Category Archives: Christianity

Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit.

            Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is called the unpardonable sin. A sin that will not be forgiven in this age or the age to come. It is imperative we understand this passage of scripture. One of the most significant revelations concerning faith is in this passage of scripture.

Matthew 12:25-32

Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. 26 And if Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? 27 And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they will be your judges. 28 But if it is by the Spirit of God that I cast out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you. 29 Or how can someone enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? Then indeed he may plunder his house. 30 Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters. 31 Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven people, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven. 32 And whoever speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come.

            Jesus made it clear in Matthew 12 that when He was talking about a Kingdom, a house, or a city divided against itself, He was talking about blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Not a different Kingdom, but itself. It -SELF! He then said if Satan casts out Satan he is divided against HIMSELF.

            Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is speaking against, being in rebellion against, or simply not agreeing with the Holy Spirit in YOU. The Holy Spirit is God’s Kingdom representative in YOU.  

            Jesus went on to say that if you enter a strongman’s house you first had to bind the strongman, then you could plunder the House. The strongman is SELF, the carnal nature, the old man of sin. Self must be bound and crucified. Ephesians 4 tells us that there is only one Spirit, one faith, not two. Not in the Kingdom.

Ephesians 4:4-6

 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 

            We try so hard to be sold out to God, not recognizing that we have been bought out, Spirit, soul and body. We are not our own! We have been bought with a terrible price! And yet we struggle to be completely submitted.

            If we are not with Him 100% we are against Him. Not my words, His.

            When we don’t give God 100% of what He paid for, we are a withholder and a scatterer, and we disqualify ourselves from Kingdom authority, Kingdom resources, and Kingdom promise. God doesn’t trust His power with one who doesn’t trust Him or is opposed to Him.

            Flesh is enmity toward God. Self and selfishness are born of the flesh.

Romans 8:7-11

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

            If our flesh is God’s enemy, our flesh should be our enemy as well. When selfishness and pride rises in our heart it is the flesh trying to find expression through words and actions. When we give flesh control and give it a voice, we allow it an opportunity to express itself. This is divisive, it is double mindedness. It is allowing the enemy expression in the Kingdom. It is speaking against the Holy Spirit.

            If we serve two masters, God and Self, we will hate one and love the other. We will love God and hate ourselves. How are we to love others and be an ambassador of the Kingdom if we don’t agree with the Holy Spirit in us. God is in us, trying to get out, trying to find expression through our life. Christ in us is His hope of glory.

Colossians 1:27

To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

The glory of God is any attribute of God being made seen and known to others.

Christ in us, the hope of making God seen and known.

            I think often we are the ones wanting to be seen and known instead of letting Him shine, letting Him be sanctified in the sight of the people. His glory is to be seen and known through His people.

            When we refuse to let Him shine in the sight of others, we bring a reproach on the Kingdom and disqualify ourselves from inheritance, now in this age, and future rewards in the age to come at the judgement seat of Christ.

            Moses gives us a vivid example, and an Old Testament type of blasphemy against the Holy Spirit that helps us understand this passage of scripture.

Numbers 20:6-13

 Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the entrance of the tent of meeting and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them, and the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, “Take the staff, and assemble the congregation, you and Aaron your brother, and tell the rock before their eyes to yield its water. So you shall bring water out of the rock for them and give drink to the congregation and their cattle.” And Moses took the staff from before the Lord, as he commanded him. 10 Then Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels: shall we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11 And Moses lifted up his hand and struck the rock with his staff twice, and water came out abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their livestock. 12 And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe in me, to uphold me as holy in the eyes of the people of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land that I have given them.” 13 These are the waters of Meribah, where the people of Israel quarreled with the Lord, and through them he showed himself holy.

            WOW!

            Moses had a moment of pride during a supernatural manifestation of God in the sight of God’s people. He took partial credit for bringing water from the rock the first time and didn’t speak to the rock like God commanded him but struck it like he did the first time.

            God called it unbelief because Moses didn’t hold Him alone up as holy, instead he held himself up in the sight of others. This disqualified Moses from entering the Promise Land on Earth. It didn’t keep him out of Heaven, but We can surmise that he would get less rewards there because of this incident.

            This is exactly what happens to us. We like to take credit for the results and put the responsibility for obedience on others. Instead, we should take full responsibility for obedience but take no credit for the results.

            Anything we “accomplish” in the name of the Lord for selfish or prideful reasons disqualifies us from full entrance into the Kingdom of God on earth and disqualifies us from any rewards for those accomplishments at the judgment seat of Christ. This what Jesus meant when He said this sin will not be forging in this age or the age to come.

