Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hellfire preaching, Jonathan Edwards

Here Jonathan Edwards addresses what we may call hellfire preaching or preaching with passion, or zeal or reality!

Hellfire Preaching?!
Title: Revival
Author: Jonathan Edwards

IX. It is no argument that a work is not from the Spirit of God that it seems to be promoted by ministers insisting very much on the terrors of God’s holy law, and that with a great deal of pathos and earnestness. If there be really a hell of such dreadful and never–ending torments, as is generally supposed, of which multitudes are in great danger—and into which the greater part of men in Christian countries do actually from generation to generation fall, for want (lack) of a sense of its terribleness, and so for want of taking due care to avoid it—then why is it not proper for those who have the care of souls to take great pains to make men sensible of it? Why should they not be told as much of the truth as can be? If I am in danger of going to hell, I should be glad to know as much as possibly I can of the dreadfulness of it. If I am very prone to neglect due care to avoid it, he does me the best kindness who does most to represent to me the truth of the case, that sets forth my misery and danger in the liveliest manner.
I appeal to every one whether this is not the very course they would take in case of exposedness to any great temporal calamity? If any of you who are heads of families saw one of your children in a house all on fire, and in imminent danger of being soon consumed in the flames, yet seemed to be very insensible of its danger, and neglected to escape after you had often called to it—would you go on to speak to it only in a cold and indifferent manner? Would not you cry aloud, and call earnestly to it, and represent the danger it was in, and its own folly in delaying, in the liveliest manner of which you was capable? Would not nature itself teach this, and oblige you to it? If you should continue to speak to it only in a cold manner, as you are wont to do in ordinary conversation about indifferent matters, would not those about you begin to think you were bereft of reason yourself? This is not the way of mankind in temporal affairs of great moment, that require earnest heed and great haste, and about which they are greatly concerned. They are not wont to speak to others of their danger, and warn them but a little or in a cold and indifferent manner. Nature teaches men otherwise. If we who have the care of souls, knew what hell was, had seen the state of the damned, or by any other means had become sensible how dreadful their case was—and at the same time knew that the greater part of men went thither, and saw our hearers not sensible of their danger—it would be morally impossible for us to avoid most earnestly setting before them the dreadfulness of that misery, and their great exposedness to it, and even to cry aloud to them.
When ministers preach of hell, and warn sinners to avoid it, in a cold manner—though they may say in words that it is infinitely terrible—they contradict themselves. For actions, as I observed before, have a language as well as words. If a preacher’s words represent the sinner’s state as infinitely dreadful, while his behavior and manner of speaking contradict it—showing that the preacher does not think so—he defeats his own purpose; for the language of his actions, in such a case, is much more effectual than the bare signification of his words. Not that I think that the law only should be preached: ministers may preach other things too little. The gospel is to be preached as well as the law, and the law is to be preached only to make way for the gospel, and in order that it may be preached more effectually. The main work of ministers is to preach the gospel: “Christ is the end of the law for righteousness.” So that a minister would miss it very much if he should insist so much on the terrors of the law, as to forget his Lord, and neglect to preach the gospel; but yet the law is very much to be insisted on, and the preaching of the gospel is like to be in vain without it.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Ps 50 Wrong impression of God, Vblog evangelistic

From psalm 50:
An excellent psalm describing the thoughts of the wicked towards God, especially those who would give some form of profession to belief, love or trust in God. Yet it is clear God does not see things as they do, and yet men who are set in their ways deceive themselves into thinking as is well.
Another Evangelistic blog that I hope may be used to the glory of God

What we are transferred to and from VIDEOblog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Zeal of the Young

Something i dug up, that I wrote many years ago ( wow, I sound like an old guy), but has seemed to bless many people, so I hope this too may bless you.

The Zeal of the Young

Throughout time there has always been a remnant of people that are stirred by the call of the Lord. People who take the call of the Lord seriously, people that have eyes open to the battle going on, people who trust that God can do amazing things. This people are God’s remnant, a distinct few, they are the ones that have changed history, yet not the history we read but in a book of remembrance kept by the Lord. These people don’t usually have the spotlight and if they do they don’t keep it, they’re not attracted to the light so they don’t get much exposure. This remnant are watchman, who have this strong urge to sound a trumpet, they feel like alarm clocks set to awake the sleeping church. They are the prophets of today, not of those who predict the future but of those who speak God’s heart to the very problems of today, a call to arms, a call to repentance, a call to revival.
They are propelled by a zeal in God, they see God as the one who does the impossible. This zeal cries out “THERE HAS TO BE MORE” their zeal isn’t satisfied with HEARING stories, they want to see God move today. This remnant is detached from the norm, they aren’t too interested in the things of this world, they could care less of hobbies and entertainments.

A.W. Tozer writes:
Any man with fair pulpit gifts can get on with the average congregation if he just “feeds” them and lets them alone. Give them plenty of objective truth and never hint that they are wrong and should be set right, and they will be content. On the other hand, the man who preaches truth and applies it to the lives of his hearers will feel the nails and the thorns. He will lead a hard life, but a glorious one.

That’s exactly what we need today, that is the remnant. Today sermons are so broad that anyone within the congregation can exclude themselves. The sermons filled with history and new discoveries have become just interesting, the thirst for knowledge has been quenched. The thirst to feel like they have learned something no one else knows is satisfied, yet they don’t grow except in data. If that be the case then let us retire our bibles and just teach math, certainly God is not concerned about such nonsense. Sundays have become substitutes for what the body of Christ should have been doing throughout the week, there should be a sense of urgency and desire for the things of God, when we leave church. The man of God should be able to pour into those that come in, he should have this aroma on him that rubs off, this passion for God that is to be desired, not just a biblical professor. Now are the days that the church comes hungry and broken and leave still hungry and broken! The remnant sees this and leave frustrated, furious at the lack of seriousness in the church.

Yet this remnant is under major attack their zeal is trying to be quenched by those that should be cheering them on. Most of their leaders, their family, their church give such faithless advice, they put road blocks in front of them and tell them all the reasons why this or that can’t work. The remnant is left battered and only finds refreshment in the presence of the Lord. Listen up remnant God wants to use you, but you must keep your eyes open, you must walk worthy of the calling set before you. Your zeal is not enough, your zeal can cause you to make irrational decisions.
God does not leave us without direction; His word contains such help, in fact there are such men in the scriptures some who failed while others succeeded. The men that we will look at begin together, yet end in different ways, these men were rescued by the Lord in such a miraculous way that it has yet to be repeated. These men are Moses, Aaron, and Joshua. These men and others will instruct us in many things regarding the zeal of the Lord.
First Aaron the oldest, he is three years older than his brother Moses. God first appeared to Moses to tell him that he would be used by God to deliver His people; Moses declined God’s first decision to use Moses alone. So God chose Aaron to be Moses’ spokesperson, what is fascinating about Aaron is that he doesn’t object in any way, he accepts the job. It is Aaron who speaks to Pharaoh (Ex 7:1) and does these amazing signs, Moses directed him. So Aaron had to be a man of courage, a man zealous to see God get the victory. Aaron played the role of assistant, It was Aaron’s rod, Aaron was the one who kept the manna in a jar, Aaron was holding up Moses arm in Israel’s first battle. Aaron had to be a humble man in order to do all these things, especially since he was the older brother. Aaron not only saw the mighty miracles but also had a close encounter with God on the mountain.

Exodus 24:9,10
9 Then Moses and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel went up, 10 and they saw the God of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a pavement of sapphire stone, like the very heaven for clearness.

Amazing, Nadab and Abihu are sons of Aaron, so they too enjoyed the presence of the Lord. After that Moses went alone to the top of the mountain to receive from God the law. Moses left Aaron and Hur in charge, while on the mountain God reveals His decision that Aaron will be the first High Priest, this servant of yours will become a servant of Mine and will minister to Me. While on the ground the people became impatient (nothing new for them) and they turned to their leader Aaron, the zealous servant:

Exodus 32:1-5
When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered around Aaron, and said to him, “Come, make gods for us, who shall go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 2 Aaron said to them, “Take off the gold rings that are on the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” 3 So all the people took off the gold rings from their ears, and brought them to Aaron. 4 He took the gold from them, formed it in a mold, and cast an image of a calf; and they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” 5 When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it; and Aaron made proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a festival to the Lord.”

