Saturday, July 26, 2014

Regarding one another through the eyes of the Holy Spirit

I can be really hard on people sometimes.  Particularly those in leadership.  Particularly if they are misleading the people of God.  Particularly if the policies and programs they put in place enslave people .  It informs and drives my political view and the Prophetic gift I carry.  It is to watch carefully for those who would so destroy, go to them privately at first and if they do not repent publicly call them out.

Hasn't been many of those.  A few.  Some nationally.  Some regionally and a few locally.  I give more grace to those who are local since they are most easily helped back to the center of God's will.

What keeps me centered in this prophetic mission is the admonition of Paul the Apostle of God in dealing with the church at Corinth.  There had been some hard times there. One man had to be put out.  Paul was helping them see one another as who they are in Christ.  He did that a great deal with the church at Corinth.

2 Corinthians 5:
12 We are not again commending ourselves to you but are giving you an occasion to be proud of us, so that you will have an answer for those who take pride in appearance and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; if we are of sound mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; 15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

16 Therefore from now on know no man according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation.

20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

I make certain to post the whole passage in context.  It's critical to not quote as if there is no before nor after.

So what does it mean to "Know no man according to the Flesh"?  It means that the flesh is not how we judge one another.  That the flesh is flawed.  That works of the flesh are what they are, but we are to help one another put off fleshly things.

What about those who do fleshly things?  How are we to deal with them?  IF I read this right, we are to not know people according to those things. That Holy Spirit sees them as a new creation.  One made right with God thru the reconciliation of Jesus so we can be the Righteousness of God.

Yet, people Do sinful things.  What about them?  How are we to regard them?  IF we are to carry out our purpose in the earth, Restoration is the thing.

It is why a Pastor from Brazil uses this principle to build a HUGE church.  Abe Huber. One man ministers to another to restore him.  This is not the promise keeper accountability group.  It's the priesthood of believers in action.  When it works, I would have ONE man to whom I am accountable.  YET he is not accountable to me.  He is my brother in Christ who loves me and ministers to me.

I would also have men who come to me (no more than a few) needing restoration.  They are accountable to me.  The idea of absolute confidentiality of all these sessions is critical.  Unfortunately, that is not the norm in our western society.

Here's what happens,  it really works... when it's tried. 

I go to my restoration person, my priest for the moment (lower case), one who I can come to, one I can trust, one who loves me and wants the best for me.

I tell him my sorrow.  My sin, My failure, My fears. My pain. My need.  I dump it all.  He may ask a question or two.  He doesn't offer advice.  He's not my life coach.  He's my spiritual overseer at that moment. Then after I am done "confessing" he lays hands on me, prays for me, offers me reconciliation according to the word, prophesies over me, encourages me, forgives me in the name of Jesus.  In other words he does the work of the ministry.

When we are done, we love each other in the Spirit and he never tells me what is going on in his life. That's for him to go to his partner with.  EVERY person in the church has one of these people.  They are carefully selected.  There is agreement.  It is most critical that the Church LEADERSHIP, particularly the senior leader has one of these men he can trust.  It might be someone outside the fellowship.  It must be face to face.  Best if it's weekly, or at least every other week.

I wish I had such a one in my life.  I don't.  Trust is hard.  It is also critical that senior leaders have no more than a few select ones coming to them.

Paul had Barnabas.  When someone needed to stand up for Paul, Barnabas did.

I hope someday true maturity will enter into the houses of God in the USA.  It works in other countries.  It could work here... it's not been tried.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sheep Abuse

Believe it or not, this is controversial to some pastors who love to dangle their members over hell with a rotten stick. They require constant confession, repentance, ceremony, sacrament and sorrow from them (plus a good offering) to mitigate their sin. We have to get past the laws of sin and death. Jesus either died for all your sins or none of them.

I think might be possible to go to hell after one is saved... but then I don't want to argue with Jesus... John 10:25 Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. 26 But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, 29 for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”

Monday, July 21, 2014

Deception is not Harmless.. it can and does kill

If you study scripture very long you will come across many many admonitions to NOT BE DECEIVED.  We all know the verse, "Be not deceived, God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap"  Galatians 6:7

Deception is not harmless.  It kills vision, dreams, hope and it kills people..

Psalm 24:3-5 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

Note the context of the passage above.  We spend a lot of time talking about clean hands and a pure heart... but what about the rest of the passage?  He does not lift his soul up to what is false.

Our soul is our emotions, mind and will.  When we lift our soul to falsehood, lies, deception we no longer are able to ascend his Holy Hill.  The difficulty comes when we are deceived we pass on our deception.

Guarding our hearts carefully is the key.  It's critical to not allow ourselves to buy into lies.

Knowing the difference requires supernatural discernment.   The gift however is operated by a washing of the spirit of God thru His word.  There must become a screen of His word thru which all things must pass.   When something doesn't line up.. it must be suspect.

But what of those things that LOOK like goodness... but are full of lies.  We then fail to discern because we will swear those things are right.

Right now our world is filled with deception.  There are lies and twisted truth everywhere.  Good men and women of God, people who believe the word are being led to spiritual slaughter by deception.  Oh, they probably will make it to heaven, but they no longer have the capacity to ascend the Hill. 

Look at what many Christians now accept as OK. Not perfect.  Just not horrid.  They have sworn an oath to evil that has come wrapped up as good. 

  • Abortion on demand.  No longer considered murder by many Christians.
  • Homosexual acceptance as an alternate lifestyle is being loving and compassionate.
  • The desecration of marriage even to the level of Homosexual Marriage in the Church
  • Drug use now embraced.  Did you ever think you would see Marijuana legal in our nation?
  • Invitation to invade under the guise of tolerance while enemies of Christ are manifested as Islam
  • Support for Islamic causes when in fact the antichrist spirit is alive in that theology
  • Using government to provide for people when it was never the government's duty - that was left to us.  Our failure to discern has caused aberration here.
  • Using the guise of religion to enrich ministries in the name of "Spreading the Gospel"

The last one is most grievous.  It is taking the name of the Lord in Vain.  It is manipulation.  These are all deceptions.. but they are all dangerous.

