Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Maestro of Music

A woman I know recently took her children to see the Justin Bieber concert.  I personally know nothing about him and could not name even one song he sings.  My pastor has mentioned in previous sermons how he has a fingernail polish line, but beyond that I am clueless.

Nonetheless, the woman shared some pictures she took at the concert and one really stood out at me.  It was an image of Justin Bieber floating above the crowd wearing angel's wings.  While that in and of itself may not be particularly interesting, what the wings were made of was: the wings are made of music.

If you look closely at the construction of the wings, you can see that they are made of piano keys, drum cymbals, speakers, guitars...  Bieber is literally presented as the angel of music, who we know was Lucifer.

"Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created." Ezekiel 28:13

Saturday, January 26, 2013

For THERE the LORD Commanded the Blessing

Omega Spring Gathering 

"[A Song of degrees of David.] Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity

It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 

As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore." Psalm 133:1-2

It is something very special to have God's people dwelling together in unity.  As was shared in a previous post, a number of God's promises are only realized when the saints come together in one mind and purpose (unity).

To quote Min. David Pawson, "God doesn't want to just fill individuals with His Spirit, but His Body, His family."  This is the imagery we see in Psalm 133, where God's anointing covers the whole Body and all of Zion.  It is in such a setting of unity that our Lord commands His blessings to come forth.

Friday, January 25, 2013

100% Wrong?

We recently spoke about discerning the difference between the true and false church. Today, I received the following message from Pastor Zac Poonen and felt it was appropriate to share.

Pastor Poonen has often said that the opinion of man - whether good or bad - is fit for nothing but the trash can, and I couldn't agree more.  In these evil days where many name the name of Jesus, but very few it seems are true believers in His words - seek to have the mind of Christ.  Seek to hear as God hears and see as He sees.  Don't be led by emotions, charisma, or even fear.  Neither be concerned about what others think of you.  Simply follow as God leads and let Him take care of the rest.

With apostasy increasing all around us, it is going to be more important than ever before that you know (and submit to) the truth for yourselves.  As you do, you will know those who are of the Lord and those who are not by His Spirit.  The righteous are not identified by the loudest talkers or the biggest crowds, but those transformed to bear the life & power of the Son of God within.

May we all be counted in that number by God's grace.

The Opinion That 99% of Our Fellow-Believers Have About Us Can Be 100% Wrong
by Zac Poonen

In Rev 3:1 we read; and to the angel of the church in Sardis write; He who has the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars says this; ‘I know your deeds, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead.'

The messenger in Sardis was one who had built up a tremendous reputation before others as a spiritual man. But the Lord’s opinion of him was the exact opposite of that of his fellow-believers in Sardis. This shows how carnal and gullible most believers in Sardis were.

More than 90% of believers are unable to differentiate between a carnal preacher and a spiritual one. And more than 99% of believers are unable to distinguish between human-soul-power and Holy-Spirit-power.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Power of a Selfless Life

Jesus, Either a Fence or Offense

You can walk peacefully with many brothers and sisters - and even with those in the world - until the topic of sin comes up.  This is why Jesus is a rock of offense to so many (Romans 9:33; I Peter 2:7-8), even to some who claim to serve Him.  They don't want sin exposed. 

"Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.  But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin." John 15:20-22

Jesus' existence necessitates dealing with sin for such is why He came, to pay for the sin of the world and pave the way for our victory over it.  His very presence removes any cloak man might seek for sin.  For the believer, that is good news!   In fact, as believers walk with God, He will point out more and more within us which is not pleasing to Him as we are perfected in Him.  It is a continual walk of faith, but also of repentance. We must be sure not to be offended by this for that offense is the evidence of things contrary to God within our hearts.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

All Things That Ever I Did

The Beauty of Jacob's Well

"Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour. 

There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat. Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. 

The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. 

The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. 

The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?" John 4:5-29

I have been getting a number of comments lately questioning whether Christians are supposed to address sin or error.  Some say it is not "loving" to do so, and we have talked about that in the past.  However, recently it was said that Jesus never pointed out people's sin; that Christians are only supposed to talk about the sin of believers...and some say we should not even address that!  It was also suggested that pointing out sin to sinners is akin to casting pearls before swine.  I have found none of these assertions to be Scriptural and believe the story of the woman at the well is quite relevant to these assertions.

Friday, January 18, 2013

True vs. False Church

"For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." Matthew 24:24

Some read the above Scripture and think, "The deception in the last days will be very strong, so much that it could almost fool the elect!"  And that is true.

However, when I read that verse, one thing stands out for me: "There is no protection from deception apart from being one of the elect of God."
elect: eklektos, picked out, chosen by God for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus
A person recently commented on how to discern between the true and false church, wondering if the distinction between the two might not be as clear as people think.  While externally (in terms of outward appearance), the difference can be hard to decipher, internally (what happens on the inside) the difference is literally night and day.

First, let's establish that it is God's will to protect His people from deception. He is not nonchalant about this, leaving us to the whims of the Satan.  We belong to God and He is jealous for us (Exodus 34:14; Deuteronomy 4:24; Nahum 1:2; II Corinthians 11:2).  He would not send His only Son to be butchered for the lost, only to have them carelessly swept away by a delusion.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Power to Lay It Down

"Why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead?" Acts 26:8

One day in prayer, I was asking about the power of God and where it was in my life.  God then reminded me of the following Scripture.

"No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father."  John 10:18

I came to understand that the power I needed most was the power to lay down my own self life...and God would take care of the rest.

Jesus could not raise Himself from the dead. This was something He had to trust in and depend upon the Father to do. Yet in God's word, not once do we read about Jesus doubting whether the Father would raise Him.  Jesus knew why He had come and He also knew with certainty that the Father would be faithful to raise Him from the dead.  We know that the same was true of our forefather in the faith, Abraham, who knew the promises God had made and considered Him faithful to fulfill them, even to the raising of one from the dead (Hebrews 11:19).

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Have An Unshakable Life In The New Year

Come & Die!

May the following message from Pastor Zac Poonen encourage you in this new year.
  • Jesus said that in the world we would have tribulation, but in Him we have peace (John 16:33).
  • The coming year is going to be a year of shaking.  The things which can be shaken, will be shaken.  The things which cannot be shaken will remain (Hebrews 12:26).
  • If both of your feet are planted firmly in the Kingdom of God, then you will remain firm and unshaken no matter what happens.  Such persons will show gratitude by serving God in reverence and godly fear.
  • Man is basically a selfish creature who does not think of expressing gratitude easily; not just saying "thank you", but having a deep condition of appreciation in the heart.
  • Only service arising out of gratitude is acceptable to God.
  • Today's Jesus is often presented by the church like He is our 'buddy', with no reverence.  This is why sin abounds so greatly in many lives.  We cannot approach Jesus like that.
  • There is nothing physical which makes us priests for God, but the power of an endless life which is given to us through the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 7:16).