Deep End

February 6, 2016

2/4/16 Deep End

You say that you are my friend
But I’ve gone off the deep end.
I was drowning in the kiddie pool
Being such a crazy blasted fool.
Fussing at and cussing out everyone
Instead of leading them to God’s Son.


I’m goin’ off the deep end!
I’m goin’ off the deep end!
Where God’s love and mercy flows!
Where my soul and spirit grows!
I’m goin’ off the deep end!
Yeah, give me the deep end!

I’m tired of judging the outside
Instead of loving the soul inside!
When we are laid in that old cold sod
We won’t be happy that we played God!
We may find that we did not make it at all
Or all our wonderful works are really straw.


I won’t lose any of my sleep
Because you say I am too deep!
I can’t stand to be shallow
Or leaving my fields fallow!
I need to lose the rocks and stones
O God give life to these dry bones


Even though I am somewhat old school
I cannot live in the kiddie pool.
I hate the old drama and silly strife
Jesus lead me into your full life!
Let the Spirit take you to His school!
Go deeper inside the holy pool!


It is time to dump the old me!
So the new man is truly free!
No more of the Pharisaical jaw
Spouting free grace but practicing the law!
Leave the old kiddie pool behind!
Come into the deep end! It’s fine!

Refrain 2X fading

I recently read a note that said that I have “gone off the deep end” with my recent change of affiliation. Unfortunately, this person belongs to a group that basically consigns every one but their group to Hell or at best a “not separated” Christian. Indeed, it is all they know and thus hard for them to make a fair and informed assessment.  It inspired the poem/song above.

If I would still be a part of that group, I would respond harshly. Instead, staying with the symbolism, I would encourage that person and others like them to come out of the shallow end. Five feet is indeed deep if you are in the two foot zone.  ;-)

God is fond of the deep so if I have gone off the deep end then I say Glory to God for I may see things that I never saw before!

Dan_2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

1Co_2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Shalom! Maranatha!!

Strange or Authentic Fire?

February 2, 2016

If you read Dr. MacArthur’s Strange Fire or Charismatic Chaos, you should be a good Berean and read Authentic Fire as well. As Dr. Brown states, Dr. MacArthur has been a great teacher for decades, but on this issue he has been a bit myopic and honestly unfair to lump all Charismatics/Pentecostals together. That is like saying that all Baptists are like Westboro Baptist Church or all Catholic priests are pedophiles.  It’s not true and an unjust assessment.
I have been a Baptist for 40 years serving as a lay worker and in pastoral positions in GARBC, Southern Baptist and Independent Fighting Fundamental Baptist Churches in several states.  I did pretty much what Dr. MacArthur has done. I consigned all tongue speakers to Hell or madness because I had seen only the abuses. Since we believe in Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and forever why do we think the Holy Spirit changed?  Because some theologian told us He did, but I do not see anything in the Word that says He changed.
I am now in an Assembly of God church and spent a few months at a Charismatic/Apostolic Church in Fort Worth where I saw God move and there was no strange or wild fire. God is alive and well and moving among His people where I am a member. Indeed, if you are tired of playing church or knowing God only by rules and rituals come visit Bethel Temple in Cleburne, TX.  I have grown more in the last year than I have in 40 years, but have a long way to go.
I have served with some good men and I am not intending to bash Baptists, but they do have some groups that are nearly as crazy as Westboro that have hurt as many people as the Charismatics MacArthur cites. However, just as not all Baptists are kooks and cultists not all Charismatics abuse the gifts. Remember that the believers in Corinth had all the gifts and were abusing them. Paul chastised the abusers, but did not say the gifts were bad. He encouraged the people to seek the best gifts and to get love for without love the gifts could not be used properly.  There are Baptist tares and Charismatic ones, but do not tear up the wheat with them. We can add the rest of the denominations as well to the list of who has wheat and tares.  No group is exempt from it’s crazies.  Paul said that there must needs be divisions so that the approved would stand which means there would have to be those who are not approved.  Discernment is needed, but as many of my professors would state you don’t toss the baby out with the bath water.
Do I speak in tongues? No and not everyone in a Pentecostal church does as the Scripture says the Spirit dispenses the gifts to whom He will. God asked me if I would let Him be God in my life and I said yes, so now I am seeking to hear Him.  Yes, I heard Him ask it. I am still learning and it has been prophesied that I will speak in tongues one day.  If that came from God then I will and I am willing to accept whatever gift He gives me.  That is a far cry from even five years ago.  Had you told me that I would be in an AOG church, I would have laughed at you.  I guess the laugh is on me, but I am glad of it.

Read Dr. Brown’s book, if you want a balanced view of the subject hearing both sides.  I believe it will be the classic apologetic for the Pentecostal movement.  You may be surprised at some of the people he quotes.  Ask God to show you His truth and let Him be God, not your denominational background.  Let Him deal with the abuses.  Be a Berean!  (Acts 17:11) Shalom!  Maranatha!

Busting False Prophets

January 29, 2016

Read Deuteronomy 13 and 18
Last week someone posted a long prophecy of things that were supposed to happen on the 24th including Tsunamis on the east coast and very devastating disasters. None of it happened though someone tried to defend it with the earthquake in Alaska. Well, earthquakes are fairly normal and it did not create a Tsunami on the east coast, which would have been a miracle in itself.

