Archive | October 2017

Revelation A Different Approach

As I have said before, I write about the scriptures and what the Lord puts on my heart to write. People struggle with the book of Revelation but if we read, hear and keep the things in the book of Revelation, God promises a blessing.  So over the next few weeks or months, the Lord has put it on my heart to go through the book of Revelation.

I certainly do not have all the answers and there are many questions I have about the book of Revelation and the scriptures. But I do know who has all the answers, God. I also know it is the Holy Spirit’s job to help us understand the scriptures so prayer is key to understanding.

Let me encourage you to be like the Bereans – Acts 17:10-11 KJV
” And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
[11] These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”

Search the scriptures to find truth, then hear and obey truth.

The next several posts, Lord willing, will be designed as a study so you can print it out and use it for your study groups. Feel free to copy and hand out the study. No need for my permission, you already have it. Just note MADE AVAILBLE FREE BY HeavensRecord If you have a question, feel free to email us at theheavensrecord@gmail.com

The plan is to take one chapter at a time and go through all 22 chapters in 22 days. That’s the plan anyways. Scripture has a lot of symbols and I don’t plan on explaining the symbols unless scripture defines the symbol clearly. The promises God makes us is if we read, hear and obey what the book of Revelation says, not if we understand everything in the book.

So our approach is to identify, in each chapter, who is speaking, what is the message, who is the message directed at, plus any unusual or specific issues. This helps us to know the who, what, where, when and how of each chapter.

So why do this? Because prophecy by definition speaks of future events. So the book of Revelation is about the future. And because we are living in the end times, I believe these events are closer than most think. Therefore, if God is promising us a blessing, I’m all in.

I also hope by laying out the who, what, where, when and how of each chapter it will help teachers of the word of God learn how to prepare an effective Bible study. Often people read scripture and two days later don’t remember what they read. By putting it into a study where they ask questions and get answers from scripture, it helps people remember more.

We will provide a quiz after each chapter and we will try to organize each study in the category section of our blog, under Scripture Studies which we will set up. Most chapters in Revelation have between 11 and 21 verses but there are a couple with 24 or 27 verses. So if we take one chapter at a time, I think it will help everyone. I would recommend you get a notebook and set a time aside every day to spend alone time with God.

We will get started with our next post. In the mean time, let’s get a sample. Look at Revelation 1:1-3 and tell me:
Whose revelation (revealing) is it?
How did they get the revelation?
Why were they given the revelation?
How was the revelation sent?
Who was the revelation sent to?

Revelation 1:1-3 KJV
” The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:
[2] Who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw.
[3] Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.”

Until next time.

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Life Is Seasonal

Whether we look at earthly parents or spiritual parents, parenting is temporary. Parenting is the time mothers and father’s teach their children foundational truths. Time for children to know God, to learn right from wrong, to learn how to make decisions and how to apply critical thinking skills.

But the time comes when that child grows up that parenting comes to an end. Parenting is seasonal just as our own lives are seasonal.

Scripture says a time for, (season) in Ecclesiastes 3:1-11 KJV  ” To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
[2] A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
[3] A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
[4] A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
[5] A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
[6] A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
[7] A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
[8] A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.
[9] What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?
[10] I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.
[11] He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.”

Parents sometimes think they can tell their children what to do when their child is 10 years old, 15, 20, 30, 40 and that is not parenting. Train up a child in the way he should go. Not drag him through life.

You see, you are a parent for maybe 20 years, then you are a mother and a father. Sure, you are a mother and father from the day your child is born but you have a responsibility to parent, to guide, to steer your children in the way of God, and in righteousness. But the time will come when the child grows up and does what they want.

That is when your role as a mother and father comes into play and the parenting deminishes. Then as a mother and father you become a counselor for your children. I remember telling my mom one time, Mom, if I ask you what would you do? I am looking for ideas, direction, but if I say Mom, help me, I will do as you say.

