Psalm for the Day

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Deception produces denial

How do we recognize an unhealthy church?
Churches can be ‘spiritually abusive’ with a range of mildly abusive to severe cases of control and manipulation.
Jezebelian pastors resist admission of failure or that such a problem could exist in their church.
In order for a genuine change of heart, pastors must first acknowledge the problem and repent.
In most cases the pastor will focus the blame on others. Those who speak out or leave the church were “not committed” or have “lost their passion!”
Unfortunately, it is often useless to point out the problem of abuse because an unhealthy church lives in a world of denial.  Many of the pastors are deceived therefore so is their members.
Although they may be sincere in their efforts, they may have no idea their leadership style is unhealthy and harmful.
They are usually so narcissistic that they don’t notice the wounds they are inflicting on their members. These types of people often twist Scripture to justify their narcissistic behavior.  Hence, this is the opening door for the Anti-Christ spirit to enter in.
Most people will go along with this behavior because they assume their pastor knows the Bible better than they do, or they don’t want to deal with the retaliation of their anger or they choose to live in denial because it is easier.
NO change is required for a state of denial!
We’ve come back to a lukewarm condition that so many churches are in today.
There is nothing more disgusting or nauseating than ‘tepid’ water. So there is nothing more repugnant to Christ than a ‘tepid’ church.
There is very little warm hearted spirituality in an unhealthy church.  The cause of this ‘lukewarmness’ is self-deception.
This deception enslaves the church in a state of denial whereby the Anti-Christ spirit helps us justify our actions by twisting God’s word to fit our fleshly desires.
Denial makes most of us refuse to believe Rev. 3:17’s description of how Jesus may see us when He said, “….you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
Deception produces denial powered by the Anti-Christ spirit!
This fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah that says,
   ‘When you hear what I say, you will not understand.
   When you see what I do, you will not comprehend.
  For the hearts of these people are hardened,
      and their ears cannot hear,
   and they have closed their eyes—
      so their eyes cannot see,
   and their ears cannot hear,
      and their hearts cannot understand,
   and they cannot turn to me
      and let me heal them.’          Matt. 13:14-15  (NLT)

Praise God for His patience! 
He still loves the Church in this apostate condition.  “As many as I love, I rebuke.”   If the Lord has rebuked you, then be thankful, He loves you.  If the Lord chastens you, be thankful, you are His child and He loves you.

Jesus Loves Me!

London bridge is falling down....falling down.....

Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting.  They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them.”  Acts 2:2-3  NIV

Some people have been saying revival is coming while others have been declaring revival is here.

The truth is a revival is coming right after we go through a transition.

Revival must burst forth within before it can burst into flames outwardly.
If an inward revival does not take place first, burning off the defilement from within our hearts then we would have a defiled revival.  Another false---man made---Holy Ghost goose bumps---warm fuzzy feeling revival that only lasted for a moment. 

NO CHANGE!

A true revival will bring a genuine change just as it did to those in the upper room in Acts 2.

A drastic change, so much so, that people were turning to Jesus even unto death.

Suddenly means: abrupt, quick or hasty.  When the winds of change come we will know it.  No one will have to put on a performance to convince us we are in God’s presence.  His presence will come just as it did in Acts 2.  So quick and powerful our lives will be changed.

This transition will bring that type of change for us.

Lately the Holy Spirit has been talking to me about this change.  He has used the illustration found in 1 Kings 18: 42-46, where Elijah sent his servant to look for rain.  The servant finally came back saying he had seen a cloud as small as a man’s hand rising over the sea.

A torrent rain then came upon the land.

The Holy Spirit said to me, “a gentle breeze is bringing in the violent winds of a hurricane! 

So we have the warning illustrated as: 

A small cloud = torrent rain
A gentle breeze = violent hurricane winds

Church we are past the gentle breeze and are in the midst of transition.  The high winds are turning into destructive winds.

Last week I had a vision of ‘people sitting on a throne……a pedestal.  I then saw their throne’s being kicked right out from under them.’

The Holy Spirit said, “remember Proverbs 16:18, “ Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”

Then He said, “do not forget Rev. 18: 7-8  “She glorified herself and lived in luxury,
      so match it now with torment and sorrow.
      She boasted in her heart,
      ‘I am queen on my throne.
   I am no helpless widow,
      and I have no reason to mourn.’
Therefore, these plagues will overtake her in a single day—
      death and mourning and famine.
   She will be completely consumed by fire,
      for the Lord God who judges her is mighty.””

Those I saw on their thrones fell off.  The shocked look on their faces was overwhelming.

My heart was grieved beyond words because some never got up.  They never repented or recovered from the fall.

The Holy Spirit continues to repeat these two nursery rhymes to me:
“London bridge is falling down, falling down,  London bridge is falling down….”

“Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.   Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.  ….no one was able to put him back together again….”