Aaron could take orders perfectly, but when put to the test, when his faithfulness should have been revealed, he buckled. Aaron was persuaded by his peers, the very people Aaron should have been leading, were leading him. His zeal became extinguished over time, Aaron had to wait and too became impatient, Aaron easily forgot what God had done. Those like Aaron are too quick to make decisions, Aaron feared the multitude, Aaron was moved by the multitudes. There will always be those who will try to persuade God’s holy remnant, the church, a vast majority of it will sadly lead a shepherd in the wrong direction. Aaron was cool as long as the action was in front of him, as long as faith was visible, but when put on the waiting list, when put to the test of endurance, Aaron acted; we will always fail when we step outside of faith, never should we move without direction. Not only did Aaron agree with, but he lead the rebellion, those that are zealous will always lead but to whom?! When Moses comes down and confronts Aaron, Aaron puts the blame on the people and excludes himself from any willful choice to rebel. Let’s look at how Aaron lies to his brother

Exodus 32:24
So I said to them, ‘Whoever has gold, take it off’; so they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!”

It’s a little different from the account we just read, Aaron tells of this calf that just pops out of the fire, while the record shows that he “carved” a calf and that he “made” an altar; Aaron left out those details, but of course none are fooled because later it says

Exodus 32:25
When Moses saw that the people were running wild (for Aaron had let them run wild, to the derision of their enemies)

The bible puts blame on Aaron for this foolish choice; Aaron did nothing to stop those straying from the faith. After this Moses called for people to make a decision, between who would follow the Lord or not. Well Aaron did the right thing here and it could be looked at as repentance, then Aaron became the High Priest. Unfortunately Aaron’s weak leadership rubbed off on his children, we read that his sons were also very rash in their zeal, they to acted when it was time to wait and they were killed for that (Lev 10:1-2). Aaron gradually became prideful with his being used of God as a spokesperson, Aaron in his characteristic rash zeal speaks out against Moses with his sister Miriam

Numbers 12:2
2 and they said, “Has the Lord indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the Lord heard it.

The Lord quickly jumps in this conversation and Miriam became a leper, when Aaron saw this he quickly asked for forgiveness. Aaron dies in the wilderness, short of the promise land because of his rebellion (Numbers 20). Aaron had a family line filled with zeal, thank God that all did not misuse it; the cycle broke with Phinehas, Aaron’s grandson. The children of Israel again got caught up in immorality, and after they were found guilty they wept, but one of the head men did it again in front of everyone. Phinehas saw this and in his zeal put a stop to this rebellion. God commends Phinehas for this:

Numbers 25:10-13
10 And the Lord said to Moses, 11 “Phinehas the son of Eleazar, son of Aaron the priest, has turned back my wrath from the people of Israel, in that he was jealous with my jealousy among them, so that I did not consume the people of Israel in my jealousy. 12 Therefore say, ‘Behold, I give to him my covenant of peace; 13 and it shall be to him, and to his descendants after him, the covenant of a perpetual priesthood, because he was jealous for his God, and made atonement for the people of Israel.’”

Phinehas was lead by a zeal for the holiness of God; he was a leader who reacted according to God’s will. Phinehas wasn’t trying to prove anything, he saw a fire being started and Phinehas put it out, for this God makes a covenant of peace with him.

Now let’s examine Moses and learn from this patriarch of the faith. These are our founding forefathers not political men, let’s return to the biblical examples, not those history want to exalt. Men were Godly and way more Godly long time before the USA ever existed. Moses a prophet of the Lord was a humble man. God calls him humble, Moses talked with God directly, and he had an awesome communication with God. Moses dealt with fear but he put that fear in God’s hand and God used him mightily. Moses like many of us have a past of failure, but God uses failures to do great things. Moses was zealous for his people when he killed an Egyptian, although this was more of an earthly zeal. There are many today that share the problems God’s people are going through and they take sides, they overlook many of the issues going on and they make incredibly foolish decisions. They come off harsh and the people don’t respond to it, but thank God, people can change. Moses was changed and used of God at an old age, although Moses felt like his mission had failed and was over. So Moses accepts the call, to lead, Moses always led the people back to the Lord. Moses was quick in his zeal for God’s holiness and to turn to God for direction and insight. Step by step was the walk Moses had with the Lord. Moses was an intercessor, not just for the people’s sin but for God’s holiness:

Exodus 32:9-13a
” 9And the Lord said to Moses, “I have seen this people, and indeed it is a stiff-necked people! 10“Now therefore, let Me alone, that My wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them. And I will make of you a great nation.”
11Then Moses pleaded with the Lord his God, and said: “Lord, why does Your wrath burn hot against Your people whom You have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12“Why should the Egyptians speak, and say, ‘He brought them out to harm them, to kill them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth’? Turn from Your fierce wrath, and relent from this harm to Your people. 13“Remember……….

Moses was not just saying, “hey God why not just let it go, it’s no big deal.” A true intercessor like Moses knew that sin was a big deal, but Moses pleaded for the mercy of God, Moses’ motive was God’s glory. Moses had a key ingredient for the holy remnant and that’s a passion for the lost, Moses cried out in his zeal for the people. In order to truly love the Lord, we must love people, we must see them as lost, blind, and broken, we must make a distinction between how we feel about sin and how we feel about the sinner. Charles Spurgeon, who said the words, "Have you no wish for others to be
saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that."
Moses was zealous for God to be seen as great and mighty among the nations, Moses didn’t want God misunderstood by unbelievers, that’s zeal! What a man Moses was, and what an example, just a chapter later we see another awesome display of Moses zeal for God’s holiness:

Exodus 33:12-16
12Then Moses said to the Lord, “See, You say to me, ‘Bring up this people.’ But You have not let me know whom You will send with me. Yet You have said, ‘I know you by name, and you have also found grace in My sight.’ 13“Now therefore, I pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.” 14And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” 15Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 16“For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”

Moses wanted distinction, he didn’t want just an answer to prayer, No! Moses wanted the Answerer of prayer. Moses knew that without God, there would be no distinction; Moses didn’t want to part ways with God, now more than ever Moses desired God. There are too many today that are content without having the presence of God, few have any personal experience of “waiting” on God, unless that means staying busy until God does something. I remember a quote but can’t recollect the author it said something along the lines of “If the Holy Spirit was withdrawn from the earth, a lot of churches would continue unaffected”. This quote would be comical if it wasn’t so true, many speak of prayer, yet few pray, many speak on faith, few walk it, many speak of holiness, few pursue it, the Apostle Paul would tell our churches today, “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power.” (I Corinthians 4:20) God agrees to go with Moses, to lead the way, but the remarkable thing about Moses is holy zeal. In his holy zeal, Moses goes even further with another request from God:

Exodus 33:17-19
17So the Lord said to Moses, “I will also do this thing that you have spoken; for you have found grace in My sight, and I know you by name.” 18And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.” 19Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you. I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.”

The zeal Moses had was a desire to know, to be intimate with the Lord. Moses was thirsty, Moses doesn’t ask for anything earthly, just more of the Lord.
There is a song that goes:
…or dry as an empty vase, fill me up to till it’s to the top
I’ll still need more, more, more
…I need more, more, more, Jesus more of You….
That’s the cry of the zealous. To be zealous without a passion for the Lord will lead to destruction, it will cause you to act out of God’s will, and you will follow the example of Aaron. I truly wish that it ended here, but Moses did fall short of God’s best, Moses let his guard down long enough for temptation to grab him.

Numbers 20:6-13
6So Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly to the door of the tabernacle of meeting, and they fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared to them. 7Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 8“Take the rod; you and your brother Aaron gather the congregation together. Speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will yield its water; thus you shall bring water for them out of the rock, and give drink to the congregation and their animals.” 9So Moses took the rod from before the Lord as He commanded him. 10And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock; and he said to them, “Hear now, you rebels! Must we bring water for you out of this rock?” 11Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.
12Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, “Because you did not believe Me, to hallow Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore you shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.” 13This was the water of Meribah, because the children of Israel contended with the Lord, and He was hallowed among them.

