Contend For the Faith

I was just sitting here taking a break from the work I should be doing, and I found myself thinking about some of the comments I have been seeing lately. I moderate my comments and so sometimes I will get one that I want to respond to, and I will wait to publish it so I can pray about what to say. This guy last night, left a comment that I will publish soon, saying that he has been a Christian 13 years. He goes to Calvary Chapel Golden Springs. His “last name” is Whosoever.

He says to me that I have “pure hatred for something I don’t understand.”

Hatred.

He writes about a lot of good things he sees going on in his church. He never explains away or debunks the things I write about, he just tells me that I don’t understand them. He concludes with, “In closing I wanna say I have gone out into the streets with Ryan, Sonny and the Whosoevers crowd to preach to the lost, to feed them, to give them bibles, to pray with them, to SAVE them from the worldly life they life. I have first hand experience with how many lives this has changed and it’s beyond belief and brings me to tears. The power of the Holy Spirit is leading the way. So while you sit at home writing blogs about HATE and things you don’t understand, me and the Whosoevers will be out in the world, bringing the lost to Christ one by one.”

I was telling my husband last night that it never ceases to amaze me how people read facts about a ministry that they are involved in, and then they choose to list all the wonderful things about the ministry. As if our faith is measured, like scales in a balance, and as long as the good outweighs the bad we should just shut up. But when we read Revelation 2-3, we see Jesus speak both commendation and critique to the churches. Even the good churches had things they needed to work on and fix! That is okay. Just because they had done good things, didn’t mean they didn’t make mistakes!!!

It is this cognitive dissonance, where we can’t believe an organization we trust could let us down. Our brains can’t handle the disappointment. I get it. I have been there. I have defended people that I didn’t need to defend too.

Another thing that strikes me is the anger and accusation that I have hate. Am I angry about the filth creeping in? of course. Do I hate these people? If I did, why would I cry and pray for them?

The final thing that confuses me is how so many people read my blog and think I am someone who does not approve of evangelizing people in sinful lifestyles. When that is exactly what I care MOST about. Yes, we need to love druggies, inmates, victims of abuse, prostitutes, victims of sex trafficking, the gay community, the broken. People assume I don’t like people with tattoos, never even thinking that they have NO IDEA what I look like. They assume I am Amish. The truth is, I have a deep love and a deep burden to share the love of Jesus Christ, with people who are deeply involved in sin!!!❤ Every TRUE Christian does. The Whosoevers do not corner the market on sinners.

And they assume I don’t DO these things. I guess if you have a blog, people think that you are not in ministry, or that you don’t evangelize or stand in the trenches.

I am in the trenches.

I also understand the Whosoevers. I have plenty of Facebook and real life friends whose “last name” is Whosoever.

I see plenty of people want to contend with me, and that is fine. I am fallible just like everyone else, but they don’t have the same zeal to contend for the Scriptures!!!

Where is the legitimate outrage that the FAITH is being compromised?

“Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.” Jude 3

He begins with the word “Beloved”– which is the Greek word agapetos. This is the same word that the Father used to speak of His Son Jesus, when our Lord was baptized. This is the ultimate word for affection.

But then he says to contend for the faith. So why do Christians see someone contending and think it is hate?

Jude said that we should earnestly contend for the faith.

Let us look at synonyms for these words “earnestly contend”–

We are to zealously fight, passionately battle, we are to grapple with all our strength. We are to confidently and fearlessly go head to head with those who would compromise or alter the truth of our faith.

Where is this in the church?

Why is our allegiance to our church leadership and not our actual LEADER?

Who died for you? Are you this carnal?

Your allegiance has to be above all else to your God. To His Word.

Why do we compromise his word for the sake of fallible humans?

Jude wrote “with all diligence” and his letter echoed much of what Peter wrote in 2 Peter.

What is this faith that we are contending for? It is the faith of our salvation. You guys this is the truth of the Gospel message that saves me and you and the prostitute and the druggie and the Korn fan and all of us. We all stand before the Lord fallen, and the CROSS of Jesus Christ is our only hope.

The faith that we are contending for says– “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

(Sidenote-I am not a legalist as many people have accused me. I do not think you need to keep the law for salvation. I do believe you are saved by faith, and that once saved you are a new creation, filled with the Holy Spirit, being sanctified and growing in holiness, not perfect, but abiding in His love and producing fruit of the Spirit. I do not add rules to the gospel. I just believe Christians should agree with Scripture that teaches us to pursue holiness by abiding in Christ and that grace is not a licence to practice willful unrepentant sinful lifestyles)

And yet you read the New Testament and we see so many people joining churches and claiming to be saved and adding to the Gospel or altering the truth–adding to it, and diminishing from it.

