DIMINISHING GOD

I have been reading the book of Deuteronomy and it has brought some new insight that I would like to share. First the book of Deuteronomy was a re-giving of the divine law of God and the reason for this is that the previous generation that had first received the law had all but passed away and an entirely new generation was getting ready to step into the promise land. It was high on the priority list of God to remind this generation of His Word and to give them stern commandment regarding the dangers of diminishing His Word. Deuteronomy 4:2 says, “…neither shall ye diminish ought from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the Lord your God which I command you.”

Why such a stern command? God operates and works according to His Word. What God speaks and what God promises God obligates Himself to fulfill. Although the Hebrew nation never knew Abraham they were about to be blessed according to the prophecy (promise) that God had given their father Abraham hundreds of years earlier. What this means is that God can fulfill what He has promised if we obey His Word. It’s like I told the church on Sunday, “He will get you there, wherever there is, if you can obey.”

What does this have to do with diminishing the Word? It’s was not only God’s intention to get Israel to the promise land but it was His intention to ensure that they were blessed and succeeded while they possessed the land, therefore the Word of God had to have preeminence in the nation of Israel to ensure they had great success.

The bible teaches us that the Word of God is prophecy (1 Peter 1:19-21). God works according to what He has spoken. Here is the point in all this, God knew that when Israel entered into the promise land they would face knew challenges and new influences, things that could diminish the Word of God in their lives. That is how the enemy operates; he understands that he cannot change prophecy but if he can diminish the Word of God and if he can diminish the Word of God he can hinder the prophecy or promise over your life.

The enemy will create a diminishing pattern in your life to try to stop the power of God from being manifested in you. He begins by diminishing (making less significant) the Word of God, which in turns diminishes God’s authority in your life, which in turns diminishes God’s power in your life, which in turns diminishes the prophecy over your life,

What we must understand is that to diminish the Word of God is to literally diminish the voice of God in your life. If the enemy can do this he can completely rob you of your potential to become everything God has intended you to be. The truth is the Apostolic child of God must live his/her life according to the promise/prophecy which God has spoken over them. Paul told Timothy, “This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare; (1 Timothy 1:18 KJV)”. Wow! What a revelation, Timothy was commanded to war in the kingdom of God according to the prophecies which were given unto him.

When we live in obedience to the Word of God we live according to prophecy, according to the Spirit. Because we live in the Spirit the flesh is diminished and the Spirit of God begins to increase in us. We begin to grow in grace, in wisdom, in knowledge and in revelation. Is this not the Spirit of prophecy…living in the power of revelation. The nation of Israel was birthed out of prophetic utterance, the churched was birthed out of prophetic utterance, and the Holy Ghost was birthed out of prophetic utterance.

It maybe that the reason the church is not giving birth to revival is because it has lost its ability to discern and to live in the power of prophecy. Maybe many of us as individuals are not giving birth to spiritual promises because we are not operating in the power of prophecy. Martin Luther said, “your thought of God are to human.”

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3 Dimensions of the Spirit (Part One)

“…becuause thou knewest not the time of thy visititatioin” Luke 19:44

 

The bible teaches us that there are three ways in which God revals himself to man. He visits man, he manifest himself to man and he inhabits man and in each varying degree there is a deeper revelation, understanding and commitment to God. I have often wondered why God would chose to reveal himself to man in varying degrees of revelation. I beleive that the reason God does this is to test the faith, commitment and desire that we have to really know him. We can see throughout scripture that many different men and women  were given the opportunitty to know God but many of them becuase of the degree of their commitment fell short of what God had truly intended and purposed for their lives. If we truly want to become everything God has intended us to be we cannot neglect our time of visitation.

