Friday, 13 December 2013

The Joy of the Lord is My Strength

In the days of Ezra the walls of the city of Jerusalem were broken and Ezra asked the king, Artexerxes, to rebuild the walls of the city. When the walls were restored, Ezra gathered the people (Nehemiah 7:5) because the Lord put it on his heart to record them by their geneologies. While they were gathered there he read the book of the law to them. I love what it says in Nehemiah 8:8 :

They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. (ESV)

The words of the law were explained clearly so the people understood exactly what was being said...and it caused the people to weep, because they understood the words of the law and recognized their fallen condition. But Ezra told them not to weep because the joy of the Lord is our strength (Nehemian 8:10)

When we understand the Bible correctly, it causes us to see our sinfulness and it is not pleasant to see that ugly condition. There are many ways to react to this understanding....

Thursday, 5 December 2013

The Message that We Preach

Each of us that has a blog is preaching a message whether we realize it or not. Is the message that we send out glorifying God and bringing honor to His name, or is it defiling it and casting doubt on His word and His goodness?

Unintentionally we all from time to time send out an errant message that detracts from what God says, I am just as guilty as anyone because none of us are perfect after all. The Bible does make clear, however, that there will be deceivers among us,


Thursday, 28 November 2013

"God Doesn't Make Junk" Part 2

From Part One:

"In the post to follow I'll explore the contrasts the Bible gives of people that are headed for hell, and those whom the Lord restores by the power of His might, myself being one of the latter. He didn't have to save me, He could have let me continue to follow the piper happily dancing my way to a hell that I fully and truly deserve. However His grace stopped me from continuing on that path, and He provided me with the wisdom that had me put down my fleshy philosophizing, and all my worldly arrogance, and seek Him with my whole heart though at times I thought I would die from the horrid things I had to face about myself as His Spirit revealed what He had to clean up in me...."

Contrasts are quite revealing, and there are many in the Bible. Today I took a page of printer paper, folded it in half, and listed the traits

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

On Being Thankful

When I think of being thankful I honestly know that I am never, NEVER, thankful enough. I've seen bloggers have "thankful Thursdays", and there is nothing wrong with that, however it just serves to remind me how meager the thanks offerings we offer up are, and rarely do I see people talk about how thankful they are for being made new in Christ having the awful deep gross stain of sin removed. People often talk about

Monday, 25 November 2013

"God Doesn't Make Junk" Part One

This is a quote I've heard often...and it is true, yet and however, the Bible does tell us that the good that God created had a potential for becoming bad, and as we can see, it did.

The things of this world, including you and I, are decaying and dying. Yet God made a way to infuse us with His Spirit, but it is done under His conditions, and He causes the healthy changes, not our will...not our religion, not our goodness...His power, His will and done His way.

I've done quite a few posts on the topic of falling away on my other blog I wanted to have this blog to focus more on the Bible, mostly on refreshing and uplifting topics...

Sunday, 24 November 2013

The "god" of This World

The devil is deceitful, everyone knows that, right? Well, maybe with the exception of outright satanists, who in a sense have it the most correct of the worldly religions. The satanists worship Lucifer, satan, as "god". Everyone who worships any other god  than the "God of the Bible" worships satan. This world's false religions include The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Jehovah's Witnesses, Buddhism, Mohammedism, Roman Catholicism, the Sikh religion, Shintoism, Seventh day Adventism, secularism, humanism, and even Judaism, just to name some of the more common ones, and ALL OF THESE worship satan, whether they know it, or believe it.....or not. The truth remains what it is no matter who wants to believe whatever they may want to believe. Their god that they worship (even if it is themselves that they worship---truthfully it usually is) well, this "god" is the god of this world, and he (satan) is powerless to save them. He (satan) can only keep them deceived and worshiping himself to their complete destruction and downfall. How do I know this? The Bible tells me this.

2Co 4:2  But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.
2Co 4:3  And even if our gospel is veiled,
it is veiled only to those who are perishing.
2Co 4:4  In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.(ESV)

Monday, 18 November 2013

Street Preaching Part 8

Street preaching is tough, no doubt, and I applaud ANYONE who attempts to go out and "make a fool of themselves" for Christ, because this has to be one of the most thankless things you can do, especially these days.

However, I do think there are things, suggestions, that might be helpful in honing this activity and doing it so that it can have the most benefit. Of course first and foremost one should be scripturally sound in doctrine being presented.

This article lists some additional helpful suggestions if one feels led to preach on the streets:

http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2013/09/thoughts-on-street-preaching.php

The Vision



Habakkuk 2:3  For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end--it will not lie.

 If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come;
it will not delay. 

Habakkuk 2:4  "Behold, his soul is puffed up;


 it is not upright within him,

 but the righteous shall live by his faith. (KJV)

We must if we truly believe the Lord, wait on Him, wait on His timing. A true belief doesn't one day say "Ok, it wasn't ever true"...it hangs on through thick and thin because the Holy Spirit within him/her is true and He won't ever let go of His own.

If anyone ever says God is untrue, he/she is deceived, and trying to get others to join him/her in his/her deception. Don't let such a one recruit you into their delusion but hold fast to what the Lord says, through His power, by His Spirit, and prove to yourself that your election is true.

A Wretch Like Me

"Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I'm found; was blind but now I see"

How many "Christians" say those words without accepting the truth of them? How many truly believe that they are a "wretch" (utterly depraved person headed for hell) who needs saving grace?

From what I can see, there are many that don't accept or believe they are truly "that bad". If that was the case, then Jesus died for nothing, because then everyone would enter into His kingdom.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

From Such Withdraw Yourself



 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings,  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.  But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Timothy 6:3-6 (KJV)

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Faith and Trust

Hebrews 11:1  Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (KJV)

I was thinking about these two words today. They go together, don't they? The faith that we have in Jesus comes from developing a relationship of trusting Him. It is the belief that what He says is true, whether other people believe Him or not, whether it seems to make sense to us or not, an assurance and a conviction that He is and does all the things that are written about Him and more. He is more real and true than anything we now experience as real and true in this world of shadows though we only "see" Him in what He does for us...IF we have the eyes to see. He provides for all that we need, and even those in deepest poverty have all that they truly need in Him because the suffering that they now have to suffer will be turned to joy as they are the first and most honored of His brothers and sisters in His kingdom though at this time, in this world, they are the last, the bottom of the barrel. He asks those who have more to show their trust and devotion to Him by providing food and raiment to those who don't have much here. That is how we "the bride" care for His home on earth, to care for His children in need...to pray for those who are lost, and blind, and needy.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

God's Outlaw


Last weekend my husband and I watched a video I purchased at our nearby Christian bookstore entitled: "God's Outlaw; The Story of William Tyndale"

As the story unfolds it brings up the Roman Catholic argument that it is dangerous for the laity to read the Bible because they lack the education to be able to do so, and that it takes men who are well trained to be able to explain what is needful for us to know from God's word. It was the means by which the RCC kept control of it's members. In William Tyndale's time the English speaking people had to hear the scriptures read in Latin, and it was a crime punishable by death to even pray in English.

