May 26. 2020

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. – 1 John 4:1-2 ESV

Warrior;
We are called to have discernment. Discernment is the ability to decide between truth and error, right and wrong. Discernment is the process of making distinctions in our thinking about truth. In other words, the ability to think with discernment is synonymous with an ability to think biblically. This is not JUDGING, although we could call it a part of judgment. Jesus did command us not to judge others. This most likely is the most widely quoted of Jesus sayings- by NON-Believers- even though it is usually quoted in complete disregard of its context, of its proper meaning. “Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (Matthew 7:1). Many people use this verse in an attempt to silence their critics, interpreting Jesus’ meaning as “You don’t have the right to tell me I’m wrong.” Jesus is talking about who IS HIS, and who IS NOT HIS. We are called to have discernment, but we are NOT CALLED to decide who are God’s and who are NOT! We never know where God is in the RECONCILIATION PROCESS.

Leader, there are many who start poorly, but finish well. Even the thief on the cross had a death-bed confession and was promised by God to be in paradise with Him based on that confession. And as we know the thief on the cross did NOT live a good life! But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:40-43) We are called to know the difference between people who attempt to say the right things for political, and personal gain and those who BELIEVE IN THE GOD OF THE BIBLE and HIS SON, JESUS. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 teaches that it is the responsibility of every Christian to be discerning: “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.” The only way to know that is to have eyes to see and ears to hear. The ability to see and to hear is the ability to have discernment. In order to exercise that discernment we need to be looking at people’s actions and listening to their words and then comparing those to OUR STANDARD- THE WORD, Jesus.

Conduit, the Bible is clear that devil is WILY. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. (Ephesians 6:11) for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. (2 Corinthians 11:14) It is clear to see and to hear that we must discern between SPIRITS- between WORDS and DEEDS. As a matter of fact, failure to distinguish between truth and error leaves the FOLLOWER subject to all manner of false teaching. False teaching then leads to an un-biblical mindset, which results in unfruitful and disobedient living- a certain recipe for compromise. We live in a time when even politicians who MOCK PEOPLE OF THE BOOKS, they still profess to follow our God and even quote scripture to us to get us to COMPROMISE- to get us to deny a true believer and somehow get us to support them, who DO NOT support our GOD! Again, God removes confusion and HE shows us, tells us what the defining factor is. The KEY IS, what do they say about JESUS? Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God. Then there is a BIG, ‘AND’. And is a conjunction, that gives equal weight to what is before and after the conjunction. Whereas the conjunction ‘BUT’ negates what was before it, and puts all focus and weight on what comes after the big ‘BUT’. The ‘AND’, is in verse 3; And every spirit that does not confess Jesus- is not from God. This is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. (1 John 4:3) Beloved, ask that person: Do you believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God? Do you believe He lived a perfect life, suffered, died and was crucified and after three days rose again in the fulfillment of Scripture? Do you believe that the only way to God the Father is through a saving relationship with His Son, Jesus? This is the proper discernment. Even the devil believes in God, even the devils knows some scripture see Matthew 4 and Luke 4 and the ‘Temptation of Christ’. Jesus is the great discernment. They are either for Christ or they are ANTI-CHRIST. And if they are ANTI-CHRIST why would you vote for them, and why would you support them, why would you follow them? But first…DO YOU BELIEVE and support those who BELIEVE? This is the discernment that we are called to in this time of hypocrisy of calling that which is evil-good and that which is good- bad!

May 25. 2020

Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled; – Hebrews 12:14-15 ESV

Warriors;
Are you like a porcupine? You may have a few good points, but you are hard to be near? Per Adrian Rogers:”Bitterness does more to hold back the Power of God than Liberalism, Alcoholism and Pornography. The Root of Bitterness keeps the People of God from having the POWER OF GOD and the Holiness of God that they need in their hearts and lives!”

Leader, the ROOT of Bitterness starts underground, in our heads and hearts, we feel we are owed, we deserve more! Our thoughts begin the germination, “We deserve better… they can’t treat me that way… who do they think they are….do they know who I am… i’ll never forget!” So the Bitter Root springs up and becomes BITTER FRUIT. The root produces the slow burn of WRATH which when given oxygen from the opening of doors into people lives and it BURSTS into the flames of ANGER. We then express it out loud with CLAMOR and the devil feeds that and we start EVIL SPEAKING which in today’s world- when it is OK to hate TRUMP and all who DONT hate him- manifests itself into MALICE; the DESIRE to hurt somebody physically.

