Monthly Archives: October 2016

Jew-elry

Jew-elry, before anyone get’s the impression this is a religitous title read on and you will get my drift. Since it involes OT Israel and the making of the golden calf out of their own jewelry you will see how appropriate the title is.We see how the people then made idols and how we can be prone to do the same.

(Exodus 32:23-24) They said to me, ‘Make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.’ So I told them, ‘Whoever has any gold jewelry, take it off.’ Then they gave me the gold, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf!” 

This is very interesting, take a look at how this idol was forged. It was was made from ordinary things of everyday life. But that is not unlike us today, we can take almost anything and make a god out of it, something we look to for our purpose, value, reason for living, and what we hope in, whether carreers, relationships, savings accounts or stocks and bonds. 

And yes in a way, some women actually worship jewlry, they do not literally bow to it, and there is no harm in it in and of itself, but what they feel like it gives them, beauty and attention? It is true, some ladies out their look to vanity for hope and use it as a charm, and think their success lies in a beautiful appearence. Yes we do live in times where the “ideal body image” is glorified and worshiped.

women worship at the altar of a perfect female figure. Why? Well because we as human being think external things are going to be the things that go before us and give us success.

Scripture tells women that their outward apparel and beautiful looks is not what makes them truly and ultimately appealing,

(Proverbs 31:30-31) Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate. 

Our society seems to get it backwards more often then not, beauty is often esteemed higher and appraised if more worth then, honesty; kindness and integrity. Yet “The world and it’s desires will pass away” as it says in John’s first letter.

Peter also writes, ” Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:3-4)

There is no prohibition here against make up, jewelry or nice clothes, but they add nothing to a woman’s value in all reality. All Peter is stating is a woman should not put her hope, trust or security in a mere outward appearence.

This is not just a woman thing though  but men also can look for value and purpose in the wrong things, often men may strive hard to get chisled and look impressive, dominant and find their physique gives them the recognition they want, other men are driven to find their value and significance in their job title and performance. Still others fall into addictive sexual exploits to prove to themselves their value and find pleasure to numb themselves like a drug addict or alcoholic might. Some chase a illusion of significance in money and net worth and Bible says this,

(1 Timothy 6:17-19) Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 

The human heart longs to feel loved, useful, succeed at what it finds makes it worthwhile, or appreciated.

Now jewlry, make up, fine clothes, great jobs, a retirment plan, nice biceps, successful relationships, finacial security, are not evil things. They ordinary things that can be enjoyed but make terrible “golden calves” for any of us. We all have those things whatever they maybe.
But what is our value, purpose and reason for living won’t be achieved in external things the world tries to offer and tell us we cannot do without. Comercials are often successful to tempt people’s fundamental longings, happiness, lack of this or that, the desire for things, the longing to fit in or be approved of, and that’s how many businesses come to life.

Dating websites, designer clothing, weightloss products that are cheap useless alternatives to diet, excercise and hard work, infomercials, comercials for cars, home decor, and other messages from the world bombarding us regularly.

None of these are evil things but have potential to create evil desires such as covetousness, envy, and ingratitude. These messages flood through a trojan horse called a Telivision and try to reprogram our minds to define beauty and happiness in the world’s terms.
Some of the advertising is so idiotically cheesy that it is nauseating. You know, comercials so lame that they outright suggest “If you buy this today, your life will be so improved it wont ever be the same”

How often has that really worked? I don’t care what it is but even when I buy products that are shown in commercials my life’s problems do not go away, they are there when I get back and it is not a surprise because I never thought the product would “Mr Clean magic errase my problems”- not to dis Mr Clean, they have great products that will take the spots and stains out of clothes and clean other things, but wont wipe your hardships or life struggles away. There is no “Easy button” but there is hope.

Psalm 34:10-22 The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it. The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers him from them all; he protects all his bones, not one of them will be broken. Evil will slay the wicked; the foes of the righteous will be condemned. The Lord will rescue his servants; no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned. 

Am I telling you that if one becomes a Christ follower and honors the Lord and walks in obedience that their problems vanish and life is sweet as cheesecake and butterfingers always? No! But God’s ways are always the best and the righteous will have the last laugh, the final truimph, and the last word. When all is said and done it pays off. Even if we never see it here on earth but rather in heaven. Often we will reap the temporary reward of wise living and a righteous life but not always nor immediatly. As the quote says, “Good things come to those who wait” but the rules of waiting must be applied,

(James 1:9-12) Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position. But the rich should take pride in their humiliation—since they will pass away like a wild flower. For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business. Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. 

As Christians we should not attach the meaning and worth of our lives to what people tell us but what truth tells us.
Our fulfillment won’t come through just accumulating more money, stuff, nicer houses and better cars. Pleasure is an illusion to the one who seeks pleasure in pleasure. It is very possible and most likely to pursue a desired end and then acheive it only to be empty and disatisfied.