            If you have wondered if you have committed the unpardonable sin, you likely have. Pride and selfishness are sneaky devils. They creep in slowly through deception and trickery. Understanding this verse helps us be aware of the devil’s schemes and keeps us from stumbling.

            Pride must be silenced. Self must have no voice. God must be sanctified in us so that He can shine through us.

JC

Truth about the Rapture

           Let me first say, I am not attacking any person or ministry I am attacking what I now believe to be a false doctrine that is popular in many Church circles.

          My hope is that this will enlighten folks to the truth before it is too late.

          As far as I can tell there are only four passages in the bible that teach us plainly, openly, and directly about the rapture so I am only going to use those four.

        The first of these passages is found in Mathew 24.

Now, this is Jesus talking. Red letters in my Bible. I think He is the highest authority qualified to teach about the rapture. Pay attention to the text.

Matthew 24:29-31

“Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 30 Then will appear in heaven the sign of the Son of Man, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. 31 And he will send out his angels with a loud trumpet call, and they will gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

          Look at the opening phrase of verse 29. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days…”  Jesus is speaking to His disciples, and the Church, about what we will experience and go through before we (the Elect) are gathered from the four winds, or as we like to call it, “raptured.”

          Just to make sure we understand what Jesus is referring to when He said, “the tribulation of those days,” we will read everything in chapter 24 leading up to verse 29 so we are clear on what tribulation Jesus is talking about.

Matthew 24:3-28

As He sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?” And Jesus answered them, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake. 10 And then many will fall away and betray one another and hate one another. 11 And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. 12 And because lawlessness will be increased, the love of many will grow cold. 13 But the one who endures to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come. 15 “So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let the one who is on the housetop not go down to take what is in his house, 18 and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. 19 And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! 20 Pray that your flight may not be in winter or on a Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be. 22 And if those days had not been cut short, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short. 23 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. 24 For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you beforehand. 26 So, if they say to you, ‘Look, he is in the wilderness,’ do not go out. If they say, ‘Look, he is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and shines as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.

          I am not sure that I could help by elaborating on the stark clarity of the above text. However, I will make a few comments. In verse 15. The abomination of desolation spoken by Daniel standing in the holy place. This I believe is an obvious reference to the antichrist and his actions after his rise to power. After his rise to power, vs, 21 says there will be great tribulation, and those days being shortened for the elect’s sake. False prophets trying to lead astray the Elect. This sounds like tribulation to me. I know some pre trib doctrine say that the “elect” are the 144 thousand, and that is true but it is also the church He is talking about the ones chosen for the high honor of living in this extraordinary time.

Lets look at the other verses.

2 Thessalonians 2:1-12

Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.  (Note: We are going to see this great falling away and the Anti-Christ and his abomination of desolation with our eyes!) Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, 10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, 12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

1 Thessalonians 4:13-17

Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers, not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. (Note: according to Paul, the “the coming of our Lord, our being gathered to Him, and the day of the Lord” are the same day.)

But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope. 14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep. 15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51-52

Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

          These last two passages speak about a trumpet blast but 1 Corinthians makes it clear WHAT trumpet. Is it the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11? Or is the trump of God different than the seven trumpets in Revelation like many of the pre-trib doctrines try to explain away? It is The LAST trumpet! Meaning there will be NO OTHER TRUMPETS AFTER THIS ONE. PERIOD! So, this is CLEARLY the seventh trumpet in Revelation 11. If it is not, then the trumpet would have to come after the seventh trumpet or it would not be THE LAST.

        To even start believing in this foolishness we first had to learn it from another man. Maybe a father or a pastor, or some teacher we trust, we just didn’t learn it from the bible. No matter what theological gymnastics we use we can’t get around this being the Last Trumpet. We can use other

passages of the Bible to imply or infer a pre trib rapture, we can even try and project or convey our interpretation of prophecy onto these text, BUT WE WILL NOT FIND IT IN ANY TEXT!

Here is a letter from Corrie Ten Boom. I think she is uniquely qualified to comment on tribulation and persecution. This is not to add weight to the text. She is just a saint that I admire. I think it is a worthy read.

Corrie Ten Boom’s Letter

          In 1974 Corrie Ten Boom wrote a letter to warn Christians about the false teaching of the pre-tribulation rapture.