VISITATION

Sadly like in the days of Jesus there are many who never knew that God had visitied them and that God what was willing and ready to pour out his mercy, love and blessings upon them. So many people  and more specifically so many Christians are so caught up with this world, with success and with their  finances that often time they fail to see that God is in the midst of their dilema, that God is willing, ready and able to do a great work in them. I would like to say that I have learned in my time walking with God that he is not as concerned about some of things we concern ourselves with but what God is truly concerned about is his ultimate purpose for our lives. The reality is that God often times is waiting for us to recognize him in our dilemna, to recognize him in our everyday lives, to recognize that he is truly in the midst of us if we would only open our eyes. I am reminded of the Apostle Pauls conversation with the Athenians in Acts chapter 17, in speaking to them about their religion and superstitions he reveals to them that God was there all along despite their blindness, “His purpose in all of this was that  the nations should seek after God and feel their way toward him and find him, though he is not far from anyone of us” (NLT). Recognizing that God is in your midst and that he is worthy of your attention is the first step in moving deeper into what God has truly intended for your life. This is where many fall short, they recognize that God was in their midst, they recognize that God had visited them but they failed to embrace and give attention to this visitation of God. They fail to realize that this visitation from God was meant to be a launching pad for the rest of their lives, this visitation was meant to reveal the power of God in your life and in your dilemnas, this visitation was intended to take you from the ordinary to the extadordinary. How sad it will be when you come to the end of your life and you realize that God had visited you and you did not fully embrace this opportunity of supernatural change, direction and provisison for your life. So many will never go to the next level with God because they fall into one of these two categories, they have had a visitation and did not embrace this visitiationor the failed to ever recognize that God was visiting them. There have been many who have had a visistation of the divine but that will be the extent of their experience with God. If we fail to embrace and commit to the moment of divine visitation we will never see the supernatural manifestation of  God in our lives. Living for God should be a expereince of glory to glory, in other words one experience with God should lead to a deeper experience with God or in this case divine visitation should lead to supernatural manifestation.

God Bless,

© 2011 Apostolic Messenger

 

 

Holiness in the Tongue

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“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 KJV 

What is holiness? The bible teaches us that God is Holy and He requires His people to live holy lives. But what does He mean by holy? Does He mean to live like a monk in a monastery completely separate from modern society? No, that would not be practical for any of us and that is not the realistic calling of the Bible. God’s commandment to His people was given to them within the context of society that was expected to work, have families and normal relationships. Practical Holiness is a call to live in this world without letting the world live in us. The root meaning of Holy is to separated or sanctified – this means to live in a modern world in a way that is pleasing to God. When it comes to holiness God always begins in the heart for this reason I would like to discuss this question. Where does practicing true God pleasing holiness begin?

THE GOD OF YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER

The Bible teaches us in Hebrews 11:13 that, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever”. What does this mean? This means that who God was in the Old Testament remains the same in the New Testament and what God expects of His people does not change. In the Old Testament God gave a command to His people He said in Leviticus 11:45, “…ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” and in the New Testament the Apostle Peter writes in 1 Peter 1:16, “Because it is written, be ye holy for I am holy.” He is the God of yesterday, today and forever; many modern Christians have forgotten that God still absolutely requires us to live a holy, pleasing life before Him. Peter goes as far as to call us a royal priesthood, a chosen generation, a peculiar people. Wow what an amazing and glorious privilege to be considered in the eyes of God royalty, chosen and peculiar.

TRUE HOLINESS BEGINS IN THE TONGUE

The Apostle Peter states in his writings that we ought to be holy in all manner of conversation, some versions of the bible say conduct but for the sake of this study will stay with King James Version of conversation. Peter declares to us be holy in your conversation, I think all of us can understand that conversation begins in the tongue. And so it is that practicing holiness begins with us beginning to bridle our tongue. We must understand that the tongue is directly connected to our hearts (spiritually speaking). Our tongues will always give evidence of what the condition of our hearts is. Jesus said this concerning the heart and the mouth, “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man” whether we realize or not it is our tongue that defiles us. We cannot truly practice holiness when our tongues are out of control, when they are unbridled and quench the Spirit that God has poured in us. It does us no good to practice holiness in other areas of our lives and our tongues continually are out of control.

