Monthly Archives: December 2012

Prayer Must come Back in Schools, and America must return back to GOD?????

      There are statements being said all over blogs and other postings about subjects like, “Prayer must come back in schools and America must turn back to God.” There is a problem though with this and all the statements like it and that is it does not represent Christianity but is the epitome of religious dogma. When people make statements like this it makes me question whether or not they truly are even believers or are they just pawns in the religious order of things. Such thoughts and statements convey that if we do things that give the appearance of being holy or Godly then we will be holy. This is total bunk and deception. The reality is that forcing ones religious point of views on someone so they are trained to act a certain way will no more make one a Christian than setting in the waiting room of a doctor’s office will make them a surgeon. Believers are called believers because they believe in the finished works of Jesus and accept their true identity in Christ. There is no other way to experience this identity other than by faith, which has nothing to do with works. I would not say there is no good out of exposing people to the truth but we only need to look at all the Christian schools and you can see that even in a heavily saturated God focused setting that rules and regulations do not produce relationships.

     Paul’s message to the world was one of an eternal relationship with God which was made possible by Jesus. It is by believing that Jesus is who he is and has accomplished what he did that we can partake in this restoration of fellowship and intimacy between us and our Father. For those who do truly believe there will be a change in their beliefs and behaviors, but to think that behavior modification will turn people into believers and establish a healthy relationship with God is wrong. What many are failing to see is that all over the world, and more so at home in America now, people’s hearts are changing to become more worldly and humanistic because those who claim to be Christians are not representing true biblical Christianity. Paul had no problem in the big picture of changing the way the world viewed God during his ministry because he believed the truth and shared it in very real, tangible and practical ways. Today you will most likely hear all the rules and regulations you must keep in order become or maintain your Christian status rather than what God has done to restore you back into a relationship.

     Hopefully those who really want a relationship with God will wake up and realize that as Paul put it all things are lawful but not all things are expedient or edify. Placing burdens on people makes them in bondage to the burden instead of being free to experience the relationship the God desires to have with them. The bible teaches us that the Law made no one righteous but revealed sin and empowered sin. If those who claim to be Christians practiced true Christianity than just as Paul was able to influence the world by making true disciples, who in turned made more disciples, then also would today’s Christian have the same effect. But going after the world with this forced slave labor mentality that is preached so widely today as the carrot at the end of a stick will only keep producing the same results that it is currently getting.

     If we truly start representing Christianity then America will turn back toward God, not by force but out of love and respect. If America and others keep preaching though religious dead works, rather than relationship, it will only keep getting worse. I get to talk to people regularly and the number one thing I always hear about is how they have this idea that because they have done good things or view themselves as a pretty good person they think they should go to heaven. They get this idea because of the weakness there is in the church saying that we are who we are by what we do rather than what God declares in that we are who we are by faith.

Advertisements

The Temple Tax

Shekel      The information following came out of researching the scriptures on the issue of tithing. This is not something I wrote but found it so interesting that I had to share it. I am not going into tithing at all here as the Word itself is clear about this, though most of the church still tries reap rewards from what God has already given. I have another article on that specifically and how the Word is very clear on this. Please do not take offense at what I say on this though as I freely give of my time, talents and finances to aid in sharing the gospel and baring witness to the love of God. It comes from the position of being a son of God instead of a servant. Anyhow the facts and postulates below do not specifically talk about the subject of tithing but do bring out some really interesting facts and ideas about the twelve disciples of Jesus.

Matthew 17:24-27

This tribute, known as the temple tax, was what was used to keep up the temple and was only to be taken when there was a census. At some point though this became a yearly tax that was taken up.

The Temple Tax

September 6, 2008 by Neil

After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the first to speak. “What do you think, Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes — from their own sons or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four-drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Matthew 17.24-27.

This little story — unique to Matthew’s gospel — concerns the temple tax which was a tax first imposed by Moses for the upkeep of the tabernacle in the wilderness (Exodus 30:11-16). It is a story that is full of interest.

Under Moses, the tax was imposed every time there was a census, but by the time of Jesus it was an annual tax which, though it lacked the sanction of Roman law, every Jew between the ages of twenty and fifty was expected to pay. And that brings us to the first point of interest. For although Jesus and his disciples were all there, newly arrived together in Capernaum when the demand for the temple tax was made, only Jesus and Peter ended up paying the tax. Peter was the only noted too as being married.

