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)

 

 

 

 

 

Desiring A Match Made In Heaven

cloud heart

You know, if you want someone to love you, the first thing you have to do is reveal yourself to them.  After all, how can someone love you if they don’t know who you are? Once you reveal yourself, it is their values, knowledge, and understanding, which will determine if they choose to love you.

“The gospel of Christ illuminates God’s love in a way that renews faith toward God and restores hope in God’s promises. It is a daunting task to believe that the being who created the massive universe, in all of its wonder, has genuine love and concern for man individually, as well as collectively. What makes this so unbelievable is the rejection we receive from our fellow man. On earth, we see that we are physically alike, and see that we have the same needs, yet we hate and dehumanize one another. Some of these people who reject us and hurt us are family members we feel a definite connection to. So, carrying what you learned from those experiences, you try to process how the Supreme Being could love you, whom you have never seen, whom you strain to relate to, and it seems impossible. It is the wounds from the evil around us that stifle our ability to obtain unto the love of God. The amazing grace shown through the cross of Yeshua the Christ brings the Father’s love within reach. The passion of Christ begins to stir us to the realization of God’s divine love. It is also the divine love demonstrated by those born again through Christ that bares further witness to the prevailing love of God the Father.” (An excerpt from my book, “True Heritage” https://www.amazon.com/True-Heritage-Recovering-Spiritual-Identity/dp/1641114576)

YAHWEH has revealed Himself to us in a very relatable way, by coming to Earth in the form of a human with frailties, and then suffering the death of the cross. He suffered the death on the cross to show the depth of His love for us. Now that He has revealed Himself, the question is, will we love Him. What determines this is how much we value the knowledge of His love, and the relationship He is trying to establish with us. Another factor is, if we understand that an opportunity to know YAHWEH, our Heavenly Father, is the gift of life. The religious and the gospel sensationalist believe and teach that GOD’s love for us is everything, but Yeshua taught that it is our love in return which completes the connection, and opens the conduit of life.

 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.  Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world?  Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.  He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.” (John 14:21-24)

By the power of the Spirit of Truth which is in me, I can introduce a person to God, but it is their choice to love Him. It is their own love for Him that will determine the sacrifices they are willing to make in order to fulfill the relationship. It is their own adoration and longing for God which will determine the time and effort spent pursuing the knowledge of Him.  It is how much an individual values God which determines if priorities are set before a relationship with Him. A love for this current world, with all of its carnal entrapments, will compete for your focus and affections, but I tell you the things of this world are only lying wonders, and they will never satisfy or fulfill you the way a relationship with your Heavenly Father can. Our Heavenly Father new the carnal mind would emphasize the sacrifice in what is required to know Him, instead of what is gained. That is why He said, “Delight yourself in Him and He would give you the desires of your heart,” and He also said, “Seek first the Dominion of His love, and then everything that pertains to life will be added to you.” It is my hope that what I am sharing here with you will introduce GOD in a way that reveals His sincere love and yearning for you, and that you would choose to love Him back, and that you with Him, will be one of the matches made in heaven.

Cooling Hearts: The Worst Type of Climate Change

Cold heart

When I was in my late teens and I started to process the inhumanity of slavery and other civil rights violations, I found it very hard to reconcile both the indifference to, and acceptance of, hateful social behaviors from professing Christians. I couldn’t imagine the thought process that would allow a Christian to actively participate in chattel slavery. Neither could I understand how a church could segregate the congregation, designating blacks to sit up in balconies or to the rear, while reserving seats on the main level and in front for whites. It all became clear as I grew stronger in my understanding of the word of GOD. I began to understand the dynamics of how spiritual darkness exploits pride and selfishness to blind the mind and harden the heart.

In Matthew 24, the Savior’s warns those that would follow Him, to take heed that no man deceives you. He goes on to say that in the last days there would be MANY false prophets, or false messengers. He also said there would be many to come in His name professing they were the Christ, and many would be deceived. Based on this, it is not surprising that you can have many calling themselves followers of Christ, yet living and professing things contrary to the heart and character of Christ. The deception is real. Christ prophesied that the effects of this would be that iniquity would abound, and the love of many would wax cold.

