Waiting On Perfection

“Even the Lord God of hosts; the Lord is his memorial. Therefore turn thou to thy God: keep mercy and judgment, and wait on thy God continually.” – Hosea 12:5-6

If you want the greater things that only God Himself can do to be the legacy (or memorial) of your life, you’re going to have to learn to wait on Him. God’s ways are not our ways, nor His thoughts our thoughts. He is so much wiser, higher, more powerful, more able that we cannot truly understand the scope of His plans. Therefore, do we have to take only the small snippets that He is willing to show us by faith and wait for Him to piece them all together in impossible ways.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.” – Proverbs 3:5-7

This requires much waiting on the Lord. Patient faithful enduring waiting. What we can do is far too limited to bare the mark of the divine, but when we seek, pray, trust, obey, and wait for God to do what only He can in a way that only He can does it go down in history as a memorial to the Lord. To His power, to His glory, to His faithfulness to the fervent prayers of a righteous faithful servant who is willing to seek, pray, trust, obey, and not least of all… wait on the Lord.

“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.” – Psalms 18:30

God is perfect, His plan is perfect, and His timing is perfect. Therefor waiting on God is waiting for perfection and perfection cannot be contemplated, counterfeited, or competed with. It can only be memorialized in the awestruck hearts of men as that which only the Lord God Almighty could have done! But it only comes to and through those who are willing to prove their faith by obeying and not straying in the waiting.

“Now therefore stand and see this great thing, which the Lord will do before your eyes.” – 1 Samuel 12:16

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The Cost of Discipleship

“Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: Circumcised the eighth day, of the stock of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, an Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law, a Pharisee; Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless. But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,” – Philippians 3:4-8

Paul, (once called Saul) a well educated Pharisee of high regard and degree, had an encounter with Jesus that challenged everything he had been taught to believe. If anyone had a right to trust in his flesh, in his logic, in his upbringing, in his education, in his religion, in his own strength, in his own knowledge, it was Paul. He not only had reason to trust and cling to it all, but also a vested interest in doing so as he had so zealously believed these things in which he had been taught that it had cost people’s very lives at his hands in defense of his beliefs.

Yet now he had more then words on paper or someone else’s teaching, he had an experience and a choice. Do I cling to what I thought I knew, or do I humble myself before the mighty hand of God and submit to what He Himself is revealing to me, not just in words, but in power and in demonstration?

“But I will come to you shortly, if the Lord will, and will know, not the speech of them which are puffed up, but the power. For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.” – 1 Corinthians 4:19-20

Paul chose to abandon all, to count everything that he thought he knew as dung, everything he thought he was, everything he had hoped to attain, everything. He humbled himself, laid it all down at the feet of Jesus and said, “I count it all as dung that I might attain You.” Not to know about Jesus, but to know Jesus, personally. Paul was willing to give up everything he thought he knew and sit humbly in prayer and be taught how to follow Jesus, by Jesus Himself. A privilege that Christ died to make available to all of us through the Holy Ghost whom he sent to lead us into all truth. However, we cannot be filled with the Holy Spirit, nor His divine truth if we are already full of ourselves. We have to be willing to be emptied first. We have to humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God and count all that we think we know, are, and want as dung that we might attain Christ.

If pride comes before a fall then humility comes before true exaltation. Don’t assume to know anything but that God is smarter, humble yourself, repent, and seek His face and He Himself will fill you up and raise you up in the demonstration and power of the Holy Ghost in due time. All it will cost you is everything, but when everything becomes equated to dung to you in comparison to Christ, then everything becomes a very small price to pay.

“If any man come to me, and hate not (count of no regard in comparison to your love for Christ) his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace. (Compromise) So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. Salt is good: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be seasoned? It is neither fit for the land, nor yet for the dunghill; but men cast it out. He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” – Luke 14:26-35

The Fruit Proves The Root

“Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter? Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh. Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.” – James 3:10-13

James makes a very clear point in this passage echoing the words of his older brother Jesus, of whom I’m sure this topic came up for discussion often. In Matthew Jesus tells us that a good tree cannot produce bad fruit. Here we see James using the same illustration in reference to our conversation implying that what is planted in your heart will eventually bare fruit on your lips for good or for bad.

