Friday, December 23, 2011

Set the Captives Free

Has the enemy built up siegeworks in your life? Do you have a lack in any area of your life? How are you spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, relationally, etc.? Is the Holy Spirit moving in your life? Is He moving in your fellowship? Do you as God’s child have a real sense of His love, His joy, His peace?

I believe Jeremiah chapter 34 can give us some insight into what’s going on:

As a result of God’s judgement against the Jews, the Babylonian armies had built up siegeworks against Jerusalem to cut it off from life giving supplies and to attack the city.

Then King Zedekiah and the Jews decided to let those they had held in slavery go free. They set them free, and then later decided to take their slaves back and put them in bondage again.

Then something amazing happens. The Lord tells the Jews that because they decided to put the freed slaves back into captivity, the RETREATING Babylonian army was going to come back and do to the Jews what God had said they would do. (verses 21 and 22)

The amazing thing is that when the Jews had decided to release those they had held captive, God relented from judgement and had caused Israels enemies to retreat.

Who are you, or me, holding captive today to unforgiveness, resentment, bitterness?

We need to set those captives free, and leave them free. It is very possible that those armies that have been brought against us to build up siegeworks will retreat.

We need to set those who have offended us free, just as God has set us free in Christ from our offenses.

Note: Is it possible the trouble we see on the horizon for this country could at least in part be the result of God's children profaning His Name? After He has forgiven us of all our offenses, we're choosing to hold others accountable to us? If this is so, what would happen if we all set our captives free today?

Sunday, December 18, 2011

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Prov. 25:11

I'm hoping the following will encourage those out there who still have difficulty understanding our eternal security in Christ. 

1 Corinthians 3:16, 17  Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?  If anyone destroys God's temple, God will destroy him; for God's temple is sacred, and you are that temple.

Recently a man I know used this verse to inform me that it is possible for a born again Christian to lose their salvation, as the sin spoken above can only be committed by a Christian, who is a temple of the Holy Spirit.
However, after a closer look and reading several commentaries, I was able to discover the context in which Paul was writing here.  When Paul says, " yourselves are God's temple...," "you" is plural and "temple" is singular.  Paul here is referring to the whole body of Christ as one temple.  He is not talking here about you or I in the singular.  The context in which he is writing has to do with false teachers, ravenous wolves, who deliberately come into the church to oppose the truth and divide the flock. That person is the one God will destroy.  Anyone who uses this verse to say that a Christian can lose their salvation is taking this verse out of context and isn't understanding what the writer is talking about.

Now I know someone may say that in 1 Corinthians chapter 6 verses 18-20 we are spoken of individually as being a temple of the Holy Spirit.  This is true.

"Flee from sexual immorality.  All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body.  Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God?  You are not your own; you were bought with a price.  Therefore honor God with your body."  This verse is speaking of each of us as being a temple of the Holy Spirit, but in this passage it doesn't speak of the destruction of a child of God.

It is important for us to read our Bibles and to become familiar with the context in which something is written.

While I'm at it, I would like to encourage my brothers and sisters in Christ with some verses that are true of you because you are in Christ.  All of these verses are in 2 Corinthians.  (There are plenty more encouraging verses and passages throughout Scripture.)

1:1  You are a saint.

1:2  God comforts you in all your troubles.

1:7  Your hope in Him is firm.

1:10  God will continue to deliver you.

1:14  You will be boasted of in the day of the Lord Jesus.

1:18, 19  God's faithfullness is not yes and no in Christ.  But yes.

1:21  God makes you stand firm in Christ.

1:22  God set His seal of ownership on you.

1:22  God put His Spirit in your heart to guarantee what is to come.

2:14  God always leads you in triumphal procession in Christ.

2:15  You are the aroma of Christ.

3:2  You are God's letter; known and read by everyone.

3:3  You are a letter written by the Spirit of the living God.

3:5  You are a minister of a new covenant.

3:18  You reflect the Lord's glory.

3:18  You are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.

4:1  You are a minister of God.