Moses reacted in the flesh, under the guise of zeal. Moses let his holy anger become sin by reacting to the people. This is very uncharacteristic of Moses, who usually cried out for the people, but this time he didn’t even think about God getting glory. Moses ignored God’s command and just did what worked last time; this disobedience God took personally, God was more concerned about obedience then if the water came out. Another thing to note is that God is not a God of methods; He’s a God that gives direction. It’s not uncommon for the enemy to twist our zeal, our irritation with compromise and cause us to focus too much on people. We not only begin to hate the sin but even the sinner, we become cold and bitter, perhaps just going through the motions without emotion. The devil will turn discernment into criticism, if we aren’t careful to stir our hearts to love, to be compassionate. Zeal will not glorify God if we lose our passion for the lost or His church. The minute we begin to decide that it’s no use that it’s all in vain to speak to the people because they’ll never change, is when we become ineffective.
Joshua however was a man that stands out significantly, truly a great example of holy zeal. The first time the bible mentions Joshua is in battle:

Exodus 17:9
9And Moses said to Joshua, “Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand.”

Joshua was victorious in battle, this man knew how to take orders and follow through. Another remarkable thing is that Joshua is the only one who wasn’t down at the bottom of the mountain worshipping the golden calf (Ex 32:17); Joshua was an aid to Moses, he was set apart from the beginning. Not only did Joshua have to wait, but he had to wait alone on the mountain. A zealous man must learn to wait, there has to be that humble zeal that restrains you. Joshua patiently waited while God spoke to Moses. Joshua is put in the strangest places, he doesn’t get much exposure except that which is good.

Exodus 33:11
11So the Lord spoke to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend. And he would return to the camp, but his servant Joshua the son of Nun, a young man, did not depart from the tabernacle.

Now look at that, Joshua was a man who was familiar with the presence of God, Joshua at an early age had a fascination with the Lord. Some think maybe he was guarding the tabernacle, but then again anyone could have guarded it: Joshua could have stayed by Moses side. Yet Joshua, if he was guarding probably volunteered himself, Joshua wanted to be close to God. Intimacy is another vital part of our walk with God. For out of it will be birthed power, God’s character rubs off onto us the more time we spend with Him.
Joshua looking up to Moses was also zealous for him as a leader, Joshua wasn’t threatened by Moses authority, and Joshua wasn’t looking for a position. Joshua tries to silence some men who were prophesying because they weren’t with Moses, but Moses corrects Joshua and tells him not to be zealous for his (Moses’) sake (Numbers 11:24-30)
The children of Israel come to the end of their journey, and are within reach of the Promised Land. Moses has men spy out the land in order to get form an offensive strategy. One man from each tribe, after they spy out the land they come back with a report: Numbers 13:27-32 : A bad one, they are scared of the people because they were giants, they were ready to forfeit and leave. But two men saw something different:

Numbers 14:4-11
4So they said to one another, “Let us select a leader and return to Egypt.” 5Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel. 6But Joshua the son of Nun and Caleb the son of Jephunneh, who were among those who had spied out the land, tore their clothes; 7and they spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying: “The land we passed through to spy out is an exceedingly good land. 8“If the Lord delights in us, then He will bring us into this land and give it to us, ‘a land which flows with milk and honey.’ 9“Only do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them.” 10And all the congregation said to stone them with stones. Now the glory of the Lord appeared in the tabernacle of meeting before all the children of Israel.
11Then the Lord said to Moses: “How long will these people reject Me? And how long will they not believe Me, with all the signs which I have performed among them?

The people wanted to quit, they returned to their common suggestion, ‘let’s go back to Egypt”, they were discouraged and Moses and Aaron just move out of the way. Joshua however couldn’t take this, something was boiling up in Joshua, Joshua did not forget the works of the Lord. For Joshua it was simple “God did it before and God will do it again”. The zealous man doesn’t see the giant; those giants looked extremely small compared to an awesome God. Joshua saw that this was a time where he needed to speak up and he spoke with zeal, this time he was zealous for God, he was enforcing the truth that God is faithful that He will perform what He said. The people however didn’t want to hear that, they came against them as if they committed a crime, but quickly God intervenes and takes over. Oh there is so much to be learned, when we step out in faith, we better believe that people will try to quench that fire. The bible later tells us that the people suffered from unbelief (Hebrews 3:16-19). Those that won’t take God at His word, become angry that you will, they feel threatened and try to hold you back: they may have good intentions but they always play things safe, they don’t do anything that would require God to move. Another point to draw is that God is seeking for a zealous remnant to step out of the boat and to come against the multitude. When Joshua did this, God’s presence came immediately, God showed Himself strong on the behalf of Joshua and Caleb.
The people through their hardness and unbelief were judged:

Numbers 14:26-31
26And the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 27“How long shall I bear with this evil congregation who complain against Me? I have heard the complaints which the children of Israel make against Me. 28“Say to them, ‘As I live,’ says the Lord, ‘just as you have spoken in My hearing, so I will do to you: 29‘The carcasses of you who have complained against Me shall fall in this wilderness, all of you who were numbered, according to your entire number, from twenty years old and above. 30‘Except for Caleb the son of Jephunneh and Joshua the son of Nun, you shall by no means enter the land which I swore I would make you dwell in. 31‘But your little ones, whom you said would be victims, I will bring in, and they shall know the land which you have despised.

It’s remarkable to think that out of millions, two made it! It could be said that is how it is still today, the remnant is small for they walk a narrow road. God later tells Moses to inaugurate Joshua in front of the people; Joshua would become the one to lead the people to the promise land. Joshua had the favor of God on his life, for a true man of God is called by God and not man. God has encouragement to give to the faithful remant, especially to those called to lead that remnant:

Deuteronomy 3:21
21“And I commanded Joshua at that time, saying, ‘Your eyes have seen all that the Lord your God has done to these two kings; so will the Lord do to all the kingdoms through which you pass. 22‘You must not fear them, for the Lord your God Himself fights for you.’

Yes the truly zealous man will not have to fight, it’s our job to obey, God does the fighting. God was saying to Joshua and the rest that we must keep our eyes on Him, to not look into our own strength for our strength is in the Lord. When Joshua finally took the leadership he was encouraged with the phrase “be strong and courageous” this being said several times by Moses and three times by God. Now Joshua was a man of war, Joshua had no doubt in the power of God, so why the admonition? Joshua was a humble man that understood the responsibility of leading; Joshua was a man that trembled at God’s word. The remnant know that to speak for God is an solemn thing, and that it must be handled with care. Joshua saw many times God in His holiness judging people who mishandled His holiness. The thing that probably scared Joshua was the people, he watched previously how rebellious the people were with Moses. Joshua saw the people make promise after promise and saw them break them all, Joshua watched how easily they turned on Moses and on God. For this he needed encouragement, sometimes encouragement for those that want to step out in faith rarely comes from any source but the Lord. There is so much to counsel to gain from the life of Joshua, but we will venture now to end this lesson with a look at his finish; Oh the need for men that will finish the race. Joshua speaks to the people as he knows his time is short, Joshua does exactly what Moses did, he reminded the people of what God commanded. Even the Apostle Paul spent hours upon hours reminding the people before he was soon to be imprisoned. Joshua speaks to the people in chapter 23 to chapter 24, telling them of the promises and conditions of the Lord, but keep in mind that Joshua is zealous for the Lord and he clearly remembers the shallow promises the people made to Moses.

Joshua 24:14-18
14“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! 15“And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” 16So the people answered and said: “Far be it from us that we should forsake the Lord to serve other gods; 17“for the Lord our God is He who brought us and our fathers up out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, who did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way that we went and among all the people through whom we passed. 18“And the Lord drove out from before us all the people, including the Amorites who dwelt in the land. We also will serve the Lord, for He is our God.”

