Thursday, March 31, 2011

Biblical Manhood

Since we shared the sermon of Biblical Womanhood in a previous article, I thought it only made sense to share Min. Voddie Baucham's sermon on "Biblical Manhood".

In this sermon, Min. Baucham discusses:
  • For six days of creation, everything God created was "good".  The first thing God said was "not good" was for a man not to have a woman.  It doesn't mean that every man must be married, yet it does mean that marriage is the preferred condition. Even Jesus is engaged to His Bride.
  • When God created woman, Adam called her "ishshah" (woman) because she came "out from man" ("iysh").  In this act, Adam claimed Eve as his own and as part of himself.
  • The world defines manhood based on performance by the "3 B's": the ball field, the bedroom, and by the billfold.  We don't need men who will strive to be another ball player.  We need men with trained minds who can be warriors for Christ.
  • In order for a male to be a "man", he must be committed to:
    • God-honoring labor - God put man in the Garden to work and keep it.  Hard work is not a product of the fall, man's attitude toward work is a product of the fall.
    • God's law - God gave Adam a law about not partaking of the knowledge of the tree of good and evil.  By giving the law to Adam, it was also Adam's responsibility to teach the law to Eve. 
    • A biblical view of family - Society teaches men that marriage is to be avoided like the plague. Men should have a priority in their minds that they are preparing to be a husband and father in order to raise up Godly children.
  • God's judgment against Adam for sin was not because he ate of the fruit of the tree, but because he listened to the voice of the woman instead of following what God had commanded.  His fault before God was that he did not exercise the headship he was given.
  • Headship of the husband was not a product of the fall, but was established by God before the fall. One, because God made Adam first and Eve was made for the man (I Corinthians 11:8-12).  Also, Adam named all of the animals as an example of his preeminence over them, however he also named Eve (Genesis 2:23).  Further, the fall didn't come through the sin of Eve, but the sin of Adam (Romans 5:12).
  • There is no concept of dating in Scripture like we see today.  Fathers think it is acceptable to give their daughter into the care of a 17 year old boy to be taken out, but wouldn't think of doing the same with a $200,000 car.  Society teaches men to value their possessions even over their own daughters.
  • Married or not, a man is called to honor his family...whether it is the family of his parents or his own.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What Do I Know?

When faced with a situation that I do not understand, I have often been quick to say "What do I know?"  It was my way of sort of throwing up my hands in resignation and reminding myself that I know nothing; that I have no answers in & of myself.  

Yet yesterday in my prayer time, as I once again pondered inwardly, "I don't know anything"; God reminded me of a statement by Paul.

"For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified." I Corinthians 2:2

God impressed upon me that it might feel really humble to say "I know nothing", but it was an incomplete thought and therefore not fully Biblical.  There was in fact something which I should and must know: Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Turning From A Spirit of Whoredoms

A Call for Virtuous Womanhood

As I reflected on God's will for young girls last week, I considered my own daughters.  It has been a joy to see God's grace as they grow up with discretion and virtue; yet I also know that - as a society - we have strayed far from God's standards. 

The first thing which came to my mind is how fathers give their daughters away in marriage.  While this is a part of marriage ceremonies today, it has mostly lost its significance. 

The reason why the father presents the daughter at the wedding is because it signifies her being given from his household to the household of her husband.  A young girl was to be under the care/authority of her father until she married, at which point she would come under the care/authority of her husband

This was not something to be done just in "Bible days"; nor was it intended to limit the young ladies.  It reflects the protection and covering of patriarchy, a blessing God gives as a reflection of Himself amongst His people. It gives an identity to the family, which is why family members take on the last name of the father (patriarch).  Such is also why the woman replaces her father's last name with her husband's in marriage.

Now, the things which God has given for our benefit, are the very things we despise...because of sin. Today, young ladies cannot wait to leave the home of their parents; to be independent and on their own.  Women often bristle at what should be the honor of taking their husband's last name in marriage.  Many simply append the husband's name to their own in order to retain their own individuality/independence.  Yet these are the poisonous fruit of feminism; it promises a bright, shiny red apple which looks pleasant and able to make one wise, but once bitten it brings death.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Act Like Men

"Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong." I Corinthians 16:13

The phrase "quit you like men"  or "Act Like Men" is the Greek word andrizomai which means "to make a man of, to show one's self to be a man, to be brave."   This phrase was part of the theme of the men's conference Pastor Zac Poonen held in Loveland, Colorado this past weekend.  This other portion of the conference addressed Satan's Tactics.

Links to the list of various discussions, as well as a summary of the lessons, are listed below.  While this message was delivered primarily for men, there are many nuggets of wisdom which could benefit all.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Messages From Heaven or Hell?