Did Paul hate false teachers? He called them dogs and wished they would circumcise themselves fully!!! I don’t think Paul was a hater, neither was Peter or Jude or James or John. They just LOVED Jesus more. They were faithful to the truth of God, and that was their primary loyalty.

The Judaizers, the Nicolaitans, the Gnostics–we have them all today. Still creeping into our churches, still altering the Gospel. Still trying to think for us (and if we don’t read our Bibles we will let them do all the thinking).

But you want me to put up with them?

So why am I an enemy to you when I say warn the church that Brian Welch is a false teacher? He is. Do you invite Benny Hinn into your churches? You might as well!!!! It is the same thing.

You put Brian Welch on KWVE May 21 and he starts saying things that are from the Kabbalah. You want to put up with that, it will become your judgment then! You let a false teacher that you have been WARNED about speak on your radio program and he says that the Shekinah glory of God is the female aspect of the Holy Spirit. This is straight Kabbalah teaching, Jewish Mysticism. It is totally unbiblical, and yet Ryan Ries let it go, unchallenged. KWVE let Brian Welch basically teach everyone listening that they Holy Spirit is feminine. Which directly contradicts Scripture and Hebrew grammar, where our Bibles tell us unquestioningly that the Holy Spirit is MALE.

How could you say that I am making a big deal out of nothing? He is altering the nature of the Trinity!!! On Calvary Chapel Radio.

I sat there with my family and a friend and was so disappointed!

And no one corrected him. I think that is even worse.

When you have someone come teach people and they say something stupid, you may not have known they would say that–so it isn’t your fault. But if you don’t get up afterwards and correct it, then you are guilty.

Contend!!!

We need to fight. I am not fighting Calvary Chapel or Brian or The Whosoevers, they belong to the Lord. I am fighting the lies and the falsehood, that will spread like leaven. My ultimate prayer is that the Lord would help these people do the right thing according to His Word. I pray they would get rid of the leaven! I would rejoice if they did.

I am contending for the truth of the Bible. God’s grace blows me away. I am not perfect. But when I fall short of the Word of God I don’t just excuse it as “no big deal.” I don’t point to all the other good things I have done. I don’t need my friends to attack the person who points out my flaw. What I need to do when I fall short of the Word of God, is to ask God to forgive me and help me fix it, and then go try and make things right. It is humbling. But it is a good witness.

I don’t expect the church to be perfect!!!! It never will be, no matter how sincere it is!!!❤ and I will love it anyways.

I just want it to take responsibility.  When it falls short of the standards of Scripture, I want it to admit it and take steps to make things right. That is all we can do as humans. It is a good witness.

Paul contended with Peter publicly, when he was being a hypocrite. It is okay to disagree, it is okay to call people out. We can survive that. Some won’t survive without it.

But when we shift our loyalties to defending imperfect people (that we love), instead of standing for Scriptural truth, we are building a house on sinking sand. If you love them, and you see that they are promoting false teachers, or false teaching–the most loving thing you could do is share the truth with them and pray that they make the right choice.

Otherwise, things will get worse– Jude says that these false teachers will turn the grace of God into lasciviousness. “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.” v.4

But the grace of God doesn’t make us lascivious (unbridled lust, excess, licentiousness, lasciviousness, wantonness, outrageousness, shamelessness, insolence)– The grace of God teaches us to deny our lusts!!!

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age,  looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,  who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.” Titus 2:11-14

Jesus gave Himself for us (Galatians 1:4). He gave everything. He gave Himself entirely. To redeem us from our sins and to deliver us from this present evil age. The present is now. He is saving us now. No one else will give everything for you!!! And the whole book of Galatians teaches the purity of the Gospel, but it also shows a man who is so angry at people turning away to a different teaching–because they found people that seemed pretty religious, but they were adding to the truth. They were changing the truth. People thought they could do it themselves, get to God their own way, through efforts of the flesh. It was a lie.

Contend for the faith. But you need to know what you are fighting for. Get in the word. Study these epistles. Know your history. Know your Word. Know your Lord. Know that you owe your primary allegiance to Him alone.

Paul says, “Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” Galatians 1:10

We must choose who we are going to stand up for- fallible man (all of us) or the infallible Word of God.

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Calvary Chapel “Tokin The Ghost”–A video by Kevin Walding

I was on YouTube today, actually looking for a bible study to watch while I eat my lunch and this video below was on in my recommended video section. YouTube must know me.

