"Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'." (John 7:38)

"Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." (1Cor. 2:12-13)


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Spiritual Oppression

As we become accustomed to the spiritual gifts imparted to us, its miraculous source can easily be taken for granted. This is why we witness so many who detach themselves from the purity of God's glory for them. Examples in the Old Testament offer us insight into this. Moses, Sampson, Balaam, Saul, David, Solomon, and others. In the beginning God was very near them and His laws were known by each. Over a period of time though, God pulled back His obvious presence, and expected His laws and precepts to be the governing authority for their actions and accountability, should they continually call on Him. Essentially, they were expected to walk in faith by obedience. But through time, from the lack of prayer, and a contentment toward His patience, familiarization crept in and bred contempt for what has never been anything less than the power of God sustaining them.

The nation of Israel did not have the Spiritual presence the church today possesses. They were governed by God's laws and accountability was the strict consequences established for breaking them, executed through the anointed authority assigned to the leaders over them. None the less, God's blessings were enjoyed by Israel when the leaders were obedient to His commands. At times though, the nation of Israel was led by laws adopted from the pagan nations around them, to the grief of God's true prophets. It is obvious that the people of Israel became spiritually oppressed because the leaders did not intimately pursue God.

Sadly, spiritual oppression has taken place even on this side of grace as well, and it is a shame that in this day and age, with such a wealth of theological information, it is still very common. But like the covenant of old, without the presence of God's Spirit accompanying the law, a knowledge of God's Word alone is powerless.

Today, despite that the Holy Spirit has become the law set in our hearts, and that the various gifts within the church are the declared sovereign authority for keeping intimacy and accountability among ourselves, the people continue to remain under the oppression of pastors and leaders who do not recognize, intentionally establish, and encourage the Spiritual gifts that would destroy any form of man's idolatry and authority within it. Assuredly, compromise, tolerance and complacency has become the spirit of many congregations.

However, there is always a remnant in every congregation that has been through a rigorous process of sanctification, and by their earnest desire to seek the depths of God through them, have come out on the Spiritually refined side of today's religious institutions. They possess a pure and true understanding of the apostolic foundation intended for the church, exhibited by their discernment and faith in action, and their hearts are burdened to see the fullness of spiritual gifts realized within the church. The dilemma in communicating this to church leaders is how to delineate between being respectful, while desiring to hold accountable, those who are "over you in the Lord"...but authority established and guided by people, rather than the Holy Spirit, is not authority that is to be respected nor feared. It is to be confronted...as did the true prophets of old. Church leaders who misuse their positional authority relish in their own ideals of how their 'own' church should be structured and maintained, in place of what is clearly defined as fellowship in the Bible. It is evidenced by the covetous nature they possess and display in their lust for recognition and control.


"But he looked directly at them and said, 'What then is this that is written:

'The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone'?

Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.'" (Luke 20:17-18)

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Welcome To Our World
music and lyrics by Chris Rice

Tears are falling, hearts are breaking
How we need to hear from God
You’ve been promised, we’ve been waiting
Welcome Holy Child
Welcome Holy Child
Hope that you don’t mind our manger
How I wish we would have known
But long-awaited Holy Stranger
Make yourself at home
Please make yourself at home
Bring your peace into our violence
Bid our hungry souls be filled
Word now breaking Heaven’s silence
Welcome to our world
Welcome to our world
Fragile finger sent to heal us
Tender brow prepared for thorn
Tiny heart whose blood will save us
Unto us is born
Unto us is born
So wrap our injured flesh around you
Breathe our air and walk our sod
Rob our sin and make us holy
Perfect Son of God

Welcome to our world

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Church Authority

There are many churches today that are ruled by a single pastor, having graduated from a pragmatic seminary school and primarily possess the gift of teaching. While this gift is as important as any other, the mistake here is the placement of this gift as the sole authority within the church. The entire congregation, including the elders, submits to this one person. This type of government will inevitably emulate that of the secular world. The result of this type of government, in order to maintain rank, demands that all other giftings in the church become submissive and therefore less significant. While there must be a structure of organization to prevent disorder, it is ludicrous that one person take on the responsibility for the whole church, even falsely claiming and exercising the majority of the greater spiritual gifts. He is front and center as the appointed and anointed saint.

To effectively sustain man's authority in church is to effectively remove the authority of the Holy Spirit, where by all gifts have their source and power. The ability to teach and lead is elevated as the ultimate authority and guidance for the congregation and fails to fully recognize and welcome the complete presence of spiritual gifts that belong to the body. If other gifts feel the unction to express the desires of the Holy Spirit, leaders and those who faithfully follow them will look down on and accuse these people of being insufficient and insubordinate.

The deception among leaders today is that they must be the entirety of knowledge, spiritual guidance, and counselor to everyone underneath them. The result of the spiritual health in churches governed this way is a pathetically powerless body of believers, themselves bound and oppressed, unable to effect the abundant life afforded them as long as they remain under the authority of man. They remain silent with their own gifts and heartfelt ministries because they have been too long a slave to this false and deceptive leadership. In their own minds, to speak up or to speak out would be an exercise of defiance, unsettling peace that has been established by the leader's desire for the church to remain comfortable, unchallenged, and confrontation free. Much of the accountability exercised in this church will be that which strives to maintain the present rule.


Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Apostles, Prophets, Miracles, and Healing

"Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts." (1Cor. 12:27-31)

It is interesting that the gift of teaching is tucked in the midst of these gifts, five of which many Bible teachers ignore or render obsolete, but there is simply no Biblical grounds for the neglect of these spiritual gifts. Apostles, prophets, miracles, and healing, along with teachers and the rest, are mentioned as being appointed in the church...the body of Christ. The same church that exists today.

"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Heb. 13:7,8) The leaders spoken of here by the apostle Paul are the original apostles and disciples of Christ whom God anointed to establish the foundation of the church. These are the leaders whose faith we are to imitate: and if Jesus wanted the church equipped spiritually then, He wants it spiritually equipped today...and tomorrow.