Holy Apparitions or Unholy Aberrations

In a previous article, we examined the Biblical example of Mary, the mother of Jesus contrasted with the "other" Mary some in the churchworld attempt to promote.

Posted below is a documentary by Jim Tetlow entitled "Messages from Heaven" which examines worldwide apparitions of a young woman who claims to be Mary, the "Queen of Heaven".  During these visitations, it is not uncommon for there to be men or women who serve as "seers"/ "visionaries" channeling messages from "Mary" to the rest of the world.

This video examines:
  • What is behind the increase in marian apparitions in what is called the "Millennial age of Mary"? (Part 1)
  • The supernatural evidences which accompany these visitations such as healings, paintings of her which weep oil, tears, or blood, and turning silver rosaries into gold. (Part 1)
  • What are the words of this "Mary"?  In the end times, does God really "step in with Mary as the Commander and Chief of all of His forces" to usher in a time of "peace & goodness"? (Part 2)
This last video is an interview with Jim Tetlow regarding his book "Queen of Rome, Queen of Islam, Queen of All" which examines the role "Mary" will play in uniting the world into one ecumenical religion.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I & II Thessalonians

Click here to hear Pastor Zac Poonen's sermon on the Books of I and II  Thessalonians, which is summarized below:

I Thessalonians - The Gift of Godly Ministry in Preparing Us for the Second Coming of Christ
  • True repentance is to turn from idols to God
  • An idol is anything in your life that takes the place of God
  • Paul outlines the gift of a holy, just, and blameless ministry:
    • They do not speak to please men, but God. 
    • They don't use flattering words to appeal to the people.
    • They never preach for the purpose of making money.
    • They do not seek glory or honor from others
    • They do not assert their authority in order to compel people
    •  Their love for the people was shown in gentleness towards them and pouring out their lives in service to them.
    •  They worked hard night and day so as not to be a financial burden on the people.
  • It is not just the message preached, but the way one lives which demonstrates the Gospel.
  •  A true servant of God is like a mother and father; both gentle and nurturing as well as providing discipline and correction.
  • Even though Satan was able to hinder some of Paul's ministerial efforts, Satan could never hinder God's purpose.  So it is with us as well.
  • A servant of God finds joy in the spiritual development of those whom he serves.
  • Holiness is increasing in love for one another and is how we are established unblameable in before God.  
  • It is our responsibility to possess our bodies in sanctification and honor.
  • If our ambition is to please God, then we must study to be quiet, mind our own business, and work with our own hands to earn a living.
  • There is no secret coming of Christ.  He comes immediately after the tribulation with a shout and the trump of God.  Then, the dead in Christ will rise and those who are alive will be caught up to meet Him in the clouds.
  • Jesus only comes as a thief in the night for those who are in darkness. 
  • What does it mean to be asleep?  When we sleep, the things that are real around us seem unreal.  Conversely, the things that are unreal seem real
  • We must highly appreciate our elders and those who labor in the faith.
  • Man is a trinity just like God with a spirit, soul, and body.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Used By God

Used Does Not Mean Approved

I have written before about how it is the light of Christ alone which dispels darkness, not focusing primarily on what the devil is doing.  Yet, God knows that His people are often destroyed for a lack of knowledge.  As such, His word takes time to instruct believers on how to identify false teachers and wolves in sheep's clothing attempting to deceive.

When discussing what Scripture calls "hirelings" in the pulpits (John 10:12-13), it is not uncommon to hear many in the churchworld jump to their defense.  Even when such is a brazen, admitted adulterer clothing his message of spirituality in the branding of a lingerie store which openly exploits immodest images of women for profit.  At least true to form, this ad reveals its real focus; "elevating YOU", not lifting up Christ.  Perhaps the proof editor was off the day this ad was approved, or maybe self-exaltation has become so commonplace in "church" that such messages don't even raise a flag.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Taste and See

Powers of the World to Come

"O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him." Psalm 34:8

The following sermon from Pastor Zac Poonen talks about the importance of not settling in a religious comfort zone, but fulfilling our own personal destiny in Christ as a member of His Body.
  • The Holy Spirit is a down payment on our future redemption
  • Through the Holy Spirit, we can get a taste now of our full inheritance which we will receive later.
  • The gift of the Holy Spirit is given to allow believers to taste the word of God and taste the powers of the world to come.
  • There is a difference between looking at a picture of a great meal and actually tasting it. Do you really want to taste the powers of God or are you satisfied just looking at a picture of it?
  • God has a personal plan for each individual's life
  • If you don't search for God in all your heart, then you will not find Him.
  • The Church will go through the great tribulation in the end times. It is so clear in Scripture, that one must be deliberately blind not to see it.
  • Yet even persecution cannot hinder the building of the church, for the gates of Hell cannot prevail against it.
  • If God can find you as a person who believes, then He will build His church through you.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Tennessee Women's Retreat

The Omega Church & Ministries Center is planning a Women's Retreat in the Smokey Mountains of Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

A time of fellowship and dedication to draw closer to the Lord as women come together in a spirit of Prayer, Praise & Worship to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

These are perilous times in which we live and we all benefit from taking time out to spend with the One whom keeps us daily.  He is our only hope and we need Him desperately.