It was published in May of this year, so I am a little late to seeing it. But I wanted to share it, because Kevin Walding, the guy who made it did a fabulous job of compiling so much troubling information.

It is also shorter than some of the other great videos out there, in case you wanted to share it with your family and friends. I also enjoy how he exposes the lies that Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa said on their radio program. I wrote about all that a few years back, but most people don’t like reading long blogs (even though I like writing them). LOL.

I am so thankful that other people are out there, voices crying out in the wilderness. May God continue to raise up voices. May our voices be heard. May the sheep wake up and cry out with us!!! May things change.

Oh Lord Jesus, come down with cord of whips and clean out your temples!!!

God Bless

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You Can’t Improve on Perfection

I feel like I need to write this, as a clarification. I choose to write a lot with a heart to call the church to purity and righteous living. I wonder sometimes if this comes off as self-righteous or legalistic.

If so, then I need to write this.

Self-righteousness and legalism are falling from the faith of the simplicity of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

It is thinking that we can “earn” God’s love or favor.

It is a lie.

It is impossible.

We can’t improve on perfection.

When Christ our LORD died on the cross it was finished–our salvation was complete.

We can’t add to it.

We can’t earn it.

We can’t work for it.

We don’t deserve it.

We can just believe it, and receive it.

HE DID IT ALL.

There is nothing I can add to my salvation.

Just like Abraham, we believe and it is counted to us for righteousness.

Because our good works are simply filthy rags.

It is our faith that pleases the Lord.

And without faith it is impossible to please Him.

But our faith, is worked out in our lives.

Abraham’s faith affected his actions.

He choose to draw a knife above his son’s head–because our beliefs affect our actions.

He knew God would honor the promise and that Isaac was the chosen son.

He knew God could even raise him from the dead.

If Abraham didn’t believe God’s promise, he would have protected the life of his child.

I want my faith to be worked out radically in my life.

Not to earn my salvation, because I can’t, but to prove that I am indeed saved.

That I have actual FAITH.

I want to boldly believe the Word of God.

I want to agree with it.

I want to order my life and my actions according to it.

I see people all around saying that asking people to repent of sin is LEGALISM.

But why does the Bible call us to repent?

Even if we just believe that we need to repent, acknowledge that we are helpless apart from God, and call out in desperation for His Spirit to help us.

Jesus saves us from hell, but He also delivers us from our sins (presently).

Yes, it is a process!

But a REAL Christian, wants to begin that process.

A real Christian is grieved by sin.

A real Christian is convicted by the Spirit.

This isn’t legalism.

If you call yourself a Christian, then you should be praying for the Lord to transform you.

The word says He makes us a NEW creation.

We are, by His Spirit, born again.

We still have a sin nature,

but do we hate it?

Do we pray for help?

Or do we put on spiritual sweatpants and kick back with cheeseballs and another episode of Orange is the New Black?

In prison–to our past, to our lust, to our old natures?

Are you comfortable in your sin?

Are you resigned to your cell?

Has Christ handed you a pardon,

And you refuse to leave the jail?

Let us realize that sin is not a gift.

Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? NO! Certainly not.

We cannot improve upon the cross.

We can’t improve upon perfection.

But we can prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect WILL OF God.

What is His will for us? That we be transformed!!!!

This isn’t legalism!!!

It is deliverance!!!

And guess what? We can’t even take credit for it!!!

He gets all the Glory!!!

He redeems and He delivers.

But we must desire it.

He won’t deliver us against our will.

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. (Romans 12:1-2)

This isn’t legalism!!!!

This is our REASONABLE SERVICE.

 

God bless❤

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The Roots of the Cross

“Come, let us return to the Lord;

For He has torn, but he will heal us;

He has stricken, but He will bind us up . . .”

Hosea 6:1

We are so fallen

We are so desperate

Standing next to the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil

Enjoying the shade

Enjoying the sound of the wind through it’s leaves

Looking at the fruit

Deciding for ourselves

 

Fallen

Why do I do that which I do not want to do

Why don’t I do the things I want to do

Why do we stand in the shade of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

Why do we stand there and stare.

Waiting for the fruit to drop

Fallen

 

Fallen and bruised

So we wait in the shade

naked

ashamed

for the Heel to crush the snake.

He came. HE CAME.

“On the third day he will raise us up,

that we may live in His sight.”

Let us offer the sacrifice or our lips

Because we didn’t seek Him, and yet He seeks us.

 

He stretches out His arms all day long,

to a stubborn people.

And then He stretched out His arms, one day.

While we were yet His enemies.

Bleeding for the ungodly.