HE WHO CONTROLS THE TONGUE CAN CONTROL THE BODY

Did you know that the bible teaches us that whoever can control their tongue can also control their entire body? Holiness that is practiced often ends in failure because we have not brought our tongues under the power of the Holy Spirit. Listen to what the Apostle James says about controlling the body, “…If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body.” The man that can control his speech, his conversation can bridle; bring into subjection the whole body. It is at this point that I declare to you again that holiness begins by controlling the tongue. Likewise James also reminds that the man that cannot control the tongue will defile his whole body (James 3:8).

WE WORSHIP GOD WITH OUT HEARTS AND TONGUES

We must consider the fact that it is our tongues that we use to worship God, to pray to God, to encourage one another and to share His holy word with one another. And yet many times we use this same tongue to hurt one another, to curse one another, to gossip about one another and to argue with one another. James ask us a simple question, “…can a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?’ The answer is no, either a fountain gives off good water or bad water not both. He uses this question to ask whether our tongues should be in this condition where they are giving praise to God on one hand and the other being used in a carnal unholy way. He says this should not be so. James says, “Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.” Our tongues should have the liberty to praise God and open our hearts before Him and likewise be under the control of the Spirit and used to build up and edify.

THE TONGUE SHOULD GIVE LIFE AND SAVE FROM TROUBLES

The Bible says in Proverbs that, “in the tongues is the power of life and death.” We can give life to people and ourselves through the use of the tongue or we can destroy others and ourselves through the power of the tongue. Consider these scriptures in regards to the power of the tongue:

Proverbs 15:4 “A wholesome tongue is a tree of life: but perverseness therein is a breach in the spirit”

Proverbs 21:23 “Whoso keepeth his mouth and his tongue keepeth his soul from troubles”

Many people cannot practice holiness in their hearts because they have a breech in their spirit. What this means is that their spirit is like a wall that has been broken in a certain place and that wall no longer has the power to keep good things or bad things out it has been breached. So anytime God pours in His blessing the enemy can easily come through the breach and rob the person of what God has given him. How can we practice holiness when our spirits have been breached because out tongues are out of control. Many of the troubles that we suffer are caused be our very own tongues.

BEGIN HOLINESS WITH YOUR TONGUE AND THE BODY WILL FOLLOW

If what James is teaching us in his writings is true, then controlling the tongue is the key to practicing holiness before God. He teaches us that if we get a hold of our tongue and are able to control its speech then naturally the power to control our entire bodies will follow in line. A holy tongue means a holy heart and this is the holiness that God is after, holiness and purity in the depth of our inner man.

God Bless,

© 2008 Apostolic Messenger

Things are’nt always as the seem

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Thank for praying for me brother Noe! I needed some counsel and friendship. Thanks for this story you sent me I thought I would share with everyone on my blog.

I thought this might help you! Have you in my prayers all day!

