Humility Is the Path to Life, End Foolish Pride

We live in the times where lies and all manner of deception abound. At the root of this darkness is widespread pride. Pride which declares its own truth despite the word of GOD and the light of the Spirit. The only way man can be reconciled to GOD is to come to Him in total surrender, but this pride keeps man from bowing. You can confess a sinner’s prayer, be baptized, get circumcised, shave your head, or perform any other sacrament, but if you are not ready to surrender control of your life to GOD then you are just going through religious motions. Taking up your cross in surrender is the beginning of the Christian walk and if you haven’t taken that step you haven’t begun to follow Christ. If your spiritual leader, pastor, bishop, or elder didn’t explain it to you this way, then you were not fully informed. Here is what Christ says,

24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. 25 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matthew 16:24-25 KJV)

It is written that GOD resist the proud but a contrite heart He will not despise. A contrite heart is a heart that has bowed to GOD. A heart bowed to GOD is ready for the work of regeneration. A contrite heart is a heart ready to have its values redefined. A contrite heart is a heart ready to be filled with light because it is ready to have a single focus on GOD. It is this condition that qualifies a person as ready to be born again by the spirit of GOD. This is what John 1:12-13 (KJV) is referring to:

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

This is different than deciding to be a better person and trying to do the right thing. That is just the will of man. When a person’s heart is bowed before GOD, they give GOD authority in their life to define what “better” is and what “right” looks like, and there is the acknowledgement that they are insufficient of themselves to be what they need to be and they are ready to allow “The Potter” to shape them. 

The first stronghold in a man’s life which must be broken before the true work of the Lord can begin is the spirit of pride. Holy Scriptures calls this spirit the stronghold of Leviathan. Leviathan is described as a serpent like creature with impenetrable scales. It is written that Leviathan is king over all those ruled by pride. Pride is the self-reliance and ego which drives and serves to protect all those not surrendered to GOD.  This spirit of pride in the self-reliant heart decides independently of GOD what qualifies as truth and what is false. I have shared scriptures with people before which didn’t require interpretation because it was already in their language and was straight forward, yet they still denied its meaning as written. Their heart wasn’t ready to bow to the word. Here is an example. Look at Galatians 5:19-24 (NKJV):

19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, 20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, 21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, 23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. 24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

The scripture cited above doesn’t require interpretation. It is clearly stated. If you have not crucified your flesh through denying it these manifestations, you have not given yourself to Christ. If this feels like condemnation it is because life in the flesh has been condemned and you still identify with it. Those who are Christ identify with living after the spirit. Repent now or you will not be found worthy to enter the Kingdom of GOD. None of the works of the flesh mentioned above are necessary or vital for your life. All these things in one way or another contributes to the decay of society. The contrite heart doesn’t require lengthy explanations because it has already surrendered. Don’t be deceived by others and don’t deceive yourself. GOD gives us the ability through His spirit to walk upright and pleasing before Him. We must learn to take our heart aches and pains to Him and stop self-medicating. Look what GOD says about enjoyment and good things:

 11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. (Psalm 84:11 KJV)

17 Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18 That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19 Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. (1 Timothy 6:17-19 KJV)

GOD is not calling us to live a boring or dull life, He is calling us to order and decency, and to enjoying things in constructive ways instead of in destructive ways.

The Lord has fitted us perfectly with garments of righteousness, but we have to put them on. We must strip ourselves of the old garments of sin and wash in His forgiveness and put on our wedding garments. Our Savior has provided white raiment, fitted us exactly, and put the garments within our reach. If we deceive ourselves or listen to the vain deceit of others and fail to dress ourselves properly, we are in for a rude awakening. This parable, spoken by YESHUA, sums up all I have been writing about. The reason parables are given is to aid with understanding, it is put in terms easy to understand. Heed the warning given in this parable. Just because YESHUA washes our feet doesn’t mean He will allow us to walk all over him.

Matthew 22: 1-14 (KJV)

22 And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said, The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, And sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come. Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, Tell them which are bidden, Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage. But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: And the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city. Then saith he to his servants, The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage. 10 So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. 11 And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: 12 And he saith unto him, Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. 13 Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14 For many are called, but few are chosen.

GOD is not a respecter of persons, though He called the guest a Friend, He still had him castaway because he failed to humble himself and make proper preparations. The serpent is telling the same lie he told Adam and Eve in the garden, and people are still believing it. People still believe they can willingly disobey GOD and not face dire consequences. There is a shaking going on in the earth right now to get our attention. Humble yourself and repent of the things you know are not right and surrender your life to the savior to allow Him to establish you in spirit and truth, which is real life. Put on your raiment of righteousness given to you in Christ so that you can be received into the wedding feast that has been prepared for those who humbled themselves to the truth of GOD. Study Hebrews chapter 10 .

