Friday, May 22, 2009

A Comment to Share

I wanted to post the response to a comment that was left under a
previous post titled "Why I Do Not Call Myself Christian". Because I am
posting via mobile. I cannot provide a direct link, but you will find
the link in question on the right side bar under "Frequently Asked
Questions" to follow the thread.

-----------Start of Comment-------------

Although publishing this comment, and the comment I'm about to type, may
start a "war of words", I'm using this opportunity to possibly bring
furthur clarity to truth as it taught by scripture and Spirit.

Mikes, you say "what's important really is how we live and how we
nourish our relationship". In other words our relationship should take
precedence over labeling ourselves "Christian" which is what you call a
"brand".

There can be no doubt, by reason of faith, our relationship with Christ
is not only important, but the very reason our souls have been delivered
from an eternal perishing, but the question becomes how DO we live (IN
Him)?

If we agree that the Word of God is true, then we know, accountfully,
that we have been given a ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18)
whereby we have beome laborers (1 Cor. 3: 1-9) for Him. There is no
doubt that this defines HOW we are to live.

Those who have accepted Jesus Christ of Nazareth, AND are also accepted
OF Him, know that this relationship changes that "old man" who once
lived for himself, has now become a new man that lives for Christ and
His message of reconcilation to the world.

HOW then can we share of His ministry of reconciliation unto lost souls,
if the name which that ministry SHOULD be given by is perceived by those
lost souls as hypocrital, liars and theives? By the name of modern day
Christianity, those lost souls see preachers who have condemned
homosexuality, engaging in it themselves. They have seen Bible school
teachers who have taught little children about the 10 commandments kill
a child, and stuff them in a suitcase. They have seen pastors on
television pandering the Word of God for a "seed" of $108.00. MANY of
these same souls have their own personal experiences with what is call
Christianity today. And by these experiences, they have already resisted
Christ, having NEVER heard the truth in whole.

How then do we live? How then do we nourish this relationship if the
lost souls have resisted their Savior because of this wrong? Christians
have said that unbelievers resist the gospel because they love to live
in their sins. This excuse and accusation is reflected in in how they
BELIEVE a relationship with Christ is about... a legalistic, ritualistic
worship of church (group) regular attendance, sitting quietly in pews
listening to an adapted, watered down version of the Word (1 John 2:27)
implementing, in vain, a lifestyle by a code of morals that will bring
them "righteousness" in God's eyes.

Let the record show that the only relationship that is RECOGNIZED by
Christ are the ones that do "the will of my Father" (Matthew 7:21) and
that will is to present ourselves as a sacrifice to Him and to HIS WILL
(ministry of reconciliation). For this same record (Word) also states:

"For the time has come that judgement 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?" - 1 Peter 4:17

Let me clear, the name, Christian, authentically, is not a "brand", for
it bears the name of Christ. But through time and ages since its
induction, it has come to be associated with a teaching, and a lifestyle
that falsely and deliberately misrepresents Him and His sacrifice at the
cross.

In order for me to be effective and FRUITFUL, (in my relationship with
Him) I need to ensure that I am NOT being associated with THAT teaching,
to me it is akin to taking His name in vain (Det. 5:11).

-----------End of Comment------------

Despite the undeniable apostate condition that plagues Christianity at
large, many Christians downplay or ignore the very truth they claim to
love, in their vigorous defense of what Christianity is today. It is
plain to me that they hold near and dear the traditions that they
believe defines a Christian and not the truth that gives BIRTH to an
authentic Christian.

Let the record show that the only authentic Christian after HIS name's
sake is the one who does the will of the Father. Are you a Christian by
today's apostate standards or a Believer by which you have a holy
ministry, for which Christ gave of Himself? (2 Cor. 4:1)

By NOT making a distinction, the wolves continue to run rampant and
destructively, enabled by "itchy-eared" Christians, who dearly love
their traditions.


"Giving no offence in anything, that the ministry be not blamed:" - 2
Cor. 6:3

Sent from my T-Mobile Sidekick®

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The First Reprint

Now I consider myself fairly articulate, but what a blessing when one can further articulate unto clarity, the principles and truth that the spirit has made known to me! I'm not one to reprint articles of other Christians/Believers. I have not found any worth reprinting. I'm sure you've noticed my Blog Roll is limited and has gotten smaller since I started blogging, which should speak volumes about what I'm about to do here... reprint, with permission of course, in whole, an article that EVERY CHRISTIAN WHO CLAIMS BELIEF IN JESUS CHRIST OF NAZARETH, THE SON OF THE GOD OF ABRAHAM, ISAAAC AND JACOB should read...