Things Aren’t Always As They Seem (An Angel Story)
Author Unknown
Two travelling angels stopped to spend the night in the home of a wealthy family. The family was rude and refused to let the angels stay in the mansion’s guestroom. Instead the angels were given a space in the cold basement. As they made their bed on the hard floor, the older angel saw a hole in the wall and repaired it. When the younger angel asked why, the older angel replied, “Things aren’t always what they seem.” The next night the pair came to rest at the house of a very poor, but very hospitable farmer and his wife. After sharing what little food they had, the couple let the angels sleep in their bed where they could have a good night’s rest. When the sun came up the next morning the angels found the farmer and his wife in tears. Their only cow, whose milk had been their sole income, lay dead in the field. The younger angel was infuriated and asked the older angel, “How could you have let this happen!? The first man had everything, yet you helped him,” she accused. “The second family had little but was willing to share everything, and you let their cow die.” “Things aren’t always what they seem,” the older angel replied. “When we stayed in the basement of the mansion, I noticed there was gold stored in that hole in the wall. Since the owner was so obsessed with greed and unwilling to share his good fortune, I sealed the wall so he wouldn’t find it. Then last night as we slept in the farmer’s bed, the angel of death came for his wife. I gave her the cow instead. Things aren’t always what they seem.” Sometimes this is exactly what happens when things don’t turn out the way they should. If you have faith, you just need to trust that every outcome is always to your advantage. You might not know it until some time later. Think about this: Should you find it hard to get to sleep tonight, just remember the homeless family who has no bed to lie in. Should you find yourself stuck in traffic, don’t despair. There are people in this world for whom driving is an unheard of privilege. Should you have a bad day at work, think of the man who has been out of work for the last three months. Should you despair over a relationship gone bad, think of the person who has never known what it’s like to love and be loved in return. Should you grieve the passing of another weekend, think of the woman in dire straits, working twelve hours a day, seven days a week, for $15.00 to feed her family. Should your car break down, leaving you miles away from assistance, think of the paraplegic who would love the opportunity to take that walk. Should you notice a new gray hair in the mirror, think of the cancer patient in chemo who wishes she had hair to examine. Should you find yourself at a loss and pondering what is life all about, asking “what is my purpose,” be thankful. There are those who didn’t live long enough to get the opportunity. Should you find yourself the victim of other people’s bitterness, ignorance, smallness or insecurities, remember, things could be worse. You could be them!!! May today there be peace within, may you trust your highest power that you are exactly where you are meant to be, may you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith, may you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, and to bask in the sun. It is there for each and every one of you. Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly…

God Bless,

Heaven what kind of place is it?

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Mans imagination cannot fathom the immense greatness of heaven. Our minds are limited in their ability to perceive supernatural things such as heaven. What is heaven, where is heaven, how does heaven look and who will be in heaven these are some of the questions that man has attempted to answer regarding heaven? Words cannot describe such a supernatural place neither can the mind perceive such divine things in our present carnal state. The only answers we have regarding heaven are the divine scriptures which have been given to us by God. Surely it is a great, awesome, unimaginable wonder.

SCRIPTURES DESCRIBING HEAVEN

The Father’s House:

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2

A Heavenly City:

“But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.” Hebrews 11:16

A Holy City:

“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” Revelation 21:2

The Throne of God:

“Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.” Revelation 7:15

A Place of Holiness:

“And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” Revelation 21:27

 

A Place of Divine Joy:

“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” Revelation 21:4

A Place of Prestine Beauty:

“And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass.” Revelation 21:18 

A Place of Worship:

“And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.” Revelation 5:14

A Place of Perfect Light:

“And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof.” Revelation 21:23

A Place where God Dwells:

“And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Revealtion 21:3

Meditate on these scriptures and consider whether it is worth living and suffering for the Creator of the heavens and earth. Consider that one day you shall see God as He is; in His perfect beauty and holiness. Remeber we are only pilgrims in this world, sojourning till we find a city whose builder and founder is God. It will be a glorious day the moment we meet our Father in heaven. Is your name written in the Lamb’s Precious Book of Life? Are you ready to stand with God and behold the wonders and the beauty of that city called New Jerusalem? It is going to be a glorious day when the bride meets Jesus in Heaven.

We Shall Reign with Him:

“To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” Revelation 3:21

God Bless,

 

 

Call to Devotion

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“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” Mark 1:35 

If there is one thing that we as Christians lack in our spiritual lives it is a daily-consecrated time of devotion to God. To many times we look at our devotional time as a hard arduous task and I will admit that praying is not easy but it doesn’t have to be something that is looked upon as rigid. Our prayer time or devotion time to God should be the most beautiful refreshing time of the day for us. It is in devotion that God restores me, forgives me, speaks to me and strengthens me. It is for these reasons that my time of devotion to God should be the most important part of my spiritual walk. There are no spiritual secrets to learning to devote yourself to God in prayer and spirit. It is a matter of practicing it daily until it becomes an habitual part of your spiritual life. The need and rewards of daily prayer are to many to list and the reality is that to few Christians really practice a life of daily devotion to God; it simply is the greatest need in the church today. If you are struggling in your prayer life I want to encourage you to start again, ask God to give you the strength.
Here is a sample of a one-hour devotion you could practice:

10 minutes of your favorite worship music
10 minutes of reading the bible
10 minutes of worship (no music)
5 minutes of confession
10 minutes praying for need of the church and others
10 minutes praying for your own needs
5 minutes of worship

Remember the idea is to get into that daily habit of prayer. As you grow in your prayer life you will find your own way of praying. For example when I first started praying I used to listen to worship music to help me concentrate but I eventually grew to the point where I needed to pray in a quiet atmosphere. Now my devotion is pretty simple, I read the word of God for about 10 minutes and then I pray. I spend the first part of prayer in simple worship to God and then I usually start my confession and petition for forgiveness. I then begin to thank God for all He has done and provided. I then begin to intercede for others; praying for the needs of the church, needy, family and those in authority. I usually end my prayer by praying for protection against the enemy and worshipping God for hearing my prayer. For me this easily fills up an hour of devotion. I believe that if the majority of Christians would practice this hour of devotion in their daily lives they would have no problem living in the fulness of God’s will.

“And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41

The greatest growth I have had in my spirituality has come through the practice and power of daily devoting myself to prayer. The secret to overcoming temptation is found in finding God’s strength in prayer before the temptation comes. If we wait till the temptation arrives to pray then it is proably to late. Overcoming and being victorious are found in gathering up God’s strength and grace before the moment of testing and temptaiton comes. If you want to grow, if you want to know God more intimately you must learn to devote yourself to God in prayer. Their simply is no other way.

God Bless,

What Prophets and Angels Desire

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 “As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow. It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven–things into which angels long to look.”

1 Peter 1:10-12 NASB

THE PROPHETS

What a wonderful thought the scripture gives us. Imagine the prophets inquiring of God what they were prophesying about? They did not understand the words that the Spirit of God was putting in their hearts concerning the times of the gentiles. They only new that their would come a suffering messiah to redeem the gentiles but they did not know who or in what time or dispensation this would come to pass. The only revelation they were given concerning this glorious Gospel is that they were ministering to a people who had not yet come into existence. The bible teaches us that these prophets preached unto us the Gospel through the power of the Holy Ghost before the appointed time. The awesome revelatiion about this is that you and I are the aforementioned people living in the aforementioned time which the prophets were inquiring about. We are the gentile people of biblical prophecy, we have our proper place in God’s word it is you and I that have been born into the season of biblical fulfilment. The blessing that you and I possess is the full revelation of God’s plan and mystery concerning His perfect will. What a blessing it is to understand this.

CONSIDER THIS

Have you ever really stopped and considered how blessed we are to have the understanding that we have. To have access to the fullness of God’s counsel, to be able to diligently look into the fullness of His word and come away from it with a perfect understanding of His plan, purpose and work. Have you ever considered that prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Hosea, Amos and Daniel to a name a few who did not have the privilege to know the things that you now know, “And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Many great and righteous men have wanted to know and understand what we now have free access to the complete revelation of God’s word. Look what Jesus said to his disciples concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.” Wow! That is the only thing I can think of when I consider that I have an understanding that great men and prophets of God desired to have.

EVEN THE ANGELS

Even the angels desire to look into the things we understand. This is an amazing thought because the angels have been there with God since the beginning. They were there when Lucifer was cast out of heaven, they were there when God created Adam, they were there when Jesus Christ was born, they were there when He was crucified, they were there when He rose from the dead and they were there when He resurrected. Yet they do not have a full, complete understanding of why? Why did He die, why does He love them so much, why did He choose this way? Yet you and I understand, “…thou has made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.”