The Light Makes the Choice Clear

No CHoice

Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. Be not ye therefore partakers with them. For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) 10 Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord. 11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. 12 For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. 13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. 14 Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. 15 See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, 16 Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. 17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is. (Ephesians 5:6-17 KJV)

If you confess to be a child of GOD in Christ, the scripture cited above reminds you that the light of the life of Christ in you should be reproving the darkness that is around you. This word “reprove” was translated from a Greek word “elegeho” which means to convict, admonish, and rebuke by convincing of error and sin. Here is a look at what these words mean:

Admonish=> to give friendly earnest advice or encouragement in a gentle way.

Surely you can advise and encourage one of your family members in Christ to live better if you see them straying from the path of love and righteousness.

Convict=> to convince of error or sinfulness by presenting sound biblical principles.

Have you been in GOD’s presence and His word enough to rightly divide darkness from light by the sword of the spirit? As children of light our responsibility is to liberate those taken captive by darkness through giving the light of Truth.

Reprove=> To reprimand sharply from a place of authority.

Have you given your friends and family authority to call you out when you are behaving contrary to who and what you profess to be, because you care so deeply about the testimony of Christ, which you represent, or do you get angry in pride and retaliate? By confessing that Christ is your Lord, you acknowledge that the WORD of GOD is the final authority in your life regardless of the vessel presenting Him.

When our merciful GOD says enough is enough and pours out His wrath on those who have their hearts set on doing evil, will you be a partaker with them? People often think of taking the Lord’s name in vain as saying His name in an irreverent way. While that is offensive, it is far worse to call yourself a Christian yet not be truly dedicated to living as He lived. YESHUA admonished, convicted, and reproved people demonstrating that it is a requisite of love. The motive is not to put people down or to glory in their faults, so that you can feel better about yourself. The motive is born out of a desire to see people realize their true potential and live their best life possible and to safeguard them from condemnation.

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1 KJV)

The correct understanding of the verse above is that you will avoid condemnation if you are not walking in the flesh, but after the spirit. Don’t be deceived by words with no root in truth coming from those who just want to make merchandise of you. Embrace those who love you enough to tell you the truth and love others enough to be an example of Light. Cultivate a love for TRUTH which illuminates the path to LIFE.

The devil is always trying to deceive and distract and to lure us away from the call of GOD. Right now, there is a call to choose sides and align yourself, but not along political, national, or racial lines. Our GOD is calling all people to choose Him and to align themselves with His word and His spirit. That is the real choice before us all. Only allegiance to GOD can deliver us from this present evil. The answer is not trying to unify with each other, the answer is everyone unifying with GOD who alone is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Unifying with GOD will automatically bring all those who answer His call together. Let no man deceive you with vain words. As many of you contemplate casting your ballot in November, don’t go another day without casting your cares on YESHUA the Christ. Put your hope in Him alone for your life and your future. As He represents you in heaven, make a determination to represent Him in the earth. Who are you promoting and campaigning for? If it is not Christ, you have chosen the wrong side.

 

 

Counterfeit Manhood

Hoodlum

Men primarily remember King David for two acts in his life. One, for slaying the giant Goliath, whom everyone else was afraid of. Two, for his adulterous relationship with the beautiful Bathsheba. Though these two events are often recalled in men’s ministries and are often highlighted in recounts of King David’s life, Christ isn’t recorded mentioning either of these two events, nor are they mentioned in any of the letters of the New Testament. Why do men glory in those aspects of David? It is because most men struggle to understand the calling of manhood, and as a result of this, they adopt the consensus view. The popular view, often adopted for the safety of the crowd, has been authored by the devil. In order to steal the glory of GOD from men, the devil offers them a counterfeit. Understand, the devil is a counterfeit dealer. This is how people get destroyed for a lack of knowledge; because they lack knowledge of what is genuine and true.

In this case, men lack knowledge of the true image of GOD. This is relevant because men were created to live in GOD’s image. A lack of knowledge is also why religious men are perplexed at the idea of King David being a man after GOD’s own heart. After all, King David committed murder and adultery. Too often, religious men don’t know the heart of GOD. This is a result of men seeking GOD’s benefits more than His laws and precepts; just like the multitudes sought the loaves of YEHSUA more than His words. GOD’s word’s, laws, and precepts reveal His heart and mind. Due to men having accepted the counterfeit manhood offered by the devil, we find ourselves in a world filled with a lust for power and external beauty. This post is not about “The Godfather” as much as it is a look at why so many men embrace what he embodied. There is also significant admiration for the character Tony Montana in the movie “Scarface”.