4:6  You carry the Gospel of Christ.

4:14  You will be raised in the presence of Jesus.

4:16  Inwardly you are being renewed day by day.

5:1  God built an eternal house for you in heaven.

5:3  You will not be found naked.

5:5  The Holy Spirit is a deposit to guarantee you what is to come.

5:10  You will go to the Judgement Seat of Christ, not the Judgement.

5:17  You are in Christ.  You are a new creation.  You're old nature is gone.

5:18  God did this.  Not you or I.

5:20  You are an ambassador of Christ.

5:20  God makes His appeal to the world through you.

8:9  Jesus, through His poverty, made you rich.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Wrath of God

What is happening? We have Katrina, the earthquakes in Japan, a nuclear meltdown, record tornadoes in the southeast, among many other catastrophes around the world that have been going on for quite some time. Maybe a catastrophe has come to your neighborhood.

I know that in all of the catastrophes, some of God’s children have suffered, and maybe some have died. What about them? Was God mad at or angry with them?

No. God’s Word tells us that His children are not appointed to wrath.

In Romans chapter 1 verses 18 and 19 the Holy Spirit tells us, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.”

God’s wrath is being directed, not against His children, but against those who suppress the truth about God. The unsaved.

Jesus told us that in this world we would have trials and tribulations, but take heart because He has overcome the world. And we know that we have been included in Christ.

We are in the world, and trouble comes on the world. But I believe it’s important to understand what’s happening. God is not mad at us. He loves us with an everlasting, indescribable lovingkindness.

So when the troubles come, remember that God, your Father, is not angry with you. Perhaps He allows us to go through those situations and remain in those situations, so that when the unsaved come to a point of repentance, there will be someone there to show them the way to the mountain of the Lord.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


We are battling “atheists” in the wrong arena. It has been the arena of their choosing: the arena of deception. And as we do battle there, they are systematically trying to take God out of America, and they are walking right into our schools and destroying our children. Enough is enough. Let’s do battle in the arena of our choosing: the arena of Truth.

In Psalm 14:1 it is written, “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”

The Word of God says that the person says it, not that they believe it.

John 1:9 says, “The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.”

No person is without the revelation of God.

John 15:18 says, “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first.”

It is impossible for someone to hate Christians without first hating Jesus. And it is impossible for someone to hate someone that they don’t believe exists.


(Have you been in those mind twisting, frustrating debates and arguments with professed “atheists” trying to prove to them that God exists? God set me free from that. It’s not your responsibility to prove the existence of God. It’s God’s responsibility. And He’s already done it. He has proven His existence through Creation, Conscience, and Christ, the Word of God.

You no longer have to try to prove the existence of God, but only to inform professed “atheists” that they already know God is there, God knows that they know, and He’s holding them accountable.)

Romans 1:18-20

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has make it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

Creation proves the existence of God.

Romans 2:14-16

(Indeed, when Gentiles, who do not have the law, do by nature things required by the law, they are a law for themselves, even though they do not have the law, since they show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their consciences also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.) This will take place on the day when God will judge men’s secrets through Jesus Christ, as my gospel declares.

Your conscience proves the existence of God.

Romans 10:18

But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.”

Christ, the Word of God, proves the existence of God.

Since God gives witness of His existence to every person, no person can honestly say they do not believe there is a God.

So what is really going on?

Psalm 2:1-3

Why do the nations conspire and the peoples plot in vain?

The kings of the earth take their stand

and the rulers gather together

against the Lord

and against his Anointed One.

“Let us break their chains,” they say,

“and throw off their fetters.”

(Rebellion against God is what really is going on.)

What is God’s response to this rebellion?

Psalm 2:4-9

The One enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord scoffs at them.

Then he rebukes them in his anger and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,

“I have installed my King on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of the Lord:

He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.

Ask of me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. You will rule them with an iron scepter; you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”

(The One you are rebelling against will still be enthroned as King. God’s purposes will prevail regardless of any rebellion.)