Ecclesiastes 2:1-25 I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives. I undertook great projects: I built houses for myself and planted vineyards. I made gardens and parks and planted all kinds of fruit trees in them. I made reservoirs to water groves of flourishing trees. I bought male and female slaves and had other slaves who were born in my house. I also owned more herds and flocks than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I amassed silver and gold for myself, and the treasure of kings and provinces. I acquired male and female singers, and a harem as well—the delights of a man’s heart. I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. My heart took delight in all my labor, and this was the reward for all my toil. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun. Then I turned my thoughts to consider wisdom, and also madness and folly. What more can the king’s successor do than what has already been done? I saw that wisdom is better than folly, just as light is better than darkness. The wise have eyes in their heads, while the fool walks in the darkness; but I came to realize that the same fate overtakes them both. Then I said to myself, “The fate of the fool will overtake me also. What then do I gain by being wise?” I said to myself, “This too is meaningless.” For the wise, like the fool, will not be long remembered; the days have already come when both have been forgotten. Like the fool, the wise too must die! So I hated life, because the work that is done under the sun was grievous to me. All of it is meaningless, a chasing after the wind. I hated all the things I had toiled for under the sun, because I must leave them to the one who comes after me. And who knows whether that person will be wise or foolish? Yet they will have control over all the fruit of my toil into which I have poured my effort and skill under the sun. This too is meaningless. So my heart began to despair over all my toilsome labor under the sun. For a person may labor with wisdom, knowledge and skill, and then they must leave all they own to another who has not toiled for it. This too is meaningless and a great misfortune. What do people get for all the toil and anxious striving with which they labor under the sun? All their days their work is grief and pain; even at night their minds do not rest. This too is meaningless. A person can do nothing better than to eat and drink and find satisfaction in their own toil. This too, I see, is from the hand of God, for without him, who can eat or find enjoyment? 

Without God blessing us with his presence our best blessings lose their flavor, I do not care how much money one has and it does not make the difference no mattee how beautiful their wife is, or how lovely their family is at the end of the day. The only way to truly enjoy the richest of life is not people, possessions or accomplisments unless God is central.

(Mark 8:35-36) For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? 

(Proverbs 10:22) The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it. 

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Impressions, Dreams, Visions and Angels in modern times. (Test Everything Against Scripture)

Written of October 28, 2016

I still believe God can and does speak to people by all three ways even now but the danger is adding so much weight to a supernatural experience especially when God's Word contradicts what a so called revelation is.

There are no new revelations of truth that you cannot already find in scripture if indeed the revelation is from God and is true. 

 "In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe." (Hebrews 1:1-2)

God cannot contradict Himself, so if a person claims to have had a dream or supernatural revelation it won't contradict how God has alredy spoke through the pages of scripture. Suppose for a moment a woman "hears the voice of God" and she says "God told sacrifice my kids and to kill my children"- Well what does scripture say, "Thou shall not murder" for one, also we see throughout scripture child sacrifice is abhorred by God. The only solitary never occuring incidence was Abraham and Isaac but God never allowed it to go through but just used this as a test and a forshadowing of Himself offering up His only Son for our sins. Or if a person tells you they feel like God told them to divorce their wife because she is not the one they were supposed to be with. Well God never would say that to someone today, God hates divorce.

(Matt 19:4-6) (Malachi 2) (Matt 5:8-9) 

(1 Corinthians 7:10-11)

A lot of cults have formed by supposed visions or dreams or angelic visits people claim they had,  other cults are based on a misinterpretation built on a solitary verse. 

1.) Mormonism

Take for example Mormonism, founded by Joseph Smith. In 1820 he claimed to be visited by 2 people who were manifestations of God and Christ and they told him that he was not supposed to join a church because he was unsure which one to join. 3 years later he was visited by an angel supposedly named "Maroni" and he went on to write "The Book of Mormin" in 1830.

Now the problem is the things he experienced were warned about way back in scripture, 

The Apostle Paul wrote, "which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!" (Galatians 1:7-9)

Joseph most likely knew scripture since he was in the woods praying for wisdom to discern which church should attend and was doing so on the basis of "asking for wisdom" as mentioned in James 1
Yet the problem is not that he prayed the wrong prayer as much as believed the wrong spirits.

"Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world." (1 John 4:1-3 )

Any spirit, angel, dream or vision that does not point to Christ or contradicts scriptural teaching is not of God or Christ. 

2.) Islam.

Islam is another religion that it's founder Mohammed claimed he was visited by Gabriel, but we know Islam does not acknowlege Jesus as the Christ but just another "good prophet" 

Well of course I am not here to bash people in these circles but think as a Christian to not speak from scripture is to deny in a way one's own Christian belief system. Some of the people most prone to being deceived by the "spirits" and the "supernatural deceptions" are not those who laugh and religion but are very religiously and spiritually open. 

3.) Charasmatic Cultism

Lets look at the Charasmatic/Pentacostal churches, some are very solid yet others may be in danger of subtle deception as well- a pervasive infatuation with spiritual experiences or things they may refer to as "being slain in the Spirit" or the misuse of tongues.