Why just those two? Surely it must have been that they were the only two people in the company who were over the age of twenty. In other words, Jesus’ other eleven disciples must still have been in their teens — though we usually imagine them to be older, closer to the age of Jesus. But the fact is that, in those days, someone who wanted to be a rabbi’s talmid or disciple would generally join him at the age of fifteen; so there would be nothing at all unusual about James, John, Andrew, Philip and the rest all being little more than boys.

The second point of interest is the fish. Commentators tend to pour scorn on the idea of a fish being caught with a coin in its mouth, but there is in fact a fish called a tilapia found in Galilee (Sarotherodon galilaeus galilaeus) that carries its eggs and later its young in its mouth. Once the young must be made to fend for themselves, the tilapia picks up a stone or any other suitably-sized object that it can find and carries that in its mouth instead of the young so as to prevent the young returning. So it is certainly within the bounds of possibility that a tilapia could be caught carrying in its mouth a coin that someone had lost overboard while sailing on Galilee.

So much for the background. What of the teaching? Peter is clearly being taken to task for affirming that Jesus does pay the temple tax, but why wouldn’t he pay it? He was a Jew over the age of twenty. On what grounds could he possibly be exempt? Jesus explains by way of a rabbinical kind of question. Do kings who impose taxes collect them from their own sons? No. So work it out for yourself Peter … Who is the king who collects the temple tax? God. The temple tax is an obligation to God. But what has Peter just heard God say about Jesus on the mount of transfiguration? “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!” (Matthew 17.5). So should Jesus, as God’s son, pay the tax due to God? No, “the sons are exempt”.

I note the plural. The sons are exempt; not the son is exempt. Jesus is including Peter in his sonship exemption, and when he instructs Peter to pay the tax it is “so that we may not offend them.” The new kingdom, the kingdom of God that has dawned with the coming of Jesus, is a kingdom of no-one but those who are sons and daughters of God. Or to put it the other way round: all who enter the kingdom of God through Jesus (and there is no other way) become sons and daughters of God by doing so.

But the teaching here is also that, until that kingdom comes in all its fulness, the sons and daughters of God must follow Jesus in his humble submission to the duties and demands that fall on everyone in this world. We cannot go around claiming our exemption. What we can do, however, is to rely on the fact that Jesus will enable us to fulfil what is required of us. This story ends by assuring me that he will provide the wherewithall to pay my “tax” as well as his own — whatever that “tax” might be.


Are we the working bride of Christ?

     I am not sure many people really have the understanding in what it means to be the bride of Christ, or at least in relation to works and fruit. Just as when a husband is intimate with his wife the wife conceives and bares fruit in the form of a child, so we as the bride of Christ out of intimacy with Jesus will bear fruit. As Jesus said it is the Father’s good pleasure that we bear much fruit, yet many take this has we are to constantly be doing things and that is totally missing the point. When we try to do good works, produce good fruit, then we are like an adulteress who seeks to conceive outside of her husband in order to bear fruit. Much like Abraham tried to have a son not by faith but out of works.

     The only true good works or good fruit that is produced has to come from God and then manifests through us because it is born of God. We were created by him, through Him and for Him, not for what we can do but for His good pleasure. If we take our focus off of the fact that we exist to be one with Christ Jesus, in total union with him, then we look towards the direction. Again no bride can conceive or produce and bear fruit of herself but must be intimate with her husband. We see that even Jesus proclaimed that the mighty works which were witnessed that he did he said that it was not him that did them but the Father through him by Holy Spirit. And Just as the Father did many great things through Jesus now Jesus desires to do great things through us, his bride.

     Do not prostitute yourself by trying to do good works out of your own effort, which is only a testament to ones self-righteousness, but conceive through intimacy with Jesus that which causes you to effortlessly move with compassion and bear His fruit. Ephesians 2:10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Many will say, “See we are to do good works” but it says we were created in Christ Jesus unto good works. We are not to go about doing anything independent of God. Again look at Jesus, though it states he went about doing good when we see what happened those in need sought him out. He did not go door to door asking if anyone needed anything. And based on scripture we can conclude that there were times where not many good works happened because they did not seek him.