Joshua was calling for distinction, in his zeal he knew that the people had to make a conscious decision to serve the Lord. Joshua made it clear that his mind was already set, that he would serve the Lord; Joshua was steadfast in his devotion. Perhaps Joshua was saying “Look you people need to make a decision now, who are you going to serve, but don’t confuse me with Aaron cause I’m not following anyone except the Lord.” In response the people made promises, they thought it ridiculous to even think of doing what their fathers did. Yet Joshua and any man who is walking that narrow road understands that too many hear but don’t do, and in his zeal Joshua replies:

Joshua 24:19-28
19But Joshua said to the people, “You cannot serve the Lord, for He is a holy God. He is a jealous God; He will not forgive your transgressions nor your sins. 20“If you forsake the Lord and serve foreign gods, then He will turn and do you harm and consume you, after He has done you good.” 21And the people said to Joshua, “No, but we will serve the Lord!” 22So Joshua said to the people, “You are witnesses against yourselves that you have chosen the Lord for yourselves, to serve Him.” And they said, “We are witnesses!” 23“Now therefore,” he said, “put away the foreign gods which are among you, and incline your heart to the Lord God of Israel.” 24And the people said to Joshua, “The Lord our God we will serve, and His voice we will obey!” 25So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and made for them a statute and an ordinance in Shechem. 26Then Joshua wrote these words in the Book of the Law of God. And he took a large stone, and set it up there under the oak that was by the sanctuary of the Lord. 27And Joshua said to all the people, “Behold, this stone shall be a witness to us, for it has heard all the words of the Lord which He spoke to us. It shall therefore be a witness to you, lest you deny your God.” 28So Joshua let the people depart, each to his own inheritance.

Joshua filled with zeal, reiterates God’s holiness to the people, he reminds the people of the consequences of forsaking the Lord. Joshua said that God is holy and Jealous, Joshua was saying “Don’t just make a promise, words aren’t enough, my God is holy and jealous His zeal will consume you if you turn on Him, if you’re not serious God won’t listen to you.” Joshua stressed who God was and how God did things, Joshua was examining the people for fruit, for true commitment. A true man of God, a man zealous for God isn’t interested in crowds, he doesn’t care about how many people “walk” to the altar, he’s concerned about whether they are serious, whether they understand the weight of the promises that they are making. Like Jesus, a man of zeal will act as a prophet; he will cut with a sword a clear distinction between followers and fakers. Joshua was such a man, Joshua allowed his zeal to be continually God centered, as we need to do. His legacy should challenge all of us:

Joshua 24:31
31Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had known all the works of the Lord which He had done for Israel.

There it is, what an awesome thing, truly our zeal must be directed, we must choose to allow God to work through us. We cannot allow our zeal to be lead by our flesh, we must act but only at the command of the master!

Revival, Martyn Lloyd-Jones pt1

Let such an experience be our prayer. "Lord do this in me, and do this within our church.!" Preacher! Preach for this, prepare for this, that is you SHOULD expect the sermon you are working on, that sermon you are preaching to be THAT sermon which ignites a fire. Let the scriptures so burn within your mind that you preach with a relentless expectation for revival! Believer, pray likewise for your pastors, pray the fire of God to burn within them!

What is Revival? by Martin Lloyd-Jones
We can define it as a period of unusual blessing and activity in the life of the Christian Church. Revival means awakening, stimulating the life, bringing it to the surface again. It happens primarily in the Church of God, and amongst believing people, and it is only secondly something that affects those that are outside also. Now this is a most important point, because this definition helps us to differentiate, once and for all, between a revival and an evangelistic campaign.
An evangelistic campaign is the Church deciding to do something with respect to those who are outside. A revival is not the Church deciding to do something and doing it. It is something that is done to the Church, something that happens to the Church.
So then, what is it that happens? The best way of answering that question is to say that it is in a sense a repetition of the day of Pentecost. It is something happening to the Church, that inevitably and almost instinctively makes one look back and think again of what happened on the day of Pentecost as recorded in Acts 2.
The essence of a revival is that the Holy Spirit comes down upon a number of people together, upon a whole church, upon a number of churches, districts, or perhaps a whole country. That is what is meant by revival. It is, if you like, a visitation of the Holy Spirit, or another term that has often been used is this--an outpouring of the Holy Spirit.
What the people are conscious of is that it is as if something has suddenly come down upon them. The Spirit of God has descended into their midst, God has come down and is amongst them. A baptism, an outpouring, a visitation. And the effect of that is that they immediately become aware of His presence and of His power in a manner that they have never known before.
I am talking about Christian people, about church members gathered together as they have done so many times before. Suddenly they are aware of His presence, they are aware of the majesty and the awe of God. The Holy Spirit literally seems to be presiding over the meeting and taking charge of it, and manifesting His power and guiding them, and leading them, and directing them. That is the essence of revival.
And what does that mean? Well, there are general characteristics which you will find in every revival that you can ever read about. The immediate effect is that the people present begin to have an awareness of spiritual things such as they have never had before.
They have heard all these things before, they may have heard them a thousand times, but what they testify is this: 'You know, the whole thing suddenly became clear to me. I was suddenly illuminated, things that I was so familiar with stood out in letters of gold, as it were. I understood. I saw it all in a way that I had never done in the whole of my life.' The Holy Spirit enlightens the mind and the understanding. They begin not only to see these things clearly but to feel their power.
What are these things of which they become so aware? First and foremost, the glory and the holiness of God. Have you ever noticed, as you read your Bibles, the effect on these people as they suddenly realized the presence of God? Like Job, they put their hands on their mouths or like Isaiah they say, 'Woe is unto me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips.' They have just had a realization of the holi-ness and of the majesty and the glory of God. That always happens in a revival.
There can be a lot of laughing and lightness, and obvious organization in evangelistic campaigns. Not so in a revival, but rather awe, reverence, holy fear, the consciousness of God in His majesty, His glory, His holiness, His utter purity.
And that, as we have seen, leads inevitably to a deep and terrible sense of sin, and an aweful feeling of guilt. It leads men and women to feel that they are vile and unclean and utterly unworthy and, above all, it leads them to realize their utter helplessness face to face with such a God.
Or, like the publican depicted by our Lord in the parable, they are so conscious of all this that they cannot show their faces. They are far back near the door somewhere, beating their breasts and saying, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.'
The holiness of God, their own utter sinfulness and wretchedness, their own unworthiness; they realize they have never done anything good at all. Before, they thought they had done a great deal, now they see that it is nothing--useless. Like Paul they begin to talk about it as dung and filthy rags. In their utter helplessness and hopelessness, they prostrate themselves and cast themselves upon the love and mercy and compassion of God.
This is the convicting work of the Spirit who takes charge of the situation. People may be held in that state for some time--not only for hours but sometimes for days and weeks, and months. They may become almost desperate.
Then they are given a clear view of the love of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ and especially of His death upon the cross. At last they see it. Oh, they had always believed it theoretically, but it had never truly become real for them. They had honestly believed it, yes, but they had never felt its power, they had never known what it was to be melted by it, to be broken by it. They had never known what it was to weep with a sense of unworthiness and then of love and joy as they realized that 'God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.'
Suddenly it all becomes real to them, and they are given to know that the Son of God has loved them and has given Himself for them. It becomes an individual and a personal matter: 'He died for me, even my sins are forgiven,' and peace comes into their hearts; joy enters into them and they are lost in love and in a sense of praise of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.
This now becomes the one thing that absorbs them. If they meet anyone they talk about it at once; everybody is talking about it, it is the main topic of conversation, it is the thing that absorbs all their interest. They desire to be together now and to talk about these things and so they get together, and they hold meetings. They meet every night to talk about these things and to praise God and to sing hymns to His glory.
Then they begin to pray, and there they are, hour after hour, night after night, longing to finish work so they might get together with other people who have experienced this movement of the Spirit of God. And that, of course, in turn leads them to have a great concern about others who are outside and who do not know these things.
I am giving you a synopsis of what you read in the books. They begin to get a concern for the members of their own family--husband, wife, father, mother, children, brother, sister--who do not know that they are outside. They tell them about it; they feel they must. There is a constraint that is driving them. They talk about it to people, to friends and to everybody, and they begin to pray for them. Prayer is always a great feature of every revival, great prayer meetings, intercession hour after hour. They pray for these people by name and they plead, and they will not let God go, as it were. They are intent on this with a strange urgency.
And then, after a while, hearing of all this and seeing the change in those whom they have known for so long, these others who are outside begin to join the meetings and to say, 'What is this?' So they come in, and they go through the same experience. And so it happens and thousands upon thousands are converted. Indeed, the whole neighborhood seems to be full of the Holy Spirit. He seems to be everywhere.