Are you ready for change?

Are you ready for the hurricane?

Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”  Rev. 3:22

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Taskmaster or Servant?

True spiritual leaders---pastors are defined by Christ’s example.  “Whoever wants to be great among you must become the servant of all.”  Matt. 20:26
Christ-like leadership=Servant hood!
True leaders gain the loyalty of their members because of the quality of their character and their attitude of servant hood.
Good leaders lighten the load of their members while abusive leaders add to the load of their members.
There is a high rate of burnout among the members of an unhealthy church.  In order to gain approval or prove yourself a ‘true member’ unhealthy churches require levels of service that are very cumbersome, resulting in emotional turmoil or spiritual breakdowns.
Controlling pastors use their position to demand loyalty and inflict guilt if you are not ‘serving’ his church in some capacity.
The greatest threat to the Church today is unhealthy ---abusive leadership.  Often the unhealthy church is built around the pastor and ‘his’ anointing.  Members are lead to believe the church is ‘what’ it is today because of the pastors anointing.  They are lead to believe there is no one else as anointed in the church as he is.
Soon the pastor self-proclaims himself as a prophet, apostle or bishop.  They will then gravitate to others who will validate their self appointment.
Many may have begun with the right intentions, but unresolved issues, unforgiveness, pride or an unmet need of significance caused them to become dependent upon their ministry to meet their needs.
Although pastors are called to lead their congregations, they are under the authority of God’s word.  Therefore, they need some form of accountability.  
 Truth and authority is not rooted in personality, title or office.  It is determined by God’s word.
Unfortunately, Jezebelian pastors do no desire a system of accountability.  They feel it is their church and they are totally in charge and in control.  However, to make themselves look like they are accountable they set up a board of elders who consist of “yes-men” whom he ultimately selects.
They are there to make him look good and are shamed if they dare question his leadership authority or decisions.
Jezebelian pastors are fiercely independent and do not function well in a structure of accountability. 
People who question his ‘system of accountability’ or lack of accountability are labeled rebellious, backsliders, have lost their passion for Christ, unteachable or trouble makers. They will be faced with some kind of action to publicly ridicule, shame, shun, ignore, humiliate or destroy their character to save his “kingdom.”
A controlling Jezebelian church can be very harmful because it keeps people wounded, stagnant and deceived.
The church slowly begins to die, then a rapid decline in members, finances and God’s presence occurs.
The church is soon struggling to hold on to the small group that has remained.
The truth is a means of freedom, not bondage.
“You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

Friday, January 28, 2011

"It Is For Freedom That Christ Has Set Us Free..." Gal. 5:1 NIV

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.”  Gal. 5:1  NIV

Unhealthy –abusive churches, past and present, are first and foremost recognized by a strong, control-oriented pastor.  These pastors use guilt, fear, a false sense of God’s presence and intimidation to manipulate members to remain loyal.
Members are led to believe that there is no other church quite like theirs and that God has singled them out for special purposes.
People who don’t follow their rules, bow to their intimidation or threaten to expose them are dealt with harshly.   They are shunned and criticized!
A church that appears theologically sound with regard to the doctrines of Christianity, but whose actions and practices are cultic in nature, can still be considered a cult of Christianity, a.k.a. cultic church----unhealthy!
Unhealthy churches produce “bad fruit” behaviorally!
Sadly, these behaviors are learned from the leaders---pastors.
As in the OT, when Moses poured the oil of anointing over Aaron as the High Priest, this oil flowed down from the top of his head, his beard…..etc.
So if the pastor as the “headship – high priest” of the church has defiled his anointing and it flows down to the members sitting in the pews;  how does that affect those in the pews?
Defiled anointing can also be on the worship leaders as they serve under defiled headship.
Remember, the anointing flows down!  That would mean defiled worship, defiled sermons and deceived people.
Aaron made a calf and all of Israel danced around a “fire” and worshipped an idol, made by their high priest.
The fire was there alright, but it wasn’t the fire of God.    The fire didn’t fall from heaven, if it had it would have consumed the defiled “church” just as the fire from heaven consumed Elijah’s sacrifice on Mount Carmel.  (1 Kings 18)
1 Kings 18:38-39  tells us exactly what happened when God showed up! 

Elijah did not arrogantly tell the people they were in the presence of God.  They KNEW it!

They did not need to be coached or convinced…they immediately fell on their face and cried out.

 God’s words says… “ Immediately the fire of the Lord flashed down from heaven and burned up the young bull, the wood, the stones, and the dust.   It even licked up all the water in the trench!   And when all the people saw it, they fell face down on the ground and cried out, “The Lord—he is God!   Yes, the Lord is God!”

