Posts Tagged ‘ Church ’

Pentecost 2018: Build A Bridge

The celebration of Pentecost was a few weeks ago but I am just now getting around to posting. At Passover we talked about tearing down walls; tearing down walls between Jew and Gentile, tearing down walls of racism, and more. There have been several things on my mind for Pentecost since Passover all these things have an over arching theme of building a bridge from one thing to another.

Pentecost is not just a New Testament thing, Jews had been celebrating Pentecost for years. Let’s build a bridge.

 

From Old Testament to New Testament

Jesus is the bridge between Old Testament and New Testament. A bridge connects two things together. Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 that He did not come to destroy the law but to fulfill it, to show us how to live it. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 10:11 that the things that happened in the Old Testament are an example to us and were written down for our instruction.

James 5:10-11 MSG “Take the old prophets as your mentors. They put up with anything, went through everything, and never once quit, all the time honoring God. What a gift life is to those who stay the course! You’ve heard, of course, of Job’s staying power, and you know how God brought it all together for him at the end. That’s because God cares, cares right down to the last detail.”

There is so much for us in the Old Testament, Jesus is on every page! We can’ truly understand the New Testament without understanding the Jewish customs of the Old. We can’ tree the completeness of the Old without the person of Jesus! As we talked about tearing down the walls between Jew and Gentile at Passover, let Jesus be your bridge at Pentecost.

In the Old Testament Pentecost was a celebration of the giving of the Torah, the Word of God. In the New Testament a new dimension was added to the celebration, the coming of the Holy Spirit! Jesus said the Holy Spirit would lead and guide us into all truth and bring to remembrance the Things He said.

1 Timothy 3:16-17 ESV “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Let Jesus be your bridge. See the fullness of the Scriptures, learn from the stories in the Old and the parables in the New.

 

From the Founding to the Future

It’s easy for any of us to look at what God is doing right now and get so focused on that we forget where we have come from. In recent years we have heard of things like worship wars and the divide between the older and younger generations. What does a bridge do? It connects one generation to another. Yes, God is doing a new thing and it is springing forth. Yes, the message is the same and yes, the methods are totally different.

We need to be thankful for broader Christian history. Specifically each of us needs to be thankful and look to our denominations or movements history. We are only where we are at because of the people before us.

Today’s Church is dealing with the newly wrapped and presented heresies of the past we need to cross the bridge back into the past and grab the creeds, and theologies of our fathers and stand firm on the Word of truth. No matter how new something may look, universalism is still false teaching and saying we don’t need the Old Testament is a lighter version of the Marcion heresy that says the Church has replaced the Jews. When we don’t know history we are doomed to fall at the same places our fathers did and possibly even fall in places they did not.

Wether your Methodist, Pentecostal, Baptist, whatever stream God has placed you in, don’t forget your founding. Honor your fathers and mothers, hold to the truth, correct errors, and keep building.

 

From One Move to the Next

In that same line of thought, as the body of Christ, we need to continually move forward. We remember what God has done, we walk in what God is doing and look forward to what He will do next. The downfall of every great revival is that it wasn’t passed to the next generation. The loss of great ministries is when a leader doesn’t raise up a successor.

We become so worried about preserving a system or a style that we lose sight of why we were doing things in the first place. We do well to remember two things about Israel, they always followed the cloud when it moved and they never did well with blessing.

We need to be thankful for everything God has done, yet, the same disciples that were filled in Acts two were refilled in Acts four. When Israel was blessed they took their eyes off God and put on what He was doing or what He was giving them. How many times in the Church have we put our eyes on the miracles and the money and taken them off the Master?

Let’s remember the purpose of the bridge. To move from one place to the next and to be connected so if we forget something, we can go back and get it.

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Passover 2018: Tearing Down Walls

This year as I have been praying over my Passover post, one scripture has come over and over in my mind. Ephesians 2:14 NIV “For he himself is our peace, who has made two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.”

Passover is all about freedom from bondage and a shift in thinking. For the Hebrews to come out of bondage, it wasn’t enough to just physically leave Egypt, they had to mentally leave slavery.