Monday, April 27, 2009

This is war, Paul Washer

This is War - Paul Washer from I'll Be Honest on Vimeo.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tim Brindle HUMILITY of Christ

Opens with clip from John Piper
Special features? LYRICS to follow along! Timothy Brindle from his album 'Killing Sin'

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Biblical response to blessings and praise

The Lord made a covenant with David to give him among many things an enduring legacy. To this revelation, to this blessing from God, David replied:

1 Chronicles 17
16 Then King David went in and sat before the Lord and said, "Who am I, O Lord God, and what is my house, that you have brought me thus far? 17and this was a small thing in your eyes, O God. You have also spoken of your servant's house for a great while to come, and have shown me future generations, O Lord God! 18And what more can David say to you for honoring your servant? For you know your servant. 19For your servant's sake, O Lord, and according to your own heart, you have done all this greatness, in making known all these great things........
Shouldn't this also be our constant response to the goodness of God given to us? Shouldn't we be more humbled each and every time God blesses us. Shouldn't we respond likewise to the praise of men? You might say 'praise of men?. What does this have to do with the praise of men?'. Well since you asked, if men see grace in us and commend us for such, this too is a mighty gift of God since what may be praiseworthy of our lives is owing completely to the grace of God.
We should ever live in such a humble reality, such a 'by the grace of God, I am what I am' mentality. Such a 'what do you have that you haven't received' mentality.
The question isn't whether you love, like, use or preach such verses, the question is do you live by them? The answer is in your response to praise or to blessings, or for that matter it's also connected to your response to the LACK of praise or specific blessings!
Do you respond with a 'Well I did earn it, I put a lot of effort into that!', 'All they could say was 'NICE'? Don't they realize the expertise it takes to exegete that passage? They don't know how good they got it!', 'When is it going to be my turn to be blessed?' or 'Hmph, not exactly what I was hoping for, but thank you, God anyways'.
Let us return to a humbled awe at the goodness of God, to such as us!

Friday, April 24, 2009

a lesson from Ahab and Jezebel

Not too long ago did I read through the account of King Ahab and it's quite interesting to note how much is blamed upon him for what at times seems to be Jezebel's sins. I suppose one could make a case for Ahab's role as King and how he was a weak man that should have taken charge and this is why he is blamed for everything.
Yet I'm convinced there's much more, Ahab is guilty of much more than just 'giving in'. Ahab was a deceiver, he loved deception (surrounded himself with false prophets) and rejected the truth (avoided the prophets whose words always came to pass). Ahab was such a deceiver that he thought he could escape death by deception (yet a stray arrow found him).
Call to mind his encounter with Elijah where Elijah demonstrated who was the real God (fire consuming the wet sacrifice). Yet even at such a clear demonstration of God's power and mercy, Ahab runs to Jezebel. Call to mind the issue with Naboth's Vineyard, who refused to sell his inheritance to Ahab. What does Ahab do? He sulks, he pouts, and who happens to see this? BINGO! Jezebel again! Jezebel makes sure he gets it, and what does poor victimized Ahab do when he hears about it 'and as soon as Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, Ahab arose to go down to the vineyard of Naboth the Jezreelite, to take possession of it.' 1 Kings 21:16
Does this sound familiar, doesn't the picture of a spoiled rotten child come to mind? What then do children that are spoiled do? One will burn with rage, stop their feet, tell you they HATE you, and demand to have it or ELSE and the other will cry, mope, drop their heads and tell you that you don't love them and beg you as though life depended on it.
King Ahab was the cry baby sort, he used Jezebels ruthlessness to his own gain, he could get his way and not even have to make the calls!
Some children have mastered this form of manipulation to escape punishment and to get their way. Some spouses have used this, in order to get their way. Some within the church are using this against their pastors. It may also be a nice way of manipulating others into not confronting you because you're such a delicate case! Oh let us beware of such manipulation and fight against it!

A deceptive Heart, evangelistic VIDEOblog

Follow your heart?
Jeremiah 17:9

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Advice for Parents

What I am about to say may not make you happy, but that's not what matters. What matters most is the question 'is it true?' and then what must be asked is "will I receive or reject what God has to say?"
The Lordship of Christ has greater implications and a wider reach then what concerns only you. His rule, His call to submission regards every area of our lives: and this includes parenting. Frankly there is too much advice being given on what concerns raising children. Above all the reasonable advice that we may be exposed to, especially above all the experiential advice that we have heard, we must FIRST come to a firm grasp of what the scriptures demand.
Given that our children are blessings from God, it is clear that we have been entrusted with a stewardship; these children of ours are FIRST His children and contrary to popular thought, God has not given us as much freedom as is thought.
Our parenting is just another test as to how much we been conformed to this world, whether our thinking is shaped by the scriptures or by the world. What you've always done, what you were taught, what you feel comfortable with, and/or what Dr. Dobson has to say is quite insignificant.
Allow then to just point out a few things we must realize:
1. That our children are depraved!
Much of the cute and funny things they do, would be better called SIN! (I'm sorry, do you think I'm exaggerating? Then your problem is with the scriptures not me.) They love to sin, have a natural lean towards sin and need to be desperately saved.
2. Rebellion is bound up in them
Children are born REBELS, they love to rebel and the scriptures make PLAIN that their rebellion must be overcome, it must be 'driven out'! (Did a couple red flags rise? Why? wisdom? NO, once again you are allowing a perverted experience to shape your willingness to OBEY God!)
Most IMPORTANTLY!! 3. We are talking about YOUR child, not everyone elses!
Funny isn't it when people talk about their child being around the 'bad' kids, where are the people who actually have these 'bad' children?

With that said, let us just look quickly at one scripture.

Prov 29:15 The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
In other words it could read like this: Give your children what they absolutely don't want, and don't give them what they absolutely demand or else you WILL regret it.
It would seem that the advice of the times is to give your children responsibility, freedom and privacy. Such advice, such wisdom is in direct opposition to the counsel of God. There are many accounts of wicked children in the old testament who were given exactly what the world is suggesting today. Eli was rebuked by God for his lack of control over his children. Lot had to watch his children endure the wrath of God because he took the advice of today. David had to suffer a revolt within his family and much judgment because he followed the advice of today. What all these examples and many more had in common is this, their children brought shame to them.
In many within the church as with the world, children are training their parents, and as i think i have said before, they are seeking peace at the expense of truth. To persist in this is evidence that your love for your children and your belief in the scriptures is weak!
Every child lusts for freedom, lusts for more responsibility (meaning trust with things), and lusts for privacy. This goes equal for girls as well as boys, rejecting popular thought on the difference in sexes, the fact is both the female and male sex is totally depraved, sin-loving and hell deserving as the other; the little difference that exists, is owing to how that depravity is manifested.
Freedom and responsibility is something that must be earned and that with much limits. Parents have a responsibility to know their children and to protect their children. This includes their influences, what they are exposed to and who they are exposed to. This is NOT however something that calls for a decreasing enforcement with age, but quite the contrary an increased enforcement with age. The teen stage has NO biblical warrant whatsoever, this supposed teen stage is not something NEW but something OLD that is manifesting with intensity. It is at this time that parents should be paying close attention to those 'professions' of belief in Christ, and when all the evidence suggests they are NOT led by nor seek the Lord, beware of seeking comfort in this belief of a teen stage. If teens need to learn anything these days, it's that MATURITY has nothing to do with birthdays (age), and that privileges are mercies, not debts owed. Lastly the safeguard to responsibility and freedom, is privacy. Privacy is earned when they LEAVE home (not till then). Privacy is the plague to a healthy family, it's the virus to the defensive ability of the parents. Even within the church this is clear, privacy is NOT something granted leaders; imagine an elder answering to 'private' questions, 'that's none of your business, that's private' to which the reply must be 'then this has concluded the examination, goodbye' (by the way, the only thing private is what happens within the bedroom of married couples, although their have been some who have even perverted this). Parent you have a RIGHT and obligation to search everything your children are exposed to, with as much scrutiny as I have apply to know whether something contains peanuts for my child (who's deathly allergic); Is not their spiritual welfare MORE important than their physical? If only more parents could really believe this.
Proverbs 29:15The rod and reproof give wisdom, but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother.
I beg you to allow this passage to examine your present practice, does this passage serve as an encouragement or a stern rebuke?

Christian Rap pt 3 REDEEM THE TIME!!!!

Here's yet another dose on Christian Rap was is called HolyHipHop, the lyrics once again right on. Of course I'm not interested in just good rap, or clean rap, or rap with scripture in it: their are but few artists that actually have a strong doctrinal stance that permeates throughout all their lyrics and that my friends are the only that have my interest.

