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No Book Like It

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You can take every book that has ever been written, stack them all up and put them against the Bible, and the Bible would be light years away from them all. Books can change the mind of man, for his mind is unstable. Books can move the emotions of man, for he is a sensual being. Books can give correction, direction and instruction for man, for his knowledge and wisdom is limited. While books can give information and change the mind of man, there is one thing they cannot do, GIVE MAN A NEW HEART. Books cannot make a new creature out of a human being. Books can alert, convict and convince man that he is a sinner and a vile creature, but books have no power to deliver man from what he is and the course he is on.

The Bible has that kind of power because the Bible is more than a book, it is the word(s) of God. The absolute, unadulterated and infallible word of God. Yet it is even more than that. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God” (John 1:1-2). What powerful scriptures. The power of God is beyond our ability to grasp, but these two verses do show us how God created all there is. He just spoke it all into existence. It is because the word is God. To try to make this as simple to understand as possible, just know that what God says is as much God as His presence is. Take note that when Moses asked God, “Show me Thy glory,” God answered his request. “And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD. And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation” (Exodus 34:5-7). Did you see that? God was as much talking as he was walking before Moses. With God, we get the full experience. He is a God that talks. Everything He says is absolute truth. People say God can do anything. However, there are some things He cannot do. He cannot speak lies. If He did, it would falsely represent Him and he would cease to be the WORD.

Being more specific yet, we learn that Jesus Christ is the Word. “And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth” (John 1:14). Before there ever was a Jesus, there was the Word. Jesus became the living expression of the Word. It was the Word that was made flesh and dwelt amongst man. Jesus proved to this world the validity of God’s word. Jesus came to believe it, live it and preach it. He preached what and who He was. He was a living manifestation of the word of God.

Some Christians may think Jesus always was. This is not true. The Son of God always was. There was a day when Jesus, a human being was conceived. There was a day he was born. He had a beginning. That was the beginning of the life of Jesus on earth. Though Jesus had a birth, the Word that He was, always was. Jesus was one hundred percent man and one hundred percent God. The man side of Him was born; the God side of Him always was.

Tell me if you can, what book can claim such credentials as the Bible? Take even spiritual books. Any spiritual book that has ever been written (I wrote a couple myself), may encourage and strengthen Christians. However, they only do so because they are based on the Bible. Without the Bible, they have no authority. We must be careful when we read books by men who claim their book is based on the word of God. Man is not like God. “…Let God be true, but every man a liar…” (Romans 3:4). Even in his best intention, man taints, falsifies, opinionates, exaggerates and diminishes the Word of God. Yet he believes he is right on the mark with what he writes. He believes his version of the truth is the right version. There is the King James Version, the New King James Version and many others. Then there is the “MY version,” or the “YOUR version.” The true version is what the Holy Spirit teaches. He teaches the truth.

One of my favorite all time movies is “It’s a Wonderful Life.” I have probably watched it all the way through about ten to fifteen times. I don’t have much interest in it today. I have had my fill of, “Hee Haw, Merry Christmas Bedford Falls, My lip is bleeding” and learning that every time a bell rings another angel gets his wings. The movie doesn’t do much for me anymore because I watched it too many times. It is way different with my Bible. I have read the Bible through over thirty times in my life. I am not exaggerating when I say I still get excited when I get to the part where Samson brings down the temple, and when David runs toward the giant and then topples him with a sling and stone. I know how every Old Testament story ends, but yet, I am still excited to read it. No sixty-five inch TV screen in high definition. No surround sound speakers. Just black letters on a white background. However, the words of the Bible are filled with life. They do something to those who seek for wisdom and understanding. I read over and over that Jesus was born in a manger, but when I read it again it seems Jesus is birthed anew in my heart. I read over and over of the anointing and power that the church had in the Book of Acts. Still, when I read it, it stirs in me a desire to be filled anew with the Spirit and to go forth to demonstrate Christ is alive.

What a book! What a fool any person is who rejects it, forgets it and neglects it. “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

If you mess with the word of God, it will mess with you. If you read it, it will read you. If you open your heart to it, it will lay your heart open.

Tell me if you can, what book other than the Bible, has so much power that it can plunge into a person’s heart with the ease of a two-edged sword and cause no bleeding? Tell me if you can, what other book has the ability to separate between your soul and spirit and leave your body feeling more whole? What other book can divide your joints and marrow and leave you even walking better? Tell me if you can, what other book could ever have such authority that it can discern, expose and then correct your heart, and then leave you feeling liberated and close to God. NO OTHER BOOK, BUT THE BIBLE.

Bring Back the King

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King David’s third oldest son was named Absalom. For whatever reason, David had a special affection for this son. However, this son of his ended up turning against him. Here is what happened:

And it came to pass after this, that Absalom prepared him chariots and horses, and fifty men to run before him. And Absalom rose up early, and stood beside the way of the gate: and it was so, that when any man that had a controversy came to the king for judgment, then Absalom called unto him, and said, Of what city art thou? And he said, Thy servant is of one of the tribes of Israel. And Absalom said unto him, See, thy matters are good and right; but there is no man deputed of the king to hear thee. Absalom said moreover, Oh that I were made judge in the land, that every man which hath any suit or cause might come unto me, and I would do him justice! And it was so, that when any man came nigh to him to do him obeisance, he put forth his hand, and took him, and kissed him. And on this manner did Absalom to all Israel that came to the king for judgment: so Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel…And Absalom sent for Ahithophel the Gilonite, David’s counsellor, from his city, even from Giloh, while he offered sacrifices. And the conspiracy was strong; for the people increased continually with Absalom. And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom” (II Samuel 15:1-6,12-13).

Absalom started a rebellion against his father David. What he did was usurp David’s authority as king. Usurp means to seize and hold (an office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right. Absalom had no right to be king, but he schmoozed the people into preferring him as king over his father, David. Though Israel may have accepted Absalom as king, God didn’t. Remember how careful David was not to touch the Lord’s anointed? Absalom gave it no thought. This eventually ended up in a battle, Absalom and Israel against David and his warriors, and Absalom was slain.

