False Doctrine Can Be Like Cholesterol in the Body of Christ

Blocked Artery

In His zeal for His Father’s house, Christ went into the temple and made a scourge of cords, then proceeded to drive out the money changers and those that were in the temple selling sacrifices to be offered to GOD. As the account goes, Christ turned over some tables and made quite a ruckus while ridding the temple of this perversion of a sacred practice. We need to have the same zeal today regarding a lot of the perversions that go on in the church; however, we can’t approach it the same way, as the temple and the perversions are dynamically different. We are now the temple of GOD. GOD no longer dwells in a temple built by the hands of man, but in a temple made of living stones, the body of believers in Christ.

Christ promised that if any man would love Him, then He and His Father would come and make their home inside him. Christ still has the same zeal for His Father’s house, whom we are. He cleanses us by filling us with His Holy Word, and by delivering us from unclean principalities and powers. Christ comes into our souls with the light of truth, and topples belief systems built on foundations of lies, and drives out unclean spirits of lust, pride, greed, violence, and dumbness. One of the most damaging lies polluting the temple of GOD today is the belief that the Fathers children are all sinners. This lie has been received, with such wide-spread acceptance in the body of believers, that it is has become a major blocker of the arteries of the body. This lie is hindering the life of Christ from flowing into all areas of the body, hindering healing and growth. If as a born again believer, you bow down to the false principle that you are just a forgiven sinner, you leave the door open for sin to rule in your life. If you believe you are a sinner, then you will sin. GOD made us in such a way that our bodies conform to our belief. You may have heard it stated this way before, “Mind over matter”. If you accept that lie, you will always be vulnerable to the powers of lust and pride. You will remain a slave to sin. Though Pharaoh has been defeated, and his kingdom fallen, you will remain in Egypt, shackled to much of your old life.

Now for the GOODNEWS! Let us allow Truth to tear down the lie. During the early church, when the revealed gospel of Christ was first being preached, many of the Jews of that day didn’t see the superiority of the New Covenant in the blood of Christ. They were reluctant to let go of the old law of “sin and death” under Moses, to enter the new law of “spirit and life” under Christ. The law of sin and death was put in place to facilitate a life of sin, because at the time, no other life was available. However, now that the life of Christ has been made available to all that have faith in His resurrection power, there is a way to escape the life of sin in the blood line of Adam. We have to suffocate and bury the old man who was in the image of Adam, through the baptism of repentance. Then we have to take up our cross daily to make way for the resurrection life of Christ.

Everything made in creation came through the Word of GOD. When you abandon your old life in surrender to Christ, this same power calls you a new creation of GOD, made in His likeness. This same Word has created a new you, but you have to receive it. The Word of GOD is powerful, but you have to believe, so that your mind can be renewed and your transformation can take place. This part of the Gospel of Christ has been oppressed by the powers of darkness, and it is time for it to be spread throughout the body of Christ. The acceptance of this Truth can unblock the arteries in the body of Christ, so that the fullness of His life can quicken every part of the body. This will cause the glorious light of the risen Christ to break forth in the earth through His body, the church.

Here are a few scriptures people use in the wrong context to support the lie that the born again in Christ are still sinners, ruled by sin.

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”

True context: Paul is declaring there is no distinction between Jews or gentiles when it comes to the need for salvation through Christ, because all “have” sinned and need redemption through the blood of Christ; whether you have been practicing Judaism, paganism, or whatever in your past, you have sinned. Pay attention to the context of past sin as he says, “all have sinned”. This is frequently used in the context of equalizing all believers as present sinners. Paul even refers to Christ in this block of scripture as the propitiation for “past” sin.

Romans 3:11

“As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one”

True context: Paul is quoting scripture from the book of Isaiah in the old testament, regarding mankind before the workings of Christ. This old testament prophecy was never meant to describe the state of the resurrected church of Christ. In the same scripture it goes on to say,” there is none that understand and there is none that seek the Lord”. If the first part applies, then the second part has to be true for the church today as well…thank the Lord that it doesn’t.

Read the entire chapter of Romans 3.

