Sunday, August 2, 2015

Where Do You Belong in the Body of Christ

Do You Know Where You Belong in the Body of Christ
God has a reason for everything He does and has done.  Most Christians tend to shun the Old Testament, but as the Apostle Paul said, the Old Testament is the natural and the New Testament is the Spiritual (I Corinthians 15:46).  In order to understand many of the spiritual messages of the New Testament, we must understand the natural side of it as demonstrated in the Old Testament.  In Genesis Chapter 1 God created man. [Then God said, "1:26, Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness…; 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.  
Fast-forwarding to the New Testament we find that God’s Church, aka the Body of Christ, resembles the natural body.  Let me explain this a little further.  First of all we know that the head of the body of Christ is the Christ Himself.  We, the Church make up the rest of the body as described in Romans Chapter 12.
Rom 12:4  For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use, 
Rom 12:5  So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another]. 
Rom 12:6  Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith; 
In studying the natural body we discover that the body is made up of many cells that form the individual parts of the body i.e., legs, arms, eyes, ears, heart, lungs, etc.  Going back to the beginning when a sperm merges with an ovum, it forms what is called a zygote.  This “zygote” contains in it everything needed in order to form a fully developed baby.  It has cells for every organ, every limb, etc.  The cell begins to divide by mitosis and develops into a new organism (a baby).  Each of those cells that are dividing contains the same exact DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) and within the DNA there are genes that contain instructions for making specific proteins.  These proteins determine what each cell will become as it divides and develops.  It determines which cells will be eyes, skin, arms so on and so forth.  
Now let’s look at the body of Christ.  The body of Christ is made up of individual members (parts/organs) as shown in Romans 12:4-6.  Picture each individual Christian as a cell (like a human cell).  The moment you accepted Christ as Savior you were baptized into His body and His and the Father’s DNA was injected into you.  That same exact DNA is found in EVERY born again believer.  What is different is the specific proteins that the genes within the DNA are making.  Spiritually the genes are like the Holy Spirit because the genes develop the proteins that determine what you will become.  The specific proteins themselves are like the different measures of grace that each of us receives.  As Romans 12:6 states ‘our gifts (what part of the body we are) differ according to the grace given us.’  So some may receive the measure of grace needed to be a Pastor, someone else may have the measure of grace needed to be an intercessor, a deacon, a Teacher, one gifted in hospitality or a praise and worship leader.  The body of Christ, just as the human body, is developed in such a unique way that everything must flow together in order for the body to function properly.  No individual member of the body (just like no member of the natural body) can decide to go off by itself and do its own thing because when that happens the body develops diseases such as cancer and lupus (with lupus the cells attack one another wreaking havoc in the body).  These diseases causes the body not to function properly and they must be healed or removed so that the body can function normally again.  
Now, as a baby matures through the years, you are able to see more clearly what that baby will look like as a full grown adult; and it is the same in the body of Christ.  As each individual member (cell) develops, you should be able to recognize what it is developing into (such as an Evangelist, a singer, a gifted warrior, etc.).  It depends on the individual rate of growth in Christ but if you are growing on schedule a picture of who you are should begin to emerge.  If there is no growth at all or if the growth is extremely slow then I would advise you to return back to the starting point and recommit your life to Christ and get in the Word of God.  Our growth comes through the Word of God and prayer or communing with God continually.  If you do not feed a baby it will starve to death and it is the same for a new born babe in Christ.
1Pe 2:1 So get rid of all evil behavior. Be done with all deceit, hypocrisy, jealousy, and all unkind speech. 2 Like newborn babies, you must crave pure spiritual milk so that you will grow into a full experience of salvation. Cry out for this nourishment, 3 now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness.
I encourage each of you to search yourselves and determine where you are with your growth in Christ and your positioning in the body of Christ.  We all have an identity and a destiny to fulfill in Him and if you are not measuring up to what you were created to be, then you cannot fulfill your destiny.  
In conclusion, I leave you with these Scriptures that sum up the meaning of this teaching:

Ephesians 4:14 Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won't be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.  15 Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of His body, the church.  16 He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. 