Sunday, 10 November 2013

The Saddest Words in the Bible

 John 6:66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (KJV)

 To me those are the saddest words in the whole Bible. There are several methods to "walk no more with Him", they involve rejecting what He said, to follow some other teacher who has a "better message". They stopped following because they believed not.




 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.   And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.   Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?  Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?   He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve. John 6:64-71 (KJV)

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Truth

Do we, as Christians, believe Jesus words? Is God's word true? Or are the philosophies that say "There are distortions" or "There are contradictions" or "The Bible's message changed throughout the ages, hell was added later" are these the ones telling the truth?

What did Jesus say?

Jesus said "there WILL BE weeping and gnashing of teeth"  5 times recorded in the gospels.

Matthew 8:12

Matthew 22:13

Matthew 24:51

Matthew 25:30

Luke 13:28

Regarding the sheep and the goats, Jesus said:

Matthew 25:46  And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.(KJV)

He couldn't really have meant EVERLASTING PUNISHMENT could He? That's probably a mistranslation...or probably that was added later by a monk who was having a bad day...either we believe the Bible, or we will want to change it and believe those who say "it couldn't really have meant it the way it is being exegeted, it must have changed over time or mistranslated". Jesus is "too loving" to allow for this, isn't He?

What about this famous passage:

Matthew 7:13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Matthew 7:14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. (KJV)



The way that leads to Jesus is narrow and few find it...what? How unfair! No that cannot be true. The Bible must be lying. It actually says "EVERYONE GOES TO HEAVEN, THERE IS NO HELL" doesn't it? I heard a college professor tell people so when she explained how the Bible's message added hell after the time of Daniel. That's probably where Jesus got the idea, right? Then do you also not believe that Jesus is God and was with the Father from the beginning? Do you also not believe that He raised Lazarus from the dead and that He Himself is raised from the dead?

Jesus said:

Luke 16:31  And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. (KJV)

So who shall we believe? Jesus? Or shall we change things around a bit so that we will "feel better" about ourselves and get around those sticky verses that make us uncomfortable. Let's just make it that EVERYONE goes to heaven. Forget about what Jesus said, that stuff about the straight and narrow that not many will find. Who needs it? Too depressing. Everyone can go, because all we have to do is change what we believe and then all is well. Who cares where such philosophies will lead to because everyone will go to heaven. Period. End of discussion. You can talk all you want to, but now that I have my mind made up, no one, not even Jesus, can change it.

REALLY?

Matthew 7:22  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?
Matthew 7:23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
Matthew 7:24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
Matthew 7:25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
Matthew 7:26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
Matthew 7:27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell:
and great was the fall of it. (KJV)


What foundation do you have your ideas based on? Feelings? Theories? Someone's new religion? Or is it based on what Jesus said?

The only sin that can keep us from truly being born again is rejecting the truth and filling ourselves up with vain doctrines of men. Jesus said to enter into His kingdom we must be born again. It has to be all of Him in our lives, to be regenerated by His Spirit.

 Romans 8:9  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
Romans 8:10  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Romans 8:11  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you
. (KJV)


and remember:

 And he opened his mouth, and taught them, saying,  
 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 
 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.   
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.  
 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. 
 Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. 
 Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.  
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.   
Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.   
Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
Matthew 5:2-13 (KJV)

Don't believe the lies. There are many of them "out there". Some do it to make a profit. Some do it to get around the truth of God's word because they think it is "too hard"...it's impossible without the Spirit...you must be born again. There's no way around it. Is that unfair? Is that mean and unloving? No. It just is the way it is. Those who reject it are the unloving ones, because they reject the way of Truth, the way of our merciful and loving God.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Root of the Problem

In Monday's blog entry I included an excerpt by C.H. Spurgeon that had this quote:

"Piety produced by the damps of sorrow and the heats of terror is of mushroom growth; it is rapid in its springing up—"they enquired early after God"—but it is a mere unsubstantial fungus of unabiding excitement."

It reminds me of this from Jesus:


 Luke 8:6  And some fell upon a rock; and as soon as it was sprung up, it withered away, because it lacked moisture.


Luke 8:9  And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?
Luke 8:10  And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand.

 Luke 8:13  They on the rock are they, which, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, which for a while believe, and in time of temptation fall away.

There are a few things to notice in this passage:

!. In this soil-type (rock) Jesus first says as soon as it was sprung up it withered away "because it lacked moisture" but in His explanation He says "these have no root".

Think about this for a moment...if a plant has "no root", how can it draw up moisture into the plant? How can it draw up "living water" into the plant?

There is a depth and quality to the plant that is in healthy soil which is lacking in this plant, which only grows "on the surface". Something deep where other people do not see, but Jesus sees, is not happening in these "plants" (converts). The book of Matthew (Matthew 13:21) adds that it is as persecution arises, they are offended. They want all of the goodies with none of the bother and difficulties. When they hear about hell, or suffering, they think "A God who truly loves me wouldn't put me through all of that. This isn't for me".

2. Notice that the disciples didn't understand the parable, and Jesus says to them that others have not been given, but they are given  to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God. Why? Because they confessed that they didn't understand, and they ASKED HIM to explain the meaning to them. They didn't go to a secular or "secular Christian" source to understand the meaning, the sought the answer from Jesus.

3. In the parable Jesus first says the seedlings on the rocky soil "sprang up", giving the picture that they rose quickly, and in His explanation He says that they receive the word with joy, and that they believe "for a while" What a sad commentary on what we see all around us. I can turn on TBN or other televised "Christian shows" which have people jumping up and down and crying or laughing and swaying with their hands up in the air. You would think this land is in full revival, and yet....where are these people in real life? What happens to them once they exit their pews? Will such "converts" still "love the Lord" when the heavy persecution comes? I hope so, but according to Jesus words, they have no real root. It is all on the surface for show. Their is no real depth to their love.

I too confess that this was something that I sought the Lord over. I didn't want to be a false convert, who only wanted to look pious so that others would admire me for "my goodness" because that is what Jesus rejected the Pharisees over. I knew that I had to be better than that, and saw from the scriptures if I relied on myself to understand the Lord, I would be "ever learning and never coming to a knowledge of the truth", even if I studied only the Bible every day of my life but never turned to Jesus to understand what I was reading, it would all be for nothing. He has to be the One to explain it, to give life and root to His word. Otherwise we become like the Greeks or the Pharisees and Sadducees in their vain philosophies and empty traditions. But Jesus brings true life to His word, and nourishes from the ground up in our inner being where no one but He can see our true development into members of His true kingdom.

I pray for more seed to fall on "good ground" that has deep roots into the truth of God's word, instead of shallow "Christians" that love all the vain philosophies that abound.