Well tongues is mentioned in scripture and I have no doubt it still exists, however, to be carried away and practice it unbiblically and flippently when scripture gives instructions as to how it should be done in a church or how it is to be used is to sin against God and grieve the Holy Spirit.

Another dangerous thing people often say is "The Holy Spirit told me" well be careful just to not say stuff you want and stamp God's name on it or forge his signature. Also self promotion in charasmatic cults can be quite prevelant, it always seems to me to be a red flag when someone says they are a "prophet" or an "apostle" not because these giftings do not exist but the titles indeed probably are not in effect, since the original apostles are the 11 disciples and the 1 who was not, namely the Apostle Paul. 

The original apostleship cannot be recreated from my biblical standpoint, anymore then any living today no matter how patriotic can claim they are a "Founding Father"

There is a difference between Charasmatic Christianity and Charasmatic Cults.

Charasmatic Christian is only really someone open to the idea that God still is active with certain spiritual gifts, such as tongues, and healing and the the spiritual gift of miracles, as well as still speaks from time to time by angels, visions and dreams. Yet a charasmatic cult will go way to far and not and not by means of proper biblical interpretation or context. 

For example: ever met one of those special people that will try to just lay hands on you and tell you to just have have faith and walk (that is if your in a wheelchair like me).  I cannot tell you how many times certain people with squirly ideas have tried the "just have faith and walk" and I insist that I do not need to walk to accomplish the things God has called me to. I try showing them where in scripture it does not guarantee physical healing all of the time, and they become as stubborn as concrete blocks that deflect my argument I rain down. They have no desire to see they may be off so there ears produce an enormous ammount of wax in those moments.
God by all means can heal but does he heal everyone physically? Does the cancer just not leave because someone does not have enough faith? And is every so called messenger of God whether human or not from God? Clearly no, not according to Scripture.

In the OT story in the book of 1 Kings, it paints very good picture of what many modern charasmitic cults act like in practice.

[1 Kings 22:4-23] So he asked Jehoshaphat, “Will you go with me to fight against Ramoth Gilead?” Jehoshaphat replied to the king of Israel, “I am as you are, my people as your people, my horses as your horses.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.” So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—about four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall I go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I refrain?” “Go,” they answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?” The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.” “The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied. So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.” Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’” All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.” But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.” When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?” “Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.” The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?” Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’” The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?” Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing around him on his right and on his left. And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’ “One suggested this, and another that. Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’ “‘By what means?’ the Lord asked. “‘I will go out and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said. “‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’ “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.” 

First off Ahab basically either hired or appointed prophets he chose, not really wanting to hear what God really had to say, it was only Jehoshaphat who wanted to "seek the counsel of the Lord"
These so called prophets that were false also were not orderly or at least it did not sound like it, when I read this story I imagine a bunch of so called prophets all saying the same thing at once and in their prophesying and the contradicted the word of Macaiah the real prophet. 
We see what was really behind this and it was "a deceiving spirit"

The Apostle Paul warned the early church in his letter to Corinth concerning spiritual gifts that there is a proper way to excercise them

[1 Corinthians 14:26-33] What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be done so that the church may be built up. If anyone speaks in a tongue, two—or at the most three—should speak, one at a time, and someone must interpret. If there is no interpreter, the speaker should keep quiet in the church and speak to himself and to God. Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said. And if a revelation comes to someone who is sitting down, the first speaker should stop. For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged. The spirits of prophets are subject to the control of prophets. For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people. 

Paul is saying that even if someone has a prophetic gifting this is still supposed to be subject to that Christian's self control and not used in a way that would dishonor God. He says "God is not a God of disorder but ofbpeace" and I would say if you come into a church were it seems like a mad house and people are falling all over the place, its doubtful God is in that at all.

Christians are either living to glorify Christ with their actions or dishonoring him when they misappropriate scriptural Christian elements, and a big one these days is speaking in tongues.

Yet the abuse of tongues is nothing new.
Also in many charasmatic spheres people tend to sometimes associate visions and dreams as a sign of spirituality. But we remember even Balaam heard from God but God was not pleased with him, as well as a list of pagan kings, and Pontus Pilates wife. None of these folks were God followers per say. So supernatural experiences alone are not sufficient evidence of being in with God, but rather obedience and faith. Jesus said, "If you love me you will obey my commands"
Some sects of Christianity that are known for being charasmatic from what has reached my ears at least say that "if you do not speak in tongues then your not a real believer" they grossly misinterpret 
"And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it." (Mark 16:17-20)

Remember who Jesus is speaking to, the original twelve disciples minus Judas. And many cult like churches in our times have taken this verse to mean what it does not. A pastor of one church lost his life as a result, he was a pastor of a congregation and regularly handled deadly snakes in the name of Christ, but died.