     If I were to feed a million people this is what many would consider a good work, and if we can we should. But if we fail to glorify God in the process, if we are not moved by compassion to reveal the love of God to those in need, then the only thing we have done is to prolong their death and the loss of their soul. In doing good works, if the only thing we are thinking about is doing something for good works sake then it is pointless. We should never be doing anything because we feel like it alters God’s view or opinion of us, for he fully loves every single person. Therefore if what we do only influences that which is temporal but does not cause others to glorify God then most likely one is doing it to soothe their ego. There are many philanthropists who spend billions of dollars in helping out those in need, yet if not one single person turns to God it was all for naught.

     If we though are a bride and moved by compassion that is produced in us by Jesus to reach out to those in need then we being humbled will confess that it is Christ in us that has done this wonderful thing. In all things we must give God the glory, for He truly is the only one who deserves it.


Mind Games

For too many centuries we have forgotten that what has caused any separation to occur between God and man is in the mind of man. Paul really opened this up to me in Colossians 1:20 when he wrote, “And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled…” Paul is literally saying that what was done contrary to God’s truth, wicked works, was simply a manifestation of what was believed to be true in their minds, but it was not actually the truth and part of this manifestation of wrong believing was even believing they were enemies of God. The next verse in Colossians then talks about the fact that Jesus had reconciled us back unto our Father and we are without blame or reproof from His point of view. Is it not our beliefs that cause all of our issues?

Look at the very first time man did not believe the truth through Adam. The truth was Adam was the image and likeness of God and lacked nothing. This meant that that everying of Adam was a part of God but it did not mean that all of God wa like Adam in that there was still more to God then just Adam’s portion. Adam believed this not to be true, though they had walked in this fashion every day of their existence, and so they partook of another knowledge gaining sin consciousness. This is how we also know based on scripture that it was the manipulation of a truth that enticed Adam to sin because God said that once man had eaten of the tree of knowledge that man had become like Them. Something man was not created to experience now became part of him as a conscience being.

As we previously mentioned Jesus came and reconciled the world unto our Father and part of the way he did this was by removing sin out of the equation through his own sacrifice. This though did not negate the fact that man still had the capacity to be sin conscience, only that sin no longer is a factor between us and God. The reality is that everyone who believes they can sin against God does not believe that Jesus took away the sins of the world and therefore does not believe in the finished works of Jesus on the cross and that he is not seated at the right hand of the Father. Why seated? Because as He cried out on the cross, “it is finished”, he really meant it.

Paul even teaches us in Hebrews 10 that the old sacrifices could not remove our consciousness of sin, but because of Jesus we are to have no more consciousness of sin. He calls being sin conscience as having an evil conscience. The truth is we need to stop being sin conscience and be son conscious because we are sons of God, saints not sinners. It is what we believe that separates us from God, though not a true separation but an imaginary, illusionary mental barrier that we have placed, because in reality God never turns from us or leaves us, we can just choose to believe it so. It is kind of like a group of three people where two of them are talking one to another and shunning out the third as though the third were not there. The fact they choose to ignore the third’s existence does not make it a fact that the third does not exist, but introspectively it does influence their relationship with the third.

The whole point though that I want to say about this is that there is a true reality and there is also a reality based on what we believe to be true. It is possible for these two to never meet at all and remain total opposites, but the best thing for all is where both realities totally line up the same and are as one. This is what Jesus demonstrated to us and has made it possible for everyone to simply exist in a single homogeneous truth of reality. One of the quotes I heard for years from ministers, but never understood because they would back it up with what one must do, is from Paul in 2 Corinthians 10:4 “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds” A strong hold is a belief. The simplest way to put this is that it is never about what we can do but what we believe. If I do not believe the truths about God and the finished works of Jesus then they will never manifest in my life as a part of me just simply being a son. The fruit of ones true identity as a son of God.

Jesus only gave one reason for the truths of God to not manifest in ones life and that was unbelief or not believing the truth. When there is a synergistic relationship between what we believe in our minds and what we believe in our hearts, lining up with the truths of God, then they bare fruit. What many call a work is not really a work but just a manifestation of believing the truth. We do not do something to prove we believe though, because that in itself is a declaration of unbelief, but things just happen because of what we believe. This temptation to prove what one believes is the very thing that the devil used on Jesus. If you are the Son of God prove it. Jesus did not give in to the temptation but overcame it because he already believed the truth. The very core or root of temptation is simply to doubt your true identity as a son. This is the whole focus of the adversary because to what ever degree he can influence one to doubt God is to the degree he can more easily use that person to influence others. Whether they profess to be an atheist or to the pastor who just preaches about an angry god and what you need to do to please him or to earn what you already have freely been given.