Excerpt taken from Randolph Barnwell Firstborn Sonship:
Identity reveals destiny. Identity relates to who you ARE; destiny involves what you DO. Who you ARE reveals what you should DO. You will never know what to do until you understand who you are. Actually, you need to BE what you are called to DO. Embodiment of Divine nature is in essence an assertion not just of ‘BEING’ but empowerment and authorization to ‘DO’. Gideon saw the Lord as ‘Jehovah Shalom’ – ‘The Lord is Peace’; He was transformed into the nature of God he saw and became the embodiment of peace (Judges 6:23,24). This was very essential for him, because this nature of peace was his authority to defeat the Midianites, which means ‘strife’. Peace destroys strife (Is. 9:6; 32:18; Rom 16:20). Dethroning strife (Midian) was his destiny, but to do so, he had to become the very nature of God, ‘peace’ (identity) - designed to overthrow it. First BE, then … Doing will flow effortlessly and authoritatively.


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

THE BRIDAL PARADIGM

THE BRIDAL PARADIGM
“I believe we need a paradigm shift once again among God’s people with regard to prayer. In the activity addicted, performance-oriented entity that is the Church, we have largely lost sight of the experiential intimacy with Jesus to which we have been called, and we need a restoration of that understanding. The new perspective makes room for believers to define their lives before God not on the basis of what they do for Him, but on the basis of the declarations of His ravished heart as the Heavenly Bridegroom.
“We need a shift in the way we read the Scriptures, with a resultant shift in our theological thinking and ultimately a shift in the way we relate to Jesus, to ourselves, and to what we do in His Name. Our experience of the Christian life needs to be deepened and changed. The path the Holy Spirit is opening into this deeper experience is the way of intimacy with Jesus as our Bridegroom.” (Gary Wiens, Bridal Intercession, Oasis House, 2001, p. 22.)

LAZARUS COME FORTH

Born Again but bound
LAZARUS COME FORTH 
John 11:43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Loose him, and let him go.”
When we accept Christ as Lord and Savior we become what the Bible calls “Born Again”. To be “born again” is the process of regeneration by which God renews the human heart, making it alive when it was de
ad.
Regeneration is necessary we are all descendants of Adam and Eve and have inherited their sin. Because of this we are morally unable to do what is good. Apostle Paul wrote to the Ephesian Church that people are by nature dead in trespasses and sins. In this state, they are without God and without hope in the world. Not in response to their merit, but freely and in love, God speaks the word that raises the dead.
When Jesus raised Lazarus from death and called him to come forth, the Word tells us that Lazarus was still bound in grave clothes. What does this mean? It means Lazarus was still wrapped in cloth like a mummy and would not have been able to walk or function properly 

Still in bondage to the past
until the grave clothes were removed. Thus Jesus told them to loose him and let him go. So many Christians today accept Christ as Savior but their lives are still bound in grave clothes from things in their past whether it be rape, abuse of any kind, death, brokenness, hardships, past life filled with crime etc. They have truly accepted Christ in their hearts but in their soulish realm they are so bound until they cannot live in the freedom which Christ bought for them. Some are so deeply wounded inside until they are unable to let go of the life of sin they have been living. If you are one of these people (alive but still bound in grave clothes) I encourage you to go before God and begin to cry out until your life begins to change. If you have a Pastor or someone you feel comfortable confiding in, share your story with them and ask them to be praying with you for your freedom. God is faithful and He will do it because it is not His will for His children to still be walking around still wearing their grave clothes. Cry out for as long as it takes until YOU are set free.
Loose him and let him go!
He has been made free

Song of Solomon

Song of Solomon
Although Solomon composed 1,005 songs (1 Kings 4:32), the one before us from his gifted pen was in a class by itself, which he named, “The Song of Songs,” meaning a very excellent song, or the most surpassing of his Songs. Because of the sexual atmosphere of this song, or poem, there have been those writers who have protested against its inclusion in Holy Writ, not only because of its love content, but also because it is destitute of any declared divine name or truth. Solomon’s “Song” is not simply an oriental love poem, full of exquisite beauty and charm, set amid beautiful pastoral scenes. It is also the portrayal of a lovely yet lowly maiden from her northern home who could not be swayed by the wealth and splendor of a gorgeous court life. She loved her beloved for what he was, not had, and gave him all her love, and was adverse to his sharing his love with any other woman.
Immersed in polygamy as Solomon was, and which in his heart, he knew to be against God’s law, it may be that he wrote this Song as a protest against an almost universal practice, and as a portrayal of the purity and constancy of a pure woman’s love and of the ideal relationship God ordained for a man and a woman. Today, human society is saturated, to its detriment, with lower ideals of free love, loose practices and easy divorces. The attractive Shulamite impressed upon the ladies (?) of the court her love and loyalty to the one man who had wooed and won her heart. That she triumphed can be gathered from her confident confession, “I am my beloved’s, and his desire is towards me,” and many waters could not quench such singular love. Spiritual minds all down the ages have seen in this remarkable Song a symbol of the new union and communion existing between Christ and His true church—His Bride.
© 1988 Zondervan. All Rights Reserved