Today, as I look at the viewpoints of MANY professing Christians, and the lies being spewed on many media outlets, I am reminded once again of the prophecy of Christ. Though I knew it was possible, it is still heartbreaking to see people you once thought of as strong Christians, succumb to the deception, and to see the evidence of their love turned cold, as they promote the hateful rhetoric of darkened minds. It is difficult to watch the witness of Christ smeared, as those once identified as loving Christians condone or be indifferent, to the inhumane treatment of people of color in our streets and at our borders. Any Christian that would call an immigrant seeking asylum in this country an invader, has been deceived and has lost touch with the merciful and compassionate heart of GOD.  An invader is one that comes for conquest and plunder, to take land by war. Here are a couple of pictures of actual invaders:

Colonist Killers

Calvary Raging

Helpless immigrants are called invaders, while those in the pictures above are referred to as patriots, pioneers, settlers, pilgrims, and the founding fathers… Such darkness.

To make inhumane policies acceptable to the masses, you first have to make the subjects of the policy inhuman. American history is replete with examples of this deceptive propaganda; Native Americans portrayed as Savages, African abductees declared 2/3 human, Civil Rights leaders accused of being anti-American socialist (considered by some the same as inhuman), Muslims labelled as terrorist, illegal immigrants now framed as criminal invaders. The cooling of Christian hearts in this age is nothing less than the progression of the foretold apostasy. Christians who are seduced away from the love that is in Christ, by having their affections shift to the things of this world. The heart of Christ tears open veils, destroys gates of hell, breaks apart bonds and shackles, and releases the captives, so from where does the notion to imprison the helpless and to build walls of separation from needy come from …not from the Savior that gave His life to save ALL mankind. Historically, the cooling of the Christian heart has proven to be the most destructive form of climate change. Only deep devotion to Christ can keep the heart ablaze with Love.

The bible says in Ephesian 5, there is a mysterious correlation between the institution of marriage and the relationship between Christ and His Church. The couple to be married are encouraged to leave their father and mother, so that they may cleave to one another, and form a new union. Christ left heaven to join His Church, now His Church has to leave the world to join Him.

Be A Lighthouse In the Fog

lighthouse1.jpg

Gray is the greatest darkness because of its tendency to hide light, through blending light with darkness. Gray can be compared to being warm, a blend of hot and cold. Christ calls for His followers to be either hot or cold. He says if you are warm, he will cast you out. We can’t be warm people. The culture of the world today calls for us to be tolerant of darkness. To tolerate means to accept, without contradiction or prohibition. We are expected to blend in. We can’t be gray people. This is the exact opposite of the work of sanctification, being carried out by the Holy Spirit, in those that follow Christ. GOD commands us to love Him with “all” our heart, mind, and strength. He even says we should love one another “fervently”, which means with plenty of heat. GOD wants us to be on fire for Him, just like a torch, giving off bright light. GOD’s spirit is a consuming fire. GOD’s essence is pure and fervent love. Only through our connection with Him, can we love fervently, and fulfill His commandments. Love is not a warm and cuddly feeling we have toward someone. Love has nothing to do with fondness. We are commanded to love our enemies, but we are not expected to be fond of those who persecute and abuse us. Love is the righteous behavior of treating others the way you would want to be treated. Love is living to please our Heavenly Father above anyone else, as well as above ourselves.

Trying to please both GOD and man leads to gray. There is so much darkness in the world today, we need the glorious light of Love. This requires singleness of heart, in devotion to GOD. If we believe and trust that allowing GOD’s love to flow through us is best for all those around us, then we find inspiration and motivations to be obedient to His word. We find that His commandments are not grievous. This is something we must ask our merciful GOD to help us with. We don’t always see things as He does, so we have to be taught, and counseled, and transformed, by His Holy Spirit. It is a glorious process, but He is faithful to complete the work of our salvation. The work of making us faithful vessels of His love.

We have the treatment of Christ for a witness that the world cannot receive the love of GOD. Holy scripture says, He came unto His own and they received Him not. Christ was despised and rejected of men. Christ forewarns us that we will experience the same. Christ tells us this to protect our hearts. Don’t take it personal when people reject His love through you. All that is in the world is the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life. This means people will more often base love on having their desires filled, more so than having their needs met. The prevalence of gray makes desires and needs almost indistinguishable, to those outside of Christ. The book of 1st John says it is easy to see who is in Christ and who doesn’t know Him. Those who say they are in Christ, should live as Christ lived. He testified that He came to do His Father’s will. He lived to please the Father…not people. Christ taught that if your eye is single, then your whole body will be filled with light. Those who walk in love, in obedience to GOD, are in the light. Those that hate others, living is selfish disobedience, are in darkness.

The truth, also known as the sword of the spirit, divides between light and darkness. The truth has the power to make people free. When we speak the truth in love, we create opportunities of freedom, opportunities for those seeking the light to renounce darkness.

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.”