Absalom was everyone’s favorite son.  The good looking, dashing son of the king. In all Israel there was none to be praised like him. He was the talk of the town. With his beautiful long flowing hair he had the fresh new look. Combine that with smooth talking flattery that he spoke, he stole the hearts of the people. He was telling the people that the king’s ways are no good anymore. He is old and outdated. If only you would let me care for you. The people fell for it. Now the people could boast about their new king as other nations marvel at him. He will impress them all.

After all, they don’t need the old king anymore. All the giants are dead, the battles are won. Now it’s time to enjoy our victory and spread our wings. The king isn’t relevant anymore. Even his music is old. Now it’s time for the world to take notice. We don’t need a warrior king anymore. It is a time for peace and love. In the same manner as Israel loved Absalom, the world will love our new brand of church.

Just as Absalom usurped David as king, so has a good portion of the fivefold ministry usurped King Jesus. You see, Absalom represents the unauthorized, unanointed ministers. What the ministry has done today is replaced King Jesus with another king. King Jesus is no longer the focus, church is now all about the people and what they want. I wonder how many churches here in America have Jesus sitting as king in their church on a Sunday morning.

To be king means to be sovereign. That means that the king has absolute authority over all his subjects. Who wants that? In this day of no restraint, do as you please living, why would anyone want to put themselves under any kind of demands. So if we can just get rid of the king (well, maybe not go that far), and replace him with someone or something more appealing like Absalom, then we will fill the pews. Then we will be loved and accepted by this world. We appreciated all that King Jesus did for us, but now it is time to move on.

Just as most of the Israelites were deceived by Absalom’s flattery, Christians fall for the same things. It doesn’t take much to deceive Christians today. I have heard it said over and over that people don’t like change, and that is true, but for some reason Christians are willing to change kings.

Have you grown tired of the same old Jesus? Have you set your heart on the next new thing coming down the pike? Jesus may be the same yesterday, today and forever, but there is nothing tiring or boring about Him. You may have grown tired, but it is not because Jesus is boring. It’s because you have allowed an Absalom to come into your life. You have allowed your affections to be on things of this earth instead of things above.

If this is the case in your life, you need to do what David said. “And Absalom, whom we anointed over us, is dead in battle. Now therefore why speak ye not a word of bringing the king back? And king David sent to Zadok and to Abiathar the priests, saying, Speak unto the elders of Judah, saying, Why are ye the last to bring the king back to his house? seeing the speech of all Israel is come to the king, even to his house. Ye are my brethren, ye are my bones and my flesh: wherefore then are ye the last to bring back the king? And say ye to Amasa, Art thou not of my bone, and of my flesh? God do so to me, and more also, if thou be not captain of the host before me continually in the room of Joab. And he bowed the heart of all the men of Judah, even as the heart of one man; so that they sent this word unto the king, Return thou, and all thy servants. So the king returned, and came to Jordan. And Judah came to Gilgal, to go to meet the king, to conduct the king over Jordan” (II Samuel 19:10-15).

You need to bring back the king. If Absalom is still alive in your heart, he needs to die.

The things of this world will fall apart. Anything that Christ is not in will fail. Ask for King Jesus to come back and take residence on the throne of your heart. He will come and do as you ask because His mercy endures forever.

It is sad that many people won’t come to Jesus until everything has fallen apart in their life, but Hallelujah, God will still take them. He will still be their king.

The church needs to bring the king back. If individuals who make up the church bring their king back, then the king will come back to the church. Let’s share in the plea for the church to invite their King Jesus back to His rightful place.

 

“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING (sovereign) OF KINGS, AND LORD (supreme) OF LORDS” (Revelation 19:16).

 

If you want to see that name, written on Jesus’ thigh, then He must be your king now.

 

Remnant Rise Up

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And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, in truth” (Isaiah 10:20).

 

Please give me some liberty to restate this Bible verse using Israel as a type of church. “And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of the church, who have escaped the church system, shall no more be abused by them; but shall be fully committed to the Lord, the Holy One, who is head of the church, in truth.”

So many Christians have been put down and let down; so many are discouraged and disappointed; some have even become skeptical and scornful. Why? No doubt they are responsible for their own spiritual life, but it doesn’t help when the church has failed so many believers in so many ways.

There are many believers who have been so much a part of a dead powerless church system that they can hardly believe God for anything. So many have been under ministers who calculate and formulate, but don’t demonstrate a Christianity that declares Christ is alive to this generation. Ministers, through their intellect have outlined and commentated on the word of God, but have failed to really believe it as they should. Studying and meditating on the word does no good if one is not going to believe it. No one can say they really believe it until they live it. “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22).

Some ministers have brought forth so many of their own ideas about God that those under their leadership have no idea who God really is. We have those who preach a Jesus who is a big Santa Claus that exists just to give Christians everything they want. We have those who preach a Jesus who is ready to crush you, if you take one step out of line. We have those who preach a Jesus who still just winks at sin. We have those who preach a Jesus who will accept your works as a payment to receive eternal life.

It is one thing to hear someone mention the name of Jesus and talk about Him, it is a whole other thing to preach who the real Jesus is. He is the whole counsel of God. He is the concealed Christ of the Old Testament and the revealed Christ of the New Testament. He is the Son of the Living God. He is the Redeemer of mankind. He is the one who John saw and wrote about saying, “His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength” (Revelation 1:14-16). This scene was so powerful on John that he fell at Jesus’ feet as if he was dead. That is sure a far contrast from the Jesus who some depict today as almost having a soft feminine side to Him. They preach a Jesus who you can take or leave. This world needs to see a powerful holy Jesus, who is mighty to save. Yet a Jesus who is willing to save all who call upon the name of the Lord.