CREATED FOR GLORY

How wonderful to know that man was created in the likeness and image of God. Adam created to reflect the perfect virtues of God. Hence when God fellow-shipped with Adam His son, He would always see Himself in Adam. That was the pinnacle of man’s glory the moment that God was able to see Himself in His creation. That is the glory of God in man, when man reflects the perfect virtue and love of Christ. When relationship with God is so profound that words are not needed to tell people how much I love Christ they need only to look at my life and see God reflected. This is the glory of God in man, the fulness of His Spirit radiating through the life of men and women who have been redeemed by His precious blood.

THE PRECIOUS BLOOD

This is what the angels and the prophets did not understand. They did not understand in the plan of redemption, His creation that had fallen into a sinful nature would be restored back into a position where they could reflect and radiate the glory of God. They did not understand that to accomplish this it would take the perfect blood of Jesus Christ. They did not understand that this perfect blood without spot or blemish would not only cover man’s sin but completely wash them out, “how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

CONSIDER THE WORD

Consider this. God has chosen you. He has chosen you to understand, He has chosen you because you were born in the time of prophetic fulfilment. Consider that God has blessed to understand His plan, His purpose, His work and His love for you. Consider that God has given you a place in His word and in His divine plan. Consider the fact that you were born for a specific time, reason and place. When the prophets were moving under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit they were speaking about the time in which you would be living, they were prophesying about events that would take place within the contextual timeframe of your lifespan. They spoke of things they did not completely understand but were positive would come to pass. Consider that you and I are living the prophetic time-line of God and are blessed to have an understanding of these things. Remember Jesus words, “For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.”

God Bless,

© 2007 Apostolic Messenger Minister Daniel Bracamonte

What to Thank God for

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“Thou hast given so much to me,
Give one thing more, – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.”

~George Herbert

 

I thank God for my Salvation. I thank Him for His blood on Calvary and the great sacrifice He made to redeem me from my sins. I thank Him for transforming me in to a son of God through the power of the Holy Spirit. I thank God for His daily provision and I thank God for His word which I love with all my heart.

I thank God for my family and friends. Thank God for a mother that prays fervently for me, a father who is an example to me, a sister who always supports me and a brother who looks beyond my faults. I thank God for family for my Grandmas love, my aunts encouragement and the fellowship of my cousins.

 I thank God for friends who are like brothers and sisters to me. Friends I can share with and friends that can correct me. Thank God for friends who stand by your side in the midst of suffering and encourage you to give God glory. Thank God for friends who share your faith and passion for the God of the heavens.

I thank God for the true saints. Saints who know how to suffer for God and still be content. Saints who worship and live for God with power and passion. I thank God for the whole body of Christ.

I thank God for his daily provision. I thank Him for food on the table, a roof over my head and the soft pillow He gave me to sleep on. I thank Him for everything He has lent me, money to pay the bills, a car for transportation and health so that I can live for Him.

And last but not least I thank God for all those that I have had the privledge to share this blog with. Brothers and Sister of a like spirit. I thank God for all the edifying post I have read on some of your sites. I thank God that even though I don’t know you personally and you may be 1000 miles away that I have fellowship with you in this spiritual blogging community. I thank God for your prayers, teachings and encouragement. May the Lord of all the heavens and earth Jesus Christ bless you and your families in all you do for His Kingdom. He is the reason we give thanks with a grateful heart.

 God Bless,

Biblical Illiteracy

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ARTICLE BY  DOUG MORRELL

 Crisis In The Church: Biblical Illiteracy

Remember the frog that landed in a pan of water and stayed until it boiled? Had the pan been hot, the frog would have noticed and hopped out. But the water felt cool at first, and the frog sensed no danger. It simply relaxed and conformed to the gradual change. Subdued by the rising heat, it grew too sluggish to act. By the time the water boiled, the frog was dead.

I want to share the burden of my heart with you concerning the alarming trend of Biblical illiteracy and state of discipleship in today’s church. I want to encourage you by saying that with every problem there is an opportunity and to envision the church as the Lord sees it. The following statistics reveal a crisis in the church.

