September 17, 2016
I wrote this back in October of 2003, but nothing changed except names and places have been added to the list. My premise is still the same. I would say much of my last sentence has come to pass.
I am as appalled at the murders at Jonesboro as anybody, but I am not ready to accept the judgment of the Media/Liberal Left as to the cause of this tragedy. I listened as the gun toting Southern culture was named the reason for this and that a child is the product of his environment. I am very accustomed to Southern bashing by the media. It is as common as the cold. The West is catching the flack also. After all, they are just as terrible as the South. They only trail us by 10% in the number of gun owners while the righteous North only has 23% of their population that are crazy.
They mentioned that ever since the War of Northern Aggression (not their phraseology, but more accurate), the South has revered the soldier. In this society, it is refreshing that anyone has respect for the soldier. Yes, there is a long legacy of exercising our constitutional right to keep and bear arms in this country. This fact established I find it interesting that untold numbers of Southern (as well as Northern and Western) fathers have trained their sons to hunt. Those sons grew up to fight our country’s wars and in turned have trained their sons to do the same. They held down jobs, raised families and used their weapons for their proper purpose. In the old days, men like this would have been considered fine citizens and patriots. Now, they are just part of the vast right wing conspiracy and the cause for all the woes of the nation.
I was in boot camp with a lad from Alaska. Alaska is not Southern or Western. He had been hunting since he was able to hold a rifle. Our first time at the firing range, he placed sixty out of sixty shots in the head of the target. He had never shot anyone in his school. Why not? Murder was not in his heart. Hence my premise that it is the son, not the gun.
A pistol or a rifle is a weapon of self-defense, a tool to teach responsibility to hearth and country, a tool to teach discipline and a means of self-defense. The police do a fine and often unappreciated job, but they cannot be everywhere. As much as ever, today’s citizen needs to be armed.
Murder stops when you remove it from the heart. Take away one weapon and a murderous heart will find another. A toothbrush with a whittled handle is a weapon. The six-inch pair of scissors in my office is a weapon. Well, not exactly. It is a tool, but I can misuse the tool and make it a weapon if murderous thoughts enter my heart and I enact those thoughts.
What do we do about a razor? We recently had an area youth use a razor as a weapon of self-harm and when others sought to stop him; he turned it into a weapon to harm them. I guess we need to ban razors, scissors, knives, and tooth brushes. A surgeon’s scalpel or one of their other tools kills more children than any other means and we have legalized those weapons of death because they save lives in the right hands when use for the right purposes. Guns are the same.
The boys in Jonesboro had murder in their hearts. Had there been no guns, they might have stolen some dynamite that farmers keep around for stump removal. In that case, the loss of life could have been much greater. I am sure that there were other methods, but I am not one to figure out ways to kill people. I am amazed at the things that Hollywood comes up with in movies that would have never crossed my mind.
While we are on that subject, let’s deal with the issue that children are a product of their environment. If we were all sheltered like the days before television and movies, maybe we would not have copy cat crimes so close together. News did not travel as fast and we did not have extremely detailed coverage of every gory murder broadcast and rebroadcast so that troubled people could get the facts down well so that they can imitate the crime. Yes, the press must remain free, but I think it could be handled in a much more discrete way than it is now.
I said that I am not one to sit around and figure out ways to maim and murder people. Hollywood has plenty of script writers for that. I can remember when the Lone Ranger, Zorro, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne never killed anyone. At worst, they winged them, but normally shot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand and then boxed/wrestled them into submission and jail.
Now good and bad guys alike blow off heads, arms, etc with flows of blood and parts in digitized full gore color. In many movies, it is getting hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Both have the same habits, attitudes and ability to kill and then go out for a drink or a woman as if they had just squashed a mosquito. There are no morals to any of the stories anymore. It is just senseless killing and sex. I just can’t imagine why a child might not be as sensitive or hold a proper sense of the value of life. Hollywood and the music industry spend millions on vivid visual and verbal imagery to earn millions glorifying gangsters and their lifestyles. Yep, the child is a product of his environment.
Oh yes, is it not interesting that since the coming of Dr. Spock, the removal of God from the classrooms and the teaching of evolution as fact instead of a poorly formulated and unsubstantiated theory that kids have gone ape? After all, that is what we teach them. They are high tech apes that make their own ethics as they go to suit their personal situations which means that God is dead or you are a god. Gods have the power of life and death. If a god decides that it is right for you to die then you die. Video role games abound where the player is a demon or god with vast powers to torture or destroy their enemy. Studies have shown that men exposed to pornography become desensitized to rape. Any wonder why our children are desensitized to violence? We have given our children such a great environment since 1965.
Parents, I do not leave you off the hook. With all the trash out there your job is much harder, but you must still do your job. You must resist the temptation to consider raising your children properly equating to providing more material things for them. What they need more than ever is your time and attention. When you spend sixty to seventy hours a week to provide them the toys and gadgets of this age you are telling them that the toys are the priorities of life. He who dies with the most toys loses most often his soul. The soul is priceless. Your children are priceless and will survive not having all the toys, but they cannot survive losing your love and time.
Having said that, we must pass the ultimate responsibility back to the individual, whether child or adult. I am a strong believer in a free will. Families, Church, and Society has failed many children over the years, but those children exercised their free will and found faith and strength to overcome those deficits and become men and women of character and brought values to the ones who have failed them. I may be forced to grow up in a cesspool of ignorance and walk through the sewer of an immoral society, but no one can stop me from showering if I really want to be clean. The choice to remain dirty is mine.