Some of the preachers we have today are so dry you could use them for a dehumidifier. Some have exchanged the anointing for education, exchanged the hour of prayer for a committee meeting, and exchanged the study of the word for the study of demographics and community culture.

As long as the wrong Jesus is preached, the church will lie dormant and ineffective. As long as preachers are asleep on their post, the church will be lost in lala land. ALL I CAN SAY IS “THERE IS NO BETTER TIME THAN NOW FOR THE REMNANT TO RISE UP.”

We need some Davids who have some mighty men at their side. We need some Joshuas who can lead some obedient believers around enemy walls that need to come down. We need some Calebs who are looking for another mountain to climb and conquer. We need some Isaiahs, Jeremiahs and Ezekiels who will speak to our generation, “Thus saith the Lord.” We need some Hebrew boys who know how to walk in the fire with God. We need some Daniels who through interpreting dreams can cause kings to declare, “And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation” (Daniel 4:34).

We need some Peters who can escape shackles and walk through open prison doors, while at the same time some Pauls who can get up and shake the dust off after being stoned and left for dead. We need some remnant believers to rise up in this day, will you be one?

Actually, I want to simplify all this. You don’t need to study the lives of all these men and learn just what and how they did things. We just need some remnant to rise up who truly believe. They believe the whole word. They believe the whole truth and nothing but the truth. They believe the church is still here to turn this world upside down. They believe that God still fills saints with His Holy Spirit and fire which endues them with power to win the nations. They believe that they can do anything and everything God has called them to do through the power of the Spirit. We need this remnant to believe that the church is still God’s chosen and anointed vessel to display an all loving and powerful Christ to this world. We need the remnant to believe God and His word, even if many around them don’t. We need the remnant to hate this world, but love the soul of every sinner enough to pray they would be saved from this world.

Are you of the remnant sort? Will you rise up in this generation with a love for God, a hate for sin, a love for truth and a hate for every lie? Will you rise up to be one who worships God in Spirit and in truth? Will you rise up and give your life, to whatever extent God plans on using it, for the sake of the kingdom of God?

If you are one of the remnant, you may ask, “What can I do?” Here is a simple strategy; let’s call it the three P’s. First PRAY. Just like you do daily and sit down to eat breakfast, lunch and supper; pray often for the remnant believers all over Wisconsin. Pray they would be strengthened in the inner man, Pray for revival to come to Wisconsin. Secondly, PREACH. Preaching is the power of God unto salvation and also to those who are saved. Last of all, PARTICIPATE. Participate in searching out other remnant believers. Participate in fellowship with them. Pray with them and encourage each other. Amen!

Is It True That Christians Shouldn’t Judge

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“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (I Corinthians 5:11-13).

 

It has been said that the most quoted scripture in the Bible is John 3:16. I dispute that and say there is another scripture that is quoted more often, not just by Christians, but by the world too. To be fair, the scripture that I am referring to is not quoted in entirety and it is paraphrased. Matthew 7:1 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Here is how it is most often said, “Thou shall not judge,” or “Who are you to judge?” If you would ask most people if it is alright to judge anyone, most would say no. Christians and sinners alike, are growing more resistant to the idea of anyone judging their life. I can understand non-believers hate being judged, but true followers of Christ need to understand that it is biblical to judge the body of Christ.

Many Christians have a hard time with the whole thought of judging others. One of the biggest reasons is they do not judge themselves. If believers never evaluate their walk with the Lord, then they may feel uncomfortable with judging others in the body of Christ, and rightfully so. There is nothing that makes one a hypocrite more than rebuking others for sin, when the one who is rebuking everyone is himself living a sinful life. No doubt we have way too many so called believers who live carnal lives and yet are judging and condemning other believers for their short comings. No one appreciates these kind of people speaking into their life.

Even for Christians who do live godly lives, they still may find it hard to judge the body of Christ. That is the reason for this article. Good righteous judgment is very important for the body of Christ to help keep her healthy. It is meant for the good of the individual believer and the whole of the body of Christ. Any of us can get drawn away into idolatry or some other sinful thing. It is a beautiful thing, though not comfortable at first, when a brother or sister sees a saint who is overtaken by sin and lovingly confronts them with the hope they would repent and get back to right standing with the Lord.

Before any believer should judge another they need to remember this important thing. Judging needs to start with yourself first. This is one time you can put yourself first. You need to examine your own life before you speak up to others about theirs.

 

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (II Corinthians 3:5)?

 

When you do examine yourself, don’t see how you stack up against man, but see how your life lines up with the word of God. Ask God what He thinks of your walk, not man. I am sure many people appreciate the medical experts teaching us different self-examination techniques we can perform on our bodies to detect unwanted growths that could lead to death. How much more, should we as believers, be thankful that we can examine our walk to see if there is something there that could lead to spiritual death. When the Holy Spirit does put His finger on something in our lives we must then confess it and forsake it. He is a loving God that is patient and always willing to forgive us by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

The Christian who has sinned at times and then made it right with God, will understand how a believer can fall into sin, and will be much more patient and loving in their judging a brother or sister. They won’t be doing it with a self-righteous spirit. They will do it in such a way that even the one who is being judged should recognize the love. We already read Matthew 7:1, now let’s look at the next two verses. We will see how this speaks to the thought that we can judge only after we dealt with the things in our life.

 

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye” (Matthew 7:2-3)?

 

Verse two tells us that when we do judge, we are opening ourselves to be judged the same way. So if you don’t want to be judged by self-righteous people, then you better not judge in self-righteousness. If you don’t want people condemning you for your sinful failures, then don’t go condemning anyone else. In verse three we learn that it is alright to judge another believer, after we get the beam out of our own eye. It is then that we can judge righteously. It is then we can judge in love. The true heart behind righteous judgment is always for the sake of the believer and the body of Christ.