Monday, 4 November 2013

More on Flattery, From One of the Best Preachers Ever

  I tend to think that things were much much better in the 1800's. I love reading books that were written prior to 1930 because they seem to have real substance compared to what I see written today. It is hard for me to imagine it being "that bad" in Spurgeon's day. I wonder how he would view what he would see today if he were here today. When I read this (following excerpt) at Lyn's blog  I couldn't help but see this very thing still going on today, and of course it has always been there, we always have the problems of the flesh to deal with in our fallen state, and of course many in the church in each generation believes their generation is much worse than the one previous to the current one (my hubby keeps reminding me of the fact that I'm getting old this being one of the evidences for it). I cannot stand falseness, and it seems I used to have much more patience or rather I should say TOLERANCE for falseness and flattery and weakness being interpreted as being "loving". So what follows is for me a breath of fresh air break from the current atmosphere of caustic false fumes of false love:

False flattery

 From Psalm 78...
Verse 36 Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth. Bad were they at their best. False on their knees, liars in their prayers. Mouth worship must be very detestable to God when dissociated from the heart: other kings love flattery, but the King of kings abhors it. Since the sharpest afflictions only extort from carnal men a feigned submission to God, there is proof positive that the heart is desperately set on mischief, and that sin is ingrained in our very nature. If you beat a tiger with many stripes you cannot turn him into a sheep. The devil cannot be whipped out of human nature, though another devil, namely, hypocrisy may be whipped into it. Piety produced by the damps of sorrow and the heats of terror is of mushroom growth; it is rapid in its springing up—"they enquired early after God"—but it is a mere unsubstantial fungus of unabiding excitement. And they lied unto him with their tongues. Their godly speech was cant, their praise mere wind, their prayer a fraud. Their skin deep repentance was a film too thin to conceal the deadly wound of sin. This teaches us to place small reliance upon professions of repentance made by dying men, or upon such even when the basis is evidently slavish fear, and nothing more. Any thief will whine out repentance if he thinks the judge will thereby be moved to let him go scot free.
Verse 37. For their heart was not right with him. There was no depth in their repentance, it was not heart work. They were fickle as a weathercock, every wind turned them, their mind was not settled upon God. Neither were they stedfast in his covenant. Their promises were no sooner made than broken, as if only made in mockery. Good resolutions called at their hearts as men do at inns; they tarried awhile, and then took their leave. They were hot today for holiness, but cold towards it tomorrow. Variable as the hues of the dolphin, they changed from reverence to rebellion, from thankfulness to murmuring. One day they gave their gold to build a tabernacle for Jehovah, and the next they plucked off their earrings to make a golden calf. Surely the heart is a chameleon. Proteus had not so many changes. As in the ague we both burn and freeze, so do inconstant natures in their religion.
Verse 38. But he, being full of compassion, forgave their iniquity, and destroyed them not. Though they were full of flattery, he was full of mercy, and for this cause he had pity on them. Not because of their pitiful and hypocritical pretensions to penitence, but because of his own real compassion for them he overlooked their provocations. Yea, many a time turned he his anger away. When he had grown angry with them he withdrew his displeasure. Even unto seventy times seven did he forgive their offences. He was slow, very slow, to anger. The sword was uplifted and flashed in midair, but it was sheathed again, and the nation yet lived. Though not mentioned in the text, we know from the history that a mediator interposed, the man Moses stood in the gap; even so at this hour the Lord Jesus pleads for sinners, and averts the divine wrath. Many a barren tree is left standing because the dresser of the vineyard cries, "let it alone this year also." And did not stir up all his wrath. Had he done so they must have perished in a moment. When his wrath is kindled but a little men are burned up as chaff; but were he to let loose his indignation, the solid earth itself would melt, and hell would engulf every rebel. Who knoweth the power of thine anger, O Lord? We see the fulness of God's compassion, but we never see all his wrath.
Verse 39. For he remembered that they were but flesh. They were forgetful of God, but he was mindful of them. He knew that they were made of earthy, frail, corruptible material, and therefore he dealt leniently with them. Though in this he saw no excuse for their sin, yet he constrained it into a reason for mercy; the Lord is ever ready to discover some plea or other upon which he may have compassion. A wind that passeth away, and cometh not again. Man is but a breath, gone never to return. Spirit and wind are in this alike, so far as our humanity is concerned; they pass and cannot be recalled. What a nothing is our life. How gracious on the Lord's part to make man's insignificance an argument for staying his wrath.
Verse 40. How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness. Times enough did they rebel: they were as constant in provocation as he was in his patience. In our own case, who can count his errors? In what book could all our perverse rebellions be recorded? The wilderness was a place of manifest dependence, where the tribes were helpless without divine supplies, yet they wounded the hand which fed them while it was in the act of feeding them. Is there no likeness between us and them? Does it bring no tears into our eyes, while as in a glass, we see our own selves? And grieve him in the desert. Their provocations had an effect; God was not insensible to them, he is said to have been grieved. His holiness could not find pleasure in their sin, his justice in their unjust treatment, or his truth in their falsehood. What must it be to grieve the Lord of love! Yet we also have vexed the Holy Spirit, and he would long ago have withdrawn himself from us, were it not that he is God and not man. We are in the desert where we need our God, let us not make it a wilderness of sin by grieving him.

C.H. Spurgeon, from the Treasury of David

I edited to highlight all the good parts...I might as well have highlighted every word. Oh how I pray the Lord will pour out His spirit so people will stop all their bogus philosophizing and actually learn from the Lord Himself...and I'm not talking about people crediting their own vanity to the Holy Spirit, but actually begin speaking the truth of what the Bible actually says, and supporting what the Lord says to us with expounding on the truth, not all the silly "new" information we now have to suffer through. 

Flattery? Or Truth? Which Shall it Be?

This has been on my mind for several months now. I notice within myself this tendency to want to flatter others because it gets me (((((((((hugs))))))))) and KUDOS back. Who doesn't "love" that? Our flesh loves flattery, both to give it and to receive it. Empty, fluffy, sweet nothings, like empty calories, that give you a momentary "buzz".

There's a difference between "encouraging" and "flattering". How can we tell the difference? When someone wears a really terrible looking dress, too low cut revealing a bit too much cleavage, too short revealing the undergarments, and you say "You look lovely! I love that dress on you!"....what's the harm right? A little "white lie" never hurt anyone, did it?

What about the "white lies" regarding the truth of God's word? It's so much easier to agree with error, and to encourage people in their delusions than to have to break it to them that the Gospel includes repentance, which means acknowledgment of the fact that even our righteousness appears to God like used menstrual pads (according to Isaiah)...so imagine what the rest looks like, if that is our "righteousness". Much easier to say "God loves you just as you are"....actually that is not quite what the Bible reveals. We come just as we are, He died for sinners so that He can redeem them (us) from sin.

The worst of all sins is pride, because that was the sin that caused satan to fall from God's grace. Pride keeps us from acknowledging our sin, keeps us from coming to Christ for true cleansing. It keeps us thinking that we aren't as bad as some people, so God must think we are alright. Judas was prideful, and he thought Jesus was getting it all wrong. Judas looked down on the woman who broke costly ointment on Jesus' feet because that money could have gone to feed the poor. That sounds righteous, doesn't it? I could just see the other disciples agreeing with Judas and telling Jesus "What a waste!".