God is in Control

The Word of God

Friday, May 15, 2015

Faithfulness of God

Faithfulness of God - Discovering His Faithfulness
The faithfulness of God is true and has been proven many times. In the Holy Scriptures, we can see that God is faithful and His Word is true. Hebrews 6:18 says God cannot lie, nor can He break an unconditional promise that He says He will fulfill. Every covenant He made is kept. Every promise or foretelling has or will come true. Testimony after testimony of God’s faithfulness is certainly found throughout the Bible and is still given in testimonies by people today. 

In fact, accounts of covenants between God and His people can be found approximately 277 times in the Bible. Deuteronomy 7:9 says “Know therefore that the LORD your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments."

I Met Messiah by Mottel Baleston


Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Eternal Life

"Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of God. The energy and the power which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, once we have made that complete and effective decision about sin. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part." --Oswald Chambers, from My Utmost for His Highest.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Calling Forth the Bride

The heavenly Father is calling the bride He has chosen for His Son to
come forth in glory in the end times. As we transition from the Church
Age to the Kingdom Age, Jesus will display His beautiful bride to the
entire world so that all creation might see her glory.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Chaste Virgin

For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (2 Corinthians 11:2)

The Apostle Paul states his goal here in verse 2, that he intends to present the Believers to Messiah, as a chaste virgin. The fact that the espoused Bride-Candidate is a virgin does not say any more about her. From the word 'virgin' we do not know whether she is wise, or foolish; chaste or unchaste; Bride or Bridesmaid. All we know from the word 'virgin' in the spiritual sense, is that she has been Born-Again by being cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb — and has thus identified herself with Yahuweh's people.
But what is a chaste virgin, in this passage? Let's look further. The word translated 'chaste' is the Greek word 'hagnos,' Strong's number <53>. As we look at this word, several things come into view.
First, we see immediately the Strong's number 53 associated with this word. From Prophetic Numbers In Scripture we recall the prophetic meaning of the number '53' in Scripture speaks of entering in. We can surmise from this that those who retain their 'hagnos' status until the end, will indeed enter in.
Next, we see the word 'hagnos' <53> comes from the same root word as the word 'hagios' <40> which means holy, or "set-apart for a special purpose." This set-apart quality is one feature of the virgin that qualifies her as a Bride-Candidate. She has set herself apart from the world, for the sole purpose of being prepared for her Bridegroom. This reminds us of the Bride's commitment of herself to the Bridegroom, which she made early-on in her walk, in accordance with Rom 12:1-2.
Next, we notice in the Strong's Concordance Greek lexicon, that one of the definitions of 'hagnos' <53> is "pure from carnality; Clean." Thus we see from this definition alone that the presence of a carnal condition can remove the 'hagnos' or chaste condition from a Bride-candidate. We will thus include carnal among the kinds of corruption that can disqualify one from being among the Bride-Company.
(Excerpt taken from "thewayprepared.com bride studies)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Holy, Holy, Holy

The world seems to have lost having the "Fear of the Lord" but we must always remember "GOD IS HOLY" and it is only by His grace, mercy and forgiveness that we can boldly approach the Throne of Grace. Strive everyday to hallow God's name by living a life that is pleasing to Him!
Holy, holy, holy: To say the word holy twice in Hebrew is to describe someone as “most holy.” To say the word holy three times intensifies the idea to the highest level. In other words, the holiness of God is indescribable in human language. To be holy means to be different, distant, or transcendent. Thus the song of the seraphim is a constant refrain that the transcendence of God is indescribable. Although the Lord is totally different from us—He is perfect—in His mercy He still reaches down to take care of us. The whole earth is full of His glory: The Hebrew word order is, “The fullness of all the earth is His glory.” We know that the glory of God transcends the universe (Ps. 113:4–6); yet in order to balance the expression of the transcendence of God in the first half of this verse, the words of the second half emphasize God’s closeness to His creation—His involvement with the earth and its people.
The NKJV Study Bible. (2007). (Is 6:3). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