There are those saints who are the most eager to judge their fellow brethren. If you are one of them, make sure your life is right, make sure your heart is pure and make sure it is righteous judgment. The heart of judging anyone must always be for restoration and the desire for the one being judged to live a life that brings glory to God. If one who claims to be a Christian and refuses to repent of a sinful life, then for the sake and spiritual health of the body, that one must be removed. This is a right judgment. In fact, God expects us to have such a love for the body that we should not allow any person, no matter how much they may be loved, to be a cancer to the body of Christ. If the Bible says, “…put away from among yourselves that wicked person,” then a judgment has to be made about that person living in sin. We are not even so supposed to eat with a brother or sister who is living a sinful life. This does not mean that we can’t eat with any Christian who sins. If that were the case, you wouldn’t be able to eat with me. I have sinned many times since I have become a believer, but the difference is that I have confessed those sins to the Lord. It is the person who refuses to repent and continues to live in open sin that the body of Christ must put out. This isn’t an easy thing to do. I have done it a few times in my church because I love Christ and His body too much to allow any individuals to spread their sin amongst the church. So to conclude; Yes judging is right, as long as it is done right.

 

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Galatians 6:1-3).

Who Do They See

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One of the biggest problems we have today, is that when sinners and saints alike, look at the church, they see man more than they see Christ. They see the personality of men; not that men shouldn’t have personalities. They see the agenda of men; not that men can’t have agendas. But it is the Lord’s personality and agenda that must be seen. The problem is, there is not enough of Christ in many of our churches to catch the attention of people. Fleshy, earthy saints sit on the throne.

What people see the most of when they enter a church is that which stands out the most. They hear what is the loudest. The prevailing attitude and the spirit of a people who are gathered together is what will impress those who have come to participate. If there is no Christ, then He is not seen or heard. I am not saying there is not a measure of Christ in many of the churches. If that were the case, they would not be churches at all. In some cases, maybe many, the gathering of so-called believers is nothing more than a formal obligation that is just a part of their weekly routine.

One thing the Lord has made known to me is that His heart burns for His church. How do I know that? I feel it every time I draw close to God in heartfelt prayer. It is there that He exposes me to the burden He has for His people to love Him with all their heart, soul and mind. Some of you saints may not be accustomed to thinking that God can have a burden. We usually attribute that to our lives. We think, “I am the one that has burdens.” However, Jesus did say that we should take His yoke upon us and that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

There is one thing that I think all men experience, who have been given a special burden from the Lord. It is a feeling of frustration, or inadequacy in the seemingly impossibility of ever seeing that burden fulfilled. Questions like, “What can I really do about it” or “How could I possibly make a difference,” can rise up in the mind of those who share in the Lord’s burden.

Well, there is one thing that can be done every time the burden of the Lord is felt and that is to take it to the Lord in prayer. This is exactly what I do when His burden is placed on me. What I am doing when I pray is this: as God puts His burden on me, I put it back on Him. That does not mean that I am refusing to accept the burden, it means that I realize I cannot accomplish one breath of that work without Him doing all that He does. He wills it, He leads it and He anoints it.

I heard stories of men who had such incredible burdens. Of one preacher, it was reported that while he was traveling on his horse to minister from town to town, he would get so burdened that one time he stopped to pray and the snow around him melted. Robert Murray McCheyne, a Scottish preacher, could be heard in the streets weeping for the lost. I have to confess I have never had God’s burden come on me that strong. Does that make me feel bad or even somewhat uncommitted? Yes, but I find peace when I am reminded that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. It also helps tremendously that the spirit helps me to pray. “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered” (Romans 8:26).

Anyway, getting back to the church and the lack of Christ being seen. Have you ever had to explain to someone that such and such a person, who is connected to you in some way, really does not represent you? Contractors are often criticized for shady deals. Yet, that doesn’t mean every contractor is a cheat. Lawyers are often criticized for being crooked and many jokes made about them, yet there are attorneys who have much integrity. People are quick to make others guilty by association. So too with the church. Many true saints of God are looked upon as hypocrites just by their being associated with the church that has in many ways turned fleshy and carnal. So we must be more mindful of that and pray and work toward seeing our association with the carnal church severed. What you hear from people today is, “All the church wants is my money.” Or, “If that man I work with is a Christian, why would I ever want to go to his church?” Another sad thing that people see is the church fighting amongst themselves. How could they possibly see Christ as the center? I know a man who several decades ago was powerfully delivered from drugs. His brother had already died from an overdose and this man, who has since become a good friend of mine, was headed in the same direction. Well, after he was marvelously saved, you would think the church would be overwhelmed with God’s delivering power. Of course some were, but the church started to reject him just because he parted his hair down the middle.

The devil has been very effective at getting the church to be about other things or people instead of being about the main person who is Jesus Christ. Imagine if you would, when you take all your bad church experiences, how different they would have been if every situation was approached with this thought: THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME, THIS IS ABOUT CHRIST. That would mean that man’s ideas and agendas would be secondary, if there was any room for some of them at all. That would mean that at the expense of your hurt feelings, Christ would be exalted. I am not saying every time your feelings are hurt Christ is exalted, but there are many times He could and would be. If He is exalted when your feelings are hurt, I would hope you would open yourself up to any onslaught of criticism and rejection. After all Jesus said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake” (Matthew 5:11).

People don’t see the church being about Christ because those in the church don’t make it about Him. The point of this whole article is to challenge us all to be determined to see the church once again reveal Christ to everyone who will enter a fellowship of true believers. Now to see Christ, does not mean that men will not be noticed. One of the most influential men in my life was Brother B. H. Clendennen. When he visited our church, he stayed at my house, I ate with him and I can tell you he was as normal as you or me. When he preached I heard him and I saw him, yet my testimony is that when I heard him preach, I saw Christ. I was given a revelation of Christ that I never had before.

This is what the church needs in this closing hour. She needs to be able to reveal the life-giving, sin-forgiving, Son of God to all who come looking for Him. Don’t let men walk away from your meeting just seeing you and the brethren. You may be real nice people. But people need the power of God. Pray that people will walk away knowing they have been in the presence of Almighty God.