Cain and Abel - The Roots of Apostasy

ApostasyWatch.com

by Steve Lumbley


Gen 4:3
And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD. And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering: But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
A while back I was flipping through the television channels and I happened upon Kenneth Copeland teaching from these verses on TBN. I usually don’t pay much attention to Copeland but sometimes the Lord has me watch to see what’s being taught.
Copeland began his teaching by saying that many people over the years have taught that God did not accept Cain’s offering because it was not a blood sacrifice. He then stated that this was a completely incorrect interpretation of these scriptures. He said God’s rejection of Cain’s sacrifice wasn’t about blood sacrifice at all but instead it was about a first fruits offering.
From that point Copeland proceeded to spin a tale of Cain’s refusal to bring forth the first fruits of his harvest. He wove a masterful story of how people back then harvested their fields even going so far as to claim that Cain harvested his field several times (I think it was four harvests) before finally deciding to bring something for God. In other words, instead of bringing forth the first fruits of the field, Cain took care of his own needs first and then gave God the leftovers.
As he spoke I grabbed my bible to follow along. Massive frustration followed as I could not find any corroborating scripture. Copeland spoke with great authority and confidence. If you failed to search the scriptures for yourself you would think he was providing a direct scriptural basis for his yarn. I passed it off as a typical Copeland tactic of adding to the word of God in order to prove his own traditions.
Two days later I was again flipping through the channels when I came across Benny Hinn on the same network. Hinn stepped to the podium and said “open your bibles to Genesis chapter 4. I thought, this sounds like it might be interesting.
Hinn began by stating that the reason Cain’s sacrifice was not accepted was because it was not a blood sacrifice. Sin could only be remitted, he said, by the shedding of blood. Then he dragged out several more scriptures referencing blood and sacrifice.
I sat there in my chair and marveled. Here were two supposed great men of God. Both are purported to have great anointings to teach. Both have massive legions of followers who support them and consider every word out of their mouths to be on par with holy writ. They each taught the same verses and yet one said it was this way and the other said it was that way. The teachings were diametrically opposed and could not both be true. We seemed to have quit a dilemma here! At this point it was obvious that God had caused me to see these two broadcasts for a reason. I opened my bible and began to study this passage of scripture seeking the Lord for the truth.
As I studied and sought God for answers it quickly became apparent that both of these alleged great men of God were wrong. Both had added to the word in order to prove a point. Neither had seen the real lesson in the scriptures.
From what is written here we do not know specifically what it was about Cain’s offering that caused God to reject it. The word does not say and therefore we must assume it is not important for us to know the specifics. But even though we don’t know specifically, there was someone who did know. That someone was Cain himself. He knew what he was supposed to do.
Gen 4:6-7
And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?........
Let’s begin with what we do know. Apparently God had instituted some type of sacrificial system of worship for Cain and Abel. It may have been based on the sacrifice that God himself made when he clothed Adam and Eve with animal skins before he drove them from the garden (Gen 3:21) or it may have been based on something else entirely. Remember, this was long before the law of Moses and the sacrificial system set up for the Jews. The only other reference to this event is in Hebrews 11 where the author tells us that “by faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain,” Again, the term ‘more excellent sacrifice’ does not tell us specifically what it was about the sacrifice that made it more excellent.
All we really know is that Cain and Abel each brought an offering to the Lord. Anyone who teaches beyond that is adding to scripture. But like I said, even if we don’t know the specifics, Cain certainly did. Now let’s see what we can learn from what is actually written.
And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted?........
What is God saying here? Isn’t he giving Cain an opportunity to make it right. Isn’t he saying ‘you know what to do and if you do it I’ll accept your offering’?
……..and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Aha! Here is the real problem. It’s not really about what was offered or when it was brought. It’s about Cain’s unwillingness to obey God. And the reason Cain was not willing to obey God was sin. God was telling Cain that sin was trying to rule over him but that he should rule over sin.
The issue here is sin and that sin was rooted in self will. All sin is based on self will. You see, Cain wanted to worship God as long as he could do it on his own terms. He wasn’t interested in coming to God on God’s terms. He wanted to do it his way. And that is sin. And that self will is still the basis for all sin in the world today.
Original sin is simply self will. When Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil she was supplanting God’s will with her own. She felt like she was able to decide some things for herself. In fact, the serpent deceived her to believe that once she ate she could certainly make decisions for herself. This is the basis for all sin and it is the basis for the eternal struggle within every man. Your will or God’s will?
Just like Cain rebelled against God’s instruction, men and women today seek to come to God on their own terms. Many desire a relationship with Jesus as long as they can do it their way. Many desire eternal life, healing, deliverance, prosperity, and all the other promises as long as it doesn’t cost them anything. There are few that are willing to come to God on His terms.
What are his terms?
Math 16:24-25
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. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it
Those are God’s terms. Lose your life, take up your cross. Follow Jesus. Your will must be put to death. His will must come first and foremost.
The sacrifice and offering God requires of us it to enter into the death burial and resurrection of the lord Jesus Christ. We must put to death the old man and allow Christ to be formed in us.
Gal 2:20
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.
If we fail do this we have no life.
John 6:53
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
To eat of his flesh and drink his blood is to become one with his nature. That is the gospel. That is the cross. The old man must decrease that He might increase. Unfortunately there are few that are willing to do this.
John 6:60 & 66
Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?...........
From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him
.