I was trying to explain to my mom just because I ask you for input does not mean I am going to do as you say. She could not understand why her children would talk to her about things but her children did not always handle “issues” the way she would or what she said.

She didn’t understand the time and season principle taught in Ecclesiastes.  A time and a season for everything. Her time and season to parent us or as some say, boss me around, was over. Now her role as a mother was predominant. She would see how well she parented each of her children by the decisions her children make as grown ups.

When you look back at your life and your parents parenting you, you can examine where their heart was in teaching you specific topics.

My mom did not know God or how Jesus offered us salvation, so she focused on teaching us how to make it in life by working hard. She taught us how to make it through life, but without God. I look at my parenting and see I taught my son about God. My focus was on God and his word. But I did not teach my son about how to make it in life through this world.

Where my mom worked in a factory for 32 years, my son does not understand that mentality. My son told me one day, I do not live to work, I work to live. Maybe it is a millennial thing but my son is willing to job hop until he gets something he enjoys. We were taught to have job stability. My son could care less about that.

And honestly, none of my mom’s children work in a factory. We all followed our own gifting from God and we all now have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. And my mom? I had the honor of leading her to the Lord and she got saved when she was 56 years old. 

Life is seasonal. Just as we handle different seasons in this world and we react to spring differently than we do to autumn. Or we react to winter differently than summer, so is our lifetime. Parenting is for a season. A mom and dad are for a lifetime. Until next time.

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Similarities

When you look at similarities between God dealing with Jerusalem and understand how God took a little nation, named it Israel and prospered them and compare that to the birth of America, it is amazing.

As Israel lost sight of where their prosperity came from and used their wealth on open borders allowing anyone in to their country, allowing false teachers in, allowing pagan practices these all turned their nation to look at their own efforts. They turned away from God.

America is doing the same thing. So as God told Ezekiel to cause Jerusalem to know their shame, their abominations, it is time for believers in America to repent and pray.