1 John 1:8

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”

True context: We are all in the process of being healed and cleansed from the rudiments of this world. If we say we have no traces of Adam left in us, we don’t understand how far man has fallen into darkness, nor do we realize how righteous and pure GOD is, in whose image we are made. Having sin is different from sin having you. The bible says in Romans 6, “Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.” Just because you are inclined to do something doesn’t mean you have to yield to it. Confess the inclination to your Father GOD and He will cleanse you of it.

I have cited a few of the most popular verses, used out of context, to support the false belief that the salvation of Christ is in effect forgiveness without deliverance from the condition that causes sin. He who the soon makes free is free indeed. The thief comes only to kill, steal, and destroy. Let nothing or no one rob you of the victorious life promised you by Christ.

 

 

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Sweet Somethings

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Sweet nothings are like heart-shaped bubbles that float from your heart through the air and pops on your lover’s nose, releasing a fragrant aroma,

They are ebbs that cascade over the cup of your heart from love yearning to be expressed,

They can be shared verbal kisses and caresses which sustain lovers that hunger for one another,

Sweet nothings are like little star stickers that lovers exchange that say, “I think you are fantastic”,

Sweet nothings can really make you feel special,

You know….Sweet nothings really are something!

I believe as love matures, instead of becoming more practical and toned down, it should increase in brilliance, impact, and expression. This doesn’t necessarily mean a huge display, but just the right thing at the right time or something totally unexpected but that hits the heart right were it was needed. I feel in my life at times, the Lord has often blessed me with sweet somethings right when I needed it, in a way that I knew it was only from Him and personal. I could give some examples, but it’s kind of private..you know…between lovers. Yeshua is the greatest Lover of all times. I believe that is what scriptures speak to when it says, “O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. ”Psalm34:8. When scriptures profess, “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”. Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV).

I know I started this post talking about lovers sharing sweet nothings, and I ended up talking about the goodness of GOD. It is because nothing or no one frees the heart to love like knowing that you are loved by GOD. The weights and cares of this life tend to smother the flame of love that is meant to warm one another’s heart, but the Love of GOD has a way of lifting those cares so that the flame can get air and burn fervently.

Just like the many sunsets, sunrises, butterflies, and song birds that can go unnoticed by burdened and busy hearts, so can the sweet somethings from your loved ones if you have not given all your cares to GOD. The scriptures say, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” Philippians 4:6 (NKJV),

The Freedom of Choice Was Given So We Could Choose Life

If you could have chosen, before you were born, your parents, your siblings, your height, eye color, and hair texture, your race, the country and time in which you were born, would you have chosen differently than the way it is? Most likely you would have but you are as qualified to pick those things as your are qualified to determine the earth’s best distance from the sun for the best weather systems, the best trajectory and time needed for the earth to complete a trip around the sun for the best length of the seasons, the best speed at which the earth should spin in order to determine the best length of days, the best gestation period for all animals so that they have the best chance of survival. These are just a few of the things that Yahweh had the foreknowledge to plan, just as He had the foreknowledge to order the particulars of your life. Understanding the preeminence and the excellence of Yahweh’s knowledge is a basic tenant of the fear of the lord which Proverbs 1:7 says “is the beginning of knowledge. “

People are typically displeased with the weather, and how hot or cold it is so it with no astonishment that we find that most people are displeased with just about everything else as well. Many people today reject their gender, reject their race, reject their natural attributes like eye color, hair, height, skin color etc., many parents reject their children, many children resent their parents, not considering that it is all orchestrated according to Yahweh’s foreknowledge. The Creator knew what conditions you needed in your life for you to fulfill your purpose. The proper perspective of your life hinges on you having an intimate relationship with the Creator through the person of Yeshua, the Messiah. When we go about to change all these things or when we resent them, we get out of alignment with our purpose and that leads to a lack of true fulfillment and death.