The Church Has A Hole In It

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Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes” (Haggai 1:6).

 

There are a lot of activities churches are engaged in these days. There are loads of programs inside the church setting and there are evangelistic and social outreaches of various kinds that go on outside the church. I am speaking for the most part about the church in America. There is also the other side where a large part of the church membership is happy to go and fulfill their little Sunday morning commitment and then go on the rest of the week with their worldly business as usual. On one hand, we have a church that is busy with doing a lot of things like the church in Ephesus who lost their first love. “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” (Revelation 2:3-4). Then on the other hand, we have a church like the one that is seen in Samaria when the king of Assyria sent men from Babylon and other nations to go and dwell there. “And the king of Assyria brought men from Babylon, and from Cuthah, and from Ava, and from Hamath, and from Sepharvaim, and placed them in the cities of Samaria instead of the children of Israel: and they possessed Samaria, and dwelt in the cities thereof…. . They feared the LORD, and served their own gods, after the manner of the nations whom they carried away from thence” (II Kings 17:24,33). The last verse of the chapter says, “So these nations feared the LORD, and served their graven images, both their children, and their children’s children: as did their fathers, so do they unto this day” (II Kings 17:41). So from generation to generation, we have had a church full of Babylonians who claim they fear the Lord, but they serve their graven images. People may not literally bow down to statues, but when men seek after riches and success, instead of God, then they are serving false idols. Come on saints, you know there are those who say they love God, but yet they still serve their appetites and seek acceptance in this world. They go through the religious rituals on Sunday morning and then live like the world from Sunday afternoon till church starts again next Sunday.

With much of the church in the condition that she is in, she is like a bag with a hole in it. I have lost some change because I put them in my pant pocket that had a hole in it. What if the church were to experience a great successful season of evangelism and lost sinners were coming to Christ. If the church continues to have a hole in it, those new members of the body of Christ will enter the church, but will eventually fall out of the church.

I am convinced that this is the reason the Lord has put such a strong burden on my heart for His church. That is why the focus of ministry today needs to be concerned with the spiritual health of the church first. Ministers, as well as the whole body of Christ need to once again understand the reason the church exists. To make as simple of an analogy as possible, I ask this question. If you were going berry picking, but discovered your container had a hole in it, would you not close up the hole first before you went to pick the berries? Of course you would. In the same way, don’t you think the Lord wants the church to be strong and healthy with no hole in it before He is going to put a fresh picked harvest in it?

I have a thought that I want to share with you. It is certainly not a conventional thought of our day. What if the Lord is postponing the conversion of souls until the church seals up the hole that is in her? What if the Spirit of God is keeping conviction down, in particular lost souls, until He has a church that is ready to receive them? Could it be that the Spirit is withholding His power to save souls until the timing is right? Just as you would not be so foolish as to collect berries in a container with a hole, God as well would not be so foolish as to save people only to put them in a place that they would just fall out and be lost again. Haggai says, you sow much, but bring in little. This could be the very reason much sowing is being done by the church, but little has come in. It could be the very hand of God that keeps the lost reserved for a day when His vessel, His church, is mended and ready to be filled with souls.

I suppose there are some skeptical Christians who would think that the church will never be mended. I am not one of those. I have the highest hope that God will have for Himself, in this generation and this nation, a church that will fully represent Him. A church that represents Christ and has an abundance of His presence amongst them, is a church that has no hole in it. It is a safe place. It is a place where God can send freshly saved souls to grow. A place He knows they will be discipled and perfected into real genuine men and women of God.

I have run into many so-called Christians who don’t believe in church any more. Some of them are just rebels against authority or not even really Christians. But then there are those genuine born-again believers who have been hurt by the church to such a point that they no longer attend. There are those people who were saved, but then brought into a church that has a lot of false doctrine or a lot of bickering and it eventually left them on the outside all confused. I know of a precious elderly sister in Christ who found herself, after many years of faithful church attendance, being rejected by some of the saints in her church. They would force on her some false doctrines that had come in. The church developed a hole and she fell out. She was so frustrated that she said she would never attend church again. Thank the Lord that she was not true to those words and did find a healthy church. Now she flows with such love she has become a patch to close up any hole.

When churches forget that they are called to make disciples, not just converts, then a hole is created. The main reason the church is to gather is, “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12). When the ministers and elders of any church understand this, then it keeps their churches from having a hole in it. It is then that they can begin to sow much and reap much.

I understand that any believer can fall away from the church, but let it not be because the church has a hole in it.

Is It True, That Christians Shouldn’t Judge?

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“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person” (I Corinthians 5:11-13).

 

It has been said that the most quoted scripture in the Bible is John 3:16. I dispute that and say there is another scripture that is quoted more often, not just by Christians, but by the world too. To be fair, the scripture that I am referring to is not quoted in entirety and it is paraphrased. Matthew 7:1 says, “Judge not, that you be not judged.” Here is how it is most often said, “Thou shall not judge,” or “Who are you to judge?” If you would ask most people if it is alright to judge anyone, most would say no. Christians and sinners alike, are growing more resistant to the idea of anyone judging their life. I can understand non-believers hate being judged, but true followers of Christ need to understand that it is biblical to judge the body of Christ.

Many Christians have a hard time with the whole thought of judging others. One of the biggest reasons is they do not judge themselves. If believers never evaluate their walk with the Lord, then they may feel uncomfortable with judging others in the body of Christ, and rightfully so. There is nothing that makes one a hypocrite more than rebuking others for sin, when the one who is rebuking everyone is himself living a sinful life. No doubt we have way too many so called believers who live carnal lives and yet are judging and condemning other believers for their short comings. No one appreciates these kind of people speaking into their life.