When confronted with whether to stand for or against perversion, such as homosexuality, it is so much easier, and seems so much more loving too, to say "It's just a preference, there's nothing wrong with it, it's between consenting adults so live and let live".... except the Bible tells us that those who do not repent of it go to hell, so "encouraging" (flattering) people in this is encouraging them straight to hell.

The truth, on the other hand, is considered "harsh" and "unloving". To encourage someone truly, we should tell them about the cleansing fountain that is available to those who repent of their sins...even that "little sin" called pride. Pride says we know more than God, and that a little sin shouldn't  send anyone to hell...and that God is very wrong to set things up this way. Pride says the God of the Bible is an angry and vindictive being who loves to send people to hell.

Jesus showed the truth about who God really is. He is humble. He is loving. He healed all who asked Him for healing. He raised the dead. He raised Himself. He loved us enough to even lay down His humble earthen vessel on our behalf...but those who say He is hateful, vindictive, angry, etc, are those very things that they accuse God of. God is holding a mirror to their face because truly they are worshiping themselves, so their "god" truly is all that they say. But beware, if you tell them the truth, they won't love you for it. Their claws and fangs will come out all the more. Jesus had the same thing happen with the chief priests and Pharisees. The people who thought they were the most (self)righteous were also the most hateful when it was pointed out to them.

But we who are of the truth, must speak the truth, in love, because if we do not tell them they will go to hell unwarned. If you warn them and they say all manner of hateful stuff to you, REJOICE, because the same thing happened to the OT prophets and to Jesus Himself.

Let us not be flatterers. Let's tell the truth, God has given us the authority to do so, and thereby we also risk losing brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, and friends, because some of them might realize the truth, and then escape the destiny that we all deserve.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Heaven or Hell?

How can a loving God send countless people to hell?

Have you heard that one before? Yeah, plenty of times, eh? It goes along with "How can a loving God allow war?" or "How can a loving God allow starving children in Africa to go on starving and dying horrible deaths?" or "How can a loving God who is all knowing create a devil?"

The bottomline is God is Creator, and His ways are not our ways... and that may seem like a "cop out" or hiding one's head in the sand and not being realistic...to the way of the flesh, that is.

1Co 2:14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
1Co 2:15  But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man.
1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ
. (KJV)

The ways of God are foolishness to those who are after the flesh. Worldly wisdom may seem wise, it has a "form of godliness" but it is minus His power.

2Ti 3:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
2Ti 3:6  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,
2Ti 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.
(KJV)

The way of the world does have a "godliness" about it, but it is a fleshy godliness that still needs to be submitted to a holy God. It is not true godliness, and it denies His power because it is still relying on the power of itself, it's own fleshy wisdom and it's own fleshy "goodness" instead of surrendering all completely as a lowly beggar that has nothing to offer God, begging for His mercy to transform what seems good into what is truly good, through His power, His blood, His forgiveness of sin. It is a narrow way because most people want to find another way that doesn't require giving up their own sense of self-righteousness. I know it because that flesh still tugs at me too, wanting to be something when I know it is nothing. This shell, this bag of bones, I will one day lay down, and anything that is not "of Christ" will die with it. Everything that God has done in me and through me through the forgiveness of sins by His blood sacrifice, whatever is to be found in me that is from HIM alone, not from me and my flesh, will be brought to Himself to be with Him in glory. My flesh would not be able to stand the purity of His presence, the fire of holiness would be too much for me, but by His grace, He offers the ability to enter boldly to His throne, the extreme holiness of His presence, that purges away all sin, that burns away all self-love, and every prideful thing, piercing us with His penetrating gaze that sees everything that is not of Him, knocking us to our knees crying "Lord don't look on me, I am but a sinner!" because His powerful holiness is too much for us to bear in our flesh...but such knowledge is from God, and through such admission of guilt He has mercy and gives us what we cannot and do not deserve. It goes against our pride. It goes against our human logic. It goes against worldly wisdom. It purges it all out, and if we are found in Him we know it is because of what He has done, and not of ourselves. We are garbage. We are worse than garbage. And yet He loves us even when we are worse than the worst stinking garbage you can imagine. If you don't accept that, you are not His, because those who are His know the truth about ourselves, and cry for mercy for real...and not that faked acting I have seen which many do to try to earn His holy acceptance. Those who worship God worship Him TRULY, not holding anything back for themselves but giving it all up to be purged of sin.

Joh 4:23  But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
Joh 4:24  God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
(KJV)

What do you have right now that is worth eternity in hell? What do you want to hold on to that is worth more than forgiveness of your sin? What pride? What self-worth? What self-knowledge or worldly wisdom? Give it all up. Repent. Look at yourself honestly as the Lord sees you. See that the flesh is nothing but dirt with life breathed into it from God, and if it is from God we have nothing to boast of. Whatever we boast or think is more important than what God has determined, is garbage, and filth, and worthy of hell. Give it up so God will remove it far from you.

What is grace if it is deserved? Is it still grace? No. Grace is grace because we do not deserve it, not even a tiny bit.

If there is no hell, what are we saved from? Yes there is a hell, believe it or not, it matters not whether you believe in it because whether we want to believe or not believe does not change the truth of it. The truth remains whether you want to believe it or not. Reject the truth at your own peril. Hold on to your worldly wisdom and your pride in your own knowledge that leads to nothing but your own undoing and you have no one to blame but yourself. You can try to blame others, but the truth is before you.

The kingdom of God is at hand, and Jesus has made the way, the straight and narrow way that most people in their pride and love of this world will decide is not good enough. He will redeem His own, and His own love Him more than this world and more than self-love, and more than the love of this world. His own will love Him with the love He gives to them, and will not love their own lives even unto death, even unto martyrdom, as He loved us, so we will love Him.

Choose this day whom you will serve; yourself, or reject all that is yourself in favor of the love of the Lord, laying down your life and your pride, just as He did when He died..... for those who are His.

If you have done this, given it all up, surrendered it all at the alter of God's forgiveness and grace, then the questions at the top of this post no longer hold any relevance to you. They are questions that only have merit if you still regard this world as something that we must redeem completely. If you think that this world and everything in it must be brought to heaven by hook or by crook, and if that is impossible, then God is somehow defective, the truth is not in you. But when you have rejected all such worldly wisdom as part of the junk, the trash, realizing that nothing in this world is "deserving" of anything but the trash-heap, then you see how merciful God truly is, because He sent His own Son to redeem what He will out of it, making something out of what was nothing, taking trash and making a treasure out of it.

What love is this? The kind of love the world has rejected. The kind of love the world will call hateful, because it (the world) is hateful, but it (the world) sees not it's own hatefulness. That is the kind of love God has, completely undeserved, completely true, completely holy and pure, not like this world is: selfish, boastful, hateful...yet telling itself it is NOT selfish, boastful and hateful.

We fool ourselves, unless the Lord sets us straight, and He does this out of mercy and grace, not because He HAS TO, but because He desires to.

