Understanding that less is more can save lives, including your own.

less is more 2

Today, many are being encouraged to practice social distancing and self-quarantining to limit the possible spread of an infectious virus. This means denying ourselves some of the things we enjoy for the health of everyone else. This is no different from the call of GOD to walk in holiness after the spirit in order to minister life to our neighbors. It comes down to do we have enough love in our hearts to suffer ourselves, so that others may live. Those who have received the love which is from Christ should already be modeling this in their daily lives. The onus is on the Children of GOD to lead the social change needed today to rid the world of the ills which plague society. Those GOD has called to lead change have been to complicit in the perpetuation of immoral social policies and social behavior.

2 Chronicles 7:14 reads,

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”

“My people, which are called by my name” are those in covenant with GOD. Everything in time happens according to GOD’s promises, as it relates to the covenants He has established with man through the ages. When His people fail to fulfill their part of the covenant, the result is suffering. When you read the book of Revelations, you see it begins with letters written unto the churches. These prophetic letters speak to the state of the church and include praise for good behavior and pending judgments for bad behavior. The circumstances upon us in the world today are a wake up call for those who sleep and a call to repentance for the people of GOD.

Clergy, ministers, and spiritual leaders, Revelations 2:12-17 is for you. Many of you are taking the wages of Balaam. The United States and other kingdoms of this world are your king Balac. You hold the truth in unrighteousness that you may maintain the favor of your king Balac.  You refuse to teach the true gospel of Christ, which requires repentin from sin and walking in holiness. You teach the blood of Christ as a covering for sin when the blood of Christ is for the cleansing away and eradication of sin. The effect of the cross of Christ is a new life, not merely a pardoned life. The call to take up the cross and follow Christ is a call to suffer in the flesh that the righteousness of the spirit may be made manifest.

I have seen how this world treats the dying. In hopelessness, they drug them out of their minds to keep them comfortable as they waste away, in the name of being humane. Many church leaders, in hopelessness of seeing resurrection power today, comfort their congregations which are dying in sin with an intoxicating gospel. The aforementioned methodologies are oriented toward carnal life, instead of spiritual life. Christ gives us a living hope and tells us to bear down and push through, travailing in birth, unto the formation of the new man who is after the spirit.

Tribulation is a part of this current life because of the depth of what it reveals. You can see what a person loves by what they are willing to suffer to obtain. Christ endured the cross to obtain us, because His love for us is so IMMENSE.

Let’s look at Philippians 3:8-19(NKJV),

Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death, 11 if, by any means, I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.

17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 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: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

The apostle Paul is giving a warning here to be aware of carnal ministers who really are the enemies of the cross of Christ. These ministers are destined for destruction and are leading others to a similar fate. It’s time to judge yourself that you be not judged of GOD. If you are still practicing sin in your life and you believe you are going to escape the judgment of GOD, you are deceived. Salvation has been extended to us at an IMMENSE cost. While it is true, we can never repay it, it doesn’t mean GOD will not hold us accountable for how we value the gift. Take a look at Hebrews 10:26-31,

26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The Lord will judge His people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

One of the greatest blessings of GOD’s grace is His warning. To forsake His warning is to forsake His grace. If in reading this you are convicted, and feel a sense of dread, it is a sign that you are in broken fellowship with GOD. GOD wants more than anything to fill your life with joy and pleasure. In fact, He has filled this earth with many things that are good, but He wants us to have these things and not for these things to have us. We have to learn to hold His blessings in the right way or they can take our focus away from Him and we can become lost. Know that the pleasures and joys given by the things created will never match the abundance of joy and pleasure which comes from a relationship with the one who created them. Confess your sins and ask GOD to deliver you from all deception, that you might know Him in spirit and truth. Know that your heart will never be content with creation, for we were made to be filled with the Creator. Our Father GOD wants us to abide in His presence always. The psalmist King David reveals through prophecy what we experience in the presence of GOD. He tells us in Psalm 16:11 that in the presence of GOD is the fullness of joy and at His right hand are pleasures forever more. This is truly what your soul is longing for. To find this new life in the presence of GOD, which is spiritual, you must be willing to bring your carnal life into obedience to the commands of love. Just like changing your diet from a diet filled with unhealthy convenient foods, you will have to fight the cravings of the flesh for the old diet until you develop a healthy appetite and healthy habits for the things of the spirit.