Blessed are the Pure in Heart

The heart is what you are, in the secrecy of your thought and feeling, when nobody knows but God. And what you are at the invisible root matters as much to God as what you are at the visible branch. "Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7). From the heart are all the issues of life.
What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart . . . For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man. (Matthew 15:18–19)
Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or make the tree bad, and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit . . . For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. (Matthew 12:33–34). So the heart is utterly crucial to Jesus. What we are in the deep, private recesses of our lives is what he cares about most. Jesus did not come into the world simply because we have some bad habits that need to be broken. He came into the world because we have such dirty hearts that need to be purified.
So what is it to have a pure heart?
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false,
and does not swear deceitfully.
You can see what David means by a "pure heart" in the phrases that follow it. A pure heart is a heart that has nothing to do with falsehood. It is painstakingly truthful and free from deceitfulness. Deceit is what you do when you will two things, not one thing. You will to do one thing and you will that people think you are doing another. You will to feel one thing and you will that people think you are feeling another. That is impurity of heart. Purity of heart is to will one thing, namely, to "seek the face of the Lord"
What is it to see God?
First, to see God means to be admitted to his presence.
Second, seeing God means being awestruck by his glory—by a direct experience of his holiness.
Finally, seeing God means being comforted by his grace.
So when Jesus promises the reward of "seeing God" there are at least these three things implied: we will be admitted to his presence, not just kept in the waiting room. We will be awestruck with a direct experience of his glory. And we will be helped and comforted by his grace.
And this we will have—in part now, and fully in the age to come—if we are pure in heart.
Excerpts taken from John Piper, Blessed are the pure in heart
DesiringGod.org


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

As Water Reflects a Face

As Water Reflects a Face

As the Lord examines your heart and my heart today, He will be pleased if He sees faith in Christ and motives that want to do His will. If there is an area of our heart where that holy reality is not freely flowing, God can fix it. He can heal it. He can overwhelm our sin and our issues. But we must come to Him in repentance and humility just like King David eventually did.
Without the sincere motive to be walking on the Lord's straight path, we will experience much unrest and a continual longing for things which are outside of God's will. It's the same for all of us. We all have a sinful nature. We all get to choose our motives. And we all experience the fruit of our motives.
This is why all God has to do to see what someone is really about is to look at the heart. "As water reflects a face, so a man's heart reflects the man." (Proverbs 27:19) Actions reveal a believer's spiritual maturity, or lack of it, but the heart reveals our deepest intentions. And the strength of those holy desires and the depth of our love for the Lord tells God a whole lot about us.
So if you find your heart today filled with unholy desires rather than righteous ones, you can ask God to do something about it. Who else is capable of performing surgery on the soul? Who but the Holy Spirit can give us a genuine love for Christ and an ongoing desire to do His will in all things?
Bottom line: our Creator knows us better than we know ourselves. And He sees those issues within us that no one else comes close to seeing. Yet He still loves us even with all of our conflicted desires and imperfect follow-through.
Now that's impressive, because that is true love straight from the heart of God!
Written by: Dan Delzell, pastor of Wellspring Lutheran Church in Papillion, Neb


Pursuing Holiness! Go after it with everything within you! Part 2

Pursuing Holiness! Go after it with everything within you!
Part 2
Now we come to a very important point. If a Christian is called to do more than just avoid evil, and to pursue holiness at all costs, can we do it by ourselves? ABSOLUTELY NOT! Only by the power that God gives us through His Spirit can we even attempt to pursue holiness. Isaiah 55:8,9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

Our natural tendency, even if we are born again Christians is often opposite from what God wants us to do or what we might wish to do. Paul struggled with this himself in Romans 7:21 23 saying, “It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin.” What is the answer? Paul gives us the answer later in this same chapter in verse 23, “Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”

You see you CAN’T do it yourself, NO WAY, NO HOW. Only by trusting in God, receiving Jesus in your life and letting His Holy Spirit have your heart will you be able to even attempt to seek holiness. Ephesians 2:10 states, “For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

You must also understand that while you are JUSTIFIED before God by the death and resurrection of His Son, you are in the process of SANCTIFICATION as His child, as you seek to become holy. God, with your cooperation and obedience, perfects the work of making you holy.