Friday, 1 November 2013

The Book of Acts

I just completed reading the book of Acts of the Apostles...again....and it was great to read it anew. There is so much packed into every verse in every book of the Bible that you cannot "get it" all in one reading, and often on the first reading you may focus on minor points that have no bearing on the main thrust of the message, and link various of these minor points together incorrectly and make a mess of the message, lol. That is why it takes years and several readings, and the gentle leading of the Holy Spirit, Who doesn't give us everything in one dose.

On reading it this time, I focused in on what the apostles were saying. What was their message? They were telling the people what they had witnessed in Jesus the Messiah, and that they were direct witnesses of His resurrection from the dead.

Here is a video of a young minister (he looks like a kid to me) expounding on the book of Acts. One thing that I enjoy from his message is the fact that many (just like the people of Jesus and Paul's day) were only interested in miracles and signs. This young minister, Caleb Schaller, says (24 minutes in) "the miracles were to confirm the message" (Acts ch 16) and "Christianity with no miracles would still have the message of sins forgiven through Christ, Christianity with miracles but no message would have very little to offer." Excellent point.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Honest to God Prayer

I have had the idea for some time to gather up all of the prayers that are recorded in the Bible and make a post (or perhaps a few posts?) about them, and I MAY YET DO THAT....but not today. I found this sermon by C.H. Spurgeon on the topic of prayer. WOW oh WOW! What precious jewels the Lord caused to spill from the mouth of this wonderful saint! Some of it is hard to hear, but the necessary cure for our prayers to truly have the honesty, the passion, the true conviction within our spirit that pleads with and honestly lays our soul bare before the Lord, sharing with Him a true covenant blessing in our prayers to Him. God bless you as you hear the truth about how we must pray, and what love must inhabit our soul, what truth about our condition must be honestly realized, as we make our petitions before the Lord.


Friday, 18 October 2013

The Sound in the Mulberry Trees

This sermon by C.H. Spurgeon is lovely and refreshing. I hope if anyone hears it, they will take the full time to listen all the way through...to not make a judgment at the 5 or 10 minute mark and decide they don't need to hear more, because you will rob yourself of some of the richest blessings that come from hearing the full of it all the way through. What a sweet, sweet blessing.


Thursday, 17 October 2013

A "little thing" called Sin

Is sin really such a minor annoyance, a petty little thing that only nit-pickers and Pharisees worry about? Pharisees were hypocritical in only seeing the sins of others and not in themselves. We are to see both, but to see the sins of others in light of our own grievous sins.

This is what Charles Spurgeon said about the "little sins":


Friday, 4 October 2013

The Spiritual "Experience"

Too much emphasis is placed on experience of a mystical kind in proving a walk with the Lord. Jesus said a wicked generation seeks after a sign. I too am often guilty of wanting to give too much attention to "signs and wonders" in my own life and experiences. Yes the Lord speaks to us, and the Holy Spirit often encourages me by reminding me of the perfect verse that applies to the very moment so sweetly. But for the most part life goes on and on without a word from Him, except for from His word, the Bible. Today I stumbled onto a wonderful blog that addresses this issue.

Excerpt:

A question.  Is it correct to reckon the Lord as a distant lighthouse, toward whom we sail tirelessly across a tumultuous, inky expanse?  This risks violating the spirit of some 1930s hymn, perhaps, but the simplest answer is "no."  If we are not lovers and followers of Christ, then our course across these hypothetical waters is as dark as our hearts.  If, however, we are Jesus' mothers and brothers and sisters, as He Himself described (Matt. 12:46-50), then He is - wonder of wonders - already with us, with us in this very instant.

The zenith of our religious experience, then, is not to be had in bending a quiet knee before a cold statue in some hushed place, nor yet in that prideful glow of deservedness that sometimes goads people into trying good works (they call it karma).  The wonder of our spiritual experience issues from the truth that God is with us and that we may know Him.  We may worship and serve Him directly; we may understand the humanly discernible parts of His character, and we may even be assured by His Spirit, who dwells within us, of His love for us.  Incredible! 

It is no wonder, then, that Christians are designed to desire nearness with God.  We know from Philippians 4:5 that God is near to His children, but we also know from James 4:8 that we may, with our choices, widen that nearness.  Even a very young believer knows the dull ache that comes from distance with the Lord, and a very mature believer recognizes that even one's best days do not usually foster the immense closeness with God that we grow to desire. 
 
How, then, do we strengthen our spiritual intimacy with our Creator and Savior?  Paul proclaims that God is near in Philippians 4:5, as we mentioned, and four verses later, he delivers these useful words:  "the things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things and the God of peace will be with you."  Imitate my teachings and my actions, says Paul, and you invite the intimacy and intervention of God. 

A word of encouragement to the two involved parties in this transaction described in Philippians 4:9:

To the everyday believer:
This is not a mystical stream which we are to tap; this is obedience from the heart, by the power of the Spirit, to the precepts of Scripture - that obedience which is classified as love toward our God (John 15:14), and which is not, to our hearts, a cumbersome affair (1 John 5:3).  Of course our God will be with us, providing aid and comfort, as we avow our love for Him through ready, willing compliance to His righteous standards! 

 A note about the specific obedience urged here in Philippians 4:  it is centered upon adherence to Paul's godly teaching, of course, but also upon his godly example.  When we regard the godly examples in our lives of those who teach us, like Paul, with the eye of biblical discernment, we are afforded a vista of biblical truth in action.  This is the idea of epignosis in the Greek - God's truth married with the godly experience that demonstrates that truth (we have looked at this in Phil. 1:9 before).  This is indeed a powerful blessing - to see God's Word for His people upheld and proven in the life of someone strong in the faith.  It brings encouragement and rejoicing in times of temptation, and it speaks to the wisdom and necessity of placing oneself in the care of godly teachers.

Read the rest here

Lazy Atheism

"The Catechizer and the Deacon" posted some very good reasons why Penn Jillette's comments on his "lazy atheism" cannot stand.

Link: http://wittenberg-door.blogspot.com/ (October 4, 2013)

and it brought to mind:

Mat 25:24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.
Mat 25:26  His lord answered and said unto him,
Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.




The word "slothful" here means extremely lazy. Hmmm, laziness is bound together with wickedness here and is worthy of being thrown to outer darkness where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth!

Anyway, it's a great blog article, be sure to visit there and read and learn...don't be slothful!

Monday, 30 September 2013

Proverbs 27:6

My dear hubby and I went to the movies on Saturday and were pleasantly surprised with a wonderful film  directed by Ron Howard. We are not auto racing fans, however the movie "Rush" really caught our fascination. It is a story based on the real life rivals Niki Lauda and James Hunt and what took place in the Grand Prix Championship of 1976.There were several good things that could be said about this film, but this isn't going to be a movie review. There was one scene in particular in which methodical and practical "Niki Lauda" tells the playboy "James Hunt" that James needs to stop his partying and get on his game. He advises "his enemy" that it is wiser to listen and learn from your enemies than it is to only look for kisses from false friends. It was a paraphrase of Proverbs 27:6 which says:

Faithful are the wounds of a friend; but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.