TIME?? Of all things regretted, time has to be number 1. If anything is a primary stumbling block for the church today, it's our use of time. What we pour our time in, what we think about, what we give little time says much about how what we value.
A song that had to take a great deal of time:
The preciousness of time
by Timothy Brindle
Verse 1:I’ve got a whole lot to say about time/So now I’m a shout mine because it’s about time/God created time so He’s able to end it/Plus He entered time and came and descended/But He’s not ever bound by time/He’s eternally perfect so He’s never out His prime/God always existed even with no time/Then He spoke things into existence in no time/In His divine mind He decreed a time line/To display His glory to creatures and said, “Time’s mine.”/So time or fate is not the sovereign/In fact time is ruled by God the Father/Some say time will tell but actually it can’t/Because He’s already said what will happen in advance/He’s the Lord of time-this rhymes is worshiping/He ain’t serving time- time is serving Him/See time is a space given by God in His kindness and grace/As He’s shining His face/Yet it’s kind of funny-some say time is money/But time’s more precious than money, wine, or honey/Because we’re spending time- there’s no refunds/We’ll never see it again- there’s no reruns/If you lost your hummer it’s possible to cop another/But time is something we cannot recover/Yet I’m baffled/How some think they can preserve time inside of a time capsule/But since the fall of man/The sands of time are turning us all back into salty sand/But our souls have an eternal destination/So use your time to make sure the best is taken/It’s either in preparation to better praise Him/Or further steps toward eternal separation.Verse 2:On Wall Street a rich dude snorts lines/His morning devotion is the New York Times/And Time magazine at times it seems/Time flies as if time had some wings/But this is irony right/While most spend the time of their life trying to have the time of their life/Thinking lies are really true/If you’re busy killing time the truth is time is killing you/But you’re too cool- you love to take your time/You fool- God can come and take your time/Then He’ll search your mind and surely find your works are slime/Once sin’s an eternal prime it takes eternity to serve the time/Reject Him and regret how your spurned this rhyme/You offended the Divine/In hell, like Michael Jackson, You’ll remember the time/Once your time is up you blasphemer/You can’t travel back with a flux capacitor/It’s such a massacre when Christ’s popping the sky/You’ll want to go back in time like Marty McFly/But you sharply despised Christ kindness my friend/And He gave you a lifetime to repent/So next time you’re asking what time is it/Know Christ can come to give times final tick/Your eternity hangs on what you do with time/So use it to trust the Savior of human kind/Whose more than somebody/And at the right time Jesus Christ died for the ungodly/So when the fullness of time came the Ruler of time came/To pull us from prides chain/The time is fulfilled- His kingdom is at hand/So repent and believe and come cling onto the Lamb.Verse 3:If you live to be 90 there’s an absurdity/Even that’s a blink compared to eternity/Christians most of the time we don’t make the most of our time/So let’s refocus on Jehovah’s design/Yet I’m convicted/By how much of my time’s been wicked even since I’ve been Christian/But time is ticking and life is a vapor/So delight and then savor Christ who is our Savior/Please read Ephesians 5: 16 and you’ll find we need to be redeeming the time/Because we’ll give an account of what we did or didn’t do with our time/Don’t just sit in the house/Yeah Christ blood assures securely/But our use of time affects our rewards and glory/To the vine we’re attached/So let’s bear fruit and work overtime like making time and a half/Excuse me teens-it’s useless to be glued as fiends/To the TV and computer screen/No time for folly and gossip and small is the profit/If spending all day at the malls we are shopping/No time to waste playing playstation or taking vacations/Today is the day of salvation/For unsaved pagans don’t waste a moment/Please take time to share the great atonement/Don’t spend it sinning-you’ll dead that syndrome/Instead invest time in how to spread the kingdom/Instead of serving time/Let’s spend time serving the needs of others- and His worth will shine/And since we can’t rewind a minute/Be careful to kill sin because there’s no time for sinning/So avoid sins poison and disaster/And in the end we’ll enter in the joy of our master.

Pursue all things for Christ, VideoBLOG

Listening to sermons, reading good books, going to conferences, reading blogs, attending church, teaching others, and upholding biblical standards, all for WHAT PURPOSE? What is your motivation, are you making these things, even commendable things an end (a goal) in itself?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Evangelistic VideoBlog

If someone comes to mind that this might bless, encourage, or convict please pass it on.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Holiness should be ENCOURAGED not halted!!!

The pursuit of Holiness, is the pursuit of God! We have been saved, been chosen, been rescued to a great and awesome Savior, and we can now cry Abba Father! Holiness then is achieved as we cling to God, it's a desire to behold the face of God, to know and enjoy Him.
Casting aside ALL straw men, all the over-reactions from all the extra-biblical extremes, casting aside the legalism of performance based motivation or slavery, let us think practically about HOLINESS!
We are a holy priesthood, we are ministers of God (we minister to Him); In this reality we must walk and pursue God. Taking the kingdom by violence, willing to slow down for no man, for no earthly thing. God works in us by His grace, and by His pleasure He has given us 'means', 'tools' to put to use in our pursuit of Him, and though we make conscious choices, we actually strive and fight, we know it is God working in us!
Though I say this, and though many may say 'Amen', there seems to be a growing disconnect within the church. That disconnect has to do with putting these things into practice, let a man talk of holiness and he can be popular but let him apply it to others or live it himself and here come the firefighters!
Leonard Ravenhill (and no I wouldn't endorse him without caution) had this to say:
Watch out though, because if you're going to get mature in God, all the dwarfs around you will criticize you and sneer at you and say, "Trying to be holier than the rest of us, huh? So you don't have time for basketball or going to see a baseball game?" No, maybe you don't, but that's nobody's business but yours and God's.