“For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.” – Romans 10:10-11

“And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.” – Matthew 12:32-37

Jesus is the root of David, He is a Holy root and if you be grafted into a Holy root you will produce Holy fruit (the fruits Spirit). However, James was disturbed by what he saw to be a “mixture” which he rightly perceived to be evidence of a heart divided.

“For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” – James 1:7-8

Blessings and cursing, olives and figs, the holy and the profane, professing Christ with their lips but then agreeing with and participating in unsanctified conversations and communications showing that their hearts were actually far from Him or else it would grieve the Holy Spirit (root) in them. It doesn’t matter if your friends, your family, your church, or even your pastor tells you that you are saved by a onetime profession, Jesus never said that and if your life, your actions, and most importantly your daily conversation and communications don’t prove your profession, then it was in vain. The fruit will prove the root so examine your own fruit now in private and repent that God not have to judge it later before all the saints and angels on the day of judgement and find you damned. Choose this day whom you will serve.

“This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.” – Matthew 15:8-9

“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged (by God).” – 1 Corinthians 11:28-31

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” – Revelation 20:12-13

Are You Praying For The Lost?

“I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine.” – ‭‭John‬ ‭17:9‬ ‭

John chapter 17 is a beautiful, inspiring, and touching piece of biblical history. This is Jesus’s actual prayer to the Father for His followers, both then and to come. When we think of Jesus praying we often think of the “Our Father”, but it’s important to remember that the our Father was not actually Jesus praying. The disciples had asked Jesus how we should pray and Jesus gave the Our Father as an illustration or instruction in how we ought to pattern our prayers.

For example, in the Our Father He shows that we need to express thanks and worship, pray for forgiveness of our sins (trespasses), acknowledge our forgiveness of others, submit to His will, and cry out for His return. These are all principles that our prayer life should readily consist of, but are not things that He Himself needed to pray.

Jesus prayed to the Father for Himself in the garden of Gethsemane crying out for mercy, then submitting to the Father’s will, then for strength and was strengthened for the trial to come. However in John 17 we see Jesus praying not in a teaching mode, or in a petition for help and strength, not seeking for wisdom, (which we should all do daily) but in intercession. We see Jesus praying a genuine prayer to the Father, for us!

“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood. Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.” – Hebrews‬ ‭7:24-25‬ ‭

Those who have believed in Jesus’s Words and have come to salvation and restoration of the Father through his atoning blood now have Jesus as their High Priest! This means that Jesus Himself intercedes on their behalf and this chapter is a glimpse into that eternal intercession! But hold on! The scriptures tell us that Jesus is our High Priest (the head of all the priest) but it doesn’t stop there, it also says that we (who are redeemed) are all priest under His order also.

“And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” – Revelation‬ ‭1:5-6‬ ‭

So then if we are priest also then what is our job? A portion of that answer can be found in our opening passage from within Jesus’s own prayer. Jesus says something very strange in verse 9. He tells God the Father that He is praying for His followers, but not for the world. You see, as High Priest, Jesus ever liveth to make intercession “for us” (His Priest), and then as His priest we (the redeemed) live to make intercession for the lost!

“I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;” – 1 Timothy‬ ‭2:1‬ ‭

While we do help to bare the burden of Christ in praying for the saints, we also exclusively carry the mandate to pray without ceasing for the lost. The Bible is very clear that except for the prayer of repentance, God does not hear the prayers of a sinner. However, if you are a saved, sanctified, blood bought, Holy Ghost filled child of God, then He does here yours. Therefor, you can “intercede” on their behalf. In other words, they cannot stand boldly before the thrown of God and make petitions or plead for mercy, but you can. So do it for them! The fervent prayers of a righteous man avails much!

“Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth.” – John‬ ‭9:31‬ ‭

So redeemed mothers, pray for your unsaved children, the Lord hears you! Godly father’s, pray for your ungodly leaders, the Lord hears you! Sanctified Church, pray for the apostate church, the Lord hears you! Christian families, pray for your community, the Lord hears you! Saints of the living God, pray for the lost, the Lord hears you! Pray and keep praying for them, even as Christ keeps praying for you!