Don’t let anyone tell you it is to hard or impossible to change. The work of Christ was not merely for your life in the hereafter. He gave us power through the seed of His word to transform our heart and mind to experience resurrection life TODAY.

1 Peter 4:17-19,

17 For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?

18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?

19 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

 

Who’s Fool Are You?

walking on water

If you are going to walk with the Almighty GOD, be prepared to be ridiculed and thought of as a complete fool. When the foundation of my faith was being laid as a believer, my pastor at the time (Pastor Wayne C. Thompson) would often say of himself, “I am a fool for Jesus, whose fool are you?” Truly, following a GOD that can bring to past whatever He desires, can stretch the imagination. Consider some of the mental anguish faced by these followers of the Most High. Don’t put them on any pedestal. Just think of them as ordinary people:

Moses: He was told to go to the most powerful government of his day, and demand that they surrender their means of living, brandishing a piece of wood.  (Victorious!)

Noah’s family: Told to spend nearly a century building an Ark on dry land with no water in sight, for a great flood to come. (Floated to safety!)

The maiden and Elijah: During a famine, she was told to give the last of her provisions to the prophet Elijah, so he could eat. (Her store of provisions became inexhaustible! [She gained 10 lbs and opened a food truck. 🙂 ])

Joshua and Caleb: They were told they could only go to war after they had reduced their ranks to a fraction of their enemy’s. Defeat had to first look eminent. (They were undefeated when they followed GOD’s orders.)

Joseph preparing to marry: Your bride is going to be pregnant, but she hasn’t been with anyone. It’s GOD’s son. (He didn’t loose his mind or put her away)

Marry: Unimaginable!

I could go on, but I think the point has been made. Today we look foolish when we love our enemies and are kind to those who are nasty to us. When we give our hard earned money “Charitably”. When we abstain from sex, period or until we are married. When wives submit to their husbands. When husbands take sole responsibility for providing for their families. When you trust that GOD is your primary protection from the pestilence of the day, be it disease, crime, dui drivers, tornadoes, or whatever else that threatens. The just shall live by faith. That is literal. I don’t do anything without processing it through my faith in GOD.

To me, those who act on the basis of their own knowledge or understanding are far more daring than me or anyone else I mentioned above. I would not have dared get married without relying on GOD, thinking I could become one with another person, who is able to consider infinite ideas and have infinite opinions. Nor would I have dared have children, who would become one of those infinite idea people (right around 14 or 15), in hopes that they would honor and listen to me, so that I could guide them to sound maturity.

Believers, except the feelings of dissonance and realize you are in great company. Let us follow the example of Christ, who faced what appeared to others, as definite shame.  Hebrews 12:1-3;

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Our prayer, Psalm 119:30-33;

I have chosen the way of truth;
Your judgments I have laid before me.
I cling to Your testimonies;
O Lord, do not put me to shame!
I will run the course of Your commandments,
For You shall enlarge my heart. Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.

Be encouraged, continue to glorify GOD, and find comfort and fellowship in the Holy Spirit, and in those of like precious faith.

(Picture “Walking on water” isac goulart 2002)

 

 

 

 

 

Understanding and Embracing Christ Our Passover

Passover

Four weeks from today, many churches around the world will be celebrating services related to the resurrection of Christ, the Savior.  The Savior is also referred to as the Lamb of GOD. If you don’t properly understand the name, Lamb of GOD, and why the Savior gave His life at the time of the Passover, you could fail to appropriate a huge blessing for your life.

The children of Israel had been in captivity in Egypt for four hundred years, and when it was time for their deliverance, the Lord intervened in a mighty way. He sent judgment upon the false gods of Egypt in the form of all manners of plagues, while Israel was still in her midst, however in keeping His promise and glorifying His name, He preserved the children of Israel, as Egypt was destroyed around them. The final death blow from GOD to break the powers of Egypt was a plague of death, to all the first born of man and beast of Egypt. To avoid this final judgment, GOD commanded an extra precaution be taken by the children of Israel. Their homes had to be marked with the blood of a lamb without blemish, in order for this final judgment to “Passover” them and not destroy them as well.