Every generation has those new in the faith that need to be built up in the body of Christ. So it is up to the church to equip them, and that by the power of the Holy Spirit through those He has given specific gifts to. Without the accompaniment of the witness of other gifts within the body, teaching in itself is powerless; it appears as mere knowledge. All gifts rely on others for spiritual confirmations to accomplish unity in the body of Christ. (Ephesians 4:1-16)

The testimony of Jesus is revealed by prophets. (Rev.19:10e) The mysteries of God are stewarded by apostles. (Romans 16:25, 1Cor.4:1) Teachers instruct the body on the gospel of God's grace. (Matthew 28:19-20, 1 Timothy 4:1-11) Miracles are the presence and power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:18, 19) And so on...but our most important role as ambassadors of Christ is as a servant to one another. (Matthew 20:26-28)

If apostles ceased after Paul, and Jesus was the fulfilment of all prophecies, thus ending the apostles and the prophetic gifts, if miracles, healings and tongues were intended for the sole purpose of confirming the first church, as many teachers would have you believe, why then were the Romans, Corinthians and the Ephesians being addressed about them and told to earnestly seek the higher gifts? If this has already been established and no longer needed, why does Paul desire they earnestly seek these gifts? If indeed, the church holds that all scripture is inerrant and inspired by God, then dismissing the relevance of certain spiritual gifts in today's church reduces the Bible to a history book, a simple reference for knowledge alone. By incorporating their own authority, pastors and elders have effectively removed the only power that God has designed for the church.

Again..."Pursue love and be eager for the spiritual gifts, especially that you may prophesy." (1Cor. 14)

"Worship God, for the testimony about Jesus is the spirit of prophecy." (Rev.19:10)

"Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said. If a revelation is made to another sitting there, let the first be silent. For you can all prophesy one by one, so that all may learn and all be encouraged, and the spirits of prophets are subject to prophets. For God is not a God of confusion but of peace." (1Cor. 14:29-33)

"For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." (Rom.12:3-8)

While elders are certainly necessary, and we are to esteem those over us in the Lord with double honor, we are not to be followers of men.

"But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ." (Math.23:9-10)

"I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything—and is true and is no lie, just as it has taught you—abide in him." (1 John 2:27)

Why isn't this interpreted, beyond the obvious intent of the author, that since we now have the Holy Spirit within us, even teachers are no longer necessary in the church? Because it is the teacher who rules over the congregation. In the world, knowledge has always reigned over the masses. Jesus did not build His church to be ruled by a few men, exercising their own strength and understanding. Therefore it is necessary that all the members be recognized for the full equipping of the saints.

"Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward." (Math. 10:40-42)

If apostles, prophets, healing, and miracles are ignored, then the rewards of the same will not be received or known. The church will function, but only as an incomplete body. Handicapped, crippled, and powerless. As long as pastors/teachers continue holding the high office in church, contrary to what the Bible calls 'first' or 'greater' of the spiritual gifts, then the power of that church will be one of knowledge and religion rather than spiritual and relational.

Teachers can indeed instruct apostles,prophets, healers, miracle workers and those who speak in tongues to recognize God's sovereignty in all gifts. It seems, though, they would rather eradicate the gifts (which is far easier and comfortable to do) than to recognize and allow them to function in the church. Jesus knows the complacency of the religious. "No one, after drinking old wine wishes for new, for he says, 'The old is good enough.'" (Luke 5:39)

On the other side of the same religious coin is the misuse of spiritual gifts in many charismatic churches today. The enemy has so perverted these gifts, through those he is able to work through, that the immediate response of the conservative church is to discount these gifts altogether. Some theologians and pastors, on a quest to squelch the 'prosperity ministry's' false teachings have landed so far on the opposite side, that they unintentionally render relationship and faith as an enemy against doctrine. Rather than asking God for wisdom, they have created false interpretations of Scripture to facilitate their fear of what they don't understand.

When knowledge rules the church, the spiritual have no place. Teachers that go on about their own agenda and disregard the spiritual are no different than the spiritual who disregard sound doctrine. The control of both churches belongs to man and not the Holy Spirit. Titles and labels amount to nothing. The church can function beautifully without them, if it will but recognize and embrace the fullness of God's Spirit upon it.

No doubt, the presence of the Holy Spirit resides in the true believer within every church, whatever spiritual oppression it may be suffering. God will expose the religion of man, and reveal the truth to those that are His, that they may function as a body, and no one as the head, which is Christ Jesus.


"An appalling and horrible thing has happened in the land:
The prophets prophesy falsely,
And the priests rule on their own authority,
And my people love it so."

(Jeremiah 5:31)

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Recognizing Spiritual Gifts

Not every believer should feel guilted into preaching the gospel because they read in the Bible that Jesus said GO! Jesus knows whom he has equipped to go. Preaching belongs to evangelists, who have the guidance and power of God behind them because of the gift of evangelism imparted to them. The Word of God goes forth in power to those whom God has previously prepared, to speak and to hear what the Spirit has to say. Non evangelists have been equipped for the building up of the body and other such areas of service that will certainly have the testimony of the presence of God within them by their obedience to their own gifting, to be witnessed in the church as well as out in the world.

"Go and preach the good news" is so much more than preaching! It is living the gospel by the power of the Holy Spirit in us and our submission to the gifts God has exclusively equipped us with as individuals, collectively functioning as the body of Christ. Gifts other than evangelism will certainly possess the witness of God that will also proclaim the gospel to the lost without the guilt and pressure of going outside your own gifting.

I am extremely impressed, humbled, and in awe of each gift when it works according to the purpose and power it has been assigned. I feel one of the main reasons for spiritual lethargy, confusion, and disagreements in the local church, as well as between different denominations, is due to those who have not been properly instructed to realize and to mind their own gift. There is an obvious failure to recognize, understand, and utilize other gifts within the body due to the current structure and format the present church is bound and oppressed by.

"Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, 'It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.' And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith." (Acts 6:1-7)


"For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship." (1 Corithians 9:16-17)

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Spiritual Gifts

Within the church, all gifts, with believers in submission to their particular equipping, are designed to build up the body of Christ for the cause of spiritual unity and to encourage one another to grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. The greater of the spiritual gifts mentioned by the apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 12:31) manifest themselves through wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, miracles, prophesy, discernment of spirits, tongues, and interpretation (vs.8-10), which brings a great desire for the enemy to sift like wheat, those whom they work through, because of their spiritual wealth.

If believers do not earnestly seek God and His Word with prayer, humility, meditation and study, the enemy will pervert these gifts into a form of godliness, and the only power perceived will come from the those trying to force their own spirituality upon others. Their theology will be errant, and their witness will be questionable. All gifts must be built on and tested by the foundation which has already been laid (1 Corinthians 3:10,11), the very foundation that affords the body of Christ the basis on which to test the spirits to determine whether or not they are of God. (1 John 4:1-6)

Another purpose of spiritual gifts shed abroad to the church is to send the gospel to the unsaved world, revealing that the Kingdom of Heaven has come upon them. Practical gifts such as giving, serving, administration, etc. are the physical support of this evangelism. Yet even these gifts are commanded through the arduous process of sanctification so that the human behavior that accompanies them will possess a powerful heavenly presence whereby others will surely know that God is among them.