“I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil of it.” – John‬ ‭17:15‬ ‭

“Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, weep between the porch and the altar, and let them say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Then will the Lord be jealous for his land, and pity his people.” – Joel‬ ‭2:17-18‬ ‭

For The Love Of God!

“Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Romans‬ ‭13:8-9‬ ‭

Jesus often expounded that He left use with the same law that was given to use from the beginning, only with more power to fulfill it. By showing us His great love for us, if we then truly believe it, (who He is, what He did, and why) then we will love Him for it!

“We love him, because he first loved us.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭

Once we gain, embrace, and grow this love for God, we will then keep his commandments out of love, desire, and appreciation, rather then out of bitter obligation. In this are His commandments not grievous to us, but joyous. Even as a bride joys in laboring to adorn herself for her groom!

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.” – 1 John‬ ‭5:3‬ ‭

Furthermore, if you truly love your spouse then because of your love for them you will also love their family (no matter how unworthy or dysfunctional they are). Your love for your spouse (if it’s truly a selfless love = biblical love) will cause you to care about what and who they care about .

Likewise, when you come to truly love God, you will care about what He cares about. You will hurt for what hurts Him and you will labor in love for those that He loves. In other words, if you love God as a bride loves her groom, then you must also love His family, no matter how unworthy or dysfunctional they are. When they stray you must labor to restore, when they fall you must labor to pick them up, when they hurt you or Him you must lovingly forgive and instruct, because the greatest desire of God’s Heart is to restore His lost loved one to the family and if you love Him, you will be driven by love to help. Not for attention, not for notoriety, not for reward, not for prestige or vainglory, but simply because you know this will ease the hurting heart of the one you love and in doing so will automatically fulfill all of the law, commandments, and instructions from God through the prophets.

“Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” – Matthew‬ ‭22:36-40‬ ‭

“If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” – 1 John‬ ‭4:20-21‬ ‭

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.” – Romans‬ ‭13:10‬ ‭

“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. Brethren, I write no new commandment unto you, but an old commandment which ye had from the beginning. The old commandment is the word which ye have heard from the beginning.” – 1 John‬ ‭2:4-7‬ ‭

Set Apart

I think that the disciples had a hard time wrapping their heads around God’s plan because they thought that Jesus had come to overtake the world system when really He came to overturn it.

I think many believers still have the same problem today. They want to be kings of the earth instead of kings in the earth. Paul said that we are in this world, but not of this world. We are kings and priest of an whole other Kingdom. The sooner we stop trying to over take the world system the sooner we can start overturning it by the power of a better one.

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” – Colossians‬ ‭2:15‬ ‭

God did not let Moses become pharaoh to save His people in Egypt (which he could have, being the next in line to do so), he called Moses to both forsake Egypt and be an example that would lead His people out of Egypt as they did the same. By calling for separation from the Egyptian world system God was then able to pour out His power two fold, in favor toward Those who had put their trust in Him and in wrath toward those who had put their trust in the things of Egypt (the world system).

“And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.” – Leviticus‬ ‭20:26‬ ‭

“But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭1:15-16‬ ‭

The Kingdom of Heaven it so far removed and superior to what is, that it does not come to take over what is, it comes to disprove and dispose what is. It’s time to stop trying to build a better pyramid, come completely out of Egypt, go out into the wilderness, and let God teach you how to build something that His presence can inhabit.

Yes Egypt is comfortable, yes Egypt is grand, yes Egypt brings glory to the works of your hand. Yes the wilderness is humble, yes it is plain, yes it forces dependence on God, often through pain. Yes it’s a sacrifice, yes it takes faith, but on the other side of the wilderness a promise awaits.

“Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,” – 2 Corinthians‬ ‭6:17‬ ‭

“And I, behold, I will harden the hearts of the Egyptians, and they shall follow them: and I will get me honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his host, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten me honour upon Pharaoh, upon his chariots, and upon his horsemen. And the angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, removed and went behind them; and the pillar of the cloud went from before their face, and stood behind them: And it came between the camp of the Egyptians and the camp of Israel; and it was a cloud and darkness to them, but it gave light by night to these: so that the one came not near the other all the night. And Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea dry land, and the waters were divided.” – Exodus‬ ‭14:17-21‬ ‭

Jesus‘s Gospel

“Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” – Matthew‬ ‭7:13-15‬ ‭

The gospel that Jesus preached is the only true gospel. It is the only thing that can save you, deliver you, and empower you. Anything else is what the Bible calls a “damnable heresy” preached to deceive you by the antichrist spirit filled wolves in sheep’s clothing ministering doctrines of demons, or the well meaning misled masses speaking lies and hypocrisies with all deceivableness, void of the truth because they do not know their god.

I say that with a lowercase “g” because Jesus continues this very passage to say that the “many” that take the wide path to hell in this message are people who thought they were saved and serving God but were actually serving the devil by serving a god of their own will and making rather then serving the true God of scripture. Hence the warning to be cautious of wolves in sheep’s clothing who come to deceive you into leaving the narrow road that so few walk to join the masses on the wide path while still be leaving that you are going to heaven when you are actually marching straight to hell while still professing that Jesus is your Lord.

This is not my opinion, this is what Jesus Himself said. This is the real gospel no matter what you’ve been told by anyone else, Jesus’s Words are the truth on which we stand. We MUST believe Him is we claim to believe in the One who sent Him. (That is something that He said also).

So let’s ask ourselves today, is the gospel that you believe, profess, and live, easy? Does it leave you lots of options and wiggle room to do your own will? Is it the gospel that most people believe and follow? Then it’s not the true Gospel, you’re not on the right path, it’s the wide, easy, path of the many that miss heaven while thinking they are saved are on that Jesus warned about.

Jesus said to truly be saved we have to deny ourself, take up our cross, and follow after Him by His very example. We have to do as He did and in all things say “Lord, not my will, but Thy will be done.” We must give up everything that is us to take on everything that is Him. If you haven’t crucified the flesh, given things up, put sin to death, rejected the world, and suffered ridicule, slander, and persecution for the sake of the narrow path then it’s because you are not on it, you are on the wide one, the easy one, the wrong one.

The gospel that Jesus preached is not the popular gospel of the false prophets, the wolves in sheep’s clothing will lead the larger crowd on the wider path straight to Hell. Choose today to come out from among them and be ye separate says the Lord. Choose the narrow path of self denial of your own will, wants, ideas, logic, and desires. Rather replace it with obedience to God’s will in all things and receive the rewards of eternal life and glory in heaven with the Father forever. Don’t believe the lies of false prophets, teachers, and preachers. Jesus said that “many will come in My Name but I never sent them”. The ones He sent will be the ones teaching, preaching, and demonstrating the narrow path. This is the fruit by which you will know them. A Holy root will produce Holy fruit and to be Holy means to be set apart from the world, not like the many, but like the few. So check yourself today and determine, which one are you?

The narrow path is not easy, it is the one that is hated by the world. It is (like Christ) despised and rejected by the greater church most of all. Those many who falsely believe that they are saved who are actually fallowing false prophets on the wide road will always persecute those few who choose to walk the narrow road because their willingness to stay on the straight and narrow at all cost exposes the wide road and those who call you to walk it for what it really is. Therefore, the few that do walk the narrow road will be hated for it. It will cause separation. Friends, family, the world, most will not like you because your very life breathes conviction to their compromise, and exposer to the false teachers lies.

So again I ask you today. Is your Christian walk easy? Is it broadly encompassing of worldly things? Is it based on you surrendering to God’s will everyday, or is it based around allowing you to continue surrendering to your own will? Is it the path that many walk, or is it the one that very few walk? Are you persecuted for it? Is it the gospel that Jesus preached, or are you following another gospel straight to Hell?

“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:” – Matthew‬ ‭7:20-24‬ ‭

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men (even when caused others to oppose, despise, reject, or hate you) him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven. Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me. He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” – Matthew‬ ‭10:32-39‬ ‭

It’s Not A Trial, It’s An Assignment

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” – Matthew‬ ‭5:14-16‬ ‭

If you start looking at your trials as assignments allot of things will change, not only for you but for those around you. As a believer, what you go through is often not about you but about what God is trying to reveal to others through you if you will stand in faith, love, patience, and hold fast the mind of Christ so that others can see the character of Christ when it makes no earthly since to them.