Just as the Lord promised, when the Destroyer smote Egypt, the blood of the lamb preserved the children of Israel. Now we are living in a time of judgment, and a much greater offering has been given than that of an animal sacrifice, even the body of the sinless and righteous Son of the Most High GOD. How much more confident should we be, those of us who have taken His blood upon ourselves, as the dwelling place for His holy presence. Even before the lamb’s blood was shed in the days of Israel’s deliverance, the children of Israel had already been spared from all the other plagues. The deliverance surrounding the lamb came as the power of their oppressor was totally broken over their lives. These events were a foreshadowing of the great deliverance to come.

The power of Satan was TOTALLY broken 2000 years ago, when Christ gave His life upon the cross. He shed His precious blood to give us exceeding confidence in the days of judgment, that we might have peace, and that our hope and strength fail not. GOD has called His redeemed to be witnesses unto the world for the provision He has given in the Lamb of GOD during such times as these. The power to stand comes from the Passover meal. All the children of Israel were commanded to eat the flesh of the lamb from which the blood would be taken to cover the post of their homes. Likewise, our strength comes from eating the flesh of Christ. The gospel of John teaches us that Christ was the Word of GOD made flesh, therefore when we consume His words, we are consuming Him. If you want strength to stand in these days, you have to fill your self with His words. Read your bibles, get into praise and worship, gather with people of like precious faith and exchange teachings and testimonies.

I am sharing this to encourage all those which trust in the blood of the Lamb of GOD to be confident in His power to preserve you. And for those of you that have never heard the Gospel of Christ, know that He gave His life on earth as a sacrifice for your deliverance from anything which would try to separate you from knowing His love for you, and the life of righteousness, peace, and joy He has prepared for you. Even now, where ever you are and in whatever circumstance you find yourself, if you call upon the Lamb of GOD, He can give you His life in exchange for your current life, that going forward you may have the blessing of His protection and covering. He has promised that they which call upon the name of the Lord will be delivered. He is called the Lamb of GOD, the Son of GOD, The Savior, Heavenly Father, Jesus the Christ, Yeshua HaMashiach, just to name a few. Honestly, if you humble yourself and call earnestly from your heart in agreement with what I have shared hear from the testimony of His life, even with no words, He will hear you in the sincerity of your heart about wanting to know Him, and wanting to experience the life He desires so much for you. If you already know Him and recognize that you have been living in disobedience to what you know is right, turn from your disobedience and ask for forgiveness. Fear is a sign of broken fellowship, and you know in your heart if you are afraid of what tomorrow may bring. Ask your Father GOD to restore your faith through intimacy with Him. The bible teaches us the there is no fear in the assurance which the love of GOD gives. Intimacy comes from spending time in communication. Don’t let anyone or anything hinder your devotional time with GOD. I’ll list a few scriptures here to help build your faith through the knowledge of His love.

Peace, in the name of the Lamb of GOD.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm23&version=NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+91&version=NKJV

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+10%3A12-13&version=NKJV

The whole book of the Gospel of John

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+1&version=NKJV

I Am the Lord’s

The Spirit

If people circulated the gospel of Christ with the same hope of salvation as they did precautions for the COVID-19, it would be powerful. If people forwarded messages from ministers of the Gospel, as authorities on life and safety, as they did messages from the CDC, how many souls could be saved. I just received another text with safety precautions forwarded from the CDC. I have also received emails forwarded from people who received advice from physicians. I am grateful for this being shared for the good of the community, but it makes me jealous for my GOD.

Ignorance about GOD and the pandemic of Sin has caused more death than any other sickness which can be identified.  How deep is your faith in the savior Yeshua the Messiah (aka Jesus the Christ)? Not only does He save from sickness and disease, He also saves from the sickness of sin and ignorance. Christ is the only cure that keeps on working into the next life. We should care for our bodies, but we should care more for the salvation of the soul. People’s ignorance and sin is more detrimental to us than unwashed hands and open sneezes.