When the fire of God does fall, people will fall to the ground trembling and scream for mercy. 
The fire of God will bring a true undefiled fear of God and real Holy Ghost goose bumps!
Then genuine repentance will come to the Church!! 
A false fire is a religious spirit that gives us false emotional goose bumps, which deceives us into believing a lie!
Where are the pastors, prayer warriors, elders and Christians who recognize Satan controlling the church?
Who is willing to rise up, step out of the boat and follow the one true God?
Who is willing to be bold and say, “enough false religion?”
Who is willing to be brave and bold to say, “I want the truth?”  “ I’m tired of being lied to, mislead and deceived?”
When are we going to demand the lies to stop and the truth to begin?
Who is willing to stand up for all Jesus died for?
When are we as Christians going to demand the defilement to leave the Church?
I am tired of playing church, pretending to be in the presence of God and I am tired of defiled worship.
Does anyone else’s Bible make reference to the fact that there is NO sin in God? 
Sin cannot be in the presence of God, so how can we be in His presence when our hearts are defiled with the sins of bitterness, jealousy, hatred, unforgiveness, pride, haughtiness, lust, greed, theft, lies, drunkenness, selfishness, drugs, pornography, adultery, control-manipulation, double-mindedness, strife, offense…...need I go on?
How can we be in God’s holy presence when we have NOT turned from our sins and changed into His likeness.  I mean a change to the degree that sin repulses you!
God had to turn His back on His own Son when He hung on the cross bearing our sins.   And we so arrogantly strut into church without repenting and believe the lie that we are in God’s presence…..sin and all!
Really?    It is a presence alright but it ain’t God’s!   We must not forget Satan loves to lie and deceive.
Church when will you be ready for the true fire of God?
How much longer does Jesus have to wait upon us?
Are you ready for change?
Get ready…….
Listen…….listen for the wind of change!     Can you hear it?
“Jesus, Son of David have mercy on us.”  Please!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Are You Ready For Jesus To Return?????

Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. 
 But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.”       Rev 3:3  NIV

A warning to the Church that is basically saying, you are not in darkness and that day should not overtake you as a thief.  You are children of the light, therefore walk as children of the light.

I think it is wrong to just bury our heads in the sand and say, “there is no problems in the Church or deny sin exists in the Church or pretend everything is fine because we don’t want to change.
If we would be honest with ourselves we would ask the questions is there something wrong with me, is there something wrong with the Church?   Is God pleased with His Church?
We can pretend everything is okay, pass the blame, live in denial or be quick to tell others they shouldn’t judge.
But I don’t want to be blind to the deception of Satan, live in denial or pretend all is well and not be opened to the voice of the Holy Spirit.
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”   Rev. 3:22

If there is something wrong or off course by a small degree, I want to be open so God can reveal it to my heart and show me.

David said in Ps 139:23,  “Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!”  

We all know that sin has found a home in the Church.  In most churches Satan is not intimidated or threatened to be there.
When sin entered this world through man, Satan set up his throne on earth.
When the Church allows sin to dwell in the pews and/or on the platform or becomes worldly, Satan has the opening to set up his throne in that church.
We can pretend we are better than the ‘lost’ outside the church walls, but…..are we?
How many “Christians” will be left behind when Jesus comes?
I think it would be appropriate for Jesus to come back on a Sunday morning!
What a shock that would be to a lot of ‘show-Christians.”
How many “Christians” would be left sitting on “their” pews?
How many worship leaders would be left on the platform showing off?
How many pastors would be left standing at the pulpit?
Are you ready for Jesus to return?
It's who you are and the way you live that count before God. Your worship must engage your spirit in the pursuit of truth. That's the kind of people the Father is out looking for: those who are simply and honestly themselves before him in their worship. God is sheer being itself—Spirit. Those who worship him must do it out of their very being, their spirits, their true selves, in adoration”   John 2:24  Msg Bible

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Trust God To Be Your Strength and Your Defense!

“…. you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  Jn 8:32 NIV

What is it about people that make them want to control others?

Control comes in many forms; domination, violence, anger, oppression, to subtle forms like the way one may speak to another, or manipulate others by preying on their insecurities.

Examples of controllers are:  cult leaders, dictators, religious leaders and governments.

Controllers can also be in our homes through a spouse or a child.

By controlling the environment and essentially that of the person being controlled gives the controller power and it ups their self-esteem.  They know that whatever the other person does or says, they have control of the situation and can manipulate the other person to do what they want.

Most often controllers get off on the power they feel when they know that the other person/people are completely under their influence.  If the controlled person becomes unruly or does or says something out of line, the controller just uses a few manipulative phrases to bring that person back under their control of domination.

A healthy church will not allow a pastor to cross the line into control and manipulation. 

A true shepherd will use his influence to draw church members into a close relationship with Jesus, who is the only “head of the church.’  (Eph. 5:23) 

A true shepherd realizes that the people in his congregation don’t belong to him---they are God’s flock.

