1Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a leader of the Jews. 2He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know You are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs You are doing if God were not with him.”
3Jesus replied, “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”
4“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Can he enter his mother’s womb a second time to be born?”
5Jesus answered “Truly, truly, I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. 6Flesh is born of flesh, but spirit is born of the Spirit. 7Do not be amazed that I said, ‘You must be born again.’8The wind blows where it wishes. You hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
9“How can this be?” Nicodemus asked.
10“You are Israel’s teacher,” Jesus replied, “and do you not understand these things?11Truly, truly, I tell you, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, and yet you people do not accept our testimony.
12If I have told you about earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you about heavenly things?13No one has ascended into heaven except the One who descended from heaven—the Son of Man.”
Jesus is making a statement here that about discerning who God is and trying to take examples from my life and applying them to understand further the Kingdom of God.
So my question that I hope to answer today is:
Are my experiences open to my own interpretation in the Bible/the truth about Jesus Christ?
In order for clarity on this subject matter to fully take root in our heart, I believe that it is GOOD for a Christian man/woman to fully question their walk with God to determine the truth about the character that God is building inside of each of us.
The stronger your character is, the more Jesus will test your commitment, in so that he will to further along the calling that He has placed on your life.
We are going to hop into 3 verbs that Jesus talks about in Matthew 7 as our example for this teaching, where I will fully be taking out my opinion of what I think the text means. We will look at the simple/literal translation and then dive into a deeper look at these verbs.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.”
Ask– Make your struggles, problems, hardships, worries, fears, desires, necessities known to God in your head or out loud.
Seek– Look out for the things that you’ve asked about because God is giving you what you asked for.
Knock– If you have the courage to show up and ask God he will give it to you.
Now let’s look at another account for the same scripture verse in Luke 11.
5And he said to them, “Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves, 6for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7and he will answer from within, ‘Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed. I cannot get up and give you anything’?8I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his impudence(also means: persistence) he will rise and give him whatever he needs. 9And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. 11What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; 12or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
Luke 11:5-13 (emphasis added verse 8 + 9)
Luke’s account from this teaching implies different types of character traits then Matthews account. Luke’s account implies that there has to be an urgency, and a desire to go after to the point of annoyance/offense (even in Jesus’ culture), and a continual knocking on the door with urgency.
Lets look into the Strongs Definition to grasp a better understanding of what Luke’s word mean in verses 8-9 (www.blueletterbible.org).
Ask– αἰτέω (Greek) – ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require, make request as a favor, strictly a demand for something due.
Seek– ζητέω (Greek) – to seek (literally or figuratively); specially, (by Hebraism) to worship (God), or (in a bad sense) to plot (against life):—be (go) about, desire, endeavor, inquire (for), require, (will) seek (after, for, means); which implies a search for something hidden, to beg (as binding oneself), i.e. petition.
Knock– κρούω (Greek) – to rap:—knock; knock with heavy blow, knock with knuckles, knock at the door.
Scripture as we know is God’s truth, it NEVER contradicts itself, and when we look into the Bible it only way to compare truth is to look at truth as an ABSOLUTE. Implying that truth cannot be debated over, because it remains true regardless of opinion, wickedness, deception, or slander (1 Corinthians 2:9-16). Absolute truth cannot be debated about because it is clear and simple, but sadly, as Christians we have walked away a a bit from this sort of clear understanding. We have begun to insert OUR opinions based on our relative experiences that we try to make Jesus someone that He is not. Our experiences (if not aligned with the word) begin to contradict what scripture is telling us about God, God’s truth, and His way.
Using the comparable verses in Matthew 7 and Luke 11. Some people might argue, “I shouldn’t have to be annoying to God, he already hears me, so I don’t have to annoy him. I just trust him, and I know that he’s going to give me what I need.”
Conceptually, this sounds great; except that many times God will place us in a place of dependency on him to teach us how to trust him deeper. There will be experiences with God where it will be easy and carry a light burden, but these things are because we are fully walking in the spirit as opposed to our flesh.
So when the verse talks about continually knocking, continually seeking, continually asking, Jesus means it. He is subtly teaching about having an unashamed audacity for the Lord. So regardless of what I think, or what my personality type is, or what favorite color I have. This is an undeniable and absolute truth that has to be established in every Christian’s character, regardless of color, gender, denomination, living environment, or even what continent I live on.
All we need to learn is how to trust Jesus so much that if we continually ask him, not just complaining – but are willing to ask him for something that we are willing to go to Him for it as opposed to figuring it out in our own might, and we have the audacity to pound on the gate of his house over, and over, and over again pleading with him. He may just give us that in which we are asking for.
It doesn’t matter what my experience is, it matters who God says that I am and that I walk it out. All of these experiences that I endure through in life have to line up with scripture. What my individual gift’s and ways that I serve the Lord may change from person to person – but internally I have the same spirit as the one that Jesus has, because He lives inside each and every one of us with the Holy Spirit.
An amazing Father knows his children, so he’s not going to give you something that you’re not ready for. Some of you reading this aren’t ready to absorb all that this message is, and frankly, it’s a very mature growing tool. Wherever you find yourself, Jesus is going to use the things in your life to challenge you, in so that he can instill in you the resources, skill-sets, and character you need to take the trip you asked for. He fulfills His side of the promise.
Single Time. He Will Do.
As Christians let us confirm and constantly put our desires in check with Jesus and His word. And do everything you do in Love, which covers a multitude of sins for those whom you love. Love those who are difficult to love. Restore those who have fallen away, and lost their heart along the way. Set the captives free. Rescue the oppressed. Stand up for righteousness even if it costs you something. Feed those who are hungry. Give to anyone who asks, and take chances on people that no one else takes chances on. Even if you are harmed, God will not let you be taken away from Him.
41So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, “Father, I thank you that you have heard me.42I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me.”
43When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!”44The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face.
Jesus said to them, “Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”
There comes a time when you believe in Jesus that you wake up from being dead and then finally become alive. You experience not just a prayer, not just really nice people, not just a new family, new friends, or a dunk in a horse trough. You have an actual feeling and encounter The Lord of Lords and the God of Gods. He consumes your heart completely and has made you completely new. Like Lazarus, we oftentimes can die, obtain a new spirit, and then have to change out of old garments.
The changing of garments symbolizes a transition. We transition similarly to Lazarus. Taking off the clothes that symbolize death and put on new clothes that symbolize life.
^^ Don’t think that I am talking about someone else. The Lord is using a story like this to life and look at yourself and see who you are. ^^
Do you have clothes of a dead man that you’re hanging onto?
When you became alive in Christ…Did you take off those clothes and hide them in your spiritual closet?
Do the things you are taking identity in NOW take president over the newness of life that God has given you?
Another parallel that demonstrates a rebirth is when the Israelites go into the land of Egypt (Gen. 37, Gen. 41-47, Ex. 1) because of a man named Joseph gets sold into slavery. He becomes a slave, then gets falsely accused and becomes a prisoner, finally being elevated to the 2nd most powerful man in Egypt. Joseph is being brought into hardship, remains steadfast and faithful to the Lord while undergoing hardship, trials, persecution. Just when you think his life gets bad, it gets worse, then horrible. He went from being his father Jacob’s favored son, about to obtain all his fathers promises and possessions; to a man that was deceived, sold away, and then a prisoner.
Joseph parallel’s his life to a man that is faithful to God even when his circumstances seemed so difficult and next to impossible. God shows to be faithful to Joseph; He did not neglect God’s character, still honored and giving glory to God, lastly obeying God even to the point of imprisonment.
Jesus placed Joseph in rough and tough circumstances to make him into the man that He was destined to become so that His glory would be shown. Though Joseph’s circumstances were not desirable or enjoyable. He found contentment with God even in the midst of chaos. Joseph knew God is faithful and steadfast in His love for Joseph.
That dreams and visions Joseph had was enough for him to do whatever was needed regardless of where he was placed.
Joseph was going to achieve the dreams that God spoke to him, in God’s timing, and in God’s way. Joseph was entrusted with very little, and then less, yet his heart remains faithful. God entrusts him with a position in the world which would demonstrate God’s love, perseverance, and strength that would be no way attainable by human means or logic. God increases Joseph’s faith through trials and testing.
Years go by and Joseph still remains in Egypt. 60 people came into Egypt and The Lord allowed them to multiply into a mighty nation of Israel. The Israelites needed to fulfill the promises of God through His servant Abraham. The Lord set his people free from the land of Egypt and broke the chains of physical and spiritual freedom to give them a nation of their own.
See when the Lord gives you trials, hardship, even death. He provides a resurrection, He sets you free. You become a new person, with a new spirit, even though you are in a different culture. There is something shocking going on now inside of you. You may look, feel, and possibly think like the same person who just spiritually surrendered their life to Jesus Christ. When you put all of your hope, all of your faith, all of your strength into Him, He does the work. You can now come to Him as a child. The struggle now is to make Him your TOP PRIORITY, insofar as you begin to change and become a new creation in Christ.
You were once a walking dead man, Christ made the dead and dry bones rise, and gave you newness of life in Christ Jesus.
Trust when you read this that you CANNOT have a resurrection life continuing to wear your “Grave clothes.”
Jesus demands a response. He desires you to act rightly before Him because He is Holy as you ought to be like Him. A disciple of a Rabbi does everything rightly that the Rabbi does. As we follow Jesus, we begin to do the same that Jesus does.
Jesus tells you to take those “dead man’s clothes off!” So throw away the spiritual dead clothes, because you are alive. Your resurrection becomes your testimony, now you are living proof that Jesus Christ reigns and his mercies are new each and every single day. You cannot strive to do all these other tasks in your new body if you remain in your old clothes.
20 If indeed they have escaped the corruption of the world through their knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, only to be entangled and overcome by it again, their final condition is worse than it was at first. 21It would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness than to have known it and turned away from the holy commandment passed on to them. 22 Of them the proverbs are true: “A dog returns to its vomit,”and, “A sow that is washed goes back to her wallowing in the mud.”
2 Peter 2:20-22
You MUST throw away the old garments so that you can live in the new life that Jesus has granted you.
Are their spiritual clothes that you own that you are unwilling to hang up?
Is everything in your closet from The Lord, or are you clinging onto the old clothes of your dead self?
Do these “old clothes” determine who you are?
Are you someone that searches for your life’s meaning by what kind of slave you are?
Does work, family, friends, addiction, hobb(y,ies), favorite sport(s), denomination church you attend, groups you gather in, determine the value that you have for yourself?
All of these questions manage and determine the posture of your heart. There is only one spirit and teaching from Jesus that echoes through the heart of a resurrected “new-garment-wearing” believer – deny yourself and pick up your cross DAILY.
The Lord is going to fill your with surmountable obstacles that may leave you feeling worn out, torn up, broken, and needing help.
Know that this in itself is a good thing.
17 A friend loves at all times,
And a brother is born for adversity.
You were born to overcome your dead identity.
A Heroic Awakening
The adversity we face allows us to stop moving in the “spiritual current” propelling us toward death. Faith allows us to be confident in throwing away the grave clothes are wearing. Burn the old ones we hide away in our spiritual closet. The garments we get rid of are meant to build up our inner man, strengthen our faith, and clearing out the closet for the blessings that Jesus is gifting us.
