Archive for February, 2010

“(1) The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  (2) Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”  1 Timothy 4: 1-2 (NIV)

I think this passage from First Timothy sums up perfectly the following article titled, ” ‘Faith Leaders’ Undermine God’s Plans for Marriage”,  from Allie Martin from OneNewsNow:

“An official with the Institute on Religion & Democracy (IRD) says it’s a sad sign of the times that a group of “faith leaders” in Iowa signed a document declaring their support for same-sex “marriage.”

The letter, dated and made public on Tuesday, was signed by more than 160 faith leaders and was presented to lawmakers during a news conference held by the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa. It says many faith traditions affirm that “where there is love, the sacred is in our midst” — and goes on to say: “This belief is the same for couples comprised of a man and a woman, two women, or two men.”

…….(commentary by Ms. Martin) –Wisdom says it also damages the church when pastors, who are charged with defending God’s Holy Word, promote unscriptural practices.”

God’s Word is absolute Truth.  It is Living.  It is Divinely Inspired and it is Infallible.  As much as we may want to twist it, misinterpret it and or deny it in order to rationalize our ignorant and sinful desires and lifestyles,  we can’t.   Homosexuality is an abomination against God.  He plainly states this in His Word.  God has an extreme hatred and disgust for it (as for all sin) and He will not change because we have confused worldly, carnal love as God’s love.  

As “little Christs”, we have to recognize the schemes of Satan, and not allow ourselves to be deceived by these false teachers.   Open your spirits and ask God to show you the Truth revealed in His Word.  He will show it to you, He will teach you, giving you knowledge and wisdom that isn’t of this world. 

This spiritual slop is of Satan.  Let’s call it for what it is – an all-out assault on God’s institution of marriage by satan and his posse.  Remember, satan has already been defeated.  Let’s stop giving him power that he is no longer justified and entitled to have.  The Church has got to rise and be the voice of God in this evil generation, speaking the Truth of Christ, no matter what.  God’s already won this battle.  Let’s remind satan and this world of this truth.

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This is an awesome example of the Kingdom of God being poured out onto the lost and hurting through one of His children that dared believe that God is God and God is the same today as He was then and will be tomorrow.  An obedient servant who actually believes the Word of God.  A follower of Christ that was more concerned with doing God’s work than clinging to false and ignorant denominational doctrines that have zipped shut the opening in the heavens that was violently torn open by the cruxification and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

The time is come for the children of God to wake up and get busy doing God’s bidness and bringing the full Kingdom of God to the lost and hurting of our world.  This has to become natural and normal for us as followers of Jesus.

What would happen if the church, the Bridegroom of Jesus Christ, put aside all of our programs, our preaching, our teaching, our planned interruptions and just spent our time together seeking Him, hungry for the Kingdom of God to rain down onto us, engulfing us in His supernatural presence?  What if we took the radical step of just being in the presence of God, wanting Him so much that all we do is worship Him, praise Him, pray to Him, praise Him, worship Him, pray to Him during our time together as His Church?   No preaching, no teaching, no programs.

Would He show up?  Would He crash our spiritual party thrown in His honor?…….

Without a doubt, without question….He would show up!  He would be forced to!  He would not be able to resist a group of believers so hungry for Him that they would be willing to get radical in their pursuit of Him, putting aside the Americian way of “doing church”.   God would show up in all of His Mercy, His Grace, His Power, His Glory and His Love to be with His children who are tired of the brand of Christianity that we have sold to this country and to this world for far too long.

Lives would begin to be transformed.  Spiritual captives would be set free, and the chains of spiritual bondage would be broken.  Lives would be healed and sickness would be overcome.  People would be anointed and filled with the Holy Spirit.  God would be drawn to us and we would be drawn to Him.  A Holy Fire would consume all who dared come into His Presence, and it would spread into our communities, into our country and into our world. 

The land would no longer be just a piece of property with a bunch of buildings built on it that we call a church.  The land would be anointed as His Holy Land.  People would fall in repentance when they stepped foot on it. People would be healed and people would be delivered from spiritual oppressions by just touching the land. 

We often talk about wanting God and wanting His Kingdom to be poured out onto us and this world but do we really want that?  And are we willing to do whatever it takes to force Him, through our humble, hungry seeking of Him, to come into our midst and bring the fullness of His Kingdom to us?