Conduit; read the Sermon on the Mount, Luke 6:27-38. We are told how to treat those who HATE us, CURSE us, ABUSE us, and STRIKES us. Read Isaiah 53, and how Jesus is described; Man of Sorrows. It’s time to start being like our LORD and STOP being like the WORLD church! For many in the church are becoming DEFILED- UP UNTIL NOW!

May 24. 2020

But for this purpose I have raised you up, to show you my power, so that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth. -Exodus 9:16 ESV

Warrior;
We humans are driven by a sense of meaning. Logo Therapy, developed conceptually, in the hell that was Auschwitz, and explained in the book, “Mans search for Meaning”- it is about man’s innate desire to WILL TO MEANING. Logo-therapy is a term derived from “logos,” a Greek word that translates as “meaning,” In the Gospel of John, IN THE BEGINNING, Jesus is also called the LOGOS. Developed by Viktor Frankl, LOGO-THERAPY is founded on the belief that human nature is motivated by the search for a life purpose; logo-therapy is the pursuit of that meaning for one’s life. The most basic question everyone faces in life is Why am I here? What is my purpose? To TRUTHFULLY answer this question, ONE must start with God and His eternal purposes for each life. Real meaning and significance comes from understanding and fulfilling God’s purposes for putting us on earth. See Ephesians 2:10.

Leader, 10 years ago Pastor Rick Warren fed this desire with a book called, “The Purpose driven life.” It has sold over 50 million copies in all it’s available formats. People looking for their purpose, however, most people are looking to Rick Warren, or some self-help guru instead of our creator and HIS PURPOSE for our existence. “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21). Warren laid out 5 PURPOSES for each creature: We were planned for God’s pleasure, so your first purpose is to offer real worship. We were formed for God’s family, so your second purpose is to enjoy real fellowship. We were created to become like Christ, so your third purpose is to learn real discipleship. We were shaped for serving God, so your fourth purpose is to practice real ministry. We were made for a mission, so your fifth purpose is to live out real evangelism. God told Jeremiah and He tells us daily: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11)

Conduit, “The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out” (Proverbs 20:5). If the devil can’t make you bad, he will make you busy! Sometimes we can be so busy about our lives that we forget the purpose behind them. We are driven by the demands of life and not realizing that God always has a greater purpose. His purposes not only encompass our lives, but the lives of those around us—at home, school, work, and community. It’s important to know and live out God’s purpose for our being, not our search for meaning in this world! We must remember WHO we are, WHY WE ARE HERE, and WHOSE we are! Every creature has a PURPOSE it is to GLORIFY OUR GOD! Your only decision is how much of your life will you give to GOD’S PURPOSE and how much will you throw away on this temporal path of finding your purpose In the system called the WORLD? The TIME IS NOW TO BE ON GODS PURPOSE! BE LIKE JESUS and BE ABOUT THE FATHERS BUSINESS! And He said to them, “Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49). Amen!

May 23. 2020

Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.” And they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night and washed their wounds; and he was baptized at once, he and all his family. Then he brought them up into his house and set food before them. And he rejoiced along with his entire household that he had believed in God.- Acts 16:30-34 ESV

Warrior:
This is the ultimate question, “What must I do to be saved?” Religion is a set of RULES, a WAY for MAN to be GOODNUFF to BE with God, LIKE GOD and for some religions- to become a GOD! IF you jump through enough hoops, do enough things, give enough money, eventually you will become acceptable to God! When we attempt to be GOODNUFF for GOD then we PLACE ourselves under a curse, a works based-judgment- it’s a losing proposition because NO ONE is GOOD ENOUGH, NO NOT ONE- EXCEPT JESUS! as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one. (Romans 3:10) We must understand our WRETCHEDNESS- apart from Christ! “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (Jeremiah 17:9)

Leader, to those who are perishing and wrapped up in the EGO of this world, the CROSS IS FOOLISHNESS. The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe. – (1 Cor 1:18-21) WE can’t be SMART enough, GOOD enough, WORTHY enough, HOLY enough and definitely NOT RIGHTEOUS enough to enter the KINGDOM OF GOD! Good thing, we don’t have to be! He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.(1 Peter 2:24)

Conduit, many have a tough time accepting the CROSS, and the PRICE- PAID IN FULL- of sin! For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23) Jesus paid it all, all to HIM, WE OWE! Some feel that this is TOO EASY, just to TRUST ON THE NAME Of JESUS! It is easy for US, it wasn’t EASY FOR JESUS! Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) We are CALLED TO BELIEVE and to LIVE LIKE IT IS TRUE! For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again. (2 Cor 5:14-15) All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:18-21) Today ACT AS IF, you believe the LORD! Amen.