Jesus never motivated or tried to influence anyone with fear.  In a controlling church, fear is a form of manipulation regularly used.

Many times people are tempted to feel that they will never escape the controlling grasp of a Jezebelian leader.   Satan will cause ‘you’ to think that the controlling leader’s influence is greater than it really is.  Don’t give into Satan’s temptation.

This word applies to all areas of our lives where we encounter controllers:  church leaders, spouse, a child, bosses, co-workers or friends.

Trust God to be your strength and your defense.  Keep your heart pure.

 Pray for those who have used you, and bless those who curse you.

God will anoint your head with oil and heal your wounds.  (Ps 23:5 (b) )

Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain.
 Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.  He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.
For there are many rebellious people, full of meaningless talk and deception, especially those of the circumcision group.”   Titus 1:7-10

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"People Are Slaves To Whatever Has Mastered Them"

“ These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved for them.  For they mouth empty, boastful words and, by appealing to the lustful desires of the flesh, they entice people who are just escaping from those who live in error.
 They promise them freedom, while they themselves are slaves of depravity—for “people are slaves to whatever has mastered them.”  
 If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and are overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning.
 It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than to have known it and then to turn their backs on the sacred command that was passed on to them.  
Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”  and, “A sow that is washed returns to her wallowing in the mud.”    2 Peter 2: 17-22 NIV

Monday, January 24, 2011

"He Who Has An Ear, Let Him Hear..."!!!!!!!!!!

Revelation 3:22 (New King James Version)

 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

Love flows out of our deep gratitude for God’s love for us, rather than out of our likes and dislikes.   “We love him because he first loved us…”  1 John 4:19
For the believer, to ‘fear’ the Lord is to give Him the highest respect.  It is not a matter of feeling intimidated by Him or His character.  But it is out of our respect for Him and His authority, that we walk in all His ways and keep His commandments.

Our love for Him should overflow out of us to others.

In an unhealthy church the fear of God is mentioned but the passion to live in this love and reverence has died. 
Man has elevated himself to equal God.  He tries to manipulate and control God’s people through false love and false prophesy using the spirit of fear.
How does a leader become a dictator?      Fear.
Fear can trap people into a controlling behavior.  They have a problem with trust.  Love is replaced by fear and control.  When people feel threatened they often become fearful. 
Fear grows into a Jezebelian authority over the Church.
In fear, people begin to condemn, strike out and hate.  Fear can bring a church into a place of control which results in a loveless environment.
How many times have you heard, “I love you….”?  Then you are mistreated, ignored or snubbed.
Love is only ‘empty’ words to them, not action.
Sin does exist in the church!
Control and manipulation is a form of witchcraft.  Satan, also is knocking on the door of the Church.  He can take over a church through a Jezebelian leader.
Fear= control & manipulation =  Jezebelian leader/pastor = SIN!
As a result, many sincere believers are led astray.  Many leave the church hurt, grieved, disappointed, sour and offended by the very place they came to be loved and accepted.
They leave with a distorted view of Jesus and the gospel, which causes many to ultimately walk away from God altogether.
For those that manage to survive within an authoritarian Jezebelian church usually experience feelings of guilt, condemnation, and worthlessness hangs over them like a dark cloud.
In summary, those that wish to act as dictators are not fulfilling a calling of God, but rather elevating themselves into a position to serve their own self-interests and ambitions.  They step outside of biblical teachings for the purpose of fulfilling their desires to control the lives of others all under the guise of “religion”.  They use God for their own personal gain.
“But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They'll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They've put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can't tell right from wrong.
“They give the way of truth a bad name. They're only out for themselves. They'll say anything, anything, that sounds good to exploit you. They won't, of course, get by with it. They'll come to a bad end, for God has never just stood by and let that kind of thing go on. “ 2 Peter 2: 1-3 Message Bible

Saturday, January 22, 2011

God, How Do YOU See My Heart?

What is going on in your heart?
Is the love of God reigning in your heart?
It is what’s in a person’s heart that really counts.   God is concerned about what is in your heart not your outward appearance.  He is not concerned about the rituals you observe or participate in at church.
The Apostle Paul tells us that not all who have the Law are justified.  Spiritual circumcision is not an outward ritual, it is something that takes place within a person’s heart.
Spiritual circumcision is an inward work within the heart.
There are many who are trusting in the outward observance of the Law, where in realty what really matters is what’s in a person’s heart.
Most churches today are hindered by a growing coldness in their relationships with one another. They have become loveless.  Church has become a social event rather than a place to pursue the Living God.
The world is full of wounded people that Pastors and ‘Christians’ have manipulated, abused or neglected in a time of spiritual need.
A compassionate church is a healing environment, a place where acceptance is extended to those who are wounded and hurt.
A cold---loveless church dies twice!  First inwardly and then outwardly.  The Holy Spirit is absent in a legalistic, cold, judgmental church.   Sadly, people will continue to gather out of habit, out of duty—but when they die, the church dies with them.  Spiritual death and then physical death.
 “Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions.”                                                       1 John 3:18    (New Living Translation)
How does God see your heart?
Is there anything hidden in there?      …..huummm….maybe a little:  unforgiveness, hatred, bitterness, jealousy, lust, addictions, greed, anger, selfishness, lies, pride, …anything else????
What could be hidden deep within your heart that you are trying not to acknowledge or have you just learned to live with it?
When’s the last time you asked God how He sees your heart?