Isn't this the day we live in? The day where if a godly man or a godly woman gets SERIOUS about their holiness, serious about their time, serious about what they are exposed to, serious about their conversations, serious about the media, serious about prayer, serious about the lost, and serious about the word then they are told to SLOW down. A day of childishness of immature speech, of petty peeves, and entertainment is our day!
How would you respond to a person that has made what seems to be radical choice in our day? A young person taking a stand on dating seeing it's pitfalls and desiring to be holy? Perhaps parents with children with growing worldliness who decide with much sacrifice to pull them from the carnal public school system (WAIT just a minute--did the thought come across your mind 'oh great another homeschooler!" when i said that?-overreaction!) ? What if a lady takes a stand on modesty, perhaps a young adult who is conscious of her brothers in Christ? What of a young person who asks to have Internet access CUT from his/her cell phone or computer because they can't resist temptation (perhaps they know no one will guard them) and so would rather not even have it? What of a believer who can't stomach filth on the tv screen, who can't keep a pure, joyful, and focused mind with it's influence and decides to throw it out? What if a believer (let's say a woman) decides to limit her time with believers to things eternal ONLY (that thing called fellowship) because she's prone to gossip and complaining? Well? How would you react, or it might be more fitting to ask how HAVE you reacted? Is such a seriousness warranted by scripture, should we be so consumed with pursuing God? Is there such a thing as TOO much holiness, too much LOVE for Christ? Certainly not! Yet why have I seen such things discouraged by other believers? Why is there such a fear of being too distinct, too like Christ? Why do people feel the need to say things like 'well there's still so much good you could get out of this or out of that...', 'well we all fall, you need to enjoy your liberty' "well I'm not tempted by those things, if you're not that strong then I guess that's your conviction'.
I'm not saying that there aren't things that are personal convictions, things that may pertain to only some types, things pertaining to how you are personally affected by something.
What I am contending against, what seems to leave me suspect is when believers reply in defence when they hear of another believers convictions. It would seem to me that if someone has made such a choice in their pursuit of holiness, then other believers should rejoice with them, not feel defensive unless of course they are being convicted by someone who hasn't even implied that they should do likewise; this is exactly what I have seen. I've seen little jokes thrown from the pulpit on these matters, I've seen young people told to take it easy, to not get too radical, people that have been encouraged to JUGGLE worldly influences with their piety.
Why not rejoice, or if also convicted join with those who are diligently pressing into the kingdom. as pertains to ministers we desperately need more men of ONE book and less men that are culture experts. JC Ryle said this:How striking is the light which the Bible throws on the character of man! It teaches us what men may be expected to be and do in every position and occupation of life. It gives us the deepest insight into the secret springs and motives of human actions, and the ordinary course of events under the control of human agents. It is the true "judge of the thoughts and attitudes of the heart" (Hebrews 4:12). How deep is the wisdom contained in the books of Proverbs and Ecclesiastics! I can correctly understand an old Christian saying, "Give me a candle and a Bible and shut me up in a dark dungeon, and I will tell you everything that the whole world is doing."
That's what we need men who can't get enough of the scriptures, men who live by their belief in an infallible and sufficient Word of God. Oh for men and women who would but seek the face of God daily. Shouldn't it be our greatest desire to be around people who are enamored with God, give me a 15yr old who loves the word and is obsessed with things of the Lord over a 50yr old expert who has no discernible passion for Christ Jesus any day and I will be seek to be stirred by their faith! Believer I hope you would put no stumbling blocks before believers who are striving hard after God, I hope you would encourage that fire even more, and even desired to get warm off their heat!
Spurgeon said: Urgently do we need a revival of personal godliness. This is, indeed, the secret of church prosperity. When individuals fall from their steadfastness, the church is tossed to and fro; when personal faith is steadfast, the church abides true to her Lord.It is upon the truly godly and spiritual that the future of religion depends in the hand of God. Oh, for more truly holy men, quickened and filled with the Holy Spirit, consecrated to the Lord and sanctified by His truth.Brethren, we must each one live if the church is to be alive; we must live unto God if we expect to see the pleasure of the Lord prospering in our hands. Sanctified men are the salt of society and the saviours of the race.
Dear brother or sister in Christ, run the race putting aside every stumbling block, everything that would hinder you and never mind if you're misunderstood, never mind if people label you a legalist, never mind if others would tell you to relax, to slow down, praise God He's working mightily in you, let nothing keep you from YOUR blessing!
Such a pursuit then is absolutely motivated by a longing for MORE of God, yet there is another aspect to this holiness to the need for separation, for distinction: a desire to glorify God in the eyes of the ungodly. We who are His, should absolutely be careful how we act before a watching world because we represent Christ. The image of Christ in the eyes of the world should be a factor in how we live. Mt 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. For His glory, for His honor we are to be careful how we walk before the world, notice it doesn't say 'so that people get saved'. 1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, 12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.
With that said brothers and sisters, let us then encourage holiness in others and pursue it ourselves. Now i will bow out with yet another quote and that from A.W. Tozer
Every man is as close to God as he wants to be; he is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wills to be. Our Lord said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” If there were but one man anywhere on earth who hungered and was not filled the word of Christ would fall to the ground. Yet we must distinguish wanting from wishing. By “want” I mean wholehearted desire. Certainly there are many who wish they were holy or victorious or joyful but are not willing to meet God’s conditions to obtain.

Intellectual revival? MIKE MORROW

Brother Kevin from puritanfellowship just posted this, and it's a much needed insight

Christ Did Not Die Just To Give You Doctrine, But Himself.-Mike Morrow
"We have been recently in a revival of intellectualism. We have a new surge of interest in doctrine and in truth, we really want to know the truth and we really want to know doctrine, and we're interested in making sure that all of our 'I's are dotted and our 'T's are crossed. Making sure that everything we believe is exactly in line with what somebody else, who's supposed to know, believes. We've got it all figured out. Well I tell you, I almost got to the place one time where I despised the word 'Calvinism'... I tell you something, Hell is going to be full of Calvinists. There are a lot of people who have gotten all excited about doctrine and somehow they feel like they've seen something and they know something that other people don't know and it gives them this puffed up feeling, this exalted feeling, this sense of I know something about God and I have this insight into the truths of God. I wanna tell you something, the Word of God teaches that Christ did not die to give you great insights and truths of the nature of God or just to give you doctrine. Jesus Christ died to bring us to God Himself.

I was with brother Paul, I went to hear brother Washer preach on one occasion over in Bowling Green, Kentucky... I was talking to brother Paul and as it always happens, he was crowded, crowded around with young men, young preachers... and one of them asked him a question, and brother Paul kind of smiled and deferred to me, he said "this is an older Pastor.. ask this man", so the boy asked me the question. But I just felt the need when I finnished saying what little bit I said to ask him, I said "tell me when you were saved, tell me about your salvation." This is what he said, 'Well I was raised in so-and so church of Christ and I was baptised at such-a-place, now let's get back to [my question]' and I said "Woe, woe, woe, woe, wait-a-minute, tell me when you were saved." Well he kind of stepped back and looked offended. He said 'I've just told you I was raised in this certain church of Christ and I was baptised at a certain age now brother Paul, about this doctrinal problem"
And I'm going to tell you something, there are multitudes of young men and women today who are being taught and think somehow in their mind, that [they're saved] if they have an intellectual grasp of the Gospel, if they have an intellectual grasp of the five points of Calvinism, but I'm here to tell you that just because you have an intellectual understanding of the Gospel, doesn't mean [you know God]".~Dr. Michael Morrow.

see also:

boys as OLD as men FUNNY VIDEO

This is a video which I made in light of the ever increasing disporportion of eligble wives and immature boys who just want to play. I for one can't stomach the stories that i hear from Seminary students (and these are from the 'good' ones) of the amount of immaturity prevelant.
There is something drastically wrong when most young men have no real intention of pursuing marriage, at most they wish to participate in unbiblical dating. The family structure within Christianity should NOT be set by a carnal culture and yet it seems the trends don't vary much, rather then live-in partners, we just have a ton of singles still wasting time in High School hobbies! Men! The Church needs MEN! Men who will LEAD, Men who will seek the face of God on behalf of their families, churches, cities etc.. Men who stand for HOLINESS, Men who are serious about God!

Filter link

This is a link for a filter that replaces unwanted (inappropiate, wordly, and tempting) ads with scripture!
Blocks Ad's on Facebook YouTube MySpace and replaces them with bible verses

For use with FIREFOX which can easily be downloaded!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Following Stephen?

What is success as regards to ministry? What is good fruit? What's the test of glorifying God?
There seems to be a major array of answers to these questions, yet only one covers them all.
The test is by the word of God. The test is NOT a great church, and it's NOT a small church.
Though many can say 'amen' to this in word, there seems to be a major disconnect when it comes to practice. What preachers do you listen to? Only popular ministries with several thousand members?
The reality we must face is that whether a church is small or great, whether the response is great or weak doesn't give us enough proof as to whether a preacher has been faithful!
The real test of success, the only thing that brings glory to God in ministry is FAITHFULNESS!
The question should always be, 'was he faithful?' or 'was I faithful?'.

Faithful in my motives and desires
Faithful in proclaiming the truth

Let us then take a look at one example of a faithful ministry: Stephen!
(the whole chapter 7 covers his sermon)
But here is the closing of his preaching and it's effect:

44 “Our fathers had the tent of witness in the wilderness, just as he who spoke to Moses directed him to make it, according to the pattern that he had seen. 45 Our fathers in turn brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our fathers. So it was until the days of David, 46 who found favor in the sight of God and asked to find a dwelling place for the God of Jacob. 47 But it was Solomon who built a house for him. 48 Yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands, as the prophet says,
49 “‘Heaven is my throne,and the earth is my footstool.What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord,or what is the place of my rest?50 Did not my hand make all these things?’
51 “You stiff-necked people, uncircumcised in heart and ears, you always resist the Holy Spirit. As your fathers did, so do you. 52 Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who announced beforehand the coming of the Righteous One, whom you have now betrayed and murdered, 53 you who received the law as delivered by angels and did not keep it.”

54 Now when they heard these things they were enraged, and they ground their teeth at him. 55 But he, full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. 56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” 57 But they cried out with a loud voice and stopped their ears and rushed together at him. 58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their garments at the feet of a young man named Saul. 59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” 60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.