          This is a portion of that letter. If you would like to read the entire letter click here: (Corrie Ten Boom’s letter of warning)

 “There are some among us teaching there will be no tribulation, that the Christians will be able to escape all this. These are the false teachers that Jesus was warning us to expect in the latter days. Most of them have little knowledge of what is already going on across the world. I have been in countries where the saints are already suffering terrible persecution.

In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,

“We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes, to stand and not faint.”

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.

Since I have already gone through prison for Jesus’ sake, and since I met the Bishop in China, now every time I read a good Bible text I think, “Hey, I can use that in the time of tribulation.” Then I write it down and learn it by heart.

When I was in the concentration camp, a camp where only twenty percent of the women came out alive, we tried to cheer each other up by saying, “Nothing could be any worse than today.” But we would find the next day was even worse. During this time a Bible verse that I had committed to memory gave me great hope and joy.

If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. (1 Peter 4:14-15)

I found myself saying, “Hallelujah! Because I am suffering (for the name of Christ), Jesus is glorified!”

In America, the churches sing, “Let the congregation escape tribulation”, but in China and Africa the tribulation has already arrived. This last year alone more than two hundred thousand Christians were martyred in Africa. Now things like that never get into the newspapers because they cause bad political relations. But I know. I have been there. We need to think about that when we sit down in our nice houses with our nice clothes to eat our steak dinners. Many, many members of the Body of Christ are being tortured to death at this very moment, yet we continue right on as though we are all going to escape the tribulation.”

JC

Black History in the Bible.

February is Black History Month. Do you know the black history in the Bible?

There are many captivating stories in the Bible. The Word of God is rich with intrigue and full of fascinating, true stories of African queens, kings, and other influential black people who made substantial contributions to our world. Black history in the Bible will amaze and inspire you!

The Queen of Sheba: Queen of Ethiopia

The name of the Queen of Sheba was actually Makeda. She ruled a rich kingdom and was a wise and very beautiful queen. When she heard of the fame of King Solomon concerning the Lord, she came to Jerusalem to test him with hard questions. She came with a very great caravan with camels carrying spices, and lots of gold and precious stones. When she met him, she told him all she had on her mind and he answered all her questions. She was amazed at his wisdom, his house, the food on his table, his officials, and all that he had acquired. It took her breath away. In an act of honor, she gave him 120 talents of gold and a very great quantity of spices and precious stones. Never again was there such an abundance of spices as those the Queen of Sheba gave to King Solomon. In response, King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba all that she desired; whatever she asked was given to her. Having richly blessed the king, she returned to her own country, also richly blessed. (1 Kings 10:1-14; NIV)

Zipporah: Ethiopian wife of Moses who saved his life

The Lord told Moses to go back to Egypt to bring the Israelites out of bondage. On the way, Moses, with his wife, Zipporah, and their sons, stopped to lodge for the night. The Lord met Moses there and was about to kill him. Evidently, this was because Moses had failed to circumcise his son. Acting quickly, Zipporah took a flint knife, circumcised her son, and touched Moses feet with the foreskin. So, the Lord let him live. Zipporah, Moses Ethiopian wife, had sensed the reason for God’s displeasure with Moses and reacted quickly to save her husband’s life. He went on to fulfill his destiny, so that Israel could fulfill theirs. Where would we be without Zipporah? (Exodus 4:18-31; NIV) & (Genesis 17:9-14; NIV)

Ebed-Melech: Ethiopian who saved the life of Jeremiah the Prophet

Ebed-Melech was an Ethiopian eunuch and servant of the king. At that time, Jeremiah, a prophet in Israel, had prophesied, “Whoever stays in this city will die by the sword, famine or plague. But whoever goes out and surrenders to the Babylonians who are besieging you will live;” and the city would be handed over to the army of the King of Babylon. As Ebed-Melech served in his royal duties, he overhead some men conspiring to kill Jeremiah by putting him in a cistern- a well with no water but plenty of mud. He immediately went to the king and told him what the men had done to Jeremiah. The king told him to take thirty men and lift Jeremiah out of the cistern before he died. Ebed-Melech was responsible for saving the life of Jeremiah the Prophet. The Lord was so pleased with Ebed-Melech’s efforts he told Jeremiah to tell him, “Though Israel will fall, I will rescue him because he trusted in me.” (Jeremiah 38:1-13; ESV) & (Jeremiah 39:15-18; ESV)

Simon of Cyrene: African man who carried the cross of Jesus

On the day of Jesus’ execution, he was brutally beaten, then forced to carry his heavy cross through the streets of Jerusalem to the place where they were going to execute him. On the way, the Roman garrison seized Simon from Cyrene (Cyrene is in Northern Africa) as he was on his way in from the country. They forced the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. On the most important day in history, the Lord inserted Simon in the story. He carried the cross of Christ. (Luke 23:26; NIV)