Isn't this testing God, and strangely enough there is an actual verse that says
"We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. (1 Corinthians 10:9)

No where in scripture does it say, "Speaking in tongues is the necessary evidence of salvation" or "put God to the test by handling dangerous creatures.
We see in 1 John it describes the proof of Christianity by terms of "love" and "to obey his commands"

Also the Apostle Paul wrote that not all possess the gift of tongues (SEE 1 Corinthians 12:30)

Church hunting is often like grocery shopping, we excercise caution with what we buy from a food shelf, right? We make sure it is not expired or there is not too many unnecessary unhealthy additives, right? We examine soduim content, caloric value, and make sure it is not loaded with sugar! But we must also beware of spiritual consumption. We must as 1 John says, "Test the spirits to see whether they be from God"
And the Apostle Paul tells us, "Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil." (Thessalonians 5:19-22)

We also are called to, "Test yourselves to see whether your in the faith" (2 Corinthians 13:5)

These commands in here are not there if they are not intended to be used, if anyone who claims to be a Christian has an issue with you evaluating what they say according to the scriptures they claim to represent, then that is a red flag. We must also test impressions, the hunches or voices or promptings that enter our mind and hearts, because these too can lie, whether a feeling of "God impressing this on me" or a "dream in the night" or a vision or even an angel.

Test it!

Use Your Tongue Wisely

The Apostle Paul warned us to “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity for the days are evil, let your conversations be full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you may know how to answer everyone” (Colossians 4:5-6)

Paul never denied the sin of people or sin in the world, but he cautioned us to be wise and just foolishly say whatever, however, or in anyway we just thought was best, because we all have been wrong! I have found many times as a rule of thumb the response that usually “feels” the best and seems to come more naturally and easy is usually the worst one, and the only reason it felt good is because my sinful nature was being fed in that moment. It can be easy to miss the way and the safe guard is to continually examine our hearts and weigh them against Scripture- not feelings, not rationality, nor reason or what we think “The person needs to hear” but what we know for certain the Holy Spirit is pressing on our hearts in accordance to scripture.

Reason, Emotion, and other aspects are fine provided the Holy Spirit and Scripture supports them but by themselves these are not going to be accurate indicators that what you are saying is an impulse of the flesh or prompting of God. This is why I think it is so easy and dangerous to just open our mouths without clearly discerning and evaluating because we may be fooled just to think that since Christ saved us that we will never be foolish or fall to the wrong impulse to say this or that. When we all think we “need to say this” or “they need to hear this” we just need to press pause and think about whether our hearts are pure and our responses are accurate as well as appropriate at that moment. 

It is I believe possible to say the right thing at the wrong time, the right thing in the wrong motive or just flat out speak foolish with foolish motives at foolish times.

We just need to be careful because the whole non Christian world has a magnifying glass on our lives, and some actually are waiting like the Pharisees did with Jesus to set word traps, others are resentful because of what they thought was just “Christian behavior” but left them not wanting to be like that because it was not Spirit filled Christianity shown to them characterized by the spiritual fruit of “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control”(Galatians 5:22) but rather the fleshly actions of a carnal Christian, Christian in a moment of weakness and sinful error, or just flat out a “tare/weed among the wheat” (Matthew 13:24-30)

Another good verse that can act as a filter for what we say is

(Philippians 4:5) Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 

Gentleness is often used interchangably with meekness, which is not being a weakling or pushover, but it has power and strength under restraint. Example in every day life I once saw was I came to an intersection and there was a police car driving toward my direction, I was driving the opposite direction toward the police car and we both came to an intersection, yet I was going to make a left turn and it was a green light so I knew he had the right of way, but he signaled through the police car and let me go first instead. Technically, he had both the right and authority to do what he wanted, but in meekness he yeilded his turn for me to go on first.

Now of course I do not know exactly the motive, but I can tell you meekness looks this way, being able to get our way or possibly win an argument or what not but not using our strenghth or advantage to our own advantage. Just because you can get this, win a fight or do that, does not mean you choose to! Another example is meekness is choosing to not “beat someone” in a argument if it means them ultimately their greater good- Jesus dying on the cross, he could have taken matters into his own hands and destroyed those who were crucifying him. (Matthew 26:53) “Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?”

Jesus chose suffering though it could be avoided because it meant saving us.
Gentleness and meekness are not cowardice because true gentleness is not afraid of confrontation when it is needed but it is really only willing to only offend when necessary, not just to win a fight or argument so it can feel smart and satisfied with a win or get even.
There is a time to be direct and confront but never to do so out of wrong motives that are self centered and strokes for our pride.

Why Do Christians at Times Fail To Act Like Christians?

When Christians fail to represent Christ there are a few reasons I think, from a Biblical standpoint 

1.) They fall from a deep understanding in Christ who they truly are.

2 Peter 1:5-9 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. 

Some Christians have some errors in their theology and have an innacurate understanding that as a believer in Christ and as a “new creation” they do not have to sin- they have all the power in Christ needed to live godly. “For His divine power has given us everything we need for a life of godliness” 2 Peter 1:3 says, but many Christians lack wisdom and understanding to truly know how to access such power. A little while ago there was a news story about a woman who was horribly neglected and abused from childhood and kept outside with the dogs, she became so accustomed to that life she behaved as if she was one on the dogs. Yet she was genetically and biologically human. Another example is if there was a poor man eating scraps and diving in dupsters for food but does not know someone actually wired to his accout $3,000,000. Until a Christian truly realized who he or she has become and what power their is through Christ they will act like something they are not.