Leaders, are you listening?  Believers, are we listening?  Leaders, are you willing to lay down your comfort, your status, your programs, your way of doing church in order to be brought into the presence of our Lord in an all-encompassing, supernatural way and the Kingdom of God to fall on your church?  Believers, are we willing to crucify our flesh daily and come before Him, stripped of our carnal ways, stripped of our intellectualism and comfortable doctrines, wanting nothing  but to experience the fullness of God’s Kindgom?

So…what’s the answer?  What are we, as the Body of Christ, really willing to do to bring God and His Kingdom to our church, our community, our country and our world?

“The Light shines through the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”  John 1:5

The older I get, and the more I grow spiritually, the more I realize that there are no gray areas in the Kingdom of God, or the supernatural realm.  It is either white or black.  The white represents light and everything of God (good).  The black, of course, represents darkness and everything of satan (evil).

The people who are not followers of Christ do not understand this simple, but true, reality.  They talk about darkness and evil  as if it’s just another philosophical debate that is open-ended and leads to no right or wrong conclusion.  Some even take the stance that “Satan isn’t really the bad dude everyone makes him out to be.  He’s been given a bad rap.”  Of coures, this is utterly false, ignorant and  ridiculous talk. 

That’s concerning the bad, the evil.  Regarding good and light, many of these same people point to God as being the “bad guy”, the one who is mean-spirited and wrath-centered.  All this is understandable coming from the source.  Satan and the world has blinded them to the Light and ways of God.

But when people profess Christ as Savior and still hold to these same false and ignorant beliefs (really just opinions), then that’s when we blur the lines and cross a dangerous threshold.  Suddenly, the gray (which is still really dark or black) comes into the equation and acts as a spiritual black hole, sucking in innocent victims that are forever separated from God because they’ve bought into a well-disguised false religion, false doctrine.  Then they get hyped up and passionately spread the “Good News” they’ve embraced, spreading a false truth that they are convinced is a real, ol’ fashioned revelation from God.  Some new wisdom that God has given to them to teach others about so that all the “confusion” of God’s Word can finally be cleared up. 

Take this Associated Press article (excerpts below) entitled, Evangelical Church Opens Doors Fully to Gays:  Renegade Pastor in Denver Finds New Followers But Makes Enemies Too, as prime Exhibit A:

Then the 55-year-old pastor with spiked gray hair and blue jeans launches into his weekly welcome, a poem-like litany that includes the line “queer or straight here, there’s no hate here.”

The Rev. Mark Tidd initially used the word “gay.” But he changed it to “queer” because it’s the preferred term of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people invited to participate fully at Highlands Church.

Tidd is an outlaw pastor of sorts. His community, less than a year old, is an evangelical Christian church guided both by the Apostle’s Creed and the belief that gay people can embrace their sexual orientation as God-given and seek fulfillment in committed same-sex relationships.

“…..Highlands Church represents a breakout position, where you have a gay-affirming stance that moves beyond the traditional kind of liberal-conservative divide,” said Mark Achtemeier, an associate professor at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “I’m finding lots of moderate conservatives just think there’s something wrong with a default position of excluding gays from the life of the church.”

……Tidd said Highlands is not a one-issue church but one committed to social justice. He describes it as “radically inclusive but still rooted in the essentials of the Gospel.” The church discourages promiscuity and encourages healthy lifelong relationships.

Tidd said he supports gay marriage and would perform same-sex blessings if asked. A gay man in a committed relationship sits on the church’s board of trustees.

“Our position is not one of lenience, but a matter of justice,” said Tidd, a married father of five. “It’s not that we don’t acknowledge the reality of sin. It’s not a sin to be gay or act in accordance with your nature.”

Tidd was raised a nominal Catholic in Boulder, Colo. He had a born-again Christian experience and joined the Jesus movement of the 1960s, which blended hippie culture and Christianity. Eventually Tidd was ordained in the Christian Reformed Church and shared its conservative position of homosexuality.

His change of heart began when, as a pastor in Boulder, a distraught couple sought his counsel when their young daughter began identifying as a boy — introducing Tidd to the transgender issue.

He began to question applying the “plain meaning” of ancient Biblical text to here-and-now homosexuality. The Bible, read literally, suggests the earth is flat and could be used to justify slavery, he said.

