Tuesday, May 20 2014
"How you are fallen from Heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning (Day Star)! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations!" Isaiah 14:12
Who is this Lucifer, where did he come from, and why should we concern ourselves with him? Well, for one thing this fallen angel was created as one of God's own angelic sons, perfect in beauty, full of wisdom, stronger than any other angel, he was a sight to behold, that is until iniquity was found in him and he was cast out of Heaven. Lucifer, Beelzebub, devil, dragon, Satan, a creature of many names and disguises, non the less he is the "Anointed cherub who covers"!
Cast out of Heaven for rebellion, trying to take over the kingdom, he convinced a third of the angels to revolt against the Most High God! Blinded by pride and selfish ambition he stormed the gates of paradise only to be defeated by his angelic brothers, Gabriel and Michael leading an angel band who defeated him and threw him out along with his cohorts only to descend into the earthly garden prepared for God's newest creation, Adam and Eve. Like a stealthy predator filled with anger and violence Lucifer eyed the humans, watching their every move like a hungry lion and then suddenly he appeared before them in the form of a beautiful serpent. Startled by his appearance before them and hearing him speak mesmerized them as they listened to his smooth silky voice, "Has God said?"
God had given Adam a command not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and expected him to inform Eve of His instruction, but obviously she wasn't listening and told the serpent that they were not to eat of the tree or touch it or they would die. God didn't say anything about not touching the tree because it was part of their duties to take care of it, but not to eat it's fruit. At that point the serpent struck them right between the eyes when he said, "You surely shall not die!" Have you ever heard those words whispered in your ears as you were being tempted with evil as they were, well, I would bet most of the world's population have been seduced by the serpent's lies, leading them into sin and ultimately death?
THE NATURE OF HIS GAME
"Pleased to meet you, hope you get my name, but what's puzzling you is the nature of my game!" Sympathy for the devil, The Rolling Stones
The nature of Lucifer's game is and will always be to rob, kill and destroy all that God has created. He is the supreme master of disaster, hell bent on the destruction of the body of the living Lord Jesus on the earth. The body of Christ today for the most part is totally ignorant of the devil's diabolical scheme against them to take them captive and lock them away in a tomb of religious ritual and tradition, choking the spiritual life out of them and ultimately destroying the mission of the church of Jesus Christ!
Like little innocent sheep, naive and unequipped, led by greedy shepherds who because of ignorance, pride, greed and selfish ambition have locked them away and chained them in a prison of shame, obligation, guilt and mechanical repetition so they slowly die of malnutrition and spiritual apathy. Like a frog in a pan of water in which the heat is slowly turned up to the point of boiling he never knew what was happening to him until it was too late! It took hundreds of years for Lucifer to seduce men to move back into a dead religion but like the frog, the heat was turned up so slow that they too never knew what happened until it was too late. Through tradition, ritual and just enough love for the world and its culture, not to mention the right amount of paganism, the church slowly sunk into a comatose condition as it remains today.
This angel of light has been totally underestimated in his ability to deceive us using subterfuge and outright lies to bring about such a huge diabolical plan to destroy the body of Christ, but he has succeeded in his endeavors by injecting a powerful and deadly dose of religion into her veins putting her to sleep in her coffin of consumer driven, event motivated, only on Sunday, assembly of the dead. Say its not so, but it is, remember the parable of the ten virgins? Five were wise and five were foolish and remember what woke them up? The blast of a trumpet of warning and so it will come to pass as true men of God begin to preach truth and restore to the church that which Lucifer has stolen, a relationship with the Lord Jesus bringing about the return of His glorious presence!
Flee also youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife. And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses (wake up) and escape the snare (trap) of the devil, (Lucifer) having been taken captive (possessed) by him to do his will. II Timothy 2:22-26
SOUND THE ALARM!
Blow the trumpet in Zion. And sound and alarm in My Holy mountain! Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble; for the day of the Lord is coming, for it is at hand; a day of darkness and gloominess, a day of clouds and thick darkness, like the morning clouds spread over the mountains. Joel 2:1,2
Several months ago one of the men in our fellowship brought to my attention the fact that strange sounds were being heard in various places around the world and no one could figure out what they were or where they were coming from. When I asked the man to get the sounds up on his I-phone I listened and immediately knew what it was, the sound of a ram's horn, the same as Israel used when sounding the alarm that the enemy was coming. Only those who have ears to hear will know the sounds of the warning to awake and heed the voice of the Most High to prepare to meet the Lord Jesus!