“I will heal their backsliding,

I will love them freely,

For My anger has turned away from him.”

 

Our Savior, saving us each day.

Delivered and being delivered.

The shadow of the cross falls over me.

I lie on my face under the weight of its shadow.

My dust, to dust

His glory, to glory

He says, “I am like a green cypress tree;

Your fruit is found in Me.”

 

The Cross had roots

The Cross had shade.

The Cross had fruit.

The Cross budded new life.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Apostasy is Happening

Tonight I listened to a teaching by Jacob Prasch that has  everything to do with what has been on my heart lately about the trash going on in the churches. I wanted to share it, because I know many of you are grieved about the same things that I am. This teaching will be a HUGE encouragement to you that we are not wrong; we are seeing things accurately, and scripturally.

The falling away is here. It has already begun. I had always pictured it as a  group of marginal Christians almost backsliding into the anti-Christ religious system. I thought it would be a good size group, but in my imagination it would be like 1/4 or 1/3 of the church. I pictured it being those who were not seriously committed, that the pull of the world would be too strong for them.

What I am seeing however, is that it is turning out to be is whole churches, whole denominations, the leadership casting themselves into error and taking passionate members with them. Willfully blind leading willfully blind. I see a small remnant of solid believers, crying out in the wilderness to warn the churches. I see them called names. I see them marginalized and labeled. I see them ignored. I see them persecuted. I am praying that more people wake up to what is happening. It is not the time to compromise for the sake of unity. We need to stand firm on the solid foundation of Scripture.

Don’t think you can “swallow the meat and spit out the bones,” Jacob says it is more like tea with a few drops of arsenic–can you swallow the tea and spit out the arsenic? No. Don’t give these false teachers the time of day. Let us come out of the apostate churches before we drown in them. Find solid Bible loving fellowships, that teach pure, love fervently, and reach out with the gospel. If you can’t find one, start one.

God bless you!

2 Thessalonians 2 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Great Apostasy

Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ[a] had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin[b] is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God[c] in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining, that he may be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only He[d] who now restrains will do so until He[e] is taken out of the way.And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Stand Fast

13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle.

16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, 17 comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.

 

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Hillsong United’s Unity Vs. True Christian Unity

naked-cowboy

The Naked Cowboy and Austin Powers in the Pulpit

My very close friend texted me Sunday morning about the Naked Cowboy visiting Hillsong Church New York, as I looked through the information she shared I felt disgusted, but not surprised. Now I am not a fan of Hillsong Church; I know they are a false teaching church. But I will admit that their music appeals to me. Some of their songs have really touched my heart over the last 20 years of my walk with God. That doesn’t make it okay. It is this little war in my heart, because I never feel right about it. Some Christians are stumbled by R-rated movies or worldly music. I am a Christian who is stumbled by the emotionally hypnotic Hillsong worship songs. It doesn’t help that these songs are also sung in most churches. Maybe some of you can relate. I am not saying it is okay; I don’t think it is. I am just being honest. I wish soooooo bad they were a godly church, so I could freely and happily sing along!!! Because in the light of all of this garbage, I just can’t.

Anyways, here is a link to Now The End Begin’s article on the Naked Cowboy. And here is a great video that does not just discuss this Naked Cowboy issue, but other serious issues with Hillsong, if you are not yet aware of them–C.A. Silvas video The Naked Cowboy-What Has Hillsong Come To???.

Many of you have already heard about this event, and I am not going to be writing to expose it, because other people already have done a great job of that. I am writing today to analyze it according to Scripture.

image from Pirate Christian

But if you haven’t heard about it yet, you might want to click on some of the links so you can understand what I am talking about. Basically, the NYC Hillsong Women’s Colour Conference featured a performance where you see a bearded statue of liberty, an Elvis impersonator, and the popular NYC character “The Naked Cowboy” in his underwear. How is this godly? What is even worse is, according to Pirate Radio, the man who performed as the Naked Cowboy is actually the youth pastor for Hillsong NYC, a former model named Diego Simila. If your daughter’s youth pastor was a good looking model, would you want him to dance around in his underwear? I don’t think so!!!!

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Hillsong London’s Pastor Austin Powers with Bobbie Houston from Hillsong Australia

This Hillsong Women’s Colour Conference also occurred in Hillsong London, where the pastor of the church dressed up like Austin Powers–the sexually immoral, swinger, whose movies Christians should never watch without feeling very guilty and dirty. WHY???

It seems like there is a spirit of sexual immorality that is rampant at these events. And I know that there are other issues with Hillsong and sexual immorality too, that I will mention later.