( 2 Corinthians 4:1-6)

 

Let No Man Take Your Crown

Crowns

As a father, my goal is to equip my children to be successful in life and to align them with a future that is fulfilling and sure. It is to make sure that they are in a place to enjoy all the true riches of life that have been freely given by their Heavenly Father. I don’t just desire this for my children but it is my wish for all of GOD’s children. GOD the Father sent us a savior who is Himself the road map, the Light, the Truth, the Word, and the Way, but we have to follow Him at all cost for success. He chooses us, but we also have to choose Him. The bride has to agree and surrender herself that she may become one with the bridegroom. There are people and other things vying for our affections, but we must stay true to our first Love, Yeshua the Christ.

“I am coming quickly; hold fast what you have, so that no one may rob you and deprive you of your crown..”   (Revelation 3:11 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

A warning to the children of GOD in regards to guarding their crowns. The crowns represent the spiritual authority they have as a result of being unified with Christ, in having taking up the sufferings of Christ through crucifying their flesh with its carnal affections, in walking in obedience to the spirit as children of GOD, and in putting on the mind of Christ. The crown goes on the head and it reflects the Glory of Christ through all of those who have made Christ their head by putting on the mindset of Christ; the mindset of being obedient, even unto to death.

 

We have an adversary trying to trick us out of our inheritance and rob us of our very life. The alarm system that alerts us when evil is present is judgment. Darkness pervades where there is no judgment, which is why the enemy promotes tolerance and condemns judgment. Judgment save lives by distinguishing the paths that lead to life from the paths that lead to death. We need judgment and a measure of tolerance, however to remove judgment is the real condemnation to death. Judgment will save all of those seeking the light, but those that love darkness will detest the light which judgment brings. Tolerance without judgment is subtle and tricky, and comes as counterfeit love, but it proliferates evil and causes the destruction of life. We all have the same chance to make it in, but only the ones that lose their life will find it. Go through the pain of releasing that thing that the Word of GOD has judged as cursed and you will find life.

 

So, since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God]. For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God],  So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.” (1 Peter 4:1-3 Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

 

I have throughout my life encountered people who would discourage me from harshly regulating my carnal appetites, but I have ignored their carnal counsel understanding that some things look like liberty but the end is bondage. There are spiritual things that look very restricting to carnal people, but they bring great freedom. Don’t let the carnal counsel of the world cause you to lose your crown waiting in heaven.

 

Yeshua the Savior has always told us the truth. He is love and He is what love looks like. We don’t have to wonder what it means to love; we can just look at the testimony of Christ and His teachings and be in the know. Our heart may utter things just as the disciples did, “Yeshua, that is too harsh,” “Yeshua, that is offensive,” “Yeshua, who then can be saved.” We just have to humble ourselves for the rebuke that comes when we are out of line with the spirit. When Yeshua informed the disciples that he had to suffer great things and be put to death, Peter told Him that He was speaking non-sense. Yeshua rebuked the spirit speaking through Peter saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” Yeshua went on to tell the disciples that if they were going to be in unity with Him, then they would have to take up there cross as well, and so it is with us. People will try and talk you out of it, you will try and talk yourself out of it, but there is no way around it if you want to keep your crown.

 

This is a long post but it is important. I have one more scripture I wanted to share.

Ephesians 5:1-7 (Amplified Bible, Classic Edition)

“Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].  And walk in love, [esteeming and delighting in one another] as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us, a [slain offering and sacrifice to God [for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.  But immorality (sexual vice) and all impurity [[of lustful, rich, wasteful living] or greediness must not even be named among you, as is fitting and proper among saints (God’s consecrated people).  Let there be no filthiness (obscenity, indecency) nor foolish and sinful (silly and corrupt) talk, nor coarse jesting, which are not fitting or becoming; but instead voice your thankfulness [to God].  For be sure of this: that no person practicing sexual vice or impurity in thought or in life, or one who is covetous [who has lustful desire for the property of others and is greedy for gain]—for he [in effect] is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.  Let no one delude and deceive you with empty excuses and groundless arguments [for these sins], for through these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of rebellion and disobedience.  So do not associate or be sharers with them.”

Love is about what you need and what is best for you, not what pacifies you. Speaking the truth will bring conflict because there is so much falsehood in the world, but it is the way of salvation. It is better to walk in truth and be alienated from the world, than to compromise for carnal affection and be alienated from the true love and liberty in Christ and lose your crown. Don’t be lukewarm, be on fire for GOD and plan out your salvation in fear and trembling. The one with whom we have to do is very tolerant but with judgment. Read revelations chapter 2 and 3 for a sobering perspective of Love.