In learning then that many of the issues we deal with are belief (mind and heart) related I hope then what I am going to explain will build on that and help liberate you to experience a better quality of life. As a human being we tend to have two concepts when it comes to the things of God, and in general I am talking more about the finished works of Jesus but this may apply in other circumstances. You have those who are believers and those who are receivers. Receivers have the need to be a part of what is going on and what I mean by that is they feel that they always have to take an active part in completing something like completing a transaction, closing the deal or having the final say about something. Believers on the other hand simply accept the fact that something is finished and just start utilizing or walking in the circumstances.

This may be challenging to what you believe because of what you have been taught but let’s use the example of sins. John the baptist said that Jesus came to take away the sins of the world. (John 1:29) We know that Jesus fulfilled the law for righteous requirements and that the law was nailed to the cross taking it out of the way (Matthew 3:15, Colossians 2:14) Where there is no law there is no trespass. (Rom 5:13) Summing this up then, when Jesus redeemed man from the law of sin and death by his blood he did it for all men at that one time. We do not have a sin issue any more because we cannot sin since Jesus took away sin.

Now the difference here between how a believer perceives this statement about sin versus a receiver is going to be the difference between night and day when it comes to the quality of life they will experience. A receiver will have a belief issue, where many tend not to believe Jesus has totally done away with the law and therefore they are conscience of the of the law which was given to increase or strengthen sin. (1 Corinthians 15:56, Romans 5:20, Romans 6:14) A receiver will feel the need to do something to complete the finished works of Jesus in their lives. Biblically it is never stated to receive from God yet daily people are told to receive from God or receive Jesus. This is again because even in this small way a receiver has the need to be a part of what is going on. They can not accept the fact that someone has done something for them without their involvement, especially something beneficial. They tend to not have an issue like believing that Adam’s fall has affected them, though they had nothing directly to do with it, but they have a hard time believing they have been reconciled unto God through Jesus without participating in it. (Romans 5:10, Romans 5:17) The bottom line here is that a receiver in these circumstances will remain in a frustrated cycle because they will constantly try to participate in something that has been completed. They will tend to have the need to do something in order to receive any benefit from it. At some point in their mind they may believe that because they had made a decision to receive what Jesus had already given them then they can start walking in it and break the cycle of waiting for it to happen.

A believer though just simply starts walking in the benefits of what was done. In this instance the believer simply believes what the Word declares in that Jesus did away with the law for righteous requirements and we are righteous in him. A believer just accepts the fact that they have already been reconciled unto Papa and they just start experiencing life as a son of God. A believer never has to struggle with sin in their life because they accept the fact that Jesus has removed sin, and if one is not sin conscience then they can be Son conscience. Paul even tells us we are to have no more consciousness of sin in knowing that Jesus was the perfect sacrifice once and for all. (Hebrews 10:2-12) A believer simply accepts the facts as truth then and believes that everything is finished, there is nothing for them to do, and they only simply believe to participate in it. There is scripture after scripture that tells us to simply believe, which is why Christians are called believers and not doers or receivers.

All of this is a part of the mind games that the adversary tries to play on all of humanity. If the adversary can keep someone from truly believing, then they limit the fruit that will manifest in their life because they have chosen to believe they must produce the fruit instead of allowing God to do it. If we choose though to believe that there is nothing we can do to produce fruit because Jesus was competent enough to complete everything without our help, we can just plug into Jesus by believing it is finished and allow the fruit to manifest simply by resting in him.

Simply believe, only believe.


All Things Are Permissible But Not All Beneficial

1Co 10:23, “All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.”

Paul said that everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Living a life where the manifestation of sin is still dominate in your life because you are focused on sin is still living in bondage to sin. Being free from the Law does not benefit us if we feel a freedom to live a life contrary to the plan and purpose of God, but in being free from the Law we are free from condemnation, guilt and shame. If sin then does manifest it does not have the power over us it once had which is to drive us away from God and try to dissolve our relationship with God from our point of view. Without guilt, shame and condemnation we never have a desire to question our relationship with God and see Him in a false way as someone who is judging our value based on what we do, but know that His love for us never waivers and is always unconditional giving us a desire to not let sin rule our lives but love rule our hearts.


The Resurgence of the Question: Is America a Blessed Nation?

The Resurgence of the Question: Is America a Blessed Nation?