Your real friends would tell you the truth, and if necessary, make it sting with it's bluntness so that the truth will hit home. Those seeds can then do their work to cause a person to realize their situation honestly, because we can be very good at lying to ourselves about it. I often read blogs which garner many "friends" who love to "love" the blogger with all kinds of "kisses" (compliments), but as Christians are we called to be flatterers? Or must we weigh all things by the word of God? When someone who calls him or herself a Christian just goes on and on about him or herself with rarely (if ever) a nod to Jesus, is that something we should encourage and fawn over? It may seem like a minor or trivial issue, but it actually goes to the heart of what is at stake. Paul goes on and on about the deceitfulness of our flesh, and of all the dangers that the enemy wants to entice us with. Did he waste his time in doing so? Was there no reason to consider such dangers? Is the foolishness of such idolatry of self worthy of  our attention at all?

Today's "gospel" centers on self, and it is no gospel. It is all about what Jesus can do for me, and about how I want to interpret the Bible myself, and about how the Holy Spirit in ME might be telling me something different than He tells everyone else...really? I've even seen those who claim to be Christians, claim to not be for the self-centered "Christianity" and still only talk about themselves and their own experiences, as if that is the most important thing in the world. What should we then say to such a person? Would it be faithful to encourage such behavior? Or should we encourage them to talk more about Jesus and what He TRULY is all about instead? What would Jesus do?

Some things that I have been pondering much about lately, and praying that the Lord Jesus shows me the way to honor Him in all things by being true to His word, and not just a flatterer.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Amazing Grace


Acknowlegement of Sin

From Joseph Alleine's "A Sure Guide to Heaven":

"When He (the Lord) works convictions. O do not stifle them, but join in with Him, and beg the Lord to give you saving conversion. 'Quench not the Spirit.' Do not reject Him, do not resist Him.Beware of stifling convictions with evil company or worldly business."

How often to we stifle His convictions of our sinful inner thoughts? How often do we excuse ourselves with "Oh well, everyone thinks these things" or "At least I'm not as bad as  (fill in the blank)." No, we should always take these straight to the throne room, and realize our terrible sinfulness in gratitude of a forgiving God. Let us not go to the pharmacist, or psychologist, or well-meaning friends for comfort, who will only condone the selfish and evil promptings, or medicate them away with things that hinder the Lord's process of cleansing us from all unrighteousness. Let us hold fast to Jesus instead, knowing that it is His goodness, not our own, which means anything, and everything. When we feel conviction, let us not shrink away from the fact that we are full of darkness in need of the light that wants to enter in to remove that darkness to fill us full of His light. Instead let us embrace that fact that we are nothing without His goodness enlightening our dark habitation.

When we feel the weight of our unrighteousness, let us not try means of elevating ourselves into a righteous mindset, but let us remember that "none are righteous, no not one" except Jesus. When we want to "think more highly of ourselves than we ought to think" let us remember that "God alone is good and every man (and woman) is a liar" which of course includes myself, and no one wants to deceive me more about my own goodness than I myself do. Jesus is the only cure. Whenever we feel the weight of guilt and unrighteousness, it is the righteousness of God that will sustain us, as we admit our guilt and thank Him for His love and mercy.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Dr. Jay Klopfenstein

I had the privilege and pleasure of going to The Metropolitan Bible Church in Ottawa yesterday with my husband, and his aunt and uncle. They had a guest pastor who they were hoping to vote into being their senior pastor, Dr. Jay Klopfenstein. I found a Vimeo of a previous visit he made there, in May of this year. This is an AWESOME sermon:


Dr. Jay Klopfenstein: A Case for Spiritual Insomnia from Metropolitan Bible Church on Vimeo.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Aha Moment


Joh 17:1  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:
Joh 17:2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.
Joh 17:3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
Joh 17:4  I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.
Joh 17:5  And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.
Joh 17:6  I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.
Joh 17:7  Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
Joh 17:8  For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me.
Joh 17:9  I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.
Joh 17:10  And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them.
Joh 17:11  And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
Joh 17:12  While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled.
Joh 17:13  And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves.
Joh 17:14  I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Joh 17:15  I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.


Every once in a while I have one of those "aha moments"...and what is REALLY COOL is when my husband and I have one together. This happened while at church a few months ago. Our pastor, Kent Clark  was speaking on what Jesus went through on our behalf, and then made a startling comment. He said that Jesus did not give Himself to us but gave Himself to the Father and then the Father gave those whom He had chosen to the Son. My DH and I both almost jumped up out of our seats and looked at each other and said "wow!" Pastor Clark, or rather the Holy Spirit through pastor Clark delivered a powerful word that hit us both right at the same time.

So often we hear about Jesus offering Himself to us, and that is completely incorrect. He offered Himself to the Father. If the Father rejected His sacrifice, it all would have been for nothing. But the Father accepted Jesus' sacrifice for our sins. THAT is the defining moment, when the Father accepted the sacrifice and out of that the Father gave to the Son those whom He had chosen.

 Heb 9:14  How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
Heb 9:15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Street Preaching 7

Well guess I wasn't quite done...

While reading comments from readers of articles on street preaching, I found this young man who posted a link to his testimony:




He proves the point that God uses faithful less than perfect street preachers to plant precious seeds.

This young man is now himself a street preacher:

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Street Preaching Part 6: Christ Alone

Yesterday I posted about a situation regarding Tony Miano. I made an assumption regarding Lyn's removal action, which followed on the heels of that situation. She said:

Susan, for what it's worth, I am in the process of 'unfollowing' everybody on my blog...why? Because it is Christ and Christ alone I follow. I did not mean to offend you in any way, for that I do seek your forgiveness.

So for that portion of the blog entry, I am the one that needs forgiveness. I still stand by the rest of what I state. Of course it is Christ and Christ alone that we follow, all men fall short, we all need God's grace.

I work in an environment of constant gossip and backbiting. It is the nature of man. It is a horrible environment to work in. We can continue to backbite and gossip regarding all the nitpicky things we find wrong in each other. When it  involves things like outright heresy, or sexual sins inside the church the person needs correction directly. Paul confronted Peter to his face about something that he was hypocritical about, and hypocrisy requires a confrontation, as the example given in scripture. That is unpleasant for many people. Most of us like everything to be calm and peaceful all the time. Of course I would like that too, however that is not the world we live in.

I was talking with my husband about this dialogue. He said "God uses all kinds of people to preach. Some are reached  one way, and some He reaches with another approach, and in every case where a sinner realizes their need for a savior it is God who gets the glory for using people who are less than perfect" . Yes! That is the bottom line, isn't it?

 1Co 3:7  So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
1Co 3:8  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
1Co 3:9  For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.