For most of the world it was a fairly calm day so all the hearings of sonic booms and the other things mentioned in the prophecy were pretty much a dud. Hence, the prophets who predicted all this stuff on the 24th are false prophets and should never be listened to again because the success rate of a true prophet is 100%, not even 99.9%, but 100%.  had they left out the date they could have continued on with an it is coming warning, but they added the date and when that date passed without fulfillment their days a prophet/prophetess were ended.

As New Testament saints, we are not to harm them in any way, but we need to avoid them and pay them no heed as Paul says of heretics in Titus 3:10 and mark them as those who cause division with their errors. (Rom 16:17)  So, if your favorite TV preacher or your pastor speaks a word of prophecy that does not happen you should change channels or pastors and warn others so they do not fall into those traps.  Don’t accept a bunch of dancing around the May pole to explain it differently or some other excuse why it did not go down as prophesied.  The clear word of God says if it didn’t happen, it was not of God and that prophet is false.

Deuteronomy 18:21 And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken?
22 When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.

Does that mean if it came to pass that it is definitely of God?  Not necessarily, it depends on what else that prophet is teaching. If that prophet tells you do things contrary to what God has put in His word then he is leading you away from God to worship a false God or another Jesus in New Testament context.

Deuteronomy 13:1 If there arise among you a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and giveth thee a sign or a wonder,
2 And the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them;
3 Thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams: for the LORD your God proveth you, to know whether ye love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.
4 Ye shall walk after the LORD your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

Many have followed false prophets into fornication, adultery, suicide and many other sins because that person seemed to be speaking for God.  They had charisma and may even have performed some apparent miracles.  Some of those things have been proven to be sleight of hand or illusion. Others may not be easily explained, but remember the Egyptians could imitate Moses’ rod turning into a snake so not all you may see is of God, but rather of the devil who ministers can appear as “ministers of righteousness.”  (2 Cor 11:13-15)

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

See, they did miracles and yet were not of God. They worked iniquity meaning that which is illegal or unrighteous.

Matthew 24:24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

We should not be caught off guard because Jesus warned us that they would come and Paul told us that the mystery of iniquity was already working in his day.  (2 Thessalonians 2:7) John told us to try the spirits because of false prophets. (1 John 4:1)

2 Thessalonians  2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

In these last days, you need to be sure you are saved.  The Anti-Christ will put on a great show and unless you are truly a Christian you will be deceived.  Jesus said those signs would be good enough to almost deceive His people if it were not that He would prevent it.  That is why we must be saved and in tuned with God through the Holy Spirit lest we be deceived by the Wicked One.  Are you saved?  Are you filled with the Spirit to have discernment?  Get saved and be filled for dark and evil days are ahead.  Don’t be deceived!   Shalom!  Maranatha!!!

While I was Ft Jack, a friend and I walked by the display of all 50 state flags and noticed that the TN flag was upside down. Unless you are from TN or have a good friend from there as I do you might not notice it. We informed someone of the error and they corrected it.

From time to time, I have seen the TX flag upside down as well. Someone may have been in a hurry or half asleep or maybe it is a newcomer who has come to love TX and just got a bit confused.

A flag flown upside down is a sign of distress and TX is doin’ mighty fine so we don’t want to send a wrong signal.

I explained to one person how to remember the right way to fly a TX flag. Remember the red as the blood of the saints falling to the ground as their soul soars through the white clouds on their way to glory. That will keep it in the right position. The blue and the star, you might ask? I am glad you asked. The blue represents their fidelity to the bright and shining morning star, Jesus Christ. Rev 22:16

Y’all do it right now, heah?

We are in a time when nearly every day the headlines talk about someone coming out of the closet about their sexual identity or about some skeleton coming out of the closet. Things that were hidden for years are open for all to see and hear. Some of those things should have stayed hidden. People have told me things they should have kept to themselves. Lewis Grizzard has a song about day time shows where people bring things out to the world and he basically says,“Don’t believe I would have told that!” I agree there are some things that just need to kept private. Naked pictures ought not to be taken, but if you do, then don’t put them out on the cloud to be hacked and revealed to the world. Put them on a DVD and lock them in a safe that is bolted to the floor and would take a nuke to open if you just want to remember what you looked like at 20 when you’re 90.

While some things need to be in secret until Judgment Day, there are some times when the closet needs to be emptied and exposed to full daylight. When it comes to sin, it is best to bring it to God to confess it and be cleansed. Hiding it here only fools you as He has seen everything you did and will ever do from eternity past. You cannot hide from God nor can you hide anything from Him. Trying to hide sin in your closet only makes the darkness in you that much stronger even deceiving you that it will never be found out. You may even adjust to the weight of the guilt, but it is still an unnecessary burden you can be relieved from if you just bring it out of the closet to be removed by a merciful and loving God.

Too many Christians keep their Christianity in a small closet. They heed the old admonishment to not discuss religion or politics. Really? The two major things that shape a person’s life are not be discussed? Balderdash! People complained about the Baptists in the early days of this country because every time you met one they had “a Scripture to cast in your teeth.” In a way, that should be said of everyone who knows Christ as Savior. The Bible has the answer to everything so when subjects present themselves we should be able to speak into a person’s or group’s life the answer.