Friday, January 21, 2011

If You Do Not Repent, The Holy Spirit Will Not Stay In Loveless Church!

And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”   John 8:32 (Amp. Bible)

It is when the Church tolerates sin that it is going to die.
In Rev. 2:4 Jesus said, “…. I have this against thee, because you have left your first love.”
The Lord is really longing for a loving relationship with His people over their “works”.   Jesus is telling us He misses our “first” love:  Him.
What happened to the love-sick relationship where we longed for Him, where we would not talk or move until we reached the center of His presence?
He longs for us to want to put Him first, to make Him our first love again, where we talk less and seek Him more.  The way it was at the beginning.
He is a jealous God!
How did the Church get so far off course?
How did we allow man to take God’s place in our hearts and lives?
Jude warned us of those who would ‘creep’ in.  (Jude 4)
Could it be possible that we got caught sleeping?  In this state of slumber we want to be seduced with the flattery of man.  We want man to like us, love us and be impressed with us so much so that we are willing to compromise or look the other way.
The Church has gone backwards…….backsliding!  (Rev. 2:4)
Change----Turn----Repent!
So the warning is:  Jesus---The Holy Spirit will not stay in a loveless church.  He will take that church away from His presence. 
In essence He is saying, “if you don’t repent, I am going to take and remove the church form My presence.  I will not stay.”   (Rev. 2:5)
The tragedy of so many churches today is a lack of love which results in the absence of the Holy Spirit.   The lack of love and the absence of the Holy Spirit opens the door to fighting, offenses, back-stabbing, hatred, pride, jealousy, control……in other words: evil---sin enter in!
Remember, Satan is a copycat. He too, is knocking on the door of the Church.  Satan knows how to charm and deceive.
With evil/sin in the Church how can we truly be in the presence of God?
In order to be in the true presence of God we must first repent, give Him first place, open the door for Him to return as the Head and allow His love to fill our hearts.
More importantly than miracles, man’s ego or a building is a true relationship with Jesus!
Love is Everything!
 “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.”  1 Cor. 13:1-2   NIV
Jesus Loves Me!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Deception! Are You "In" It, Or Are You Overcoming It?

 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.”   John 8:32 (Amp. Bible)

We can overcome the world!  The selfish, controlling, compromising---lukewarm condition of the church can be changed!
However, to be an over comer we must repent of our pride, selfishness, controlling, lustful and manipulating attitudes.
Unfortunately, many churches refuse to see themselves in a compromised position.
Man becomes the church and uses his position to feed his ego, control, manipulate and deceive all in the name of “self”.
Many people follow “the man” rather than the Word.  They slip into a state of denial, sleepiness and deadness.   They become defensive, argumentative and angry at anyone who may try to sound the alarm.   Most people choose to stay in a state of denial.
Why?     They don’t want to change!

Denial is an emotion rooted in fear that causes a person to refuse to acknowledge and/or act upon a revelation----a truth that has been revealed.
Denial is refusing to accept responsibility!   
Why?   Because it would mean “you” would have to take responsibility of the truth, act upon it, trust God and change.
Denial means we don’t want to change!
Denial also means we refuse to believe the truth.  We don’t want to see the truth or hear it!
By living in denial we learn how to justify the sin/evil, compromise and distortion in our lives.
Therefore, it is best that no one talk about ‘it’.  No one wants to see the evil that exist within the Church.
One word can sum it up:   Deception!

“God help us to be true and faithful followers of what you want Your Church to be.”
Jesus Loves Me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Am I Willing To Change????