It’s not a trial, it’s an assignment. Don’t make it about you and mess it up. Someone needs to see the love of God manifest when it makes no earthly since. Someone needs to see the peace of God present when it makes no earthly since. Someone needs to see the patients of God expressed when it makes no earthly since. Someone needs to see the righteousness of God professed when it makes no earthly since. Someone needs to see the Word of God confessed when it makes no earthly since. Someone needs to see faith arise when it makes no earthly since. Can God use you to do it? Will you take the assignment even if it takes you through Gethsemane?

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” – Philippians‬ ‭2:5-8‬ ‭

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.” – 1 Peter‬ ‭4:12-19‬ ‭

Christians and Halloween: What Does God Say About It?

The Bible tells us that there is great power in agreement, but as with all things this power goes both ways for good or for bad. As we move into the Halloween season Christians should be reminded that you have no authority against that which you come into agreement with. Therefore, if you choose to participate in halloween in any form or fashion, you are forfeiting your authority against hell by coming into agreement with it.

As someone who has been in ministry my whole life I cannot begin to tell you how many people come to us in the weeks following Halloween asking for help fighting spiritual battles in their lives, families, and homes that often include all out deliverance ministry. They are usually at a loss as to why they suddenly became powerless to keep the enemy out of their homes when only weeks before they were willingly inviting him in while declaring agreement with all things demonic in the name of Halloween. What Does the Bible say about agreement with such things?

“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” – 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Notice that God says here that He won’t actually receive you until AFTER you have come out from among these things and decide to be separate. He will not be counted as your Father until you have chosen to deny yourself and to take His side over the world’s.

“He that is not with me is against me; (Jesus’s Words)” – Matthew 12:30

The Bible says that to be friends with the world makes you the enemy of God. You cannot serve two masters, who you agree with and agree to associate yourself with, you choose to obey and serve. Therefore when you choose to be friends with the world you cannot be God’s and instead become His enemy by coming into fellowship and agreement with His enemy. You must choose a side and unless you choose to separate from the world you have chosen fellowship with hell and God will not receive you.

“Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” – James 4:4

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:” – Hebrews 12:14

Yes the Bible really says that without holiness you will not go to heaven. Holiness means to come out from among them and be ye separate, different, set apart. If you walk in agreement with the world and the works of the devil, you are not separated from it and are therefore not holy unto God and you will not see the kingdom of heaven. It doesn’t matter what you’ve been told by your friends or your church or even your pastor, this is what you have been told by God Himself and this is what will bare weight and witness against you on the day of judgment.

“He that rejecteth me (Jesus), and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.” – John 12:48

When you stand before God you will not be judged by your opinion, by what others did or told you to do, by what your church or your pastor told you to do, but by what God told you to do in His word. He has spoken and it’s up to us to choose to obey or reject His Words.

So all the world is doing it (that’s probably a pretty good sign that you shouldn’t), so all your friends are doing it, so all the churches are doing it! Just because all of Israel danced before a golden calf does not mean that Moses and Joshua should have too. Someone has to take a stand, choose to obey God’s words, and take God’s side.

“When thou art come into the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations. There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch, Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer. For all that do these things are an abomination unto the Lord: and because of these abominations the Lord thy God doth drive them out from before thee.” – Deuteronomy 18:9-12

Jesus never once said that those who say a prayer or call themselves Christian are saved and will go to heaven. In fact He said that many will call themselves by His name and go to church and think they are saved but when they die He will tell them that He never knew them. Why? Because they did not do His will, they did their own. They did not do what He said to do, they did what they wanted to do. They did not obey His words, they worked iniquity, they did not separate themselves from the world. Jesus‘s alter call had nothing to do with what you say but with what you do. After all, an alter is where things go to die. What Jesus did say was that in order to be truly saved you must deny yourself, pick up your cross, and follow His example, and that if you do the world will hate you for it because you will no longer agree with it and it will not agree with you.