Jesus did not call us to be closet disciples. Indeed, He gives some stern warnings about denying Him. Matthew 10:33 being one of them. James says that faith without works is dead. Keeping your faith to yourself like a Japanese house shrine is not a living faith. Jesus wants to be in your home, but He also told you to go into all the world with Him. Our faith was made to be made public because we are called to evangelize the world and you cannot do that silently.

Admittedly, there have been times from the 1st century until now when it was not very advantageous to be publicly known as a Christian. Indeed, Joseph of Arimathaea was a closet believer until he came forward to claim the body of Christ. Peter denied he knew Jesus when things got sticky. The Disciples did hide until Pentecost. During the days of the Inquisitions, it was not good to be known as a Christian that was not a Roman Catholic. In Nazi Germany, it was good to be a quiet Christian and certainly one that did not hide Jews. Being a Christian in communist countries from Stalin on was very treacherous. Christians in many areas around the world live in a day-to-day brink of death mode. In the USA, it is certainly not popular to be a real or biblical Christian that lives the faith, votes their beliefs and engages in the public forum calling people sinners and naming sins. Warning people about Hell and Jesus being the only way to salvation will not get you invited to many places. Indeed, the media will only want to speak to you to make you look foolish and mock you.

Christ did not call us to a comfortable Christianity. In all those not so convenient times God has called His people to stand up for Him and be the ambassadors and witnesses He saved them to be until He returns or calls them home. Joseph of Arimathaea did come out in public. Peter did repent and when filled with the Holy Spirit he stood before thousands of people boldly preaching the Gospel. Paul’s conversion cost him his position in the religious hierarchy and his resume in 2 Corinthians 11 shows it also caused him great physical abuse. Men like Girolamo Savonarola and many others spoke out during very difficult times and were martyred. Indeed, read “Foxes Book of Martyrs” to see the list of others who “loved not their lives unto the death.” ( ) That book has been updated to include the 21st century. ( ) Only in glory will know all of the martyrs since those days as the number increases every day.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Indeed, the summer and sunshine Christian finds it easy to attend church and praise God, but let things get sticky and they will run off to another church like a bar hopper or quit church completely and either deny their faith when asked or just keep silent. Some people cannot handle a church split or having their feelings hurt. What will they do if persecution like the early church started here in the states? I try to be very compassionate when people tell me they have been hurt in church and that is why they no longer attend. I usually respond with, “Would you like to compare scars?” Thankfully, I have not yet suffered anything like Paul, but for living in Christian America I have experienced some strange abuses in the Church as well as from those who are not believers.

At one job, I had to sit in a parts cage with a headset on while I read my New Testament to drown out the jeers and taunts of my co-workers who claimed to be a part of two different church groups. I had personal property destroyed, harassing pictures placed on my desk and even had my life threatened. At the same time, the pastor of the church I was attending became paranoid and had people spying on my conversations at church and even misquoting me to him causing him to accuse me of heresy.

One night he and three deacons had me backed up against a car accusing me of trying to split the church. Considering the violence I knew was part of two of the Deacon’s testimony I considered that I might get beaten up that night. Fortunately, that did not happen and I left the church. Even after I left the church, he spread rumors about me to pastors around several counties. Two years after I left a Deacon came to my door and asked if I was trying to split the church. I told him I did not have to do that as the pastor was doing a fine job on his own. Add to the bullying and beatings I received in school from teacher and kid alike I think I have graduated at least from the first grade in the school of persecution.

I have had other issues in churches, but I keep going because I go to worship God, learn about Christ and hopefully be used of Jesus to edify the saints and win others to Him. After all, it is not about me. Have I had some good experiences in Church? Absolutely. Yet, God commands us to attend and if I was in an area where the only church was less than ideal, I would be obligated to attend and use my gifts for the benefit of that Body.

Have I ever thought of quitting? Yes, I did drop out for a couple of months, but every window had crosses in the panes, sticks on the ground would be lying together in a Cross format, looking up between two buildings there would be a steeple with a cross on it so I could not escape. Finally, God asked me what was wrong with me and I laid out my list of grievances. Then He asked what He had done to me and I said, “Nothing.” Finally, He asked. “Then why are you taking it out on me?” I replied, “Because I’m stupid.” I returned to Church and while I may change local groups when necessary, I am determined to never quit again. I do not want to be a sunshine or summer Christian.

We are also called to fight the good fight and you cannot do that by staying at home or denying the faith when it looks like it will not go well. One thing I am glad about my Internet ministry is that if Christianity ever becomes illegal there is plenty to convict me. I won’t have any defense. I cannot say that I was involved because my Momma or my wife made me. I can’t say it was just a business network thing or I went because I liked the music or the food.

There are a thousand conspiracy theories running around and I don’t follow them. Some would make a great Sci-Fi or other short story or even a book and a movie, but if they have any facts at all we will never know until something happens. As I have told others that have shared these stories or had fear because of them if they are true there is nothing you can do and if not true you are living in fear for nothing.

Let’s say if they are true, will God not be in the midst of His people? Yes! At worst, we shall die and if we enter into Glory a martyr will that be a bad thing? Indeed, since many have been building with wood, hay and stubble, including me, then that crown may be the only thing that will survive the fire described in I Cor 3:12-15.