2.) They do not abide in Christ enough or read His word regularly to help them mature and keep growing.

Psalm 119:9-11 How can a young person stay on the path of purity? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you. 

A Christian who seldom opens the word is like one who seldom eats food, the body needs food to produce energy, aquire nuitreints, and keep us healthy. But if we do not eat the body does not have much to work with, in the same way, not ingesting God’s word leads to the Holy Spirit not having much to utilize to convict or bring to our minds for encouragement, strength, guidance or correction. God is not limited and could speak audibly from heaven if He wanted but His primary means is His Word. So to neglect that is to do ourselves a great diservice.

2 Timothy 3:15-17 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. 

Hebrews 1:1-2 In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 

Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 

1 Peter 2:2-3 Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 

3.) They may have never truly come to Christ at all, their commitment may just be a superficial head knowlege- one that is rooted in just shallow intellectual belief and not a heart transformation. Many people in church do not know Christ yet and think all it took was mouthing a little prayer as a cheap “get out of hell free card”, in fear of being judged by God they may have just made a decision to just become a Christian out of fear of hell not an actual deep seated conviction of their sin, Christ’s sacrifice, His reserrection, or God’s great love. And so they mouthed words or walked an aisle but never really changed from within.

Jesus clearly taught that “Unless a man be born again he will not see the kingdom of God” John 3

The problem often in many American churches is not the genuine followers of Christ but the one’s who walk through the door that we failed to check their pulse. Many people in the church are still non believers with Christian costumes and religious party attire, blowing the confetty of lip service and phony profession. 

(There was a man once name Bob Johnny and he boasted his apple orchard grew the best ripe crispy apples in town, one day he invited his friends and family to see Bob John’s Crispy Orchard. But when one of his friends reached out to touch the apple, he said, “Why is this apple orange and soft?” Bob John was offended and angrily protested, “Dean how dare you judge my one of a kind crispy red apples'” Dean replied, “Im sorry Bob but these are not apples but Florida oranges”)

At the end of the day its not a matter of trying harder or striving to be a better Christian but rather letting Christ produce the fruit in our lives. In John 15 he says “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener, he cuts of every branch in me that bears no fruit but every branch that does bear fruit he prunes. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. No branch can bear fruit by itself, but must it remains in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Christian’s are called to abide in Christ not disconnect from Christ and try to do the Christian life by their own effort. How do we connect or stay connected though? First off someone who is not yet born again cannot really produce real fruit just leaves, and in John 4 a chapter after Jesus talks with Nicodemus, Jesus spoke to a woman at the well and told her who he was and then said “God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

To worship God in Spirit and Truth is to do so from the heart and according to truth, not just guessing what pleases God and winging it. Not just putting more elbow grease into it or honkering down to produce the fruit only Christ can inside of us. We are to worship according to accurate knowlege of God as well and find out what pleases Him. The Apostle Paul writes: “Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Ephesians 5:17-20)

“Filled with the Spirit” and “Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” — A Spirit filled life is thankful and one marked by fruitful words, Jesus said, “For out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks”
And as Hebrews 13 tells us, “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” (Hebrews 13:15-16)

We are called not to be complainers,

Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky (Philippians 2:14-15)

As hard as it can be to practice The Lord is more then willing to help ever Christian produce the fruit of Christ, “Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Faithfulness, and Self Control” (Galatians 5:22)

Do not try harder but abide more in the vine, Jesus Christ and “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” (Galatians 5:16-18 )

When we let the Holy Spirit lead and govern our lives, them we do not need an external checklist of rules and codes of conduct to make us behave rightly- we delight rather in righteousness because the Holy Spirit produces in us a love for what is good and godly. The Greek philosopher Plato once said “Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws. Plato

(Read more at: http://mobile.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/p/plato161536.html)

Plato was right but missed a crucial element, its not that some decent people do not exist, but the problem is we all fall short of being good enough to never cause a certain amount of problems and pain to God or others, because every human being has a capacity to be selfish and corrupt. And if we get more specific about laws then we need to go deeper than just “what is legal or accepted by society and what is not.” Because as good as a decent law can be it only restrains a certain amount of indwelling humam evil. We may not rob banks or literally murder someone in our lives but have we ever verbally destroyed someone in a moment of temper and lack of restraint? We all have. There are many sins and hurtful things we can do to one another and not end up in jail for and just because it is not illegal does not mean it is not cruel- a racist, or hateful word, or showing favoritism and bias or being arrogant are not illegal but sin. Being sexually immoral, promiscuous, name calling or complaining about life or gossiping about others are not illegal activities but still sins in God’s eyes. Broken marriages, alcoholism, and materialism are also the results of sins people can commit without being as depraved as we all have the potential to be.

