I am not a believer in true ghosts as we think of them in human culture. They are not disembodied souls wandering about because they cannot cross over or are condemned to wander the earth for their sins like Jacob Marley. No loved one comes back from Heaven and no one can come back from Hell. Jesus spoke of this when He spoke of the rich man and Lazarus. Neither the rich man or Lazarus could come back.

If you are having visitations by any spirit whether they say they are a guide or a departed person, including your loved one, you are being deceived by a demon. I believer those who charge you to speak to your dead loved ones are working iniquity dealing with demons who can mimic a voice and know all about your loved one by networking with other demons who knew them. Their speed of networking makes anything we have in the digital world look like smoke signals and tin cans.

Indeed, the ghosts in our lives that torment us, be we believer or unbeliever are demonic harassers doing all they can to steal, kill and destroy our lives or at best our joy and potential You know what I mean. There is that relationship that went badly that you cannot forget or get past. That failure that seems to choke any hope of success in you. Those voices in your head repeating all the things you heard as a kid. “You’re fat or a bean pole!” “Four eyes” You’re ugly!” “You’re stupid!” “You’ll never be any good” “You’re most likely to be in jail or the gutter”, etc.

Those situations haunt you every day of your life. Whenever you attempt a new relationship or career you hear, “You’re a failure! Always have been and always will be! Don’t even attempt it! You’ll just screw up like always!” These are ghosts from the past and can be demonic attacks to rob you of the potential and destiny God has for you. We need to kill them or banish them from our lives.

Philippians 3:

13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,

14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul knew we would never attain all our full potential until we get to Glory for that is the ultimate destiny of all the children of God. Then we shall be completely like Him in all things including the full walk in His resurrection power. It is our duty, calling and joy to reach forth and press toward the mark while we are here.

The past is dead and you cannot raise it to fix anything. Any continued regret for what you did or did not do or pain caused by others to you be it bullying in the physical, emotional, verbal or even in a spiritual form or pain you caused others are just ghosts haunting you. They cannot harm you unless you allow them.

Paul said he had to forget that which was behind if he was going to reach forth and press toward the mark! Even secular Country music understands this. Vince Gill sang “There’s no future in the past. Randy Travis was “diggin’ up bones exhuming things that’s better left alone.” Garth Brooks sang about what hurts a relationship because “we bury the hatchet but leave the handle stickin’ out” if three chords and the truth folks get it then we who are His need to use what He has given us to make the past vanish and banish the haunting ghosts.

Micah 7:19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

When we are saved or repent of our backsliding and return back to Him Micah says that God casts all our sins int the depths of the sea. That means they are buried in the sea. They are dead and gone as far as He is concerned!

Maybe you should write everything down that the haunting thoughts are telling you and take them to the river. Ball it up and throw it in. That is where God has all that stuff. If you are a history buff like me make a little boat, douse it with lighter fluid, put it in the water and light it like the Vikings did and watch the ghosts burn and sink into the water. If you have a list like mine it might be more like an aircraft carrier than a Viking ship. No matter. Light that sucker up and say goodbye once and for all to them and hello to freedom in Christ’s grace and love!!

Romans 6:6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.

Your old man is dead!!!! Ron Shultz, as my high school chums knew him, died April 6, 1975. Is the new man perfect? No, I have often allowed ghosts to haunt me and rob me of my joy and potential. That is not God’s fault. He said I am crucified. Past tense, dead and gone. My body of sin is destroyed! Why, so that we should no longer serve sin. Why do we who are dead struggle with sin? Because we listen to the voices of ghosts and demons who say we are not dead. Just like Eve, they are asking us, “Yea, hath God said?” We sin when we believe the lies based on the dead things, not the truth of God that says we are alive in Him and do not need to sin.

2Corinthians5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Are you in Christ? Are you born again? I don’t mean are you a member of some group or steeped in the traditions of some group. Are you in Him? Have you come to Christ for forgiveness of sins by putting your faith in Him and Him alone for your salvation as the Son of God come in the flesh dying on a Cross to pay for sins and then rising from the dead as proof that the debt was paid? No creed, ritual or rite or denominational/non-denominational group will save you! It is Him and Him alone! Call out to Him and He will answer for He said anyone who comes to Him He would not cast out and whosoever calls upon Him will be saved! Do it now! Kill the hold that the world, flesh and the devil has over you!

If you just did it, I welcome you to the family of God, my brother or sister in Christ!!! Did you do it before this sermon. Good! Now everyone listen! Paul, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said you are new creature! Old things have what? Passed away or are gone and dead! All things are new!!!! Grab that and run with it!!!!

Colossians 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

If that did not make even the staunchest Presbyterian shout Glory, this should! You are dead! I know you are looking good for a dead person. You old man is dead and your new life is hid where? In Christ! Great place to be, but it is even better because He is in God!!! Christ is in God hiding YOU!!! How safe is that????