Deciding to throw away the old clothes transforms our wardrobe, which make room for new promises from God to our inner man. When you read the word of God, you see several PROMISES (“new clothes”) throughout the Old Testament. Jesus gives you some new ones too. This is who you are. Not dead in your transgressions, but now ALIVE in Christ, having new garments and partaking in new events.
The intention of this awakening is for you to be more than a conqueror in Jesus and overcoming fear, anxiety, worry, doubt, and ultimately death.
“I knew a wise man once..
he said, ‘death smiles at us all…
all a man can do is… smile back.'”
Who we need to be, is steadfast and faithful to God under pressure. That in itself awakens an unshakeable foundation of faith. Because God will not forsake, nor leave us. We have every part of the resurrection power of Jesus Christ in this life. He gives us strength to push through trial, testing, even if all others have ran away.
Look at the way Jesus reveals the truth to the disciples about who they are before resurrection and after the resurrection.
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.27 And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’28 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”29 Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”30 And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.”31 But he said emphatically, “If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.
We see Jesus prophesying about what will happen when He gives up His life; those who follow will be shocked and will leave. Peter, desiring to fight on the same team as God ~ desires nothing less than to stick with Jesus until the end.
We all sometimes can be like Peter looking for that heroic call. We can think it, dream it, and even try it. In the end without the resurrection, we deny Jesus and the power of the cross. We are walking with grave clothes. We try to operate like our “old self.”
Now most of us reading this article, understand what Peter does afterward, but to bring out the word we look back into Mark 14:66 below.
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came,67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.”68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed.69 And the servant girl saw him and began again to say to the bystanders, “This man is one of them.”70 But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.”72 And immediately the rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, “Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
See God knows exactly what we are going to struggle with, we may emphatically think that we do not struggle with something – when really we do. The struggle, difficulty, hardship we face is to see ourselves in the mirror and know exactly who we are and accept the truth for who we are. Only then can we cling to the cross and become the man God wants us to be.
We do not need to focus our attention toward how bad we are doing, how much we’re failing, or even the fact that we are denying Jesus the glory He deserves.
Like Peter -we just need to be honest about WHO we are at this very moment. Even if that person is afraid, scared, or weak. Because whatever we are, when we surrender everything to Christ. He can make us strong, not us in our own strength… but the strength of Christ dwelling inside us.
For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.
For when I am weak, then I am strong.
2 Corinthians 12:10
In the moment, we don’t know what may happen to us prior to our life in our heroic resurrection. We may find ourselves afraid that if we put new clothes on and be WHO Jesus says we are, something really bad might happen to us.
Rest assured that Christ remains the same. He remains steadfast, strong, willing, and most powerful Alpha male of all time. He knows what is best for us even if it hurts or makes us go through hardship.
Our dead man’s clothes, hard hearts, and stubborn necks force us away from the heart of God. But if we remain in Jesus, continue in His ways instead of our own, we will gain the power of the resurrection now.
No gimmicks. No presentations. True Freedom. Today.
End of Story.
4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
There is one thing we need, Jesus Christ. In Him we have the power to overcome death, and a deadman’s slave-like mentality. We can walk into the promises of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, being grafted in by the work that Jesus Christ did at the cross.
See some of you already have the Holy Spirit, some of you think you have the Holy Spirit, some of you do not. See when we walk in the fullness of the cross we can draw upon the power of the The Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit grants us power from on high. Filling our hearts, lungs, and minds with boldness, strength, compassion, humility, and most importantly love.
Peter…the man that denied Jesus at the cross, was a different man in the world. Through the work of Jesus at the cross was transformed into the world-beating, Satan-conquering, courageous-warrior known as Peter. The one that Christ built His church through (John 21:15-25). The same man that rejected Jesus, rebelled against some of Jesus’ teachings and chopped off some dude’s ear because he was trying to save Jesus.
Peter knew about first hand about acting foolishly without understanding and being afraid to consistently walk in faith.
Through Jesus, Peter was taught how to have outstanding faith as to walk on water, heal the sick, trust in the unseen, found out how to be bold with self-control, channel his strength at the appropriate time to demonstrate God’s character with the fire that comes from on high. He became a Holy Spirit-filled believer that continued to morph the church of Acts. Peter explains the process that all of us go through as maturing Christians in their faith from personal experience.
Peter was left a legacy from Jesus to follow the Holy Spirit, teach His qualities that Jesus instilled in him to other men (Eph. 4:11-23) just as Moses did with the sons of Aaron (Ex. 18:13-26), entrusting faithful men to continue the work and help the entire body of Christ.
Faith. Moral Excellence. Knowledge. Self-Control. Steadfastness.
Godliness. Brotherly Affection. Unconditional-Love (same as God’s Love).
And below Peter instructs us what these qualities will do for us in our walk.
8 For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins. 10Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to confirm your calling and election, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall. 11For in this way there will be richly provided for you an entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:8-11 (emphasis added of underlining )
Jesus will making our faces shine like Moses (Ex. 34:29-35) and create on us an angelic face like that of Stephen (Acts 6:15). When we are filled with His Spirit we turn from an average person to a warrior, mighty one, strong hunter, champion, mighty king as the Lord is (Strong’s H1368). We take all that strength and put that crown that The Lord gives us at HIS feet. Giving Him complete control of His bride and allowing us to become just like Him through the Holy Spirit.
So whether you’re walking in a dead identity or fully intact with Jesus right now. This prayer has blessed me, and I know it will you too.
Jesus I thank you and love you with all my heart. Help me to never go back to my grave clothes. I pray that you have stirred in me all the heroic traits that you’ve given me before the beginning of time. In you – with the power of your cross, you give me power over this world, the nations, because they crumble into pieces at your feet. Lord thank you because you make me into a strong warrior, you break down Babylon with your mighty war hammer (Jer. 50:25, Jer. 51:15-30), you raise me up to sit with you on your heavenly throne. You are my strength, my fortress, my shield. In you I will continue to find peace. Your joy is my strength. Apart from you I can do nothing. So Lord I thank you personally for sharing with me this teaching and allowing it to bless my heart and honor my faith as I overcome the dead identity you have destroyed in me. Lord I will be blessed by the new heart you have given me and I receive it with thanksgiving. Teach me what your will is for my life. I love you and thank you. In Jesus mighty and powerful name. Amen.
16 “But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the Lord, “and they will catch them. After that I will send for many hunters, and they will hunt them down on every mountain and hill and from the crevices of the rocks. 17 My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes. 18 I will repay them double for their wickedness and their sin, because they have defiled my land with the lifeless forms of their vile images and have filled my inheritance with their detestable idols.”
He is here to pursue after you, The Lord will send His workers for you. He will continue to look for you until He can bring you into His perfect fortress to show you how much He loves you, what you mean to Him, and His provision for you. He will spend every resource He has to show you how much He loves you.
℗ Trip Lee, Christian Musician
19Lord, my strength and my fortress,
my refuge in time of distress,
to you the nations will come
from the ends of the earth and say,
“Our ancestors possessed nothing but false gods,
worthless idols that did them no good.
20 Do people make their own gods?
Yes, but they are not gods!”
21 “Therefore I will teach them—
this time I will teach them
my power and might.
Then they will know
that my name is the Lord.
He is our strong tower, our place of refuge in the midst of chaos, happiness, hardship, and/or confusion.
The Lord is a soul seeker.
Soul: (spirit, heart, essence, core, heart) also known as your mind, will, and emotions.
He is looking for us, He knows us, He wants us to seek Him out. He wants to spend time with us. The Lord pursues us, and as we mature – we seek Him out back. Jesus paid the way for us. We have access to Him through the Holy Spirit that draws us in.
1 My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, 2 making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; 3 yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, 4 if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, 5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God
But what if we’re not right with God because of our own sin?
Does that mean that God would be angry with us? Would we even feel guilt if we hurt him by consciously choosing wrong? If He loves us wouldn’t he just let us ‘slide-by’ and get off the hook?
By the end of this article we should have a basic concept of the following:
The cycle of pursuit
When reading the Bible, you’ll find many concepts/subject matters that are seem to collide with your own personal opinions. You’ll hear phrases and topics that are against beliefs of those around you. You also may come across stories that have no way for you to apply it to the current stage of your heart. You may also make ideas that are based on the messages that others have said that sound like biblical references, but they are not. There will be doctrines or beliefs about your current surroundings (family, church, friends, mentors) that may not be set on biblical doctrine.
“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factionsand envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”
Galatians 5:17-21 (NIV)
One thing that The Lord loves is the pursuit. God pursues the Spirit of God living inside of you.
He is fueling the fire that dwells inside your heart to grow it and for Him to show you who you are.
He also demonstrates in His word about who you are not.
See people who seek to fulfill the desires of their Flesh over their spirit seek ungodliness.
**Here’s what I don’t want you to grasp out of this article** I’m not trying to get into a debate over any poorly advised doctrines. I am talking literally about what the Bible says and am not swaying based on my ‘opinion’ or other factual books or philosophies that lead others astray. God is bigger than that and I follow after His leading. So let me be clear and say this: God does not require us to do a checklist of things correctly in order for Him to love us, He loves us exactly where we are at; HE does not want us to REMAIN the way we are right now forever. He wants us to grow, each individual, every single day. HE loves us SO much that HE would allow everything in our life to shape us to GROW us into who WE are supposed to be. That YOU would bear fruit, water and sew into others fulfilling the great commission. To obey HIS love by giving freely what you have received freely, so that YOU would know HIM more. It is not because that HE needs you to perform for HIM, but it is because others all around you may spend eternity without HIM and you lose who HE is.
Jesus Christ desires for us to put to death the desires of our flesh, for the Spirit and the flesh are at war within ourselves. We are told to deny ourselves, pick up our cross and follow after Jesus Christ. We should not give the foothold to Satan and give him an ability to war against our Spirit.
“Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings.”
1 Peter 5:8-9
The Flesh will chronically quench the power of the maturing Christian. To continue to feed the flesh loses sight of who God is and what power He has given your spirit man.
“these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us.This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.”
1 Corinthians 2:10-13
The spirit of the world is attempting to choke out the seeds of God inside of every person’s heart, in some people ~ it has already happened. The enemy’s goal is to deceive each person to pull their heart into morally accepting the world or things in the world and forgetting about God. The enemy is a coward ~ attempting to lie, cheat, and steal. The only way you can forget about The Lord is if you put something else in front of Him.
The Lord is a warrior, He is alive and His Spirit dwells within us. He is a Father in desperate pursuit for the one’s He loves. He is always ready and willing to act on behalf of the weak and weary, the broken-hearted and meek.
He will not see the righteous forsaken in this world or the next.
Our God does not approve of passivity. He tests and approves teachers, evangelists, pastors, prophets, and apostles (yes…apostleship still exists today) to perform righteous deeds for His son’s and daughters.
Those who are searching this world for love, righteousness, broken are asked to join with Him. Jesus is in the restoration business and He’s a master imparting you to become His masterpiece.
His love is clothed in righteous living and faithfulness.
He places His hope in you, loves you enough to let you come freely to Him. He will not force you, because He calls you a friend and not a slave. Above all a son, who has every resource that His Father has.
We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.