The Church and our world today are both bound with wrong thinking and wrong perceptions. During this cycle of feasts in 2018; the Hebrew year 5778, a year of new beginnings, a year of war. This is also a seventy year, seventy meaning a choice between unity and disunity. Israel’s seventieth anniversary is this year! I want to focus on tearing down walls in the church world and in the world.

ONE NEW MAN

From the very beginning God intended for Jew and Gentile to be one. Even in the Old Testament (First Covenant) Gentiles connected with the Jewish people. Moses father-in-law was a Gentile who said, “I will follow you, but let me first go get my people and then come back to you.” It wasn’t until Acts ten that Gentiles first heard the gospel. From that time the enemy has pulled out all the stops to keep Jews and Gentiles separated. The truth is we as Christians have a Jewish Savior, a Jewish Bible, we have a Hebrew heritage. Wether you want to call it Hebrew heritage or Jewish roots, the New Testament (Renewed Covenant) is clear, Jesus never intended to start a second group divorced from the first.

Galatians 3:9 NASB “So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.”

Romans 11:13-24 NIV “13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I take pride in my ministry 14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them. 15 For if their rejection brought reconciliation to the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead? 16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches. 17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. 22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off. 23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!”

There is much talk about end times and rapture and how almost all signs are fulfilled. Forget natural signs. Scripture is clear that Jesus is coming back for a bride without spot or wrinkle. The Christian Church even among people in the same denomination are so divided we are not close to the Lord’s return. Even with how far off we are with that, Jesus is not stopping in Jerusalem to get the Jews and then stopping at denominational headquarters to get the Christians. He is coming back for one new man. We Christians are called to provoke the Jews to jealousy. That isn’t going to happen because we have big bank accounts, that is going to happen because our relationship with Jesus produces revelation of the relevance of the first covenant and obedience to the Word of God including participating in the joyous feasts each year, resting at Shabbat each week, doing acts of kindness and sharing the Jewishness of Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah with His chosen people. To the Jew first then the Greek.

There is more that can be said on this subject but for all that see my Hebrew Heritage Series along with the Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles teaching series.

The last several years have seen a surge in a love for Israel among the Church and I praise God for that! Along with that though, we must begin reading the Bible with Hebrew eyes and a Hebrew understanding. We must love and share the good news with our Jewish brothers and sisters and become one new man.

If this portion of the post has stirred something in you, I want to encourage you to read the other series I have mentioned and to sow a Passover offering to bless the Jewish people. There are a number of great Christian ministries that are blessing the Jewish people and sharing the Messiah with them. If you do not know of one, I encourage you to give to Larry Huch Ministries. They support a hospital, have an olive grove, help Holocaust survivors and more. If you would like to learn more about the Jewish roots of your faith, also check out the recommended reading page.

TEARING DOWN RACISM

America almost seems more divided than ever when it comes to racial issues. Wether it is gun control, cops and communities, all out Twitter wars, our country needs a healing and the root of racism needs to be plucked up. We all know this is true, yet many in the Church, myself included have been drug by the political spirit into nasty divisiveness. What is more, most churches in this nation are still divided by color. It is time for us to overthrow divisive politics in our own individual thinking. Yes, we all have positions and thoughts and that is fine but the Church isn’t helping heal a broken world right now.

My prayer during this Passover season is that we in the body of Christ would have eyes to see. That we would come out of bondage to political ideology and reach out to those we disagree and hear their stories and learn how to pray with and for one another. It sounds cheesy but it’s true, there is only one race and that’s the human race. Examine your heart today has a political spirit taken root in your heart that has put you on sides concerning racial issues or issues made to be about race? Do you hear someone you disagree with and automatically boil with anger? Remove the roots of anger, bitterness, hatred and anything else that does not belong in your life. Take back control.

CLOSING THOUGHTS

I try to keep these posts somewhat short and I’m already at length. Even though there is much more that can be said on these and other topics, I want to leave you with one thought. I am redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of the hand of the enemy. That is Passover in a nutshell. Thanks to Dr. Robert he idler for that phrase.