Even for Christians who do live godly lives, they still may find it hard to judge the body of Christ. That is the reason for this article. Good righteous judgment is very important for the body of Christ to help keep her healthy. It is meant for the good of the individual believer and the whole of the body of Christ. Any of us can get drawn away into idolatry or some other sinful thing. It is a beautiful thing, though not comfortable at first, when a brother or sister sees a saint who is overtaken by sin and lovingly confronts them with the hope they would repent and get back to right standing with the Lord.

Before any believer should judge another they need to remember this important thing. Judging needs to start with yourself first. This is one time you can put yourself first. You need to examine your own life before you speak up to others about theirs.

 

“Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates” (II Corinthians 3:5)?

 

When you do examine yourself, don’t see how you stack up against man, but see how your life lines up with the word of God. Ask God what He thinks of your walk, not man. I am sure many people appreciate the medical experts teaching us different self-examination techniques we can perform on our bodies to detect unwanted growths that could lead to death. How much more, should we as believers, be thankful that we can examine our walk to see if there is something there that could lead to spiritual death. When the Holy Spirit does put His finger on something in our lives we must then confess it and forsake it. He is a loving God that is patient and always willing to forgive us by the blood of His Son Jesus Christ.

The Christian who has sinned at times and then made it right with God, will understand how a believer can fall into sin, and will be much more patient and loving in their judging a brother or sister. They won’t be doing it with a self-righteous spirit. They will do it in such a way that even the one who is being judged should recognize the love. We already read Matthew 7:1, now let’s look at the next two verses. We will see how this speaks to the thought that we can judge only after we dealt with the things in our life.

 

“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye” (Matthew 7:2-3)?

 

Verse two tells us that when we do judge, we are opening ourselves to be judged the same way. So if you don’t want to be judged by self-righteous people, then you better not judge in self-righteousness. If you don’t want people condemning you for your sinful failures, then don’t go condemning anyone else. In verse three we learn that it is alright to judge another believer, after we get the beam out of our own eye. It is then that we can judge righteously. It is then we can judge in love. The true heart behind righteous judgment is always for the sake of the believer and the body of Christ.

There are those saints who are the most eager to judge their fellow brethren. If you are one of them, make sure your life is right, make sure your heart is pure and make sure it is righteous judgment. The heart of judging anyone must always be for restoration and the desire for the one being judged to live a life that brings glory to God. If one who claims to be a Christian and refuses to repent of a sinful life, then for the sake and spiritual health of the body, that one must be removed. This is a right judgment. In fact, God expects us to have such a love for the body that we should not allow any person, no matter how much they may be loved, to be a cancer to the body of Christ. If the Bible says, “…put away from among yourselves that wicked person,” then a judgment has to be made about that person living in sin. We are not even so supposed to eat with a brother or sister who is living a sinful life. This does not mean that we can’t eat with any Christian who sins. If that were the case, you wouldn’t be able to eat with me. I have sinned many times since I have become a believer, but the difference is that I have confessed those sins to the Lord. It is the person who refuses to repent and continues to live in open sin that the body of Christ must put out. This isn’t an easy thing to do. I have done it a few times in my church because I love Christ and His body too much to allow any individuals to spread their sin amongst the church. So to conclude; Yes judging is right, as long as it is done right.

 

“Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself” (Galatians 6:1-3).

 

Be Filled With the Spirit

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And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit” (Ephesians 5:18).

 

So, have you been filled with the Holy Spirit yet? Do you think it may be a little abrupt to start off with such a question, especially when there are so many other important topics in the Bible? The apostle Paul didn’t think so. That was the first question he asked the disciples he found in Ephesus.

 

He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost” (Acts 19:2).

 

Evidently, it must be of the utmost importance for a saint of God to be filled with the Spirit for Paul to immediately ask this question. So again I ask, have you received the Spirit since you believed? I know some teach that you get all the Spirit you are going to get upon salvation. If that were true, then Paul would not have asked them this question. If that were so, then the elders in Jerusalem would not have sent Peter and John to lay hands on the new believers in Samaria that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

One day I was talking with another preacher about being filled with the Spirit. He then asked me, “How can you just have some of the Spirit?” I could not give him a suitable answer that day, but I do know the Bible speaks of this second work of God referred to as the baptism of the Spirit or being filled with the Spirit. Most of us know that baptism means immersion, so the baptism of the Spirit means an immersion into or of the Holy Spirit. Who can explain it? We don’t have to be able to explain something for it to be true. Who can explain the triune God? Who can explain that God always was? It is very clear in the Bible that Jesus commanded His disciples to wait until they receive this baptism or filling of the Holy Spirit before they went to make disciples of nations. The reason is because you can’t win souls unless you have an enduement of power from on high.

John 20:22 teaches us that the disciples received at least a measure of the Spirit when Jesus breathed on them.

 

And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22).

 

What happened to those disciples when the resurrected Jesus came into their room that day is similar to what happened in the second chapter of Genesis.

 

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul” (Genesis 2:7).

 

Just as God breathed into the nostrils of Adam and he became a living soul, Jesus breathed on His disciples and their spirits came alive. They were the first people to be born again. They were the first to be a brand new creature. Adam was born on earth, the disciples were born from above. Adam was earthly, the disciples were heavenly. In the garden, flesh was born, in that room with Jesus, the spirit was born. Hallelujah! Fifty days later they became filled with the Spirit. May I remind you that ALL of those 120 were filled with the Spirit that day? That tells me there was not a wolf or goat in the room. There was only wheat, no tares. Since there was both men and women in the room it teaches us that the baptism is for both men and women. Since there were more people than just the apostles, it teaches us that all believers can be filled with the Spirit, not just ministers. Acts 2:4 says, “And they were ALL filled with the Holy Ghost….” That Spirit-filled church in the upper room is our ideal pattern. Do you believe the church can be like that again?