You really can’t play hide and seek with God because He is omnipresent and omniscient. He knows where you are going to hide before you get there and He is already there when you arrive! On the other side, what He hides you will never find! So where are you hid???? Glory!!!!!! And it is not only your present life, but your past life and your future life is hid because your life is all of that! So the past is dead, He is present in your present and waiting for you in your future!!! What or who has a ghost of a chance to haunt you or darken your future unless you listen to demons, flesh or spirit, that try to get you to believe their lies?

Yes, demons, flesh and spirit. Actually, the fleshly satans/false accusers/slanderers are influenced by the spiritual devils, but their effect on your life can be the same if you allow it. God has said you are dead and your life is hid in Him. Your sins are buried when you are saved and whenever you have to use 1 John 1:9. Do you keep your old bath water for the next bath? No, you let it go down the drain and it is buried in the system. That is what 1 John 1:9 does. It cleans off your confessed sins and even dirt you don’t know you had. Yet, you are still haunted.

The devil doesn’t want you to believe or forget because if you reach forth and press on to your destiny you are a danger to him. Every Christian is a Weapon of Messiah’s Deliverance that has power to destroy the strongholds of the Wizard of Mass Deception. He and his minions know it, but the more he keeps you and I listening to his haunting lies the less we will grasp our authority in Christ and power in the Holy Ghost! He launches attacks everyday against us.

The devil says your sins and stuff are still active holding you back because God does not want to use the likes of you or cannot because of your failures and weakness. Remember, he is a liar and the father of lies. If God has forgotten and buried whatever is haunting you then you need to believe Him to silence the lies.

When the devil and his messengers that sometimes appear as angels of light bring up dead things go immediately go to the Lord and ask Him to send those messengers straight to the pit and allow no replacements. Dr. Laymance says that there is a box the demons do not like to be placed in. I forget what he called it, but ask God to box them up and ship them out.

Ask God to place a hedge of thorns around you to keep that evil one from you based on the blood of Christ! Then Praise God for your forgiveness and salvation through Christ. Call the roll of God’s attributes; His mercy, forgiveness, grace, power, etc! The devil hates a praise fest and the more you mention the blood of Christ that bought you, the Cross and resurrection that defeated the devil the better! He will tire of hearing that ans flee.

Do the same when people remind you of something that is dead and gone! Go to your place of personal worship. You may call it a prayer closet or something else. Just go there and call upon Him who delivered you from all things including the past.

If the person is ranting or swearing in front of you just send a silent prayer up for them because it is pain or demonic influence making them do that. Ask God to save the person’s soul or heal the person if they are saved. Hurt people hurt people.

When they are quiet then softly tell them what they said was correct, if it was, and say that is why you need the love, grace and forgiveness of God through Christ. Ask for their forgiveness. If they give it, be grateful and show your gratitude. If not, continue to pray for them.

If they will allow you, pray and acknowledge before them and God that you hurt this person or what they said about you WAS true and ask God to heal the person or situation. You are not doing it for God, as you have dealt with Him about it and it is buried. You are doing it in humility out of concern for the other person and your relationship with that person. If the Spirit works on them and there is reconciliation, Glory! If not, walk away rejoicing that God has buried that situation and He can and will work with the other person.

You leave the dead with the dead and reach forth Let God make a message out of your mess and a testimony out of your test. After all, He raised the dead and you are in Him so look for the high calling without looking back. The ghosts of your past will ultimately be unheard. Just as a crowd may be waving and yelling as you drive away there comes a time when you are out of range so you cannot hear them even if they keep yelling until you are out of sight. God has banished those ghosts so you do the same. Drive on!

Galatians 2:20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

In closing, we win when we walk in faith. That is nothing mystical. It is just trust. It is what God wanted from the human race from the beginning. The tree in the garden was all about trust. Noah build the ark because he trusted God when he had no real clue about what God was talking about. Those who trusted that looking at a bronze serpent could heal them of a deadly snake bite because God said so were healed by that faith. Israel could only trust God when He said sacrificing animal would get their sins forgiven.

You are saved because you believe in what God said about His Son and His sacrifice. Now, we live by faith that we are dead by crucifixion with Christ. No ghost haunts Christ. He killed the ghosts/demons and they will be eternally dead in the Lake of Fire one day. You are in Him and hid so do not let anything cause you to look back. Forget even the last five minutes. Reach forth and press forward. He has a place for you in the Kingdom as a beloved son or daughter. Indeed, you are a Prince or Princess. Forget that which is behind. Press forward as a Warrior in the Kingdom and allow Him to make you a destroyer of satan’s strongholds! Glory to His name!!! Maranatha!!

