ability to believe will never grow, thus, deeper faith will be allowed to develop. Some people believe what they choose, others believe what they know; the latter is faith. Any aspect of the fruit of the Spirit, along with all faith, originates with God but once originated God allows us to choose what we will do with that faith.

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 faithfulness the KJV uses the word faith in this verse. The definition in the Greek Language for the word “faith” used in Galatians 5:22 is as follows.

“faith”

4102. πίστις pistis, pis´-tis; from 3982; persuasion, i.e. credence; mor. conviction (of relig. truth, or the truthfulness of God or a relig. teacher), espec. reliance upon Christ for salvation; abstr. constancy in such profession; by extension, the system of religious (Gospel) truth itself:— assurance, belief, believe, faith, fidelity.

3982. πείθω pĕithō, pi´-tho; a primary verb; to convince (by argument, true or false); by anal. to pacify or conciliate (by other fair means); refl. or pass. to assent (to evidence or authority), to rely (by inward certainty):— agree, assure, believe, have confidence, be (wax) confident, make friend, obey, persuade, trust, yield.

You cannot separate faith and obedience of which faithfulness is a part. Faith and obedience are kind of like two sides of one coin. Noah believed God and built an ark. Abraham trusted God and went. In order to have such faith one must be willing to grow their faith through faithfulness and the testing of that faith/faithfulness.

In order for a person to walk in faith, they must walk in Divine protection. Authentic godliness rather than religiousness is our best defense against Satan’s seductions and attacks. One’s godliness must be tested if they, or anyone else, are to know the depths of their faith. There is a peace that comes from walking in godliness and faith, and then there is the peace with which Satan seduces people.

Satan’s false peace is a peace that comes not from overcoming in a godly way but instead is produced from the evasion of apathy and deadness into ones faith that leaves them lethargic, numb and sleeping in the light – faith is decaying or all but dead in individuals who experience this form of peace. They are spiritually lifeless people with little or no passion in life, drones living off of the faith of those around them. Again, testing the spirits of people exposes these individuals and the depth of their faith.

I do not know a godly spiritual leader who has not had their faith and faithfulness tested, otherwise they would not have been found ready to be a leader. Testing of one’s faith is a tough and often painful process but absolutely necessary. The Bible is filled with examples of tested faith. Jesus did not sweat blood in the garden because He was breezing through His assignment. He struggled, He sought another path, and then He obeyed. He lost everyone and went to the cross alone. Most of the prophets and apostles struggled alone with their faith and the resulting persecution.

Why alone? Dejected identity – rejection causes people to loss heart – test the depth of someone’s faith by putting them in a position of rejection and see how they respond. This will tell you a great deal about their faith and faithfulness. You will quickly discover who cares enough to fight for what they said they believed in, their desires, their beliefs, their relationships, their godly passions and purpose, etc. or do they fall into self-pity and respond with no action, or even worse, they pull back or turn back. Faith not worth acting on is not much faith. Faithfulness that cannot overcome a few roadblocks is not a characteristic that is rooted very deeply in a person.

There is a Jewish practice, which is also used by Christian Spiritual Leader to test people’s faith and faithfulness before giving them a place of leadership and authority, as the novice Believer should not be a leader. 1 Timothy 3:6 (NKJV) not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. This practice is typically reserved for proselytes and is meant to detect godly faith in Truths verses intellectual ascent to Truths. The practice has its roots in Scripture and was done many times. Essentially the practice is to reject or rebuff a proselyte (new convert) three times, in varying degrees of severity, both to see if he or she is sincere in their faith and faithfulness and to show him or her that it is hard to be a Devoted Follower and live a life of faith and faithfulness to God. How the individual responds tells the Spiritual Leader what they need to know about the person’s preparedness, commitment, faith, and faithfulness.

Here are some examples of how we might express godly faithfulness/faith toward God, self, and others as well as through service? By trusting in God and obeying His directives, we show Him our faith as well as our faithfulness to Him and His purpose for us. We express godly faith/faithfulness toward ourselves when daily, in our private lives, we follow the personal directives we have been given by God based on His priorities for our life. Our faith and faithfulness shows to people as we continue in our commitment to them and our commitment to godly covenants, such as marriage. By being there for people, time after time despite the hardships, we show them our faith and faithfulness through the act of service to them.