All gifts then, whether physical or spiritual, will possess the power and presence of God when they are exercised through the fruitfulness of humility, entrusted to the Holy Spirit for guidance. Apart from the meek and humble spirit of a servant of Christ, cleverly designed schemes of christian pretenders are borne for the cause of attracting attention, pursuing worldly gain, and creating self-righteousness. The root of these endeavors are based on human pride, manifest in the spirit of covetousness, greed, and idolatry.


"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." (Romans 12:6-8)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Recognizing God In Your Talents

There comes a time in the life of a Christ follower when familiar talents we have taken for granted begin to take on the presence of God. The attention that used to be ours becomes His. We gradually realize every ability we enjoy is a 'good and perfect gift that comes down from above, from the Father of heavenly lights', changing from self proclamation to glorifying God, realizing 'it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me'. Our work and play start to exhibit a Divine purpose rather than a mere daily function. Others begin to notice something beyond the apparent human abilities that now possess the power of God working alongside them. The natural becomes supernatural, the mundane is now the manifestation of the Holy Spirit. This is the light that shines before the people who dwell in a dark world; the rivers of living water that flow through a dry and desolate land. When we empty ourselves of striving to be used by God, He begins to fill us to overflowing with Himself, and the Creator will be witnessed within His creation by His creation.


"But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Divine Confrontation

The utterance of man that brings a conviction of sin and an awareness within the heart, mind and soul of others as to their need for repentance, always has as its source, the living God above. There is never a power possessed by anyone that is able to speak horizontally with such life altering impact, except that the conversation be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Correction by mere human confrontation or by Biblical knowledge alone will fall flat to the ears of the hearer. Even the Holy Scriptures, which are alive and active, sharper than any two edged sword, lays dormant until the life of the Spirit becomes manifest to interpret it.

Is there something or someone weighing on your heart? PRAY for wisdom and ask the Holy Spirit to work within your situation. Never go at it simply possessing the truth of a matter (in as much as you think you have properly discerned it) without calling on God to work in everyone involved, especially yourself. You may have a sure mental confidence about confronting something, but if your first effort isn't prayer, you will probably just start an argument. As you seek to deny yourself of your rights or entitlements, the Holy Spirit will afford you the necessary humility needed for God's power to work through you. Otherwise, your words will be perceived as accusations and you will be defied.

Another key premise that prayer affords us is knowing whether or not you should even approach your situation at that time, or at any time. God will impress His guidance upon you if you will not move forward with your own human understanding or emotional reactions. Wait on Him. Listen and do not move until He leads you forward in peace to do so. If you feel anxious about any part of it, ask God to reveal the source of the troubling, that you may overcome this fear. Always be conscious of this: it is God who ultimately confronts His own creation.


"And they shall not teach, each one his neighbor and each one his brother, sayin, 'Know the Lord,' for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest."
(Hebrews 8:11)

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vertically Speaking

The Holy Bible actually contains a complete and sustainable religion for people not interested in the Spirit of Truth. However, this religion is spiritually inconsistent and hypocritical. When the message of the Bible is shared horizontally among men without the Holy Spirit to interpret it, the content stands only as a document for religious people to reference as they enjoy a powerless and world oriented religion. Their experience of abundant life comes by way of their own idealism, their justification through a practice of legalism, and their righteousness through self works.

The Holy Bible is an amazing book with two decisive, yet divisive messages. One for the depraved man without the Holy Spirit, which at face value, appears simply as a collection of God's expectations of men on earth, written by many contributing authors. The other is for God's elect, whereby the Holy Spirit interprets the true message by way of those who wrote by the inspiration of God. The former group is unable to comprehend that another book lies beneath what they have become accustomed to. It is hidden from those who are wise by their own account (Matthew 11:25) and are not interested in the Spirit of Truth, for by seeking truth, they know their dark deeds will be exposed. (John 3:20)

Though Jesus spoke horizontally to the people, His message was vertical: from above, downward. As was Paul's and the other apostles, themselves filled with the Holy Spirit. Throughout the ages since, those without the Spirit of Life within don't understand this direction of communication. Their minds are too focused on the horizontal, the things of the world. Their religion establishes that God's written word stands as an authority for them in which to judge, condemn, and dispense guilt upon others in order to maintain their own righteousness, rule, and prestige.

Those with the Holy Spirit have received the true faith which comes by actually "hearing" in the depths of their soul, the living and active Word of God, which the Spirit confirms by the written word. This religion comes from God, exhorting us to love one another and prevent ourselves from becoming stained by the world. Like Jesus, this call to deny ourselves actually serves God by serving mankind, rather than enslaving it. The rewards of this faith ultimately belong to those who persevere through the sacrificial brotherhood with Christ, not to the hedonistic community of religious people.


"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness." (Matthew 23:27, 28)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Authority Of Accountability

The nation of Israel was a people chosen by God, and ruled by the laws of God. Accountability among the people was the responsibility of those in positions of leadership. In the Body of Christ, however, even the humble child of God that receives a great infilling of the Holy Spirit may indeed hold even those who are 'over them in the Lord' accountable, and that in the presence of the assembly.
(1 Timothy 5:17-20)

Today, our Lord and King is Jesus; and his authority is delegated by the Holy Spirit through his disciples. Thus, the authority of accountability belongs to those in Christ Jesus and not solely to the government of elders.

Sound doctrine, spiritual maturity, and Biblical obedience are the qualifications that should be present in those appointed as elders in the church, having first been tested. (1 Timothy 3:10) Once you have affirmed this, hold yourself accountable to God in keeping with the verses below.

"Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever." (Hebrews 13:7,8)

"Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you." (Hebrews13:17)

"We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves." (1 Thes. 5:12,13)


"So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for 'God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.'" (1 Peter 5:1-5) 


Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Perfect Husband

A married woman in Christ is never without a Godly husband.