God, in his grace, now gives you a choice.

Psalm 2:10-12

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned you rulers of the earth.

Serve the Lord with fear and rejoice with trembling.

Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and you be destroyed in your way,

For his wrath can flare up in a moment.

Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

(A person can either continue in rebellion and be destroyed, or they can take refuge in Christ and escape God’s wrath.)

So, here’s the deal:

They know God is there, and He knows they know. And He’s holding them accountable.

For whatever reason, they are in rebellion against Him. It’s okay to talk to Him about why, but it’s not okay to continue in their rebellion.

He’s giving them the opportunity to turn away from this rebellion and turn to Christ.

The decision is theirs. But they must make one—stay in their rebellion and face destruction, or repent and find refuge in Christ.

But we must not let them continue to wage their battle in deception. They can’t take God away from us, and they can no longer seek to destroy out children.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Full Circle

You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgement on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgement do the same things. (Romans 2:1)

A few days ago I heard a sister in Christ rebuke her husband for saying something negative about another brother in Christ. My initial thought was how could she rebuke him for that and at the same time be in the habit of publicly disrespecting her husband (who is her brother in Christ)?

This led me to several days of thinking. How come her husband seemed to not care about her well being, but would rebuke me if he thought I weren’t taking care of my wife? How could I mentally rebuke him for not taking care of his wife, when I wasn’t always looking out for the best interests of my own wife?

At least in my sphere of influence, there seems to be a lot of this going on. We become judgemental toward others when they mistreat their spouses, or another brother or sister in Christ, but we don’t think it is important to respect and love the ones closest to us.

What I believe the Holy Spirit revealed to me is that when I’m doing right in a certain area of my life, it is less likely that I will judge someone else who is having a problem in this area.

But when I’m quick to judge someone else, that is a good indicator that I’m doing the same thing. When I find myself being quick to judge, that is a good time for me to stop and pray that our Father would reveal to me what I’m doing wrong and how to change it.

James said, “I will show you my faith by what I do.” (James 2:18)

It is better for me to let my deeds preceed my words. Better yet, let my love for my wife be such an example, that words are not needed.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Do not go beyond what is written. I Cor. 4:6

Throughout history many have ventured to go beyond what is written in the Scriptures. They all claim to have received “Special Revelation” from God. In every case, this has led to a different gospel than the one that Paul preached. And Paul said if anyone preaches a different gospel than the one he preached, that that person would be eternally accursed.

It is sad to say that there are people out there who gain the trust of people and then lead them so far away from the truth. But it is done. All the time.

There are many religions out there that have spawned from “Special Revelation.” I hope that some of the people who have been drawn into those religions will read this and understand that the Holy Spirit commands us not to go beyond what is written. To stay with what is written is a safeguard for us and protects us from false doctrine.

Any doctrine that leads people away from the Truth of God’s Word is a doctrine of demons. I believe these doctrines of demons are intended to introduce to those who hear it a different Jesus, a different Messiah. I’ll speak specifically about a doctrine I’ve only learned about recently, that has far reaching implications.

There have been some recently who have been saying that the Lord has revealed to them

that after the Lord died on the cross that He was taken into hell and had to take on the nature of Satan in order to defeat Satan, that Jesus became a sinner. That is completely contrary to what is taught in Scripture. That goes beyond what is written. In Hebrews chapter 7 verse 26 we are told that Jesus is set apart from sinners. And in the same chapter verse 27 we are told, “Unlike the other high priests, he (Jesus) does not need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for the people.” For Jesus to have taken on the nature of Satan would have made Him the epitome of sin. This is blasphemy. And in the eyes of those who preach this, doesn’t this leave room for another Messiah? These same preachers claim that the Lord told them that they could have made the same sacrifice on the cross that He did and saved all of us.

It is important for all of us to read God’s Word on a regular basis so that we will recognize false doctrine when it comes along. So I encourage you to do this. It will be a safeguard for you.