You are the apple of His eye, meaning: you are desirable to Him. He loves you unconditionally, He delights in you. So much that He would do anything for you. When you focus on Him, His heart warms with happiness, joy, and He feels complete.
Jesus is the author and founder of contententment with godliness.
Jesus is and was the the best Alpha man that modeled leadership by example. He loved people so much that He was willing to become cursed forever by being hung on a tree (Deut. 21:22-23), doing nothing deserving of death. Warriors like Jesus are willing to go the extra distance to stand for righteousness.
He approved of sacrificing His life so that others may live. That seems to be His standard of living.
How about you?
Will you deny the evil inclinations of your heart?
What about if they feel good to you?
Would you be willing to sacrifice, so that those around you will live?
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
If God was willing to do it…should mankind follow in His footsteps?
Umm…yes…Absolutely! God approves the righteous and disproves the unrighteous (Is. 1:26-28). Righteous would have a proper heart posture, a high level of brokenness, repentance, compassion, and unconditional love for those around them. They would know the right thing to do and do it, even if it costed them everything…including their own life. Just like Jesus Christ.
The Lord is a soul seeker.
He puts His Spirit in those that know they cannot walk in this life without Him. It is here whenever we have a genuine brokenness for Him to provide and us to wait on Him. God loves His bride, sons, and servants. He will use all in accordance to their function.
2. The cycle of pursuit (Him to us – us to others)
When someone says to you, “Jesus Loves You. He wants you to repent and turn back to him.”
What does that even mean?
It means that the Lord searches the figurative and literally heart of a person. The Holy Spirit is searching you, He has given you everything you need for life and godliness through Him. It starts with faith, transitions to moral excellence, building up of knowledge, advancing with self-control, building your ability to be steadfast, which promotes godliness, producing brotherly affection with your actions, and finally being able to love agape as Christ loved (2 Pet 1:3-10).
We started off this article with in Jeremiah 16:16, The Lord sending out His hunters and fishers for you. As a hunter: He pursues you. As a fisher: He waits for you. But as a lover: He woos you. He is all these to you because He loves you showing you how much you mean to Him.
It doesn’t mean that God will always use man, God will use everything surrounding you to show you how much He loves you. From the seasons, architecture, forestry, science, and nature. The Lord is both a warrior and also a lover. He will fight for you, against your enemies, and credit you with the victory (Deut. 20:2-4); God will also hold you, lead you, and support you in everything He knows you need. Not worldly needs, but eternal ones (although He won’t ignore your physical needs).
Once we have given ourselves to Him, out of love we will naturally pursue him back.
“I compare you, my love, to a mare among Pharaoh’s chariots. Your cheeks are lovely with ornaments, your neck with strings of jewels.”
Song of Solomon 1:9-10
He views you as worthy, when He sees you His heart is filled with joy. He pours out His romance to you. He knows the desires of your heart. His eyes are always on you. All He is looking to show you His love for you. His desire is that you have all of Him and He has all of you.
Behold, you are beautiful, my love; behold, you are beautiful; your eyes are doves.
Song of Solomon 1:15
He is looking for a response. For example, a man that pursues His true love would give everything for his bride. Including his own life.
Some call that desperation, Jesus Christ is proof that it is true love.
So love one another, because you have been loved. Demonstrate that love and go show the love that you possess into your friends, family, coworkers, managers, consultants, church board, leadership team, teammates, wife, husband, children for CHRIST sake!
“21For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. 22But if I go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. So what shall I choose? I do not know. 23I am torn between the two. I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better indeed. 24But it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
25Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith, 26so that through my coming to you again, your exultation in Christ Jesus will resound on account of me.”
3. God’s Love (how He loves, what love is)
How much more do we need to know what true love is? We should be able to see his The Lord’s viewpoint here in the Word.
My beloved speaks and says to me: “Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away, for behold, the winter is past; the rain is over and gone. The flowers appear on the earth, the time of singing has come, and the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land. The fig tree ripens its figs, and the vines are in blossom; they give forth fragrance. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come away. O my dove, in the clefts of the rock, in the crannies of the cliff, let me see your face, let me hear your voice, for your voice is sweet, and your face is lovely. Catch the foxes for us, the little foxes that spoil the vineyards, for our vineyards are in blossom.”
My beloved is mine, and I am his; he grazes among the lilies. Until the day breathes and the shadows flee, turn, my beloved, be like a gazelle or a young stag on cleft mountains.
Song of Solomon 2:10-17
‘My beloved is mine, and I am his,’ there is so much peace in that. We can see in the following verses that The Lord delights in us so much, He brings us so much joy, peace, finally makes our striving stop. He needs us, He desires to be with us, He loves us completely and knows what is best for us. He was, is, and always will be the eradicator of slavery. He wants us to partake in His divine nature. He treats us and views us as equals, not looking at us to be a “Cinderella” bride. But He takes all of us and makes it into something beautiful that reigns WITH Him.
In Him we have rest and the deepest form of rest.
Once we are pursued, The Lord does not stop pursuing us. He continually pursues us, He loves us on an unconditional level. It consumes us and becomes as we are.
Suffers long, kind, not envious, is not parading around, not conceited or proud, doesn’t act rude, doesn’t seek its own interests, is not provoked to anger, thinks no evil, never rejoices at wrongdoing, but it rejoices with the truth, love endures all things good or bad, believes all things good or bad, hopes all things good or bad.
We only know what love is in partial. But love is worth fighting for, and yes…even dying for. God’s love is built in us, through us, and poured out to those. A loving God does everything to have us focus on Him, because in Him their is peace and love. And in the most masculine way possible, love is for everyone. Even those that are hard to love, that have the deepest hurt, and that don’t know His real love. Many powerful things cannot replace love, nor can it be stopped. Because love will always shine through the darkness.
The Lord was and always will be the standard of how to live life on this earth. He does not approve of doing wrong, and for those that are in Christ Jesus – He continues to reprove and use discipline to show us how we should be and how we should focus on Him. He loves us unconditionally and knows what we need when we need it. He pursues after us and always longs for us and the entirety of our heart.
“Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors.”
Life is pretty tough eh? There is suffering, anger, violence, lust, greed, deceit, pride, and fame to battle through. The desires to love and be loved can lead our heart down some really bad paths. In life, we go through a few different phases on our way to maturity.
As far as our physical bodies are concerned we go through an physical maturing process.
Our spiritual bodies seem to mature in a different way.
Birth into Faith
Adult Mature Actions
Death to Self
SO where are you at?
Physically? Emotionally? Mentally? Spiritually?
Here’s what The Lord says about growing up.
7 Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? 8 If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. 9 Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! 10 They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
So you’re his son and daughter, not illegitimate children (not an orphan or bastard without a Father). He loves you unconditionally and came to give up his rights so that he can spend eternity with you.
He wants to raise you, help you grow up and is using discipline & hardship to produce a harvest of righteousness and peace inside of you.
Some could say, but if God loved me so much then why is he letting me go through hardship in the first place? Shouldn’t he just do everything for me? Guys and gals….that is not love. When you’re an infant, an earthly mother and father do everything for you. But as you get older, you learn and do things yourself, but just like a child ~ you still need correction.
“for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
So that is a good example of something physical. Now let us look into spiritual maturity.
We can gauge what stage of life we are in due to our maturity in our spirit man. Whereas physical maturity seems to do more with the outside appearance, we look at the inside to gauge our spiritual maturity.
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7
If we are surrounded by people the same age spiritually as us, it would be much more difficult to gauge what stage of physical maturity we are at. How much more of spiritual maturity?
Spiritual gifts can be a blessing and a curse if you do not know when and how to glorify Our Heavenly Father with them.
If you were a toddler and you were faster, smarter, and stronger than all of the other toddlers around you, would you notice how talented you were? Things may seem different to you or you may have more questions than others around you. Would you view yourself differently? I would say you would probably not view yourself differently.
In a different scenario let’s say you were smarter, stronger, and faster than those around you. Lets say that you grew up being constantly told how much better you were than others. How much smarter you were in comparison to others, or how much better you and your parents were because of the social, economical, or prestigious background/heritage you came from. Would that alter your opinion of yourself? You bet it would!
The hardest form of balancing this spirit of pride is by focusing on who you are. One cannot be too confident to the point of being arrogant nor too humble to the point of being depressed. There is a proper balance that every God-fearing follower of Christ should develop which is called discernment. One must discern where they at and which side of the scale they lean more towards.
For me I used over-confidence for years to mask how broken and depressed I really was. I had a constant feeling of unworthiness and self-sabotage.
It’s only at the end of ourselves that we can finally enter into maturity and adulthood. We go directly into the Promise Land.
The biggest reason that our spirit man doesn’t get built up inside is because we haven’t submitted to what maturity level we are actually at. Our outward selves cannot look at our inward selves and take an physical evaluation about where we are at. We have to look into the Word of God and take inventory of ourselves by what fruit we produce by our actions.
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like.But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.”
Many of us hear the word, and a majority do very little about it. We would rather get convicted watching an advertisement on television about sick animals or starving families and give money instead of our time or effort. And we wonder why the world is the way that it is…. It’s about time that we transition from the desert into the promise land and focus our attention off of ourselves and toward the restoration of the earth! We were sent here to make a difference and put to death the fears that are holding us back.
We have abused and dehumanized the poor, needy, orphans, and widows long enough! We have let swindlers and crooks come in and allow wolves into the church for long enough! Why are there so little Christians answering the call of God on their life?! If you are allowing complacency and consumerism to steer your moral compass you are gravely mistaken. If you want the world more than Christ you had better check your references.
Many of us think we are actually somewhere that we are not. Like myself, I consider myself being a Child and having Childlike Faith. My Spiritual Father in the faith has been encouraging, correcting, disciplining, and helping me transition into Spiritual Adulthood. Since I am already an adult by physically standards, I am being disciplined and learning from a man much more mature than myself (my Pastor & Elders).
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.6On account of these the wrath of God is coming.7In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices10and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
This level of submission has allowed me to break down and put the death the fleshly desires of selfishness, pride, lust, rebellion, arrogance, and replaced it with appreciation, humility, gentleness, kindness and most importantly love in its place.
12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.
Do not be deceived brothers and sisters, there will always be something to learn from Jesus and The Holy Scriptures. While you are maturing spiritually, there is an everlasting relationship between you and God. At any level, your heart can get choked out by the world if you let it.
14 The seed that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life’s worries, riches and pleasures, and they do not mature.
Walking with Christ is not an indefinite cycle of pleasant times, nor all hardships. Just like Exodus for the Jewish people, there comes a time when we are called out of slavery of the world and move across the immovable sea. And when you have been set free, what will you use your freedom for? Will you use it to become a slave again to sin or righteousness?
Just like the Israelites, we can get set free from spiritual slavery and instantly start worshiping God in the way WE think is best (i.e. Israelites & Golden Calf). What we haven’t realized is that God has a prescription on what and how we are to travel towards the promise land. The journey to the promise land isn’t easy. Just like the Israelites we go into a desert, on a journey toward the promise land.
Ultimately, God brings us to the place he wants us to go in and inhabit. He is for us…not against us.
So how do we respond??