Faith in the faithfulness of an Unchanging God is something that is developed to a greater and greater degree as each year passes and you continue in faith and faithfulness. It can grow to the degree that there is almost nothing you do not believe can happen, or you can do, if God tells you it is going to happen or you must get it done. That is a glorious day! That makes for a glorious life!

People complain about never getting a chance in life, yet, they never take any risk in life. The difference between people who make a difference in society, their world, their community, their Christian Fellowship, who stand for something, and who fulfill their godly purpose in life and those who never do hinges greatly on their faith and their faithfulness.

 

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.

Updates – Name and Questions

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 March 22, 2014 at 1:14 pm

Saturday, March 22, 2014

I wanted to take a few moments and post a couple of information updates before releasing the next posting in the Fruit and Vegetable Series on faith and faithfulness.

The other night I went to a movie called, God’s Not Dead and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves Jesus, the TRUE Christians, the Spiritual Remnant of God, and especially those that can see that Christian Liberties are being stripped away in America.

God’s Not Dead

http://godsnotdeadthemovie.com/

At the end of this movie, they listed a website, which I did not recognize and that surprised me so I investigated. I learned something I had not realized and want to pass the information along to any of you who might not know yet. The long cherished Christian advocacy organization, which the former head of International Christian Media helped establish years ago is no longer the Alliance Defense Fund, the organization changed its name to Alliance Defending Freedom. They are still affiliated with all their ministries, doing the same powerful work, and still providing their Christian Allied Attorneys to those in need; all that has really changed is the name, but what a change.

In my view, the name is more aptly applicable today in our oppressive society where government and secular mass media are rapidly becoming so generalized and socialistic that only empty generic religion will be tolerated and having true godly principles that you voice and/or stand up for is becoming a crime, socially and legally. From what I can surmise, in part, the name change was a desire to make a stronger statement about their intent to defend Christian liberties and the right to free speech as well as freedom of religion in the United States.

On another note.

Whereas there are many questions that need to be addressed and answered via the blog, I would like to finish the current series before addressing any more questions. Questions are emerging from secondary sources outside of blog subscribers, therefore, I am going to open the blog up so questions can be sent directly though the “comment” link at the end of each posting on the main page. As always, you have my assurance questions will be handled in a generic fashion and the privacy of the individual asking the question will continue to be honored, as it always has been. Questions can also be submitted anonymously via the “comment” link.

Please continue to send your questions and comments and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

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 Thirteen – Goodness

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 March 8, 2014 at 10:00 am

Saturday, March 08, 2014

In this segment, we will look at the virtue of “goodness” which is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. What we will examine is godly goodness not a worldly concept of doing good. People will often do good in order to get the praise of man in the form of applause, being thought well of, their name on a building or listed in a program, etc. Things done with this type of motive are not things done out of a godly heart that just wishes to please God and bless others.

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].

The definition in the Greek Language for the word “goodness” used in Galatians 5:22 is as follows.

19. ἀγαθωσύνη agathōsunē, ag-ath-o-soo´-nay; from 18; goodness, i.e. virtue or beneficence:— goodness.

18. ἀγαθός agathŏs, ag-ath-os´; a prim. word; “good” (in any sense, often as noun):— benefit, good (-s, things), well. comp. 2570.

When we decide to be given to benevolence, the walking out of goodness, it should be because it is something that God has instructed us to do and for no other reason. Any alms, benefaction, acts of kindness, or contribution we make to another person’s life should only come from a heart willing to do as God desires them to do, for goodness is born out of virtue and virtue produces benevolence toward others. Goodness towards others can take many different forms from giving a friend the $1,000.00 they desperately need, no strings attached, to buying a stranger a hamburger and everything in-between.

Here are some examples of how we might express godly goodness toward God, self, and others as well as through service? We express goodness toward God when we are willing to sacrifice what we want in order to contribute to what He wants us to do, for we are contributing our time and money to His cause, not our own. By taking the time to care of ourselves with proper rest, food, and exercise we are showing ourselves goodness, for all three benefit our lives. When we go clean the house of a sick friend, we are showing goodness to them. That phone call we make to another who has lost a loved one to death is showing goodness to them in a society where to pick up the phone and actually talk to another person takes too much of people’s precious time, so they text for convince. Preparing meals for those who are overloaded with stress, sickness, or grief can be a tremendous act of service exemplifying the virtue of goodness.