“Behold I stand at the door and knock…”   Rev. 3:20
Most churches today have shut Jesus out.  He comes to the door as the lover in the Song of Solomon.  “It is the voice of my beloved! He knocks, saying, “open for me….”   Song of Solomon 5:2
Jesus gives this great invitation to His Church.  He is standing at the door asking for entrance to come into an intimate relationship.
The key to opening the door is to first hear His voice.  Once we give attention to the voice of Jesus/Holy Spirit only then can we be rescued from our lukewarm, deceptive state.
When we open the door He will come in where upon we can enter into an intimate relationship.
The “Church” is made up of individuals, who are known as the body of Christ. 
He is knocking on the door/heart of each person who must decide to open the door.  It is our choice to step out of the world, die to the flesh, enter into a relationship with Jesus or remain in a deceived, lukewarm state.
Jesus gives us that choice because He wants us to want Him.  He will not infringe upon our free will.  The choice must be made by each individual; the church will only change when we ---each one of us, change into His likeness----from glory to glory.
The church will never improve, heal, or change until each person decides to change.    It is not about our ego’s, where we think others need to change.  It is about us----me---myself and I! 
Am I willing to change?
Am I expecting others to change for me?
Change is painful but so is crucifixion.
Jesus bore the pain to change us----me---you!
Sadly, we don’t want the pain of change!  When we fail or refuse to look inward to change we become stale----lukewarm---cold.    Jesus said, “I will vomit you out of My mouth…”  Rev. 3:15-16
Ouch!
One of my favorite songs ends with the verse:  “….for Your power at work in me, is changing me.” (Who Is There Like You?)
Those who refuse to change, reveal or prove the hardness in their heart.  Guess we can see that!
Jesus is standing at the door of your heart knocking.
CAUTION!   Open at your own risk!
That means: you will have to change!
Then…… we will truly become His Church…..His Bride!
“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32  NKJV

Monday, January 17, 2011

There Is No Greater Curse Upon the Earth Than Deception!

“….you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:52 NKJV

Jesus died for everyone with no strings attached.  Which means, He died because He loved us, took our sins upon Himself yet leaving us the freedom to choose or reject Him.
He gave us a free-will. We can make the choice to be like Him or be a fake….a show-Christian.
In Rev. 3:20, Jesus said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock…..”
Generally this verse is used to preach to ‘sinners’ outside the church, but Jesus was speaking to the Church.
To a church who at one time allowed Jesus to stand as the Headship. He was given the freedom to lead His Church, but now He has found Himself excluded and standing outside knocking for the door to be opened for Him to return.
  He is seeking entrance!
What is deception?   “A church that appears to be outwardly spiritual and yet have no Holy Spirit in its midst and be totally unaware of the fact.”
How did Jesus/Holy Spirit come to be outside the Church?
The Religious leaders of Jesus’ time, on earth, rejected Him and crucified Him.  He now has been excluded from His Church.
How did this happen?
The lust of man, his ego and his emotions became more important than surrendering to Jesus.
It has become abundantly clear that Jesus/Holy Spirit has been shut out and shut down in the Church all for man’s ego.
Sadly, most people sitting in church don’t seem to miss the presence of God.
They continue to play church as if nothing has gone awry.
DECEPTION!
They worship, sing praises and engage in all “forms” of religious acts-----yet the Holy Spirit has withdrawn.
Why?    Sin == worldliness…Jezebelian spirit in leadership…..Balaam spirit over worship====deception.
There is no greater curse upon the earth than deception. “….having a form of godliness but denying its power.”  2 Tim. 3:5  NIV
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.  Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”   Gal. 6:7-8  NIV

Jesus Loves Me!

Where is the TRUE Love of God?????

“…you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32  NKJV

Today most churches are not only poor—spiritually (also financially) but they are blind. (Rev. 3:17)
They can clearly see the prosperity of the world, the enticements the world has to offer, the idol worship and addictions that results from lusting after the world. But fail to see the deception used to lure them.
Don't love the world's ways. Don't love the world's goods.  Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity.”  1 John 2:15-17  Message Bible
Sadly, many church goers want to live with one foot in the church and one foot in the world.  They want to look and act like Christians on Sunday morning while the remaining time they desire to fit in with the world.
Naturally, they do not see anything wrong with ‘fitting in’ because after all, “how can we reach the world for Jesus if we aren’t involved?”

Justification is deception!

We can reach the world by living for Jesus totally---100%= 24/7!

However, to walk the walk and live for Christ does not always fit into the lifestyle of everyone, hence show-Christians.

Therefore, our words prove what is really in our heart and our actions confirm our true feelings.
We hear people say, “I love you,” but their actions show differently.

We can label ourselves as “free” but our attitudes, actions …or lack of actions, reveal EMPTY WORDS!

How can a person sit in the middle of a church that claims to be full of God’s love and feel isolated, snubbed or ignored?  They leave feeling unloved, unnoticed or unappreciated even when told, “they are in the presence of God.” 

So if God is love and the Church is the body of Christ, how can people leave “God’s presence” feeling unloved?

We see this type of action in the world everyday but why is it happening in the Church?

Where is the TRUE love of God?        Where can it be found?

We say we love , but we don’t!

We reflect resentment, revenge, hard-feelings, offenses, anger, jealousy, control and hatred.
Our mouth speaks the opposite of our actions and our ‘eyes’.  We allow our actions to speak for us and our eyes to give out “the look.”

“Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen. And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.”  1 John 4:20-21    NIV

We hear sermon after sermon about “love” and we are told we are loved, yet……

To sum it all up: Emotions rule over us not God.