He accepted the Biblical interpretation of other gay-affirming Christians: that verses condemning homosexual behavior refer to idolatrous pagan worship or violence.

“We reach an understanding of the Bible not just by studying God’s word, but by studying his world,” Tidd said. “If you think he’s the author of both, they both inform each other.”

“…..We have no real reason to champion this thing, other than we think it’s right,” said DiPrince, a 34-year-old Web developer and artist. “I just didn’t feel God would tell a person to deny a big part of who they are and to keep it a secret.”

“I think people are going to reopen their Bible and look at it and not assume anymore,” Briscoe said, adding that he thinks the Highlands position can be held by “mature, faithful, Bible-believing people.”  full article: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/34493087/ns/us_news-faith//

And we wonder why the American-brand of Christianity isn’t winning souls, setting the spiritual captives free and transforming lives!  God is Light.  God is Good.  Satan is Darkness.  Satan is Evil.  It’s either Light or Dark, white or black.  In the supernatural realm, there is no gray, no middle ground.  Pastor Tidd is wallowing in the gray (really….the darkness) like a pig wallows in the muck and mire.  And sadly, taking too many people with him to the pig pen. 

In closing, we, as “Little Christs” have to continue to love people as God loves them and to show grace to those that continue living in sin and in direct opposition, defiance of what God clearly states in His Word but we can’t fall into this worldly web that satan has masterfully crafted to ensnare the weak and spiritual fence-walkers so he can devour them.  It’s time for the real Church,  the Body of Christ to rise up and place this type of spiritual slop under the feet of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Then, give them the real Jesus and the real Truth found in the geniune Light of God.

 

“(15)  He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.  (16) Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.  (17)  And these signs will accompany those who believe:  In my name they will drive out demons, they will speak in new tongues; (18)  They will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all;  they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”  Mark 16:  15-18

Jesus gave this command, the Great Commission, just before He was taken up to heaven to sit at the right hand of God (v.19).  Makes me think that this statement by Jesus was kinda important…even vital to our understanding of what real belief and faith consists of and what was now expected of us as believers of the Risen Lord. 

“Now that you believe, this is what is expected of all who call me Lord – you will go and tell others of who I am and what I have done for them because of my Father’s great love for them, you will baptize them in my name and with my Holy Spirit and you will take authority over satan and his dominions, driving them out of people’s lives, freeing them of their spiritual bondages and oppressions.  You will speak in a new, heavenly language that comes only from my Spirit so that you may gain spiritual insight and understanding of my Father’s Kingdom, and you will be surrounded by His holy angels and the fire of My Spirit so that you will not be harmed by the attacks of your enemy.  And you will touch the sick, praying for them and taking authority over their sickness in my name so that they will be healed of their spiritual, physical, mental and emotional sicknesses and hurts.  People will see these signs and miracles and they will also believe because of your faith and obedience to my command.  My authority and power are yours to take and to use in accordance with My Word and My direction.  Now….get busy doing my work!  The Kingdom of God has come, and has been placed in your hands…..the world needs it – give it to them in My name!!!”  (my paraphrase)

So…did Jesus not understand the command to which He gave to ALL who believe in Him  or is it us that doesn’t understand the command that He gave as His last instructions to his believers before taking His rightful place in heaven beside His Father?  Did Jesus not believe the command that He gave to us, hoping wistfully that these things might be done through His believers or is it us that doesn’t believe the words that Jesus spoke as His last words to us?

Another question – can we pick and choose what we believe as Christians, and still be called believers, followers of the Risen Lord or is it an all or nothing deal? 

Faith isn’t believing in Jesus!  It is believing in the Kingdom of God.  Jesus is a part of that Kingdom!  Healing is a part of that Kingdom!  Casting out demons is part of that Kingdom!  Speaking in tongues is part of that Kingdom!  Signs and wonders are part of that Kingdom!  The Gifts of the Spirit and the Fruit of the Spirit are part of that Kingdom!  Take anything…..anything, from God’s Kingdom and what are you left with – yep, you guessed it….nothing!

Still a believer?  You might want to seek some spiritual insight from the Spirit himself before answering that question?  Your answer will determine your eternal fate and whether you will ever make a difference for the Kingdom of God.