What overcomes all sin and selfishness though, toward both God and our fellow man and woman? Love- sincere and pure and produced by the Spirit of Grace. God has called the believer to be a display peace of His Grace and a reflexion of the character of Christ. In a world that can be very dark, sinful and self absorbed we ought to go against the grain and rebel against the world’s ways of sin by being ruled by the Spirit of Christ and the Word of God. “Be not conformed any longer to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, then you will be able to test and approve of what God’s will is, his good pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)

How do go about this?

Romans 12:1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 
We are to 1.) Offer our bodies, our tongues, our lips, our hearts, our time, our hands and feet to Jesus. 
But not only that, we are also called to not do this 2.) Conform to the patterns of this world. 

 ⁃ Do you let the world and society shape your view of things? Do you let others tell you how to think, act or dress?. “If you wear this brand name your cool” and “This is what makes you cool and likable” , “Don’t be such a prude bro, just live a little, what’s it going to hurt.” We are bombarded by subliminal advertising all over of what beauty looks like and what success is but 1 John 2 warns us “Do not love the world or the things in the world”…..then lists “The lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the boasting of what one has or does comes not from the Father but from the World and the World and its desires pass away but the one who does the will of God will live forever

 ⁃ But the ultimate “will of God” is yes a believer’s sanctification but the people in the World’s salvation [Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29), So at the end of the day God did not just save us to save us so we could be happy over our salvation and not be concerned with the people out there still seeking answers and hope. We are to be display pieces of God’s enormous love and mercy to shine to a world looking for the answers to their problems.

To not be conformed also requires a day to day commitment to “put off the old self”

Ephesians 4:22-32 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 

   1.) Put of falsehood and speak truthfully.

   2.) Do not let anger go unresolved, rather forgive.

   3.) Do away with stealing and work, doing something useful so we can share with others in need.

   4.) put away unproductive and unholy speech, (profanity, gossip, back biting tongues, grumbling, perversity, crude joking, and name calling are just a few examples)

When we put these things away from us we invite the Holy Spirit to work more in us. We cannot earn the Holy Spirit by good behavior but when we repent and ask Him to come into our lives and fill us and empower us we will receive if we have faith and ask sincerely. To put off sinful ways brings healing to our spiritual lifes not in and of itself as much as allows the Lord to occupy the old spaces where the junk was before. An analogy is Dieting vs Food Substitution- religiousity would say, dont do that, that or that, abstain here and abstain there, but the Spirit filled life is substituting old carnal way for good and godly patterns of living and most of all The Lord God himself. The more The Lord is occupying our lives the less room there is for our sinful nature to just have free reign. 

Its a matter of surrender and allowing ourselves to be filled with His presence and grace more so then bloody nuckling it and saying “Im not going to be sinful to day!” No we must rather give God our beings and yeild to Him and let Him do the transformation.

A Flatlined Faith, Zombie Christians


(Church Zombies, True Christians vs Fake Ones, Comparing apples to oranges.)

There is a threat so suttle in Churches across America, the undead sittin in seates occupying spaces and without a slightest beat of a heart or sign of life, yet they are there among us.

These are code blue flat line souls that are dressed up to look like the living but they are still dead, “dead in their sins and transgressions” according to Ephesians 2.

I used to be one myself and just sat in my decorated coffin adorned with flowers to make me look alive, but dead as a doornail. Some know all the right words to say, and all the prayers to pray, but yet still have yet to come out of the grave.
Jesus clearly taught that “Unless a man be born again he will not see the kingdom of God” John 3

The problem often in many American churches is not the genuine followers of Christ but the one’s who walk through the door that we failed to check their pulse. Many people in the church are still non believers with Christian costumes and religious party attire, blowing the confetty of lip service and phony profession.

There was a man once named Bob Johnny and he boasted his apple orchard grew the best ripe crispy apples in town, one day he invited his friends and family to see Bob John’s Crispy Orchard. But when one of his friends reached out to touch the apple, he said, “Why is this apple orange and soft?” Bob John was offended and angrily protested, “Dean how dare you judge my one of a kind crispy red apples'” Dean replied, “Im sorry Bob but these are not apples but Florida oranges”

Jesus taught in several places to beware of the fruit of some who parade themselves to be Christians. (Luke 6:43-49) “No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognized by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thornbushes, or grapes from briers. A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of. “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.” 

Matthew 7:19-23 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ 

Can a Christian sin? Yes. But as a general rule of thumb are more apples on that man or woman’s tree good then rotten? 

Or are the predomanent number of apples on that individuals tree sour, rotton and full of worms?

Every Christian that is genuine will have an occassional rotten apple, when we sin we produce nasty fruit yet when we are led by the Spirit the byproduct is “Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self control.” Galatians 5:22-23

Galatians 5:22-26 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other. 

But in contrast, a man or woman who claims to follow the Lord Jesus Christ and habitually and unrepentently displays the characteristics Galatians 5 calls the “acts of the flesh” or “the acts of the sinful nature” will look like this the majority of the time, 

Galatians 5:19-21 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. –

Who wants to follow a Christian like that? Or who looks up to people like that? Very very few.