We scout it out, look at the promise land, see how beautiful and bountiful it is. Our hesitation is out of fear, but we can do this with The Lord. We can go into war to get it. We have to enter through war to get it. Although this story is thousandsof years old, many people are transitioning to fighting the good fight of faith to enter into the promises of God.
Our story here teaches us something about our Spirit Man. Jesus did not have the New Testament when he did his ministry, you know what he used?? The Old Testament ~ the Israelites needed someway to discern what was God and what wasn’t God
Christ became the fulfillment of the Old Testament by waging war for our hearts. Jesus was and is the deliverer that rescues us from the hands of our enemies. All we have to do is align ourselves to Jesus and declare war on the sinful nature within us and DO WORK SON!
Spiritually, it is no different.
So then, let us stay ready to take the promise land at every given circumstance. Let us take every thought captive and align ourselves to righteousness.
If you stay ready, you will never have to get ready.
35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning,36 like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him.37 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them.38 It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak.39 But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into.40 You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”
How mature we are does not determine on those around us, it is us and our obedience to the word of God.
Identify where you are at in your spiritual walk by looked at the word and putting your spirit man in the story.
Take an honest appraisal of your life story and how it resembles to the Israelites.
Jesus is the fulfillment of the Old Testament and is apart of every story.
Be ready to respond, deny yourself, and go to war against the sinful nature.
16 How much better it is to get wisdom than gold!
And to get understanding is to be chosen above silver.
17 The highway of the upright is to depart from evil;
He who watches his way preserves his life.
18 Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19 It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
20 He who gives attention to the word will find good,
And blessed is he who trusts in the Lord.
21 The wise in heart will be called understanding,
And sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness.
22 Understanding is a fountain of life to one who has it,
But the discipline of fools is folly.
23 The heart of the wise instructs his mouth
And adds persuasiveness to his lips.
24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb,
Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
Pride is such an interesting deception. Pride used in the world sounds like:
“Takepridein what you do for work”
“Takepridein who you are [ethnic background, ordnance you live in, culture you come from, country you live in, political viewpoint, family values you were born with]”
“Takepride in having [shelter, family, food, technology, vehicle]”
Pride has an attractive lure that can lead you into a pit. Creating you to you head down a path of feeling unfulfilled and broken. Pride is a tool of deception. Without knowing and understanding what pride means, it would be next to impossible to realize why one should not be prideful, have pride, or even that they struggle with pride.
You shouldn’t have to take pride in anything.
Let us take a look and discover the origins of pride and how The Lord looks at pride.
afeelingofhonourandself-respect;asenseofpersonal worth that whichmakesapersonorpeoplemostproud (adjective – high importance of one’s own opinion, dignity, or superiority)
Greek Definition:τυφόω (typhóō)
Root word: τύφω
to envelop with smoke, i.e. (figuratively) to inflate with self-conceit:—high-minded, be lifted up with pride, be proud; blind with conceit (excessive believe in one’s self/importance/wit/ability); to be rendered foolish or stupid; be puffed up with haughtiness (snobish/scornfully arrogant/passionately indifferent)
Root word: גָּאָה
To be lifted up, exalted, magnificent, of God, honor, pride and arrogance, to grow up; to cause or emit smoke; raise smoke; pomp; swelling
After looking into origins of the modern, historical, and root definitions it would be fair to conclude the following.
Combined Translation – Pride:
1) a feeling of ones own moral dignity or merit;
2) a person(s) belief based from singular/multiple opinion(s) which create an inflated form of importance, wit, and/or ability in oneself;
3) self-exaltation or raising up of oneself or own talents/abilities in the eyes of their peers.
4) Arrogant or excessive foolish opinion of self;
5) Temporary feeling of worthiness or superiority compared to other person(s)
So is pride a good thing?
Negative, with pride comes dishonor, insecurity, and fear of loss.
When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with the humble is wisdom.
Sooooo….what you’re saying is that I can just be humble and others won’t think I am prideful?
Yes. God does not want your pride in His Kingdom.
One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.
The Lord knows the true condition of your heart and how you view self/others.
8 Their land is filled with idols;
they bow down to the work of their hands,
to what their own fingers have made.
9 So man is humbled,
and each one is brought low—
do not forgive them!
I’ve battled against pride for a long time. When I got really hurt in my life, I decided that I would build a façade so that other people would not see me hurt or how much pain I went through. Maybe you can think of areas in your life that you tend to “cast a big shadow” and pretend like you are bigger than you already are.
If I find myself being prideful then what do I do?
Learn to do good;
bring justice to the fatherless,
plead the widow’s cause.
properly, a verdict (favorable or unfavorable) pronounced judicially, especially a sentence or formal decree (human or (participant’s) divine law, individual or collective), including the act, the place, the suit, the crime, and the penalty; punishment; to vindicate or punish; to passively litigate that condemn, contend, defend, execute (judgment), (be a) judge(-ment), needs, plead, reason, rule.
Combined Definition: Justice
moral excellence based on laws or decree according to divine or judicial ordinances; a favorable or unfavorable verdict that addresses the actions, places, crime, sin, penalty, and punishment; justness of action
For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to judge? God judges those outside. “Purge the evil person from among you.”
1 Corinthians 5:12,13
We look for justice, not living life “just-for-us.” We look to righteousness in our heart, thoughts, actions and those that are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We judge ourselves morally according to God’s Word and not our interpretation of it or what someone told you who God was and what his word said. We do this to look into the perfect law to discover about how to govern our lives effectively.
God did not want us to be without or lack anything, which is why He gave His own life to cleanse us from all uncleanliness.
Jesus raised the bar on practicing and non-practicing Jews, He brought the Torah to life through walking on the planet. Living as Christ did, He did exactly what Isaiah 1:17 talked about. We have to come to the conclusion to raise the bar on our own code of ethics, come under the instruction of the entire Bible, and receive the freedom that starts and ends with Jesus Christ.
The only thing stopping you is you. Receive the discipline from The Lord. Choose to lower pride and accept discipline from The Lord.
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.
Gain wisdom, love discipline, enjoy the walk that he has for you.
Remember saints, what you are doing is falling in love with Him. Pursuing Jesus with your whole heart. For those that do will inherit the crown of life that He has promised us. Follow The Lord. Follow the calling of God on your life. Be obedient. Listen to Him. Stop running from the righteousness in your heart.
Don’t just study about justice, be justice.
9 How can a young man keep his way pure?
By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
Do not allow pride to choke out your spirit man. Learn how to defend against pride. Do not allow yourself the opportunity to take glory away from The Lord Jesus Christ. He is the way, truth, and the life. No one gets to the Father except through him. Be an imitator of Jesus.
Endure. Love those around you. Digest The Word of God.
What goes into your heart will become your thoughts, which will turn into your words, and will become your actions.
Do not be deceived on the way of love in the world.
Live as Rabbi Jesus. Be unconditional. Be a son/daughter to Christ and serve The Lord. God will pour in and provide, don’t let fear grip you.
Love you all from the bottom of my heart. I pray that your heart be touched and that you pass this good news about pride to your brothers and sisters and those in need.
“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”
When I first came to know the Lord. I heard Repentance, Repent, Penitence ~ I kept asking myself what the heck this was, and what does God want me to actually do. People are just using these words that I have no idea what they mean and no one even cares to tell me what the heck is going on.
I thought, “Is this someone’s opinion?” And, “Is this someone being a biggit or judgemental? Don’t they understand that I’m new here and have no idea of what they’re talking about?!”
Some of these things I searched out myself, but it seemed like people were really hard on me. I was trying my best. I was brought to scriptures like:
“9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
I had an unrealistic expectation of what walking with God looked like. Like many other subject matters of my life, I had tons of courage to advance into it. But before I gave it everything I had; I wanted to be sure that I wasn’t focused on the wrong heart posture before I started.
I wanted to pursue the Lord because He gave me freedom and peace in my heart. When I started wanting a deeper relationship with Him I was very skeptical because I saw so many Christians as being passive, submissive, weak-minded, gullible, and easily taken advantage of. When it came to the truth about going deeper with God I was scared because I didn’t want to “turn-into” one of those people.
15To the pure, all things are pure; but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure. Indeed, both their minds and their consciences are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but they deny Him by their actions. They are detestable, disobedient, and unfit for any good deed.
Just like Titus 1 talks about, I wasn’t thinking pure; I did not have enough faith to believe in what God was telling me to do; my conscious had been defiled. I was covered in sin, disobedient to what God was asking me to do and be, and I wasn’t fit to do more.
I didn’t let that stop me, I wanted to give to people unconditionally love, the same way that The Lord Jesus loves. I tried to do this right away, but I was ill-equipped to do such.
I needed to stop pretending that I had all the answers. I needed to surrender control to Christ. This wasn’t easy for me to do, because I had been so jaded and hurt in my heart. I felt the urge to control everything and everyone in my life. I wanted to manipulate my environment so I could see the outcome. I was on the verge to sacrificing my soul to gain the whole world but a voice kept calling me deeper to follow Christ. It was about that time toward the end of 2013 that I was going to jump into the deep end. Where I knew that if I was going to begin to believe something like this, I would have to take so much action and do what the Bible actually says to believe in. I had so much fear, anxiety, worry that was holding me back.
6do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to help me. I pleaded with him, asked him, begged him, I wanted Him to take me a different way. I was headed right into the fire of destruction and the world as I knew it was going to be destroyed. The Lord brought me visions in my life where the sins (the good I knew to do and did not do) I committed and I asked him to forgive me. I had to come to him from a place of complete brokenness, invite him in my life to become my Lord, Master, Father and do exactly what he instructed me to do.
I had to accept his discipline and own up to my disobedience.
As soon as this happened, a surge of peace happened to pour in my heart as my body began to overflow through tears, hours of weeping bitterly, being put on my knees, just him and I. No one needed witness, for it was not for mans approval. It was at that moment, my heart changed. Jesus flooded me and put a new spirit inside of me.
The world says, “Don’t let anyone see you weak. Don’t let anyone see your pain. Don’t allow yourself to let people hurt you. Keep people at a distance, because everyone’s imperfect and if you trust them you’ll only get hurt. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.”
What a bunch of hogwash!
That is not how the Kingdom of God is built within and around you. Warriors are built from within. Pain, suffering, weakness is how the Lord builds you up and makes you strong. He disciplines you, due to him loving you so much to not let you fall short. He wants to spend eternity with you, and if you’re willing ~ He would rather see you temporarily hurt than to go an eternity without you.
Mentally you can become worn and broken down, becoming nothing, and be without hope. In a split second your hope is restored and The Father picks you up and lifts your head up high!
Calling out to you as a son/daughter. He builds you from there. When you’re being built, together you lay the foundation brick by brick.
The more you resist, the more it hurts, if you keep preventing this from happening what happens is that you pride and distance yourself from God the Father.
18Pride goes before destruction,
And a haughty spirit before stumbling.
19It is better to be humble in spirit with the lowly
Than to divide the spoil with the proud.
Jesus, bringing the Tanakh (Old Testament) to life says it even it even better.
“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
God wants us to not only focused on genuine relationships with others, He wants us to be a contender and fight the good fight of faith. He does not call us to be afraid of our enemies, for He is making us strong through our weakness and suffering. He is galvanizing our lives to become resilient and being able to withstand anything. Even death.