GODfather

If you look across the spectrum of men, to include the religious and non-religious, you will find that the majority of men view success as the accumulation of wealth, power, and external beauty. In the non-religious sector, you will see the picture of success being the billionaire maverick with his power and trappings. In the religious sector you will find the picture of success attributed to the pastor with the mega-church and large campus. Some in the religious arena have gone as far as to conform the testimony of Christ, saying He was rich with the goods of this world, and had many wives. The lies of the devil are so infused into this world that it is like a strong current sweeping all away. This is no doubt why YAHWEH sent salvation as an anchor of truth, a rock, and a firm foundation, on which we have been called to build our identities, our values, and our lives.

“Let us look at the first example of the man whose identity is tied to his money. What happens to this man when his business fails due to a change in the market? He becomes laden with insecurity as a man. A man afflicted with insecurity will often project those feeling on others by assuming that others think less of him. What will this man do to maintain his financial prowess? Almost anything! Many men have had their consciences seared in the pursuit of financial riches, or trying to maintain financial wealth. Whatever controls your identity has mastery over you.

If you derive your sense of self-worth and identity from temporal things, you will never be a sound, stable person. For a man to make a good husband or father, he must be a stable person; this means his identity and values must have a firm foundation.”

The quotation above was taken from chapter 7 of my book, “True Heritage: Recovering From Spiritual Identity Theft ” There is a chapter entitled, “The Firm Foundation.” In this chapter I write about the problems men and women face when their identities aren’t anchored in the Truth of GOD, and the benefits reaped from a life securely resting in GOD’s hands.

To obtain this salvation we must be willing to release all the false things we have come to be identified with. This step toward salvation is the one which causes so many to draw back. Some have deceived themselves into thinking they have taken this necessary step; however, it is obvious they are still adrift in the currents of the world by their fears and lust and conversation.

Men often extol King David however Christ says there has been none born of flesh greater than John the Baptist. Men do not have much affection toward living in the wilderness dressed in camel’s hair with a diet of locust and honey. The carnal mind will cause you to see those components of John’s life instead of the anointing, the holiness, and favor from GOD. Much in the same way the carnal mind misses King’s David abandon to GOD, and his soul wrenching transparency, and his burning thirst for truth. David wanted to be GOD’s man, nothing more or nothing less.

If we are ever to be fulfilled, mature, and the people we were ordained to be, we must learn to take our hunger, thirst, and questions to GOD in humility. We must be ready to center ourselves in the truth of GOD and put our faith in Him, no matter the calculated cost. No matter how we see the cost, we must also understand we do not have the mathematics or expressions to fully quantify the rewards of trusting GOD. The things of creation were never meant to totally satisfy you because they were given as trinkets to draw us unto the Creator. Creation gives moments of satisfaction however communion with the Creator Himself is everlasting peace and joy.

When the things of this world are folded up and put away, like a completed game of monopoly, only those willing to become as bankrupt to the world, living in spirit and truth to gain Christ, will be considered the true winners.

 

Where are you in HisStory?

Crowns

History is defined as a record of significant events ordered in units of time (Merriam Webster). Time is the lab for an experiment put on by YAHWEH. According to Merriam Webster, an experiment is a procedure carried out under controlled conditions to illustrate a known law. During the time of your sojourn here on earth, YAHWEH is trying to teach you some important universal laws pertaining to life. There are precautions throughout the bible regarding time. We are encouraged not to be idle, and to make the most of every moment.

time capture

This experiment in time is built around one main character, and it is not you. It is Yeshua, The Word of YAHWEH. The Holy One that came down from heaven in the flesh, and was sacrificed, and raised again from the dead, and ascended on high with the power of life and death. The whole bible is a testimony of YAHWEH’s faithfulness and love, centered around the person of Yeshua. When I ask where are you in HisStory, I am really asking, where are you in your understanding and knowledge of who He is in relation to you. Just to be clear, your understanding of Yeshua has nothing to do with who He is, because He is self-existent, but it has everything to do with who you are and the life you live, both now and forever.

If you are reading this, you are in one of three places in HisStory. YAHWEH made it simple for us. He gives us important information repetitively, in different forms and formats. The three locations are repeated in different formats and are specifically related to our time here on Earth. We are either in Egypt, the Wilderness, or the Promised Land.

Egypt is the place where we are dominated by an Evil ruler, and our lives are spent fulfilling and expressing his dark and evil will. The physical example of the evil ruler is Pharaoh of Egypt, following the death of Joseph. The actual spiritual oppressor in the world is Satan, as indicated in 2 Corinthians 4:4, and Revelations 12:9. When in the bondage of Egypt, your life revolves around clay, the dust of the earth, symbolic of carnal living. You are a slave to sin.

hebrew-slaves

The wilderness is a place away from Egypt, and beyond the dominion of the wicked ruler. It is where the opportunity is placed before us to pursue the life YAHWEH intended for us to live. A life in communion with Him. On the other hand, it is where we could decide to build our own kingdom, and refuse to be under any authority, and forsake our heritage as the people of YAHWEH, and live as a ruin of Egypt, unwilling to be cleansed of its clay. The physical example of the wilderness is the vast Wilderness of Sin referred to in Exodus 16:1. The spiritual Wilderness of Sin is in our soul, consisting of our heart and mind. It is the place that produces our perception and our actions.