If you're willing to meet Him, He's willing to make a way for you to come and meet Him.  What do you have to lose?  You have everything to gain --- Eternal Life.

Teens are also welcome when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Grant Me Justice Against Mine Adversaries

Our God IS a Just God

"ALSO Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought ALWAYS to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up)He said, In a certain city there was a judge who neither reverenced and feared God nor respected or considered man.  And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, Protect and defend and give me justice against my adversary.  

And for a time he would not; but later he said to himself, Though I have neither reverence or fear for God nor respect or consideration for man, Yet because this widow continues to bother me, I will defend and protect and avenge her, lest she give me intolerable annoyance and wear me out by her continual coming or at the last she come and rail on me or assault me or strangle me.

Then the Lord said, Listen to what the unjust judge says!  And will not our just God defend and protect and avenge His elect (His chosen ones), who cry to Him day and night? Will He defer them and delay help on their behalf?  I tell you, He will defend and protect and avenge them speedily. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find persistence in faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-8

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You Are What You Eat

We Become What We Observe

As I was reading a devotion from Min. David Wilkerson today, it reminded me of something God had shown me before.  Min. Wilkerson wrote the following:
"But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the  Lord."
(2 Corinthians 3:18).

We become what we observe! The focus of our  attention spreads its influence all through our lives.

What we behold with our spiritual eyes obsesses us — it takes over!  Paul chose to be obsessed with Christ; the Savior became the sole object of his thinking, his preaching, his doctrine.
This is a great spiritual truth which I am not sure many Christians appreciate.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Dogs, The Evil Workers, The Concision

ALL Flesh is Grass

"BEWARE of dogs, BEWARE of evil workers, BEWARE of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.

Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead." Philippians 3:2-11

In the text above, Paul identifies "dogs", "evil workers", and those of the "concision" of whom the Body of Christ needs to be aware.  Paul doesn't use flowery terms to describe these individuals, nor is he mincing words.  His language indicates that he finds such persons to be a real threat to God's people in terms of their spiritual development and to their ultimately "winning Christ".  Yet, we find those of the concision on virtually every street corner in every city in the nation.
concision: a cutting up or off; mutilation.

circumcision: The surgical removal of part or all of the foreskin.
"Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked." Deuteronomy 10:16

Instead of cutting around the heart to remove that which defiles, the concision mutilates you, cutting you off from the very life of God.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Seeking After Righteousness

Self-righteousness, The Righteousness of the Law, or The Righteousness of Christ

"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and HIS righteousness..." Matthew 6:33a

There are all types of righteousness to which we can aspire, but there is only one kind that God desires in His children: the righteousness of Christ.

Do you want to live according to what is right in your own eyes or in the eyes of other people?  That is self-righteousness.

Do you want your outward works to appear righteous while you indulge your inner thoughts, appetites, and emotions without restraint?  That is the righteousness of the Law.

Do you want to truly be holy as God is holy?  That takes the righteousness of Christ.

Which do we really desire in our hearts?  With which are we satisfied?

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What is Your Christianity Worth?

Finding and ABIDING in the Rest of God

"Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."  Matthew 11:29-30

The following message from Pastor Zac Poonen is very encouraging, at least it was for me.  In this sermon, He is teaching on what it means to rest in God:  In part, this addresses:
  • Being Ambassadors for Christ means that we are not citizens of this world.  
  • Most Christians are just playing the fool with Christianity.  The evidence is that there is no growth.
  • Growing in grace only happens as we perceive our lowliness before the Lord.
  • When people give you honor, don't forget that if they knew you as intimately as you know yourself, they would not give you that honor, but would give it to somebody else.
  • You become a true worshiper when God's opinion is the only one that matters.  Then you will always be at rest.
  • The Scriptures describing the true rest of God (Matthew 11:28-30) are followed up directly by Jesus being questioned by the religious leaders about breaking the Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-14).  This contrast is to show that they did not understand what the Sabbath really was. 
  • It is when things are not going well that you know whether you are at rest or not.  So thank God for the little shakings, for such gives us the opportunity to check our foundations.  Is it on the rock or on the sand