If someone disagrees with me; that’s okay, pray, ask God for help. I knew when I gave my life to Christ I had a reputation with others as being someone who was “very motivational” and I had a lot of pretenders surrounding me, pretending to enjoy my company because of the way I made them feel, pretend to be my friend, pretend to have my best interests in mind. They surrounded me and I was too shallow to see it.
Birds of a feather flock together.
People that would want to work with me as a friend, coworker, or business, would keep me around in their life because of what I could offer them, they wanted and desired to be built up, but were too broken to go the distance themselves.
They talked a big game, but when it came to stepping into the ring, they weren’t going to show up. They were quitters. At the time, that was exactly who I was as well. A shallow, superficial, quitter. Focusing on all of my surroundings around me instead of looking inside my heart.
I kept trying to force myself into something that I knew I was supposed to do, but then get scared and run away from all of my problems and opportunities.
I was myself surrounded by shallow waters with no depth in clear sight.
My fear was larger than my willpower. All I wanted was freedom and the open water. I wanted adventure. I craved release from drugs, alcohol, sexual immorality, and wanted to follow the calling of God on my life to its sweet beginning then to Heaven.
It started when I changed my mindset from, “wow all of these people are shallow and seem to know very little” to, “Let me be that man who leads by example.”
I began to desire to know Jesus, what was going on that made Him give his life up for me, and what was the history of this God that He loved. I did not just want to listen to someone else talk about Him; I grew hungry and took all the passion I had for all these other hobbies and things that I did to ‘feel good/be comfortable’ and gave them to God.
I just asked for more and for God to enlarge my territory. That He would entrust me with more as I would become more obedient. I wanted to go deeper with knowing about Jesus.
As soon as my heart began to change, I met a Man of God who took me into his life as a son and became my Spiritual Father. We met for coffee, lunches, watched movies, played games, sat around and talked with him and his family for hours, attended his Bible Studies. I had all of these questions about God, Jesus, The Holy Spirit, The Old Testament, New Testament, Freedom, Love, Hypocritical Christians, Submitting to Authority, Fear, Proper Intimacy, Courtship, Proper Relationships, Marriage, Missions, Family, and so much more.
I hadn’t grown up going to church or putting on my Sunday’s best outfit every week to go and look good in front of people. So I had no idea what life was supposed to be like. Him and I would spend hours and hours talking, digging through the Bible, and doing studies.
I heard a lot of hard words that discouraged me a lot. I kept remembering the visions that God had given me, and I reminded myself of the promise I made God that I wouldnotquit on Him as long as He never quit on me. I soon realized that kinds of conversations were not meant to be condemned.
People should question why they believe what they believe.
I looked back on my life and I cannot remember a time in my life where I had anyone in my life talk to me the way my spiritual father did. I knew he was different from the rest of the people that God had placed in my life, he actually cared enough about me to not let me live my life being deceived about what a God-Fearing Man looks like.
He believed in me, believed I was worth it. He extended his hand as a brother and supported me and without him walking in his purpose and his calling I would of probably blended in with all the other lukewarm Christians out there. I asked and God poured out.
7″Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
9Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11So if you who are evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
12In everything, then, do to others as you would have them do to you. For this is the essence of the Law and the prophets.”
I became a contender, one who stands in the way of the enemy. One who fights for the truth, purity, and righteousness. I resist the enemies schemes, I stumble, fall, but I will not miss my mark. I will complete my mission and my purpose here on Earth. How about you?
Are you a pretender or contender?
Go and prove it.
Become a contender.
“Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall.
The archers bitterly attacked him, shot at him, and harassed him severely, yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
by the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.”
Return to purity
Be truly sorry and confess
Turn from sin and cut out the uncleanliness of your heart
Do not fear
Confess to God and your Brothers and Sisters will help
Put your whole heart in it ~ Take Courage
Stand firm! Don’t Quit!
12Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
We should not be confused from a young-believer with a wolf. Oftentimes it is easier to look at someone young in their faith with the Lord as a wolf or having anti-Christ like tendencies. Most young believers ~ born again tend to be “zealots” who may at times operate in blind faith, overconfidence, salesman-like persistence, selfish, brutally honest, mockery, crude humor, Lording over others, substance addiction, lust, pursuit of truth without the involvement of God, cynicism, or depression (just naming a few). It would be wise to consider two scriptures to identify the attitude
1 Now about food sacrificed to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love builds up. 2 The one who thinks he knows something does not yet know as he ought to know. 3 But the one who loves God is known by God.
1 Corinthians 8:1-3
Although Paul is addressing Jewish customs and intermixing with Greek/Pagan/Secular practices, he makes an extremely beneficial point in walking with Christ. Knowledge of any one topic/thought can puff up the person knowing it. Have you ever met someone who was extremely proud to know something about a specific subject matter?
Do you think that we as Christians can get puffed up with our understanding and belief in Father Yahweh God, Rabbi Jesus Christ, or The Holy Spirit?
You’re dang right we can! Focusing on the Love of God is the how we look at each other with the proper heart posture toward God.
When looking at the fruit produced from a new believer. We should focus more on the root than the fruit. Look to the foundations of their faith, instruct, teach, correct. Our babes in the faith need Mothers and Fathers to nurture, discipline (Yes..I said discipline Proverbs 12:1 ~ that means sternly talking to our spiritual younglings in a disciplinary manner….as in telling them that these babes that they are wrong) and correct/teach them right away and in the right way. This will lead them into adulthood and maturity in their faith.
*Do not get sold on the persistence of children. Be firm. Emotional manipulation may occur when someone young in their faith stands up for what they Believe in. They may even make sweet or cute points. Even throw out some scriptures they typed in on Google to attempt to sword fight with you. They may throw temper tantrums, cry a lot, even whine about why they’re right and you’re wrong. Do not be deceived by our DRASTIC number of Baby Christians. Remember, no matter how cute they are when they’re young, if you don’t shave down their teeth, they will become a wolf. Mostly importantly they will become ineffective in building the kingdom of God*
I say that there are way too many babies in the faith, even though fully grown are still drinking spiritual milk when they should be off the tit and eating the miracle meat of a mature believer.
What has happened is that the previous generations haven’t raised up young men and women to become Powerhouse Christians. Instead we have had Traveling and Television Evangelists sow seeds of the Gospel inside people and birthing new believers. This in itself is not a bad thing, but look at some of the fruit produced from this. If there wasn’t a discipleship process after birth, these babies are left to fend for themselves.
Bold evangelists have to have the decency to take responsibility for disciplining (Discipleship), delegating, or affiliating with these babes into a proper hand off to the Faith. So sure, someone gives their life to Christ…but then they become a wolf because no one cared enough about them to take care of them?
Why even get broken in the first place?!
We are suffering now because of of these actions. The consequences have bred rebellious spiritual children who are left to try to raise their children by their own standards of what they view as right.
Just like after the death of Joshua in the time of Judges. People followed The Lord when it was convenient and they had a leader, but when that leader died, they went to living however they felt like it. They turned to the comfort of the world and it’s desires instead of following God. The Israelites would forsake the priests and would become oppressed. Then from a place of brokenness they would cry out to the Lord for help and he would raise up a deliverer. If they would just stand firm. They would of been so much better off.
8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of a hundred and ten.9And they buried him in the land of his inheritance, at Timnath Heres in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.11Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord and served the Baals.12They forsook the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They followed and worshiped various gods of the peoples around them. They aroused the Lord’s anger13because they forsook him and served Baal and the Ashtoreths.14In his anger against Israel the Lord gave them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, whom they were no longer able to resist.15Whenever Israel went out to fight, the hand of the Lord was against them to defeat them, just as he had sworn to them. They were in great distress.
16Then the Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders.17Yet they would not listen to their judges but prostituted themselves to other gods and worshiped them. They quickly turned from the ways of their ancestors, who had been obedient to the Lord’s commands.18Whenever the Lord raised up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived; for the Lord relented because of their groaning under those who oppressed and afflicted them.19But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their ancestors, following other gods and serving and worshiping them. They refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
The parents and social norms have rejected the use discipline, punishment, and allowed their children to do what they want ~ when they want to do it, claim “religion is being FORCED down their throat,” develop horrible attitudes, and are complacent in almost all their actions. Yet they cannot go and fulfill their life’s purpose. There is no fire in the young believer unless they are following their own evil passions and desires.
This Disney attitude has to stop infecting our culture. We have to stop the pain and bleeding somehow. At least in America (generalization based on large cultural influence), get out of the spiritual slavery that has been plaguing our young believers that, “They can do anything that makes them feel happy.”
What a bunch of bullcrap. This philosophy is preached in public schools, colleges, and education centers. The old, “pursue your dreams” tends to make these younglings develop into some sort of a sick and pungent intellect that has no actual skills.
So Who’s To Blame?
All of us. You, Me, Everyone. We have completely forgotten how to connect with others, sacrifice what we want for others, and give those lost what they actually need.
Due to this culture many babes have the appearance of looking like adults, but are actually children in their walk with Christ.
No matter what physical age, Godliness oftentimes is our own willingness to give over our rights to grow spiritually with God. To Focus on Him. We do not look to the left or right, but keep our eyes focused on Christ. There is only 1-way that leads to Heaven. That road is the cross of Jesus Christ.
Like a lot of physical babies, younglings in their faith see an opportunity to take something that does not belong to them and they do it. Their desire tends to want to have something powerful (authority, influence, strength) and try to steal it for themselves. They quench the Glory of God and take it all for themselves. Due to a lack of discipline.
The ultimate test of a young believer is when God gives them the opportunity to take something that is not entrusted to us to see what we do with it. He wants us to trust in Him, His truth, His ways with hope and faith that we will do with it He plans us to (Deut. 8:1-20)
This clip here from LOTR focuses on a character Boramir in the movie to take the Ring of Power that he has not been entrusted with and it tests him in that moment. He has such a desire to do with something so powerful that if kept unchecked he would of used for his own self-righteous endeavors.
Boramir luckily has the self-control and support system (at this time) to give the Ring of Power back to Frodo even though he was told to steal the ring and bring it back to his father.
Let us reason together Saints of the Most High God. What you believe is not Religion, is not Christianity. It is Faith in Jesus Christ. You follow his WAY not your own (Prov. 3:5).
Following Jesus is not Burger King. You can’t have it your way.
Because the Lord knows your heart. He tests you to see what is in your heart. Once you have proven that even the wilderness will not stop you (Deut. 8:1-6), he will expand your borders (1 Chron 4:9-10).
If you are reading this and live in a 1st world country like America, then what I am talking about should hit home. If you see Jesus as doing what you want, whenever you want. Then you are a dog, not holy or sanctified and not worthy of the crucifixion and his sacrifice for your redemption.
“Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.”
“Do not give dogs what is holy, and do not throw your pearls before pigs, lest they trample them underfoot and turn to attack you.”
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; 6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.
47Truly, truly, I tell you, he who believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And this bread, which I will give for the life of the world, is My flesh.”
But if you see your ways and repent. Return to your first love, drink His blood, and eat His body. Turn away from your wickedness and find him. Stand firm. Then you will be saved. That is how you remain. Remember that He chose you first, you did not choose him.
4Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.5I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.
Zest, West, and Always The Best!
