As I sit here right now, my mind is going over some of the recent events as relates to suicide. Two very prominent people have committed suicide just this week. Both were very successful, but something was missing.
Of course, everyone now has something to say about it and very one is analyzing it. But when I see or hear of this kind of destruction, my mind immediately goes to the fact that this world needs Jesus like never before.
Yes, there are many that have distorted the gospel, the church and all that goes with it. But, the Church that Jesus purchased with His blood is still in tact and needed. It is just hard to find a Jesus Church, but there are still some, and Steadfast Apostolic Church is one of them. Oh, amen
The Church is in a battle too with the adversary. The devil is doing all he can to make the church appear to be fraud, fake, not real, a sham, etc. Those that play church are assisting the devil do just that. If it ever was a time for the church to stand up it is now!!! The Church has got to stop allowing the world dictate how it operates. The Church has got to contend for the faith and be willing to die for it. The Church needs Elders that will stand and fight instead of run.
For those that feel like life is not worth living, yes it is. I admonish you today, seek the Lord while He yet may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. Suicide is not the answer. Jesus is.
Many times when one hears the phrase, Church Work, there is this assumption that it means, an order of service, or a day of recognition (Choir Musical, Pastor Appreciation, Ushers Day, etc). And as believers participate in these services they feel they have done the work of the Church.
I was studying one day and this thought came to my heart. Is there a difference between Church Work and Kingdom work or are they both the same? I searched the scriptures.
There are only two places that stood out to me where food was mentioned. That is the Lords Supper and when Jesus fed the multitudes with two fish and five loaves of breath and then took up the left overs and fed some more. There was also the wedding at Cannan. What I did not find is: church anniversaries, Pastor anniversary, musicals, conferences, etc. I could not find one scripture to support any of these things that are done in the Church today. Just like I could not find the following in the word of God- First Ladies, District Elders, Minister of Music, Youth Minister, Suffragan Bishop, Jurisdictional Bishop, etc. All these are titles and positions created by man, not God. So, what is Church work?
In the book of Matthew 28:19-20 Jesus commanded the disciples to, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." In the book of Mark chapter 16 verses 15-18 the Word of God says, "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but the that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."
So, is there a difference between church work and kingdom work? Yes.
Church work glorifies man. Kingdom work seeks out the lost and preaches and teaches the gospel of Jesus Christ to them to save them. As for titles and positions, I did find this, "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the WORK OF THE MINISTRY, for the edifying of the body of Christ"- Ephesians 4:11-12
While preaching the Sunday morning message, it dawned on me that too many are doing Church work and not Kingdom work. There is a difference. Church work is at the discretion of the local assembly based on what the assembly wants or feels the need to do. Kingdom work involves doing the will of God at His command and leading. The Bible declares it is not the will of God for any to perish, but that all will come to repentance.
Over the course of the last year and a half I have seen many leave their ministry duties because of feelings. They left the Sunday School class. They left the Bible study class. They left women's classes. They left the out reach ministry. They left the nursing home ministry. They left being involved with kingdom work. Each was the lead for their section and they just walked away. No regard for the souls at all. It was not until this past Sunday that the Lord allowed me to see the magnitude of disrespect, dishonor for kingdom work each of them had. They could not put aside their feelings to commit to the work of the Lord and yet they say they want to be used??? Voids and gaps were left in the ministry because of it. In addition the fact had to be faced that even those they were people who had been around for years. They each professed to having the Holy Ghost. But they each walked away from their post because of feelings. Feelings, that only they know. Built up hardness of heart and coldness.
Getting souls saved is kingdom work. Showing up for church, going home and doing nothing for the sake of souls being saved.......is selfish. Jesus commanded to go out into they highways and by ways and compel men and tell men. But feelings or desire for position to appear important succeeds the command of God.
Did they forget that they should be about their fathers business? Did they forget that the Lord said you have to deny yourself and pick up your cross and follow Him daily? Did they forget that if it had not been for a person denying themselves and witnessing to them, they would not have known about Jesus Christ? Did they forget the time spent helping their children and then have not problem walking away from someone else's children?
In this past year and a half I have seen the slackness in believers. The contentment with not being a soul winner. The contentment with sitting on the pew, going home, putting the Bible on a shelf until the next church service. No one studies for Sunday School or Bible study in advance of the class. There is no praise. No testimony. Only, request for the Lord to 'bless me and work things out for me', but no concern for the souls of others. No life, no witness, no joy no concern for the unsaved. I witnessed this.