If you are spreading goodness to others as an act of agape love for people and an even deeper love for Christ then you are acting with godly goodness. If you are doing good toward another in order to score points with them or God then you have your reward for you are acting out of worldly motives.

 

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 Twelve – Kindness/Gentleness

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 March 6, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Thursday, March 06, 2014

In this segment, we will look at the virtue of “kindness” and “gentleness” which is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. What we will examine is godly kindness and gentleness not worldly politeness, good manners or tolerance.

The first and most obvious question would be, ‘Are we always to be kind and gentle with people regardless of their actions?’ I would answer that in part by asking you ‘Have you read the Bible?’ God could never be consider anything less than kind and gentle, yet, we see Him on many occasion treat His people with what one could only perceive of as harshness and even meanness. I assure you however, that God is always good so anything we perceive as harshness or meanness on His part serves a purpose. When nothing else will work with us God will use trials laced with difficult hard harsh circumstances to teach us what we refuse to learn any other way. God often uses people in our lives to get this done. The Book of Judges is a good example of such.

There comes a time when nothing but tough love is left because people refuse to respond to goodness. It would be more unkind to allow a person to remain in their denial and sin than it would be to try to shock them into reality and action. God has often brought about harsh circumstance in order to bring His people to repentance. This is a truth that can actually be found in the Greek definition of the word “gentleness”.

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].

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 kindness the KJV uses gentleness in this verse. The definition in the Greek Language for the word “gentleness” used in Galatians 5:22 is as follows.

“gentleness”

5544. χρηστότης chrēstŏtēs, khray-stot´-ace; from 5543; usefulness, i.e. moral excellence (in character or demeanor):— gentleness, good (-ness), kindness.

5543. χρηστός chrēstŏs, khrase-tos´; from 5530; employed, i.e. (by implication) useful (in manner or morals):— better, easy, good (-ness), gracious, kind.

We are to employ kindness and gentleness in order to be useful in spreading the moral excellence of a Holy God.

Here are some examples of how we might express godly kindness/gentleness toward God, self, and others as well as through service? We can show kindness/gentleness toward God by not railing at Him when do not understand our circumstances but instead simply expressing our distress. When we choose to let go of the things or people that are hindering our productivity for God, we are being kind/gentle with ourselves. There are times when telling someone the harsh unfiltered truth is an expression of kindness/gentleness in that we have considered their circumstance enough to do so and speak out. When we act with kindness/gentleness to those we encounter everyday yet, do not even know, and who are often ignored, out of a gracious heart we are doing service to the kingdom of God for we are showing that there is something different about God’s people.

Godly kindness and gentleness is not a politically correct façade of politeness and empty pleasantries it a much higher form of expression where agape love can be found.

 

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 Eleven – Longsuffering

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 January 30, 2014 at 5:18 pm

Thursday, January 30, 2014

In this segment, we will look at the virtue of “longsuffering” which is an aspect of the fruit of the Spirit. What we will examine is godly longsuffering not a worldly act of being a, or playing the, martyr.

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].

Taking abuse simply for the purpose of taking abuse is not godly longsuffering, it is more aptly described as being a doormat for others. If Christ is not glorified, if it is not a righteous persecution then it serves no point. Paul escaped persecution so he could continue to carry Christ’s message, the gospel, to yet, more of the lost and dying world. Many of the early Christians met in secret to protect themselves and their budding church from persecution and extinction at the hand of the religious community and government of their day. There is a time to endure longsuffering as a soldier of Christ and a time to stand up and say I am a doormat and head for the exit. It is under God’s guidance and counsel that these decisions must be made.

The definition in the Greek Language for the word “longsuffering” used in Galatians 5:22 is as follows.

3115. μακροθυμία makrŏthumia, mak-roth-oo-mee´-ah; from the same as 3116; longanimity, i.e. (obj.) forbearance or (subj.) fortitude:— longsuffering, patience.

3116. μακροθυμώς makrŏthumōs, mak-roth-oo-moce´; adv. of a compound of 3117 and 2372; with long (enduring) temper, i.e. leniently:— patiently.