John 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Romans 12:14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

After seeing God Is Not Dead 2 today with my sweet wife, Karen Weaver Shultz I think I understand some of the circumstances of my life. Christina Wolfe and I were discussing some of my childhood wackiness and I said I thought it was to prepare me to have more compassion for the weak and abused, but today I think I see a different level.
The world is full of bullies today. Some wear suits and operate in courts and others in various uniforms. Methods are different, but they are still bullies. Persecution starts with bullying and progresses.
I think I have been prepared for such a time as this. I was bullied by teachers and students alike for most of my school days. I survived. I survived a Drill Sgt. I survived being threatened in a government job because of my faith sitting in a tool cage with headsets on to tune out the jeers and curses. I survived for many years in a denomination full of bullies. I have oft stood alone or held the minority position even when it cost me.
We are in the times when we will stand against bullies and at times maybe alone. We need to know what we believe and be able to present a logical and calm apologetic in the face of anger, hatred and abuse. More importantly we need to know who we serve and who we are in Him if we will be victorious in our times of testing and decision. We may lose a battle now and then, but we know who wins in the end.
Bullies do not like to be stood up to and do not want to face the truth that they are the weaker person because all they have is their ability to bully. They have no personal power except fear and coercion. In their youth, they rely upon muscles and mouth. As they age, they manipulate. They often back up when they are challenged because they do not know what to do with someone who has backbone and the power of the truth.
Bullies will fall. These are perilous times, but we know who is in control and who will prevail so stand against the bullies, but stand with truth spoken in love and faith.

This issue has caused me some grief over the years and it is such a petty issue. Yet, some have made it a massive doctrine to be staunchly defended like the Trinity and Substitutionary Atonement. It came up in a discussion of something else tonight so I figured it was a good time to throw it out here.

John 14
2 In my Father’s house are many mansions: if
it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

Why do so many people think that when we get to Heaven we are all going to get antebellum mansions like Tara? Indeed, the New Jerusalem looks more like high rise apartments. To suggest anything other than a 25 room mansion can get you ostracized in some places.

When you look at the Jewish context of John 14:2, what was the practice of the Jewish man when he married his bride? He went to his father’s house and built on to the house a room or maybe two until children arrived and we know from the friend waking up his friend for bread that often the whole family slept in one room so who knows when it would be too much and another room needed?

In our own frontier past there was many houses that only had one floor and at the most two bedrooms. Older children might sleep in the hay loft rather than just building another room.

Looking at the Greek does not show what our concept of a mansion is in this day. House is literally a residence and mansions are places to stay. There is nothing to indicate large homes.


MAN’SION, noun [Latin mansio, from maneo, to dwell.]

1. Any place of residence; a house; a habitation.

Thy mansion wants thee, Adam, rise.

In my Father’s house are many mansions. John 14:2.

2. The house of the lord of a manor.

3. Residence; above.

These poets near our princes sleep,

And in one grave their mansions keep.

MAN’SION, verb intransitive To dwell; to reside. – Webster’s 1828 dictionary

Yes, God as Father is the lord of the manor, but a manor is one house with many rooms not a house with many mansions. Hence, He has the big house and we have a room in that house.

A parsonage hooked to a church is sometimes called a manse. It is attached just as a room for a Jewish couple would be attached to the father’s house.

Think about it. Why do you need a large house? We will not sleep or use the latrine. We don’t need to eat, but we might just eat from the tree of life at the tree and fellowship around it. There is no need for a study, rec room or living room or anything else except for a room no bigger than a prayer closet where we are alone with God and He calls us by the pet name we are given on the white stone He gave us.

Indeed, I think the Borg from Star Trek was what an unbeliever’s view of the New Jerusalem and our unity looked like to him and all the Borg had were charging stations. His view of what kind of abode we will have may be far off or maybe close, but no cigar.

I think many have based their hope and theology in the the old song instead of the old Book. It makes you wonder what they will say to God if they get there and find out it is just a room in a 340 mile high rise apartment. Will they will turn to God and fuss at Him or ask about the accommodations in Hell? I don’t care if He gives me a pup tent on the South 40 as long as I am there with Him.

Tara, room or a pup tent, will you be there? That is the main thing. If you are saved by grace through the shed blood of Christ you will be glad for anything. If you are not saved, it will not matter to you. Hell was not meant to be accommodating. It was meant to be Hell for the devil and his fallen angels. I strongly suggest you book a room in Glory. Jesus loves you and wants you there.

Mansion Over The Hilltop

“Life is too short for fake butter, cheese or people.” – Unknown

If you live with fake long enough. the real will taste bad to you. My wife and I grew up with real butter, but could not afford it when the kids were younger. We were given some real butter and my wife and I did the happy dance. Our kids said, “Yuck!” because all they had was the fake in their lives.