May 22. 2020

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. – Romans 10:9 NIV

Warrior;
It is important that we know what the WORD that we are reading means. Understanding the WORD of GOD, requires that we sometimes go beyond the WORD that has been translated to the ORIGINAL language. The old and new TESTAMENTS were written in the language of ‘the day’, when it was written. The old was written in Hebrew and Aramaic and the New was in Greek and Aramaic. In addition to the different languages, some words have multiple meanings. The word ‘set’ has almost 400 variations and uses. So we need to know what WORDS were meant by the WORD that was used. Over time, words can change and thus their meaning. So we must go back to the original language to get the purest meaning and intent.

Leader, the word used here BELIEVE, is the word ‘pisteuo’, it has the meaning of, “convinced of something” and “to give credence to”, it also has a further inherent meaning. It also means to “trust.” NO OTHER OPTION- a life vest! If we believe in the biblical meaning of the word, then we are TRUSTING CHRIST to save us—NOT a good life, NOT church attendance, NOT water baptism, NOT taking of the sacraments, or keeping of the commandments. In other words, NOT of our own WORKS, so that NO MAN can boast. (Ephesians 2:8-9) It is through FAITH alone, by GRACE alone, in CHRIST ALONE!

Conduit, no better word brings out the meaning of believe to a twenty-first century listener than the word TRUST. We must be sensitive to the fact that some people believe in Christ in the sense that they accept Him as a historical figure who died and arose; however, they are not trusting HIM ALONE to save them, which is what the biblical word believe conveys. As we share the gospel, we must explain that God requires the individual to TRUST IN CHRIST ALONE- plus nothing- for salvation. Only when we trust in Christ alone to save us is God satisfied. To believe in the biblical sense of the word is to trust in Christ alone as the only way to obtain eternal life with God. In the words of AMY GRANT: In Christ alone, my hope is found. He is my light, my strength, my song. This Cornerstone, this solid ground-firm through the fiercest drought and storm. What heights of love, what depths of peace? When fears are stilled, when strivings cease- My Comforter, my All in All. Here in the love of Christ I stand! Amen.

May 21. 2020

But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.”- Acts 17:5-7 ESV

Warrior;
Have you allowed the GOSPEL of JESUS CHRIST to turn your world UPSIDE DOWN? Has your relationship with Jesus turned anybody else’s world upside down? To make JESUS our LORD- We don’t need MORE information about JESUS, what we need is REGENERATION through Jesus. We don’t need to clean up our lives- not in need of some minor RENOVATION- we need a TRANSFORMATION that only comes from handing over the REINS of our LIFE to the one who GAVE IT ALL so we could HAVE IT ALL. We need radical change, a conversion-to BE BORN AGAIN! A new beginning, a new purpose, a NEW WAY FORWARD!

Leader, now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. This man came to Jesus by night- without others knowing, without people judging him or ostracizing him. He wanted to know how to BE IN GOD’s KINGDOM- Jesus told him he must be metamorphosed: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:5-6) When a woman’s water breaks it is a sign that the BIRTH process has begun. And when we TRULY accept Christ as the LOVE OF OUR LIFE- We become a new creature in the SPIRIT: old things are passed away; behold, all things become new.

Conduit, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once noted that, “Death comes to every individual. There is an amazing democracy about death. It is not aristocracy for some of the people, but a democracy for all of the people. Kings die, and beggars die; rich men die and poor men die; old people die and young people die; death comes to the innocent and it comes to the guilty. Death is the irreducible common denominator of all men.” The writer of the book of Hebrews also tell us; it is appointed for man to die once, and after that comes judgment. If you are only born of the flesh and then DIE- you will stand before the WHITE THRONE judgement of God. (Rev 20:11-15) If you are TRANSFORMED into a child of GOD your judgement seat you stand before will be the BEMA seat of CHRIST! (2 Cor 5:10) One is for punishment, one is for REWARD. Your CHANGE will generate HUGE DIVIDENDS- what a GREAT Return on Investment(ROI)!