” The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”   John 10:10 (NIV)

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.”  1 Peter 5:8

Jesus tells us clearly in the Bible two things about Satan – he is a thief, and he has come to steal, kill and destroy.  For satan, there is no other purpose and no other objective.  He is pure evil, complete darkness and he has a deep and unfathomable hatred of God.  The things of God such as mercy, grace, hope, peace, joy and love  are the intended targets of his mission, and he’ll do whatever it takes to kill your soul and spirit, steal your joy, your peace, your hope and destroy your life and leave it void of God.  

Satan understands that children are vulnerable to deception and easy prey to his schemes.  He has called forth an all-out assault on the children and youth of our world.   With the Twilight: New Moon series, satan has enslaved many teenagers, even adults, numbing them to the truth of his evil ways (many that profess Christ as Savior), and now he’s set his sights on the truly vulnerable – our children.  This is what One News Now had to say about Hasbro selling these pink Ouiji boards at Toys-R-Us:

“Toys-R-Us is selling Ouija boards, promoting them as acceptable for children as young as eight years old.”  It is just troubling that these things are treated as casually as any other game, like Monopoly or anything else on this Toys R Us site — and I think it’s something Christians should be aware of and really not support,” he states.

He further believes that Christians have an obligation to fight against it. “If you go to the comments section on the Toys R Us [web]site, you’ll read comments from people who talk about being obsessed with it, talk about missing school for it, talk about the spirits they spoke to on the other side and how creepy it was,” Phelan describes.”We’re supposed to deal with the truth only,” he notes. “We’re supposed to have nothing to do with dark spirits. We’re not supposed to dabble in anything that would compromise our souls, and that’s exactly what this does.”

Don’t be fooled…the Ouiji board is a direct portal into hell and the dark evil that dwells there.  Satan is a defeated foe!!!!  It’s time that we, as God’s disciples, remind him and his dominions of that.  God has given us all of His Authority and Power through the Holy Spirit of Christ to use against the forces of evil.  We can’t pretend anymore we’re not engaged in a supernatural struggle against the forces of hell.  There’s too much at stake – the souls of our children.

 

Over the past week, we’ve had the privilege of fellowshipping with some of our spiritual siblings ’round the ol’ kitchen table  (moving into the living room couple times).  Nothing elaborate or structured.  Just eating some spaghetti and pizza, some mango-key lime pie and sipping on some coffee, while talking about (and experiencing) the Kingdom of God, and how God has moved in our lives.  Testimonies and praises were given, words of knowledge and encouragement shared, people healed, questions asked (and hopefully answered),  laughs shared and even some tears shed.  Divine insights and ideas were thrown out and knocked around for our souls and spirits to ponder and pray over.  

It was an awesomely simple and ordinary time spent in open and geniune fellowship with flawed individuals that have been forgiven and adopted into God’s family as children of the Risen Lord who are seeking to grow in their faith and chase God.   There were no pretenses or superficial attempts to connect with each other or God.  Our time together, and our conversation with each other was open, raw and honest.  It was refreshing to our spirits.

This type of fellowship is rare these days.  We’ve gotten so busy trying to build our worldly kingdoms that we’ve neglected our spiritual selves.  We’ve neglected to feed our spiritual need for close, intimate time spent with other believers seeking the ways of God’s Kingdom.  We go to church on Sunday, set in close proximity to other Christians and may even share a line or two of conversation with someone as we’re walking out the door to our cars on the way to lunch at the local dives that Chrisitian frequent but that’s the end of it until next Sunday.  And that’s if we’re really feeling “fellowshippy”.

I know God shows up during our time together at church but I sense He is missing some good ‘ol, Book of Acts, ol’ timey sit downs at the table with other believers who are seeking him in a real and intimate way.  Maybe that’s why He’s shown up each and every time to be with us – He was needing a spiritual date-night with his children.  Not only did His presence show up, He brought  “goodies” with him – healings, words of knowledge and impartations of the Holy Spirit.

It left us wanting more of these times of fellowshipping around the kitchen table.  I think it also left God wanting more as well.  So invite some of your spiritual siblings over.  Sit around the table, eating and drinking while talking about, praising and seeking God.  I guarantee you He’ll show up and bring some goodies with Him.