Life is too short for fake Christians and being a fake Christian. You may have been brought up in a fake church or church experience. You may have been brought up in a fake world of atheism, evolution or some other religion. You like it. It is comfortable and makes you feel good, but like margarine. it is fake or a bad copy of real butter.

The world needs real Christians even if being one sometimes causes folks to say yuck because they are quite comfortable in whatever they are eating that they think is real butter. If I would have continued to have real butter my kids would have eventually realized that butter was better and would have lost their taste for the fake. Being real consistently will eventually make people wonder why you are so different.

We are salt and there is salt in butter. It just a creamy way of delivering the salt, which might be something to look at in our witnessing. Sometimes we want to stuff an entire salt block down the throat of someone and wonder why they choke. Maybe we need to use smaller doses of salt and deliver it in a different way that is a tad smoother so they develop a taste for the delivery and ultimately a thrist from the salt.

My wife and I were fake Christians and were happy in our traditions. We were baptized as kids and I could quote the creeds and such, but we were no more Christian than a light pole. We became real Christians in 1975 because we entered into a relationship instead of following a religion.

As a new and real Christian, I did drive people nuts. I was passionate and transparent, but I did need to work on delivery techniques. If I had thought that I needed to hit you with a bat for you to be saved I would gotten the biggest Louisville slugger I could find or maybe two that I would use like nun-chucks making Billy Graham look like an evangelism neophyte.

Sadly, even real Christians sometimes live a fake Christianity. We get used to our worship service and cannot allow others to do it differently. Instead of being compassionate to unbelievers realizing sinners will be sinners just as we are not perfect, we become super critical judges lambasting them every shot we get. We do not reach out to people because Jesus came to save the world, not condemn it. He called us to interact, not overreact. He called us to heal and not hurt people with harsh language. Jesus and the Apostles reserved the strong language for the fake Jews and Christians. If we are living like this we may be real Christians, but living a fake Christianity and the world and we do not need that. The world has seen enough of that and the Body has suffered enough from that disease.
Isaiah 7:15 Butter and honey shall he eat, that he may know to refuse the evil, and choose the good. tar

We need to eat the butter and honey of the Word so we can know to refuse the evil or fake and choose the good. If we are not experiencing or living real butter Christianity we will leave the wold and the Church stuck with only margarine. That is unhealthy for the Body and poison for the world.
If you are not a believer, do not look at fake Christians and make your decision about Christ. If you do not a real one then seek Christ. He is the bread of life. His Word is the butter. Get a good bible and spread that butter on your mind and heart. It may not seem as good as the margarine that you are eating now, but give it time. Keep your mind open and ask God to show you truth. Before long you will find that margarine no longer gives you what you want or desire.

Psalm 34:8 O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in Him.

Brothers and Sisters, you may need to rekindle you love of butter as well if you are eating the margarines of other things that have caused you to live a fake Christianity. Friend, you may have a fake Christianity like my wife and I had before our conversion. Rites rituals and rote memorization is not a relationship. Be saved today or you may find out too late that you were a fake or facade Christian.

It is OK to hit the Bible and compare it to what you have been taught. I don’t care how old your particular sect is as many have made mistakes over the years and some have apostatized where neither Jesus or their founders would be comfortable in that group. My wife and I were in groups that should have led us to salvation based on the teaching of their founders, but something went awry over the years. Trust Jesus and the Word, but always be a Berean and search the Scriptures to see if what you were taught and believe is actually what the Word is teaching.

Psalm 26:2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

1Co_11:28 But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.

2Co_13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Life is too short so let us not be fake Christians or real Christians living a fake Christianity.  Maranatha!!

Whose Beauty Standards?

March 29, 2016

Christian ladies, put down your Cosmo or whatever else you use as a mentor to tell you what beauty is and how you should look. So many ladies try to match those standards and if they do not they are depressed and may do some pretty drastic things to try and achieve the unnecessary. They nay become anorexic, bulimic and use lots of liposuction or plastic to attain a dream. Even beauty contest winners have parts of their bodies they hate or want to change. Maybe it is time to stop the madness and look at a new standard.

Every morning before you do what you do to make yourself fit the mold of your mentor, look into your mirror and say,

I am a child of the King of Kings and I am being transformed into the image of Christ, I am a princess in the kingdom and my Father wants me to do valiant things for Him this day as I am a warrior princess not, a baby doll one.

Psa 45:13 The king’s daughter is all glorious within: her clothing is of wrought gold.

Man looks on the outside, but the Holy Spirit is making me glorious within, which is the true beauty my Father sees when He sees me. I am clothed in the Holy Spirit and His covering is more . valuable than gold and will draw more people to me for a much greater benefit for them and me than all the beauty tips of this world.

Though I will shower this morning I shall never be as clean as my soul is having been washed in the blood of my Savior Jesus Christ. Though my attire may be of this world, it is drab and vain compared to the glorious armor He has provided me.