Rather than walk in fear maybe we should start a different trend than WWJD. Maybe we should all start wearing yellow crosses with Christian or Christ written on them. Messianic Christians could use Y’shua on a Star of David. If we want to show the Jewish roots of our faith we could put a cross on a Star of David and the word Y’shua. Indeed, there is a worldwide Christian holocaust that we could identify with by wearing one of these symbols.

Jesus/Y’shua has already sealed/marked us with the Holy Spirit. Indeed, if we came out of the closet and submitted ourselves fully to Christ allowing the Holy Spirit to fill us our works would be manifest so that we would stand out. If that would happen we would not need our bumper stickers, our jewelry or bibles on our desks at school or work. Jesus would be seen in us because we would do what Jesus would do and they would still hate Him and us because we are in Him and He in us.

Christian, let’s come out of the closet! First, check to see if your Christianity is real. I grew up with a denominational tag and attended church on and off and if you would have asked me if I were a Christian, I would have said look at my dog tag and besides I am an American. At that time, the majority of people at least claimed Christianity. I was saved at 21 and struggled with switching and getting baptized until God asked, “What do you owe them?” I had to say nothing since I would have went to Hell with that name on my dog tag. No one is born a Christian. Your particular group may have a name and yet is dead like the church at Sardis that Jesus warned. Many founders of old sects would not be welcome in the churches that bear their name or claim them as founder. Indeed, find some sermons or doctrinal books from fifty years ago and see if the teachings are the same. I know they are not in the denomination I was in fifty years ago and certainly not a hundred years ago. Truth does not change.

Are you truly saved? Then come out of the mundane life that you live or the Pharisaical group that you may belong to and have adopted their ways. You may have been born into or raised in that group, but you need to search the Word and be sure there are not more doctrines of men being taught than the rightly divided Word. If all your gig is avoiding the dirty dozen of sins and wearing the right clothes while singing the right music you may be still be Lost or missing out on the blessings of a relationship with God. The group says it preaches grace, but lives under strict rules and constantly on judgmental rants majoring on the exterior but neglecting the weightier things that affect the inner man. Ask God to teach you through the Word and the Spirit and come out of that dark closet of legalism and iron fisted control mess to experience real love and grace.

Indeed, I know what that is like as I spent forty years in such a group thinking we were really the only ones going to Heaven. Fortunately, God started showing me how much was taken out of context or only taken so far to prove a point and not to the full conclusion that would have proven them wrong or condemned as well. Some points of theology when looked at in full context started to look much differently than what was taught.

God sent some people into my life that I was not happy about when they arrived, but God has used them to open my eyes or forced me to see what I had already been kicking against the pricks for some time. I was hearing things from the pulpit that I knew was not true, but I was comfortable and someone considered an authority within the group having served in every office in a church except for treasurer and secretary. I would say that the issues were personal convictions or not major heresy so I hung in there though I was not happy while being a Pharisee yet condemning Pharisees.

Finally, after having prayed that I might be purged and cleansed for His use, a breaking point came and God asked me, “Will you let me be God?” I said yes and went seeking. I have not arrived, but I am happier now than I have been in forty years. I have hope of God truly using me in His power to bring forth more fruit in whatever years I have left than I have had in the last forty years. While I have not hid the fact that I have changed, I have not publicly announced it either so this message is a coming out for me as well. God also told me to exit or make an end so this piece will accomplish that as well.

For a few months, I attended church with my son, but it was a distance issue which makes it hard to serve and get to know people as well. When I moved to my present address four years ago, I found out that my neighbor across from me was an Assembly of God pastor. We had some good chats in the driveway and I shared with him some parts of my journey. I joked with him from time to time that he better be careful or I might be a member of his church. Well, that became official a few months ago.

I no longer identify myself as a Baptist. I am not saying that all Baptists are going to Hell or that they are all bad people. I do think they are missing out on some blessings because of some of their theology. I am also not saying that all Pentecostals/Charismatics are going to Heaven. Matthew 7:21 indicates that fairly strongly. All valid groups have their nut cases and heretics. Jesus said that tares would be planted in the wheat by the enemy hence our need for discernment.

Do I speak in tongues? No, although it has been prophesied that I will and I am OK with that. I have asked God to give me whatever is of Him so what gift he chooses to give or what gift He has already given me that will be fruitful as I seek Him is fine with me. I said that I would let Him be God. Indeed, I heard God more when I was first saved and I think Bible College and some other things put wax in my ears while stealing my joy. Maybe I am embarking on a journey that will restore my first love and I will hear more than I could have ever imagined.

A young Black woman from Long Island, NY told me back in 1998 that I would pastor one of my churches, but would one day pastor a Pentecostal church. I laughed and told her that is highly unlikely. I am not laughing anymore. Being I am 63 and new to this path, it would take a miracle of God for that to happen, but then He still does miracles so whatever He wants from me I want. What does He want from you? Will you come out of whatever closet you are and take a stand for Him? Will you let Him be God and guide you into truth even if you think you are good to go? I pray that you will! Shalom! Maranatha!!!

Who Has Your Ear?