What is most deceitful are people who cannot discern evil and yet occupy a pulpit or platform on Sunday mornings.  The hill is never ascended no matter the hype.  It is a sad state and in the end will destroy them.  Deception isn't just deceptive, it's dangerous.  It can kill people and does. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Profane Worship = Worship Pornography

I love pure worship. Prophetic Worship. Worship that allows me to touch the heavens. Worship that is clean.

The definition of Profane is "to treat something sacred with irreverence, as common".

Sometimes when I am in a church service or worship meeting where the worship is spiritually mundane I am grieved in my spirit.. the Spirit of God in me grieves. It's not about skill. It's not about ability. It's not about talent. It's about the heart.

If a talented pagan (you make your own choice who) were to do a stirring rendition of How Great Thou Art... but with only skill, you would know.

We have developed a worship culture of talented people on the platform "Doing" worship sets.

I'm old school. I remember what it was when 300 men stood and sang "Stand up Oh men of God"... true worship. When at a funeral, "Faith of my Fathers" was sang.. and it brought tears. When Holy Holy Holy (casting down our golden crowns) was sun by Matthew Ward and Second Chapter of Acts... and I fell to my knees. When at a conference in Kansas City "Here I am to worship" was sung and the refrain "I'll never know how much is cost" was repeated till everyone came to grips with how much it really cost.

Some of that was in Todd Beery's living room on a Monday Night. Some at Faith Center in Rockford a decade ago. When things really mattered.

I'll confess. Maybe it's me. I don't need my ears tickled any more.

I know anointed worship when I see it. When a man or woman of God enters into the Holy of Holies and makes the connection. When worship is real. I have worshiped with people who could barely play and sing but who's heart was pure towards God. The heaven's opened. I have also been in places when the band was tight, solid, gifted, able and flat as a pancake spiritually. Oh people were excited.. but it was nothing. In fact it was worse than nothing.

When that happens it is not just profaning the holiness of worship, it is Christian Worship Pornography. God is about to Judge This. IF you don't know God like that.. get off the platform. We don't need another dog and pony show.

HOLY SPIRIT IS PROPHETICALLY WARNING HIS PEOPLE.. RICK RENNER

 The only way to thwart a coming dark spiritual season is to heed Christ’s warning and apply His prescribed solutions. If the church has no affixed, absolute, biblical truth on which it stands and for which it will not negotiate, it simply becomes a good will, humanitarian organization with a “Christian” philosophy.

It is no secret that the spiritual environment in the world is undergoing a radical change – and a great gulf is beginning to divide those who are moving away from established truth and those who see what is happening and are responding by making personal re-commitments to absolute truth. The winds of change are blowing and it is producing a sifting, a dividing -- a separation of wheat from chaff. The rift has become so severe that who is wheat and who is chaff may be looked upon differently depending on which group to whom you belong.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Ministry to the F'd Up

I was in a bible study Monday invited by a friend. The young pastor of a new church plant in our area was conducting the study. During the meet and greet portion of the night discussion about the Sunday Service there was a story that was told. A guy had come to the altar for prayer and when he was asked by the Pastor what his prayer need was, he responded (not a religious person) "I'm all F___ked up".

Fortunately the young pastor is not a religious person and took this as a cry for help and began to minister to him. It was frankly refreshing to hear someone so transparently in need and willing to come for help without a load of religious jargon.

IF the all f'd up offends you, you would have been offended by Jesus who said: "Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?" 12But when Jesus heard this, He said, "It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. 13"But go and learn what this means: 'I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT SACRIFICE,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners." Matt 9:12

We have sanitized this too much in our cultural context.. the fact is the all f'd up are the ones who most need Jesus.

Tuesday night I was ministering at Crusaders, a young man came. Maybe 30. He didn't use the phrase exactly, but he certainly described the situation he was in and it was all messed up. I spent a long time with him. Till they were kicking us out of the building. I hope he finds peace. I prayed with him, for him, laid hands on, prophesied, counseled... loved on him.

I wonder if any ministry would have the courage to say, "We are looking to help people who's lives are all F'd UP", that's who Jesus spent time with.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sometimes the Prophet gets FED UP!!

I am hard on nominal traditional denominational religion. It's not because I don't believe that they can do good things. They can. My disgust (that sometimes translates into anger) is the powerlessness They can teach people, love on people, make people feel secure and have a place to bring their kids... BUT when the poop hits the fan, these patty cake religious games fall apart.

This is personal to me. I have friends and family trapped in nominal religion (in my case Lutheran). There are some serious crises. Things that are going to take the Hand of God to cure. But they have no relationship, they have no faith, they have no capacity to pray (beyond the Lord's Prayer, Psalm 23 and the Beatitudes) and no authority over the devil. They are unequipped because religion has robbed them.

When it hits the fan and life falls apart, three hymns and a her with a readers digest message won't cut it. Subjecting people to nominal religion is the worst kind of spiritual abuse there is. We need the Power of God released in people's lives. Without that folks are lost.

The truth is, when it all hits the fan it's too late to catch up. You suffer, the pain is great and if you survive (you can die from bad religion) there will be another time where you can leave the dead religion behind and become a warrior. It happens. Sure I can pray for you, rebuke the devil.. but your house isn't swept clean and until you get that putrid nominal religious spirit out of your house.. you will be captured and put back to sleep a moment after the crisis ends. Vulnerable once more to the schemes of the enemy.

Here endeth the rant.