Archive for August, 2008

Paul speaks of “Christian denominations”

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Before you read what is in this post, I want you to know that you that I love my brothers and sisters in Christ, whether they consider themselves pentecostal, baptist, Catholic, etc.

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?
1 Corinthians 1:10-13

Paul was seeing the early signs of division among believers, and he didn’t like it, neither did the Holy Spirit (being that He inspired Paul to rebuke the nonsense). Has Paul addressed this issue today, he might as well of said:

Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you. Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am Pentecostal; and I Methodist; and I am Baptist; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was John Wesley crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of the pope?

Christianity is by far the most divided religion in the world today. Even the cults and pagans have more unity than we do!

There is only one truth! If one denomination believes one thing, and another denomination believes another, then one of them is wrong. One of the denominations is believing a lie, because there is no such thing as two truths when it comes to spiritual matters. Either Christians can have demons, or they can’t. Either tongues and spiritual gifts are for today, or they aren’t. Either healing and miracles are for today, or they aren’t. When two different denominations believe differently on a subject like this, then one of them is deceived, and has chosen to believe a lie!

I was telling somebody the other day that I would actually consider putting a bumper sticker on my car, if I found one that said, “Get out of church, and get in your Bible!” It is when Christians follow their pastor around and are gullible to accept everything he tells them, is when they are led astray into false doctrines and teachings of men. Even the early church was diligent to research scriptures to make sure that what they were being taught was true (see Acts 17:11). How many Christians today do the same thing? Probably not many; they merely accept what “sounds right” from the pulpit, and that’s where they fall into trouble. Satan has some awfully convincing arguments about some things, but it’s all exposed when a person gets into the Word of God and learns the truth for themselves!

Don’t get me wrong, there are some great churches out there that do teach the truth in God’s Word, but they are not the minority here in America. If you are going to be in church, then get yourself in a church that FEEDS you the TRUTH, the raw Word of God. Anything else is setting yourself up to be brainwashed and lukewarm in your relationship and knowledge of God!

Pastor James Brandt preached an awesome sermon titled, “Keys to Spiritual Unity” on August 10th, 2008, and it addresses this topic in greater depth. You can find James’ sermons on the GreatBibleStudy.com web site under “Audio Sermons.”
I have friends who are of different denominations, but it grieves my heart to see such division in the Body of Christ! I consider myself more non-denominational than anything, but even many who also consider themselves non-denominational are believing lies that the Word of God would expose, if they only sought the knowledge of God for themselves!

Importance of using our gifts

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

Today I was reading Matthew 25, where Jesus told the parable of the three servants. A master went away, and left one servant with 5 bags of gold, another servant 2 bags, and another 1 bag. The first two servants invested the money, and doubled the master’s investment. The last servant hid the money out of fear.

Are we using what God has given us, to yield Him a bumper crop? Or are we not using our gifts (prophecy, discerning of spirits, healing, etc.) because of fear? While the master praised the servants who invested the money, He rebuked the servant who hid his investment out of fear. Consider what is said in verse 26…

Matthew 25:26, “His lord answered and said unto him, Thou wicked and slothful servant, thou knewest that I reap where I sowed not, and gather where I have not strawed.”

Then if we read on, Jesus tells us…

Matthew 25:29-30, “For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath. And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

In other words, to him who USES what is given to him, that man will receive MORE, and will have an ABUNDANCE! But on the contrary, those who do not use what God has given them, even the things that they have been given will be TAKEN AWAY! Do you want the gifts that God’s given you, taken away from you? Then start using them!

Are you using what God has given you? Whether it be prophecy, tongues, healing, etc., it is vital that we use what God gives us, and when we do, He will pour out more upon us.

Faith invites miracles!

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Today we see so many churches that are dry and lifeless, and only once in a while do we see the hand of God do a miracle in such churches. Why is that? Could it be the same reason as we find in the Bible where Jesus could not do many miracles in Nazareth, because of their unbelief? If Jesus couldn’t do many miracles back then because of unbelief, what makes us think that things are any different today?

Matthew 13:58, “And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.”

Let me assure you that Jesus did want to do many mighty works in Nazareth!

The Holy Spirit gave me a tap on the shoulder this morning about how our unbelief can hinder the miracle working power of God. We can keep Jesus (or the Holy Spirit) from being able to do many miracles in our midst, because of our doubt and unbelief in the miracle working power of God!

Forgiveness is a form of trusting God

Friday, August 15th, 2008

I just heard a really neat piece of insight about unforgiveness. The minister said that one of the reasons that we find it hard to forgive somebody, is because we have a hard time trusting God with that situation; maybe God won’t punish them enough, or would forgive them and let them off the hook (just as He’s let us off the hook!).