AB, aka Coach Pineapple
56Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood remains in Me, and I in him. 57Just 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. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your fathers, who ate the manna and died, the one who eats this bread will live forever.”
By the end of this Article, my prayer is that you would be able to answer these three questions.
What is a wolf?
How can you spot a wolf?
How do I deal with wolves in a Godly manner?
I want to start off by addressing the Book of Romans Chapter 11.
28As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers.29For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.30For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience,31so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy.32For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.
Jesus became sin for: the lowly, murderers, prostitutes, adulterers, blind, drug addicts, homosexuals, deaf, weak, feeble, self-righteous, shameful, orphans, spiritually poor, widows, thieves, sick, abused, tired, young, and old who are looking for freedom and peace in their heart.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”“
He came for these men, women, and children; but not for them to remain as they are. Jesus came to rectify and redeem them from the chains of spiritual slavery. Do not be deceived my brothers and sisters. Just like you, there are hundreds of thousands of people who are more like ‘sleeper-agents’ in the faith than wolves. These people need people like you who are hungry for TRUTH to be equipped. Once equipped you will be sent out to share the good news, your testimony, and LIVE out your purpose in your as the next book of Acts.
Yet, in the midst of our struggles, there are deceivers out in the world. They are trying to stomp out the light inside of you, lest you be confused let us look into some scripture to clarify.
17Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.18A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.
Yes, there are trees that DO NOT produce fruit or instead produce bad fruit. These trees are to be thrown in the fire.
Some of these trees look like they could produce good fruit if they had the proper nourishment or care. But scripture tells us that we are to throw them in the fire. This verse can also seem unfair to people with Pastoral, Healer, and Teacher annointings. Some of these “bad trees” are people that may be very motivational, inspiring, even gifted. Some trees here use the name Jesus’ name to perform these gifts; on the inside they haven’t brought Jesus their whole heart. There are still pains and aches inside of them that they haven’t brought into the light and allowed Jesus to equip them properly.
In some cases, witches, psychics, satanists, muslims, hindus, etc. are involved in spiritual communities looking to showcase their gifts. To show their own power or the spiritual powers they are looking to orchestrate.
Can we accept their gifts from God and follow them?
By no means!!!
We should accept the fact that OUR God has given them irrevocable truths and giftings which are supposed to bring God his Glory and to spread his Goodness. Even the false spiritual teachers bring Glory to God in the end, just not with their lips. They can get peace, but they need to go with Jesus to the Cross.
Let us look at some scripture.
21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Going to the cross?
16“Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean;
Remove the evil of your deeds from My sight.
Cease to do evil,
17Learn to do good;
Reprove the ruthless,
Defend the orphan,
Plead for the widow.
The Cross was the will of God for His Son. That we should put on the same likeness as our Rabbi Jesus Christ and follow after His model. He is our teacher, and there is no way to the Father except through the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus shows us the way to carry our cross in love and follow him toward Glory of the Father. “The Cross” is the easy yoke and light burden of Christ that we carry doing his deeds. No matter how beat up our flesh is, the spirit is always willing to do more.
Wash ourselves and make ourselves spiritually clean (physical cleanliness is also important), put away wickedness and evil from our heart, thoughts, actions and vocabulary. We learn to do good in the same likeness as God. We look for justice to be done, we fight and stand up for truth ~ God’s truth.
We correct and spend time straightening out those who are ruthless, evil, wicked ~ we don’t back down from the wrong that is in the world. We defend, protect, and provide for the orphans, the fatherless, those who have been left behind. Because Our Father in Heaven came to be our Dad and not leave any of us behind. Lastly we assist, volunteer, speak up for the widows ~ the weaker vessels that are not under a covering of a marriage due to death, violence, sexual attacks.
13You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. 14For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 15If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other.
16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. 18But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
The Lord says here, “Be Free” but do not use your freedom for evil, the flesh, or comfort in your own covetous pride. Walk in the Spirit, His Spirit, His Likeness, and you will not destroy one another. Then you will be operating in communal LOVE, true love ~ not some romantic comedy of a man and woman being in romantic love. But a genuine, self-sacrificial love. A kind of love that would bleed to see you untouched; a love that would suffer so you could be rescued. Have a better life; a love that would give their own life to see that your freedom would happen.
Zeal and boldness for the Lord is a mark of genuine Christianity (Heb. 10:35). Neither of these characteristics alone should describe a believer. A Christian filled with the Spirit of God should be filled with Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control (Gal. 5:22,23).
27 “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.“
So…What does a wolf look like?
Spiritual wolves deceive, they mask their emotions and try to blend into their environment. Wolves are notorious hunters and will typically walk into a new environment looking for prey to hunt. They will first look to what runs away or flees from it. They will clearly identify what is prey and what is a threat to it. Some will count the cost or run in boldly to see if it can take down the opposing threat.
Wolves will walk in and act like everything is normal, attempting to cloak itself as if it is the same kind of animal as what they are running into. They walk into scenarios preying first on the young and weak, focused on hunting after their own glory or personal guilty pleasures. If attempts fail, on their beginning attacks on the sick/young/weak they put on efforts to join the pack. It is a mask for unjust cyclical gain. Using godliness as a form of cloak, treating people nicely, smiling, encouraging, speaking words of life, but inside they are looking to devour those around them.
They are constant in seeking affirmation from others for the actions they are doing in order to get acknowledgement to lord over their peers. They are looking to please those around them to fit into their pack or overthrow the current leader and tear them to pieces.
Like physical wolves, they greatly desire to be apart of a pack. In order for wolves to get into a pack, they have to be accepted by the Alpha Wolf. The Alpha Wolf typically is the strongest, most ruthless, and feared wolf in the pack. These feelings of the other wolves create a survival instinct that may cause the other wolves to respect the Alpha Wolf. The Alpha can be challenged at anytime during it’s reign and if beaten has to become a subordinate, die, or leave the pack. Most wolves fight until the death or flee from the pack. Wolves learn that in order to lead you have to be the most ruthless, strongest, and most feared; in doing so you will have loyal followers and complete power over all those you are surrounded by. Those around you will worship your stature and wish they could be just like you.
“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.”
1 John 4:18 ESV
Wolves rely on their own strength and maximizing the weaknesses of others and normally lack love. Genuine love does not insist on its own way of doing things and is not boastful or rude. Typically wolves take the path of least resistance, especially when it comes to problem solving (not very loving or honorable). Using whatever means necessary to accomplish their goal (manipulation, lying, anger, pride). If that means biting the necks of others, distracting the strongest, or tactically using their environment to corner their prey.
11‘You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.
13a‘You shall not oppress your neighbor, nor rob him.
17‘You shall not hate your fellow countryman in your heart; you may surely reprove your neighbor, but shall not incur sin because of him.
For Spiritual Wolves, their desire to join the church body is so they can grow next to or raise up Spiritual Sheep is so they can devour them whether it be for Business, Personal Gain, Adultery, Greed, Social Networking Sales, Theft, Idolatry, and the list could go on..and on….
1“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, 2and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ 3you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. 4“You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him. 5“But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has counseled rebellion against the LORD your God who brought you from the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of slavery, to seduce you from the way in which the LORD your God commanded you to walk. So you shall purge the evil from among you.”
There are some specifics, warnings, and hints in the scriptures above. The Bible does NOT say to dream is evil, nor to do business is wrong, or impure to gain wealth. But if that the main reason why these individuals are coming into your midst, then have nothing to do with these people. As Deuteronomy 13 puts it, put them to the sword ~ for these prophets and dreamers are tests from God to see if you will keep his commandments or turn to serving other Gods. Besides, our Father Yahweh did tell us to test the spirits that we hear
“Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”
1 John 4:1
Now in OT days, it would of meant physically putting these men and women to death. Think of how serious God felt it was that these men and women were literally killed because of their dreams. How carelessly do we throw out our dreams now? Our God is the same God that was in the OT days as now, He has not changed, He will always be the same. No matter what culture says He is.
Next time you dream, meditate on this verse. Test the spirits you are hearing. Not every voice inside of your head is God… Some Spirits are coming towards you to get you to throw off your discernment and get you to go down a broad path and away from God.
Pray to God:Ask him, “Lord you know my heart. How does this show people Jesus? Does this lead people to/away from You?
Those of you dreamers, prophets, or babes in the Faith: who have wolf-like tenancies – you must Spiritually (not physically) put them to death. You may right now feel extremely condemned and in evaluation of your life up to this point.
1But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. 2People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, 4treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— 5having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
2 Timothy 3:1-5
You may now think that there is no hope. You may have even teared up, cried, or deeply wept for how your heart has been wrong all these weeks, months, or years. Let me reassure you Brothers and Sisters, your heart is all that The Lord wants.
He wants ALL of you, not just the little you choose to give him. Like a good father, He wants you to come to Him. He wants your FIRST-FRUITS, the best of the best that you have to offer. Because He MADE you, CREATED you in HIS own IMAGE. Allowed you to be this way, so that YOU would be able to PERSEVERE, be PERFECT, lack NOTHING.
“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy.”
Jesus came to assist you and build you up. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No other way can you go to the Father, except through Him.
Practically, here is how we are instructed to put to death the enemies of God in Ephesians Chapter Six.
10Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might. 11Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil. 12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.
Put your armor on. Stand Firm. Do not submit to the flesh. Put to death the sinful nature inside of your heart. Cut off the uncleanliness of your heart. Suffer. Endure. Go Deeper. Read The Word Of God. You must tame your tongue. Do not be deceived. Do not lie to yourself in the mirror. You are apart of the Lord’s most precious group of people. Do not turn to the left or the right. Stand firm. Persevere. You are called to be in his promise land. You were made for this.
The Prophet Isaiah gives a message several hundred years before Jesus is born what he will do and who he will be.
“16And He [YAHWEH/GOD] saw that there was no man [prior to JESUS], And was astonished that there was no one to intercede; Then His [YAHWEH/GOD] own arm [JESUS] brought salvation to Him [YAHWEH], And His [JESUS] righteousness upheld Him. 17He [JESUS] put on righteousness like a breastplate, And a helmet of salvation on His head; And He put on garments of vengeance for clothing And wrapped Himself with zeal as a mantle.”
You are not meant to use your freedom to pursue your own evil heart. You are called to be an imitator of your Rabbi Jesus Christ.
Do not fear, there will be a time, where your heart is made pure and you will not have this wickedness in your heart.
Then you may be follow it, being carefully instructed, zealous, righteous, and strongly in your walk with the Lord.
You will be able to see what is God and what looks Good.
You will see the path that Jesus sets before you. It will be lit on FIRE.
False Prophets will not deceive you.
False Teachers will not influence you.
Nothing will stop the will that the Lord has for your life. You will be perfect and complete. Not lacking anything. You will be His weapon. In perfect alignment with your purpose and why you were created and made for such a time as this.
Firstly young wolf, let your flesh die. Allow yourself to die with Jesus on the cross. Only through him will you obtain salvation.
Just like the animal kingdom that God has established here on the Earth. Wolves will not only tear their own up, they also desire to hunt, isolate, and attack weak and young Christians into buying into their visions, dreams, and traps.