God continues to remind me of what His word says. "Men shall become lovers of themselves more than lovers of God." "Evil men and seducing spirits shall wax worse and worse." "Having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof." "lovers of the world more than lovers of God".
Shake the dust and move on.
Scripture is being fulfilled. It is time to stand on and for the word of God like never before. It is time for the unsaved to get saved. Hell is real. Hell is hot.
The Lord taught me something on yesterday regarding preaching and teaching His word. The Bible says, 'How can they hear without a preacher (Romans 10:14c). The Bible also says, "the hearing ear and the seeing eye, the Lord hath made both of them."
It takes the word preached/taught under the anointing to remove, tear down that which keeps a person from seeing themselves and being able to hear what the Lord wants them to know. For the first reaction of the flesh when it is come against is to disagree, or get mad or want to leave the church or talk against the preacher, etc. But if that soul will sit around the word preached and taught as it is written, let that word clean them up (John 15:3), the Lord will use the word to open their eyes and open their ears to His truth. Then a soul will be able to see and hear what God has been trying to tell them.
The spirit of rebellion hinders and kills. The spirit of rebellion will make a soul move away from the word of God instead of draw near to it. A soul can cry out to God for decades and not get an answer until the barrier, yoke or hinderance is removed by the preached/taught word of God.
Many are spiritually blind and spiritually dead due to being rebellious against the unadulterated word of God. The Bible calls it 'having a form of godliness but denying the power thereof.' (II Timothy 3:5). They do not want to hear the plain, flat truth as it relates to how they live in accordance to the Word of God. The longer Jesus delays His coming, the more souls turn to false doctrine, false teaching and do not want to hear the truth.
A soul does not have to leave the church building to be in the fall away. Most are sitting on pews every week, two to three times a week. Being in the building and being in the Church are two different things.
It has been years now since the Lord spoke to my heart concerning christmas. I think my oldest child was around nine or ten. Up until this time, I was all for this day. I would put up a tree, buy presence, wake the kids at midnight to open the presents, make holiday decorations and crafts, mail christmas cards, go to christmas functions and put the radio on to place christmas music 24 hours a day for about two week leading up to that day. We would bake cookies. I would put surprises in the kids stockings, which they looked forward to each day. Then something happened.
I was summer if I remember right. I had just began to seek the Lord for real. I had gone to church with a friend, The preacher preached about holiness and sin like I had never heard before. The Lord started drawing me to salvation through repentance, baptism in the name of Jesus for the remission of my sins and being filled with the Holy Ghost as evidenced by speaking in other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance. I had gotten baptized in the Name of Jesus. Reading and studying the Bible became a new way of life. When I did not understand something, I would go to the word of God and see what the Bible said about it. I would also pray and ask the Lord for understanding.
On this particular day as I walked across the garage of my home the Lord impressed in my spirit as I passed the boxed christmas tree, "I am not in that". I remember it like it was yesterday. I looked at that tree, went over to it, picked it up and drug it to the curb to be picked up by the garbage man. I pulled out decorations and threw them out too. It was the same feeling of conviction I got about pants, jewelry, make up. I had thrown them out to at the leading of the Lord.
The Pastor did not teach me Christmas was not of the Lord. The Lord taught me. He spoke it to my heart and soul. I had no problem getting rid of all thing associated with christmas!!
Next I searched it out to make sure of what the Bible says about christmas. When I could not find anything remotely in scripture to support celebrating christmas, I repented to God for all the years I had participated in it and all the years I had taught my children to observe it. I remember my oldest child cried when I drug the tree to the curb. She did not understand the change. I would have Bible studies with my children and we would search things out in the word of God. Over time, my children realized the Bible does not support celebrating christmas.
In order to learn the history of christmas, you have to go to secular sources. And, everyone of them support christmas being a pagan holiday. God did not start it. Jesus did not start it, the Apostles did not start it, the church at Antioch did not start it. Christmas is pagan. Christmas stems from a pagan celebration around the winter soltice, not Jesus Christ. The other thing about the birth of Christ is the fact that Jesus is not a different from God. Because, Jesus is God manifest in the flesh. For there is only one God. So Jesus was not born so to speak. He was made manifest. God has always been. But that's a different study.