The Promised Land is the place that we enter after we have accepted the covenant to live as YAHWEH’s people. In the Promised Land, we go about with the help of Yeshua, transforming everything in our lives into the Kingdom of YAHWEH; battling and casting down everything that resist His will. The physical Promised Land is the land of Canaan, on the other side of Jordan, depicted throughout Exodus chapter 3 as in verse 17. The spiritual promised land is our redeemed soul, consisting of our transformed mind and renewed heart. The process of taking this Promised Land is illustrated in 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6. Yahweh captured the physical Promised Land by using Joshua. The name “Joshua” is an English translation of the Hebrew name “Yeshua” and it means, “YAHWEH-Saves”. Since the New Testament was first translated into Greek, “Joshua” was translated into the Greek name “Ieasous”. “Jesus” is the English form of “Ieasous”. I prefer to use “Yeshua” when referring to my Savior, because it is a phonetic translation of the Hebrew original and it is a clear indication that He comes in the name of “YAHWEH”. I went through that just to show the link between the role of Joshua and Yeshua in HisStory. When you know this truth, it reveals repetition in HisStory and the harmony of the gospel.

So, given these descriptions, and being completely honest with yourself, you should be able to place yourself definitively in one of these three spaces. Though these are high level views of the three phases of our journey through earth-time, they are sufficient to establish everyone’s location. If after your reflection, you can identify your location, I want to offer counsel respective to each residence.

Egypt: Life in the flesh, the clay pits of Egypt, maybe all you know, but you were meant for so much more. There is sweeter and more abundant life waiting beyond the wilderness. The path through the wilderness may seem impossible, but the Heavenly Father will be with you every step of the way, just like He was with the children of Israel when they marched from Egypt. Egypt faced the wrath of YAHWEH and fell. Just as Pharaoh and his armies were drowned in the Red Sea, the blood of Christ has defeated Satan and his hordes. Accept the tender mercies of YAHWEH through the blood of the Passover lamb, and leave Egypt, or face the eventual wrath of YAHWEH as all those who oppose His Kingdom.

sinai-wilderness

The Wilderness: Learning to walk with YAHWEH in the spirit is hard on the flesh. If you stay focused on carnal things, your life will be just like living in a desert, there will never be enough to drink or eat. The conditions around you will never be enough. However, if while in the wilderness, you stop and ponder all the miracles YAHWEH has performed to keep you alive, you will see His goodness. This awareness of the glory of YAHWEH around you, will change your heart from being bitter to being grateful. You will be in awe of how He walks with you in the day and in the night. You will be blessed by the daily provisions for life that come from seemingly impossible places. This is where we accept the new covenant to become the people of YAHWEH. You will be born again from an Egyptian slave, to a child of YAHWEH’s Kingdom. Yahweh will invite you into His presence, and write His laws upon your heart, so that you can know His will and have sweet fellowship with His spirit. The journey through the wilderness is the cross we all must bear, in order to reach the Promised Land. Read 1 Corinthians 10 to understand the importance of focusing on YAHWEH through the wilderness.

Canaan Land

The Promised Land: The place where abundant life is possible. When you understand the effects of drought and famine, you know for a land to flow with milk and honey, life has to be abundant. The promised land is the Kingdom of YAHWEH, where there is righteousness, peace, and joy. It is a land filled with crops and vineyards we didn’t have to plant, and wells we didn’t have to dig. It is ours for the taking, the gift of YAHWEH to the people of His covenant. This is exactly what the life of Yeshua is to us. We get the benefits of His righteous life. We get to enjoy the spoils of battles that He has won. As the children of Israel followed Joshua to inherit the promised land, so do we follow Yeshua. Yeshua has rendered the enemies of our souls powerless. All we must do is accept His assessment of who the enemies are, then engage in battle, and cast them down. In the physical, the enemies were Hittites, Jebusites, and Canaanites and so on. In the spiritual, they are lust, greed, envy, hate, pride and so on. As we cast down these enemies in our souls, in their places comes righteousness, peace, and joy!

This time is all about Yeshua, not because you are not significant, but because you are! He loves you immensely, and desires for you to have life in abundance. Yeshua is the way, the Truth, and the Life, and He is exalted that all may find Him. During this experiment in time, it has been shown repetitively how corruption and death ensues when men forsake the laws of YAHWEH, and refuse to submit to His dominion. The faithfulness and goodness of YAHWEH has been shown repeatedly throughout HisStory. My sincere hope and prayer is that you find your place in the Promised land.

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