Monday, June 27, 2011

If You Don't Know The Lord

Then It's Easy...

If you don't know the Lord, then it is easy to say that all religions are equal.  That there are many ways to "God" and none more valid than another.

If you don't know the Lord, then you won't bat an eye at denying His words, perverting them, or just completely disregarding them.

If you don't know the Lord, then you can laugh whole-heartedly when the things of God are mocked, as people in ignorance demean spiritual gifts or spiritual authority.

If you don't know the Lord, then you will find it amusing when men are are depicted as buffoons, are emasculated in the media, or cross-dress for fame & money.

If you don't know the Lord, then you will champion a woman's "right" to be depicted as a whore, to be sexually promiscuous, or to kill her own children.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Biblical, GODLY Authority

Where are the Men (and Women) of God?

"Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse."  Malachi 4:5-6

It is alarming how many professing Christians in these last days have no understanding of Godly authority.  Although such may seem sound in other areas of the faith - they simply fall apart at a biblical understanding of God's authority.  As a result, many are wishy-washy; unable to stand unequivocally for the things of God and following every whim, every false spirit, because they are spiritually blind

Some claim that there is no authority in the church and completely reject organized fellowship as they go rogue in a "I am just led by the Spirit" perspective.  Another extreme is to simply submit to anyone who claims to be "called" without regard for Godly standards about church leadership.  Yet, one of the most common expressions - and perhaps the very foundation - of this blindness is what God notes in Malachi Chapter 4: a rejection of patriarchy.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Is Your Life Worth Living?

How to Have a Life That is Not All in Vain

"Let us hear the conclusion of the WHOLE matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man." Ecclesiastes 12:13

In my childhood, I used to love a song by the Clark Sisters entitled, "Is My Living in Vain?" The lyrics go as follows:

Is my living in vain
Is my giving in vain
Is my praying in vain
Is my fasting in vain

Am I wasting my time
Can the clock be rewind
Have I let my light shine
Have I made ninety-nine

No, of course not
Its not all in vain
No, no LORD, no
Cause up the road is eternal gain

I would sing this song with vigor, even while my life was truly being "lived in vain" as I was on a path set for Hell.  It is interesting how you can sing Gospel songs with fervor, say Amen to the preacher, and yet still be far, far away from God.  Mere excitement about the Lord can deceive us into believing we are somewhere we are not and blind us to our true condition (Romans 10:2).

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Are You Soulish or Spiritual?

What Does it Mean to Live in the Spirit?

"And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." I Thessalonians 5:23

We had posted previously about the importance of entering the most holy place.  Yet in the following message, Pastor Zac Poonen breaks down what it really means to do so.  How do we enter into the most holy place and why is this important? We must understand this in order to understand what it means to be spiritual.
  • Our "whole spirit, soul, and body" must be preserved blameless until Christ's return.  Yet many do not understand the difference between living spiritually, living soulishly, or living carnally.
  • Spiritual - Being ruled by the Holy Spirit
  • Soulish - Being ruled by your own human personality (our mind, emotions, etc.). 
  • Carnal - Being ruled by bodily passions.
  • God tells us that the word of God brings a division between the soul and spirit (Hebrews 4:12).
  • Jesus - as the Living Word - came, not only to pay for our sins, but to show us how to live; and then He sent the Holy Spirit to empower us to live as He did.
  • Every born again Christian has the Holy Spirit, but that is not the same thing as being filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • We need to understand that the Old Testament tabernacle is an illustration of the design of man.
  • The place where God dwells is the most holy place, and He desires for us to go through into this place and LIVE there.
  • The thing that separates us from the most holy place is our own will!
  • Knowledge of Scripture and fervor in praise does not mean one is spiritual.  You must go beyond mind and emotions through the veil into the most holy place!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I AIN'T Goin' Bow!!!!!

How to Avoid a "Wreck"

This is one of the best sermons I have heard in....well, in forever.  Seriously?  Yes.

If you don't heed anything else on this site - if you only have time for one message - this is the one to which you need to listen.

In the following study, Pastor Gary C. Price breaks down what really occurred in the Garden of Eden, what happens during salvation, and what will be the nature of the spiritual battle in these last days.   

As the days grow darker, we have to decide that we are not going to bow to Satan and his wicked Babylonian systems.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Books of Titus & Philemon

Adorning the Doctrine of God in All Things

The following are notes from a sermon by Pastor Zac Poonen on the books of Titus & Timothy where he reviews the qualifications for church leadership, the marks of a Godly minister, and the practical things of Christian living.