But what about if I am producing bad fruit? Can I just try to be better or honker down and produce a good fruit? No not really because out of the sinful nature even our attempts to be good and godly are soured by selfish motives. Take for example a man who gives his money to charity but he may do so for a few reasons, 1.) He wants to look good for others to see, 2.) It makes him feel better about himself. This is often deep down why many try to do good deeds, because we feel bad about our sins and imperfections and become like Adam and Eve sowing fig leaves together to cover our nakedness- yet good deeds cannot truly cover our naked souls now can they because a person loaded down by guilt can never do enough to get the weight to completely go away.

(Philippians 1:9-11) And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. 

What is God’s most important quality he wants Christians to possess? I would say love, love is the embodiment of every command of God or rule he has set to follow. To love God with all our heart’s soul mind and strength and to love our neighbor as ourselves is fullfilling the Laws of God.

Mark 12:29-34 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” “Well said, teacher,” the man replied. “You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he had answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And from then on no one dared ask him any more questions. 
Yet how can anyone possibly love everyone the way God requires? It is not possible humanly speaking in human effort, just try to be loving for a day around the sand paper people in your life and you will see your flimsy will power erroded like a cell phone battery trying to power a semi truck. This is why we must come to know a love so much greater than our limited understanding and capacity for love- Jesus said to love even our enemies, 

(Matthew 5:43-48) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. 
It is easy for us as people to love our friends and family members and those we like. But is love, real love tied down to what other people do to make us happy? No, that is bought shallow comradre not love. 

And when a man or woman truly grasps how great their personal failures are in God’s eyes and yet He still loved them enough to send His Son to die on a cross for their sins then they see true extravagant, generous, deep and unselfish love there, and then head facts become heart truths, and such love is tasted in the soul then this makes it possible to love even our most terrible enemies because Christ forgave our terrible offenses that hung him on the cross.

John 15:5-17 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you. This is my command: Love each other. 

the world does not know or grasp such things, they do not know God or real love that does not fit into there understanding or rational. In the eyes of the world the way to succeed or get treated right is to be ruthless, after all as their saying goes “its a dog eat dog world” 

but Christ never taught his disciples to live that way. No on the contrary, 
Mark 10:42-45 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” 

Remember Galatians 5, the acts of the flesh? Well it continues on to say

Galatians 5:15-16 If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 

So much for dog eat dog philosophy- and in the words of Christ the night of his crucifixion Peter tried to kill the servant of the high priest with a sword and missed, but only cut off his ear, 

(Matthew 26:50-56) Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels? But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?” In that hour Jesus said to the crowd, “Am I leading a rebellion, that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? Every day I sat in the temple courts teaching, and you did not arrest me. But this has all taken place that the writings of the prophets might be fulfilled.” Then all the disciples deserted him and fled. 

Even as gentle and kind as Jesus was and after all the miracles he performed the stubborn son’s of the darkness armed themselves with swords and clubs expectimg Jesus to fight them? And what about Peter? He thought he could use violence to prevent Jesus’s arrest? Yet had also forgotten that Christ’s ways were marked with humble obedience to God even to the forfeit of His life not by fighting those in the world who know nothing but war, and blood, vengeance and retaliation.

For it is also written, 

(Romans 3:9-18) What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.” “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” “Their feet are swift to shed blood; ruin and misery mark their ways, and the way of peace they do not know.” “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 

The key marks of someone lost in the realm of spiritual death is angery malice, poisonous vemonous words shooting out like vipers and spewing the firey breath of a dragon. Just watch someone lose their temper on facebook or the nasty comments left by many on youtube or twitter, then one can see what this human race is truly made of when pushed to the limit and hidden rage spills out like toxic waiste containers dumped over. Not only this but immoral, reckless, selfishness is the way of those who do not yet know Christ, we were all steeped in it to some varying degree or another.

The problem is all of us before God’s love is truly realized in the heart, and we realize the greatness of His sacrifice for us. We cannot help but respond in hate or sin in various ways until our eyes are open to something so different and better that it gives us an alternative option.

(Titus 3:3-7) At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life. 

The blessed Lord and Savior came and in essence volutarily allowed himself to be nailed to a cross and along with him was also nailed our old sinful nature, its rotten stinking maggoty flesh nailed to the cross and we receive the empowering grace in return to walk in newness of life!

(Titus 2:11-14) For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people. It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. 

So the genuine disciple of Christ is not one who loves sinning and pretending he or she has grace to just sin more freely- such a person is phony and does not realize that this sacrifice was costly and not without the price of devotion and loyalty. Jude discribes these people as ones “Who change the grace of our Lord Jesus into a liscence for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereing Lord.” And the Apostle Paul also says “They claim to know God yet deny him in their actions”

To be a Christian is to follow Christ not self and sin- “For if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily” – Jesus-

Daily crucifying selfishness, pride and sin and choosing to live for Christ and scorn this dark and sinful world’s ways is the way of freedom and the cross.

How The Day Of Atonement (Yom Kipor) Applies To A Christian.