Get in harmony with the Creator through humbling yourself and accepting that what He has made is good. As soon as we stop acting on our own interpretation of things and follow Yahweh’s instructions for living as recorded in Holy Scripture and as the spirit leads then we find true fulfillment in our course of life. This is the abundant life that the Messiah died for us to have access to.  It is not about an abundance of days but it is about being able to partake of the abundance in every day.  Many people are merely lingering instead of truly living. People may not believe in the history of Adam and Eve but after so long a time men are still choosing, just like their parents, to rather live from their knowledge of what is good and what is evil rather than to live from the tree of Life which is to know and to trust Yahweh.

“After Yeshua had said these things, he looked up toward heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that the Son may glorify you  just as you gave him authority over all mankind, so that he might give eternal life to all those whom you have given him. And eternal life is this: to know you, the one true God, and him whom you sent, Yeshua the Messiah.” John 17:1-3

Hate: The Power Given to the Enemy.

When you hate someone it is an acknowledgement that they have influence and power into your life. This power and influence is one that you own because it is generated from your own thoughts and beliefs. In this present day there is always stimuli from outside sources aimed at generating hate as well as fear. The wicked one desires  to use hate and fear to gain sway in your life and to sabotage your inner peace and joy, so that you might become yet another hateful person alienated from the Creator who is Love.

It is natural to resent and have animosity toward something that poses a threat. Hate can grow from belief in a threat to one’s well being. In this regard hate can be good like hating stress, hating carcinogens, hating recklessness and other genuinely unhealthy things. On the other hand, if you believe someone is negatively affecting your well being then the potential to hate that person is possible and that is not good. Whether the threat they pose is imagined or real, the hate that can potentially grow in your immortal soul toward them will have negative consequences. The scripture tells us that we wrestle not against flesh and blood therefore people are not the problem. It is the principles and beliefs that people have behind the scene causing the issues.This is why we have to learn to hate the evil and love the person.

It is inevitable that unwanted physical circumstances will breach our spiritual life but we have to own and minimize the impact. We have to minimize the effects of any negative stimuli to the degree it does not reciprocate in us. Another way to say this is we can not internalize negative things to the degree they are able to germinate and produce fruit after their own kind. We internalize things through accepting them as truth or thinking on them to long. We truly have to guard our hearts. To arm ourselves against the influences of hate and fear we have to entrust our lives in the hands of Yeshua, the Messiah.

The greatest defense against hate and fear producing contaminants is by never yielding any ground in your heart to any thoughts that challenge the reality that Yeshua is able to keep and preserve your immortal soul in well being. If Yeshua permits anyone to harm my body, I still have His guarantee that my soul and eternal well being are secured. My eternal well being has to be the center of my joy and peace or else my life will be miserable. Not everyone is willing to make that shift to being eternally focused rather than focused on the temporal. This is why the scripture says, “the just will live by faith.” It takes faith in the hereafter to keep one from being turned into what this world is today; a breeding ground for hate and fear. It is only by faith in the eternal works of Yeshua that we are able to love our enemies. That does not mean we are fun of our enemies. It means that we do not transgress Yeshua’s commands in our interactions with our enemy.

In the book of Isaiah Chapter 8:12-13 it says, “Say ye not, A confederacy, to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy; neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. Sanctify the Lord of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread.” Never put anyone or anything on the level of God as having control over your life or well being. That is actually idolatry. Yahweh is saying He alone has the power of life and death and our lives are in His hands alone. Keep your focus on the Almighty and channel your energy toward holding on to the truth of His Word in obedience and you will find your strength, joy, and peace renewed day by day.