January 16, 2016

Church sign read, “Knowledge Speaks, Wisdom Listens” but if everyone wants to be wise and listens, who’s talking? :-)

Truth is that if all of us would seek wisdom by listening we might just hear the voice of all knowledge; God. The one who spoke throughout the Old Testament and then sent His Son to speak to us about Him and then sent the Holy Spirit to to teach us what was written before and by Christ then those He chose to carry on the conversation after His ascension.  God has had a lot to say over the nearly six thousand years of man’s existence.  Sadly, man heard His voice, but more often than not the majority chose not to heed and not to hear it.  God went silent for four hundred years before He spoke again.

He is still speaking to us today, but we have to take care who we listen to or who has our ear.  After all, in the most pristine conditions of life in Eden we had a liar get the ear of Mother Eve.  Even though she and Adam walked and talked directly with God every day, there was something about the voice of satan that caused her to go with the sound of false wisdom to seek knowledge God wanted to spare mankind from knowing and we have been in sorrow ever since as the devil laughs.

John tells us that there is a mystery of an iniquity and many false prophets were already in the world while the Church was being established and growing.  Two thousand years later and at the end of the age false voices are screaming and are spreading faster than any physical pandemic known to man.   Indeed, we know that the Anti-Christ will come with a more invigorating oratorical skills than Hitler and have lying wonders to back up his claims and would deceive even the very elect if God did not prevent by His voice countering the evil one.  Paul said the false prophets would appear as angels of light.

Therefore while we must seek to hear the voice of God like Mary at His feet we have to take great care lest we hear a different voice from another Jesus made by man under the tutelage of the same one who tutored in Eden bringing about the Fall.  The road that leads to Heaven is narrow because there is only one voice that is giving directions on how to navigate the road for He build it.  My wife once argued with the Garmin and took a different route. We eventually went right by the exit the Garmin suggested.  We only went out of our way and lost a little time by that disagreement, but if we argue with Him we will be eternally out of the way and lose all eternity.

Indeed, as our childhood song says, “O be careful little ears what you hear.  O be careful little ears what you hear. For the Father up above is looking down with love.  O be careful little ears what you hear.”  I have heard much heresy over the years that sounded really good until you listen more closely and do a little research.  Some are easy to pick out and yet people follow the speaker because it speaks to their desires or it seems to meet their deep seated needs.  They will do anything for that kind of voice as we see from Guyana, Waco, the “flirty fishers” group and many more.  Be careful what you hear or you may follow so voice to physical destruction and ultimately spiritual destruction.

If the voice you hear is not matching up with what God has already said in His Word, you are hearing the wrong voice.  God is more concerned about you purity than your prosperity, your holiness more than your health and your position in Him than in your workplace or society.

Rev 2:7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

God has spoken and is speaking and He has said in Revelation and many other passages the need to be able to discern between the many voices in the world.   We teach our kids about stranger danger.  That is true in the spiritual as well as the physical realm.

John 10:5 And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers

John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Who has your ear? Whose voice are you following; Christ’s or a stranger.  Be sure.  Ask for discernment!

“Just because it says Amen, doesn’t mean it’s born again.  Just because it professes faith, doesn’t mean it’s saved.” from a Burris family song.   Remember the tares? Listen well and avoid Hell.


Who Has You Covered?

January 14, 2016

Who Has You Covered?

Isaiah chapter 29 starts with woe, but ends in an awesome WOW! God is speaking to His rebellious children of judgment in the first thirteen verses, but speaks of revival and restoration in the remainder of the chapter. I find it profound that the switch from judgment to blessing starts after verse 13 where God condemns His people for their shallow form of godliness and that the fear they have of Him is not from the heart but by the rote, rituals or precepts of man.

The marvelous work He does starts with dumping all those human precepts by taking out the wisdom of man. He brings His counsel to light and reminds the prophets, seers and the people that He is the potter and they are clay, not the other way around like they have been practicing. They wanted to mold God to their desires not be molded to His desires. They did not think God saw what they were doing or that by lauding their thoughts above His that He would not care or correct them. How wrong we are so much of the time. We forget that the most profound thought that men will ever have will be as if it were the first thought God ever thought in comparison albeit it is likely our most profound thought will most likely be wrong whereas He is never wrong.

Professing ourselves wise we become fools because He is the source of truth and wisdom. Adam and Eve listened to the wrong source and here we are with a mess sometimes beyond comprehension. The reason the world is so bizarre is because we are full of ourselves. We fail to understand that by rejecting the the light and wisdom of God we are left with darkness and deceit from satan. Therefore we need not wonder why it looks like the inmates are running the asylum because to turn from the source of wisdom is insanity. Therefore insanity is rampant from the top down in our world.

That is why those who seek true wisdom are reviled because in the land of the insane the sane will be considered insane. They will reject sane or sound truth/doctrine because it will be foolishness to the foolish for they cannot understand they hate and fight it. Jesus warned about casting pearls before swine for they will turn and rend you.Paul speaks of the inability of the carnal man to understand spiritual things. (I Cor 2:10-16)

Real revival will come when Christians reexamine their faith and return to the Word of God without their cultural, ritual and denomination/non-denominational glasses to find the truth of God from God, by God, the Holy Spirit.