Longanimity is a Latin word, here used in the Greek, that we might not recognize in the English language but it means “a disposition to bear injuries patiently” and to me that speak of a depth of longsuffering beyond patience and forbearance as we view longsuffering here in America. Forbearance is to tolerate patiently with self-control difficult circumstances or people. Fortitude involves having strength and courage during trying situations. Patience involves primarily a lack of complaint. Leniently is when we mercifully and compassionately tolerate the inappropriate behavior of others.

In 2 Timothy the great apostle Paul, a man who knew a vast amount about longsuffering, tells us not only to endure hardship with a longsuffering attitude but also tells us if we are to present the Word of God properly we should expect to endure persecution, not from the world but from the religious community. You cannot turn from or ‘no longer endure’ something you have never known. Therefore, those individuals spoken of in the verses listed below once knew or heard the Truth but gave it up in exchange for something more tolerable to them; thus, they sought out teachers who would tell them the things they wanted to hear.

2 Timothy 4:1–7 (NKJV)

I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: 2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

Paul understood and I as a minister understand what it is to ‘be poured out’ or pour yourself out to build up the faith and spiritual fortitude of another, only at times to have that end in heartbreaking disappointment and such is painful and honestly awful to endure. Yet, endure and reach out to the next individual who seeks our help is exactly what we must do, for that is longsuffering and only through that can we one day be able to say, as the great apostle said, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” having been faithful to our assignment.

Here are some examples of how we might express godly longsuffering toward God, self, and others as well as through service? We can express godly longsuffering toward God through extending our trust of God and thus limiting our constant accusing questioning of Him and why He has allowed this or that. As though the Creator need really answer to us and our demands to know why. When we continue day in and day out to get up and go forward in our service to God despite our failings and frailties we are expressing longsuffering toward ourselves in our endurance of our own humanness and shortcomings as God changes us from glory to glory, as He promised. It is pride to expect that we shall withhold our service until we are perfected, as though we will be on this earth. Each time we loving ignore the offensive words of another that have been spoken in immaturity and ignorance we are expressing the fruit of longsuffering. For every individual we pour ourselves out to in service, who has no clue or deep appreciation for what they are being given, we are showing the compassion and mercy of God through our longsuffering tolerance.

We learn godly boundaries in order to allow longsuffering to grow in us and limit worldly abuse. There is a difference between the two and the difference is found in the purpose being served. A book could be written on those two sentences, so I will just leave that there. If we do not allow God to expand longsuffering in us, life will break us. The trials and circumstances of everyday life will become so painful to endure without the expansion of the fruit of Spirit as manifest in the virtue of longsuffering that our minds, bodies, emotions, and spirits will succumb to the pressure. Many people suffer from any number of maladies because they refuse to allow longsuffering to expand their sprits and instead they fight, fight, fight…everything, everybody, every circumstance, even God.

 

 

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.

The Winds of Change ~ Where We Are

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 January 1, 2014 at 9:30 am

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

This Christmas the world both secular and Christian wanted to know what in the world was going on with everyone. In a materialistic and sexually charged culture, something truly phenomenal happened in the spiritual arena. People had one or two reactions to Christmas this year and they had those reactions to the utmost degree. They either were indifferent to Christmas all together and apathetic or they sought God deeply – there seemed to be little in between and the materialistic Christmases of the recent past seemed nowhere to be found. What happened and why?

People went to church all over American and in other countries in record numbers this Christmas. In Bethlehem, they had never seen anything like it in all of history. People by the droves from all over the world flocked to Bethlehem and a huge amount of them where from The United States of America. Churches in America were filled. Even here in the communities that surround where I live churches were filled to capacity and they were actually turning people away because they had reached the fire marshal’s capacity limit. The church were my family attended Christmas Eve Service had three services on Christmas Eve just to accommodate the desire to honor Jesus on Christmas, we barely got seats. This was everywhere and people were heartbroken to be turned away. There response was not just an, ‘Oh, well.’ attitude, it was true sadness that they could not go to church for Christmas. It was truly incredible! Clearly a move of Almighty God.

This is the winds of revival people and they are just beginning to blow. We have seen other evidence this year and will see more in the year to come.

The mini-series “The Bible” on the History Chanel had incredible ratings. In 2015, there will be a sequel to the mini-series coming, which is in the works now. Why? Because people are hungry to know what the Bible says and what it means for them.