Four years ago at this time, the Lord brought me back to the teaching on Jewish roots that I didn’t understand when I was twelve. It began changing my life four years ago and this year God accelerated that. If your heart has not come alive to that, that’s ok. I hope you will still be encouraged through the teachings on this site. If something has awakened in you, please don’t ignore it. Search things out, read books, listen to teachings and pray that Holy Spirit would give you direction.

Pray for your nation, wether you live in America or somewhere else. Pray that bondage of your fellow Christians would be broken and that the hearts of those who don’t know Jesus will be open to Him. Recommit yourself to the Lord on this Good Friday. Ask for a fresh revelation of the cross and resurrection. Set aside time to take communion today and reflect on our wonderful savior.

Harvesting in the ‘New’ Christianity

christianity To be a Christian means to be one who follows the teachings of Jesus. Christianity is defined as the Christian religions including Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox churches, I would also add Messianic churches to that list.

Jesus said in John 4:34-38 NLT “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, who sent me, and from finishing his work. You know the saying, ‘Four months between planting and harvest.’ But I say, wake up and look around. The fields are already ripe for harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One plants and another harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and now you will get to gather the harvest.”

Jesus also said in Matthew 28:18-20 NLT “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Jesus was all about harvesting, it didn’t matter what political party you were affiliated with, it didn’t matter what religious sect you were, Jesus wanted to harvest everyone and everything and He taught His disciples to do the same. In America today the nation and the Church are divided by political lines and this should not be so, especially in the case of the Church. See the truth is, even though most of us wouldn’t be able to admit it, the republicans, the democrats, and independents each have issues they are correct on and others they are wrong on. There are good and Godly people in all parties but the church has been split by donkey and elephant and it’s time we acknowledge while legislation helps it does not produce everything that is needed, only the Church can do that.

The Church has also allowed itself to be divided by denominations and while some will work together, many choose to keep themselves separated. I agree with the definition of Christianity; the Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox and Messianic churches. Are there areas where I disagree theologically with these groups, yes, but they all believe Jesus is the only way to God, I can get onboard with that. Jesus said in John 13:35 NLT “Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.”

The ‘new’ Christianity that will bring in the harvest is not really new but the original teachings of Jesus. The series I’ve been doing on Jewish roots is not about becoming Jewish, but becoming more like Jesus by reading and understanding the Bible through the eyes of a Jewish Jesus. I believe there is great benefit in celebrating Passover and I also believe there would be great benefit in walking the stations of the cross from the Catholic Church and experiencing the power and freedom as we reverently walk the path of the seven places Jesus shed His blood.. These two things seem opposed to each other but Jesus can be experienced in both of them, so why not experience both traditions?

I believe in order to continue harvesting as Jesus commanded we have to become a more unified group of Christians, we have to redo the way we do church and no, I’m not saying become a loony liberal but a loving person, it’s not about being a crazy conservative but a Christlike individual. It’s time we get back to our roots and surprisingly that actually includes a Hebraic element, a catholic element, a orthodox element, and a protestant element.

The ‘new’ Christianity that is on the rise in the millennial generation is a Christianity that actually longs for tradition but that tradition experienced in love, not force. Hymns are beautiful in the right spirit, just like Passover, the stations of the cross and confession. You don’t have to confess to a priest or pastor, the Bible says confess faults to one another that you may be healed.

The ‘new’ Christianity has elements of all denominations and all ‘political philosophies’ applied in the right context, that is unity, and that is love.

When we walk in that unity and that love, we won’t just see people saved, but they will become healed, free and prosperous in every area of their lives! – This is the ‘new’ Christianity, this is the ‘new’ Church – it’s the original Church. Let’s read the gospels and Acts with a new frame of reference, let’s see the Old Testament in the eyes of a Jewish Jesus. – Let’s see another book of Acts revolution where we turn our world upside down through the message of love, freedom and healing that is found in Jesus.

Preparing for a move of God

heart-checkI sit here listening to worship music thinking about how I have always wanted to see a lasting, transforming, non-stopping move of God. Over the last year the cry of my heart has been to know and see Holy Spirit and the pages of the Bible to come alive.