We have had some great teachers/mentors in our life, but they may not have had everything correct because they were taught by humans and humans err. God gave us pastors-teachers, but we need to take great care in who we sit under for many false prophets have been in the world since the 1st Century as John warns in 1 John. Just as the truth got shanghaied and corrupted after the Flood requiring God to send Moses to His people to lay down the Law and then Jesus to also tell people, “you have heard it said..” we need the Holy Spirit to help us discern what people are teaching. I have often told those I have taught to be like the Bereans and search the Scriptures to see if I am right not create a little red book with the thoughts of Pastor Ron. Indeed, if I am wrong bring Scripture, in context, and let’s make sure we are both right rather than leave either one or both of us in ignorance or error.

God rebukes rebukes His people in Isa 30:1 for covering with a covering, but not of His Spirit, which only adds sin to sin. If that was true of them going to Egypt for physical safety, how much more would it be true of those who “have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof” seeking safety in that form? The Pharisees trusted in their genealogy and that they had the Law. Instead of following it without adding to and subtracting from it they had it in their academic mind rather then in their soul. They had a rough time dealing with the Truth when He arrived. If you are like them or the Sadducees who basically believed nothing when Truth shows up you will be doing hard time for eternity. The folks in Matthew 7:21-25 seemed to have a great relationship with Jesus and a fruitful ministry. Yet, they were covering with a covering but not of His Spirit for Jesus said that He NEVER knew them and they ended up in Hell. They had the right lingo, used the right names, but they did not have the right Jesus. They had a Jesus molded in their image.

Isa 29:24 They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.

We live in an age where doctrine is not important to many who name the name of Christ. They are willing to sacrifice truth in the name of unity and yet there can be no unity without truth. Others say doctrine needs to be put aside in the name of love. Can there be real love without truth? Others want to major on experiences and as we saw in Matthew 7 experiences can be deceiving. John wants us to try the spirits. How can we do that if we do not have a solid basis to judge them? That is why God gave us His word in the Scriptures that we might have a sure foundation in a world where people are tossed to and fro by every slight of hand and wind of doctrine.

Therefore we can see the fruit of revival; spiritual understanding and sound doctrine. If we ever had a real Holy Ghost tear down the walls, take names and change lives revival we would see fewer denominations and the end of non-denominationalism. Jesus only has one Bride and one Body and there is only one truth for any given issue. Mark Lowry, at one of his performances, asked if there were people from various denominations there and he also included non-denoms. At the end of the questioning he remarks how wonderful it is that they are all there sitting together in the same building but says you know what this means, “Somebody’s wrong!”

Indeed, many are covering with a covering that is not of God or His Spirit, but if they will seek truth from Him then God will give understanding to those who erred or strayed in spirit and will let the rebelling murmurers learn doctrine to have the right covering of their souls for they shall learn of Jesus and not about some other Jesus and the platitudes and rituals of men. Maranatha!

Root Issues

January 13, 2016

The reason we are not seeing solutions to our national problems is we are only dealing with the symptoms not the root.

The reason we see little or no fruit in our spiritual life is because dealing with the outer man instead of going to the root of the inner man.

The reason we are not conquering in Jesus’ name is because we are fighting the wrong enemy with the wrong weapons therefore we cannot address the root cause of the battle.

The root of our national problems is that we have turned from the God who planted us and made us great to worshiping instead the weed gods of materialism, lust, leisure and pride.

The root of our personal barrenness is that we spend great effort to clean and spit shine our outer appearances, but there is so much inner sin that we are sightless due to the darkness in our souls.  Jesus cares more about the heart, which is the root of our being.

The reason for our spiritual warfare losses is that we see the enemy as sinners, politicians, liberals, etc. thus we fight with harsh statements, ballots and media when the real enemy is satan and his minions that cannot be defeated by carnal means.  It is time to become experts with the spiritual weapons of our warfare using the full armor of God to attack the root of evil if we are to do damage to the evil kingdoms and wickedness in high and low places.

To get back to the roots that made this country, our churches and our people great we must return to the eternal root of all holiness and power, Jesus Christ.

Romans 15:12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

Revelation 5:5 And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

Revelation 22:16 I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and morning star.

Romans 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.

Rev 1:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

He is the root, the eternal root, but He is also the eternal fruit of victory over sin, death, Hell and the real enemy, satan,  Thus we must get back to our roots and calling as Christians and Churches if we ever hope to get the country back to its roots.  Saint, seek your first love!  Dump the junk of this world, including the American dream, and sit at the feet of Jesus so you can hear His call on your life to accomplish His purpose for you.  That is the path to victory here and for rewards there that do not rust, corrupt or are able to be stolen. If your identity is in all those things then you have experienced identity theft for they have robbed you of your identity in Christ.  Let Him restore that in you!  Indeed, He is your eternal LifeLock®

Churches, get back on mission!  You are called to love the sinners and woo them to Christ, not slap them down and stomp all over them!  That includes the fallen and wounded brethren. You called to minister grace, not the coup-de-grâce! You are called to edify the brethren and serve in the name of Jesus not seek earthly fame or power.  Those are the roots of your mission, not building mansions to worship in or house your staff while begging for money or selling trinkets on your TV/radio shows. Money is for the message, ministry and the masses not mausoleums that will burn up with this planet.  The Apostles turned the world upside without of the trappings we demand today.   They were the root ministry that brought forth great fruit.  We need to return to their example and maybe we will see that fruit in us.  Maranatha!!

Don’t Blame Father God!