Embracing the Path

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Jesus taught that we enter the Kingdom of God through much tribulation, so the portal to the kingdom of God is suffering and hardship. Upon hearing this, the fleshly nature goes right into survival mode and starts searching for ways to disqualify the statement. However, someone with a great deal more knowledge, wisdom,…Hold on,correction…He that IS knowledge, wisdom, and understanding has designed it this way. If you have ever seen a butterfly struggle to get out of a cocoon, or a hatchling struggle from a shell, or a plant pushing through earth to reach the light, then you have a reference for what it takes for godliness to come out of the flesh. You have a reference for the birth process of the spiritual person you were created to be, getting delivered from the bondage of the rebellious, prideful, and selfish orientation of carnal life. To the human, there are times when God seems inhumane, but the scale of humanity is insufficient to begin to weigh the body of God’s work for the eternity of man.
You will never understand the things of the spirit as long as you hold life in the flesh more dear. Paths that require suffering in the flesh will always seem unreasonable to the carnal mind. In the journey of life, trusting God will require you to accept somethings beyond your reasoning, which makes perfect sense because man does not understand half of what God has created in the physical, so to approach the spiritual is going to take faith. After you learn to value spiritual things higher than physical things, like the Apostles Paul you will count all things but loss for the more excellent things of the spirit. We can become the enemy of salvation by disqualifying suffering as a path to deliverance.
Mark chapter 8:31-38
31 And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. 33 But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.”34 When He had called the people to Himself, with His disciples also, He said to them, “Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? 37 Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him the Son of Man also will be ashamed when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
1 Corinthians 2:14
But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
To walk with Jesus, we have to crucify the flesh, which is to mortify carnal reasoning and to stand against the dominance of sensual compulsion. So the next time you or someone else is going through a rough place in life, stop and prayerfully consider it; maybe that rough place is putting a finish on you as sandpaper does, maybe that pressurized situation is correcting your form, maybe that fiery trial is purifying your heart, maybe you are in the hands of a great potter and you are being made into a masterpiece  and he is using all of these circumstances as his tools. Look for instruction, counsel, and truth in every circumstance in life and when they are to hard find, ask God to reveal his hand at work. I hope you are able to find peace in just knowing his hand is at work, whether you can see it or not, this again takes faith.

The KISS of Salvation

HersheysKiss_2

We definitely have a part in our salvation. One of the main evidences of this is that all men will not be saved. The scripture is clear that God would have all men to be saved as in the Book of 1 Timothy 2:1-6. What keeps all men from being saved is the fact that the Lord gives us a choice and some men opt out. God has ordained that we enter life (Jesus Christ) through the surrender of our will. If you think about it, it is the only way we can be saved. God is LIFE and we have to be willing to follow the ways of life in order to live. If we refuse to follow the ways of life then what is the alternative…..Death. It really is that simple. The beauty is that as we surrender our will to God He empowers us to live in His ways. He empowers us through the spirit in the word we submit too through obedience. The Lord says His word is spirit. So our part is to daily surrender our will in obedience to the leading of the spirit expressed through written word, audible word, inner witness, signs and examples through creation; however the Lord chooses to influence us toward life. When the Lord causes light to shine in your darkness it is your part to surrender to it.

 

Now some men would argue that we have no power to choose that which is good because we are totally evil or dead in sin. It is apparent that the expressions of God to us have enough power to pierce our darkness and penetrate dead ears to give us acknowledgement of truth. The reprobate mind is one that rejects truth after it has been presented several times. It cracks me up sometimes to see how the intellectual mind can perplex things due to too much contemplation and not enough doing or simply trusting. We are warned in 2 Timothy about the effects of too much dialogue through the reasoning of men versus studying word of truth.

 

2 Timothy 2: 15-26

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.

17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;

18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.

19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.

22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.

24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

26 And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.

 

The word of truth is the word of God. We need to be patient and temperate and allow God to give us proper understanding instead of immersing ourselves in the mental babbling of men trying to force understanding, moving ahead of the wonderful counselor. Always being able to give a reason for the hope you have to anyone that asks is not referring to being able to explain everything you believe. The reason for your hope should be that you are convinced of God’s indestructible love for you because He died for you while you were His enemy, so you know all the more now that you are seeking Him He will facilitate your salvation and redemption. God has won our hearts through Christ so we follow Him even in that which is unreasonable. The mind has to be renewed but the heart is already on fire and convinced that is if you have heard Him speak of His amazing love. What I am talking about is nicely captured in Hebrews 13.

 

Hebrew 13:9

Be not carried about with divers and strange doctrines. For it is a good thing that the heart be established with grace; not with meats, which have not profited them that have been occupied therein.