The simple truth is that if you are in agreement with the world, then you are still the enemy of God. If the world hates you for your separation from it, then congratulations you are in fellowship with Christ. I say it in love because many do not know the truth of God’s word but ignorance will not be an excuse when He has made it available to you and you simply choose not to read it or believe it. Stop basing your eternal soul on Facebook memes and the silly things that other people say. Pick up the word of God, read it, believe it, and live by it, because one day you will surely be judged by it.

“And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.” – Ephesians 5:11-17

“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” – John 15:18-19

Click here to hear a powerful teaching by this author on the power of “Agreement”!

All In

“Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” – John 13:26

The word “sop” means a crumb or morsel (I say that for clarity sake), but the word in this passage that the Lord specifically directed me to this morning is “dipped”. In the original Greek the word used here was “bapto”, meaning to wholly cover in liquid. This immediately brings our mind to the word “baptism”. However, the word “bapto” is never used in reference to being baptized in Jesus. Why?

When referencing baptism in Jesus (such as Acts 2:38) a different word was always use, the word “baptizo” which has a very different meaning then that of “bapto”. You see “baptizo” means to be submerged, to abide in the submerging and become saturated by it, to completely absorb and be changed by that which the item is submerged in. To have as much of it in the item as the item is in it so that the item is carrying the substance and the substance is carrying the item. This takes continual abiding in that which it is submerged (Jesus) and not just a one time dipping like Judas’s bread.

The common analogy to explain the difference between the two is in the process of making pickles. When making pickles you dip (bapto) the cucumber into hot water. You put them in but then take them back out. Then you submerge (baptizo) them in brine (a salty vinegar solution) and leave them their. They absorb and are changed and preserved by what they are submerged in and become pickles. They are not just dipped and unchanged, they are in the brine and the brine is in them. They abide in the brine and the brine abides in them.

“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father’s commandments, and abide in his love.” – John 15:4-10

“Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear: For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue (abide) in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.” – Romans 11:20-22

You see true baptism is not about water, (though we do that symbolically to make a public proclamation of our faith) it’s really about becoming completely immersed in Jesus Himself. It’s about diving into His presence and abiding their day after day until you become so saturated by it that it changes you into a carrier of it. Jesus died so that you could come boldly before the thrown of grace and abide their in God’s presence until His presence saturates you and abides in you! But it takes a continual abiding or else you will begin to dry up! If you inter into Jesus’s love, blood, presence, fellowship, relationship, then cease to daily abide in that presence for anything, then you are “bapto”, dipped like Judas’s bread. You went in and came out. When you inter the presence of God, through the blood of God, and come into relationship with God, and then cease to abide in it, you are actually betraying His heart just like Judas.

“If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” – Hebrews 6:6

While still pretending to be Christ’s disciple while having sold out to sin and come into agreement with hell, he betrays Jesus with a kiss. How many today claiming to belong to Christ, while being in agreement with hell, are betraying Him with their heart, thoughts, and actions while kissing Him in public so others want see what everyone already knows and in doing so put Christ to an open shame?

“Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith this person was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?” – Hebrews 10:29

If you’re not becoming more saturated and changed by the presence of His Holy Spirit every single day, then you are not abiding, you are betraying. If you are not growing, you’re dying. If you’re not praying, you’re straying. If you look back to remember a time of deep intimacy with Christ instead of looking forward with anticipation to the next encounter, then you’ve already given it up and settled for a memory rather then a relationship.

Abiding in love is a present tense consisting, not a past tense reminiscence. It’s time to repent, return to your first love, lay every other love, distraction, ambition, and agreement with hell aside, and abide. It’s time to be baptized in Jesus, completely immersed, soaked, saturated in His present presence, and stay there!

Anything that calls you, draws you, or pulls you away from that is 30 pieces of silver. Don’t trade your relationship with Jesus for it, cause you can’t have both. You might still kiss Him in front of others but your heart has betrayed Him and He knows it. That’s why He’s not kissing you back. Jesus is real! He is a real person with a real personality and real presence that wants a real relationship. Stop breaking His Heart. It’s time to decide that your going all in and staying in no matter the cost required and you’re not backing down or getting out, no matter the price offered. Though all the world hate me, Jesus I will love You. I’m all in.

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars: And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted. Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.” – Revelation 2:2-5