If he fails, if he falls short, if there be any lack in his love, provisions or security for the family, you are never without, for you belong to Jesus, the head and husband of His church in whom you can call on at anytime to provide you with the grace, strength, and peace you need as he takes you through your necessary seasons that you may grow into the Godly wife He desires you to be. When a woman comes under the authority of a man, regardless of his standing with Jesus, she is under the covering of Christ because of her obedience to her own place of submission.

So, single women, be absolutely certain of the source of the spiritual authority you commit yourself to in a husband. Though you belong to Christ, your life can become very torn if you submit to a man whose authority is not Jesus. For those whose husbands do not honor the Lord, your wisdom and counsel is found in the Word, by asking God, and fellowship within your church.

Seek wisdom from many in the body of Christ. (Proverbs 11:14) Your pastor may be one over you in the Lord and worthy of double honor, but he is not your spiritual authority. He is your brother in Christ and like all of us is susceptible to honoring religion and legalism rather than mercy and grace. Our Redeemer lives.


"If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace." (1 Corinthians 7:13-15)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Head Covering

Color coding indicates the key differences in the following two scriptural interpretations.

NASB Interpretation

1"Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ. 2Now I praise you because you remember me in everything and hold firmly to the traditions, just as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ. 4Every man who has something on his head while praying or prophesying disgraces his head. 5But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head, for she is one and the same as the woman whose head is shaved. 6For if a woman does not cover her head, let her also have her hair cut off; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to have her hair cut off or her head shaved, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to have his head covered, since he is the image and glory of God; but the woman is the glory of man. 8For man does not originate from woman, but woman from man; 9for indeed man was not created for the woman’s sake, but woman for the man's sake. 10Therefore the woman ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11However, in the Lord, neither is woman independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as the woman originates from the man, so also the man has his birth through the woman; and all things originate from God. 13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16But if one is inclined to be contentious, we have no other practice, nor have the churches of God." (1 Corinthians 11:1-16) NASB


ESV Interpretation

1"Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. 2Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. 3But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. 4Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, 5but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven. 6For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. 7For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. 8For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. 9Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. 11Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; 12for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. 13Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, 15but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God."
(1 Corinthians 11:1-16) ESV


God has impressed upon creation the natural physical evidence of submission and authority (Romans 1:18-23) by the witness of ministering angels. (Galatians 3:19, Hebrews 1:7, 1:14, 2:2) The rebellion of Satan's angels is manifest through those who are rebellious to God by the appearance of the human body that is contrary to the image God has ordained to His elect.

In this scripture, the head covering, be it hair, a veil, hat or any other form, is only a physical symbolism of submission that communicates who their spiritual authority is. One's appearance will reflect both.

Submission is necessary in order to establish the proper authority. Obedience is the spiritual evidence for submission.

An unmarried woman in the church shows respect for and submits to the authority within church by her Godliness.

A wife should wear a symbol of authority on her head when praying or prophesying in church because she was made in the image of man. Put another way: there should be a pre-established recognition and or an immediate discernment that a woman understands her ordained position given her by God, and her covering (social appearance and spiritual authority) is evidenced by her submission. Man is her covering, but only by her submission to him. Angels are ministering Spirits that come alongside to confirm the physical evidence portrayed by her. Should a wife refuse to "wear the symbol of authority on her head", then she is instructed to cut off her hair as a testimony to this. In other words, a woman should not cut her hair short so as to resemble the image of a man, or a rebel; that is to mock her authority, revealing her defiance of her spiritual authority. Either way, her refusal to submit to her ordained authority reveals her rebellion and should forbid her to participate in the intimacies of the church.

An unmarried man shows respect for and submits to the authority of the church by his Godliness.

Men should not wear a covering on their head, because they are made in the image of God. Put another way: there should be a pre-established recognition and or an immediate discernment that a man understands his ordained position given him by God, and his covering (social appearance and spiritual authority) is evidenced by his submission. Christ is his covering, but only by his submission to Him. Physically, head coverings a man might wear will certainly have an association to the world (such as sports teams, fraternities, religious orders, etc.) and carry with it a sense of dedication and/or fanaticism. This would easily cause disruption or division among the people as well as the obvious evidence of a divided commitment between God and the world.

He should not wear long hair, because similar to the witness of the angels, nature itself testifies that it is disgraceful for a man to have long hair in the church. In other words, a man should not wear his hair long so as to resemble the image of a woman, or a rebel; that is to emasculate his authority, revealing his defiance of his spiritual authority. It is evidence enough in the body of Christ that a man who willingly wears a covering on his head or has long hair, exhibits a rebellious spirit about him. He should be forbidden to participate in the intimacies of the church because his authority is not yet Jesus.

The definition of the root Greek word for disgrace/dishonor in verses 4&5 is to "curse vehemently". These verses indicate the disrespect the woman and the man would be to their own authority; man and Christ.

When praying in a disrespectful state, who are you really petitioning to?
When prophesying in a disrespectful state, who are you really hearing from?

Thus, being out of submission you "curse vehemently" your assigned authority.

Verses 8-10 refers to the creation order in Genesis before the fall. Satan began this rebellion to his own authority by refusing to remain in his place of submission. He coveted God's position and declared in his heart that he would become like Him. Eve, having been told not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (she even conveyed this to Satan) disrespected her authority by eating of it. She left her place of submission and considered herself equal to Adam in that she chose to disobey his command.(1) The temptation was that the consequence would not be what she was told it would be; death. So by the consideration of the consequence rather than simply obeying what she was commanded, she cursed her authority, abandoned her protection, and received the consequence. The curse handed down is that women will desire their husband (his positional authority)(2) but that he will still have dominion over her. It is a picture of the ongoing battle of submission and authority between husband and wife. The same marriage analogy is used to describe Christ and His church, and so is the struggle of submission and desire for independent authority prevalent here.

So what we realize through this is that the angels who witnessed the initial rebellion in the beginning are present with us today, ministering to the world the physical example of obedience for the sake of establishing the spiritual example that by our submission, God becomes our ultimate authority, and not ourselves.

Desiring to honor God in your place of submission and sacrificing your lusts establishes your authority.

Surrendering your place of submission attempts to equate yourself with your authority.

Jesus himself did not consider himself equal to God, but submitted his flesh to humility and torment, thus receiving the blessing from it.

Satan considered himself equal to God and was cursed.

A man who does not submit to Christ curses his authority.

A woman who does not submit to man curses her authority.

Physically, man was created first and the woman was made out of the man. She was created for man. This is the evidence of his authority over the woman.

Christ is the first born of all who become heirs to the Kingdom of Heaven and is evidence of His authority over the man.