May 20. 2020

“‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. I know you are enduring patiently and bearing up for my name’s sake, and you have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent. Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate. -Revelation 2:2-6 ESV

Warrior;
Not only did Jesus mention the ‘Nicolaitans” to the church in Ephesus- and that mention was good, because they HATE the works of the Nicolaitans, which God also HATES. But, Yeshua also mentions this group, this MINDSET of beliefs- to the church in Pergamum; But I have a few things against you: you have some there who hold the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, so that they might eat food sacrificed to idols and practice sexual immorality. So also you have some who hold the teaching of the Nicolaitans. (Revelation 2:14-15) I have heard that the Nicolaitans were “rulers of the people/laity”. In other words, it was a sect of people with a mindset, a belief that some were “ministers” and others “receivers’ on the ministry. Some taught and we “esteemed” higher than others, and the rest were lay people who were in submission to the rulers, those in authority. Many churches have “Pastors” and teachers who educate others, and then we have the others, those who are taught to. It is an interesting concept, and might be true, but I want to focus on the other possibility. Woe to them! For they walk in the way of Cain, and abandon themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam’s error, and perish in Korah’s rebellion. (Jude 1:11)

Leader, another line of reasoning is that expressed from http://www.biblegateway.com. This seems to be the more prevalent view: The Nicolaitans were a people who used Christian liberty as an occasion for the flesh, against such Paul warned (Gal 5:13). The enticement to such a course of action was the pagan society in which Christians lived where eating meat offered to idols was common. Sex relations outside marriage were completely acceptable in such a society. The Nicolaitans attempted to establish a compromise with the pagan society of the Graeco-Roman world that surrounded them. The people most susceptible to such teaching were, no doubt, the upper classes who stood to lose the most by a separation from the culture to which they had belonged before conversion. It may be that the doctrine of the Nicolaitans was dualistic. They might have reasoned that the human body was evil anyway and only the spirit was good. A Christian, therefore, could do whatever he desired with his body because it had no importance. The spirit, on the other hand, was the recipient of grace which meant that grace and forgiveness were his no matter what he did. They were those ready to compromise with the world. They were judged by the author of Revelation to be most dangerous because the result of their teaching would have conformed Christianity to the world rather than have Christianity change the world. Does this sound familiar? This seems like the pandemic that the church is facing. This is also the teachings of Balaam.

Conduit, the teachings of the Nicolaitans are linked to the teaching of Balaam. We meet Balaam in Numbers 22-24, where we learn that he is a seer who was hired by the king Balak to put a curse on the people of Israel as they were threatening to move into the Holy Land. But God wouldn’t let him! Later in Numbers, Moses is criticizing the actions of the Israelites with regard to the women of Midian, and he says: Behold, these caused the people of Israel, by the counsel of Balaam, to act treacherously against the LORD. (Numbers 31:16a) So Balaam was regarded as advising Balak to use the Midianite women to trick the sons of Israel into committing sexual immorality and abandoning the Law of God and to go after pagan gods. It seems more plausible that the Nicolaitans were in part responsible for “Christianity’s” acceptance of Christmas, Easter, Halloween and other ‘ways of the world” becoming ‘ways of the church’. More importantly, ‘Nicolaitanism’, representative of a much broader philosophy, can be blamed for the organized and systematic removal of God’s law as a central pillar of the Christian way of life. These beliefs watered down the church, it made the church much more like the world, than the world becoming like the church. This way of thinking and acting was judged by JESUS to be most dangerous because the result of their teaching would have conformed Christianity to the world rather than have Christianity change the world. God’s original plan was that He would walk with Israel and He would be their God and them, HIS PEOPLE. Other nations would see how they were and want to follow the God of the Jews, the God of the Bible- the ONE TRUE GOD. Today we must ask ourselves the same thing. Is our relationship with God watered down by the world? Or is our example, our walk with God done in such a way that others want to walk with your God! We are called to be different than the world. Today consider the question: If being a Christian was illegal- would there be enough evidence to convict you? You still have time to GET OFF THE WORLD and GET ON THE NARROW PATH! “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few”. (Matthew 7:13-14)