 
There is so much Holy Spirit has put on my heart for this year. This blog lately has not been all about teaching but has been somewhat of a journal. I put on here what Holy Spirit says to me because I believe that some of what He says to me and maybe where He’s leading me could be beneficial to someone who stops by and reads.

 
I know one thing, there will be miracles and signs we can’t necessarily explain in this next phase in the Church but I also believe that that should never become the focus. We must always stay focused on Him and we must awaken to righteousness (1 Corinthians 15:34). If we don’t like a Christ like life any revival we begin to experience, any miracles and healing or whatever will be short lived. – without holiness no man shall see the Lord.

 
This post is for the Church, we are held to a standard that those who don’t yet know Christ aren’t.

 
As I sat here talking with Holy Spirit, He asked what I wanted to see. I said a move of God that truly lasts and transforms. Not continual services necessarily but a changed people. He then asked me how I believe that I will get there.

 
I believe we will see miracles, more than that I believe in changed hearts and transformed lives. We will get to the supernatural area of teaching, we will talk about developing faith. Before we go there we must make sure our foundation is strong so that when the supernatural comes we don’t get off into error.

 
I believe it is crucial for each of us to remind ourselves and be reminded of the foundations of prayer, worship, Bible study, and renewing our minds. This is where I am starting. I am going back to the basics, re-strengthening my foundation so I know I am ready for all the glory that is coming.

 
I know we tend to want to jump strait in but the glory of God is actually the holiness of God (Exodus 15:11). If we are not right before God, if we are not living right, the very thing we desire will end up taking us down.

 
If you long to see miracles, signs, wonders, prophecy and more. I ask that you start, like me, with checking and strengthening your foundation. When we are awaken fully to righteousness that’s when we will be able to handle the signs and wonders.

 
Over the next few months I’m going to revisit prayer, personal worship, and share some tools to help us be equipped in holiness. When that is in place we will move forward into faith and the supernatural.

 
I believe we, no, I know we will see amazing things, things that cannot be explained. I know with that God is calling us to a new level of consecration.

 
I am looking forward to this journey, will you join me in the pursuit of His presence?

A Message for Today From the Bygone Era

americanchurchMatthew 4:17 KJV “From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”.

 
The word repent means to think differently. This is why 2 Corinthians 5:17 KJV says, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”.

 
With all that’s going on in our world today, with a Supreme Court ruling on marriage being expected next month, with Christians being beheaded all around the world, with Christian businesses already being fined in the U.S. it’s time for Second Chronicles 7:14 to quit being the cute verse on the national day of prayer it must become our verse in action.

 
2 Chronicles 7:14 KJV “IF my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; THEN will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and heal their land”.

 
This is a IF – THEN verse, not a guaranteed verse.

 
Humble themselves: The word humble only has this meaning twice in Scripture; here and chapter thirty-four. To humble ourselves means to bend the knee, to humiliate, to bring down (low) into subjection, to be under, to humble [your] (self).

 
Notice that God is not humbling us, but we are humbling ourselves. In other words we are fully submitting ourselves to God. This is the first step to change in our nation. This is even the first step to a move of God within the Church.

 
After we have fully submitted to God we can then pray and seek Him and turn from our wicked ways.

 
This is another key for the Church, turning from our wicked ways. This whole verse is about Gods people changing. We must get rid of our wicked ways.

 
It’s time for the “old” message of repentance and holiness to once again be proclaimed in the churches.

 
The words of Zechariah 14:20-21 KJV are a call for the Church today. “In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, HOLINESS UNTO THE LORD; and the pots in the LORD’S house shall be like the bowls before the altar. (21) Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holiness unto the LORD of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come in and take of them, and seethe theirin: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the LORD of hosts”.

 
We are in an hour where holiness must be restored to the Church. We can no longer tolerate a preaching of grace that allows for loose living and sinful living. It’s time to restore standards once again.

 
It’s time we quit laughing at the past saying they didn’t drink and wear jewelry. Because they didn’t drink they never had to keep watch on themselves as not to have too many.

 

Ladies making fun of women for not piercing their ears and always wearing long skirts. It could be that you are getting attention you don’t want because of what else you have pierced and how tight your clothes are.