Spiritually, neither man nor woman is independent of each other, because as woman came from man, so through child birth man comes from woman; a reality of physical regeneration. It is also a picture of spiritual regeneration; the divine government ordained by God for the church, carried through each generation by the angels.

Let's consider the following Scriptures pertaining to women in the church.

"The women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says. If they desire to learn anything, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is improper for a woman to speak in church. Was it from you that the word of God first went forth? Or has it come to you only?" (1Corinthians 14:34-36)

"Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness. A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness. But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet. For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve. And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint." (1 Timothy 2:9-15)

These two passages, along with our referenced Scripture above, each take us back to the garden of Eden to communicate very shared and relevant pieces of information that the apostle Paul bases these commands on; ordained authority, not societal acceptance and approval.


"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored." (Titus 2:3-5)

"In the same way, you wives, be submissive to your own husbands so that even if any of them are disobedient to the word, they may be won without a word by the behavior of their wives, as they observe your chaste and respectful behavior. Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God." (1 Peter 3:1-4)

It is clear in all these passages that as well as establishing authority, they reveal the nature to be found in a woman full of the Holy Spirit, thus confirming that she will have much to offer the body of Christ by way of prayer and prophecy.

By neglecting or avoiding certain scriptures that run contrary to the culture, the church does not receive the most intimate blessings and true unity available to it. When the conditions of submission are authentically embraced and the authority ordained by God firmly established, we can be assured that the fullness of God's Spirit is dwelling within the church. Members are found to be trustworthy for spiritual responsibilities.

"Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen." (Hebrews 11:1) If we can't submit to the things that are seen how can we submit to the things that are unseen? (1 John 4:20) More accurately, if we are not intimate with the unseen, then what is seen will be the rebellion manifest through us, for it is only by the power of the unseen that we can even obey what is seen.

If our conduit with God is broken by the rebellion of compromise (and is by no means limited to our appearance), and a spirit of deception is allowed to interpret divine scripture, is it any surprise the church in the U.S. is so worldly and spiritually asleep? Whenever rebellion towards authority reigns in the place of submission, the enemy's authority will be prevalent and active in the church, thus quenching the work of the Holy Spirit.

"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are undisturbed. "But when someone stronger than he attacks him and overpowers him, he takes away from him all his armor on which he had relied and distributes his plunder. "He who is not with Me is against Me; and he who does not gather with Me, scatters." (Luke 11:21-23)

Today is very confusing for the entire body of Christ because, out of a fear of rejection by the outside world, we have compromised ourselves to a place where the church has befriended society and invited it in to influence its ways. Our failure to obey comes from our desires to be accepted and our fear of reprisal from others if we should stand firm. But look below at the example of Sarah.

"For in this way in former times the holy women also, who hoped in God, used to adorn themselves, being submissive to their own husbands; just as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, and you have become her children if you do what is right without being frightened by any fear." (1 Peter 3:5,6)

After Jesus ascension, women were clearly active and effective in the early church. Yet what can not be dismissed is their unique call to submission. It is her ordained humility, it is her life and power in God...it is her beauty.

It is the church that is suffering, more so than the child. It has, of course been suffering for centuries for different reasons, but each generation must come to a recognition of its own sickness. If one member feels well while the body is sick, there is a disconnect of that child from the church that God has implemented for the sake of unity. God is always patient with us. He will give good things to His children on a personal basis, but the church leaders must also allow all gifts to function, not to oppress them in order to establish their own covetous ideals as to how they think church should look. And the saints must implement their gifts within the church, not to selfishly covet them for their edification alone.

More than authority, these verses teach submission by obedience for the sake of embracing spiritual life...for there is only one faith, one Lord, and one baptism. Conforming to the world is the scheme of the enemy, to weaken God's power in the church by compromising His truth. Walking by faith and not by sight will always run counter to the majority.

It's not what we think. It's not what we want. It's not what society determines or accepts. It's what the Holy Spirit has instructed and ordained as the inspired word of God. The church struggles with this particular passage and many others like it because they will not seek spiritual understanding beyond the topical message.

Should women wear a head covering when praying or prophesying? The bottom line is found in the bottom lines: "Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. If anyone is inclined to be contentious, we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God." (1 Corinthians 11:14-16) ESV

Paul supported the traditions of the present society to be relevant within the church for the cause of extending grace to the new believers, much like abstaining from eating meat sacrificed to idols for the sake of those who are weak in the faith. (1 Corinthians 10:28) As he continued, he focused on God's natural imagery placed upon His creation, as well as the spiritual, whereby submission and authority are established. In the end, having confirmed the natural state of appearance once more, he concludes that beyond societal traditions, such as head coverings, there are no such physical and legalistic practices that are required for a woman to substantiate her submission to her authority within the body of Christ. In other words, it should already be ascertained that such a woman called on to pray or prophecy has been found complete in the Lord and her physical appearance will agree. Her hair is enough. Should any one want to force this issue, Paul firmly counters, "...we have no such practice, nor do the churches of God". If a law is applied in the church, it is for the sake of the law breakers. (1Timothy 1:8-11, Galatians 5:16-25) Spiritual women do not have to be told such things. They will beautifully confirm it.

The entire message from our topic can be summed up in this way: Paul begins this directive to the church from the viewpoint of their young and ignorant understanding of God through the work of Jesus. In our own individual walk with God, we also understand Him initially only by our mind's interpretation of what He begins to reveal to us. Yet in its youth, our minds cannot comprehend the depths of God's kingdom in lieu of our own. Therefore, as this passage begins with the physical portrayal of what will ultimately be spiritually manifested in the church by the power of the Holy Spirit, we, too, will progress from the practical obedience of human law into its spiritually maturity, by means of our own sanctification, thereby eliminating any evidence of legalism this passage may initially exhibit.

"It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." (John 6:63)

We can contemplate words and meanings of words, contextual interpretations both literal and figurative, but it is only by calling on the power and the presence of the Holy Spirit that we will render justice to the specificity of arduous Biblical studies.

So, "...what is that to you? You follow me." (John 21:22)


(1) In Genesis 2, we read that God formed the man first and instructed him in the commands of the garden he was to tend. Although the text later states that Eve had shared with Satan that it was God who said not to eat from the tree in the middle of the garden, we can understand by the spiritual context of all relevant scripture that this command would have been given to her by Adam with the authority of God behind it. Eve was not subversive to Adam when she stated that God had told her, for she recognized that Adam, also, is God's servant. So we see that Eve had complete understanding that even her authority had a greater authority.