Easter At Hillsong London

As I was reading on Sunday about all of this TRASH, I happened upon a video of Hillsong London’s Easter 2016 service, which made my skin crawl. If you want to watch the video below, I just want to mention that I don’t know who this man is, just that he is a member of Hillsong London who was upset by what he saw at church this Easter. I can’t recommend any of his other videos because I don’t know him or his beliefs. In fact, the video is long, if you want to skip to the important parts, I will list them below. What you will see is evil.

  • You can see the event start at 5 minutes in. A shaman comes on stage and throws a dust on the crowd and chants a pagan looking chant. It looks like a pagan ritual.

    IMG_7301.PNG

    You can see the pyramid flash on top of Jesus’ eye

  • I also want to draw your attention to the clip that starts about 14 minutes in. It reminds me of what murder pornography would look like to a deranged serial murderer–and what I mean is, the violence against Christ is described as if the narrator is actually delighting in it.
  • IMG_7304

    One of many horned images. Who here is rising? It looks more like Lucifer.

    At 17 minutes into the video you see a pyramid with the all seeing eye capstone cover the image of Christ’s eye. To me this  proves that the person behind this even has occult motives.

  • At at about 20 minutes into this video you see a kaleidoscope pattern that swirls around, in which you can see several images of horned creatures, Baphomet, and at at one point glowing red demon eyes. It gave me goosebumps.
  • The whole service seemed overtly and blatantly demonic. I could find no redeeming value in it. Nothing that I could think of to explain why they did this.

Coercioncode.com (I don’t know them) wrote about this event above and included a video of what is said to be an actual satanic church recreating the crucifixion of Jesus, in a mock ritual. You can see that this is very similar to what happened at Hillsong London. Actually Hillsong looked more demonic than the Church of Satan.

And can anyone tell me why? Like seriously? Why on Resurrection Sunday do you want to have a dark and demonic recreation in morbid detail of the crucifixion? It isn’t Good Friday. He is risen!!! Where is the JOY!!! Where is the beauty????

Maybe they aren’t celebrating the resurrection at all?

Maybe they are more about the pagan aspect of the season?

/The Ishtar/

Scriptural Analysis

Anyways, so that is just a small part of what is going on with Hillsong. I am sure there are some sincere believers attending Hillsong churches, events, and concerts that have NO CLUE what is going on. Thankfully, there are many, many ministries out there that do a fabulous job of exposing the worldliness and sin in the movement. I want to help them get the information out. But now, I want to analyze this information in the light of Scripture. The reason why, is that Hillsong will tell you that we need to be united. We are one church, and that it is wrong to be critical of ministries. And Jesus does talk about unity in the church. But His unity is different from the unity that Hillsong is trying to sell us!

As Jesus prayed for His church the night he was betrayed and arrested we see Him pray for unity among His people. He says, “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” (John 17:21).

A lot of people take this to mean that we need to be ecumenical and tolerant of false teaching professed Christians.

Now I am not talking about simple doctrinal differences in the small areas. I am not against the small little Baptist church down the street, or the evangelical who believes differently about the end times, and I am not a Calvinist but I have brothers and sisters who love the Lord who are. I am united with solid believers that have small differences of belief. In fact, I am in a small group study with people from different churches and denominations, and all of them value with word of God and we are united in that.

But I am talking about being ecumenical and tolerant when it comes to promoting sinfulness or blatant obvious contradictions to clear teachings in Scripture (the seeker friendly, purpose driven, prosperity, false healing, name it and claim it, easy believing, TBN loving, drunk in the spirit, false gospel promising, multimillionaire, peddling preachers). I am talking about people who turn their back on clear the truth of God for personal gain.

I was listening to something  Joel Houston, worship leader of Hillsong United and co-pastor of Hillsong NYC, said a few months back and he said something so unbiblical but smooth and easy to swallow. All the people that were listening were swallowing it up, unquestioned. He said, that there is one church. And that we need to stop being critical, but unite with each other despite our differences.

So I was thinking and praying about what Joel Houston said, about unity. And I asked the Lord, “God, am I wrong when I am so critical of false teaching or sin in different ministries? I don’t want to hurt your heart if you want me to have a spirit of humility and grace in response to their error.”

And it was so simple, the Lord immediately brought to my attention my recent readings through John. Specifically all the good stuff Jesus says in chapters 15-18. That is heavy stuff.

Jesus tells us exactly what unity is!

20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me. (John 17)

There is one church, but not everyone is part of it.

Here, Jesus prays for His people to be “one” as He and the Father are “one.”

So unity with each other is BASED completely on our unity with the Father and Christ.