Many will disagree with me, I know. I don't argue the point. I know what I know. I know what the Lord said. I know what the Bible teaches and it does not teach Christmas. Think about this. Celebrating the birth of Christ does nothing. The Bible says "Thou believes that there is one God: thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble". James 2:19 The devil knows there is one God.
I have had to say, 'well, you celebrate your birthday. why can't I celebrate Jesus' birthday?". Simple, I was born, Two people got together and made me. God/Jesus has always been and He did not say to celebrate his birth. The other fact, exactly what day was Jesus born? The Bible does not say. The new birth is what Jesus is concerned with. Souls being born again of the water and the Spirit!!
It is my prayer that souls will begin or go back to seeing if what they believe is of the Lord. Jeremiah 10:2a says, "Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way of the heathen". Christmas is pagan.
In the scriptures, you find that Judas betrayed Jesus. We looked at the scriptures to getting a better understanding of just how Judas betrayed Jesus.
In reading the scriptures (Mt. 10:4, Mt. 26:14, Mt. 27:3, Mark 14:43, John 6:70, 12:4, 13:26,30 and Acts 1:16) you find that Judas was one of the last disciples Jesus called to follow him. Judas was also the one that handled the money bag. Judas was the one that had a negative comment to make about Mary anointing Jesus with oil from the alabaster box. Judas followed Jesus, ate with him, talked with him. In Matthew 10:4 Judas is named as the one who betrayed Jesus. From the very beginning he called a betrayer.
When you look at the definition of betrayed you find the following meanings: to deliver or expose to an enemy by treachery or disloyalty; to be unfaithful in guarding, maintaining or fulfilling; to reveal or disclose in violation of confidence; to deceive, misguide or corrupt; to seduce and desert. All of these meanings are negative. Judas being called a betrayer of Jesus had some of these in his heart. Think about it. He followed Jesus physically, but not with his will or heart. Judas was never a real follower of Jesus Christ. It could be said Judas loved money.
In Matthew 26:14-16 it tells of how Judas went to the chief priest and asked them what would they give him in exchange for him telling them where to find Jesus. Verse 16 says, "from that time forward he sought opportunity to betray him". All for money?? All the teaching Jesus did, all the miracles Jesus performed had no affect on the heart of Judas. Judas even called Jesus master and kissed him as a sign to the chief priest that this was Jesus.
Betrayal is common today. Everyone with you is not for you. Many are being used by the devil right now to destroy the works of god or to prevent souls from coming to know Jesus as Lord and savior.
It behooves every soul to check themselves and ask themselves, "Am I betraying Jesus? Am I betraying my Pastor? Well, are you?
My Lord and my God, we had a true move of the Holy Ghost in church yesterday morning. Not a lot of noise. Not a lot of singing. The glory fell, and all those that humbled themselves got a true touch from the Lord. It has been awhile. Oh, yes we have good services, but we had a move of the Holy Ghost for real yesterday. My soul still feels the effect!! The preacher did not get to preach. She was running the aisle, crying and praising God too. The young people/young adults got touched. The old ones got touched. Flesh and the devil were under arrest an unable to operate!! Some were on the floor. Some were at the altar. We did not need ushers. The Holy Ghost directed everything!! Liberty that only the Holy Ghost gives was present. It rained like for about an hour and a half, nonstop!
You could feel help and strength from the Lord touching souls. You could see the hand of God touching those that the enemy was trying to destroy. Tears running down cheeks. Repentance taking place. I saw souls lifting up hands in victory and that holy glow was on their faces. My Lord and My God. These things make true Pastors have joy on this journey. Seeing Gods people free and rejoicing before the Lord.
We had a visitor. She had never seen anything like this before, she said. Most of the Saints greeted her. I welcomed her to Holiness and invited her to come back.
There are days in ministry when it seems like everything is in vain.When it seems like nothing is working and it SEEMS like the devil and sin are winning. The more you give and expend, the more battles to fight. Then the Lord sends a refreshing, strengthens you and tells you to continue on in Holiness in His Name and your soul says, "Yes Sir". You look out at the people and they are magnifying and praising God in the beauty of Holiness, and your soul starts rejoicing all over again. To see the peace and joy of the Lord on the face of the sheep gladdens the heart of a shepherd.