Since the reelection of the president of the United States of America I have seen several articles dictating that America is either blessed, or cursed depending on ones individual point of view, because of who is in office. I honestly can say that for much of my Christian experience I was corralled into the same way of thinking. After all if I heard it once then I have heard it thousands of times, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”. 2Chronicles 7:14. In fact not from reading but hearing it so much I have it memorized, but the fact is this statement has absolutely nothing to do with the way Americans have been taught to think.

There are several reasons why this scripture is used out of context and the biggest seem to be ignorance and prejudice. In ignorance I am relating to the fact that there is only one nation that God has ever made a covenant with and that is Israel. For Americans or any other country to think that they have a special covenant with God for any reason is just pure arrogance because God never promised to cut a covenant with any other people or nation. In fact The Jewish nation according to scripture will still experience the fulfillment of this covenant. I was taught my many well meaning pastors and teachers that we, the American Christians, we now the spiritual Israel because God was pissed off at Israel for rejecting Him so now out of spite He has chosen us. Thank God this is not even remotely true, but it is only an extremely prideful belief concocted out of ignorance and prejudice.

I did say that prejudice is a driving force also in believing that America has some sort of special covenant with God based on the aforementioned scripture because you have to be totally blind to ones own faults in order to think that oneself is perfect before God while another is a sinner. It is the same driving force that gives idiots the desire to proclaim that God is judging America because of what a targeted group of people have done. It is the whole my secret sin is okay but yours is plain to see so we will crucify you. I have learned from Paul that whatever our first impression of a judgment against someone is reveals our heart. I looked at preachers who taught heavily against an adulterous lifestyle, which were brought down by the same thing. I am not advocating any kind of immorality but scripture shows us that through loving one another and allowing the nature of God to manifest in us and through us healing takes place and what was driving one to do such things gets replaced with how God sees us. So one no longer will have the same drive to destroy oneself but to experience the God quality of life that Papa has intended for them all along.

America is no more or less blessed than any other country outside of Israel, but what truly influences the status of a country is how the majority of the people believe. If America were truly a Christian nation and truly understood what that meant then yes it would appear as though we were a blessed nation, but that would only be by appearance only because of experiencing what God desires for all of humanity. It is not geared to any one person or any one nation but the more people who believe in the truth and experience the facts of it then the greater influence it can have on those around them. America though has a Christian religion for the most part and not an understanding that it is all about our eternal relationship with God and not a bunch of stupid rituals.

This makes me also think about people who get in such an uproar because they take the Ten Commandments off of some building or what not. Again I call this ignorance of scripture. Paul tells us the purpose of the Law, which includes the Ten Commandments, was to strengthen sin. If we would read the bible God said that in these days, that which we are in now, the Law has been written on our hearts and not on stone. I do not have to wake up every morning and read “Do not murder” to ensure that I do not go out and murder someone. Ironically once again though Christians today, and I say this outside of those who are Jewish Christians, still do not get it in that the Law was given to the Jews and never ever ever to be a part of the life of anyone outside of the Jewish nation. As Christians we need to quit manifesting stupidity and read. When Paul went to the Jewish council how much of the Law did they impart unto the gentile believers. This is it in total; “Acts 21:25 As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.” The observe no such thing mentioned here is in reference to the Law given unto the Jews and even later Paul talks about you can eat whatever you want with a clear conscious.

America will only appear to be a blessed nation if we believe and embrace the truth about the finished works of Jesus thereby experience the quality of life He died and rose again for us to experience. But not just in this physical world as we now know it but eternally in a reconciled relationship between us and our Father. This is the whole point of Christianity in that we have been reconciled unto our Father and now have life eternal, which is scripturally defined as; “John 17:3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” The word know here is an intimate knowledge out of relationship, as in how Adam knew Eve and she conceived. Life is about relationship and not religion.


Nothing Is Unlawful

Nothing Is Unlawful

 

1Co 6:12 All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 10:23 All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

The reality to Paul’s statement is this, that in Christ Jesus the is no such thing as an unlawful action towards God for the simple fact that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Law for righteous requirements and we are the righteousness of Him whom we believe in by faith and not of works. That being said then there is nothing that one can do to either earn this status of righteousness through any works and therefore there is nothing one can do to lose this status by ones own efforts. However in this statement or this type of though there is also a truth that when we do things or allow our hearts to be persuaded to existing a state of disbelief about our true identities, and do or continue to do things that are contrary to God’s will and purpose for humanity then there are natural consequences.