(2) We know that Adam and Eve were desirous of one another before the fall, being of the same 'flesh and bone'. So when God was handing down the curses, He was not merely repeating a previous existing condition of affectionate desire, but rather that woman's desire would be for man's positional authority, as she had broken the only restrictive command in the garden by doing just that.


"For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (Romans 1:20)

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Perfect Strength

"My grace is sufficient for you; my strength is made perfect in your weakness." (2Cor. 12:9)

Weakness defined by God must be accompanied by authentic humility, leaning not on our own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all our ways. If we find ourselves overwhelmed in our weakness, yet feel driven to overcome it, it is no longer weakness, but an unwelcome challenge to be conquered by every means possible within our own resourcefulness. It is a futile attempt at becoming our own god and we are arrogant to think that we can sustain ourselves in His presence through the struggle. Until we finally recognize the divinely designed impartation of grace upon us, our strength is made useless in our weakness.

Strength defined by God is only recognized by those who understand what Jesus came to show us; that we consider ourselves not equal with God, but we willingly lay down our own lives that we may indeed live to Him who called us to Himself. It is now no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. Our perfect strength lies in the joy of the LORD.
(Neh. 8:10)


"I love the Lord, for he heard my voice;

he heard my cry for mercy.

Because he turned his ear to me,

I will call on him as long as I live."

(Psalm 116:1-6)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


A person's identity is established by the ideals they subject themselves to. For Christians, they should be those established by Jesus. Should a professing believer embrace ideals other than this, their witness will appear no different than what the world already observes, adding to the confusion of the lost. As Christ followers, it is important to identify ourselves as those bought with a price; that by our submission alone, the kingdom of God is displayed through us to the world.

Whether husband, wife, father, mother, single, elder, or child, we are called to a particular place of submission in Christ and it is here our identity becomes fruitful. Surrender is entirely contrary to our human nature, and it is only by faith that we enter into our identities, by the evidence God Himself has given us.

Those of us who defy subjecting ourselves to our mandated roles, struggle with the Holy Spirit that is persistent in revealing God's will, while our selfishness within fights back. The evidence of such is chaos. Seeking peace and comfort from the battles, we find ourselves engaging in one uphill battle after another, searching for creative ways to overcome the Spirit's call on our lives.

The promise of Jesus is that he will never leave us or forsake us. He continually sends people and circumstances across our path to get our attention. This is the patience of our loving Father as we endure this baptism of dying to self, that we may buried and ultimately be identified with Jesus as we submit ourselves, where we will then receive the third part of our baptism; the resurrection. Not only on the last day, but here and now.

"He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God." (1 Peter 1:20,21)


"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, 'You shall be holy, for I am holy.'" (1 Peter 1:13-16)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Humility Of Faith

True faith expresses itself when we are obedient to God's word regardless of the consequences. Surrender will be our first course of action before catering to the insatiable human desire to address a situation from our own logic and resourcefulness for the sake of self preservation. This will, however, create within our mind's understanding, a great defeat as we forfeit our energies, humbling every fiber of our own strength that by default, desires to rationalize our emotions. We have now welcomed the work of the Holy Spirit within us, that He may also work through us toward others involved as well.

The burden of this responsibility is then effectively removed from us, and in time, we will discover that our humility is all that God has desired of us. Though fears and anxieties are inevitable due to the foreign body we've been clothed with, this begins the walk of faith that ultimately discovers the peace that Jesus speaks of, as we submit to Him.

Our surrender by no means discounts our participation with the truths we discern during this time. They are for the purpose of bringing us to an awareness of the work that God desires to accomplish; exposing those things which compete for our intimacy with Jesus and prepares our heart for the Holy Spirit to address them, thus affording a deeper understanding in which to pray more effectively through them.


"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid."  (John 14:27)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


"So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me."
(2Corinthians 12:7,8)

The enemy's effort, in this opportunity, is to draw our attention away from God, causing us to focus on ourselves instead. If interpreted wisely though, we recognize this as a tool of humility used to prevent us from 'thinking more highly of ourselves than we ought'. Our minds can very quickly forget we are nothing without the Cross and subsequent life of the Spirit. Every moment of our life finds us walking precariously close to becoming our own god. As the Spirit is willing but the flesh being weak, God's grace is sufficient and He will administer affliction so that we may know what it means to carry our own cross daily.


"But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong." (2 Corinthians 12:9,10)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Lonely Saint

If you ever get to a place in your walk where you find yourself neglected, rejected, or avoided by others in the faith, five possibilities exist for your situation.

1. You are pompous, self absorbed and absent of love & compassion toward others.

2. You are fantastical, and live a religion of your own, disregarding the Spirit of truth.

3. You are zealous, eager to share Christ, but lacking refinement in your own identity.

4. You are boisterous, void of the life in Christ, worldly in your dealings with others.

5. You are humble, charitable, empty of yourself and available to God, full of the Holy Spirit.

In the first case, you will find it difficult to relate to others as you incessantly portray yourself as 'one over others in the Lord'. Lacking the spirit of love, you disregard the personal interests of others, and concentrate more on elevating yourself. As a narcissist, your main concern is your own image, and an empty witness will be your sign.

Rebuke from others will most likely accompany the second scenario; their recognition of your wayward walk, should they themselves be knowledgeable of the truth. If they are constantly correcting you about your theology, you are most likely to be lacking the true grace and knowledge of Jesus and have vigorously strained to be a separated and unique 'saint'. You have an insatiable desire to impress the church with your godliness. They will not be impressed, and your indignation towards them will be your sign.

As a zealot, arguments and disagreements will arise frequently as you force your experiences upon others. The blatant commands of your mouth appear no less than a demand for others to get right with God, all the while struggling with your own sanctification. You will receive much aggression and frustration will be your sign.

 Fourth; you are eager to experience the pleasures of life, consumed with the wisdom of the world. Surrounded by those in the faith, they recognize the absence of your being 'born again from above', and the presence of your affections for everything the world enjoys. You do not understand why everyone has to be so spiritual, and your exclusion of service in the church will be your sign.

Silence will accompany the last; a result of the conviction of the Holy Spirit upon others through you, should they be void of a life in Christ. If you find your attempts to socialize with others difficult, due to their eschewing of your desires to fellowship, you are most likely so enlightened by the Holy Spirit that they don't find much in common with you. They sense convictions through you without you even having to speak. You will experience personal sorrow, and your continued love and desire towards them will be your sign.