If you don't know Jesus Christ in the pardon of your sins. If you do not know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, get to know Him. The wages of sin is death. It takes true repentance to come out of sin. God's word declares that which is flesh is flesh and that which is Spirit is Spirit. The word of God also declares, marvel not, you must be born again. And once sin is repented of, the sin has to be washed away. How? Acts 2:37-38, which reads, "
Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men, and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost."
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling......come home.
This is a subject that always causes controversy and even causes 'Saints' to fall out and be disrespectful and judgmental to one another. Women Preachers. Women Pastors.
Of late, it has been hotly discussed among some that I know. This last round of discussion had an affect on my spirit. Only because the discussion had so much hatred and judgment in it. It has always amazed me how 'Saints' can get sooo mad and judgmental concerning women pastors and women preachers, but have more of an accepting spirit towards male preachers and pastors that: commit adultery, commit fornication, steal/embezzle money from the church, lie, mishandle the word of God, mislead the sheep and on and on. A male pastor can commit adultery, stop preaching for a month, and come back with full acceptance. But a female pastor/preachers gets hated on for being a woman preaching the gospel with no sin in her life.
A male pastor/preacher can have a worldly girlfriend or wife and no one says anything. But a female pastor/preacher gets hated on for preaching the word. No other things going on in her life that goes against the word of God. Her only 'sin' is that she is female pastoring a church or preaching the word.
Case in point. A sister went to an Apostolic/Pentecostal group asking for prayer for her family situation. In her request she mentioned that she was a pastor. Over 80% of those that responded past judgment on her being a pastor and completely over looked the fact that all she was asking for was prayer!!! This was an Apostolic/Pentecostal group!! The main focus was on her being a pastor and not on her asking for prayer from those that 'have the truth'.
As the comments came in, my soul and heart ached. The responses came from everywhere and from all races and ages. The main focus from all the races and ages was the sister being a pastor. My Lord and my God!! What is the Church coming to?
None of those in opposition know the sisters circumstances in totality. None of those that responded have authority in her life. How in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth did the respondents feel they could judge her? How? Why could they not address what she was requesting?
Two thoughts came to my mind as I read the answers. One was a sermon I heard entitled, "when people become their own priests" and the other was the realization that Holy Ghost filled people hate female pastors/preachers. The second one stings the most because they all profess to being Holy Ghost filled. Which would mean their behavior and words are that of the Holy Ghost?? Not
When people become their own priests, they do as the feel like and are not subject to authority. Which means they can have a pastor, but they do what they want and feel. Gods word does not direct them. They direct themselves. What they fail to realize is it takes a Pastor to give the account to God of how they are living. In addition, one has to be under authority to have authority.
My second thought is how much hatred supposedly Holy Ghost filled people have for women pastors/preachers. It is ironic and almost an oxymoron. How can a person be hated for preaching and teaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ? How??? How can the anointing and gift that only comes from God be over looked because the vessel being used is a woman? How????? The ones doing the hating cannot see the harm being done to themselves and the kingdom of God? You mean to tell me a woman pastor/preacher is going to hell for preaching, but a whore monger, stealing, adulterer male pastor/ preacher can repent and go to Heaven? A woman pastor/preacher is a hell bound sinner but the whore monger,stealing, adulterer male pastor can be saved?
As I read the comments, my soul and heart ached. I can only imagine how the sister felt. One person said the sister was going through because she was in rebellion against God by being a pastor and that she needed to repent from her sinful ways and maybe God would help her. The person said he was not going to pray for her as she was in sin.????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
Allow me to say this. When I got saved, I did not see gender in any of my Pastors as a stumbling block. Every pastor God sent me to preached the word of God, which what is needed. I strived to pattern my life after the word of God. The strongest Pastor I had was a woman. She did not take any foolishness. But I saw a Pastor. I did not see a female. She treated people like souls. A soul has no gender.
I also have to say this. No harm being meant, but this is what I have gleaned in my 28 years or so of being around the Holy Ghost and the Apostolic Church. Most males have this taught dislike for women. No pastor, male or female, has the right to Lord over or rule Gods people. They are instructed in the word to preach the word and be an example of righteousness. It's as if when a female pastor/preacher says it the male sees it as her 'having authority over him'??????????????????????????????????
Where does this come from?