Regarding Biblical illiteracy and discipleship, Christian researcher and author George Barna reports:
* Fewer than half of all adults can name the four gospels.
* Many professing Christians cannot identify more than two or three of the disciples.
* 60 percent of Americans cannot name even five of the Ten Commandments.
* 82 percent of Americans believe “God helps those who help themselves” is a Bible verse.
* 12 percent of adults believe that Joan of Arc was Noah’s wife.
* A survey of graduating high school seniors revealed that over 50 percent thought that Sodom and Gomorrah were husband and wife.
* A considerable number of respondents to one poll indicated that Billy Graham preached the Sermon on the Mount.
* Six out of ten Americans reject the existence of Satan.
* Four out of ten Americans believe that when Jesus Christ was on earth He committed sins.
* Five out of ten believe that anyone who is generally good or does enough good things for others during their life will earn a place in Heaven.
* Four out of ten believe that the Bible, the Koran and the Book of Mormon are all different expressions of the same spiritual truths.
* Seven out of ten born again Christians said they do not believe in moral absolutes.
* Only one out of ten Christians base their moral decision-making on the principles taught in the Bible.
* 54 percent believe truth can be discovered only through logic, human reasoning and personal experience.

These statistics indicate a gradual change of temperature over time. In general, Biblical illiteracy is a growing trend and church discipleship is ineffective.

John Stott wrote, “The Christian landscape is strewn with the wreckage of derelict half-built towers. The ruins of those who began to build and were unable to finish. For thousands of people still ignore Christ’s warning and undertake to follow Him without first pausing to reflect on the cost of doing so. The result is the great scandal of Christendom today, so called nominal Christianity. In countries to which Christian civilization has spread, large numbers of people have covered themselves with a decent but thin veneer of Christianity. They have allowed themselves to become somewhat involved, enough to be respectable but not enough to be uncomfortable. Their religion is a great soft cushion. It protects them from the hard unpleasantness of life while changing its place and shape to suit their convenience. No wonder the cynics speak of hypocrites in the church and dismiss religion as escapism.”

I would suggest that many Christian churches have abandoned serious Bible exposition and theological teaching. Historical exegesis is becoming a lost art in the pulpit. The church should be intentional about teaching the background of the being and attributes of God, His sovereignty, His majesty and holiness. Preachers should stress the fact that the righteousness of God has been outraged by human sin and that apart from Divine, unmerited grace, man’s deadly guilt (Romans 3:19) will bring upon him the wrath of God (Romans 1:18), the deserved judgment of the Lord (Romans 2:2), and ensuing death (Romans 6:23).

However, as Gary Burge writes, “Rather than explaining the historical setting of a passage, texts become springboards for devotional reflection,” he notes. “Biblical passages are taken out of context as the preacher searches for those stories that evoke the responses or attitudes desired.” As a result, “The heart of a ‘good’ sermon is fast becoming the ‘emotional work’ that can be done in 20 minutes preaching time.”

Perhaps we are where we are because there is an overemphasis on personal experience to the exclusion of serious Christian education or that spirituality is being built on private emotional attachments or because of the tremendous influence unbiblical philosophies and worldviews are having on churchgoers. Albert Mohler writes, “Christians who lack biblical knowledge are the products of churches that marginalize biblical knowledge. Bible teaching now often accounts for only a diminishing fraction of the local congregation’s time and attention. The move to small group ministry has certainly increased opportunities for fellowship, but many of these groups never get beyond superficial Bible study. Youth ministries are asked to fix problems, provide entertainment, and keep kids busy. How many local-church youth programs actually produce substantial Bible knowledge in young people? Even the pulpit has been sidelined in many congregations. Preaching has taken a back seat to other concerns in corporate worship. The centrality of biblical preaching to the formation of disciples is lost, and Christian ignorance leads to Christian indolence and worse.”

As Barna reports, “Christians have increasingly been adopting spiritual views that come from Islam, Wicca, secular humanism, the eastern religions and other sources. Because we remain a largely Bible-illiterate society, few are alarmed or even aware of the slide toward syncretism – a belief system that blindly combines beliefs from many different faith perspectives.”