I am going into battle today, not a beauty contest. I am equipped within and without in a beauty this world cannot attain so I shall not listen to the world, the devil or even myself to tell me I am anything less than His beautiful child!

With this knowledge of who I really am I go forth in His victory to live out my calling to rescue the ones imprisoned by the dragon and to inspire the saints to the same.

I am Saint (your name) and I will be victorious in His power and His glory for He is my strength and I am Kingdom beautiful! There is no greater beauty, I shall do valiantly and win souls while tearing down the strongholds of satan, I am His! Beware lies for the Truth is bringing you down! Amen and Amen!

Before all the non-Christians rejoice over the title and think I am going to lambaste Christian families let me assure you that is not the case. If you are going to grow up in a family then a dedicated Christian home is the best place to be.

When I was newly saved, my pastor and I were having a chat and he said, “I wish I had a testimony like you because I grew up in a Christian home and been a Christian since a child. I told him, “You are lucky I don’t punch you in the nose because I would give my right arm to have your testimony. Jesus saved you from going into the pit. He had to pull me out and you do not have the scars or the memories. Be happy! “ Remember, I was newly saved. I don’t punch preachers in the nose though I did have one that I wanted be a part of the Kung Fu fighting scene with him, but that is another story.😉

While a Christian home living in grace and truth is awesome, it also has its danger. Too often, we rush our children into becoming Christians or some think salvation is handed down like blue eyes and blond hair. Once in Virginia Beach at a Service Men’s center I was talking with a sailor who told me that he was born a Christian. I could not get him to see that he needed to have his own relationship with Christi

Growing up in a Christian home has the danger of this kind of thing more often than we might suppose. When I was a junior in Bible college we had five THB seniors get saved at a conference. These lads were born and raised in good Christian homes. They were schooled in Christian schools from 4K through what was not their fifth year of Bible college. They were about to go out and seek a position as pastors of a Conservative, Bible Believing, KJV toting’ church, yet were as lost as a goose in a hurricane.

Over the years I have heard many similar stories. Men who have been pastors for 30+ years, Sunday School teachers, deacons, and music people getting saved. Serving their hearts out for Jesus and yet not in a true relationship with Him. It is not just Baptists. I grew up a Methodist thinking I was OK because I was baptized as an infant and said a bunch of creeds I did not understand.

My wife was a Lutheran who thought being baptized as an infant was all she needed. I never heard about Wesley riding a quarter of a million miles on horseback preaching you must be born again. My wife never heard the solas of Luther. All we had were tradition, creeds and rituals. Many folks from those groups and others have had issues with being good church members but not saved.

The most glaring story was when a lady told me she was a Lutheran and I replied then you believe what Luther said about sola fide and sola scriptura? She said, “Martin Luther King?” Some preachers have failed to to do their job and that is putting it mildly.

Many knew all the right words, hand shakes, routines and rules, yet they were religious but lost because they had learned everything as a child. Did they go forward to be saved to please parents or grandparents? Did their buddy go so they went with him and said the prayer he did? Maybe the buddy was saved because he was under conviction of the Spirit, but he was not as he was just mimicking what he heard. My theologians friends could militate against everything under the sun, but did not know the Son.

We need to make sure our children truly understand what salvation is all about and that they are truly saved or we make them twice the “child of Hell” we were before we were saved by inoculating them with facts not truly mixed with faith making them resist Holy Spirit conviction to be saved. They may think it is just the devil trying to make them doubt their salvation. He does do that, but in their case it is the Spirit trying to keep them from “ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (2 Timothy 3:7, Hebrews 4:2)

Do I write this to scare you and cause you to doubt? Yes, and I am unapologetic. There is an obvious dearth of true Christianity in the West and Europe as seen in the Word. I believe it because there is dearth of true Christians and a plethora of ethnic, traditional and misguided people who think they are Christians and not truly born again.

We have too many who grew up with the wrong idea of what Christianity is supposed to be about and hence the mess we see around us. Christian has become a diluted and polluted word. There is no Left and Right in Christianity because we are all supposed to be Ambassadors of His Kingdom and He is not a yea and nay God or a buffet of conflicting ideas. There is only one truth for any issue though that truth may have many applications. He is a God of grace and truth. Neither concept exists properly without the other. Indeed, we can add love and call it a trinity as you cannot have love, grace or truth alone and be right. They are inseparable. We are called to all speak the same thing and not be divided. That fact that there are divisions and opinions shows we are not listening to the Spirit who would unite us around truth as that is part of His mission to lead us into all truth. That is why so many are lost in the Church and cannot reach the lost outside it.