Ethiopian Eunuch: Came to Jerusalem to worship the Lord

An angel of the Lord told Philip to go to Gaza and he met an Ethiopian eunuch on the way. This man was an important court official in charge of all the treasury of Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians. He had come to Jerusalem to worship and was returning, seated in his chariot, reading the prophet Isaiah. The Holy Spirit told Philip, “Go over and join this chariot.” When Philip heard him reading Isaiah, he asked if he understood what he was reading. The Ethiopian Eunuch said he needed someone to explain it to him. Philip told him all about the good news of Jesus. He obviously received Jesus as his savior, because, coming to a body of water, he asked Philip to baptize him. The Ethiopian Eunuch then went on his way rejoicing in the Lord. (Acts 8:27-39; ESV)

(From Breaking Christian News)

God’s Perspective on Politics

Preparing for Revival #4

Selfishness invites the Demonic

Selfishness Invites Demonic Activity

The Wimpy Western Church

JESUS IS COMING!

          Of that we can be sure, yet the urgency of this truth is virtually absent in the church today. Why?

“We have become far too familiar with a God we barely know.”

          Familiarity breeds unbelief. We see that example in the life of Jesus. Even He could do no mighty works in His hometown because of their familiarity with Him. They could not believe that this Jesus, whom they saw grow up as a carpenter’s son could be the Christ, or even a prophet. Their familiarity with His life and history hindered their faith.

Mark 6:4-6 And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. And he marveled because of their unbelief. And he went about among the villages teaching.

          We see very few mighty works in the church nowadays. The fear of God is no longer on His people. We no longer tremble at His word. We treat what is holy as common. We seek for blessings, benefits, and prosperity far more than we seek Him. We have reduced the gospel of Christ to a self-serving message with a free ticket to heaven. We run the church house like a business and measure its success by prosperity and headcount. We emphasize wrong doctrines about tithing and giving, compelling people to give so the “gospel ship” can stay afloat. We are lukewarm and loving it.

          The Lord has much to say about being lukewarm.

Revelation 3:15-19 I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. 19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

          The Lords counsels us to buy from Him “Gold tried in the fire.” So, what exactly does that mean? What is the gold tried in fire? It is our faith…and it is expensive! It will require suffering. Its going to cost us everything! We “buy” this precious faith by following the Lord at all costs, by laying down every aspect of our lives and submitting our free will to the will of the King.

          Every great man and woman of faith in the Bible went through tremendous trials and persecution. Abraham and Sarah, Jacob, King David, Joseph, Daniel, Paul, John, Peter, and the list goes on. Yet we pray against the trial. We rebuke the fire. We resist persecution, let alone count it as joy. We get surprised and even upset, questioning God about why this is happening instead of straightening our shoulders, lifting our chins, and shining through the difficulty as a witness to who we are.

1 Peter 4:12-19 Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler. 16 Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name17 For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And “If the righteous is scarcely saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 Therefore let those who suffer according to God’s will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good.

          Make no mistake about it. “IT IS GODS WILL FOR CHRISTIANS TO SUFFER!” We don’t want to hear that though. We like to hear about the blessing, the healing, the prosperity.

          We need to quit being spiritual wimps and READ OUR BIBLES so we know what God expects from us. He who has ears to hear let him hear.

“It is time for Judgment to begin at the house of the Lord.”

Preparing for Revival #2

Preparing For Revival #1

Why is it Hard to Read the Bible?

          Have you noticed that reading the Bible is actually harder than reading a secular book or magazine? I have picked up a good fiction novel and finished it within a day or two many times. In fact, I have read Christian books about the Bible and have been able to cruise through most of them in a short time as well. However, when I pick up the Bible and determine to read say…5 chapters, by the time I am done (if I finish) I am exhausted! Why is that!?

          When asking the Lord about this He gave me some real insight as to why this happens and I want to share.

          First off, the Bible is a LIVING book! God’s Word is ALIVE and ACTIVE, it is full of GRACE and TRUTH!

HEBREWS 4:12 For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

          Anytime we are exposed to the living Word of God it requires spiritual and physical effort. The impact of truth on the carnal man cause the fallen nature to DIE! Your carnal man does not want to die so the flesh resists even opening the Bible, let alone reading multiple chapters.