There is a false gospel that has taken hold in the church today. It is a gospel that requires no sacrifice on our part. It is a gospel that caters to mans self will. It is a gospel that allows men to think they have life but allows them to keep their own will upon the throne. It is a powerless gospel that is really no gospel at all.
Churches today are full of people who have accepted Jesus as lord and savior yet they fail to come to Him on His terms. Apostate religious leaders tell them they can keep their life in this world and still have Christ. They are told that Jesus loves them just the way they are. They are told that since they have made the decision to ‘accept Jesus’, Jesus accepts them without reservation. But Jesus says something different.
Math 7:21
Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

This false gospel is becoming so wide spread that to suggest God requires anything of us will produce conflict. Go ahead, try to tell one of these deceived sheep that unless they do the will of God they are not saved. Tell them that unless their deeds are righteous, they themselves are not righteous (1John 3:7). Do you know what will happen? You’ll soon have a war on your hands. You’ll be accused of preaching works. You’ll be accused of being unloving. You’ll make them mad.
This is exactly what happened between Cain and Abel.
Gen 4:8
And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him
.
Cain, the one who wanted to worship God on his own terms got mad and killed the one who worshipped God in truth. The self willed man slew the man who walked in God’s will and that battle still rages today. This is a type and shadow of what is to come. The church of self will is going to make war against those who walk in God’s will. And they’ll do it for the same reason that Cain did.
1John 3:12
Not as Cain, who was of that wicked one, and slew his brother. And wherefore slew he him? Because his own works were evil, and his brother's righteous
.
The same thing happened to Jesus. The apostate religious leaders of the day walked in their own self will. They didn’t want God’s will.
John11:47-48
Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

They were afraid that if they allowed God’s will to rule they would lose their positions. In other words they wanted to save their own lives. So they murdered the one who walked in God’s will. Do you see it? This was self will attempting to supplant God’s will.
If this happened to Jesus, don’t be surprised when it happens to you.
John 15:20
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.
Jesus said it would happen.
John 16:12
They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
There are two churches in the earth. One is one the narrow path to life. That narrow path is God’s will. The other is on the broad path of self will. That path seems right to all who are on it. But the end of it is death. You are either in the apostate church of self will or you are in the true church of God’s will.
Self will wants to rule over God’s will in your life. It is sin lying at your door. You can rule over that sin by laying down your life, taking up your cross and following Jesus. Or you can allow that sin to rule over you. The choice is yours.
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Steve Lumbley 2005 http://www.apostasywatch.com/
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Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sign of the Times

Ten years ago the subject of prophecy was mum in mainstream churches. That much was obvious to me in my pursuit in understanding the last years of the age of man. A simple mention of the return of Christ brought an awkward angle of conversation between an institutionalized Christian and myself. Many admitted they didn't study the prophecy of the end of the age of man, nor did their pastors teach it.