2 Peter 1:10 Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

Should you question your salvation? Yes, even if you have been a Christian for fifty years. Better to question and make your calling and election sure than be sure because you were “born a Christian”, raised in a Christian home, said a prayer, completed all the rituals and requirements and end up in Hell. Remember, “Christian” leaders who preached around the world and did many marvelous works and even miracles will be in Hell. (Matthew 7:21-25)

2 Corinthians_13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

Some of us who think they need to run the church and resist everything the pastor or board does need to examine themselves. No man or board is perfect but if you have roast preacher and board every time you can there is a good chance you are not saved. Yes, Paul had to fuss at Peter and some pastors are lost, but watch your heart and examine yourselves to see if the Holy Spirit is speaking to you or the flesh and the enemy.

Besides checking for our salvation, we should also examine ourselves to see if the Spirit is really working in us or have we grieved, quenched and resisted Him trying to transform us into the image of Christ. If you are in the faith, then the Spirit should be witnessing to you that you are a child of God and there should be some evidence of His fruit in you. We too often clean to 1 John 1:9 instead of seeking to allow the Spirit to lead us into where He wants us be walking in faith and holiness.

So, Brethren, are you really Brethren? Being raised in a Christian is awesome, but avoid the danger of complacency and false trust. Even if you have had what you consider a Damascus road experience it will not hurt to examine yourself and make your calling sure. At death, it is too late. Maranatha!!

Number 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?
If you know that God had promised you something you can count on it. If God gave you a vision/mission/calling it will come about if you trust Him for the timing and how it ultimately looks. if you rush it and mold it according your image and not His you cannot blame Him if it fails or is not as joyous and fruitful as you hoped.
If you know He gave it and you are to let Him shape the promise or vision then hold on to it even though it seems to be not soon coming. Don’t lose the hope/trust you had when He gave it. Hold on to it through Hell and high water for He has conquered Hell and He controls the waves. No devil in Hell can keep it from coming to pass. All it requires is your trust in the God that cannot lie. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?
When it is as dark and turbulent as the perfect storm heed the song that says, “just be held.” You are not holding on to Him because your fingers would tire and let loose. He is holding on to you and no one, not even you, can pluck you out of His grasp!
So when people or the devil try to steal the promise from you, smile and say God said it and it shall to pass. They can only harass they cannot change the will of God for you.
Stand strong!
Numbers 6:
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

During my meditation and prayer time it came to me that I am not retired, I am in full time ministry! Not in a paying position, but certainly in position for having a rewarding life that is more than pay.

Most of my life, I have been bi-vocational and ministered without pay. The nutty thing about that though is it hurt me when I would seek a vocational ministry. I asked a friend once to tell me what was wrong with my resume or me. His reply was that I did not have enough titles and no vocational salary. Sounds a bit like secular logic. You don’t have enough experience, but how do you get the experience if no one will hire you to get it. I can’t minister to you because I did not have a large salary history, but how do you get that if no one will give you a ministry opportunity with a salary or give you titles?

I figured lack of titles while doing the work would show I am not in ministry for an ego trip. Lack of salary I thought would show I was not in it for filthy lucre’s sake. Silly me. Funny, how we fuss about ministers who have huge salaries, but we look at past salaries to call a pastor. Oy! I think I freaked one church out when I told them that I would come for 10K less and they could use that money to pay off the mortgage. Never heard from them again after that. They probably thought I was crazy or something else was wrong me as no one considers a lower salary.😉

The up side of that is that no one could say I was in it for money. Even with the few times I received some compensation, I probably lost more money in ministry than I earned from a secular perspective. Indeed, I have given away more of my books than I have sold. Yet, I have always been taken care of so I could do ministry with or without title or salary and that has its advantages as well.