In any case, you are left alone. Carefully examine the responses of the children of God around you and be humble enough to accept the truth that is being revealed to you.


"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others."
(Philippians 2:3,4)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Holy Maturation Of Human Deprivation

Before God called me, going to church was not an option for me. I mocked God and His church. I felt religion was a crutch for losers who needed a life. This was my understanding because I was ignorant. This is why Jesus prayed for the Father to forgive them, because they don't know what they are doing.

After my calling, the only confidence I had in going to church was that I had read the entire Bible, but with open eyes and ears. I did not have the human luxury of friends and family joining with me to assist in my confidence. God had written all I had read onto the tablets of my heart. So I went to church with true (though not complete) understanding and full confidence in what I had read. What I witnessed through the years was a lot of church goers without a clue as to how they should live, according to what they claimed as their faith. Having a form of Godliness, but denying the power thereof. I was amazed at how dead the church is. An intimate knowledge of their savior was absent.

 When I would engage others in fellowship with the Lord, I would get three different responses. Indignation, from those who would not admit they were void of a relationship with Him; joy from the Spirit filled believer; and amazement, from those that recognized intimacy was possible. For the sake of enduring, God had placed me among the latter at first.

Another struggle I dealt with was how my humanity continues throughout my walk. Those who are indignant toward me are quick to point this out, though sometimes not with actual words. Those who actively pursue their higher calling understand this dilemma and are humbled by the presence of their own humanity.

Fellowship doesn't belong to people who gather on Sunday morning or other church functions and catch up on their life's latest news and accomplishments. These are merely acquaintances. True fellowship exists between the children of God who realize His Holy Spirit that resides in a wretched body. What a ludicrous combination! But children of the light can't help but to glorify God and praise the risen Lord, in spite of this imperfect vessel we trod the path in, and this to the indignation of the devil. Within or without the body of Christ, we are human. The difference is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus himself tells us that the Father will lavish us with his Spirit if we would but ask. Sounds simple enough, but if that is indeed the promise, I venture to conclude not many are asking. Like the weeds, life's cares tend to choke out His word. I find the biggest fear in praying for His Spirit is the realization of having to give ourselves up to gain Him. May I encourage you, nothing will be taken from you. Only when He has shown you the pitiful condition of the here and now compared to the eternity to come, you discover you actually give up nothing, but gain all.

Practicing simple obedience (Jesus said, "If you love me, you will obey my commands."), gives your faith a foundation for God to build on. It is important not to look too far down your path...this only leads to assumptions and unfounded fears of what's to come. As a child grows into an adult, the process is undetectable on a daily basis. Maturity appears gradually. Only looking back on the road we traveled do we understand fully, as we are fully understood. Thus, faith has its exercise as we focus on taking only the next step with unwavering commitment.

As we begin to lean, not on our own understanding, but acknowledging Him in all our ways, we begin to put away our old selves, and He creates the new, by the power of the Holy Spirit He gives as we call upon Him. Accepting that it is not by our own strength, but by His Spirit, we are then able to humble ourselves to the knowledge of who we really are; fallen humanity saved not of our own devices...it is the gift of God.


"Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own." (Philippians 3:12)

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Basic Christianity

Basic Christianity, grounded in the purity of relationship with Jesus will confound and turn the heads of the lost world unlike any crafted religious doctrine theologians could possibly hope to design by their own intelligence based on biblical knowledge alone. The power of God works through the simplest of His children, meek and humble, while the most astute theologian may look on with indignation, mentally concluding that such simplicity could never make a dynamic and lasting impact on the lost.

Since a relationship with the Father is based on the manifestation of His Spirit embraced by those He loves, then the fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of that intimacy. For it is not by might, nor by power, but by His Spirit, through those whom He knows and is well pleased with. Through them, will be displayed the only life changing power that will pierce and expose the depths of the underlying darkness of humanity that keeps the world bound in depravity. It is the only power that makes a decisive and permanent change in a person's life.

Doctrine is crucial, but it can not be merely learned. It must be lived.


"At that time Jesus declared, 'I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.'" (Matthew 11:25, 26)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Trusting God's Faith

Faith is a gift from God; the irrefutable evidence of the unseen and the manifestation of that which is hope alone. It is the undeniable proof in the heart of God's children that they live, move, and have His being. (Acts 17:26-28)
Faith is the activity of God by way of the Holy Spirit within His own.

In the following passage, the disciples are commanded by Jesus to obey a teaching that requires of them what they certainly do not possess.

"If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

"The apostles said to the Lord, 'Increase our faith!' And the Lord said, 'If you had faith like a grain of mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you." (Luke 17:3-6)

Jesus corrects the apostles cry for increased faith by revealing to them that their problem is not a lack faith, but an issue of being able to trust what God has revealed to them through His Word. The ability to accept God's word comes by way of His imparted sanctification upon the people, in His time, in His way. It is not a gift we can readily display at our own discretion, nor of our own affections; not until God has replaced our heart of stone with a heart of flesh.

Trust, on the other hand, depends upon the mind's ability to accept that which lacks physical and rational evidence, having heard from God (faith) while battling the incessant desire to rationalize it according to the wisdom and forms of this world. It is trust that we exercise on a daily basis. Trust is of the mind, which without the renewing of, can not accept God's word nor know true faith.

Therefore Jesus states, "Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." (Mark 14:38) In other words, we call upon the Father that we may hear from the Holy Spirit and learn how to discern between what is good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)

It is not our faith that we struggle with, it is our trust that falters. Faith never sways; and without intimate prayer, trust always will.


"The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he also will deny us;
if we are faithless, he remains faithful-

-for he cannot deny himself."

(2 Timothy 2:11-13)

Saturday, October 6, 2012


A sign is the evidence of God's presence among His creation. Jesus tells us that it is an adulterous generation that seeks for a sign and that the only sign they would be given is the one that requires faith alone to see. It is the sign of Jonah.

"For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth." (Matthew 12:40)

God revealed His plan of redemption for mankind through the death and resurrection of His own son. In order to receive such a sign, it must be revealed to them.

"But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus." (Galatians 1:15-17)

This is the faith that comes from God, reserved for God's elect; the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. The children of God will ultimately walk by faith, not by sight. It is unbelief that looks for external signs as evidence of God's activities. Rather, we should wait upon the Lord, void of our own agendas, and attend to the Holy Spirit's promptings, which may very well include external signs, should He choose.