The easiest entry point in our lives for Satan to get a stronghold is through our emotions.   We have good intentions to love and be Christ-like as long as everything goes our way and everyone does what we want them to do.

That is selfish-controlling cultic love.

God is unconditional love!
Jesus Loves Me!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Are Your Ears Awake? Listen to the Wind Words,the Spirit Blowing Through the Churches.

 "Write this to Thyatira, to the Angel of the church. God's Son, eyes pouring fire-blaze, standing on feet of furnace-fired bronze, says this:
"I see everything you're doing for me. Impressive! The love and the faith, the service and persistence. Yes, very impressive! You get better at it every day.
 "But why do you let that Jezebel who calls herself a prophet mislead my dear servants into Cross-denying, self-indulging religion? I gave her a chance to change her ways, but she has no intention of giving up a career in the god-business. I'm about to lay her low, along with her partners, as they play their sex-and-religion games. The bastard offspring of their idol-whoring I'll kill. Then every church will know that appearances don't impress me. I x-ray every motive and make sure you get what's coming to you.
 
"The rest of you Thyatirans, who have nothing to do with this outrage, who scorn this playing around with the Devil that gets paraded as profundity, be assured I'll not make life any harder for you than it already is. Hold on to the truth you have until I get there.
"Here's the reward I have for every conqueror, everyone who keeps at it, refusing to give up: You'll rule the nations, your Shepherd-King rule as firm as an iron staff, their resistance fragile as clay pots. This was the gift my Father gave me; I pass it along to you—and with it, the Morning Star!
"Are your ears awake? Listen. Listen to the Wind Words, the Spirit blowing through the churches."

Rev. 2: 18-29  The Message Bible

Jesus Loves Me!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Jesus Son of David, Have Mercy On Us!"

Matthew 20   The Message Bible

 29-31As they were leaving Jericho, a huge crowd followed. Suddenly they came upon two blind men sitting alongside the road. When they heard it was Jesus passing, they cried out, "Master, have mercy on us! Mercy, Son of David!" The crowd tried to hush them up, but they got all the louder, crying, "Master, have mercy on us! Mercy, Son of David!"
 32Jesus stopped and called over, "What do you want from me?"
 33They said, "Master, we want our eyes opened. We want to see!"
 34Deeply moved, Jesus touched their eyes. They had their sight back that very instant, and joined the procession."

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Many Get Invited; Only A Few Make It!

Matthew 22   The Message Bible

 1-3 Jesus responded by telling still more stories. "God's kingdom," he said, "is like a king who threw a wedding banquet for his son. He sent out servants to call in all the invited guests. And they wouldn't come!
 4"He sent out another round of servants, instructing them to tell the guests, 'Look, everything is on the table, the prime rib is ready for carving. Come to the feast!'
 5-7"They only shrugged their shoulders and went off, one to weed his garden, another to work in his shop. The rest, with nothing better to do, beat up on the messengers and then killed them. The king was outraged and sent his soldiers to destroy those thugs and level their city.
 8-10"Then he told his servants, 'We have a wedding banquet all prepared but no guests. The ones I invited weren't up to it. Go out into the busiest intersections in town and invite anyone you find to the banquet.' The servants went out on the streets and rounded up everyone they laid eyes on, good and bad, regardless. And so the banquet was on—every place filled.
 11-13"When the king entered and looked over the scene, he spotted a man who wasn't properly dressed. He said to him, 'Friend, how dare you come in here looking like that!' The man was speechless. Then the king told his servants, 'Get him out of here—fast. Tie him up and ship him to hell. And make sure he doesn't get back in.'
 14"That's what I mean when I say, 'Many get invited; only a few make it.'"

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Every Drop of Righteous Blood Is On Your Head!

Matthew 23   The Message Bible
 
 
 25-26"You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You burnish the surface of your cups and bowls so they sparkle in the sun, while the insides are maggoty with your greed and gluttony. Stupid Pharisee! Scour the insides, and then the gleaming surface will mean something.
 27-28"You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You're like manicured grave plots, grass clipped and the flowers bright, but six feet down it's all rotting bones and worm-eaten flesh. People look at you and think you're saints, but beneath the skin you're total frauds.
 29-32"You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You build granite tombs for your prophets and marble monuments for your saints. And you say that if you had lived in the days of your ancestors, no blood would have been on your hands. You protest too much! You're cut from the same cloth as those murderers, and daily add to the death count.
 33-34"Snakes! Reptilian sneaks! Do you think you can worm your way out of this? Never have to pay the piper? It's on account of people like you that I send prophets and wise guides and scholars generation after generation—and generation after generation you treat them like dirt, greeting them with lynch mobs, hounding them with abuse.
 35-36"You can't squirm out of this: Every drop of righteous blood ever spilled on this earth, beginning with the blood of that good man Abel right down to the blood of Zechariah, Barachiah's son, whom you murdered at his prayers, is on your head. All this, I'm telling you, is coming down on you, on your generation.
 37-39"Jerusalem! Jerusalem! Murderer of prophets! Killer of the ones who brought you God's news! How often I've ached to embrace your children, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you wouldn't let me. And now you're so desolate, nothing but a ghost town. What is there left to say? Only this: I'm out of here soon. The next time you see me you'll say, 'Oh, God has blessed him! He's come, bringing God's rule!'"