When Jesus came suddenly to His temple, Israel was in a state of spiritual decline, trapped in a dead religion of tradition and ritual as we are today and the only way to free His people was to totally destroy the old in order to bring in the new. By His death on the cross the old priesthood was also pronounced dead and a new and living way came into being, a new priesthood of believers would emerge making up a human temple in which the Holy Spirit would now reside. Hundreds of years ago Lucifer conceived a diabolical plan to destroy the works of God and to defeat His new body by ensnaring them and resurrecting the old priesthood in which the natural function and growth of the believer was stunted and eventually stopped all together by keeping the new converts in a perpetual kindergarten where they would remain children, never attaining full maturity in Christ!
Because we have been born into this traditional religious system it is ingrained in our minds and hearts that this is the acceptable way that God planned for His people and so we continue to go to church instead of being the church of the living God! Housed in a building, led by a man, kept in the dark and made to believe this is the right way, the once royal priesthood is turned into a multitude of spectators cheering for a team which doesn't even exist. A church on every corner, divided from one another, the family of God splintered into little sheep pens of despair leaving the body unable to function in their gifts or fellowship with their other family members because greedy shepherds hold them in bondage to "their" church. For your information, the church belongs to God, not man, and for a pastor to say that you belong to him is a lie from the pits of Hell!
"And at midnight a cry was heard: Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet Him!" "Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. "And the foolish said to the wise, 'Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.' "But the wise answered, saying, 'No lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.' "And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came and those who were ready went in with Him to the wedding; and the door was shut." Matthew 25:6-10
Monday, May 12 2014
WHO HAS BEWITCHED YOU?
Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you crucified? Galatians 3:1
The apostle Paul was rebuking the Galatian church for allowing themselves to be brought back under the bondage of Jewish law and tradition, the keeping of commandments, circumcision and the works of the law. From it's inception the church of Jesus Christ has been attacked from every side by Satan who wanted the body chained down by religion, tradition and ritual, knowing that this would cripple them for life and make them what the church is today: a spiritual quadriplegic! Throughout the New Testament Paul is dealing with this very issue of the devil trying to inject law and ritual into the freedom and grace received by the body of Christ in order to defeat this newly formed kingdom on earth.
Satan was content as long as the Jewish nation had a rigid form of dead religion, devoid of the Spirit and run by his own sons while the spiritual condition of the people deteriorated to the point of a non-existent relationship with the Most High. After all, the people had a high priest who was hired to enter the holy of hollies once a year to atone for their sins and all they had to do was bring their sacrifices and tithes and everything else was done for them. Everything was great, the devil controlled the leadership, the people were ignorant of God's plan for them, kept in bondage to a dead, ritualistic religion and everything remained the same for hundreds of years, that is until God sent His Son to destroy this religious system of dead works with a new and living way initiated by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ.
When the Son of God died on the cross and rendered up His Spirit the angels tore the veil of separation in two from top to bottom thus establishing a new and living way for man to come before the throne of the Most High God by himself through the shed blood of the Savior. A new generation of royal priests were to emerge becoming God's own ambassadors, sent with His power and authority to subdue the powers of darkness and to establish this newly formed kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven! This new priesthood would have a relationship with the Father like no other, His desire for them when He created Adam and Eve in the garden, but Satan destroyed it by deceiving them into thinking that they were their own gods capable of leading their own lives apart from the Creator who loved them. The results of this one event changed the world and seemingly ruined God's plan for man, but God would turn things around for good by the death of the "Last Adam," His only begotten Son who would deliver His people once and for all.
Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage. Galatians 5:1
THE PROTESTANT POPE
If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. I Corinthians 12:17-20
We can thank the Roman Emperor Constantine for establishing a national religion run by paid clergy that stopped the natural growth and spiritual life of the body of Christ, now housed in a building. From this new man-made system emerged the Catholic religion that was eventually protested by Luther, ultimately creating the Protestant denominations yet to come in the future. Even though Luther was able to do away with the Mass, many of the Catholic traditions remained, such as the Pope, which eventually morphed into what we have today: the "Senior Pastor!"
No where in scripture do we find this title given to anyone, nor is pastor mentioned more than a couple of times in the New Testament, so where in the world did this position come from and how did it obtain the supreme leadership authority over the entire body of Christ? Jesus never intended for men to rule His church, nor did He ever even consider making one man a shepherd over His people. When the church was organized, stuffed into a structure and made to look dignified like the rest of the Roman government, the position of a paid professional stuck and it has been there ever since. Tradition is just hard to break and so many of the things we do today and call church are nothing more than pagan rituals and dead traditions from Greco-Roman culture.
