Saturday, May 02, 2015



Men open their mouths, force air with their diaphragm over their vocal chords, and it is manipulated by their lips and mouths to form sounds called words. But without the Spirit they are just air echoes received by human ears and enchanting the fallen human heart.

Heb.6: 25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
26 For such an high priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens;

God is and always has been and always will be holy. But we have been made holy by faith in Jesus Christ. We are a holy nation by His grace. But just what is holiness? What does that mean, and how does holiness work itself out in a believer’s life?
From Webster’s:
Holy - : connected to a god or a religion : religious and morally good
The world hasn’t got a clue, and neither does the church. Who even speaks of holiness anymore? And when the subject comes up it is usually in the context of does and don’ts. But there is no holiness apart from God. God alone is holy, and He has bestowed His holiness upon His children. Holiness is an attribute, even a core element, of the Divine Being we call God. His name is Jehovah and even more specific Yeshua, Jesus. And that holiness is the DNA of true divinity. It is difficult to cull out and examine, and even more difficult to explain or define.
It is what separates the divine from the human. It is much more than just the absence of sin. It is a force, a quality, an essence, an empirical evidence of the presence of Jehovah God and of Christ. Human nature is foreign to holiness. Human understanding dilutes it, and as can be seen by Webster’s, it molds it into some religious association.
But true holiness is infinite and unfathomably deep and profound in all aspects. It isn’t just moral absolutes captured in an attribute. It goes way beyond morals or principles or religious thoughts. It is purity but much more. In fact, only withi9n the Godhead can holiness be fully understood. It is that word “holy” which the Seraphim repeat as they hover around then throne of God.
So in the end it is the holiness of God which drives every penitent sinner to worship the Lamb.

True prophets warn people of sin and the evils of the day especially within the church. Considering the spiritual climate in today’s church if a preacher is not warning people and exposing the sin and apostasy within the church then he is not speaking God’s Word and he is not a voice of the Spirit. Sometimes that which seems positive is a lie and that which seems negative is the truth. The deception is widespread and powerful, and that which is completely at odds with Jesus is practiced and preached openly within the organized church. Truth has been sacrificed upon the altar of personality, oratory, ceremony, nationalism, and a general willingness to give people want they want, which is self pleasure and indulgence on many levels.
Christianity has been reduced to heaven, and God’s grace has been expanded to include all and any unrepentant sinners. God’s Word lies slain in the streets of religious humanity.

Heb.12: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


When a secular music artist makes a Cd/album what does he do? That artist usually goes on tour to promote that album. Now let me ask you this: If you already have the album why do you need to go see that artist in person? The answer is because of the show and the entertainment. You will pay more than you did for the album because you desire to be entertained.
So when a Christian singer makes an album what does he usually do? He goes on tour in order to promote his album. And why do people pay money to hear him sing songs they already have on a Cd? It’s because they wish to be entertained. And that artist makes a great deal of money and the process mirrors that of the secular world.
And if music suddenly disappeared from the human experience how many professing believers would fall away? Or if there was no money at all to be made through music how many Christian artists would travel and do “concerts”? How much of the western Christian experience is built upon secular practices and not the life and teachings of Jesus? Hmm…

I Tim.1: 15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.

Heb.12: Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

After reciting in chapter 11 a list of faithful people in the Old Covenant, the Spirit illuminates us to a better covenant. And is so evident throughout the New Testament the Spirit once again refers us to the cross. Do you think there is a purpose in all of that? Yes, there surely is and always will be.

The news coverage of Baltimore is endless. But within the hearts of millions of Americans in every city and town rioting and looting and stealing and killing and racism are raging. From the so called street thugs to the well dressed business man to the polished politicians and to the worldly wise preachers the hearts are full of wickedness and deceit. But once something which means something to people like stores and material goods and their own physical safety are at stake people demand action. Strip clubs and casinos and liquor stores thrive without any protests.
But that is the nature of the fallen man. What does he have but the things of this world? Do not touch the golden goose because it is there where the fallen man worships.