SYNCRETISM

This is a growing trend in what many consider mainstream Christianity. We can see it everywhere. We are living in a time where the church is doing its best to be relevant to everyone. I read an article about a baptist pastor who was using new age techniques to help drug addicts and alcoholics he was qouted as saying, “they don’t have to know what technique I am using the only thing they need to be concerned about is the results and if it works then that’s all that matters to me”. I believe any honest God fearing Christian could see the inherit danger in using new age occult practices in a church that proclaims to be the truth. Here is a great analogy I once heard a great preacher use. What if one day I came into the church and I addressed the congregation and I told the congregation that we are still going to believe like we have always believed, we are still going to preach Jesus, we are still going to preach the divine birth, the sinless life, the death and the glory of His resurrection. Only now we are going to remove all the pews from the church, we will now sit on the ground with our legs crossed, we will all shave our heads, we will now wear orange robes and use little tambourines between our fingers. What do you think would happen to this church? There still preaching Jesus, there still believing the same, they are just changing the way they go about it. I tell what would happen you would have the spirit of hare-krishna you would have a church that has allowed itself to be infiltrated by a demonic doctrine. This is what is happening in the church today and when I say the church I am speaking about the body of Christ. They have allowed doctrines, teachings and false prophets to infiltrate the minds of the believers and in doing so they cripple the church, they cripple the believers and they make the doctrine of Christ to have no affect. I believe Paul said, “Come ye out from among them and touch not the unclean thing…” be ye separate that has been the cry of the prophets, be ye separate that has been the cry of the New Testament writings and teachings. The Apostle John said it perfectly, “Love not the world neither the things that are in the world” how can we even consider allowing devilish doctrines and pagan philosophies to be part of the foundation on which we stand? The answer is we cannot!

SAINTS BE CAREFUL

And so here it is again the spirit of the world active in the church, active in the teachings of God’s ministers, active in life of the saints. We are so spiritually blind and biblically illiterate that we cannot discern the spirit that is working to derail our most holy faith. The spirit of the world is the unseen powers, principalities, teaching and doctrines that govern and operate in the world that we see today, “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” We must be more careful than ever as to what we accept as being part of our Christian faith. We must stand guard at the door of our hearts as to not let any ungodly belief or teaching infiltrate our hearts.

BIBLICAL WARNING

“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” 1 Timothy 4:1-2 KJV

“Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 3,4 NLT

Watch yourselves, that you do not lose what we have accomplished, but that you may receive a full reward. Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 2 John 1:8-11 NASB

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 John 4:1

God Bless,

Incomparable Christ

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THE POEM

More than nineteen hundred years ago there was a man born contrary to the laws of life. This man lived in poverty and was reared in obscurity. He received no formal education and never possessed wealth or wide-spread influence. He never traveled extensively. He only once crossed the boundary of the country in which He lived. But this man’s life has changed the course of history. In infancy He startled a king; in childhood he puzzled doctors; in man hood He ruled the course of nature, walked upon the waves, and hushed the sea to sleep. He healed the multitudes without medicine and made no charge for His services. He never wrote a book. Yet His life has inspired more books than any other man. He never wrote a song. Yet He has furnished the theme for more songs than all songwriters combined. He never founded a college. But all the schools put together cannot boast of having as many students. He never marshaled an army, nor drafted a soldier, nor fired a gun. Yet no leader ever had more rebels surrender to Him without a shot fired. He never practiced psychiatry. Yet He has healed more broken hearts than all the doctors far and near. Once each week the wheels of commerce cease their turning, and multitudes gather to pay homage and respect to Him. Though time has spread nineteen hundred years between the people of this generation and His birth, He still lives. His enemies could not destroy Him, and the grave could not hold Him. This man stands forth upon the highest pinnacle of heavenly glory, proclaimed of God, acknowledged by angels, adored by His people, and feared by devils, as the risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

-Author Unknown