When a believer or a church is no longer committed to being in union with the Lord through the truth of the Bible–then THEY are choosing to not be united with the Lord’s true church.

It is not our obligation to fake a unity with them.

There is no unity.

They have rejected it.

True unity is Christ in us– “that they may be one as we are one  I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity.”

Jesus was united with the Father because He always sought to do the Father’s will:

“For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.” John 6:38

“Going a little farther, He fell facedown and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me. Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

“Jesus explained, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to finish His work.” John 4:34

“I can do nothing by Myself; I judge only as I hear. And My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30

“Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” John 6:57

Jesus’ unity with the Father was demonstrated in His obedience to God’s will.

If we understand what this means we will understand what it means to be united with others in Him.

Our first priority is to be united with Jesus and the Father, not each other.

We are to be “in Christ” as He is “in the Father.” And Jesus explains what this means in John 15. When He describes being the Vine and as us being the branches. We must be connected to Him.

I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.  If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” John 15:5-6

We are only connected to each other as branches, by way of our connection to the Vine.

If we become disconnected to Jesus we literally become firewood. When we are not connected to Him we do not have the life flowing in us, and we don’t have the unity with him. Then how can we have the unity with other branches? Should we just pretend that we are all still connected? That is a lie. Common sense tells us that a dead branch that has fallen off the vine is something the gardener picks up and puts in the chipper. The gardener does not glue a dead branch back onto the vine to pretend that we are still united?

In fact, Jesus goes beyond this idea of a dead branch that has fallen off. He even includes the withered and dead branches that are still attached to the vine. He says His Father is the Vine-dresser that actually CUTS OFF the branches that are not fruitful. “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” (John 15:1-2). I have heard this taught that it is actually healthier for the plant when the unfruitful branches are pruned. It allows the living branches to be more fruitful. 

Prosperity Teaching-Is this God’s will? No!

The New Testament Epistles give us a similar concept taught with a different picture. This time it isn’t a vine, but a body. “And He is the head of the body, the church” Colossians 1:18. The church is the body of Christ — “From Him the whole body is fitted and held together by every supporting ligament. And as each individual part does its work, the body grows and builds itself up in love.” Ephesians 4:16 We are united with each other, like the parts of the body, that are all in submission to the Head. Christ is our “Head,” and our unity comes from Him.”

But what happens when one of the members rebels against the Lord? Colossians says, “They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body…” Colossians 2:19. They lose connection with Christ, they lose connection with the church.

So unity isn’t always healthy.

Sometimes, breaking apart is healthy.

Breaking can come from the Father.

How do we maintain our unity with the Father? Jesus says, obedience and love.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.  If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.  You are my friends if you do what I command.” John 15:9-14

Says the man who wrote a book called “You Need More Money”

Remain in His love. Abide in His love. Live in His love. Make your home in His love.

If you keep His commands, you will remain in UNITY with Him.

If you treasure His words, you will remain in UNITY with Him.

If Psalm 119 is the cry of your heart, you will remain in UNITY with Him.

If you LOVE each other, you will remain in UNITY with Him.

LOVE

The Shema

Deuteronomy 6

” Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.  Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.”  Deuteronomy 6:4-9

In our unity and love we will make the commandments and the Scriptures the center of our conversations and delight.

The Greatest Commandment:

 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Our primary loyalty, is to God. Our second loyalty is to love our neighbor–even to lay down our lives for others.

But if we make “unity to others” our first loyalty, then we FAIL in loving God with ALL our heart, ALL our soul, ALL our mind, and ALL our strength.

Church movements don’t save us. They didn’t die for us. Purchase us. Redeem us. Sanctify us. No. Our loyalty isn’t to a movement. It isn’t to a church.

Our loyalty is to our God. We worship Him alone.

We can only have true unity with each other, when we are all abiding in the truth and unity of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Why is this important?

Because we confuse our loyalty often times. And that is why, when you see a church leader saying something off or promoting something that is not right, our first instinct is to find some reason to defend him. We think of the good he has said or done. We think of the ways his service has blessed our walks in the past. We think of what a nice guy he is. All of this is so that our worlds can still make sense.

It is impossible sometimes for us to reconcile that there are two truths, that contradict each other– Bible Teacher = Wrong. 

That is hard to swallow.

BUT CHRIST IS NEVER WRONG

That is why Jesus says, “that they also may be one in us”

We can only be ONE when we are IN the Lord.

Our unity with each other can only come through unity with God.

The openly gay couple that served in the choir at Hillsong NYC

My allegiance is to Him, and to His Word.