I have seen and heard some crazy things in ministry. Without a salary certainly freed me from folks who think they own a pastor and hold “firing” over his head if he should upset the board, the ladies or whoever. I could preach what I saw as truth and my feelings might be hurt if they ran me off, but my family would not be in trouble financially.
Thus, I think God was preparing me the last forty years for full-time ministry by providing the finances to allow me to retire and be dependent upon Him for what ministry I can do without having to cater to board and congregational whims that may not have any biblical basis, but satisfies their flesh.
Also, I am not limited to any particular position. There are many types of ministries at my church and I am participating in as many as I can. I have my internet ministry which has several forms. I can reach out to other folks as well through my PC skills. I am trying to get a Veteran Peer Support group started. I serve my community through Citizens on Patrol and I’m open to whatever God puts in my path.
Now, some might think I am tooting my horn here, but actually I am trying to inspire everyone, but especially retired folks, to ask God what they can do now that they are able to be in full time ministry rather than just sucking air and eating groceries waiting for the undertaker or the Rapture.
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Pastor Mike Mizell spoke on this passage last night. These dudes all had major issues. None of them would have been people we would have called to do the mission God called them to do. Their resume would have went in the round file. Yet, God did call and use them. These lads prove that there is plenty of room for us.
You can do what you are willing to do and what God wants you to do regardless of education, age, approval of men, financial situations, etc. Health issues only mean you serve in a different capacity than a healthy person.
Do not feel worthy? OK, that attitude can be used far more than thinking you are all that and a bag chips with God lucky to have you. I say this with all honesty, if serving Him had anything to do with my worthiness then my only course of action would be to sit on the back porch sipping tea because I am not worthy of anything I have, especially my wife, or worthy to have done any ministry I have ever done even taking offering or cleaning the church. For years I said in all sincerity that the only reason that I am the Assistant Chief of Sinners is because Paul already took the Chief slot. We are all unworthy, but God said He loves us knowing all our junk, even junk we do not know we have or junk we forgot. Thus He uses imperfect people. Failed? All God has to use are failures as there are no perfect people.
I am afraid we look too much at the super stars or at least so called super stars in the church. We may well be very shocked with some of the folks who get the most crowns and whose lives have the least wood, hay and stubble are people in the background that we never even knew that made the preachers and the worship team more fruitful then they would have been had these people not prayed. The prayers of a child, a blue haired man or woman or that person with the disability that may have affected his/her mind, but his/her spirit was in better communion with God than one of our ministry heroes.

Ask God to show you what He wants to do through you. If He can use me, He can double use you. I have been the one who was not often chosen by men, but like the lads in Hebrews, He used a weak, weak vessel named Ron. Look up and let Him use you!!! Shalom! Maranatha!!!!


March 18, 2016

Tradition? During these holy days, many will be following traditions of men. Some can be dangerous as they can lead people away from the true Gospel. Others muddy the message taking the focus off of Christ.
Mark 7:8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
Jesus was not a big fan of men’s traditions, but very strong on the commandments of God. So many of men’s traditions are just a mess that should be removed from God’s people. Ah, but who can fight with tradition? Indeed, for some it is blasphemy to even suggest that something that is traditional might be an error or just a thing no one even understands why they do it. It is tradition and how dare you try and challenge me to think! Oy!
2Thessalonians 2:15 Therefore, brethren, stand fast, and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word, or our epistle.
Traditions or doctrines and practices that are based upon Scripture is another story. If what we do comes straight from Scripture like how and why to baptize or why we have the Lord’s Supper then those traditions are forever. Man did not come up with those and things like them. They came from God.
We have dumped many things that God said we should do throughout the NT as well as doing things we should not because “times have changed” but He does not change so we may be in for a big surprise at the BEMA. Culture changes all the time, but we are to be following the culture of the Kingdom, not the culture of the World.
How I work it out for me is if tradition is truth, treasure it. If tradition is just tradition, trash it. If in doubt, throw it out or seek Scripture and the Holy Spirit to figure it out. If we did this, it would be amazing the changes that would happen in the Body of Christ!
שלי עבור משיחית האחים והאחיות שלי אני מאחל לכם שמחה ושטח פסח לא שמחים פסחא. אתה צודק. הוא כבש הפסח. חן עם שלום יהיה לכם תמיד!

For 40 years, I was a cessationist.Baptist and used this passage as one of my proof texts. Unfortunately, we forgot to follow one of our basic rules for interpretation. In college, they stressed context, context, context. We have taken verse ten out of context.
1Co 13:8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.
9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
10 But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
11 When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.
12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
13 And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Verse 10 tells us when all the things mentioned will pass away or fail. “When that which is perfect shall come.” Left alone without verse 12 we might well surmise that which is perfect is a thing. Thus our thought that the Bible being completed with the writings of the New Testament was that which was perfect or complete.
However, when you look at verse 12 as a continuation of the topic we see that really that which is perfect is a time frame . We still look through a glass darkly and know in part, which ties back to verse 9. If that which is perfect has come we should no longer know in part. We should know absolutely everything. Seeing we have too many groups of Christians with various beliefs we are obviously not at the time when we will know everything and we will all speak the same thing and are undivided.
1Co_1:10 Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
That which is perfect will not happen until the end of the Millennium when all things are fulfilled and eternity begins. If you were to debate that it happens at the Second Coming, I would concede that it is a possibility, but since there is a 1000 years where we will see Christ on the throne and actively ruling the World in our presence I would submit there may be many things still to learn in that time period. Nonetheless, that time is not now and has not been for the last 2000 years.

Indeed, we still know in part as even in my Bible college I heard various interpretations of a Scripture passage or verse.  Thus even if prophesy is only speaking the Word we are definitely prophesying in part because there are parts of the Scripture that are not yet fulfilled so we have to say it could mean, might mean as we do not know exactly how they will play out in detail.  If perfection had come with the final NT Book being written we would know exactly how everything is going to come together.