Consider this passage of scripture in light of these thoughts:

Exodus 33:20-23 But He (GOD) said, “You cannot see My face; for no man shall see Me, and live.” 21 And the LORD said, “Here is a place by Me, and you shall stand on the rock. 22 “So it shall be, while My glory passes by, that I will put you in the cleft of the rock, and will cover you with My hand while I pass by. 23 “Then I will take away My hand, and you shall see My back; but My face shall not be seen.

 Understand that reading God’s Word is your carnal man’s FACE to FACE encounter with God! To truly die to self you MUST have constant exposure to His Word.

GALATIANS 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

          If you maintain a disciplined approach to reading and studying your Bible you will be successful in “Dying to Self.” This is a core message of the Gospel and without the old man dying, you will never experience the fullness of the new man in Christ.

COLOSSIANS 3:10 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

EPHESIANS 4:21-24 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24 and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

  • Is the Bible harder to read than other books? YES!
  • Is it more beneficial than any other book? YES!
  • Is it spiritual food and nourishment for us? YES!
  • Is it required to live a successful Christian life? YES!

          So be encouraged! The Bible is just as difficult to read for others as it is for you. So discipline yourself to have DAILY exposure to, and INTAKE of God’s Word and put to death that nasty old flesh so the NEW MAN, CHRIST, may live in and through you in fullness!

JC

How to Deliver Truth

Love is the license to speak truth

            Sharing the truth of God’s word is an important part of the Christian life. At some point we responded to truth and made a decision to follow Christ and now we have a responsibility to share that truth with others so they will have the same opportunity that we had. With that new responsibility we should keep in mind the manner in which we deliver that truth.

           Truth is received in the manner it is delivered. The Word of God is truth. It is also a sword, a double edged one at that. Truth should never be delivered with the intention of “straightening someone out,” or “correcting someone.” Scripture is profitable if it is delivered with the right heart. If it is delivered with wrong motives it can actually drive people away from God instead of drawing them to Him. This is a real problem in our generation.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

This passage is repeatedly misused to justify Bible bashing, finger pointing, and a judgmental approach to correcting people in the name of God. A self-righteous assault on people is a reproach on Christ and opens one up to the influence of religious spirits. Not to mention hurting the one we are supposed to be helping.

          Notice that “all scripture is given by inspiration of God.” God is love according to 1 John 4:8

“Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

Therefore, all scripture is given by the inspiration of Love. When the Word of Truth is shared it should be inspired by Love.

          If the delivery of truth isn’t inspired by Love it is NOT profitable for doctrine, it will NOT reprove, it will NOT correct, it will NOT instruct, it will NOT complete, and it will NOT equip. It just cuts, and it cuts deep. Love is the license to speak truth. If we don’t have genuine love and compassion in our hearts toward the ones we are speaking to, we have lost our license to speak on God’s behalf.

            I really love a perfectly cooked rib-eye steak. It may be my favorite food in the world, but if it is served to me wrapped in a dirty diaper I am not going to eat it. It’s the same with delivering truth. The word of God is so powerful it can change a life, but it must be palatable, seasoned with salt, full of grace, and delivered in sincere love for it to be received.

   If we are not imparting God’s grace, communicating God’s heart, and being a vessel of God’s love, we should remain silent. If we can’t correct that on the spot, we may need to stop and reschedule the conversation for another time, giving us time to pray or seek council from another leader.

“Don’t be pressured into speaking when you know your heart isn’t right.”

            There is a simple rule that will keep us from a myriad of problems if we apply it.

“When you speak, be sure it’s an Improvement on Silence.”

            Following this rule does a few things,

  • It slows down the conversation and keeps us mindful of the power and purpose of our words.
  • It diffuses conflict that arises from elevated emotions.
  • It teaches us the value and power of silence.
  • It gives us greater control over ourselves and the entire situation.
  • It allows us time to hear from our heart what the Holy Spirit is saying in the situation.

   Personally, I believe this is what was happening in John 8:1-11 when Jesus was writing in the sand with His finger while everyone pressed Him for an answer to judge the woman caught in adultery. I think Jesus was simply giving His heart time to tell His mouth what to say.

            Not being willing to speak until He heard from the Father is a lesson that every leader should take to heart. There are few worse feelings than knowing we have hurt one of God’s children with our words.

            As leaders, we think before we speak, selecting words that nurture and build up rather than tear down and destroy. When faced with hostility we speak gently to diffuse anger and emotions rather than feed them. When faced with uncertainty, we are slow to speak, letting silence speak to the person and God speak us.

“Godly communication isn’t merely a skill; it is a discipline.”