Ezekiel 16:1-52 KJV  ” Again the word of the Lord came unto me, saying,
[2] Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations,
[3] And say, Thus saith the Lord God unto Jerusalem; Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite.
[4] And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee ; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all.
[5] None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the lothing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born.
[6] And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live; yea, I said unto thee when thou wast in thy blood, Live.
[7] I have caused thee to multiply as the bud of the field, and thou hast increased and waxen great, and thou art come to excellent ornaments: thy breasts are fashioned, and thine hair is grown, whereas thou wast naked and bare.
[8] Now when I passed by thee, and looked upon thee, behold, thy time was the time of love; and I spread my skirt over thee, and covered thy nakedness: yea, I sware unto thee, and entered into a covenant with thee, saith the Lord God , and thou becamest mine.
[9] Then washed I thee with water; yea, I throughly washed away thy blood from thee, and I anointed thee with oil.
[10] I clothed thee also with broidered work, and shod thee with badgers’ skin, and I girded thee about with fine linen, and I covered thee with silk.
[11] I decked thee also with ornaments, and I put bracelets upon thy hands, and a chain on thy neck.
[12] And I put a jewel on thy forehead, and earrings in thine ears, and a beautiful crown upon thine head.
[13] Thus wast thou decked with gold and silver; and thy raiment was of fine linen, and silk, and broidered work; thou didst eat fine flour, and honey, and oil: and thou wast exceeding beautiful, and thou didst prosper into a kingdom.
[14] And thy renown went forth among the heathen for thy beauty: for it was perfect through my comeliness, which I had put upon thee, saith the Lord God .
[15] But thou didst trust in thine own beauty, and playedst the harlot because of thy renown, and pouredst out thy fornications on every one that passed by; his it was.
[16] And of thy garments thou didst take, and deckedst thy high places with divers colours, and playedst the harlot thereupon: the like things shall not come, neither shall it be so .
[17] Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,
[18] And tookest thy broidered garments, and coveredst them: and thou hast set mine oil and mine incense before them.
[19] My meat also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee, thou hast even set it before them for a sweet savour: and thus it was, saith the Lord God .
[20] Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and thy daughters, whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter,
[21] That thou hast slain my children, and delivered them to cause them to pass through the fire for them?
[22] And in all thine abominations and thy whoredoms thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, when thou wast naked and bare, and wast polluted in thy blood.
[23] And it came to pass after all thy wickedness, (woe, woe unto thee! saith the Lord God 😉
[24] That thou hast also built unto thee an eminent place, and hast made thee an high place in every street.
[25] Thou hast built thy high place at every head of the way, and hast made thy beauty to be abhorred, and hast opened thy feet to every one that passed by, and multiplied thy whoredoms.
[26] Thou hast also committed fornication with the Egyptians thy neighbours, great of flesh; and hast increased thy whoredoms, to provoke me to anger.
[27] Behold, therefore I have stretched out my hand over thee, and have diminished thine ordinary food , and delivered thee unto the will of them that hate thee, the daughters of the Philistines, which are ashamed of thy lewd way.
[28] Thou hast played the whore also with the Assyrians, because thou wast unsatiable; yea, thou hast played the harlot with them, and yet couldest not be satisfied.
[29] Thou hast moreover multiplied thy fornication in the land of Canaan unto Chaldea; and yet thou wast not satisfied herewith.
[30] How weak is thine heart, saith the Lord God , seeing thou doest all these things , the work of an imperious whorish woman;
[31] In that thou buildest thine eminent place in the head of every way, and makest thine high place in every street; and hast not been as an harlot, in that thou scornest hire;
[32] But as a wife that committeth adultery, which taketh strangers instead of her husband!
[33] They give gifts to all whores: but thou givest thy gifts to all thy lovers, and hirest them, that they may come unto thee on every side for thy whoredom.
[34] And the contrary is in thee from other women in thy whoredoms, whereas none followeth thee to commit whoredoms: and in that thou givest a reward, and no reward is given unto thee, therefore thou art contrary.
[35] Wherefore, O harlot, hear the word of the Lord :
[36] Thus saith the Lord God ; Because thy filthiness was poured out, and thy nakedness discovered through thy whoredoms with thy lovers, and with all the idols of thy abominations, and by the blood of thy children, which thou didst give unto them;
[37] Behold, therefore I will gather all thy lovers, with whom thou hast taken pleasure, and all them that thou hast loved, with all them that thou hast hated; I will even gather them round about against thee, and will discover thy nakedness unto them, that they may see all thy nakedness.
[38] And I will judge thee, as women that break wedlock and shed blood are judged; and I will give thee blood in fury and jealousy.
[39] And I will also give thee into their hand, and they shall throw down thine eminent place, and shall break down thy high places: they shall strip thee also of thy clothes, and shall take thy fair jewels, and leave thee naked and bare.
[40] They shall also bring up a company against thee, and they shall stone thee with stones, and thrust thee through with their swords.
[41] And they shall burn thine houses with fire, and execute judgments upon thee in the sight of many women: and I will cause thee to cease from playing the harlot, and thou also shalt give no hire any more.
[42] So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet, and will be no more angry.
[43] Because thou hast not remembered the days of thy youth, but hast fretted me in all these things ; behold, therefore I also will recompense thy way upon thine head, saith the Lord God : and thou shalt not commit this lewdness above all thine abominations.
[44] Behold, every one that useth proverbs shall use this proverb against thee, saying, As is the mother, so is her daughter.
[45] Thou art thy mother’s daughter, that lotheth her husband and her children; and thou art the sister of thy sisters, which lothed their husbands and their children: your mother was an Hittite, and your father an Amorite.
[46] And thine elder sister is Samaria, she and her daughters that dwell at thy left hand: and thy younger sister, that dwelleth at thy right hand, is Sodom and her daughters.
[47] Yet hast thou not walked after their ways, nor done after their abominations: but, as if that were a very little thing , thou wast corrupted more than they in all thy ways.
[48] As I live, saith the Lord God , Sodom thy sister hath not done, she nor her daughters, as thou hast done, thou and thy daughters.
[49] Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.
[50] And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good .
[51] Neither hath Samaria committed half of thy sins; but thou hast multiplied thine abominations more than they, and hast justified thy sisters in all thine abominations which thou hast done.
[52] Thou also, which hast judged thy sisters, bear thine own shame for thy sins that thou hast committed more abominable than they: they are more righteous than thou: yea, be thou confounded also, and bear thy shame, in that thou hast justified thy sisters.”