Not everyone is going to be a "masterbuilder" like Paul was, or like some of the greats like Spurgeon or even Steven Lawson. But even then, it is God working in them who gets all the credit, because it is the power of God. If then God uses men like Tony Miano, why must we then say that He cannot? And if we reluctantly admit "Well, I suppose He can, but...." No, no buts, God uses men made of sinful flesh to prick hearts of those He is reaching, and for us to question and to outright attack the means that He uses is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy.

1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many.
1Co 12:15  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:16  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?
1Co 12:17  If the whole body were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where were the smelling?
1Co 12:18  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.
1Co 12:19  And if they were all one member, where were the body?
1Co 12:20  But now are they many members, yet but one body.
1Co 12:21  And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.
1Co 12:22  Nay, much more those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:
1Co 12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.
1Co 12:24  For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:

1Co 12:25  That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another.
1Co 12:26  And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.


Thankfully, I think I've exhausted the topic of Tony Miano, lol.

Hallelujah!

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Street Preaching 5

So there is a blogger, Lyn, whom I've agreed with on most things she has on her blog, except for her treatment of a brother in Christ. It was so much of an issue for her that she had to remove herself from my "followers" (which I don't need followers anyway, if what I say blesses you all glory to God alone and hopefully the ranks of His followers increases daily). And when  a person shows me their "true colors" a friend once told me a bit of good advice:
"Don't get angry with someone who reveals who they really are to you, thank them because now you know who you are truly dealing with".

 People can make themselves look good on the outside of the cup while inside something isn't right. When that is revealed, I pray and hope better things for them in their future.

I'm looking at this brother in what he himself says (Lyn says you cannot go by what a person himself says, to which I disagree), and he is "by the Book" in everything I've looked at thusfar. Of course he is human and if we are going to examine him with a microscope we will find things that might not line up perfectly, and I doubt any of us would pass such scrutiny. We know we are in need of a savior when we realize how horrible we truly are. Tony is very blunt about the fact, true. I think God can and does use what Tony and any true preacher of the gospel says about our fallen, sinful, hateful to God condition, (liars, cheaters, blasphemers, etc) that we are prior to coming to Jesus, and still are in our flesh, prior to our shedding of this mortal carcass. Might he be "legalistic"?.... Perhaps. And she says he does not represent his work history as accurately as he should ALL THE TIME. Maybe. I don't go into detail about my work history with everyone I meet, and may shorten/abbreviate what it all entails instead of going on and on about myself, what a boring topic anyway, lol.

Here is an excerpt of what he said about his carrying of a cross-sign which had "Are You Ready?" painted on it:

"And then, of course, there are the positive things God has done that I will not come to know until I am with Him in Heaven. I have faith, believing I will enjoy fellowship with people I never met on Earth who were impacted in one way or another, by seeing a man on a street corner holding a cross. Sola Deo Gloria!"


The rest of the blog article about his thoughts and the conversations he has had with people on the streets of the Los Angeles area while carrying this cross:


http://www.crossencounters.us/2012/03/why-do-you-carry-cross-and-other.html

Friday, 23 August 2013

Street Preaching 4

Again I want to take a moment to talk about something that truly I sorrow about. I know that we all have our "pet peeves", myself included, however when we then use it as a platform against a brother, that is just wrong and there is no way to justify it. I'm not talking about someone who is preaching heresy; that is a different circumstance altogether. What I am talking about is a personal preference of delivery, because the Bible itself says that any way that Jesus is preached is cause for rejoicing:

  Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:   The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:   But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.   What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. Philippians 1:15-18


There was some dispute as to whether Tony Miano is truly doing the work of the Lord in what he says and does, and that he doesn't always in every instance mention the way to salvation. Sigh. He also calls people liars by citing:

For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged. Romans 3:3-4

Truly, it grieves me that people who are blaming Tony of being contentious, are being even moreso themselves by what they are saying and bring greater condemnation to themselves.

I have read Tony's testimony (previous post) and acknowledge him as a brother in Christ by the truth of his convictions in Jesus the Lord.

If a person will not come to Christ, he won't come no matter how sweet sounding the call to him, and if a person will run to Jesus, he will do so no matter how much his flesh feels condemned.

Members of British Parliament wrote to Tony after his arrest for street preaching in Britain. You can find the letters here:

https://www.facebook.com/OpenAirTony/photos_stream

My comment on one of the images of a letter by an MP:

"It was my understanding of my sinfulness that had me run to the fountain of God's mercy and grace. If it is preached another way, it becomes another gospel which is unable to save. There are many "Christians" who are in name only, who wear it as a badge, and who put on their own righteousness rather than the righteousness of God. Sad, really. Those are the most hardened and unreachable sinners, because they have deluded themselves into believing that they are saved, but their god is their belly and their comforts and want the approval of men over the approval of God."

If our personal perfection were a prerequisite for telling others about Jesus, no one would talk of Him, we would all be silenced. Thankfully there are "Tony's" in this world who aren't going to count on their own perfection while preaching of the need for Jesus forgiveness and need for our repentance. I have seen him several times admit his own need of forgiveness and of the love of God, as should we all.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Street Preaching 3: A Personal Testimony

The last couple of posts were concerning street preaching, and a street preacher named Tony Miano. There were some comments made about Mr Miano and about his personal life that made me want to dig a bit further. Today I found where Tony has put his personal testimony of how he came to Christ, and some thoughts about the charismatic movement (where his faith in Jesus had it's beginning). He tells about how it went from casual to crazy, and ends his thoughts about the movement with these words:

Excerpt:

The only thing, the only One who can bring spiritual addicts out of bondage is the true Holy Spirit--the Third Person of the Godhead. Only the Holy Spirit can take a heart and mind that craves what is false and change it to love what is true. Only the Holy Spirit can so regenerate the heart of the spiritual addict, enabling them to come to genuine repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. While I don't question the salvation of my Christ-loving, Bible-believing, gospel-sharing, discerning Charismatic friends, I most certainly do question the salvation of spiritual addicts who seek the gift with no concern of who the giver might be. I do question the salvation of those who ignore what the Bible says about discerning every spirit and, instead, simply swallow whatever the latest spiritual snake oil salesman is selling. I do question the salvation of those who blaspheme the Holy Spirit by attributing to the Holy Spirit that which should rightly be attributed to Satan (i.e. the magical appearance of gold dust and gold teeth, fire tunnels, healing evangelism, treasure hunting, trips to heaven, swine anointing (I can't make this stuff up), toking the Holy Ghost, and other outrageous, man-centered, Holy-Spirit degrading, demonic, blasphemous activities).
My hope for those addicted to false spiritual movements is not their eternal demise. On the contrary: my hope and prayer is that the Holy Spirit will bring them to their senses and extend to them the most precious gifts--repentance and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. And may the Lord bless His Church and the world with yet another Great Awakening, true revival that brings true glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 


Read the rest of this testimony here

I still have more digging to do regarding Mr Miano, however, thus far I am not convinced by those who have so much to say against him.

Edited to add:

I found a Facebook page as well where Tony has posted the letters he has received from members of Parliament:

 https://www.facebook.com/OpenAirTony/photos_stream 

I posted a comment at one of the images of a letter. The letter suggested that in an open air preaching that it would be better to only speak about the love of God and not the facts about sexual immorality. I'll do a post about that later.