The truth be known then if someone is constantly or regularly thinking about something they either do or believe, which prior to experiencing the benefits of salvation they know was contrary to the Law, and every time they have this thought or action which was contrary to the Law they justify this thought or action by thinking it is now ok because the Law does not exist for me, then they are a Law unto themselves. They know something is not right because it is written on their hearts, so the Law still has an influence in one’s life. Now just because we are not fulfilling the Law for righteous requirements does not mean the Law is bad, it is just that the Law has a purpose outside of righteous requirements and that is so one can experience the best quality of life possible. when we live contrary to the Law then there are also natural consequences to the decisions. If one steals then at some point they will get caught and prosecuted. If one is adulterous then they are going to have could contract diseases and experience social relationship issues.

What one does contrary to the Law which God has written on the hearts of all of humanity comes out of a wrong belief or understanding of ones true nature and identity. In other words God created us to live and experience life in specific ways and when we try to go outside of these boundaries it is because there is something in one’s life that is driving them to do so. Usually this is a result of an experience that has produced a wrong belief in their heart but can also be a result of the fact that this world has been influenced by fallen man and God’s original design became corrupt so even by birth there can be irregularities or abnormalities. This does not justify ones motive or actions but actually on the contrary in understanding this simple fact it enables one to realize that though there is something existing in one’s life contrary to original design or intent it can be corrected by believing God and experiencing the salvation of Jesus.

Another way of looking at this is if one is wanting to live a life that in some form or fashion is contrary to our intended design then usually it will build a wall up, or a stumbling block, in their relationship with God. In many cases it produces fear, guilt, shame, judgment or condemnation all of which usually drive one into seclusion in trying to cut off all forms of communication with God. One the opposite side of the spectrum I have also witnessed people who become delusional that their relationship with God is just fine because since there is no Law for righteous requirements God is always pleased with everything I do in my life. But this is basically telling God that even though you created me to experience life in its fullness one way you were wrong and I can do it my way. Paul sort of addresses this in Romans 9 when he asks the question, “Has the thing formed have a right to say why have you made me this way?” None of these things change God’s view and opinion of the person nor do they inhibit Him from reaching out or cause God to end the relationship from His end. His arms are always open and should the person realize what has happened when they change their minds to believe the truth in their hearts they are always welcomed.


Being Christ like?

Ok I know this may be what many call just a matter of semantics, but since this is one of the purposes of being able to communicate your thoughts online here is my two cents. Lately I have seen several quick little one liners about being like Christ and though I think in most cases I know what they mean it does bring up a good point in the difference in being Christ like versus being like Christ. Now if you are among the vast majority then you probably asked yourself already if there really is a difference and of course the answer is a resounding yes. If one were to try to be like Christ then in an extreme since of this they would probably wear only a robe of sorts and well try to literally impersonate or imitate Jesus so that one thought they were talking to Jesus. But to be Christ like is to have the nature of Jesus manifest through you as you and not you trying to be someone else. When I think of this in a practical and biblical way I look at Paul, aka Saul of Tarsus. Paul was one of the most Christ like people historically depicted in the bible in my opinion. Upon his conversion from Saul to Paul and receiving the revelation that Jesus gave to him personally we never see Paul stop sharing the good news and letting everyone know about our Father. Jesus willingly was driven to reveal the true nature of God our Father to everyone who would listen and we see Paul who was willingly driven to reveal Jesus to everyone as well. Paul also though in the bible had some imitators known as the seven sons of one Sceva who, not by faith but by being Paul like, tried to cast out a demon in one person. In which since this was not by faith, which in essence would be Christ like, their desire had no power and the one demon whooped the seven in that they fled naked and wounded.
I do understand that in some cases when we are Christ like we also will appear to be like Christ, but my point is that I want us to not think about the old slogan “What would Jesus do?” because it is not about the doing but as Jesus said he did nothing but the Father did through him. Just has Jesus told us that we can do nothing on our own but if we abide in him he will do what needs to be done through us. Paul is accredited by many of doing many wonderful works, but he would be the first to tell you that he did nothing of himself but Christ in him and through him by the power of Holy Spirit did all things. And in being humble this way Paul then was Christ like for as we just mention that Christ himself said he did nothing of himself, for he was as a man, but God through him did all things.
This does not mean that we should not do good when we can, but when we do if possible make sure it is God who is glorified and not ones self nor even the works which were done. Paul did many good things that any person could do, but we never see him boasting about nor ever seeking glory for himself but always trying to remain humble so that God would be praised.