Jesus Loves Me!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A Promise Is A Promise!

Matthew 23   The Message Bible

 13"I've had it with you! You're hopeless, you religion scholars, you Pharisees! Frauds! Your lives are roadblocks to God's kingdom. You refuse to enter, and won't let anyone else in either.
 15"You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned.
 16-22"You're hopeless! What arrogant stupidity! You say, 'If someone makes a promise with his fingers crossed, that's nothing; but if he swears with his hand on the Bible, that's serious.' What ignorance! Does the leather on the Bible carry more weight than the skin on your hands? And what about this piece of trivia: 'If you shake hands on a promise, that's nothing; but if you raise your hand that God is your witness, that's serious'? What ridiculous hairsplitting! What difference does it make whether you shake hands or raise hands? A promise is a promise. What difference does it make if you make your promise inside or outside a house of worship? A promise is a promise. God is present, watching and holding you to account regardless.
 23-24"You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You keep meticulous account books, tithing on every nickel and dime you get, but on the meat of God's Law, things like fairness and compassion and commitment—the absolute basics!—you carelessly take it or leave it. Careful bookkeeping is commendable, but the basics are required. Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that's wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons?
 
Jesus Loves Me!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Religious Fashion Shows

Matthew 23 (The Message)

Religious Fashion Shows
 1-3 Now Jesus turned to address his disciples, along with the crowd that had gathered with them. "The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God's Law. You won't go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don't live it. They don't take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior. It's all spit-and-polish veneer.  4-7"Instead of giving you God's Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals. They seem to take pleasure in watching you stagger under these loads, and wouldn't think of lifting a finger to help. Their lives are perpetual fashion shows, embroidered prayer shawls one day and flowery prayers the next. They love to sit at the head table at church dinners, basking in the most prominent positions, preening in the radiance of public flattery, receiving honorary degrees, and getting called 'Doctor' and 'Reverend.'
 8-10"Don't let people do that to you, put you on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don't set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of 'Father'; you have only one Father, and he's in heaven. And don't let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Christ.
 11-12"Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you'll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you're content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty.
 
Jesus Loves Me!
 

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pray That All Things That Are Hidden Be Brought To Light!

God calls many of His children to a position for the purposes of leading and shepherding the flock.  Pastors, teachers, elders, etc, are all biblically ordained roles (Eph. 4:11) but just how much authority are these offices given?
A sad truth in many churches today is that pastors, teachers, and elders exert or attempt to exert an authoritarian type of control over ‘their’ church.
While many of these leaders are well meaning, their extreme authority is rooted in a hunger for power and control.  This will result into a Jezebelian spirit in control of a church.
These leaders will try to rationalize and defend such behavior under the guise of love and shepherding.
The Bible does give a certain level of spiritual authority to church leadership, but all too often such authority is abused and misused, going well beyond what the scriptures outline.
A few more traits of a Jezebelian leadership:
*He has the capacity to destroy his critics verbally and disarm them emotionally.
*He provokes and intimidates people to get what he wants.
*He demands respect instead of trying to earn it.
*He wears a phony smile and acts like everything is alright even when things are falling apart in ‘his’ church.
*He has not accountability for his behavior.
*He has an insatiable need for adoration.  When others are not praising him, he will praise himself.
*He cast himself in a role of total control, which he plays to the max.
*He uses his ‘people skills’ to exploit, abuse and wield power.
*He has an inflated sense of superiority which propels him to recklessness.
*He has tremendous feelings of entitlement. He believes everything is owed to him as a right.
*He has arrogant, haughty behavior or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted or confronted.
*He requires excess admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation.

The Apostle Peter clearly states to lead by example, not as a lord.  He says to serve as an overseer and not to force people into submission.
Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. “   1 Peter 5:2-3   NIV
Jesus taught plainly in regard to the proper role of leadership, speaking against those that ‘lord’ over others.  He even taught that He did not come to be served, but to serve others.
Jesus stated that we as Christians are not to lord over others, abusing our authority as the Gentile leaders did.  Jesus says….”…it shall not be so among you.”
In Mark 10: 42-45  Jesus also, said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 43 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”   (NIV)

We need to earnestly pray for our leaders.  Cover them in prayer daily, but also pray for all things that are hidden be brought to light.

Pray!

Jesus Loves Me!