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Answers In The Details?

Most people look at things from a surface view – black or white, right or wrong, good or evil. Even with the law, guilty or innocent. But if you examine the details, let’s say with the law, there is a third option most people are not even aware of. Why? Because people don’t examine the details for themselves. If you examine the details of law you find not only a plea of guilty or innocent but there is a plea called demure. A plea of demure is a plea that basically says, yes, I did it but I had good reason to do what I did or yes, I did it but it was an accident. I did not mean for that to happen.

The demure plea is real and available to people today in a court of law and is rooted in God’s word. If you study the law God gave to Moses for the people in Exodus through Deuteronomy, God made laws, statutes and ordinances and covers accidents. Accidents such as someone is accidently killed or your tree fell on your neighbor’s property and killed their cattle. God did not call it manslaughter or negligence and God did not say the person was to be put in jail for 20 or 30 years either.

Remember,  God looks at the heart and he is a righteous Judge. And one day, each one of us will stand before the real Supreme Court and give an account for what we did while we were here on earth and the life God gave us.

It is in the details where we find motive. Where we find answers. Where we find truth. But we can also struggle with details because we keep sifting information over and over. It can make you weary. Jesus put it this way –

Matthew 23:23-24 KJV ” Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
[24] Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.”

Notice what the weightier matters are?
Judgment, mercy, faith and these matters need to be considered, not left undone. So people strain at every little detail and strain at the details of the law and do not even consider judgment,  mercy and faith. That is what the demure does, it considers judgement, mercy and faith. It looks at circumstances. Check it out. Look at the definition of demure in a Black’s Law Dictionary.

Answers and truth are found in the details and so it is so with sound doctrine. Need an example? Baptism. What does baptize mean? People think water but that is not what baptism means. Baptism means immersion. And scripture mentions several different baptisms. So if you see the word baptism in scripture, do you automatically think water? You would be wrong. And the truth, the answers are in the details.

Baptism means immersion so when you see the word baptism in scripture you should be digging for immersion in what. Just to name a few of several, there is –
The baptism of fire, an immersion in fire.
Matthew 3:10-12 KJV ” And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
[11] I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
[12] Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

Some teach this baptism is for believers when clearly the baptism of fire, immersion in fire, is for unbelievers as Jesus explained. Notice the colon in verse 11? The colon means the description is continued in the next verse, verse 12.

The baptism of John the Baptist, what was John baptizing or immersing  people in? Jesus mentioned this in Matthew 21:24-25 KJV  “And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.
[25] The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him?”

Paul mentions John’s baptism in Acts.

Acts 19:3-5 KJV  “And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism.
[4] Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
[5] When they heard this , they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

And look at Luke 3:3 KJV  “And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;”

We see Matthew 3:11 speaks of baptism / immersion in the Holy Ghost. And look at Luke 3:16 KJV  “John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:” and look at verse 17, the fire is for unsaved.

There is water baptism / immersion.
Paul tells believers they are baptized / immersed into Jesus Christ.

Romans 6:3-9 KJV ” Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
[4] Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
[5] For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
[6] Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him , that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
[7] For he that is dead is freed from sin.
[8] Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
[9] Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.”