 
And don’t make the mistake of thinking I’m being “religious” or “legalistic”. The Word of God still has standards, the text does say let not your adornment be outward but inward. If your clothes or jewelry is causing men to say and be a way you don’t like rethink how you look. And guys take a look at Job 31:1 and get your eyes in the right place.

 
Well, now, Casey, that verse is Old Testament and were under grace not law. Well, Romans six says, shall we sin that grace may abound? No. Some of the modern grace message has gotten too permissive in behavior.

 
And lest we mistake holiness as Old Testament or legalism:

 
1 peter 1:15-16 KJV “But as he which hath called you is holy, so ye be holy in all manner of conversation; (16) because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”.

 
Hebrews 12:14 KJV “Follow peace with all, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:”

 
Holiness is commanded and holiness is possible. The only sermon Jesus ever gave reiterated the Ten Commandments and was a sermon on holiness (Matthew five through seven).

 
It may seem “old fashioned” to many but the Church today must return to the message of Jesus, a Kingdom message, repentance and holiness.

 
The only way we will see the supernatural is to preach the same message and live the same way Jesus did.

 
Instead of making fun of our forefathers, instead of replacing their books and messages with all new books with modern antidotes and motivational messages, let us preach the same word, the Gospel, the message of Jesus.

 
If we do these things and are not afraid to address what is Going on in our world we will see a third great awakening.

 
But we must be willing to preach repentance and holiness and we must not cower in fear and shy away from the issues of the day. King didn’t, Bonheoffer didn’t and we can’t afford to ignore the issues of our day, if we do, we can say goodbye to the America we once knew.

 

Revival Culture

revivalI’ve been thinking about revival a lot lately. When we hear the word revival most in the Church typically think 3-5 days of meetings with a special speaker. Sometimes revival can go longer, like at Brownsville. If we really stop and look at it though our understanding of revival is pretty much regular church with an extra helping of excitement.

I don’t really know how to define revival, to be honest with you, my concept of revival has been extra meetings with a special speaker. The more I look at history however I get a different picture.

My heart cry for months has been to be a part of a move of God, but the more I pray and the more I seek God I feel I just don’t get what God calls a move of God. I know what I call a move of God but the more I go after Him and the more I know Him the more I get that I don’t get it.

I’ve been raised in Church pretty much my whole life, I knew from a young age that I was called to be in ministry. I’ve heard and read lots of the great stories, the discouraging thing is, to this point, I have seen very little of what I’ve been taught, read, and heard talked about.

I long to see a move of God, I’m talking a move that doesn’t end, a move that is so much of our daily lives that moving in the supernatural becomes normal.

As I ponder moves of the past, lives of great leaders and so much more, I don’t write today some great answer, I’m not really sure what I’m writing (that encourages you doesn’t it?)

Maybe we all need to re-look at the stories and the people we’ve heard of. Maybe we need to get in our prayer closets more. Maybe we need corporate prayer more often.

This next thing probably needs a little explanation, we need more time in worship than in the Word. Yes, the word is important, yes, that’s how we are fed. The thing is though, God inhabits praise not preaching. If we are going to have a move of God, if we are going to experience Him we must become people of praise and worship. Of course we still need the word preached, but I think somewhere we got backwards it became more of what we get from a preacher preaching than just being in God’s presence.

I know some will disagree, some won’t even want to understand what I said because they think I’m speaking against the Word, I promise you, I’m not. As one called to teach and preach, believe me I love that, but that’s for us, praise and worship is for Him. Our services need more for Him and a little less for us.

I believe to see revival we need to see it as a lifestyle and the supernatural as normal living. It can’t be about a few extra meetings or a guest speaker it has to be about His presence.

I believe revival is cultivated through each one of our personal relationships with the Holy Spirit. We need to talk to Him, we need to pray in the language of the Spirit, we need to develop relationship with Him.

Like I said, I knew this post wasn’t going to answer questions necessarily. Maybe it will get you to thinking and crying out for your own personal revival.

All I know is this, if I ever become satisfied I’ve lost, because there is always more.

Never become satisfied, keep crying out for more, long for more of His presence. Cry out to be filled a fresh and anew.

What is revival culture? God’s presence and power as a way of life.

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