From the Dark Knight:

“This faith community deserves a better class of heretic and I intend to give it to them.”
Joel Osteen

You will never understand the grace of God until you understand your own complete and utter depravity. Even your well intentioned attempts at goodness are filthy rags when presented against the canvass of a Holy God. Everything you thought, everything you felt, everything you did, and everything you were was depraved and fallen and without a single shred of righteousness. And with that truth fully intact and observable…God sent His Son.
But now you believe your good works and your good intentions mean something. So many believe they can add something to God’s grace, and if they try hard enough they will polish the gold of God’s grace and make it shine because of what they have done. Again, that is still fallen thinking. Anything you do as a believer that is righteous in His eyes is because of the Spirit within you and because you are His child and not because you can ever increase the grace of God in your life.
Grace, God’s grace through Jesus Christ, is complete and without any caveat. There is no breach. It is revealed within His own words, “It is finished”. God’s redemptive grace is not parceled out piecemeal or as a reward for philanthropy and humanitarian acts or even the denial of self. God’s grace is absolutely foreign to everything our minds can fathom. It goes against all reason and fairness. And the strength of that grace lies within the blood that was shed and the sacrifice that was given. And that crucifixion cannot be undone. It stands as the event and the only event which can atone for the sins of any man. And it offers a grace which bestows upon the very sinners which approved of and carried out that crucifixion another gift unsearchable to our earthly minds.
It offers eternal life through that same grace. Now how can cars and houses and land and money and fame and the entire world compete with that gift? Everything in this world, all of it, must blush and bow before such a gift. He who owns the entire world but has lost his soul has nothing. But he who stands completely within God’s grace stands as a joint-heir with Him who bought and purchased and offered that grace. You and I can never understand it, but we can receive it and worship the Author forever. Selah.

Eph.4: I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
With all lowliness and meekness

Meekness and lowliness and humility and denying of self. Do you wonder how the faith that follows Jesus which is defined by these words can be presented by men and women who show none of these and teach wealth and self image and pride? And do you wonder how anyone who has even perused the gospels could ever embrace things that are diametrically opposed to all Jesus lived and taught?
Wonder no more. It is called deception and it is a powerful force.

This article chronicles a shift in people’s faith. Some who had classified themselves as “Christian” are now exploring and even embracing other religions. But there are several streams of truth here. One truth is that many who professed themselves as Christian were never born again and so their religious affiliation is cultural at best. So they cannot leave what they never truly embraced in the Spirit. They are just changing affiliations.
But then there are a small number of true believers who are renouncing their faith altogether. Only God knows who these people are, but to be sure there are some who openly reject Christ even though they once embraced Him. They are small in number but they are embarking on a serious path with eternal consequences. It is these people to whom Hebrews chapters six and ten refer.
But the article does not address what is the largest group of people. These are the people who fill large evangelical churches and who follow ecclesiastical stars like Joel Osteen and Rick Warren and the prosperity hucksters. It is these colossal multitude about which the article is silent. Why? Because most people cannot understand how anyone could possibly be against such a winsome and positive person like Joel Osteen and others. The majority of religious and non-religious people are blind to the evil which lurks underneath the positive and culturally drenched message of these men. But in effect millions are leaving the Christian faith even while joining “Christian” churches.
It is that phenomenon which the article ignored.

One day all the wealth and fame and power and wisdom of this world will be exposed as hollow vapors and all men will be on the same hollow ground. And when it all vanishes and is revealed for what it always was, then will the cross, that which has been maligned and mocked and changed and demeaned and treated life a religious token and symbol, then will that cross be unveiled as the power of God throughout all eternity. Those that have knelt before it will live, and those that have resisted it will die. Forever.

Phil.2: Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

This is an incredible and even incredulous call to discipleship. This doesn’t just tug the coattails of humility. This is a profound revelation of a mindset called humility which soars far above anything man has ever thought. To have such a mind and such a heart has been so lost to the church that it seems like a foreign language indeed. What kind of humility does it take to mirror God taking on human flesh and offering His life upon the cross? Is that not an impossible thought?
But here Scripture, the Scripture we so often tout as literal and inerrant, presents to us this inconceivable challenge and yet the church continues to meander through some earth bound religious form colloquially called “Christianity”. If we understand English what are we to make of this? Or are we to hear it sometimes and file it away which is a synonym for ignore it? Can it possibly be that this spiritual discipline is inspired by the Holy Spirit? And if we give lip service to that inspiration then where oh where do we start?