Without dying on the cross. You will not be able to see what is God and what looks luring. In your heart of hearts wolves will come into your camp and evil will reign in the place of Christ in your mind. Uncircumcised devilish hearts will look to corrupt your church, family, and friends. Be that part of mankind that joins the army of the Lord and enlist yourself. You should not be afraid. For the Lord your God is with you. He will not leave you, nor forsake you. Your eyes are opened up.
3I will give you every place where you set your foot, as I promised Moses. 4Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates—all the Hittite country—to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. 5No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. 6Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their ancestors to give them.
7“Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
How Can You Spot A Wolf?
“6They are the kind who worm their way into homes and gain control over gullible women, who are loaded down with sins and are swayed by all kinds of evil desires, 7always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth. 8Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so also these teachers oppose the truth. They are men of depraved minds, who, as far as the faith is concerned, are rejected. 9But they will not get very far because, as in the case of those men, their folly will be clear to everyone.”
2 Timothy 3:6-9
Some wolves will be so bold to come into the light where they can be fully seen. Oftentimes the weak/young churches (when I say churches I mean friend, youth, pastoral groups), wolves will have ulterior motives, covetous desires in their motivation. There is apart of their heart that has not been consecrated before the Lord. They have wickedness that has not been circumcised in their heart. Whether it be undealt with sin, unforgiveness, hardness toward God, hatred of past hurt or self, idolatry, coveting, false intimacy with God, false humility, love of worldliness, unwilling to tithe, unwilling to sacrifice, false hope, swindling, constantly lying, adultery (sexual intimacy outside of marriage – whether married or single..yes engagement does not count as marriage), not trusting The Lord with their heart – circumstances -pain – hurt – sin – life.
Deal With Wolves
Some of your own personal feeling toward Wolves may be negative up to this point. Some might feel hurt, others sad, maybe some feel injustice. Wolves can be harsh, hurtful, and difficult to deal with.
43“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’44But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.46For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same?47And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?48You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.
I will be transparent and commit to saying that there is NOT a one-size-fits-all approach to dealing with them.
It is best to understand that people are not the wolves, it is the spiritual presence of the wolf inside of them that we despise. NOT the PERSON. This has been so confusing over the years for Christian and Jewish community. Hating these people and despising their actions or who they are. Even getting easily offended at their behaviors only makes them grow more and more pity, creating a more difficult way of ministering effectively toward them.
*Note* This is why the Pharisees were called “White-washed tombs,” having the appearance of Godliness, but denying the unconditional love that YAHWEH has for us.
The Jewish Elect understood that every human was made of two parts.
Part God Part Animal
The main difference between the two is the Spiritual versus Sinful nature. Could also be called the Spirit versus Flesh. Following Christ, we aim to live 100% in the Godly nature and putting our sin nature/flesh to death. We put our flesh on the cross and allow it to get flogged, beaten, tempted, and even crucified. We stumble and sometimes fall while we are carrying our cross. Crucifixion of our flesh is the ultimate wilderness experience before we get into the promise land, inner peace through any situation, and Heaven.
Wolves tend to be built solely on the animal nature. There could be vast reasons WHY they are this way. Which will puts a barrier in between the person receiving Heavenly Love or our best imitation of it. Whether it was bad parenting, selfishness, exposure to violence, sexual hurt, drug/alcohol addiction, or other forms of pain we have to do our best to spread the love of Christ.
15To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed.”
I love you all, I pray that looking into this deep entwined, dense article that you would be able to have scriptural evidence that wolves do exist, you are in a fight, and God has already won.
) The Giftings of God are irrevocable, if someone falls away, is called by God, it is our duty to throw them into the fire and encourage them to follow Christ in the way that He deems necessary.
) Jesus Came for the broken, sick, lost, and yes…wolves too. They need to repent and wash themselves to find who they are in Christ.
) Freedom for everyone does not mean that you can go on living your old lifestyle before Christ saved you.
) Wolves look like tricksters, having the appearance of being good, not having cut away the unclean things from their heart. Whether it be greed, sexual immorality, violence/rage, drunkenness, drug abuse/addiction, harsh words, crude joking, and diseased actions or no actions produced from their lives.
) Wolves will tempt and try to lead you off your fulfilling your purpose. The Lord has placed them in your flock to test and see if you will keep his commandments.
) People are not wolves, the spirits inside of them are focused on fulfilling their sinful nature and not submitting to Jesus.
) It is not okay to hate these people in your heart. They deserve the love of Christ and you may be the only form of Christ they see in their lives. Don’t take it for granted, you are an ambassador.
3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. 4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.
In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground,and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard. So Cain was very angry, and his face fell. The LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry, and why has your face fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”
When our brothers get lifted up… how do we respond?
Do we look at them with anger or jealousy?
Do we start to become sad or depressed when they succeed and wish it was us?
I know that I have these thoughts about my brothers around me. Not because I want to, but because of the childish nature that is inside of me. By writing this article, my prayer is that you’ll walk away with a more valuable look at yourself in the mirror, identify current/futuristic heart issues, and understand what it means to be a brother in your walk with Jesus Christ.
Cain spoke to Abel his brother. And when they were in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him. Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He [Cain] said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?
Sin is looking to overtake you. Cain’s brother Abel was lifted up and honored by God, and he murdered him.
The Lord says that we are supposed to rise up and overcome it. That we should master it. We should not live in malice toward our brother. As he gets lifted up, honored by God or our brethren, we should be filled with joy for him when he gets honored.
My Twin Brother:
Twins have been known to have a stronger relationship than any other sibling. As a twin, I can only speak upon the experience I have had alongside those who I have been spiritual brothers with. Twins have a special bond, one that seems unbreakable, ferocious, and envious. I have been asked numerous times.
“What’s it like being a twin?”
“Is it different being a twin as it is as just having a brother?”
“When he is in pain, do you feel it?”
Whereas many times I have shook my head about these questions. I did not see the fruit of the relationship of my twin brother and I. Him and I were living a life with one another. Not being against him.
See, there were many times that I was against him. There was friction between us and instead of running away from my problems with him I brought them up. Because I loved him I would have to:
Admonish him by explaining how hurt I was by him
Ask him why he didn’t show me the love I showed him
Admit how wrong I was trying to lord over him
As I got older I appreciated having him in my life more and more. Although I didn’t always admit it, he was my everything. Before I knew the Lord my brother was there for me no other person could be. My brother is very talented ~ smart, great story-teller, funny, and he always seems to bring the best out of other people. He learns very quickly, willing to listen with his complete attention focused on you, and is willing to tell you the truth even when it hurts.
It wasn’t until my relationship with the Lord deepened, that I began to see these strengths… I was so focused on my understanding and learning that I began to disregard his accuracy or actions as ‘good enough.’
There were times that I did not want to encourage, listen, or even be around him. I did not see him as my equal. I saw him as lesser and me as greater. As I grew in wisdom in all the areas where he did not know, I began to use the truth and my understanding as a weapon to show him how wrong he was. Hoping that one day, he would admit how wrong he was and how right I was. I had the wrong attitude. I was harsh with him, and I treated him so poorly.
I had to learn how to encourage him, listen to him, and hear out his ideas. There were many times I thought that he was wrong, or that he was going down a wrong path and I didn’t say anything… I didn’t think he was worth it. At times of hardship I didn’t ask him for help. I looked toward myself, and I always fell right on my face. He has always been there for me and he wasn’t willing to quit on me even when I quit on myself. He inspires me and still does to this day. He is not perfect, or always right, but he keeps learning and trying and continuing to love on those who are hard to love. I need my brother.
Oh how I need my spiritual brothers in the exact same way.
We all have to come to the conclusion that we are not the only prize-winning pony in the show.
We all may be talented in different ways than others. Let me ask you, are your legs stronger than your arms? They should be! They’re much bigger… if not you’d better train them. Just like your body, there are certain parts of your body that do more work and certain parts that are used more.
So because I am not used as much does that mean that I shouldn’t even try? ~Absolutely not.
Your brothers will outdo you sometimes and always in somethings. But that means that you step up to meet your expectation and fulfill your part. You and your brothers are a team. You are meant to endure together.
This sounds like a lot of work….Does that mean I can’t sit back and relax?
What about my needs?
There is a constructive relationship forming, each brother was made to sharpen one another. We sharpen one another by continuing to get stronger in His Word, His Works, and His Purpose for your life.
Help keep your brother away from temptation, check him when he falls into temptation, listen to him, love him, support him, support him, encourage him, spur him on to outdo those around him with good deeds, do not allow him to be idle.
As for your brother, ask him how he wants to follow Christ.
“Do you want to follow the calling of God on your life?”
“Do you believe in the vision of Christ?”
“How can I keep you accountable?”
As we mature into adulthood we grow stronger and more firm. This makes us all more durable and stronger. But it’s only in the disciple, hardship, and training against one another that both get stronger and sharper.
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Until I moved into a discipleship house with my Pastor in September 2015 I was a child in my knowledge and faith. I had an understanding on the word, I had read most of the Bible on my own and sat in months worth of Bible Studies, Sermons, and tons of time reading The Lord’s Word. When it came to my brothers, I was blind and lacked faith in them. I wasn’t there for them. I wasn’t a man of my word. I made commitments and broke them. I didn’t prioritize them or make time for them. The time that I did make for them I realized that it was because it benefited me in some way, shape, or form. I remembered being a young child and whenever I played with friends or family I didn’t used to think that way… One day before our morning Men’s group, I asked God to reveal to me what is missing in my walk with him.
Soon the Lord would reveal to me that I did not know how to properly love and be a Man of God. As you could of imagined, I was devastated by this. My pride had been persuading me that I already was those things. Having tons of leadership experience, teaching others effectively, and honestly I thought I had great ideals and concepts that were acceptable and pleasing to God.
This deep sense of pride made me feel on the outside that I was “accomplishing” so much and that “no one” could understand me and how I felt. I kept feeling worthless and that my opinions did not matter to those around me.
Even though I was discouraged, I knew there was HOPE.I was reminded about a covenant that I made Jesus in 2012.
“Lord, I am going to fall 1,000 times, but I am going to stand 1,001. Please give me a second chance, and be patient with me.”
I began praying more directly to allow Jesus to help my attitude toward my brothers and see them as men instead of boys. Warriors instead of children. Powerful instead of weak. Intelligent instead of boring. Precious instead of disposable.
These brothers no longer were an ends to a mean. Even though I knew their would be a good chance of them hurting me or letting me down; I knew that I wanted a deeper relationship with God and also my brothers. I would not let this fear overtake me.
For me, I’ve wanted relationships like Aaron and Hur had with Moses during the Israelites battle with the Amalekites.
“So Joshua did as Moses told him, and fought with Amalek, while Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. Whenever Moses held up his hand, Israel prevailed, and whenever he lowered his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses’ hands grew weary, so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it, while Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on one side, and the other on the other side. So his hands were steady until the going down of the sun. And Joshua overwhelmed Amalek and his people with the sword.”
To understand what we should do…Let us look at the PERFECT.
These men and many others decided to follow the Lord and trust His ways instead of their own. Bold Men of God like this don’t back down from a fight with the devil. They accept whatever role they are placed in and bring glory to the Lord. Some Men are placed in the fight, others to pray, some to hold the men’s hands up who are praying.