Now I know what you are thinking that this is all we know and that church has to have a pastor, after all, we are only sheep, not known for our intelligence and we need someone to lead us, right? No, very wrong! Don't misunderstand me, there are many godly pastors who have assumed this grand leadership position and have obviously laid down their lives for God's people, I know because I have been there, done that, but that doesn't mean it's right. If that were the case Jesus would have chosen twelve pastors instead of twelve apostles to lead His new assembly of saints, but he didn't and if He had, all we would have today would be twelve churches competing with one another for the title: First Pentecostal Church of the Resurrection. First of all, apostles weren't chosen to rule, they were chosen to plant in the hearts of the new disciples, the seed of what it was like to know and to experience the Lord Jesus Christ and to be led, not by them or a pastor, but by the leading of the Holy Spirit, soon to be poured out on the church of the first born!
Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. I Corinthians 12:27,28
FROM PASSION TO PROFESSION
And He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:11-13
The Lord Jesus gave the gifts of the five-fold ministry to men, not as an office or a title but a holy calling for them to equip the body to be priests of God. Training is different than equipping and can be likened to the military in that when you enter boot camp you are trained in the things that pertain to war and combat, but afterward you are equipped with the weapons and equipment needed to carry out your assignment. So it is with the body of Christ, as priests of God we must be equipped to serve, not only in the ministry to others but our service and ministry to Him who called us.
Sadly in these last days the five-fold ministry has turned into a profession instead of a passionate ministry to bring edification and restoration to the body of Christ. Again, this arose from the Greco-Roman culture of having a paid clergy to rule over the poor laity and establish a professional class, high above the rest of the members of the body of Christ, something that is totally non existent in the New Testament scriptures. This demonically inspired and worldly profession has wrecked the intended function of the members of Christ's body in that the gifts and callings of each individual part is prohibited in the assembly thereby causing them to literally shut down and become dormant because one man has taken over the headship of Christ and has dominated the natural function of the church. In the natural sense, if the organs of your human body were to shut down and cease to function, eventually it would cause you to die and so it has caused the body of Christ also to die from lack of use!
God never intended His glorious church to be run like a corporation led by a team of professionals with one man as Chief Executive Officer standing in the Headship of Christ. The body is an organic expression of the Lord Jesus Christ in the earth functioning naturally as everyone does his individual service by freely operating in his God given gifting, led exclusively by Holy Spirit, bringing edification to all the members! If you are a member of Christ's body, washed in the Savior's blood and saved by faith, then your spiritual service in His kingdom is to exercise your gifts and to edify your brothers and sisters in the family of God. If you are in a "church" that will not allow you to be free to exercise your gift then my advise to you if the Lord leads is to escape for the sake of your spiritual well being and for the benefits you have to give the rest of the body of Christ.
That we should no longer be children, (naive) tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, (doctrines of demons) by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the Head-Christ- from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part (us) does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:14-16
Monday, May 05 2014
"Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is, and walk in it; then you will find rest for your souls. But they said, 'We will not walk in it.' " Jeremiah 6:16
The death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ did away with the old ritualistic priesthood, along with the temple, sacrifices, rules, regulations and commandments of men, and through the veil of His flesh He provided a new and living way for His believers to travel: the narrow way! Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the life and that no man could come before the Father but through Him and by this He instituted a new covenant written in His own blood.
The resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ initiated the beginning of an unbelievable event in which His Spirit would now abide in a temple not made with human hands and free from the old traditions and rituals of the past. Before His death Jesus poured His life into twelve men who would in turn share His life with thousands who would become His new supernatural body in the earth. No more temple, no more sacrifice and no more ritual, only the freedom of the leading of God's Spirit to guide them on their spiritual journey as Christ's body. Church was no longer a place to go, but a Person to be, the expression of Jesus in the earth, filled with His Spirit, empowered with His authority and free to worship Him and to function in their designated gifts and talents.