However, in this year of 2009, I am bombarded with commercialized messages of prophecy. With the obvious the fulfillment of the Word of God in increments, it is pathetic to witness mainstream Christianity playing "catch up" in an attempt to legitimatize their failed doctrines. In commercialized prophecy, Obama is the anti-Christ. The failed economy is a sure sign of Christ's imminent return, some has gone as far setting specific dates of His return based upon these "signs". FiveDoves is such a site. They have gone as far as setting specific dates in September of 2008. Playing "Ring around the Rosy" with scripture to legitimatize their direct disobedience to the Word. Acts 1:6-7

Thus I have noted another trend in the climate of Christianity.  More churches than before have gravitated towards politics. Championing political causes as proof of their genuine Christendom. For example many have said, especially so during the presidential campaign "If you're a Democrat, you support abortion and therefore cannot be a Christian". Today's Christianity  has now become a political forum (much like the Pharisee during Christ's time). Further apostating away from the commandant of principle:

Who then is Paul, and who [is] Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building.  - 1 Corinthians 3:5-9

If we believe these truths, we know that the power of God is what brings forth righteousness in the souls of men. Whereby, we are laborers for Him in planting and watering His Seed (Word) in the hearts and minds of men. But according to the actions and beliefs (political) of Christians today, their labor of "planting" are Tea Parties and organized protests. Their actions of "watering" is imposing legislation against the Free Will that has been set forth by Almighty God. And in doing all this they have become further mired in their own sin, that is to say, their separation from His commandment, and ignore the spiritual condition of their own households.

Switching gears, under the same concept in this post, I happened upon an article: Today's Tykes: Secure Kids or Rudest in History? on MSNBC

"As a 2005 Yale study demonstrated, preschool students are expelled at a rate more than three times that of children in grades K-12 because of behavioral problems.

What does this mean for their future as adults? We may be starting to see some of the effects in Generation Y, those born between 1980 and 1996, whose self-centered - if not downright arrogant - workplace behavior has been well-documented in the popular press since the mid-2000s.

"They've grown up questioning their parents, and now they're questioning their employers. They don't know how to shut up, which is great, but that's aggravating to the 50-year-old manager who says, 'Do it and do it now,' " says Jordan Kaplan, an associate managerial science professor at Long Island University-Brooklyn in New York, in a USA Today article."

This article is confirmation of what I have seen myself since I became a mother 15 years ago. Down right disrespectful children. One reason why I simply cannot have other people's children in my home. Yes, we all know about bratty children. We've all spoken about it and complained of it, but what has NOT been noted are the percentage of these disrespectful children from Christian households. Many of the kids my own children know and play with at school are disrespectful and most of them come from homes where there is some kind of belief in Christ. This is an obvious sign of the time that has been ignored for years:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, - 2 Timothy 3:1 - 3

These behaviors are clearly noted by this (secular) article. Do not be fooled, the "men" spoken of in the scriptures above are the men who were once tykes allowed to incorporate these behaviors into their own personal characteristics over time. I put in bold the characteristics I see in the neighboring children around me.

"lovers of their own selves" - selfishness, not wanting to sharing, self centeredness.

"covetous" - wanting another's child's toy, even though they have the same thing.

"boasters" - the need to promote themselves as better than others

"proud" - not willing to say sorry, even though they understand they were wrong.

"disobedient to parents" - pretending  not to hear their parents, or ignoring them when they are given a clear set of instructions.

"unthankful" - expectations of everything without work or a change in attitude.

"false accusers" - lying on another child. It's amazing how many parents will NOT address this issue.

"incontinent" - temper tantrums and out of control behaviors.

"fierce"  - anger towards another or a parent.

If you're hoping that these characteristics spoken of apply to the men of unbelief,  you are sorely mistaken. Continuing on in the same book and chapter of 2 Timothy, verses 4 to 6 say this:

Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

To erase any doubt that the "men" spoken of here are those who claim to be Christian ( or men of God), here is verse 8 of the same chapter:

Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

This sign of the time is upon us all. While today's Christian are terrified of Obama, I'm petrified of the end result their children!

 

Author's Note:

To the BELIEVER in the unchanged WORD of the living God: Despite the chaos surrounding us in this world and nation, God is not only in control, but has a plan. That plan includes the return of His Son to ultimately restore His reign as King over ALL. In saying this, our hope in Christ is for the world where He SHALL reign. Championing for political causes is akin to placing your hope in Christ for THIS temporal life and it is clear by the Word of God that THIS life is only for season. 1 Corinthians 15:19 It is also clear by the Word that Satan is the prince of the power of the air, and by this assessment we long for, Christ's return. Ephesians 2:2  Meanwhile, we joy and hope and share THAT good news. Keeping ourselves humble and minding our children's spirits as well as our own attitudes towards God FIRST and the inhabitants on this earth second.

May He keep you from evil, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, the Son of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Amen...