Monday, 19 August 2013

Street Preaching 2: Offending People

Many today think it is a sin to offend people with the truth about the need for repentance. That is a big sign of our evil times.

John the Baptist didn't shy away from telling the truth for fear of offending people:

Mat 14:3  For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him in prison for Herodias' sake, his brother Philip's wife.
Mat 14:4  For John said unto him, It is not lawful for thee to have her.
Mat 14:5  And when he would have put him to death, he feared the multitude, because they counted him as a prophet.
Mat 14:6  But when Herod's birthday was kept, the daughter of Herodias danced before them, and pleased Herod.
Mat 14:7  Whereupon he promised with an oath to give her whatsoever she would ask.
Mat 14:8  And she, being before instructed of her mother, said, Give me here John Baptist's head in a charger.
Mat 14:9  And the king was sorry: nevertheless for the oath's sake, and them which sat with him at meat, he commanded it to be given her.
Mat 14:10  And he sent, and beheaded John in the prison.
Mat 14:11  And his head was brought in a charger, and given to the damsel: and she brought it to her mother.
Mat 14:12  And his disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it, and went and told Jesus. 


Luke went a little further and said that John the Baptist reproved Herod for ALL the evil he had done, and not just the sexual immorality which everyone already knew about anyway. Just like today, people knew about their corrupt politicians:

Luk 3:19  But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done

Matthew points to the fact that Herod would have killed John the Baptist but because he feared the multitude, he put him in prison. And then he later behaves as though he is sorry that his daughter asks for John's head, but nevertheless all of a sudden "gets religious" about being honorable to an oath (he never seemed to be concerned about being so honorable before) and has John beheaded. That is how the flesh operates. 

We shouldn't offend people for the sake of wanting to offend them. If that is what you gain from what I'm saying, you couldn't be more wrong. But we do need to be bold, to speak up, tell the truth about sin, and explain where those who stubbornly cling to their sin (rather than repent of all their sin) are headed. Their sins will cost them eternity in hell if not repented of. Even something as seemingly small as disobedience to parents can send someone to hell.

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;   Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.   For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. 2 Timothy 3:1-7

 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.Philippians 3:18

 
Those times spoken of in the above passages are here today more so than than has ever been true in the past. Should we not all be speaking up about all the various offenses to God in hopes that perhaps even one person in a thousand will have his or her conscience pricked and perhaps be used by God to save that one person? But I agree that it is much easier to type into a computer from the safety and anonymity of those who might hate us for saying what needs to be said. We can sit in a comfy chair and "speak up" all we want and others can ignore us just as easily online as they can in person...can't they? I'm guilty of this too. I sit at home and see others speak out about their faith in God (and I can find defects in their delivery, or their grammar or their seeming lack of compassion, or what have you). 


But:

Mat 25:14  For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.
Mat 25:15  And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey.
Mat 25:16  Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents.
Mat 25:17  And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two.
Mat 25:18  But he that had received one went and digged in the earth, and hid his lord's money.
Mat 25:19  After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.
Mat 25:20  And so he that had received five talents came and brought other five talents, saying, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me five talents: behold, I have gained beside them five talents more.
Mat 25:21  His lord said unto him, Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:22  He also that had received two talents came and said, Lord, thou deliveredst unto me two talents: behold, I have gained two other talents beside them.
Mat 25:23  His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Mat 25:24  Then he which had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not strawed:
Mat 25:25  And I was afraid, and went and hid thy talent in the earth: lo, there thou hast that is thine.

Mat 25:26  His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed:
Mat 25:27  Thou oughtest therefore to have put my money to the exchangers, and then at my coming I should have received mine own with usury.
Mat 25:28  Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
Mat 25:29  For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
Mat 25:30  And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Let's not hide behind "I knew God is a very demanding God and I knew that I wouldn't get everything exactly perfect as He would expect me to, so I didn't go out to all the people to tell them about sin and repentance and forgiveness of sin", because we are without excuse. God will supply us all we need, and even though others will criticize us for it, it should not make us afraid to serve Him by taking the truth out to the streets.

Mat 28:18  And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

 

Street Preaching

Some might find street preaching inappropriate and/or offensive. I personally am glad there are a few that would do it, to be bold by taking the truth about the need for repentance to the lost. Tony Miano has been in Britain and gotten flack for street preaching. Does he do it perfectly with perfect eloquence and tact? No. Is he a bit abrasive and somewhat annoying, perhaps even to the point of badgering? I would say yes to that. But isn't it easier to pick apart why Mr. Miano is wrong (from the ease and comfort from a home computer) than to be out there being uncomfortable. And I also don't like the "Christian rap" at the beginning and end of the video. These however are minor annoyances. John the Baptist would be considered annoying for what he said regarding the need for repentance. He too came right out and named offenses such as what King Herod and his brother's wife were doing, that it was shameful and disgusting and shouldn't be happening. Yes it is terrible to talk about, but it is even worse to be doing these things and then be self-righteous about such sinfulness.

 I personally think that however Jesus and the need for repentance is preached (aside from outright heresy of course, which I did not detect from Tony's message) is needed for people to be pricked. In this clip I believe many are having their consciences pricked, including the officers and the young woman who called the police on him. Perhaps it won't bear fruit immediately, but I do believe the Lord will use this for good.



Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Escaping the Lake of Fire

In this short audio excerpt from Pastor Arthur W. Pink, he shows the reason for Biblical preaching that doesn't skirt the issue of sin.

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=218091044224

(4 minutes of your time)

We today want a soft and easy message, one that only speaks comfort and joy and love...but the love of the Bible preaches the necessity to escape the coming wrath, and that Jesus will say to many who thought they served Him: "I never knew you"

Sanctification is a necessary and mostly overlooked aspect of the true believer's makeup. It is the inward working and power of the Holy Spirit. If there is no sanctifying power going on inside a person who thinks they are saved, they are deceived, in the worst possible way, and are headed on the wide path, the easy road that has many on it, leading them all to their terrible fate.

The narrow way is the one that we need to seek, hope for, and find. That is the one that leads to life, and the indwelling Spirit of one who is truly saved, will desire it above all the riches and delusions of this world, even though it brings us many enemies, and much sorrow in this short mortal existence.


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Separate from Among Them

This morning I awoke with this verse on my thoughts:

"always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth". 2Timothy 3:7


This is something that, when I was first saved would remain heavy in my thinking when I was "studying to show myself approved". I wanted God to apply what I learned into my heart and soul and not just read and read to no avail. But if you examine the context of this verse, it is about the last days, and about the types of people we are to avoid.

Lynn posted a message by Arthur Pink on this topic, and it pierces the soul.

There is also a short audio clip on this sermon on Sermon Audio.

Solid warnings for times such as these. We can be "growing in the knowledge of the truth", or we can be wasting our time "ever learning" yet never arriving at the knowledge of the truth, having a form of godliness yet denying His power.


Monday, 29 July 2013