Forgiveness then, is a form of trusting God. It’s putting out trust in Him with that particular situation, and knowing that His way of handling things is far better than ours.

Why are you doing what you’re doing?

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Did you know that a person who does the right things, may not always do them for the right reasons? Let’s take three people, who all do the right things, but are doing them for three distinct reasons:

Person A) does what is right because he fears that at the slightest mistake, God will be angry with him. He does what is right, but out of fear that God is a strict taskmaster, tapping His foot, waiting for a slip up.

Person B) does what is right, because he feels that he’s earning his good status with God. He is not relying on the mercy and goodness of God, but rather his own acts of righteousness. This is legalism.

Person C) does what is right because they have came to know God in a genuine relationship with Him. He knows that God truly loves and cares for him, and is merciful towards him in spite of his failures. Therefore he WANTS to do what is right, because he has been conformed to the image and likeness of Christ. He hates the things God hates, and loves the things God loves.

Person C is the only one who’s life (and heart) has been transformed by the love and power of Christ. The other two have not been transformed on the inside (their heart), and if you take away the fear and brownie points, where would their heart be? Would it be Christ-like?

Which person are you? I believe that God wants to take us to a place where we WANT to do what’s right. That only comes from a genuine relationship with Him! We have to KNOW of His goodness, before we can truly repent in our hearts for our failures. God’s Word tells us that it is His goodness (mercy, lovingkindness, forgiveness, love, etc.) that leads a person to true repentance:

Romans 2:4, “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”

Satan derails believers through discouragement

Thursday, August 14th, 2008

Satan uses discouragement has a means to derail God’s children all the time. If he can get you to feel discouraged, you are one step closer to throwing up your hands. He wants you to feel like it’s too hard to have a relationship with God, or that your not good enough to be loved by God. Satan wants you to give up on God and your relationship with Him, so that you will stop trusting Him and instead put your faith in the things of the world.

The devil is always trying to get God’s people to feel like God is somehow angry with them. Once a person feels that they cannot rely on God to help them (due to their mistakes and failures), they begin to seek to work things out in their own strength and stop trusting God for the things in their life. This totally breaks down their relationship with God! When in reality, God is standing there waiting for the backslider to return, the backslider is often feeling discouraged and has no faith in their relationship with God, not realizing that if they will repent and turn back to God, He will forgive and restore them!

Just read the story of the prodigal’s son, and you’ll feel the heartbeat of God towards those who have backslidden!

Trusting God’s good plan for us

Monday, August 11th, 2008

I am a firm believer that in order to be filled with the fullness of God, we must be rooted and grounded in the knowledge of His love for us.

“And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.” - Ephesians 3:19

If we don’t get it down into our spirits that He is a good God, and He has good things in mind for us, then we will have a hard time trusting Him, and following His path for our lives. Putting our faith in a God that we aren’t sure has our best interest in mind is just plain difficult, and to be honest, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Knowing that He cares for us, and has good things in plan for us, makes it easy to trust Him with every area of our lives.

Even consider Job’s situation. God wanted him blessed financially, and even after Satan tore everything apart, God wasn’t going to give up… He turned around and blessed Job with TWICE as much financial blessing as before!

“His substance also was seven thousand sheep, and three thousand camels, and five hundred yoke of oxen, and five hundred she asses, and a very great household; so that this man was the greatest of all the men of the east.” - Job 1:3

As if he wasn’t blessed then, let’s see what God ended up doing for Job afterwards!

“So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand she asses.” - Job 42:12

One day, the Holy Spirit spoke to me about Job, and said, “I wanted him blessed!” I have news for you - God wants us blessed too, in every area of our lives! Consider the goal of God for Job, even when everything looked black, was to turn around and bless him even more abundantly than before. God wanted His child BLESSED; God has GOOD THINGS in store for His servant!

Imagine this…

Thursday, August 7th, 2008

Satan and evil spirits are always eager to make a person feel as if God is angry with them. It puts the person on the edge of their seat and makes them afraid of God… which causes them to feel discouraged in their relationship with Him, and tend to give up on spending time with Him. These things, of course, leads to a backsliding relationship in no time. No wonder Satan wants us to feel like God is somehow angry or disappointed in us!

Try this: if you have struggled and felt like God is angry with you, then try to imagine that God sees you, knows where you’ve been, and yet still looks favorably on you? It will loosen up the tenseness on your whole system once you begin to see things as God wants you to see them. Once you can imagine it, then turn to God’s Word, and learn of how He really does look upon you with favor and hope, even when you’ve messed up and done horrible things! He’s always calling us back to repentance, so that He can restore our relationship with Him.

I can’t tell you how powerful that imaginations can be when used for God’s glory instead of Satan’s. This is a powerful key to freedom and healing for many!