A new temple, a new priesthood and a new sacrifice were ordained and established through the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord. The dwelling place of God was now abiding in a temple of living stones, washed in His blood, scorched with the fires of trial and placed upon the Chief Cornerstone to ever house the presence of the Most High. The High Priest was raised from the dead to give spiritual life to a royal priesthood of believers who would become the living sacrifices of a new order of chosen ones, destined to rule and reign in the newly formed kingdom of God on earth. As the fire of God's presence was poured out on the stones it seemed that nothing could stop their forward motion, at least nothing of this world, but they were about to undergo a major attack from the devil three hundred or so years into their journey with the rise of a new emperor in Rome, Constantine, "Pontifex Maximus," chief of the pagan priests.
You also as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. I Peter 2:5
A SAVAGE WOLF OF DECEIT
"Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. "For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. "Also from among yourselves men will rise up speaking perverse things to draw away the disciples after themselves." Acts 20:28-30
From the beginning of God's creation in the garden Satan has sought to destroy the forward motion and freedom that was intended for the children of the Most High to have in the newly formed kingdom of God in the earth. From Adam and Eve up until the Christ entered the wilderness Satan was there to deceive and conspire against the divine plan for man to rule in a heavenly kingdom here on earth. Satan did his best to try and deceive even the Lord in the beginning of His mission and ministry on earth when he said to Him, "If you are the Son of God." Was there any doubt?
Satan failed to deceive the Son of God and stop Him from creating His kingdom on earth but that didn't stop him from following this newly formed band of disciples to try and find a weakness or an inroad to enter the flock and destroy their mission. Over and over he sent persecution, false brethren and trials of all kinds, hell bent on their destruction, but every time God delivered them and they defeated their enemies even saving the apostle Paul on the Damascus road, on his way to persecute the new church. Nothing Satan could do stopped them from multiplying their disciples and the churches abounded in the freedom and power given them from the throne of God until the devil found a man he could use to stop them forever and cripple them with the one thing he new best: "religion."
A new emperor had come into power in Rome and had become a Christian or so it seemed, but none the less Satan had a plan to use this man to entomb the body of Christ forever in a mausoleum of man made religion and tradition and it almost destroyed the body of Christ forever as Satan conspired to resurrect the old priesthood and choke the spiritual life out of the church! From this one demonically inspired scheme Satan was able to cripple the church and create thousands of denominations, divisions and factions, splintering God's people and creating a dead, lifeless ritualistic religion filled with tradition, doctrines of demons and pagan practices, even the creation of the Catholic church with Constantine being the first Pope. It looked pretty grim but it was about to get even worse, much worse.
"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit." Matthew 7:15-17
RESURRECTING THE OLD ORDER
"Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many go in by it. 'Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it." Matthew 7:13,14
From it's inception Christianity had flourished under the control of the Holy Spirit having no boundaries or regulations holding it in check to the desires of a man or a priest, that is until Satan incited the newly appointed emperor of Rome to give it a complete new makeover. Constantine supposedly had become a Christian although his actions displayed his true character and pagan upbringing and so he was about to make Christianity the national religion of Rome and give it a more dignified look!
Under his rule Constantine totally stopped the forward motion of a once humble faith by putting the body of Christ back in a building where it would have prestige and dominance as a worldly religion complete with a paid professional clergy to lead it back under the old priesthood previously destroyed by the Lord Himself. The Way had been clouded with tradition and ritual, pagan practices and man-made doctrines, rules and regulations leaving it entombed in a mausoleum reserved for the dead. Many of the things we do today in the church were instituted by Constantine and came from paganism and Greco-Roman culture, polluting the body of Christ with its man centered religion of dead works. No longer a Person to be, the church was now a place to go, welcomed by the world and placed in a pot to be viewed like a beautiful flower for all to see, but there was something missing: the presence of a Holy God, deeply offended because His bride was being buried in the traditions of man-made religion.
The devil had finally succeeded in defeating the purposes of God by injecting His body with man-centered ritualistic religious tradition bringing about its death by suffocation and being embalmed with the teachings and doctrines of men and demons. Once free to roam the world spreading the gospel of salvation walking in the power and anointing of Holy Spirit fire, the warrior queen was trapped, bound and imprisoned by a diabolical plan inspired by the shinning one, Lucifer, arch angel of deception, deceit, and the father of all lies! Since that fateful time the church has never recovered her former glory even though many have tried to raise her, she was too far gone, weakened by deception and polluted by tradition she languishes in a drunken stupor unable to free herself from her captives, she lies in state, a once beautiful bride but now a sleeping beauty waiting for a kiss from her Bridegroom to awaken her and free her from her bonds.
Who is left among you who saw this temple in its former glory? And how do you see it now? In comparison with it, is this not in your eyes as nothing? Haggai 2:3