God’s Desires In Our Hearts?

As I was reading through Genesis today I came across a scripture that triggered a reoccurring thought that I have. The scripture is in Genesis 24 and unfolds throughout most of that chapter. Basically Abraham sent his servant to his people to find a bride Isaac and the part that keeps causing this trigger is where as he is praying to God in his heart saying what needs to happen so he knows he has found the right person. Lo and behold as he is praying, what he is praying starts to unfold right before his eyes before he is finished. Genesis 24:45 The thought then I keep having would play out in this case as did the servant really just halfway make up this fleece of sorts to confirm he had the correct bride or did God, in knowing all things, place this information on the heart of the servant who just thought he was making this up, but something that was not totally impractical. I can not even begin to think at how many times in my life where I would get a thought just out of the blue and speak it out only to later see it come to past. The most recent bigger event for me that I can recall is with the job I am working now. Several years ago I owned a business and I was hired to do some work for a couple who worked together at a world-famous company. When they tried to describe what they did all I could see was that they really liked it. I said to myself that one day I would like to work there if it were possible. About four months prior to me writing this post my wife and I were on our way home from church and we happened to go by this business in which I looked and said out loud, “I wonder how long they are going to stay around since they are in such a financial crisis.” Only a couple of weeks later I received a phone call out of the blue from someone who had come across some information about me and asked if I would be interested in a job working for this company. At this time the funds that we had stored up from my previous job were running out and my long break from the typical work force, in which I got to spend thousands of hours in the scriptures and writing books was coming to an end. Without hesitation I said yes and the next day went in to fill out the new employee paperwork. Oh and by the way this is the strongest most profitable division of the company so it is not in any financial crisis.

     It is events like this when something stands out that makes me wonder just how much of the desires which our in our hearts are truly our own, or are they placed their by God somehow to help guide us through life. I know there have been several things work related where I have spoken a desire I have had and they have come to past. And with this being said there are desires I have now which I believe I will also see come to past just because I believe they are part of a bigger picture for my life. Now I do not think God controls us like puppets, but just as I try to give my son advice and to let him know about events and challenges he may face in the future, I think our Papa does the same thing. It is when we listen and patiently follow through, many times by just letting it happen, that we can really enjoy the peace that God desires for us.


Not Everyone Will Enter

Matthew 7:21-23 “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

There are a couple of points worth noting here. The first you will see repeated all through out my notes which is Jesus came as a Jewish rabbi teaching Jews about the Law. He never taught against the Law so when we hear him say something about doing something to fulfill the Law then we need to not turn a deaf hear but take it with a grain of salt. So then the second and main point is this, Jesus is specifically saying that there are people who will do many mighty things in His name, yet there is no relationship between them and Jesus therefore no salvation. Paul has taught us the truth in Romans that we are saved by faith and not of works. There are no works that can improve or qualify our salvation. In fact there is no other way to be saved but only by faith in believing that Jesus is Lord and He was the atoning sacrifice for all sins. This does not mean that we as believers will not bear fruit, for it is God’s desire that we bear much fruit. The issue Jesus is pointing out here is as He noted in other times in that no one can produce good fruit on their own, in that good fruit only comes from being intimate with Jesus and it is His fruit we bear not our own. Here he is talking about those who are trying to bear their own fruit not out of intimacy with Jesus. There are many who go to church services every week and do many things to help build a testimony, in a physical building or some programs, to their ungodliness because they are trying to be a part of doing man’s works and not something that was born out of a relationship with Jesus.

       This is what is means to be a worker of iniquity. It is one who out of their own efforts tries to do the things that resemble the fruit of having a relationship with God, yet there is no true relationship. Many believers have tons of peer pressure placed upon them by the churches today to produce fruit yet this goes totally against what we are taught in scripture. I still believe the best example of this is pregnancy in that a woman naturally cannot just do something to become pregnant by herself. Yet out of intimacy with her husband she becomes fruitful effortlessly. Yes she has to carry the child but the conception of the child happens naturally. And in this same way the fruit of God out of intimacy with Him is conceived in us and manifested through us.

      So with all this said then the question is how can we do the will of the Father? Simply stated believing in Jesus and His finished works is to truly do the will of our Father. It was for the purpose of our salvation that Jesus was sent, and only by faith in him can we partake in this great salvation. It is the Father’s will that none should perish and Jesus made that possible, yet as scripture declares not all will believe and will perish.