Jesus commanded His disciples to go and wait in Jerusalem until they receive power from on high. Before Jesus ascended to heaven he told His disciples:

 

But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

 

The disciples may have thought they were ready to take the gospel to the world, but Jesus knew that going forth with head knowledge, convincing arguments and eye witness reports was not enough. They needed a special power that can only come from the Spirit of God. Jesus said He needed to go so the Spirit could come. Peter could have said to those in that upper room something like this. “Now gang, you all know that Jesus told us to go and preach the good news, but now He wants us to hang around in this room. Doesn’t Jesus see that there are souls going to hell every minute? Doesn’t He see the urgency of the hour? What are we hanging around in this upper room for? We walked with the Lord, we know what to say to the lost.” We know Peter did not say such a thing. The disciples obeyed the Lord and assembled in that upper room in one accord in prayer. If there was anytime lost in the work of evangelism while they were waiting in that upper room, it was made up for in a few moments on the day of Pentecost. The Spirit came and baptized those 120. Peter preached a scorching message under the anointing of the Spirit and 3000 souls were saved.

Bible teachers have taught that the filling of the Spirit is needed for a lot of different reasons. I am not going to get in a dispute over that, but Acts 1:8 does teach us that the primary purpose of being filled with the Spirit is to have power to be a witness. Just a little side note here. Did you know that one of the meanings of the Greek word that witnesses is translated from means martyr? To be this kind of witness, you definitely need power.

I think it is pretty clear that if we are going to be effective “witness” for the kingdom of God, then we must be filled with the Spirit. Paul said don’t be drunk with wine. Don’t be under the influence of alcohol, but be filled with the Spirit and be under the influence of the Spirit. You may not think it is that important for you to be filled with the Spirit, but it is imperative for the lost. Anyone who preaches to them needs to be filled with the Spirit. When a Spirit filled believer ministers, then it is the Spirit of God bringing the conviction and the revelation. When a person preaches without being filled with the Spirit then they are just preaching a logical message to try to convince the mind of men. It takes the Spirit of God to minister to the spirit of men. It is the Spirit who gives life. If you want your message to be full of life, then you have no option, but to be filled with the Spirit. “HAVE YE RECEIVED THE HOLY GHOST SINCE YE BELIEVED?

About Denominationalism

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“Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul” (I Corinthians 1:12-13)?

 

Before I even get started on this article, I want to respectfully say that this article is not meant to bash ministers or churches who are members of denominations. Just as Jesus spoke of His disciples being in the world but not of it, in like manner, you can be in a denomination just not of it. You are of Christ. My hope, through this article, is to convey that the Bible is sufficient, through the ministry of the Holy Spirit, to order a body of believers to come together and have all the accountability, leadership, unity and order to function in a true New Testament fashion. I even asked myself, “Is it necessary to put out such an article? Won’t this just alienate me from ministers and saints who belong to a denomination?” Then I realized as I have done so often, if I can’t talk open and honestly about such things amongst the body of Christ, when and where can I? Should I go instead and complain to the world?

I want to note that when I refer to denominationalism, I am also referring to all groups who organize like a denomination, but prefer to use a different term to describe themselves. For the sake of convenience, I will use the word denomination throughout the remainder of this article.

Now as I get started you saw in our text, that Paul asked, “Is Christ divided?” The answer to that is, of course not. However, the church sure is. Some years back, in one of my articles, I stated that there are over 900 denominations in America. As I think about that statement, I have to yield to the fact that we can’t really know how many there are. A few websites say there are over 30,000 Christian denominations in this world. In America, the Baptist Church is the largest protestant denomination. Wikipedia gave a list of all the different Baptist denominations there are in America. I counted seventy nine of them. So we just don’t have differing denominations, but also differing factions inside one denomination. Hold back your criticism, you members of the Pentecostal / Charismatic churches. I counted thirty two different denominations in your ranks. One question looms large in my mind; “How can a people, who all say they read and believe the same book (the Bible), be so divided?”

Have you saint of God, grown so accustomed to denominationalism that you never bother to consider if it is even biblical? I know it seems the norm for the church. Have you ever asked, “Where in the Bible does it teach or promote denominationalism?” If we are honest, which we believers have no choice but to be, you will have to agree that you cannot find a scripture that teaches that we should create such organizations. In fact the opposite is true. Paul rebuked the Corinthians for picking favorites and identifying with a specific group (“I am of Paul; I of Apollos…”). Are you of Wesley, are you of Luther? Do you follow the ways of the Anabaptists or the Puritans? Is your religion Grandma and Grandpa’s style? Or are you of Christ? Are you a follower of Christ? Is the Bible your rule of Authority?

I am sure you surmised by now that I and the church I shepherd, do not belong to any denomination. Churches of the sort that I pastor are usually called non-denominational or independent. (I like to refer to my church as “dependent,” dependent on the Holy Spirit.) Even using these terms can take on a denominational feel as well. Why do we have to have labels anyway? Why do we look for another way to identify ourselves other than to have our identity in Christ and have the word of God as our authority? I ask you, why is it that the churches who incorporate seem to be the norm and those churches who don’t are considered illegitimate? I get it that there are a lot of troublemakers in the church who have rebelled against denominational authority and started their own little “us four and no more” non-denominational church. When I was a young believer, I used to think that those who were in non-denominational churches were all rebels. I have learned there are plenty of rebels to go around. They aren’t just in the non-denominational churches, but the denominational ones as well. In fact, there is very powerful politics in some, if not many, denominational churches. I have even heard a story from several people, of a high official in a denomination who openly lied to a church body. He did it for the sake of the denomination’s interests. That is what politicians do. Politicians lie, men of God promote truth, no matter the cost. Ministers do not have to lie to keep the saints faithful, but church politicians often lie to keep their denominational agenda on course. I am not saying that ministers who are good strong leaders in their church are a part of church politics, for I assume many are not. However, it is heart breaking to see the church operate like a political machine.