Hollywood has invested 125 million dollars in the movie “Noah” which will be released in the spring of 2014. Hollywood does not invest that much money on something of a spiritual or religious nature without a reason. The reason, they expect to make money and lots of it. They enlisted two big names in the acting profession to play the leads, Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins because they, even Hollywood, can sense there is spiritual fervor and therefore, money to be made.

There have been just all kinds of stories of people stepping out in faith, doing what God was leading them to do, and God providing for them. Often, these stories come with the sentiment that God had to bring them to their lowest point first, in order to teach them to trust Him.

Religious denominations are not of God. There is only one Church and its Head is Jesus, the Christ, the One and Only Messiah. The largest denomination in the United States of America spent most of this year tearing itself apart from the inside out over twisted and distorted doctrine half of their members are no longer willing to accept or believe.

A little past the midway point of the year 2013 the readership of this blog skyrocketed in Israel. The number of readers in Israel reached almost as many as American readers. Additionally during 2013 the American government’s allegiance and support of Israel was seriously compromised.

We are seeing an overwhelming hunger to get back to a sense of spiritual community, not religious church, but true spiritual community that feeds the spiritual, mental, emotional, and social needs of people. People are beginning to reach out and truly connect with each other once again. Living on an island by themselves is not working anymore and not desirable to them any longer.

Baby Boomers, once the largest generation until the Millennial Generation came along, are thinking about their own mortality. They are looking beyond what they have been able to obtain in life. They realize that there is, or needs to be, something more to their lives. Thus, they are now seeking God.

The primary reason for all this is that God is moving among people to bring them back to Him. A spiritual life where the main focus is a relationship with Jesus provides grounding to a person’s life. A sense of boundaries, direction, purpose, and fulfillment that nothing else will provide. People deep within want to reach higher, they want to have moral fiber and are seeking that “Standard” I am always going on about.

Revival is about coming back, renewal, and new awakening of something that has existed. Awareness of God has always existed. Revival is something that happens among God’s people and spreads, thus affecting those who do not believe. The winds of revival in America are beginning to blow, they are beginning to be felt all over the country – it is time to respond.

The Winds of Change – Where are we going?

If you believe God has revealed to you where He is taking His people spiritually, what He is doing and is going to do among them, and what the next American Revival will look like as it is manifest by God into our reality I invite you to send me your thoughts, insights, and comments. What God is doing He has shown to His Faithful Servants for a purpose.

If you would like to contact me, please use the red “comment” link at the end of each post to do so.

 

 

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.

The Winds of Change ~ Where It Starts

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 December 30, 2013 at 11:00 am

Monday, December 30, 2013

What one must understand is that when we see a spiritual move of God like we saw at Christmas time in America and other parts of the world it has been both years in the making and is just the beginning. God has been at work behind the scenes, so to speak, in the hearts and lives of His prophets and spiritual leaders first.

Let me give some clarity on the use of the title “prophet” in today’s context. A prophet can be either male [called a prophet] or female [called a prophetess]. The term prophet is typically used when referring to both in general instead of addressing one specific person. New Testament prophets are not the same as Old Testament / Ancient Prophets. Much of their purpose is the same but not their entire purpose and they function differently. The key difference between Old Testament and current day New Testament Prophets and Prophetess can be found in their prophecies. The prophecies of the Ancient Prophets, the prophets of the Old Testament time period, structured Biblical text and gave Biblical prophecies. The prophecies of the current day New Testament Prophets do not add to Biblical text or change Biblical prophecies; their prophecies illuminate what has already established in God’s Word. Both urge God’s people and their society to follow God’s Will, directives, principles and ways.

Below I have provided the actual Hebrew and Greek definitions for the words prophet and prophetess for further contemplation.

Word primarily used in the Old Testament for “prophet” =

5030. נָבִיא nâbı̂y˒, naw-bee’; from 5012; a prophet or (gen.) inspired man:— prophecy, that prophesy, prophet.

Word used 2 times in Old Testament for “prophet” =

5012. נָבָא nâbâ˒, naw-baw’; a prim. root; to prophesy, i.e. speak (or sing) by inspiration (in prediction or simple discourse):— prophesy (-ing), make self a prophet.

Word used 2 times in Old Testament for “prophet” =

5029. נְבִיא nebı̂y˒ (Chald.), neb-ee’; corresp. to 5030; a prophet:— prophet.