Colossians 2:12-15 KJV ” Buried with him in baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead.
[13] And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses;
[14] Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;
[15] And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

We now understand –

Ephesians 4:3-7 KJV  “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
[4] There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
[5] One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
[6] One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
[7] But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.”

Friends, the truth of any question in scripture, is in the details. But don’t get so hung up with every little detail you strain like a knat and forget judgment, mercy and faith. Until next time.

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Flesh Does – Spirit Uses Faith

In 1974 I was sitting inside a chapel on a US military base just thinking about all kinds of things. There were maybe one or two other people in the chapel. I took out a pocket Gideon’s Bible I was given when I went in to the military. After sitting there a while I noticed the plan of salvation in the back of the Gideon’s Bible. So I read the information on how to be saved and read the prayer. I decided to pray that prayer to God and I signed my name and put the date November 1974. Nothing seemed to change in my life.

Nine years later I am sitting in a church service held in the pastor’s home in February 1983. I also said a prayer just like the prayer in the Gideon’s Bible but I was sitting at the dining room table. Everything changed in my life.

So what was different? I have tried to figure out what was different in 1983 compared to 1974. I have tried to reason out the differences. Why did I know I was truly saved in 1983 but in 1974, I said a prayer and I did not know? What changed? What was different? The prayer I said in 1973 was a flesh prayer. I said a prayer based on what my head, my thoughts told me. The prayer had nothing to do with my heart or a heart change.

I am really concerned that people have “said a prayer” and think they are saved and going to heaven.

When I look back at 1974 and try to figure out what was going on and I know I had never read the scriptures, I just glanced through them. I had collected bibles but never read them. It was almost like having an interest in God but never researching his word. Now I know it was God drawing me towards him.

During the years from 1974 to February 1983 I read the New Testament completely. Although most of what I read I did not understand I did understand many things that scared me. Specifically reading about hell and the lake of fire. I was trying to picture hell and a lake of fire in my mind and people in hell and people in a lake of fire.

I did not know my reading the New Testament would stir up my spirit man and my soul would be bothered. I started thinking about what would happen to me if I died.

As my regular readers know, I was in a music store and a pastor came in to buy an organ for their church. I was invited to their church service, in their house, so I went. I went because I wanted to investigate the things about hell and the lake of fire that I had just finished reading about in the New Testament.

After giving God 30 days to get through to me, I made a decision God was right and Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. So it was February 2, 1983 I said the same prayer I said in 1974 basically. But this time, something changed.

When I hear preachers explain the truth of the gospel of salvation and then they say if you want to accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour, say this prayer – it bothers me a lot. They never mention faith. They never mention believing must be in the heart not the head. They never mention salvation is in and from the heart changing towards God and confessing Jesus Christ with your mouth.

I can not find one, not one scripture that says, say this prayer to be saved. Like Romans 10:17 says, faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So the difference in my prayer in 1974 to my prayer in 1983 was I heard the word of God being preached for 30 days. That preaching of God’s word gave me faith. And I was willing to listen to what God was telling me, through that preacher preaching scripture. Then I had to make a decision because I told God I would give him 30 days and the 30 days were up.

I originally agreed to come visit that church in their house because I wanted to find out about hell and the lake of fire I had read about. Naturally, for those 30 days the preacher just “happened” to be preaching on hell and the lake of fire. It all scared me and I knew I did not want to go there so I got saved. So I searched the scriptures to find out if what the preacher was preaching was so. I looked up each scripture the preacher mentioned and read the verses for myself.  It was true and I was convinced.

Friends saying a prayer does not save if it is not mixed with faith and confessing Jesus Christ with your mouth. I said a prayer in 1974 but it was not until 1983 when I said the prayer with faith. And when you believe on the Lord Jesus unto salvation, that is not believing with your mind but your heart. Why? Because when your heart believes you will change your life. You will listen to God. Yeah, you will make mistakes but you will repent of the mistakes. Why? Because Jesus Christ has your heart. You truly love him. And when you truly love someone, you want to please them.