November 30, 2015

So often in my 63 years I have heard people complain about trauma and drama in their lives and blame God or wonder why He did not do something different in their lives or why He allowed various negative things to come into their lives. I admit I have had some of that in my life as well since I am a human and often as unwise as the rest of the race.

We live in a blame shifting, finger-pointing world where people never accept the responsibility for their actions or bad choices in life. We have become the victim. Once people thought “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” , which while not completely true was far more true than the current, “Woe is me! It’s not my fault.” mentality that is permeating most Western cultures, but is especially pandemic in the US.

When I listen to all the various reasons given by people or various professionals for why crimes were committed or why their life is full of trauma, drama and failure I am amazed at all the stuff I did not do because my childhood was less than idyllic. Indeed, my circumstances were far more negative than positive and much of that I did not originate or have any control over, but still I did not respond in a positive way to all that so there were negatives that were my fault. Had I made more positive decisions regarding the negatives thrown at me I may have had a better childhood than I did.

Could I have overcome all of it by my actions? No, bullies are going to be bullies and people’s assumptions are difficult to overcome, but I chose to sometimes play the game since I was most likely going to get the blame and the suffer the pain anyway. That was wrong. Though at the time, I did not think like this, it would have been better to suffer injustice for the things I did not do than to give the unjust perpetrators reason to believe they were justified in treating me as they did. My teachers and peers are responsible for the wrong done to me unjustly, but I was wrong for my reactions whether I acted those reactions out or held them in as bitterness and anger in my heart. That part was my fault and mine alone.

Many things have fairly easy solutions on the surface. Mad at the government? Vote and vote wisely. Mad at your employer? Get another job. Mad at the town? Move. In a bad relationship? Break it off. In debt? Spend less. You say, that all sounds simple. As I said, on the surface the answers are easy, but there are things that can make them more complex. How long we have been in the problem and the emotional ties with people or things can make it harder to make the positive decisions to correct the negative decisions we made.

Some decisions are impossible to reverse. If you have an incurable STD, it is not going to be turned around unless God does a miracle in your life. You cannot undo that condition. If you were in an accident because you were DUI or a passenger in the vehicle and you lost an arm or incurred some other injury on that level you cannot change it even if you determine to never again drive DWI or get into a car with a drunk driver. You cannot blame God or anyone else for the the STD or the injury, That was your choice and yours alone.

Matthew 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!

God has been trying to keep us from making bad decisions since the Garden. He has give us a book that is an instruction manual on how to navigate through this life. Life was simple in the Garden. One command was all that needed to be followed to keep life perfect. After the Fall, life became more complicated because human nature was doing the same thing as the universe. It was falling apart or degenerating. That degeneration was from the break in fellowship with God and amplified by the enemy of our souls and his minions. We got the knowledge of good and evil and yet we consistently chose evil and even the good we chose was sometimes not for a good reason. We may choose good because it is beneficial to us at the time, but we don’t always see good as beneficial. If we did, the world would be so different even in our fallen state that it would seem like Eden compared to the world and the ways of the world we live in.

God sent prophets and others to mankind. That was showing His love for us and trying to get us back to Him. What happened to those folks? Most of the time they were ignored and often killed as the verse states. God would judge the people for the rejection because they were rejecting Him. It was great to be a minister when then people repented and revival happened, but it was rough being the first boots on the ground to get the revival going. They could not blame God. They made those choices. Sadly, many Gentiles benefited from God’s prophets and blessings instead of His chosen people because the Gentiles had faith and His people did not. Again, that was the choices of the people, not God’s fault.

Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?

Even sadder is that God’s people are often still in that same situation. Now, we are not under law, but grace yet we still suffer from our bad choices. Before the Cross, many could have said, we did not have all the Scriptures, we did not have the Holy Spirit in us and other humanly reasonable excuses as well as not so reasonable. But what is our excuse?

We have the complete Word of God and we have the Holy Spirit in us, if we are truly born again, to guide us into ALL truth which means we have no excuse for our bad decisions that we try to blame on God. Has He not given us all we need in the Word and yet on top of that He gave us the Spirit to help us understand that Word and to help us pray when we ask for wisdom. So why do we call Him, Lord and yet do so many times opposite of what He says and then blame Him for the negative outcome? Why do we neglect to be grateful for all He does do for us and yet fuss when something happens that does not meet our expectations of what we think He should have done in our life? It is simple. We are unwise and to often in the flesh instead of the Spirit.

Too many times we just do not see that what appears to be negative in our life is very positive from the Father’s perspective. God has allowed people to die as a blessing to them. Did we see it as a blessing? No! We were hurt. We grieved, but God knew it was best for the person and maybe even for the family to allow that person to die even if they were what we felt was too young to die.

Most of us are not rich, by the world’s standards, because we get into enough trouble with what we have. If we were rich, we might fall into many more temptations and follies because we could afford it. So many lottery winners are broke within three years and worse off at the end than when they started. If you cannot handle a small budget you will not handle a large one well. We don’t get the promotion because it would go to our heads and we would waste the raise on stuff we do not need. I have heard people talk about how God blessed them with a raise and a bigger house and shortly thereafter they were divorced. I don’t think God works blessings that way.