Philippians 1:6 says, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”

You must understand that while we are justified before God the process doesn’t end there. It can be just as bad to rest in your justification and not pursue the process of sanctification (becoming holy), as it is to simply avoid evil things. James speaks of this in the following verses, 2:17, 24, 26, “In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone. As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” Seeking holiness requires some action on your part. While this includes avoiding evil, it is not limited to it. Seeking holiness means letting God possess your total life, not just certain outward actions.

While God performs the work of sanctification, (Hebrews 13:20 21 says, “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ.”) we participate by seeking God with all our heart, soul and mind. Jesus referred to this in Matthew 22:37 38 when He said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment.” So you see it is a joint venture. God supplies us with the means to accomplish sanctification, but we must choose to obey Him and love Him.

It is a delicate balance, the Christian life. We are called to pursue holiness, which requires effort on our part to seek God and to obey His word, yet; we cannot do it in our own strength, we must rely on Him completely. What a path to take! Not just avoiding evil, but pursuing the most holy God who saved us from our sins, from ourselves, from evil and death. Are you avoiding evil or are you pursuing holiness?

1 Thessalonians 3:13
“May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones.”
Are You Avoiding Evil, or Pursuing Holiness?
By Michael K. Farrar
© God’s Breath Publications


Pursuing Holiness! Go after it with everything within you! Part 1

Pursuing holiness! Go after it with everything within you!


Part 1
You might be a little confused about the title above. You might be saying, “Aren’t you pursuing holiness when you’re avoiding evil?” Or, “When you’re avoiding evil, aren’t you pursuing holiness?” You might even quote 2 Corinthians 7:1 to support your position, “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves fro
m everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.”

Well, while it is true we are to avoid evil things as Christians, I think we are not always pursuing holiness when we do.

Many people, both Christians and non Christians often try to avoid evil. Most people with common sense and some moral fiber consider it wise to stay out of the way of evil. It doesn’t require a commitment to our Lord to simply step out of evil’s way. Many people who consider themselves good upstanding citizens would tell you they try to avoid the evil path. I would suggest however, that you can avoid evil in your life, without seeking and pursuing holiness.

Jesus referred to this situation when he discussed the spiritual lives of the Pharisees in Matthew 23:25 26 saying, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” He stated that while your actions of avoiding evil may appear to be honorable, if your internal condition is unholy you will never see God. Hebrews 12:14 says, “Without holiness no one will see the Lord.” The Pharisees had the appearance of holiness due to actions, but inwardly were far from it.

Pursuing holiness is more than avoiding evil. It is seeking to be Christ like and filled with God’s Holy Spirit. Pursuing holiness is letting God’s Holy Spirit have His way with your heart. Avoiding evil outwardly does not always reflect your heart condition. You can avoid evil and still hold onto your self will. However when you strive to be holy, you sacrifice your will and replace it with God’s will.

Avoiding evil is simply crisis management. You don’t have to think about God unless something evil presents itself. You can jump from evil temptation to evil temptation attempting to avoid each of them without ever thinking of God in between. Pursuing holiness is another matter. It is CONSTANTLY, MOMENT-BY-MOMENT seeking God’s presence in your life. Evil will present itself to you at times while you are pursuing holiness. But since you have already sought out your Savior before evil ever came into view, what do you think are the results of such a holy life? Yes, the ability to avoid evil is probably a much easier decision when you have been consistently pursuing holiness.

They say that the best training a person can receive for detecting counterfeit money is to handle the real thing. If a counterfeit Jesus or evil temptation comes your way, do you struggle at examining it, evaluating it, testing it, seeking to determine if it is really evil or not? I would submit to you, that if someone is consistently pursuing holiness, they don’t have to think twice about whether something is evil or not.

Pursuing holiness is not an option for a Christian it is a commandment. 1 Peter 1:15 16 says, “But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: ‘Be holy, because I am holy.’”
Are You Avoiding Evil, or Pursuing Holiness?
By Michael K. Farrar
© God’s Breath Publications

Monday, March 16, 2015

Coming soon!  New teachings dedicated to building up and strengthening the beloved bride of Christ.  Keep checking in, you will be blessed.