The Book of Titus
  • Some of Paul's closest companions were not Jewish, but of Greek heritage, i.e. Luke, Timothy, & Titus.  It was evidence that, in Christ, people of all nationalities could work together; there is no longer Jew nor Gentile because we are all made new in Christ.
  • The thing Paul stresses in the latter days of his ministry is godliness.  This is also a sign of maturity in a minister and what ministries need to focus on for this is what builds the church.
  • Paul was concerned that there be elders in every church, and it was always plural (at least 2); never just one pastor or a one man show.
  • The qualifications of an elder are that: he must have a good testimony, be the husband of one wife, have disciplined children at home who believe, not be quick tempered, not be interested in money,  be hospitable, love what is good, be self-controlled, and be able to teach hygienic doctrine.
  • We have a responsibility to make sure that "empty talkers" - those who have nothing of substance to say - do not have free rein to preach in the church.  Such must be silenced.
  • The love of money is a very important factor in consideration of Godly ministry.  Many preachers cannot speak about the sin of loving money because they are not faithful in money themselves.
  • The church is supposed to be a stark contrast against what is seen in the world's societies.
  • If you do everything with the wrong motives, then you will assume that others do the same.  This is why people can always see impurity, even in that which is good.
  • Hygienic doctrine is what pertains to practical Christian life; at home, at work, in the church, etc. 
  • Christ has redeemed us for the purpose of purifying for Himself a people who are zealous to do good works.
  • The great need in Christian homes and pulpits these days is truly Godly authority.   

Saturday, June 4, 2011

The Books of Jonah & Micah

The Faithfulness of God vs. the Faithfulness of Men

"Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown." Revelation 3:11

How can someone else "take" your crown, the reward that God has kept and planned for you?

You can miss it altogether if you are unfaithful in your life; and the ministry which was to be yours, God gives to another.

The following is a summary of Pastor Zac Poonen's reviews of the Books of Jonah & Micah

Friday, June 3, 2011

God's First Messages to Man

Forty Messages From Genesis Chapters 1 to 11

The following notes are a great message from Pastor Zac Poonen as he goes through the first eleven Chapters of Genesis to succinctly present God's first messages to man.

1. Be honest about your condition (1:2). The earth was dark, empty and shapeless. Sin had affected the earth. If you want God to work in you and remake you, be honest about your condition. Admit that you are dark, empty and without the image of Christ. The thief on the cross said: I deserve to be crucified. I deserve punishment. Therefore the Lord said to him: You will be with me in paradise.

2. Submit to the Holy Spirit's workings (1:2). You cannot fulfil your function in the Body of Christ unless you are baptized in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit moves in us to make us like Jesus. Any area of your life that is not open to the Holy Spirit will remain dark, empty and under the control of the devil. Let the Holy Spirit control every area of your life.

3. Listen to God's Word daily (1:3 ff). The words, “Then God said” occurs 7 times in this chapter indicating that God speaks every day. If you want transformation, you should listen to God daily. Otherwise you will remain empty, dark and shapeless. It is written about Jesus in Isaiah 50:4 “He awakens me morning by morning. He awakens my ear to listen as a disciple.” Develop the habit of listening. The first words of Jesus after His baptism were, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God”.

4. Allow God to separate you from all darkness (1:4). God separated the light from darkness. In Luke 11:35, Jesus said, “Take heed that the light in you be not darkness”. In 2 Cor 4:6, it is written, “God who said, ‘Light shall shine out of darkness’ is the One who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Daniel's Little Horn

The following sermon from Pastor Gary C. Price at Omega Church & Ministries Center was one I heard during my first year as a new Christian.  Apart from the truth of the message, one of the things I remember most was the way the devil vehemently reacted to it.

Towards the end of the sermon - just as Pastor Price began to speak about God's judgment against Satan (and all those who follow him) - a demon rose up in a woman attending the service.  She took off her shoe and began to violently attack the woman next to her with its high heel. Chaos erupted as some people began to flee the congregation while others attempted to restrain the attacker or assist the bleeding victim.

Personally, I too wanted to flee - and even turned around to do so - but God would not let me.  He told me to stay and to intercede.  I did as God directed, while Pastor Price began to pray over and cast the demon out of that woman.

Many thoughts ran through my head. THIS was church???  Wasn't church just a place you go to once or twice a week to hear a nice sermon, sing some songs, and exchange well wishes with our brothers and sisters in Christ?  But violent reactions to the word of God?  Spiritual warfare? Casting out demons?