Honestly look at your life and what has caused most of your drama? It was what you did or didn’t do or who you interacted with or who you did not. It was how you reacted to negativity. It was your failure to grab an opportunity or you grabbed at something you should not have grabbed and now it will not let you go. It was all about you. You never asked your Heavenly Father it was a good thing for you. You exercised your free will and limited knowledge to make the decision and it flopped. The first thing you said was, “Why God??” The time to question Him was before the decision, before the relationship or the reaction. Trust me, I’ve been there. Sometimes it is hard to get to the point where you are willing to own your mistakes and often even harder to own your sin. Hard, but there is no path to freedom until you do own it. It is then you can go to Father God and ask Him to pick up the pieces and for wisdom and direction. It is never His fault for He is omniscience and knew what decision you would make and what road you would walk or run down. The glory and grace of it all is that He is waiting at the end of the trail and in the ashes of that decision to take you in His arms and heal you with His love.

If you are ready to walk away from the drama, trauma and sin, don’t blame the Father. Come to Him! Admit the mess is yours and then ask for His touch of restoration and renewal. If you don’t know Him as Father than come to Him for redemption. His Son Jesus died for you. Call out to Him to save you and He will lead you into the Father’s presence and arms. Then the Holy Spirit will dwell in you to lead you into all truth that will guide and protect you if you heed what He shows you. Are you ready? He has been waiting for you to come. You will be welcomed. Don’t wait! Father loves you and wants to bring you into a relationship like you have never known before and to raise you to levels you never imagined. Don’t let pride or the enemy detain you. That would just be one more bad decision. If you spent a lifetime blaming the Father, it is still time to come home. He knows and He forgives and saves. He wants to be your Abba, Father! Come now! Maranatha!!!!

So Capitalism Is Bad?

November 27, 2015

Coming home from work last night, I heard a preacher tell his congregation that we should be thankful for our finances even when we think there is not much to be thankful for in that area.

He then explained that poverty level in the US is considered making $11,200 dollars a year as an individual.  He also said that if that is what you made you were still in the top 15% of the world’s wealthiest people.

Having spent a year in Thailand, I can testify to real poverty.  A girl working in the rice fields all day at that time would have earned 50 stang (sp?) which was equal to 2.50 cents as a baht had 100 stang.  Little wonder so many women sold themselves as prostitutes for 100 baht or $5 for all night or short time.   Now that the bases have closed they are living off of what they saved or are in deep poverty and pain since they went so long without doing hard manual labor.  Don’t judge them.  If the hard times predicted for the US comes you do not know what you would do to feed your families and maintain life.

Even that is relative, because the cost of things for them is different than for the affluent traveler or perceived wealth of the GI.  I had to explain the difference between USAF stripes and Army stripes because I did not have super baht.  Hence, I learned how to read numbers in Thai so I could see what a Thai would pay for the same item and then we could haggle to a fair price.  Too often we look at a country’s system and compare it to ours and it is not a perfect apple to apple situation.

I have also seen many pictures of people in other countries in worse economic conditions.  I have seen the picture of a vulture near a young girl just waiting for her to die.  That is real poverty.  Our poor are fat and suffer all the diseases of obesity.  People here may not have all they might want, but most have far more than they need.  Are there people suffering here?  Yes, but many of those are doing so because of life choices, not lack of resources.  Many have the resources to get what they need, but instead use them for things they do not need.  Having worked in a rescue mission and a food pantry I can testify to that.  It does get hard to separate the truly needy from the scammers and those who choose to be in poverty.

Our system of welfare does not inspire getting off of it and indeed enables many to choose to stay on it who could get jobs and move on.   If they did that would free up more resources to help those who would work if they could, but cannot.   I think it is great that states are starting to require drug tests or even some requirement to do some work to get food stamps and other aid.  Work is a dirty word for some and so it will not be worth the effort to apply for the benefits.

“For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.” 2 Thessalonians 3:10  Note, it does not say he who cannot work, but he that will not work.

When I worked at the food bank, people came in better vehicles I was driving smelling of smoke and alcohol, the latest Iphone, blue tooth, tats and well dressed to get the $40 of food we supplied and to ask for rent and utility assistance.  I suspect many had a large screen TV and cable. We would ask for their income data and most put zero or very low incomes and we were not allowed to verify that income.  Bad policy, that is.

In the Old Testament, God required the owners of the field to let the poor glean the field after the owner harvested it.  They had to come into the field and actually work to get it.  It was not placed in baskets by the road for them to come by and get it or delivered to them.  They had to work and they had to be content with what was in the field.  They could not ask the owner to plant an acre or so of whatever crop they liked.  We had people come to the food bank with a shopping list and asking for name brand items and get upset if we did not have them.  That is not what is normally donated to the bank.  I was raised to be glad I got what I got and to not complain but be grateful.  It appears that has not been taught lately.

So, I guess Capitalism is not so bad. Our poorest are in the top 15% of the world’s wealthy.  They are fat with the corresponding health issues. We have enough resources to provide for the scammers and lazy.  We enable them to be that way rather than vetting them.  People are trying sneak in here, not break out of here.

The irony is that those who are multi-millionaires are condemning the system that got them to that wealth.  They claim to care about the poor but they would change the system that best provides for the poor and do little themselves with their wealth or power to fix the needs.  Instead, they support policies that would keep the poor in poverty and not lift them out it.  Go figure.  Capitalism is not perfect, but it is not the problem.  It’s naysayers are the problem. There is no better system.