It’s time for the redeemed of the Lord to say so! The blood of Christ has redeemed me from all sickness and disease, I will not fear the fears of those who do not know Him! I’m not going to go licking door knobs to prove a point, but I refuse to dread and fear, and put my trust in man for my safety and well-being. I am the Lord’s!

Isaiah 44:2-8

Thus says the Lord who made you
And formed you from the womb, who will help you:
‘Fear not, O Jacob My servant;
And you, Jeshurun, whom I have chosen.
For I will pour water on him who is thirsty,
And floods on the dry ground;
I will pour My Spirit on your descendants,
And My blessing on your offspring;
They will spring up among the grass
Like willows by the watercourses.’
One will say, ‘I am the Lord’s’;
Another will call himself by the name of Jacob;
Another will write with his hand, ‘The Lord’s,’
And name himself by the name of Israel.

 “Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel,
And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts:
‘I am the First and I am the Last;
Besides Me there is no God.
And who can proclaim as I do?
Then let him declare it and set it in order for Me,
Since I appointed the ancient people.
And the things that are coming and shall come,
Let them show these to them.
Do not fear, nor be afraid;
Have I not told you from that time, and declared it?
You are My witnesses.
Is there a God besides Me?
Indeed there is no other Rock;
I know not one.’ ”  

If you have faith in Christ, the Redeemer, the Lamb of GOD, The Lion of Judah, the Risen Savior, then you are Abraham’s seed and the promises of GOD are for you. So, trust Him and fear not!

Galatians 3:29

And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

It’s Too Great For You

Too Great

I was reading in the book of 1st Kings chapter 19 recently and a familiar message from the Holy Spirit resonated once again with me. It is so apropos for today I felt compelled to share it yet again. This chapter recounts the peril Elijah felt at the opposition of evil in his day. The spiritual attacks on his soul, from within and without, left him feeling hopeless to the extent he just wanted to die. Our compassionate and merciful GOD sent Elijah an angel with bread and drink to nourish his soul and body. The message the angel delivered was, “Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee.” Elijah did eat and drink the meal prepared by the angel. He went on the strength of that divine meal for 40 days.

Each of us has a journey before us which is too great for us, and like Elijah, we need divine nourishment to make it to our destinations. Nothing we get from this earth can sustain us adequately for the tomorrows ahead. There is a quality of being ordained for us to abide in, which enables us to get the most out of each day, so that life is not just survived but lived. One of the promises of our Savior Yeshua is that He would enable us to live more fully or as scripture says, “to have life more abundantly”. When Yeshua taught His disciples to pray, one part of that prayer was a request for “daily bread”. This request for daily bread is not for bread made with human hands, but bread from heaven. This same bread is symbolized through the actual bread given to Elijah, and the manna given to the children of Israel, and the bread given at the last supper. Look here at 1 Corinthians 10:1-4,

“Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, all were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea, all ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.”

The bread and drank which is set before us is the life found in Christ, even the Word of GOD. It is written in Deuteronomy 8:3,

“So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.”

The first chapter of John tells us that the Savior Yeshua was the Word, in bodily form. The Word of GOD equips us for the demanding journey set before us by changing us internally, so that we become immune to the evil effects of the external. Without the power of the Word within, carnal nature takes over, and we become selfish and hateful, and begin to strive with those around us for the scraps of existence. By the transforming power of the Word, we see things the way they were meant to be seen and understand things the way they were meant to be understood, and therefore we live life as life was meant to be lived, according to the will of the Creator, who reigns in Love. The Word of GOD changes our perspective from the physical and temporal, to the spiritual and eternal. Children of GOD are governed by faith in His Word, not merely physical stimuli. The journey is too great to finish well, that is without the power of GOD’s Word inside, preserving us in Love.