Word used 1 times in Old Testament for “prophet” =

5197. נָטַף nâṭaph, naw-taf’; a prim. root; to ooze, i.e. distil gradually; by impl. to fall in drops; fig. to speak by inspiration:— drop (-ping), prophesy (-et).

Word used in the New Testament for “prophet” =

4396. προφήτης prŏphētēs, prof-ay´-tace; from a compound of 4253 and 5346; a foreteller (“prophet”); by anal. an inspired speaker; by extens. a poet:— prophet.

4253. πρό prŏ, prŏ; a primary prep.; “fore”, i.e. in front of, prior (fig. superior) to:— above, ago, before, or ever. In composition it retains the same significations.

Word used in the New Testament for “prophetess” aka a female prophet =

4398. προφῆτις prŏphētis, prof-ay´-tis; fem. of 4396; a female foreteller or an inspired woman:— prophetess.

4396. προφήτης prŏphētēs, prof-ay´-tace; from a compound of 4253 and 5346; a foreteller (“prophet”); by anal. an inspired speaker; by extens. a poet:— prophet.

God opens the eyes of His prophets and spiritual leaders to see Him at work in their society prior to others becoming aware. He changes their hearts and their lives first. God gives them a passion and understanding of His direction and will first. They suffer the persecutions and pitfalls first. Then when God moves they are ready, thanks to the grace of God, and can show others the way.

Prophets and spiritual leaders have known for years that Revival was coming to America. Therefore, when people began to ask, ‘Is religion and godly spirituality making a comeback in American Culture?’ they are not shocked they are instead saying, ‘What has taken us so long?’. These individual have been watching the signs, discerning the spiritual climate, and connecting the dots found in the news of the day for a while.

This posting will address more of what many would label the negative side of spiritual change or revival and the next posting will address what many would label the positive side of spiritual change or revival. I believe there is no negative side to revival. Revival is a move of God and is therefore positive but even positive things have difficult or challenging aspects.

There are those who indicate that spiritual change comes in twenty-year cycles throughout history. I do not go in much for patterns and I firmly believe you cannot put God in a box. God is going to do what God wants to do, praise be to God! I will state however that next year it will be twenty years since I left mortgage banking to go into fulltime ministry and I have seen and experienced significant winds of changes in the spiritual/religious culture of America. Let us examine some of the changes and signs that indicate God is currently at work within our society and spiritual communities.

In 1998 when a group of us began, what we dubbed “cyber ministry” our opponents at the time thought the idea was ridiculous and would never catch on. Today it is commonplace and according to many their primary source for Christian godly spiritual teaching and counsel. There was a recent study done on why American Churches were emptying in recent years. There were and are many factors for why this is happening – to include but not exclusive to apostasy in the Christian community, lack of true community, apathy and detachment by leaders, growing distrust among people, etc. Nevertheless, the main reason younger people indicated they were not a part of a local church, nor did they intend to be, was because they were able to get more of their questions answered and concerns addressed via online ministries. I firmly believe we need both functioning together the proper way. The congregations who have incorporated both seem to have faired better than those who have not embraced “cyber ministry” as part of their local community. If the local church wishes to thrive again, as it once did, many things will have to change.

We have seen American forms of religious persecution on the rise in recent years. Where you find revival, you find persecution. Persecution goes down the line usually in this order – prophets, spiritual leaders, servants, Christians in general. Both nationally and locally we have seen persecution play out in our news and other sources of mass media both Christian and secular. I will not name people but you will recall the stories of some, as I write in generalities. The child in kindergarten who was suspended from school for saying Jesus healed him. People jailed for preaching the Word of God on a public street – street preachers they are called. A pastor jailed for holding Bible Studies in his home. Both a nationally known and a locally known pastor, both jailed for domestic violence against their older teens because one stopped the child from leaving the home and the other popped the child on the shoulder and told them not to disrespect their parents; in both cases the children were out of control one privately in front of other family members and the other publically on church grounds. Ministers children have always been the targets of Satan but in recent times, society has given Satan a lot of help using these children against their parents.  The governmental tax authorities assault in the last few years, upon ministries both large and small as well as everyday individuals who were, and are, outspoken opponents against the social and political issues of our day.  People’s mental stability questioned due to their spiritual beliefs. Parent’s children taken from them because of their unwilling to accept societies ideas of how their children should be trained. I could go on and one but I will stop there, as my point has been made.