So what is the solution? Can we the church, really come together in love and unity, with true leadership in place and let the word of God truly be our final authority? Can we exist together without having to draft bylaws and corporation papers? Can we all really be members of a church body without having to take several classes and then sign a membership card? Absolutely, positively we can and we must. It starts with believing that it is God’s expectation for His church to be united as one body and then determining in your heart to see it happen in our generation. Again, all Christians will say they agree that there is only ONE body, but our hundreds of denominations tattle on us. They testify that we don’t believe what we say.

 

“Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:3-6).

 

Seven times you see the word “one” in this verse. What don’t we get about that? What we all need to do is quit saying that we believe the word of God to be our final authority and simply let it be. That means that every Christian who belongs to a denomination, as I said earlier, must refuse to be of it.

I have asked some people if they are a Christian. It is not unusual to get an answer like, I’m Catholic, I’m Baptist or I belong to such and such a church. Let me ask you. Do you really believe the word of God? Are you, saint of God, willing to believe the whole truth as the Spirit reveals it to you, even at the expense of being cut off by your church or denomination? How about you, ministers of God? Are you willing to face losing your credentials, if that is what would come about if you were to preach a truth that is contrary to what your denomination believes? I know of some ministers who left their denomination and lost their retirement all for the sake of preaching the truth. What do you love more, your denomination or the truth of God? If we would dare believe the truth, our denominations would be considered irrelevant overnight.

Learning By Revelation

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“The secret things belong unto the LORD our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law” (Deuteronomy 29:29).

 

Some Christians are afraid of the word “revelation.” The devil is glad of that. The devil understands that we learn Christ through revelation not intellect. I understand why some wince a little when they hear the word “revelation.” We have had our share in the Christian community of those who declare to us that they received a new revelation from God. In the early 1800’s, Joseph Smith claimed to receive new revelation and today we have the Mormons. Whenever someone claims to receive a revelation, that is contrary to the word of God, you can be 100 percent certain that it is false and you must without hesitation run from it. However, just because there are those who claim they have new revelation, does not cancel out that Christians can receive revelation from God. Yes, even centuries after the books of the Bible were compiled, God still does reveal himself to mankind.

The word “revelation” is translated from a Greek word meaning “a disclosure.” It is like taking the cover off of something so you can see what it is. Whatever it is that is being revealed or disclosed, is there already, you just need to see it. It is the same with God and His word. God is, and He has never changed. His word is settled in heaven. Revelation from God gives man the ability to see this great God and to understand His word.

Millions of people who claim to be a Christian, think they are saved because they have an intellectual understanding of who Jesus Christ is and what He has done for them. They think they are saved, but have only come to believe with their natural understanding that Jesus died to save them from their sins. My whole life from about five or six years old, until I got saved at twenty seven years old, I believed that Jesus was the Son of God and that He died on the cross to save me and take me to heaven. Yet I was as lost as the next guy. It wasn’t until the Father was revealed to me that I had the ability to believe Him with my whole heart, soul, mind and strength. Believing in God with just your mind is not good enough.

 

“All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him” (Luke 10:22).

 

When you read the gospels you read how the disciples, at different times, received revelation from God. In the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, we read where Peter made His confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God. Jesus responded by saying “…Flesh and blood has not revealed this unto you, but my Father, who is in heaven.” Up to this time Peter may have had a general understanding of this truth, but it wasn’t until the Father revealed it to Peter that he could make such a bold declaration. You could say in a sense, that this truth became his. Today, our Heavenly Father is still revealing things to us. Not new things, but eternal things that have been there from the foundations of the world. The Father wants to reveal things to you, dear saint of God. He wants, through the Holy Spirit, to reveal the word of God to you. The Bible says that the natural man cannot understand the things of the Spirit. It takes the Spirit of God to open one’s eyes to the truth of the word of God. Revelation comes by the Spirit of God. Without the Spirit, there is no revelation.

There is a work that the Holy Spirit constantly wants to do for each of you, if you will let Him. HE WANTS TO REVEAL CHRIST TO YOU. Paul prayed for the believers in Ephesus, “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him” (Ephesians 1:17). Paul prayed this prayer for saved people. This makes it clear that God wants to continually reveal Himself to us.

Today, so many Christians are drawn to academia. They would rather hear nice outlined teachings than listen to a message that comes forth with conviction and power and speaks to the spirit of man. It seems more and more Christians consider a sermon delivered by Spirit filled preachers as legalism. People hate conviction, including some Christians. Some of our big name Bible teachers draw from their intellect, but carry no anointing. May I even dare to say, some of them may not even be saved. They have a head full of knowledge, but have never had the word of God laid open to them by the Spirit of God. It is the anointing that makes a minister effective.

It is the anointing that makes you effective. No doubt, God gives a higher intelligence to some people. If you are one of them, I challenge you to use it for the glory of God. Just remember, you need the Spirit of God working through you, if your words are going to go any further than just the minds of people. The word of God will never become life through understanding words alone. “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power” (I Corinthians 4:20). Words are cheap. Men are liars. “Let God be true, but every man a liar.” Therefore, let GOD SPEAK.

 

“But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ” (Galatians 1:11-12).

 

The great Apostle Paul, who was an incredible intellect, declared that what he received didn’t come through men’s teaching, but through the revelation of Jesus Christ. Whether you realize it or not, anything you have learned of the word of God that got deep into your heart was through revelation and not by man.

 

“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life” (II Corinthians 3:6).

 

One of the reasons we have a backslidden church here in America today is because many of those who minister to her, lack the Spirit and therefore can only preach and teach the letter of the law. Ministers kill the church preaching the letter without the Spirit. Without the Spirit revealing the word of God, the Bible just becomes a book of principles to live by, a mere instruction manual. Jesus said to the Jews, “You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life” (John 5:39-40). The religious leaders searched the scriptures, but never found eternal life because they refused the revelation from the Spirit. They wanted the written word of God, but not the living word of God. They accepted the scriptures, they thought, but refused Jesus, who is the Word.

Saint of God, seek out the Lord with all your heart and he will give you continued revelation of His word and His greatness.