Thursday, March 17, 2016

He Who Belongs to God Hears What God Says

Photo:  Henrik Lundh III

This is from the blog The Lord Is With Us:

Written April 21, 2015

Authentic ministers of God’s word are not taught it by man; we receive it by revelation from God, learning it directly by His Spirit, which is one with ours by faith in Christ (see Gal. 1:11-12; 1John 2:20, 27; 1Cor. 6:17). God brings revelation and teaches us most often as we meditate on His word. Jesus of Nazareth heard from God this way also (see Luke 4:16-21, perhaps in a new light). Recall that He told the Jews My teaching is not my own. It comes from him who sent me. (John 7:16). He described himself as … a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. He then told them, He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear from God is that you do not belong to God. (8:40, 47).

Mere “head knowledge” of God and His word is insufficient to save or sanctify us, regardless of what our deceived natural self asserts: behold the religious Jews whose self-righteousness prevented them from seeing that they were persecuting the Messiah. The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. (John 6:63). Effectual ministers of God’s word must not only hear the Spirit, but listen to what He says and act in accordance with Him (see Rev. 2, 3; Mt. 7:24-27; James 1:22-25; 2:17; Ro. 8:5, 13).

Now, please pay careful attention to what follows. Like Jesus and Saul of Tarsus before us, we who receive and respond to God’s unique call on our lives must beware consulting with flesh/tradition about such matters, lest the natural realm deter us from obeying the heavenly vision. Fellowship and receiving what the Lord tells us through others is essential, but we must carefully discern what is the Lord and what is not, and move only as He moves us. 

Men of God, apostles even, can unintentionally misdirect others by what remains of their flesh. Recall these words: But when God… was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus (Gal. 1:15-17). God’s call on Saul’s life to preach Christ to the Gentiles was drastically different from what the other apostles had heard from Him at that time; in all likelihood, they might have considered Saul to be deceived and dissuade him. Let us thank God for His gracious gift of discernment and use it!
I was not disobedient to the vision from heaven. First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. 
Acts 26:19b-20

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The Equivalent of a Demon?

This is from The Latter Days blog:
"You believe that God is one; you do well [to believe that]. The demons also believe [that], and shudder and bristle [in awe-filled terror—they have seen His wrath]!" James 2:19

The demons know who God is. They cried out in terror when Jesus Christ walked the earth.

"And they screamed out, “What business do we have [in common] with each other, Son of God? Have You come to torment us before the appointed time [of judgment]?”" Matthew 8:29

Demons even have some insight into Gods ways, understanding that Jesus' 1st coming was not His time to bring judgment against sin.

Most importantly, demons tremble in fear at the presence of Jesus Christ because they know that - in spite of their belief - they are still damned to Hell. They understand that the mere knowledge of who Jesus is will not save them from eternal damnation.  Can we let that sink in for a minute?

The majority of Christians think they are "saved" because they acknowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for their sins. With this contemporary Christian faith, what people believe (in their heads) has no affect on who they are (in their hearts).  I "believe", yet fornicate.  I "believe", yet lie.  I "believe", yet steal. I "believe", but I am filled with profanity...  If this is the totality of their faith, then it makes them the equivalent of demons...and they will face the same destiny.
"Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? And in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine: For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes." Matthew 7:21-29

In the text above we see a prime example of such persons.  They call Jesus "Lord" and have performed many works for him in His name.  Yet they are rejected by Jesus and He calls their works iniquity.  What was the problem with these people? Jesus never "knew" them.
In this text, the word "knew" does not speak to mental awareness or academic knowledge.  It means to know Jesus as His Bride, the way a man would intimately know his wife where the two become one. This in a nutshell is the difference between those who truly serve the Lord and folks in rebellion who onlyact like they serve the Lord: One has been born again to have the nature of Christ imparted to them and one has not.

People all across the world perform wonderful deeds every day. They give to the poor, take care of widows, feed the hungry...  Some even do these things in the name of Jesus Christ, yet that still does not mean that the deeds come from God. I tell you that there is none good except for God (Mark 10:18), and any seemingly good deed not inspired by Him is from selfish motivation.

Consider the text again.  These people are prophesying, casting out devils, and doing many things in Jesus' name.  The world would look at such persons and say they are mighty men and women of God; but God calls them evil doers.  How much of the activity you see proclaimed in Jesus' name each day fall into this category? How many people whom you follow and receive counsel from in Jesus' name are in actuality evil doers in Jesus' eyes?  I tell you that we had better start seeing as Jesus sees - and if we cannot, we had better pray for discerment to be able to.

How do we tell the difference between good works vs. God works?  Works by God ALWAYS bring our focus to Christ.  Not sometimes, not often, but always.  If a work brings your attention to the messanger or to anything else in the world, it is from Satan.

Jesus tells us the only way we can perform God's will is to first be known by Him; we must receive His inspiration (His seed, His word) so that we can become one with Him, and only then are we equipped to do His work. When a wife receives and conceives from the seed of her husband, the resulting baby is his.  It is the same with God.

How would it be for a woman to run around trying to have a baby apart from conceiving of her husband? Such would be an adulteress.  Yet every day people do works "in Jesus' name" that are not birthed by Him.  Instead, they determine what they will do for God and then they expect God to claim Fatherhood of their bastards.  Let me tell you that God will never do so (Hebrews 12:5-10).  God only recognizes that which is His. Further, those who are birthed by God speak with authority because they belong to Him and have His words in their mouths.

Most of what is done in the churchworld today is really being orchestrated by demons.  Demons are leading churches, starting ministries, singing in the choir, preaching God's word, and doing many wonderful works in Jesus' name. They have no ability to impart life to you because they do not possess the life of God within.  Jesus has never "known" them.

Don't be so quick to jump on the latest religious bandwagon. Ensure you are settled at the feet of Jesus to learn of Him so that you may be birthed by Him to do His work.

Additional Resources

I Never Knew You

Who is the God of Your Ministry?

The Organic Gospel

The Three R's of Rebellion

Power Faith

True vs. False Church

Friday, March 11, 2016

John Adams: "A Man who can read"

John Adams, 1735-1826

This is from the blog Dover Beach:

“The very Ground of our Liberties, is the freedom of Elections. Every Man has in Politicks as well as Religion, a Right to think and speak and Act for himself. No man either King or Subject, Clergyman or Layman has any Right to dictate to me the Person I shall choose for my Legislator and Ruler. I must judge for myself, but how can I judge, how can any Man judge, unless his Mind has been opened and enlarged by Reading. A Man who can read, will find in his Bible, in the common sermon Books that common People have by them and even in the Almanack and News Papers, Rules and observations, that will enlarge his Range of Thought, and enable him the better to judge who has and who has not that Integrity of Heart, and that Compass of Knowledge and Understanding, which form the Statesman.”

  --John Adams