The atheists attack on free speech has been a major form of persecution. Those who hate God wish to stiffly all speech of God, God’s Truths and God’s Principles. Yet ironically, they go after anyone who speaks out against certain social issues because their “rights” are being trampled on. What about the Christian’s rights? Christians, we do not give up our rights to man, we give up our rights for God. There is a major difference. The highly charged controversial issue surrounding Duck Dynasty family member Phil Robertson and A&E Television is a very public and current example of persecution due to someone speaking out about their religious/spiritual beliefs. There have been many people persecuted in this form in recent years but I use this incident as an example because even for the Sunday only Christian it has plucked a nerve to the degree that people are saying, ‘Enough is enough’. Do not think for a moment that others have not suffered, are not suffering, quietly and daily under this form of persecution.

The huge rise in apostasy in recent years is also a clear sign that spiritual change and revival are coming. Whereas much of the American people would tell you they are Christians, the actual Devout Followers are only a small Current Spiritual Remnant. Many spiritual leaders who made certain changes to their ministries and local congregations in order to ‘reach the un-churched’ have now repented of those changes that took their congregations far from true allegiance to Jesus. The minimizing of the “CROSS” and the importance of Jesus’ work on the cross has been a part of that apostasy. Without the cross, there is no redemption. Without the cross, there is no salvation. The virgin birth of Christ and the resurrection of Christ are both undeniable lifelines for True Christianity but the Cross has been given a back seat in the ride of a lifetime and eternity. You cannot divorce the cross from the church or you have apostasy, nor can you hide the cross.

Often God must bring people to the lowest point in order to bring about change. Well the winds of change are blowing and a whole lot of people are beginning to hear and feel them.

 

 

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.

The Winds of Change ~ Introduction

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 December 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm

Saturday, December 28, 2013

I am going to take a break from the teaching series I have been writing and instead take up addressing a phenomenal spiritual issue, which has been sweeping America and other parts of the world this Christmas season. I will be covering this spiritual change over the course of several postings in an effort to tie several aspects together, that have taken place over the course of years, without making each segment to lengthy to fully grasp. Please be patient and your understanding of how it all ties together will become clear once the series is complete. When I have completed the series, I will return to my teaching postings on the Fruit of Spirit.

How people reacted to Christmas this year, which I will cover later, shows us that we are beginning to see the manifestation of spiritual change in America and other parts of the world. The winds of change are blowing, God is moving and God’s people need to be prepared.

Some have wondered why I chose to post a comment on the site relating to the Phil Robertson and A&E Television controversy. I have never watched the show and knew little or nothing about the show until the controversy over this man’s comments became known publically. I will elaborate on this in another segment but how people in general reacted to the persecution, which is exactly what it was – as he suffered distress and lose due to his beliefs and for simply quoting/stating what the Bible says to be true, the reaction by people has been an offshoot of the spiritual frustration people have felt in America. That is why I chose to post something relating to the issue. Frustration is coming face to face with spiritual change.

I would like to begin by bring your attention back to two earlier posts which took place in May and August of 2012. I have reposted them here and they can also be located in the blog’s achieves. One is titled “Question about Christian Community’s Survival” and the second is titled “The Next American Revival”. Again, I included these in the introduction because their content ties into the spiritual climate, spiritual move, and spiritual change, which became so evident this month.

Truth in Love – blog entry

Question about Christian Community’s Survival

Friday, May 25, 2012

For many of you much of what I am about to write may be a given, to others it may be new or even controversial. Please know my heart is not to be condescending or patronizing to anyone but instead to make a spiritual plea for the survival and wellbeing of the Body of Christ as a whole. Therefore, I humbly submit to you for your prayerful consideration what God has been urging me to share.

In order to impact and influence our society we must all be paddling our boat in a similar direction. We live in a time in history where the togetherness of the TRUE Christian Community is going to be vital to its health. The Body of Christ is being torn apart by an imbalance in its teaching or a flat out refusal to stand for God’s Standard on certain issues, the result being a loss of influence on and in our society. The world looks at us and sees so much infighting and so many wishy-washy beliefs that they have no interest in exploring what our Jesus has to offer them. Tons of once dedicated and devoted Christians and Christian Leaders have taken the concept of loving the world into the kingdom to the point that they have sold out God’s Principles and Standards along the way. We have lost our way as a collective group, many hearts have hardened and most are so guarded they cannot extend their arms to their brothers and sisters in Christ. Leaders are so worried that unity means selling out their beliefs that they are by default selling out Christ’s Church and purpose through their disunity.