There is an abundance of God's presence that many Christians ignore on a daily basis. By not attending to the basic revelations, we are then seeking greater signs and wonders to be manifest that we may have sure evidence. God, however, will take no one further until the foundation has been first established.

Be absolutely certain of the source of any sign you embrace. Is it ours, Satan's, or God's?

Ours-"When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it." (Genesis 3:6)

Satan's-"And he said, 'See that you are not led astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is at hand!’ Do not go after them." (Luke 21:8)

God's-"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)


"And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him."
(Hebrews 11:6)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Faith From Above

There is a faith inherent in man that is nothing more than wishful thinking. From his own life influences, his mind believes. His confidence possesses no assurance except that which he imagines himself.

True faith, though, is something you know that you know that you know, and the Holy Spirit within confirms that its source is God. The faith described in the Bible does not apply to what Christians can imagine and then hope and pray that God will come alongside it; it originates from God and will reveal itself as naturally as we breathe. We may struggle with the details and delay of time before its manifestation but this is when we are called to walk by faith, or more accurately, to trust in the faith He has already given us. As sure as God has called us, He will call faith to work itself through us as he deals also with our covetousness and idolatry; the carnality that invents and believes selfishly in itself, but questions and challenges true faith.


"...for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure." (Philippians 2:13)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mirrored Understanding

"For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known." (1Corinthians 13:12)

"Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come." (1Corinthians 10:11)

To look dimly as in a mirror is to be looking back on our lives and the witnesses before us with a vague sense of the Kingdom of Heaven to come, by the patterns established in the natural realm. Our knowledge is limited to yesterday and today. There is no looking forward through a mirror, only a reflection of our life presently and all that lies behind us.

 "Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are a just vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away. Instead, you ought to say, "'If the Lord wills, we will live and also do this or that.'" (James 4:14,15)

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." (Mathew 6:34)

All of God's children possess the hope that is to come, but no one knows what tomorrow brings us in this life. Our stewardship is a daily one...and our days are short. "So teach us to number our days, That we may present to You a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90:12)


"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."
(Hebrews 12:1,2)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Little Children

There is an intimate bond that exists when a child trusts and depends on his father or mother for comfort, protection, and answers to their questions in life before they seek first of anyone else. They run straight home to their sanctuary of peace and wisdom. The mind of this child is convinced that his own parents have everything he needs to face a scary and confusing world.

"I tell you truthfully, unless you are converted and become like one of these little children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." (Mathew 18:3)

As adults, of course we do not lean so heavily on guidance from our parents. Yet being grown now and able to make up our minds in the world around us, the decisions we come to are based on the source we draw from. As Christians, this source must be sought from God's kingdom or else we're left to make decisions based on rationale, placing importance on the consequences of those decisions the world has established. The greater wisdom realizes the incomplete understanding of God's plans for us and relies heavily on Him for guidance through the difficulties of living a Spirit filled life in a worldly kingdom. We are thus encouraged to again become like little children; to consistently call upon our Heavenly Father, to trust and obey completely His direction for us, as He knows what is best for us.


"It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes."

(Psalm 118:8,9)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Good Choice

Like animals, humans have built-in instincts. Unlike animals, we have the knowledge of good and evil. The human mind is able to determine possibilities among circumstances. In its totally depraved state (apart from God's intervention), man does not possess the ability to choose selflessly even when everything lines up with a choice of that nature.

 As well, the moral law of God does not give man this power; it only affords him the conviction of sin, a desire to rebel against it, and the awareness of his inability to obey it. (Romans.7:7-11) This is why God sent Jesus; God in the form of man. He was the fulfillment of the law by His selfless sacrifice to lay down His own life, that He might send the Holy Spirit to dwell within us, giving us the power to choose what is selfless and pleasing to Him.

The things of the Spirit are understood by the Spirit. (1Cor.2:10-16) So, man without the Spirit is unable to choose what is good based on a pure heart that never seeks its own. With the exception of God's common grace upon mankind (whereby our existence is not even possible without), there is always an ulterior motive when a 'good' choice is made by someone void of life in the Holy Spirit.

We are told not to be conformed to this world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. (Romans.12:2)

Again, this is not possible without the Holy Spirit. For the believers, it is the work of sanctification. A process that begins to utilize the things of God through the mind and received by the Spirit which now inhabits us. Thus, faith comes by hearing the word of God. Our minds are the transfer station of the knowledge of good and evil, now processed by the Holy Spirit. Before, the only thing it could choose was self interest, as the Word states, "They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good." (Psalm 14:1)

With all humanity, our lifelong processes determines our motives, builds our character, and establishes our very soul. It is in this way, believers are able to test the spirit to see if it is of God. (1John 4:1) We can now make truly good choices and can be confident that we know God's will for our lives...not the specifics...rather, the obedient and available man by the power of God through him declares His will for our lives.


"And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call Me good? No one is good except God alone.'" (Mark 10:18)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


For people not yet called by God; their religion is to pursue their own ideals and attempt to define their existence within their present environment, evidenced only by their own understanding.

"The fool says in his heart, 'There is no God.'" (Psalm 53:1)

"For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse." (Romans 1:19,20)

For people already called by God; their religion can be an exercise of conveniently incorporating God's word to conform to their own ideals and societal comfort.

"The Lord says: 'These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.'" (Isaiah 29:13)

"...having a form of godliness but denying its power."
(2 Timothy 3:5)

God states that His religion is helping the elderly and visiting the orphans. Unless one receives payment for such services, this requires self denial, which without the Holy Spirit, is impossible for man to achieve. Charles Spurgeon writes, "Ungodly persons and mere professors never look upon religion as a joyful thing; to them it is service, duty, or necessity, but never pleasure or delight. If they attend to religion at all, it is either that they may gain thereby, or else because they dare not do otherwise."

God's religion is finalized by keeping ones self from becoming stained by the world. When worldliness is more the norm in long-time professing Christians, it is certain that truth has been rejected and the sanctifying work of the work of the Holy Spirit has been neglected.

Whether called by God or not, people everywhere witness more of man's own idea of religion than God's.

Who then is interested in truth? Just what is truth?

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."

Again, he says, "If you abide in me and my word abides in you, you will know the truth and the truth will set you free."

When we are consistently about the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit upon the words Jesus spoke, it will enable us to know and live in truth rather than in religion.


"About this we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil." (Hebrews 5:11-14)