These Men stand up against demonic spirits and the schemes of the devil and win. They drive their Sword of the Spirit straight into the heart of the Enemy, learn and master their environment, press into themselves, do not let sin overtake their brothers, respond with zeal, and do not throw away their confidence.
Super-normal Biblical Men of God take no prisoners. They do whatever The Lord has asked of their life they give of it. No matter what the cost.
“Do not forsake your friend and your father’s friend, and do not go to your brother’s house in the day of your calamity. Better is a neighbor who is near than a brother who is far away.”
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
“He who loves purity of heart, and whose speech is gracious, will have the king as his friend.”
Brothers are born for adversity. Challenging the very essence of their own personal desires, they are ready to be present for their brethren. The are in constant communion with one another.
These brothers sacrifice due to their LOVE of God.
Q & A:
Do these brothers look to the world for answers?
Do you tend to lean on your own understanding or your faith in God?
When you are pressed – how do your actions align with you words?
When God is testing you, will you keep your promise to Him?
Jump off of the deep end. Be the one who steps up. Do not overcome evil with evil, but overcome evil with good. See brothers and sisters, we are here FOR one another. Therefore, do not conform to what the world has to offer; first seek the kingdom of Heaven and serve your brothers.
Love your brothers, even when it hurts to do so. Therefore, stand victorious in the mist chaos. If you do the Lord will fill your household with love, peace, and joy. He is faithful.
“When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance.”
The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
The Word of God is God. A Sword of Truth. A Rose of Sharon. A Love Story.
It’s about how much God loves you. Sent His Son Jesus Christ to this earth to show you love. So when you suffer (not if) you will see the love of God in your life. Whatever the pain, whatever the loss, whatever the discomfort. God is worth it, and He reveals it to you in His Word. He is not a liar.
So how do we respond?
WE have to pull conviction of the Holy Spirit and press inward and start to advance the kingdom of God. Dig deep. Push yourself outside of your comfort bubble. Search for victory. Seek to endure God’s truth. Embrace the discipline put upon your back. Love God even through the pain. Overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of your testimony.
Fight tooth and nail to overcome the odds. It will hurt. It will be difficult. It will be worth it.
What happens when we fail is that most people quit and pack it in for their life. They allow the world to choke them out. They stop fighting. They stop enduring. They run away. They do not push on and fight the fight of faith.
“Now concerning brotherly love you have no need for anyone to write to you, for you yourselves have been taught by God to love one another, for that indeed is what you are doing to all the brothers throughout Macedonia. But we urge you, brothers, to do this more and more, and to aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”
1 Thessalonians 4:9-12
When the enemy is at full strength – you have to stand up and fight. Because your brothers will meet you there. You will stand victorious in the Glory of God Our Father.
Sum it Up:
Admonish him that being a brother means more than just having fun; it means being there for one another when it hurts.
Ask him how he would want to lead, follow, and who God made him out to be.
Admit when I’m wrong, what I did wrong, how I struggle, what I struggle with.
Overcome evil with good.
Resist the devil, find joy in suffering, endure, persevere.
Jump off the deep end. Be the love of Christ.
Fight for my brothers, not against them. Prepare the way. Be the example. Encourage, reprove, correct, discipline, love them. Remind them who they represent.
9 Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.11 Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.13 Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
“and the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire on the altar and arrange wood on the fire. And Aaron’s sons the priests shall arrange the pieces, the head, and the fat, on the wood that is on the fire on the altar; but its entrails and its legs he shall wash with water. And the priest shall burn all of it on the altar, as a burnt offering, a food offering with a pleasing aroma to the LORD.”
Leviticus 1:7-9 ESV
What does it mean when the (Law) Torah talks about sacrifices for us following Christ? Is it applicable anymore? Why does this matter?
Without debating theology and who-believes-what. Post-martyrdom Christianity demonstrates Jesus becoming sin in which we as human beings would be made clean for eternity.
The Breakdown: God (Adonai/Elomheim) sent himself to Earth as a man, to be born as a son of man, live as a man, while being fully God, to learn as man learned, feel as man felt, live perfectly without sin, and then be willing to take on sin so that every WILLING human being may become clean and unstained from the world.
Made simple: Jesus died so that you could be forgiven. Forgiveness from Jesus does not mean that man after encountering the light of God can go on living a life in darkness after being brought in the light.
“This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.” -John 1:5-7
What does that mean about us?
Question: If we claim to have community with him but are actively pursuing sin, does that mean we are liars Alex? ~Yes…yes it does…
Woah…woah…woah! Wait..a…second… that doesn’t make me feel good!
Jesus is supposed to be love Alex…
He knows where I am at…
He understands the hardships of life.
Doesn’t the Bible say that: ‘once you say that Jesus Christ is Lord that I am going to heaven..’ Doesn’t it?
Answer: Yes…yes it does. Looking at our lives with an honest evaluation, can we honestly say that our hearts have been circumsized and the wickedness/wicked ways of who we once “WERE”have been cut away with Christ? (notice the past-tense here. For those who are in Christ are NEW CREATIONS, they are no longer slaves of sin, but in return are slaves of righteousness ~ who JESUS called friends – not servants, even though that’s exactly who and what we ARE for him)
The Law (Torah)
“So circumcise your heart, and stiffen your neck no longer. “For the Lord your God is the God of gods and the Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God who does not show partiality nor take a bribe. “He executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and shows His love for the alien by giving him food and clothing. “So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt. “You shall fear the Lord your God; you shall serve Him and cling to Him, and you shall swear by His name. “He is your praise and He is your God, who has done these great and awesome things for you which your eyes have seen. “Your fathers went down to Egypt seventy persons in all, and now the Lord your God has made you as numerous as the stars of heaven.
The Prophets (Nevi’im)
“If you, Israel, will return,
then return to me,”
declares the Lord.
“If you put your detestable idols out of my sight
and no longer go astray,
and if in a truthful, just and righteous way
you swear, ‘As surely as the Lord lives,’
then the nations will invoke blessings by him
and in him they will boast.”
This is what the Lord says to the people of Judah and to Jerusalem:
“Break up your unplowed ground
and do not sow among thorns.
Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,
circumcise your hearts,
you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire
because of the evil you have done—
burn with no one to quench it.
The Writings (Kethuvim)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Thy presence, and do not take Thy Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Thy salvation, and sustain me with a willing spirit.”
Now I hope you [the reader] realize the heart of the message that is being wrote about. I realize that people may or may not have stopped reading, turned to read a text message, started swiping left on their smartphone, or ignored what this message was. For those of you who continued reading onward to gain the prize I COMMEND YOU! I pray that you did realize the heart here are the desperate cry from the heart of David to get this part of our walk down right!
If you are grasping at the message here it is this:
The implied meaning here is that your insides also have to WASHED out and cleaned by our High Priest Jesus Christ.
When we present ourselves as a living sacrifice to The Lord. We bring ourselves to Him so that we can give our Life to HIM. We allow Him to strike us down and wash out the internals and allow us to be made clean.
Question: Does this really apply to me or is this just some fahrvergnugen-sales-pitch-propaganda-thingy-ma-bobber?
No it does not apply to you… It applies to EVERYONE
Let’s smash some idols and false beliefs here and hop into Faith 101:
Jesus is our High-Priest. So HE is the one that is cleaning out the guts of the sacrifice. It was always up to the Levitical Priest to do the cleaning to prepare the sacrifice to be burned. Wouldn’t it make sense if in the 21st Century of today we just brought ourselves to the altar of God so that our High Priest (JC the Son of Man) could clean us and prepare us to cleanse our sin?
Let’s look a little deeper into some Scripture to understand the meaning.
“Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have any consciousness of sins?But in these sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year.For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins.
Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said,
“Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me; in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”
There is a preparation of the body of Christ (i.e. the church) that we are transitioning from Childhood onto Adulthood (i.e. spiritual Bar Mitzvah/ Bat Mitzvah). When we are born into the faith, we are a child ~ we reason, think, and act like a child. When we go onto maturity we no longer act, think, and reason like a child due to our completeness being held to the entire TaNaKh (Law, Prophets, Writings)
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.”
We MUST realize how uber weak our flesh is. Only then we will be able to see what kind of man/woman we are in Christ and how we can actually do something about it.
We realize that life is not about materials, status, or money we accumulate but a life that is pleasing to God. For if we stick to our narrow road, there will be a life of eternal relationship with The King of Kings, and the Lord of Lords. We will be moving into eternal life with him.
We are all call to different walks of life, but all of us have the same objectives:
“so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Our Hebrew Brethren were onto something when Moses gave The commandments and instructed the Men of God how to please Our Creator…Farther then looking at the Ten Commandments; The Lord gave a the Israelites a model for the Levitical Priests to execute FIVE different sacrifices.
The Levites performed these sacrifices for different purposes depending on the situation.
The five sacrifices: Burnt, Meal, Fellowship, Sin, Trespassing.
“For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins,but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries.”
Not performing the sacrifices the prescribed way could potentially produce the wrath of God if the people did not follow the proper way.
Find a few more details on sacrifices to read up here and also read chapters 1-6 in Leviticus (if you haven’t read them in the Bible…please, do yourself and your spiritual family a favor and READ it)
As we read throughout the Old Testament (OT) we see that the teachers, leaders, kings, priests, prophets did not always follow the commandments of Adonai (God The Father). Sadly, obedience was something that seemed to always leaven the nation of Israel.
Just because a few people did not follow correctly DOES NOT give us the right to tell God that we won’t follow it either.
Each one of us looks into the Law and judges his life according to the Word of God.
You can actively choose to have your “Guts washed out” or not. Either way, the blood of your choice is off my hands because you read the article.
You understand now that your life is not your own, and that you have to bring your sacrifice to the altar…and Jesus is going to washing you inside and out.
“You’re welcome guys!”
We as Christians are believers in YAHWEH~God that he manifested himself as Jesus Christ and resurrected three days after cruxifixction, finally he returned to his disciples and donated The Holy Spirit to them.
Question: Sooo….does that mean if I am a kingdom builder that I am just supposed to sit back and wait??
Answer: I’ve been scrolling here for a long time.. I’ve got a vague concept of what we’re talking about Alex..But honestly I don’t know if I can do this.
Does a soldier only train when he’s in combat or does he train before he gets there?
Hopefully you’ve chosen correct, but sometimes The Lord will still give you the right answer even if you guessed wrong.
ALEX….WILL YOU JUST STOP FOR A SECOND….
What if I feel like this is too tough?
I cannot seem to get this stuff right?
What if I don’t have it in me?
I’m not strong to cut away this sin that’s in my life…
Everyone around me doesn’t encourage/believe in me. How am I supposed to do what I am supposed to?!
Pause (Selah): Know this. Everything is possible through Christ.
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
So in recap:
Bring your guts to Jesus
Trust that Jesus your High Priest can clean you
Listen to God’s Instruction
Focus on your purity instead of your own comfort
Be persistent when God has instructed you
You can do it. Never stop fighting.
We do not sit on the throne to erect judgement on ourselves. That is God’s job. Follow his word.
I love you all so much. I’m really writing blogs like these because I know that I would read them and it helps me study the Word. I know its a lot of mind vomit on a page, but I promise it will get better. I’d love any suggestions or topics you all would love to read up on.