The word “humility” seems so insufficient as it applies to a cross mindset which takes it model from the mind of Christ as He came and went to the cross. Let us not treat it like we treat most other spiritual “discussions” which are mostly verbal exchanges which engender curiosity and thought provocation. That which is thought provoking is of little value if it indeed finds permanence inside our minds. Unless the power of a Scriptural truth escapes our minds and invades our hearts and finds tangible expression through our lives then it is all religious talk.
But when this kind of truth is openly presented in Scripture it requires prayer and fasting and an uncommon pursuit to know its verity, its power, and the purity of its calling to us personally. This thought, this principle, this spiritual calling is arresting if believed. To unravel the all the facets of this lofty diamond, and then to embrace it for what it is saying, and then to place it in the setting of our very lives demands an interest which can be called an obsession. Anything less makes it just another thought provoking curiosity which we have become expert at assigning it to Jesus and rejecting our own assignment.

What could be some of the signs of such a humility? We might see sinners with love. We might be immune to offense. We might see the things of this world for what they are. We might place a watch by our lips. We might embrace repentance. We might be free from all the issues of this world. We might become a living sacrifice. Yes, we might…

Matt.9: 36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

When I see the rioting I thought of this verse which tells us of Jesus’ heart. I see sinners with no Shepherd.

It is so easy to assess everything by the eye gate. But our understanding must always be through the Spirit and the Word of God.  When people loot a store they commit a criminal act. But every day people steal from other people while dressed in expensive suits. Politicians steal from an entire nation. But because they are not photographed leaving a CVS with handfuls of items we do not react as viscerally as we do when we see things like we are seeing in Baltimore. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is none that doeth good, no not one.

I have heard commentators say it is only a few “bad apples” that are causing problems. What should we feel as followers of Jesus? Take the kid who was born to a 16n year old mother and never knew his father. His mother neglected him as she did drugs and slept with whoever. He grew up in abject poverty and learned stealing and violence and drugs were a part of life. Most of the other kids had money but he had to get it illegally. No one helped him with his homework. No one cared. No one. He is one of those “bad apples”. Is that how Jesus sees him?
I knew a real bad apple. He did and sold drugs and was violent. He stole and was immoral. And yet he grew up in a caring and stable family. He had help with his homework. He had new clothes. His parents loved him. And yet he became a bad apple. That bad apple was me, and yet Jesus called to me and took me in. Should I turn away in disgust from that other bad apple. God forbid. Jesus loves bad apples…all of us.

The city of Baltimore has become an expose of man’s fallen nature. What you see has been in the hearts of men. It is just now coming forth in open deeds. And make no mistake that same fallen nature lurks inside the hearts of many policemen as well. The only answer is Jesus. We will pray, but let us never be sucked into the world’s battles because all sides are guilty before God. But we are a peculiar people who have no continuing city here on earth. This world is not our home. If you believe more police, or more earthly justice, or better government officials is the answer you are greatly mistaken.
All this must take place before He comes. Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus…

The timetable is in God’s hands, and the chronology of events is already known by God. There will be wars and rumors of wars, there will be earthquakes and famine, and violence will cover the earth. To argue over timetables is useless and is on some level self righteous. There are passionate and even aggressive people who present one of the many rapture theories and it consumes them. But the church misses the entire point.

It isn’t when things will happen. And if God Himself told us the world would end in two years would it change you and me? So when God tells us the world will end and judgment will come it’s like water off a duck’s back unless we know for sure when it will come? And with all the charts and books and television shows and teachings and Cds about the end times all things remain the same? Just who are we kidding?

The end is coming. Judgment is coming. Jesus is coming. Do not ask when. Prepare your heart and life and look toward heaven. I truly believe that if all of us were absolutely convinced that Jesus was coming again in great power and judgment it would revolutionize our lives. Until then we will nibble around the edges.

II Cor.2: 14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ

Eph.5: Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children;
And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour.

How sweet are we known to be? And just what does sweet mean, and what does it look like through a human life? The Greek indicates an aroma that others can smell and of which they are aware. So when a person walks into a room wearing strong perfume or cologne most people notice the aroma and check to see who it is that smells so strong.

But as a follower of Jesus the aroma does not come to the olfactory nerve. No, the aroma we should have is the sense, albeit unrecognized by the lost, of the Person of Jesus. Now the unbeliever may not know it is Jesus but he should sense something different about you. This does not mean you shove a tract in his face, or blast the word hell to him, or shout in his face.