A house divided can not stand. My prayer is that the Church gets back to fighting the real enemy, satan. To my beloved Brothers, women pastors and preachers are not the enemy. WE are not trying to rule you or control you.
Time after time, week after week the system of this world and mankind continue to try and change God's ways. The tricks of the enemy have invaded the Church and who is saying anything?
When I say Church, I am not talking about every building or assembly that calls itself a church. I am talking about the blood-bought church of Jesus Christ. This is the only Church that can lead a soul to Christ and the word and the Holy Ghost usher in salvation.
In the blood-bought church, sin does not rule. The ways of man do not rule. The ways of the world do not rule. The Unadulterated word of God rules!!
Gods ways of holiness rule. Holiness involves pureness from the inside out. For the scriptures declare none but the pure in heart shall see God. Let's keep it simple. The pure in heart have a clean heart. A clean heart does not tend or lend itself to the ways of the world. A pure heart sees what God sees and presses to obey His ways. The pure in heart are teachable concerning things of righteousness. The pure in heart hates sin and strives to stay clear of it. This is what one might call, 'working out your salvation'.
To those professing holiness, clean up!! Stop leaning towards the world and get back to walking with the Lord. The standards of holiness are passed down from generation to generation. If the Saints of old did not do it, neither should the Saints in 2017. Clean up.
"Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they are not all of us." I John 2:18,19
In the book of Joshua, the scriptures tell us about a small city that Israel had to pass through on their way to the promise land. The name of the city was Ai. Compared to most, it was small with a population of about twelve thousand people. Israel had just defeated Jericho and was reveling in that victory. Joshua as the new leader was rejoicing in the victory with all of Israel. He was rejoicing so until he forgot to seek the Lord for how to defeat Ai. He was rejoicing so until he did not notice that an accursed thing had been brought among the people. God's people are to always watch and pray.
When Israel came to the land of Ai, Joshua sent men from Jericho (the city they had just defeated) to spy out the land (Joshua 7:2). These men came back with a report that only 2-3 thousand men was needed to defeat Ai. Joshua listened to the men from a defeated city (Jericho). The men of Israel were defeated!! Some of them was even killed (Joshua 7:5). The men of Israel were chased from Ai. Their hearts melted. Joshua rent his clothes, fell to the earth and cried out to the Lord (Joshua 7:5-6). But wait, why pray and cry out now? Why did he not ask God how to defeat Ai before he sent men to battle? Why did Joshua listen to men from a defeated city and not seek to hear from the Lord?
Herein is an error that a lot of God's people make today. Don't wait until defeat comes before you seek the Lord. Seek Him for everything. Do not depend on the expert, the internet or people. Seek the Lord for direction in all things.
As Joshua was praying before the Lord, God told him 'get thee up'. God asked him, "wherefore liest thou thus upon thy face? Israel hat sinned, and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them: for they have taken of the accursed thing, and have also stole, and dissembled also, and they have put it even among their own stuff." Joshua 7:10-11.
Error number two, their was sin in the camp. Yes one man was guilty of the sin (Achan), but one is enough to sin in the sight of the Lord, God. Many today think what they do has not affect on the church as a whole, but it does. Once Christ is named as ones Lord and Savior, there is an obligation to be a witness for Him. Sin separates man from God. Because of the failure to seek the Lord, and the accursed thing being in the camp, Israel was defeated by the occupants of Ai. The little foxes spoil the vine (Song of Solomon 2:15).
When God says not to do something, He means just that. His word, the Bible, is the source of all that God wants and expects from His people. Failure to obey the Lord, take hold of things that are against what the Bible says or your Pastor says will bring defeat in the face of your enemy. The way Achan was handled by God also shows us the result of sin. Achan and all of his family was killed because he had taken of that which God said not to.
Look what God says in verse 12: "Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you".
Joshua searched the people to find the one that had disobeyed. In verse 20 Achan admits he took of the accursed thing. Verse 21 says he took Babylonish garment, silver, wedges of gold. Saints are not to have the things of the world in their homes either.
In verse 24 and 25 Achan, his sons, his daughters his oxen, his asses, his sheep and his tent and all that he had was stoned and burned. Once the accursed things were removed, God turned from the fierceness of his anger.
When the word of God says not to do something, don't do it. To think that God will over look sin because its you is an error.
The wages of sin is death. Romans 6:23