 

We have to fight the natural man’s tendency of reaching for the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil or wanting to lean on our own understanding versus just trusting the Lord as dear children. By the grace of God let us K-I-S-S (Keep It Simple Saints).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fulfilling His Joy

In America, most people would consider me to be a black man or an African-American man. Take notice that in both instances race or ethnicity comes first, then man. Most people even see themselves as either a black person or a white person and so on. This I believe is a true reflection of how most people think. Most people see race or national origin before they see another human. This is a natural response and really not a problem unless along with that first observation there come also preconceived ideas about that person’s likes and dislikes, aptitude and capabilities. At that point you enter into prejudices and biases that form divisive barriers. Even though people may be physically different, we must be able to connect with them first as being an equal fellow human. If we see it differently than this we are deceived and there is darkness in us.

Those are some thoughts about the general populace. Now let’s consider “The Church,” and I mean “The” Church because there is only one body of Christ. Is the Church anymore unified than the world? Amongst the majority of those confessing to be Christian, I would have to say NO. Most worldly people actually have a lot in common and merely think they are different, however the religious bodies are divided based on actual differences of thought, belief, and practices of living. Just like different races of people, we now have Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, Protestant, Presbyterian, Seventh Day Adventist, AME, and it goes on. It’s not enough just to be identified as Christian. This is why I don’t subscribe to any denomination. Our God is not divided, so what is the problem with those that supposedly represent Him. There is a disconnect between the body and the head it would seem, because the head (meaning Christ, the only head of the true church) desires for the body to be unified, working together in harmony.

Christ made known His desire for believers to be united as one, just like the unity shared between Him and the Father. John 17:20-23:

“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.”

The division amongst the body of believers today is carnal and devilish and until the cross is truly applied to the agendas of men so that the will of God maybe manifest, it will remain divided. It is my hope that in the near future all of those professing to love Christ will be able to share His love for the truth and then allow that truth to unite them in thought and belief. Our objective must not merely be to be right; our objective should be to be right with God. In a lot of religious communities they have become right with each other but they are misaligned with God. Jesus spent a lot of time in the earth disputing with religious leaders regarding their focus on serving their own sense of righteousness instead of truly being right with God. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and HIS righteousness….” is what the scripture says.

Do you seek to be dominated by God? Are you seeking to give God increasing power over you…your thoughts, behavior, and aspirations? That is what it means to seek the Kingdom of God and that is what it means to take up the cross of Christ….”not my will but yours be done.” The idea of allowing someone to dominate us or calling someone master meets immediate resistance in our minds due to the fact that the evils of man has diminished our ability to trust. On the other hand, if we are sick and need surgery, we will surrender to a surgeon and get put to sleep allowing total dominance over us. Is anyone more worthy of our trust than God? He wants to bring healing to us and we likewise have to surrender. Jesus proved himself worthy of our trust when He gave His life as a ransom for us. Few men have done that for another so I understand the apprehension, but Christ is truly worthy. Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matt 16:24-25)

You are not living until you dedicate your life to His purposes instead of your own. A body does not function properly until all its members are correctly processing messages from its head. The Catholic Church says its head is the Pope. I have met Protestants that said the head of their church was pastor such and such or bishop such and such. The bible teaches that the only head of the Church is Jesus Christ.

When believers form alliances with each other based on compatibility, we end up with all these factions of religion. On the other hand if believers focus on transformation through submitting to God’s will, then we have true unity with God and with one another. The commands of God do not vary person to person. We are all commanded to love God with all of our heart, mind, and strength. Likewise we are all commanded to love one another as we would like to be loved. The love spoken of here is not abstract or subjective love but love according to the word of God.

When the body of Christ unites in the spirit of truth, the Church will be glorious and powerful. Denominations will lose their significance as we all come in unity of faith and belief as written in Ephesians 4:11-13: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;” The bible tell us that Jesus endured the cross for the joy that was set before him. Now through the abundant gratefulness we all have for the deliverance brought to us by the cross of Jesus, we now need to fulfill His joy by taking up our own crosses in laying down our individual preferences for the corporate interest of the body of Christ. When the bride (the Church) comes forth in her glory, the groom (Jesus) will rejoice and be filled with gladness. Colossians 1:9-18;

“For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood,the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence.”