Pray also, along with my wife and I, that the Lord will bring the conviction of His Holy Spirit upon those who are preaching these doctrines of demons, and that if they will not repent of it, that God will remove them from their position and raise up men and women who will preach the truth from the pulpit.

And again, pray that God’s children will read their Bibles, so that they will recognize the difference between truth and error.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Draw close to Him

Draw close to God and He will draw close to you.

Why are we to make the first move? Why doesn’t God draw close to us so that we can then draw close to Him?

I believe it’s because He wants our faith in the finished work of Christ at the cross.

The high priest was the one who offered the sacrifice for the people, and then entered into the Holy of Holies.

Jesus, the lamb of God who takes away your sin, is the Great High priest who entered into the Holy of Holies. Who was it who rent the curtain in two and entered in? It is the priest who enters in.

Jesus said, “It is finished (paid in full),” and then left His body.  The curtain was then rent in two.

Jesus destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility between God and us, our sin. Ephesians 2:14.

What prevents you, or me, from confidently going to the throne of grace to receive help in our time of need? Is it that God is holding something against us? He’s not. Love keeps no record of wrongs, and God loves you.

I believe what hinders us is self-condemnation or the accusations of the devil. “God won’t forgive you for that,” he says. But that’s a lie. There is no dividing wall of hostility. The Holy Spirit tells us that.

So, no matter where you’re at, by faith believe what God has told you. God’s not angry with you. Because Jesus Himself has destroyed the barrier, enter with confidence in the work of Christ to the throne of grace and have fellowship with your Heavenly Father. He longs to fellowship with you and wants you to know that Jesus His Son made the way for you to do that, no matter what you’re going through or what you’ve done.

Draw close to Him today, and watch Him draw close to you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wave of Discontent

Who will ride the wave of discontent?

We’ve seen it in Iran. We see it in Egypt, Jordan, and Tunisia. We see it here in the United States. Discontent. Injustice. Poverty.

We all want contentment. We all want justice. We want all of our needs to be met.

I heard something on the news last night. Usually when people are discontent and protesting injustice, there are always sinister people who are ready to ride that wave, offer promises if we will only let them be our leader, promises that they will never fulfill.

But God is able to ride that wave and bring contentment, justice, and fulfillment to our lives.

Psalm 118:8,9 says: It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man. It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

Jesus said in Matthew 6:33: But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things (our needs) will be given to you as well.

It is good to respect and honor our leaders, and to pray for them. But let us put our trust in God to meet our needs and make our petitions known to Him. When we look to a man, an institution, or an organization to meet those needs, we give opportunity to those who don’t have our well being in mind.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Somewhere in Texas

We are back to work, we're in Texas, and we're enjoying the warmer weather. 

We went to chiurch this morning and, among other things, we heard the pastor talk about those who have walked away.  It's sad for them, isn't it?  From my experience, those who have walked away have done so because they took a wrong turn somewhere, opened the door to the powers of darkness, and those powers of darkness have convinced them that they have gone to far and that God has turned His back on them.

So we talk about them.  Some say good ridance.   Some pray for them, and over time, forget about them. 

Is that it?

No!  Jesus said the Good Shephard leaves the 99 and goes after the one that has strayed.  Since Jesus is in heaven, and we are the Body of Christ, it makes me believe that it is we who go.  We go find the ones who have strayed, not with the ministry of condemnation, but with the ministry of reconciliation.  We don't have to tell them the wrong they've done, they already know.  What we do is, with the Word of God, reinforce the truths that God has not left them, God is going to complete the work He began, the Lord is the Author and the Finisher of their faith.  God loves them with an everlasting love.

I recently met a man here who I will call Jay.  He asked Jesus to be his Savior years ago.  He would be the first to admit that he has really gotten off track.  I try to encourage him everyday that God loves him.  You see, for some it is a long road back, and it takes patience on our part to not give up.

Please pray for Jay, that the truths from God's Word concerning him would take root and grow in him.  Jesus said it is the Truth that will set us free.

So let's go out there and find the strays, encourage them, and bring them back.