Even Paul said, only to follow him as he follows Christ– “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.” 1 Corinthians 11:1

Basically, follow me as I follow Christ. But once I stop following Christ, you need to stop following me.

So let us PRAY for unity!!! Not the unity to each other, but that every one who names the NAME of CHRIST would be UNITED to HIM!!!!!

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” Psalm 133:1 — TRUE UNITY is sweet.

My Response to Hillsong

So please don’t tell me, Joel Houston, that I need to feel bad for being critical, or that I need to be united with you because there is only ONE church. That is manipulative. Maybe, you need to feel bad for the lack of unity. Your church is the one who is departing from the Scriptures and holiness and honesty. Maybe you need to be UNITED with Christ–because you are not right.

1000000002249

Hillsong won’t speak against homosexuality, but Bobbie will speak against plus size women having sex with their husbands. INSANE!!!!

Look at this stuff that is rampant in your church. Along with the openly gay worship leader and his partner that served in your choir. London’s Pastor dressing up like the sexually immoral swinger Austin Powers. A youth pastor dancing around in his underwear as the Naked Cowboy. Bobbie Houston’s series Kingdom Women Love Sex–where she tells women to get plastic surgery. She says, “If I carry weight I feel like a retard … How are you going to do anything to surprise your man when you need a hydraulic crane just to turn over in bed?” And it gets worse in the book, and more lewd and sexually immoral. First of all Bobbie, don’t say “retard;” that is rude. And don’t make fun of and degrade larger women; shame on you. This is not from Christ. No wonder we are seeing sexual immorality at these women’s events. The church leadership has not taken a stand for Biblical sexuality and is carnal.

All of this stuff should be put in the chipper!

You can’t have unity with the real brethren who follow the Bible and live the Shema–because you have chosen not to do those very things that make for Oneness with Christ. You have rejected unity, and I will not bow down to your idolatry, prosperity gospel, easy believism, sensuality, entertainment of the “sheep.”

You are not my kind of Christianity.

If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.  If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.” John 15:18-19

The world likes you!!!

But you don’t seem much like Christ.

Come on you guys, PLEASE get it together.

Right now you have to choose, are you going to lead the world to the God of the Bible or are you going to lead the goats in the church of the New World Order.

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Press On Towards Christ!

I have a lot on my heart today. It is all very positive and happy. I feel the Lord’s sweet encouragement. It is exciting.

It is the encouragement to press on.

God is so gracious.

There are times in my life when I find out that the people I have been close to, who I have thought were so sweet, who I thought would be my true friend–have let me down. I have found out that they were really critical or judgmental. That they were performance oriented. And I didn’t measure up. They saw something in me that they didn’t care for, and consequently, they hurt me. It happens to all of us.

But the Lord, He is not like that. He sees our faults and our weaknesses and because He LOVES us with perfect LOVE, He commits Himself to work in our lives on our behalf to bring conviction and change. He doesn’t give up on His children.

I am so thankful for that kind of love, because I am a child in great need of a God who gives grace. I am a child who needs help. Encouragement keeps us going. Discouragement makes us give up. We all need encouragement. And God LOVES to give it.

“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have laid hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize of God’s heavenly calling in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14

It is time to press on.

We need to let go of the past–the failures, the rejection, the pain, the apathy, the SIN, and the fear. We need to stop living in the past–our achievements, our victories, our pride, our memories.

My yesterdays do not define my todays.

I need to keep going. Keep fighting, keep seeking, keep serving, keep loving, keep trying, keep praying, keep sharing the gospel, and not look to the past to define who I am today. Turn to Christ. Press on.

We are witnessing some insane world events right now. And we NEED to be close to God.

I just want to encourage you that if you are not taking your walk seriously right now, it is time to get serious. I know that when you have been walking with Christ for a long time, there are times when you are totally charging toward the Lord with all your heart, and there are times when you feel like you need to slow down to catch your breath. I have been there. But this isn’t a sprint, it is a long distance marathon. We need to be steady, consistent, and we need to train to endure.

You need to be in the Word. You need it. You need to not just read it passively, but you need to grab onto the word and dive into as if your life depended on it. You need to lay hold of Christ and seek Him diligently. Recently the Lord convicted me of being passive. I was still doing my reading, but I wasn’t waking up early to meet with Him expecting Him to speak to me in His word. I was just reading, and walking away from the word, my mind on a million other things.

But the Lord is coming back! I need to be watching. I need to be expecting. I need to be preparing. We don’t know when He will come, but we do see the signs of it getting clearer and clearer.