So, every day that you awake, “Arise and eat”. Seek YAHWEH for instructions to live, and for the grace and mercy which comes through the sacrifice of the Lamb of GOD, for strength to successfully complete the journey of the present day. Except that the journey is too great for you alone. Get to know the Savior Yeshua as your Shepherd and daily companion. In this way, whether it is pandemic, famine, or war, through reliance on the Spirit of GOD, you can live the way you were meant to live, in righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Answering The Call to Life

Call to life

If you can go days without praying or you don’t pray at all, you are most likely not fully engaged with the most important facets of your life. I say this because there is a spiritual war going on for your soul, and for control of the masses. Every moment of this current age is filled with deviant intentionality, so we too have to be intentional every moment about combating their influences, as well as being on the offensive for what is true and righteous.

I focused on prayer being key to this engagement, because once your eyes are opened to this battle, you will see it is bigger than any one individually. You will see that it is on a scale that requires allies and support from a power greater than yourself. Once you engage in works like facing the things that make you feel unhappy, to remove its negative influence, or advocating for fairness and justice, or filling your time with things that benefit others as well as yourself, or speaking up for the oppressed and down trodden, the weight of these issues will demand a strength greater than what you can muster alone. The heart of the Creator is close to all of these issues, and when you open your heart to them, there is an opportunity for a communion which gives hope, strength, and vitality.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

Dealing constructively with these weighty issues of life will reward you greatly, and they will certainly cause you to draw closer to your Heavenly Father. The deviant forces at work, which I spoke of earlier, would have you be unconscious and inactive in this conflict for life, but you were born for this. We are all present to perpetuate life, for those here with us and for those who follow. We can only accomplish this through connecting with other humans through the love of GOD. Through these connections we establish conduits of living waters to the greater human community, which thirst for Life. We must guard against evil influences that would have us be divided through hate, racism, and xenophobia.

There is a belief that religion is one of the biggest dividers of people in the world today. This belief is not far from the truth, but the problem is not with “true” religion, the problem is with “false” religion. How do you tell the difference? Any religion claiming divine authority will be built on the pillars of faith:

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. ‘This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 22:36-40)

Being devoted to love, with all your heart, soul, and mind, strengthens community. Loving you neighbor as yourself also strengthens community. These are the pillars of “true” religion. True religion does require some division, but it is a separation from things that are not life producing and sustainable. Healthy division is a part of life. For example, pruning in a garden to make the plants more fruitful. A religion that won’t identify and reject things which produce death or minimizes life is false. The idea that love embraces everything is complete foolishness. Love is always dedicated to that which sustains and propagates life. If it is intent on restricting life or causing death, love will sever its connection to it. That is the only impetus behind any division true religion is responsible for.

False religion causes division as a result of being complicit with hate, greed, perversions, inequality, lies, and any other evil. This is the reason the cross is the doorway to true religion. The cross is where man surrenders self-interest for the universal and life sustaining interest of the Creator. Don’t reject the idea of seeking fulfillment in true religion because of the preponderance of false religions. Yeshua came to make of all humans, one people in Him. He gave His body on the cross that He might raise from the dead another body, which consist of all people willing to lay down their divisive self-interest for the pillars of faith.

So the Jews answered and said to Him, “What sign do You show to us, since You do these things?” Jesus answered and said to them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” Then the Jews said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will You raise it up in three days?” But He was speaking of the temple of His body. Therefore, when He had risen from the dead, His disciples remembered that He had said this to them; and they believed the Scripture and the word which Jesus had said. (John 2:18-22)

This is why those born again through the cross of Christ are called the “Body of Christ”. It is time for us all to start living the life we were meant to live, through becoming the people we were meant to be: the children of the Most High GOD. It is our true heritage. A languishing world is waiting.

 

 

 

Receiving Love

Vday

Love is splendid gracious favor, adoration, and kindness, which comes to us as a blessing from heaven. It must be received in surrender and humility or else you will resist it unconsciously, trying to find fault with it, because the awareness of your own faults and shortcomings will tell you, it is too good to be true. GOD is the source of all “true” love, and He pours it on us directly, and through His creation, and through those who know Him. Receive this life changing Love with a grateful heart, and let it graciously overflow to those around you.