Please make sure you are truly saved. Not that you said a prayer and go about doing what you want. You can click on How To Be Saved in our Menu above.

Until next time.

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Impaired Spiritual Vision

Revelation 3:17-18 KJV ” Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
[18] I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.”

God is speaking to the church, believers in Christ, through the apostle John. This is a picture of today’s church. Some would ask, how is today’s church lukewarm? Have you noticed many “ministries” are building buildings? Building schools?

You see, the church of Laodecia is called lukewarm. They are not hot or cold to God which can only mean, they are lukewarm. If they were “hot” they would be on fire for the Lord and the Lord’s business. And if they were cold, they would have made a decision to build their ministry on their works, not God’s business. So is it with individual believers.

Individual believers as well can be lukewarm because they do not want to be mocked, persecuted, laughed at or even reprimanded from family, friends, coworkers and even possibly loose their job.

So churches and believers start saving money and building buildings that can produce money for their ministry or their investment portfolio or retirement. So they become rich and think they are in need of nothing but they do not realize they are spiritually blind and poor.

Years ago I had a prison ministry. I would write inmates and explain the gospel and how God could forgive them. One man particularly asked lots of questions in his letters and ended up getting saved. He was a native American Indian from Oklahoma. As a young man 12 years old, he saw “white men” as he put it, kill his mother and father. He tracked down those white  and when he grew up and said, “I had them in my cross hairs and something inside me said don’t do it”. So he did not shoot but turned to drugs to relieve his pain.

He was put in prison for drugs, for 6 years. He was getting out in about 3 months when we met through letters and he got saved.  He asked me, I don’t have anything, what do I do when I get out. I said, find a local Baptist church and tell them your situation and ask for their help.

When he was out he did as I suggested. He found this huge Baptist church and went there on a Sunday morning for church and then to speak with the Pastor. For clothes, all Dave had was the blue jeans and white tee shirt on his back and white sneakers. Later, Dave told me they would not help him. I asked why, what happened?

Dave said when he walked into the church Sunday morning someone stopped him before he could get into the auditorium and told him, ‘I’m sorry, we do not allow people in here dressed like that (jeans, tee shirt and sneaks). They turned him away. I was shocked. So I asked him where he was staying and I think he said a rescue mission. So I boxed up some food and a few other things and mailed it to him. He notified me he received the package. I told him to ask God to guide him and try another church.

Many churches today have huge cathedral style buildings, plus universities, maybe stained glass windows, eloquent preachers, paid singers, large congregations, some even hold large land interests. Many of the members, if not the majority, are worldly, hung up with the cares of this world and come to church for the coffee and socializing. How many carry a Bible to church today? An app is not the same and how many times have you witnessed to others with your Bible app? The poor and saintly are not wanted in such churches because their presence is a rebuke. These churches do not see they are wretched, blind, miserable, poor (spiritually) and naked.

If you visit these churches they want to show you their buildings, their programs, their coffee shop, their gift shop, their music program. None of which feed your spirit man.

Friends,  the church of Laodecia is not burdened with debt but burdened with wealth. They have lost sight of the great commission and spiritual matters and have focused on things in this world. They are lukewarm.

The church today thinks nothing can be done without money. Just listen to preachers tell you they need your financial support to stay on tv. To win the lost around the world. But how many of these tv preachers tell the viewers how to get saved? How many explain salvation? Most do not. They promote their books, their “offer for the week”. Lukewarm.

God does not need money. God did not promote using money. The world is not to be converted by money but by the word of God and the Holy Spirit of God. And sadly, as the scripture calls these churches, blind, naked, they can not see what they are doing. They are blinded.

Compare older ministries where preachers had tent meetings or went to outside auditoriums. People who sat in that environment were not there for the air conditioning, but to hear the word of God.

They are naked because their clothing is fashionable and probably the best fabrics but it is clothing not fit for God.