  • Our President has mandated that all schools open up their bathrooms and locker rooms to students of the opposite sex, if they are transgender. (NY Times)
  • Our President appointed a transgender female named Barbara Satin to the Advisory Faith Council. (article by Allen B. West)
  • Target (and other stores) have opened up the bathrooms and dressing rooms not to just trans-gendered individuals (who already had been using them) but to sex offenders and perverts. (LifeSite)
  • Buzzfeed just featured a video/article about a man getting a microchip in his hand so that he could buy things– It is called “Satan’s Credit Card–What The Mark of the Beast Taught Me About the Future of Money
  • The Pope met to unite in peace with the highest Sunni Cleric, in an effort to “apologize” for Pope Benedict’s comments that implied that Islam was a violent religion. (BBC News)
  • The (radical Sunni group) Islamic State is still massacring people in the Middle East and took credit for the recent plane that crashed on its way from France to Egypt.
  • Islamic State is encouraging attacks in Europe and the United States, by lone wolf sympathizers in the upcoming month of Ramadan. (Associated Press)
  • Senior Iranian Military Commander boasts that they could destroy Israel in less than 8 minutes. (The Times of Israel)
  • Chinese and Russian warplanes have been increasingly aggressive intercepting U.S. military aircraft and patrolling near America’s West Coast and California (USA Today)
  • China will have nuclear submarines terrorizing the sea, this year (The Daily Beast)

We live in scary times.

I don’t think we yet understand the extent of persecution that will come to Christians as the trans-gendered movement continues to alter our society. Our daughters will have male roommates in their college dorm. Our church youth groups will get sued if we don’t let the trans-gendered youth sleep in their preferred cabins. Persecution is coming. We will face legal consequences for our faith.

With all this, and Zika, and earthquakes, and extreme weather, and false teachers, and famines, and continued genocide–we are seeing so much of what the Bible says will happen before He comes to pour out His wrath on the world.

“When these things begin to take place, stand up and lift up your heads, because your redemption is drawing near.” Luke 21:28

Let us be encouraged then, that we need to forget about our past–the good we did and the bad we did. And we need to press on towards Christ. We need to focus our eyes on Him and ask the Lord to help us to be obedient. We need to LOVE, and SERVE, and PREACH the GOSPEL, and be found FAITHFUL.

And boy do we need His help to do it!!!! Jesus says, “Without Me you can do nothing” John 15

Please don’t confuse these activities with “earning” your salvation–you can’t.

These are the activities that we should be doing THROUGH His strength and enabling, because we love Him.

This is our time.

We are all in a spiritual battle.

Do not fall asleep!

Let us wake each other up, and encourage each other to love and good works.

“So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Matthew 24:44

“Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:14-16

“For you have spent enough time in the past carrying out the same desires as the pagans: living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing, and detestable idolatry.” 1 Peter 4:3

“As for you, you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you used to walk when you conformed to the ways of this world and of the ruler of the power of the air, the spirit who is now at work in the sons of disobedience. among whom we all also once lived in the desires of our flesh, doing the things willed of the flesh and of its thoughts; and we were by nature children of wrath even as the rest. But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even we being dead in trespasses–by grace you are saved–” Ephesians 2:1-5

Our Lord is coming, and the whole world will see Him. They do all these wicked and abominable things now, but one day they will see that they truly are accountable to the Lord. They will one day kneel trembling before Him as Judge. But today there is still time for anyone to meet Him as Father. This is such a solemn truth, that should shape the way we consider whether or no to risk “offending” a friend with the gospel today.

Messiah Jesus came the first time to die for our sins. He comes the second time to judge the world. We are standing on the edge of that coming.

His first coming brought the promise and hope of a second chance, this coming will not have that same promise.

The time for a second chance is now.

The Lord is longing for us. He loves us. He pursues us. He finds us just as we are and tenderly, like a Father, helps us with our weaknesses. He isn’t harsh and looking to scold us. He is kind and merciful. He created us just the way we are, and He delights in us.

Come to Christ today. With all your baggage and pain. With all your pride and self sufficiency. With all your fear and guilt. Let Him take your burdens, and replace it with a yoke that binds you to Him. His yoke is EASY. His burden is LIGHT. He can carry your load. And you can walk next to Him- TOGETHER. It is easy to do. Just sit down and cry out to Him in prayer, ask for mercy, ask for intimacy, then open the Bible, and He will meet you. He is waiting for you.

“Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him.” Isaiah 30:18

“Brethren, all of us who have come back to God by faith in our Lord Jesus Christ have found, as did the prodigal that the Father in heaven has not changed at all!”   A. W. Tozer

“The Return of the Prodigal Son”- Rembrant

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