There are many levels of commitment, many sub-cultures, and many forms of oppression within the Christian Community as a whole. A general lack of unity along with localized self-centeredness, which has taken the form of isolation within one’s own local ministry, project, outreach, and/or congregation, has perpetuated the growth of some dangerous teachings and/or positions on societal issues. Whereas the issues listed below are in no way an exhaustive list of the thorns of disunity they are some of the most important and influential of our current day. They are the issues, which the TRUE Church must come together on in unity and hold as God’s Standard in order to regain their godly power, godly strength, and godly influence as a light to the world. Let us remember our unity effects our anointing, Psalm 133. Jesus knew and stated in John 13:11 that not all of His disciple were clean, nevertheless, He chose to wash their feet.

(NKJV)

Psalm 133

Blessed Unity of the People of God

A Song of Ascents. Of David.

1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is

For brethren to dwell together in unity!

2 It is like the precious oil upon the head,

Running down on the beard,

The beard of Aaron,

Running down on the edge of his garments.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon,

Descending upon the mountains of Zion;

For there the Lord commanded the blessing—

Life forevermore.

The issues of concern for contemplation:

We need to become one unified voice on these most critical of issues in our Body and in our society.

The Deity of Jesus and His virgin birth. This is not a debatable truth, it is critical to ones salvation that they have a proper understand of who Jesus is and how He came into the world from His heavenly abode. Jesus having no deity or not being born of a virgin equals no TRUE Christianity, period.

Homosexuality is a sin issue not a civil rights issue. The church and its leaders are much too politically correct on this matter. We are to be vessel of truth; therefore, political correctness is not something we should be known for possessing. We cannot sit by silently and watch those with the loudest voices decide what is right and not right, God has already done that. God in His Word, the Bible, labels homosexuality sin, not me, not you, and not man…God.

Marriage is only the man and woman relationship. Marriage comes from God, not government, and we must protect the scared union God formed. Marriage is representative of Christ’s union with His people, His Church, and as such should have its purity protected.

A balanced perspective on women’s service to the Body of Christ. The Body of Christ, and each congregation or ministry therein is made up of men and women. The idea that both sexes are not needed to minister to the needs of those people is simply ridiculous. Men need men and women need women in many if not most area of spiritual growth, restoration, and healing. We cannot allow the Body of Christ to be dominated by women who are oppressed by extreme fundamentalism nor by women who are in their mannerisms spiritual feminist. Women need to be affirmed in their personal calling by God and taught to serve God alongside men with full confidence and faith without usurping the authority of the direct and personal men God has placed in their lives; equal to in God’s eyes, yet, not dominate over these men. Both men and women have a purpose in and calling to ministry.

As Follower of Christ, our adherence is to God over earthly authorities. More so than any other time in my memory Christian Leaders and general Christians seems to be playing both sides of the fence. They are willing to represent God and God’s agenda to the point that it does not conflict with other authorities. Yet, most of Jesus’ disciples were put to death for siding with God and God’s Ways over local governmental and spiritual authorities. We obey as long as it does not require that we sin against what God has given us, or told us, to do. We as a collective group seem to have forgotten this inconvenient truth.

Okay you have been confronted now. So what are you going to do? Are you going to lift your voice and help the Christian Community survive in America?

Truth in Love – blog

The Next American Revival

Monday, August 27th 2012

The disciples were assembled in the upper room “in one accord” at Pentecost and the next move of God among the entire Body of Christ will be brought about as the Body of Christ seeks unity. Unity will bring a revival across America that will be unlike anything we have seen in our lifetime. For Christ centered denominations, congregations, families, and individuals to be a part of that revival; reconciliation, renewal, a resurgence of courage and boldness will have to take place…repentance will have to come.

In Webster’s Dictionary, the second definition for the word revival is as follows:

2: restoration of force, validity, or effect (as to a contract)

Is that not what each revival in church history has done?

1- Restored the force of spirituality over secularism.

2- Proved the validity of God and God’s authority.

3- Reestablished the effectiveness of the Body of Christ on the society in which it lived.

4- Renewed, spiritually, the covenant [contract] God has with His people.

 

 

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.