At the end of the Millennium prophecies will fail because they will no longer be needed. Everything will then be fulfilled.  Tongues will cease for we will all speak the same language.  Knowledge, as we know it, will vanish because all things will have been revealed and our theologies corrected.  We shall then have our dark glass will removed and we will see face to face.   We will be full grown saints of God and the things we needed in our childhood will no longer be needed. Love will never fail because eternity will be all about God’s love for us and our perfected love for Him.  Faith will exist forever because it means trust and we will still be trusting in Him forever.  Hope or anticipation will survive because we will be anticipating what glorious thing will He do or do for us each “day” of eternity.

Thus cessationists have missed out on many blessings and the power of God in their life due to unbelief and oops theology.  Yes, we do not seek the “showy” gifts or miracles, but rather look to Jesus and let the Holy Spirit dispense the gifts as He chooses.  That doesn’t mean we can tell Him what to dispense or when He can or cannot do that.  He is God.

We believe that God said. “I am the Lord, I change not.” We believe in “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today and forever” yet we believe that somehow the Holy Spirit’s mission has changed because we have a finished Bible.  The Bible does not halter or hobble the Holy Spirit, but He will not do anything contrary to the Bible since He had an integral part in writing it.  Not everyone has the same gift and just because you don’t have something don’t deny the Spirit the right to give it to someone else.

Are there fakes out there?  Absolutely!  There are crazy people out there.  That is why you need to try the spirits as John commanded. Jesus tells us that there will be people who did all sorts of things in His name that He never knew and we know that the Anti-Christ will come with lying wonders that are so good that it were possible it would deceive the very elect.  The elect are not deceived because they know the real deal and have discernment by the Holy Spirit.  Don’t let fakes rob you of the real treasure.

I like how Todd White said it. “It’s God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, not God the Father, God the Son and God the Bible.  Without the Holy Spirit you have a closed Bible.  Baptists and other have allowed the Holy Spirit to partially open the Bible to them, but have not allowed Him to open the whole Bible in their lives.

We are no way living in a world made perfect.  What gifts do we not need today?  Doctors have  taken bits and pieces out of our body thinking they are not really needed and fortunately we survive without tonsils and gall bladders, but God put them there for a reason.  The Fall created the problems where they are diseased and need removed.

God gave the gifts to His Body and He does not take them out because He wants the Body completely functioning for His glory.  Cessationists have been playing doctor and telling the Body that something is wrong with various gifts.  Yes, the Body has survived without welcoming and using some of these gifts, but they were given the we might thrive, not just survive.

What gift do we not need if God gave the gifts?  Do we need healed?  Yes!  Would being able to tell a person what illness they have and then heal them make them listen to the Gospel?  Yes!  Would a person who despairs that God loves them be encouraged if we could tell them something about their sin or hurt  as we pray for them knowing that He revealed their issue to us?  Would being able to speak to a foreign atheist in their own language spontaneously get their attention?  Yes.  Would the healing and speaking their language be a miracle?  Yes.  Would these gifts help people to find the truth and not just trust in rituals or the teachings of men?  Yes. Did Paul say that he came to the preach the word not just in word but in power?  YES!  Did not D. L. Moody have a new experience with God after salvation and even preaching that changed his ministry and put power in his messages so he could win a million souls to Christ?  Yes.  Did Hudson Taylor experience years after conversion what he called the “exchanged life” that changed his ministry?  Yes  Do you think you might need such an experience in your life?  I do and I am seeking it.  Call it what you will, “exchanged life”, second blessing, baptism or filling of the Spirit, but the Body needs it especially at this late dark hour in history.

Are you saved if you don’t have some of the gifts or experienced what Moody and Taylor did?  Yes, salvation comes by faith and faith alone.  Yet, God wants us to be lights on a hill not passengers at the station waiting for the Glory bound train.  We are more than conquerors through Him, but we cower and hide like we are defeated behind our church doors.  Todd said, “The Rapture is not a rescue mission.  It is a pickup for the wedding.”

Maybe we need to allow the Holy Spirit to be who He is and not tell Him what He can and cannot do thus quenching, grieving and even resisting Him in our life.  When is the last time you heard Him?  Did you feel a tug to witness or to walk over and offer to pray for someone or give a word of encouragement and you didn’t do it?   You resisted, quenched and grieved Him.  If you resisted these little things it is unlikely you will see Him work in mighty or miraculous ways in your life.

In your own words, tell Him that you are sorry that you have resisted, quenched and grieved Him.  Repent of not letting God be God in your life by allowing the Spirit to move freely in your life so that He can make you like Christ and take you where Christ wants to go in you to do what He wants through you.  You ARE the light upon a hill and the salt of the earth so surrender to God, the Holy Spirit in your walk as your surrendered to God the Father, God the Son and the God the Holy Spirit when you were saved.   Shalom!  Maranatha!