In Jewish communities The Day of Atonenment is coming up on October 11th according to our American calander, it is representative of the atonenment of the sins of the people- in Israel and among the Jews it was described in this fashion.

Leviticus 16:1-25 The Lord spoke to Moses after the death of the two sons of Aaron who died when they approached the Lord. The Lord said to Moses: “Tell your brother Aaron that he is not to come whenever he chooses into the Most Holy Place behind the curtain in front of the atonement cover on the ark, or else he will die.

(This is an important thing to mark down, God in his great holiness in these times could not just be approached casually or flipantly but often put people to death for just brazenly entering His sanctuary, He had a specific prescribed way in how the people and priests could approach Him. Aaron’s sons died earlier on in the previous chapter or so before by coming before God to offer “unathorized fire” and died as a result of just casually coming before God. God has not changed and still is holy, we cannot just approach him empty handed either, we must have some hall pass into his presence and as Christian’s we know that Christ has become the ultimate sacrifice to wash away our sins. )

Leviticus 16:14 He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover. 

The author of Hebrews writes “And again, “I will put my trust in him.” And again he says, “Here am I, and the children God has given me.” Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil— and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. For surely it is not angels he helps, but Abraham’s descendants. For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.” (Hebrews 2:13-18)

According to the 
https://www.google.com/search?site=&source=hp&ei=Yab4V6XUKoSgjwSBvZTQCA&q=yom+kippur+2016&oq=yom&gs_l=mobile-gws-hp.1.0.0i131k1l4j0i3k1.4305.6290.0.10077.4.4.0.2.2.0.285.898.0j1j3.4.0….0…1c.1.64.mobile-gws-hp..0.4.529.3..0j5j41.atoreTdCUZE

“Ne’ilah is the concluding service of Yom Kippur. It normally lasts about an hour, during which the ark – where the scrolls of the Torah are kept – are left open throughout. This is considered the last chance to atone for sins before the end of the holiday and is sometimes referred to as the closing of the gates.”

I think this is interesting to note, since there comes a point in this Jewish day of repentence and attonement in the conclusion where there is a final moment to get right with God, and in the New Testament book of Hebrews shortly after it describes Christ in this way “For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people.” 

yet later goes on to give a stern warning –

“So, as the Holy Spirit says: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion, during the time of testing in the wilderness, where your ancestors tested and tried me, though for forty years they saw what I did. That is why I was angry with that generation; I said, ‘Their hearts are always going astray, and they have not known my ways.’ So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.’ ” See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness. We have come to share in Christ, if indeed we hold our original conviction firmly to the very end. As has just been said: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as you did in the rebellion.” Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter his rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief. 

(Hebrews 3:7-19)
There is a sacrifice better then the former and the Son of God suffered to take away the sins of the world, those who turn in faith and repentence. The Day of Atonment, Yom Kipor in some Jesish communities has a practice of doing as follows
 “A live chicken or bag of coins is swung by a person over their head three times, transferring their sins to the creature or object. The chicken is then slaughtered and donated to the poor for a meal ahead of the fast.”- 

https://www.google.com/search?site=&source=hp&ei=Yab4V6XUKoSgjwSBvZTQCA&q=yom+kippur+2016&oq=yom&gs_l=mobile-gws-hp.1.0.0i131k1l4j0i3k1.4305.6290.0.10077.4.4.0.2.2.0.285.898.0j1j3.4.0….0…1c.1.64.mobile-gws-hp..0.4.529.3..0j5j41.atoreTdCUZE

Yet as it is written
 We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 

(Isaiah 53:6)
Written long before Jesus Christ, yet continue on reading and you are hard pressed not to see the fulfillment through our Lord Jesus Christ,
Isaiah 53:7-12 He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth.
. [SEE

-Matthew 26:62-63 Then the high priest stood up and said to Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” But Jesus remained silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.” –

Continuation of (Isaiah 53: 7-12) By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested? For he was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgression of my people he was punished. He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, 

[SEE (Matthew 27:57-60) As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 

Isaiah 53 continued verse 9-12 -though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth. Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand. After he has suffered, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. 

Christ has made it possible to have complete access to God through His death and reserrection from the dead- he removes the barrier errected by sinful mankind that keeps us distant from God.

When a person turns to Christ in faith and repentence all their sins are layed on Him and he deposits His righteousness into their hearts

As it says in Jeremiah 31:33-34 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” 

He washes us and regenerates our hearts, he grants us the light of life and removes our “heart of stone” and gives us a “heart of flesh” 

Ezekiel 36:25-27 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. 

SEE Also- Leviticus 16:14 He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover; then he shall sprinkle some of it with his finger seven times before the atonement cover. 

 “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; ”

And “He is to take some of the bull’s blood and with his finger sprinkle it on the front of the atonement cover;”

But the sacrifice of Christ sprinkles the blood over the guilty heart, it is not a sacrifice that covers up sin but completely washes the heart clean of defilement. You can take the sinner away from the sin but only Christ can take the sin out of the sinner.

(2 Corinthians 5:17-21) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.