The answer? Repent. Turn it around. Don’t be blinded by the lure of money or the lure of lukewarm churches. Either be hot or cold towards Jesus Christ but not lukewarm. Until next time.

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Trusting In The Flesh

God tells us to have no confidence in the flesh in Philippians 3:3 KJV ” For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.”

Most people do put confidence in their flesh, even believers. People polish their resume, prepare for job interviews and practice answering interview questions. Others tell us, you need an education to get a good job. Did Joseph? No. The apostles of Jesus were mainly  fishermen. The world’s system tells us what we need to do to be successful in life, in this world. All the world’s answers focus on you improving your flesh.

If you know anything about God you know God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise. What looks impossible in the world’s ways, God will use so he gets all the glory. So he chooses Gideon and 300 men to slay thousands. A shepherd boy, David, without a college degree to make him king over Israel. He uses fishermen to preach the gospel earning eternal rewards.

Scripture says God is a jealous God and he will not share his glory with others. Often, people will do incredible things and others start to praise them. Some people know they had “supernatural” help while others take all the glory.

Even musicians often attribute their playing abilities to hours and years of practice and do not see God gave them those abilities. Sadly, people don’t see when they take credit for things God has done through them, they are robbing God.

Titus 1:10-11 KJV  “For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:
[11] Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.”

Vain talkers – those who “toot” their own horn, they brag on themselves, their abilities, their accomplishments. All they see is themselves and their flesh. They live in the flesh and do not understand it is God who gives us all things, liberally.

Scripture tells us that is exactly what happened to Lucifer, Satan. He was an anointed cherub, an archangel. God gave Lucifer authority and abilities and set him over the music in heaven. He must have been so good at what he did because he thought it was he, himself who was behind all his success. God tells us this in:

Ezekiel 28:13-19 KJV  ” Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.
[14] Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so : thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire.
[15] Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee.
[16] By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.
[17] Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee.
[18] Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee.
[19] All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more.”

Then look at Isaiah 14:12-16 KJV
” How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
[13] For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
[14] I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.
[15] Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
[16] They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms;”

God tells us Lucifer was so puffed up with himself and his abilities, he tried to overthrow God – his Creator. God tells us, Lucifer said, ” I will ” when his success was not Lucifer’s doing in the first place but God set him in a high position and gave him abilities. We know Satan’s end too and part of it is mentioned in verses 19-21.

Isaiah 14:19-21 KJV  ” But thou art cast out of thy grave like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of those that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit; as a carcase trodden under feet.
[20] Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people: the seed of evildoers shall never be renowned.
[21] Prepare slaughter for his children for the iniquity of their fathers; that they do not rise, nor possess the land, nor fill the face of the world with cities.”

When people start to look at “their” accomplishments in the flesh, often they take credit for their accomplishments and they are living in the flesh. They also set themselves up for a fall.

Paul tells us – in the flesh dwelleth no good thing in Romans 7:18. Even Jesus said, the flesh profiteth nothing in John 6:63.  David did not tell Goliath I am coming to clean your clock. David said, I come in the name of the Lord God. David always knew and confessed publicly, it is the Lord who wins David’s battles. Look at 1 Samuel 17:37 and
1 Samuel 17:43-45 KJV. ” And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.
[44] And the Philistine said to David, Come to me, and I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air, and to the beasts of the field.
[45] Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

King Saul was jealous of David and David’s victories. When God gives you success and victories, others will be jealous of you too. And as Saul tried to kill David, others will try to destroy you.

Friends, our victories and successes come from God, not anything we might do. And when you loose sight of that, you start living in the flesh and set yourself up for a fall.

The slogan, Be all you can be – yes, but not in the flesh and not focused on your successes but thankful to God for using you. For God working through you. Mankind will praise you and you have the opportunity to give God all the glory and praise publicly

Nothing is impossible with God.
Until next time.

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