Now let me ask you when you read of this account does the thought 'what a failure' come to mind? Then why would you think that when it happens before your eyes? This is what I call an example of SUCCESSFUL preaching. Stephen preached boldly the truth of God and he gave NO thought to what was in the minds of his hearers. Stephen was preaching for the glory of God, he preached with unwavering fierceness. It is God who gives the increase and that as He pleases, be very slow to look down upon ministries which God has not allowed to see much numerical growth, who's to say whether a church has been a great means of sowing seed and yet others have reaped from their hard labor?
Now wait before you adopt the equally erroneous thought that if you preach sound truth you won't see many numbers, you'll start and stay small. The prophet Ezekiel was told to preach no matter what the effect. Is it possible to judge Peter against Stephen, was Peter preaching a water-downed message when 3000 were added to the church? Could there be another reason behind a always small ministry? Could it be that you simply don't want converts, that you'd rather a church under a hundred because you don't want to deal with more people, with more trouble, you'd rather a nice, tame, predictable, and clean church? Yet if you would find instruction or comfort from this passage then you must take a closer examination. Notice then the attitude of Stephen, it's not the persona of a raging manic, an angry and bitter minister just throw fireballs at his hearers. Why do we know this, what gives us a look at his motive and desire? The RESPONSE! Stephen was LOST in worship of his great King, his heart was exploding with grace and at the very HEIGHT of persecution, Stephen cries out for MERCY on behalf of his murderers! There you have faithful preaching, a burning for the truth, the truth of the person of God and AND AND AND a burden for your listeners (the lost and believers). Without that you have no gauge for success because you have been unfaithful as a minister!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Funny Word of Faith healer video

i did it again, another funny video, I just made
Yet the sad fact is, this garbage is too common today. Even people that pretend not to hold to this often speak in a way that betrays the fact that they have been affected with such garbage. Such people are those who can only think of blessings or answers to prayer having to do solely with healings and financial increases. In fact this type of heresy is spread throughout the jail and prison systems, not to mention infecting overseas nations.
The Word of faith hustle is nothing but that, a con. The rich get richer (the teacher) while the poor get poorer (the congregation)!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Funny stuffy theologian VIDEO

Just discovered this vid via, and so i created this one.
Let it fully load before playing it may take a while (the length is as long as i could make it).
A parody on what some would constitute as REAL fruit.

Friday, April 17, 2009

letter from Mcheyne pt2

Here is a gem of a letter from my favorite of men I have read of, Robert Murray M'Cheyne, it is an incredibly humble and convicting letter to his congregation. This is second half that concerns, the faults of the congregation, the first half dealt with himself. Once again if you have not read the life of Robert Murray M'Cheyne then drop whatever bio you are currently reading and pick this up, C.H. Spurgeon described it as the best ministerial biography ever written!

Robert Murray McCheyne, originally compiled by Andrew A. Bonar. First published in 1844
Eighth Pastoral Letter
Warnings to the Unsaved—Causes Why So Many Among Us are Unsaved.
Edinburgh, March 20, 1839.

I turn now to the causes in you, dear children of God. You also have hindered in great measure God’s work in the parish. First, by your want of holiness. “Ye are the light of the world.” I have often told you that a work of revival in any place almost always begins with the children of God. God pours water first on “him that is thirsty,” and then on the dry ground. But how little has “the word of the Lord sounded out from you!” I do not mean that you should have been loud talkers about religious things. “In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, and the talk of the lips leadeth to penury.” But you should have been “living epistles, known and read of all men.”
You know that a lighted lamp is a very small thing, and it burns calmly and without noise; yet “it giveth light to all that are within the house.” So, if you had day by day the blood of Christ upon your conscience, walking a forgiven and adopted child of God, having a calm peace in your bosom and a heavenly hope in your eye, having the Holy Spirit filling you with a sweet, tender, chaste, compassionate, forgiving love to all the world—oh! had you shone thus for two years back, how many of your friends and neighbors that are going down to hell might have been saying this day, “Thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God!” Think, my beloved friends, that every act of unholiness, of conformity to the world, of selfishness, of whispering and backbiting, is hindering the work of God in the parish and ruining souls eternally.
And what shall I say to those of you who, instead of emitting the sweet winning light of holiness, have given out only rays of darkness? “I have this against thee, that thou hast left thy first love. Remember, therefore, from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do thy first works, or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.”
Second, you have hindered God’s work by your want of prayer. When God gives grace to souls, it is in answer to the prayers of His children. You will see this on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2); Ezekiel 37:9 shows, that in answer to the prayer of a single child of God, God will give grace to a whole valley full of dry and prayerless bones. Where God puts it into the heart of His children to pray, it is certain that He is going to pour down His Spirit in abundance. Now, where have been your prayers, O children of God? The salvation of those around you depends on your asking, and yet “hitherto ye have asked nothing in Christ’s name.” Ye that are the Lord’s remembrancers, keep not silence, and give Him no rest. Alas! you have given God much rest—you have allowed His hand to remain unplucked out of His bosom.
It is said of John Welsh, minister of Ayr, that he used always to sleep with a plaid upon his bed, that he might wrap it around him when he arose in the night to pray. He used to spend whole nights in wrestling with God for Zion, and for the purity of the Church of Scotland; and he wondered how Christians could lie all night in bed without rising to pray. Oh! we have few Welshes now; therefore our church is so dim, and our land a barren wilderness. Dear Christians, I often think it strange that ever we should be in heaven, and so many in hell through our soul–destroying carelessness. The good Lord pardon the past, and stir you up for the future. I learn that you are more stirred up to pray since I left, both in secret and unitedly. God grant it be so. Continue in it, dear children. Do not let it slip again. Plead and wrestle with God, showing Him that the cause is His own, and that it is all for His own glory to arise and have mercy upon Zion.
Last of all, think of the causes in yourselves, O unconverted souls! Be sure of this, that you will only have yourselves to blame if ye awake in hell. You will not be able to plead God’s secret decrees, nor the sins of your minister, nor the carelessness of your godly neighbors—you will be speechless. If you die, it is because you will die; and if you will die, then you must die.
Think, first, on your carelessness about ordinances. They are the channels through which God pours His Spirit. The Bible, prayer, the house of God—these are the golden pipes through which the golden oil is poured. How many of you utterly neglect the Bible! You know not the blessedness of the man spoken of in the First Psalm. How many of you restrain prayer before God! How many of you have dead, useless prayers, learned by rote! And oh, how you despise the house of God! Alas, that church shall rise against you in judgment. It was a door of the ark brought near to you. Two years and more, its gates have been wide open to you, and yet how you have slighted it! Already I seem to hear your loud wailing when you mourn at the last, and say, “How have I hated instruction, and my heart despised reproof, and have not obeyed the voice of my teachers!”
Think, second, how you have been mockers. It has been too common for you to make a mock of eternal things and of godly people. When there have been anxious souls seeking the way to be saved, and they could not conceal their tears, you have called them hypocrites! When some have got a new heart and have changed their way of life, you have spoken scoffingly of them, and tried to bring them into contempt. Alas! poor soul, look within. You have hardened your hearts into an adamant stone. Look at Proverbs 17:5: “He that mocketh the poor reproacheth his maker.” And again (Isaiah 28:22): “Now, therefore, be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong.”
To sum up all. The great cause that I leave you hardened s that you “despise the Son of God.” You see no beauty in Him that you should desire Him. You lightly esteem the Rock of your salvation. You have not had a soul–piercing look at a pierced Savior! You have not seen the infinite load of sins that weighed down His blessed head. You have not seen how open His arms are to receive, how often He would have gathered you. You have not heard that sweet word whispered of the Spirit, “Behold me, behold me,” which, when a man once hears, he leaves all and follows. You have trampled under foot the blood of the Son of God. Farewell, dear, dear souls. God knows that my whole heart prays that you may be saved.
Perhaps there are some of you that never would bend under my ministry, that will melt like wax before the fire under the word of the dear young minister who is to speak to you in my absence. May the Lord give him hundreds for my tens! I will often pray for you, and sometimes write to you, when I am far away. If I reach Immanuel’s land, I will say, “The Lord bless you out of Zion.” And if you will not turn, remember I take God for a record that I am pure from the blood of you all.
Dear children of God, I now cast you on Him who cast you on me when I was ordained over you. He said to me, “Feed my sheep. . . feed my lambs. . . feed my sheep.” Now, when He sends me away, I would humbly return His own words to Him, saying, “O Shepherd of Israel, feed my sheep, feed my lambs, feed my sheep.” Little children, love one another. Keep yourselves from idols. Bear me ever on your hearts. Pray that when I have preached to others, I may not be a castaway. Pray that I may save some.
“Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you perfect in every good work to do His will, working in you that which is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
My next, if God will, may be from England.

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