These children chose to murder other children and the heroic teacher. They must then be tried as adults. In Hebraic culture and some Christian sects, the age of adulthood is twelve. In other sects, there is the age of accountability that means whenever you know right from wrong and you choose to do wrong then you are held accountable before God. I cannot believe that these children did not know right from wrong. I find it hard to believe that they would think that it was OK or just a game to shoot people down in cold blood. My heart grieves with the parents and loved ones of the victims and of the boys. I cannot imagine the grief of the boys’ family. I can imagine that of the victims’ families.
These children had murder in their heart and it matured them beyond their years and they have committed an adult crime. I do not know who may have failed them, if anyone. They may have had all the love of their family and the Church. Their society may have been trying to help them all that it could. Nevertheless, they chose to kill. It was premeditated. It was not children playing with a weapon and by happenstance discharged a round into a crowd. The victims were picked off like squirrels or quail. The boys went to kill and they killed. That is an adult choice. It requires an adult sentence. I would vote for the death penalty. These boys and the ones in Kentucky and Mississippi should be executed. I do not say that lightly. I have children and grandchildren and the thought of a child on the electric chair is anathema to me emotionally. I have no desire for anyone to die uselessly or needlessly, but these murders cannot be dismissed without justice.
I believe that our society is a breeding ground for this type of thing. While we must reap what we have sown, we must still seek to prevent the spread of the disease. I pray that we would someday return to the truth that will prevent the disease and use it to heal those that are infected before they become rabid and must be destroyed. No, it is not the gun. It is the son. Unless we return our country to the Son we will all one day lose everything to much worse than a gun. God help us!!
September 17, 2016
September 4, 2016
A. W. Tozer Sermon: I Choose To Worship
Explains why there are so many churches started when there are already sound churches in a town. Someone has a new gimmick or new “twist” on a passage or a man can’t find a church to call him as pastor so he starts one. It is church based on the consumer as well. If you disagree with something, keep looking, you will find a church to agree with you or condone something you know is wrong, but you wanted your pastor to agree it was OK. You can truly find the church of your choice even if it is not the church of His choice.
I was often asked why I did not start a church. I replied that I don’t want a church of Shultzites. There are more buildings then are necessary now so I see no reason to start a new one as some need to be closed. It is better to seek God’s renewal of what is in place than to start a new church started by man and not God.
If Paul were writing Scripture today a book might start “To the Church at Cleburne/or your town, not to the churches. Rarely is a church split of God. It is normally a flesh thing. Yes, a denomination can be taken over by heretics and that is when the righteous need to pull out and establish a fellowship based on the Word, but if there is a sound fellowship in the area then they need to join that one. O, that Baptists would take this to heart, but there are many others as well.
We are to be one so there should be more church mergers than splits especially as we see the day of His returning nearing and the forces of evil intensifying their activity. There is strength in unity as long as that unity is based upon truth and not unity in spite of the absence of truth. Imagine the power we might see if we returned to seeking His will and His kingdom’s purpose rather than our petty human whims and wishes.
If we merged, it might be possible to have services for all shifts, seven days a week with the extra manpower, not to mention to have more funds for missions and the masses since we are not supporting nearly empty buildings. All those services would make it harder for someone to say they are working on the days we have worship or coming off third shift. In fact, since Paul did say we should be meeting more as the day approaches, that would be a fitting response to his exhortation/commandment. Just sayin’.
August 30, 2016
August 28, 2016
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
August 27, 2016
August 26, 2016
Dear single men, please advise your fiancée that she will not be getting a diamond because there are so many fake stones that look like diamonds that you want no part of that mess and you are sure that such a logical woman as she is that she would not want to participate in such an endeavor.
Ha! I cannot imagine that would go over very well. She would STRONGLY encourage you to investigate and be sure you come to her with a real one because they do exist be there 10,000 fakes or more. LOVE would be sure to get a real one.
In the same sense, just because there are many fakes seeming to have the gifts of the Spirit or others that are abusing the gifts does not mean that the gifts are not real or not for today. God’s love will be sure you get the real thing if you seek Him for it. (Luke 11:9-13)
1 John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
John admits that there are false prophets, but we know John was real. The Corinthian church had all the gifts and terribly misused them for their own pride, but the gifts were real. What did they have in the 1st Century that we do not have today? People were sick, demon possessed, lost unbelieving people and people sending out fake letters as if they came from Paul. We have all of these in some shape or form and then some.
Is it really reasonable that God, the Father, who changes not and Jesus, the same, yesterday and forever who has all power would send the Holy Ghost with His power and gifts for a season leaving the Church to fend for itself throughout the centuries, especially in the last days?
Act 2:38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Is the Lord still calling people to salvation and giving them the gift of the Holy Ghost? If He gives the Holy Ghost, is He only giving us a percentage of His power and gifts? Has God had to cut back on the Holy Ghost’s power due to a lack of resources? Has He needed to downsize?
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.
Now, would you not think the elect had experience with the real so that they could identify the false? Even our Treasury agents only study genuine money so they can quickly identify a fake. Moses had no trouble taking down the false miracle Pharaoh’s magicians came up with because he had the real deal.
Mat 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.
There will be people deceived and think they are doing things by the power of God and will find that they are are not, but that does not rule out people having the true gifts and the real abilities these folks thought they had.
Maybe my cessationist friends have missed the boat. After forty years of being one, I am having to rethink my theology. Indeed, as I look at some Scriptures and one keynote one we used, I really believe we erred and missed the power and abundance we were promised.
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.
Much of my cessationist theology rested upon this passage. Does it not say that tongues shall cease? Greek scholars would tell you that indeed it is a ceasing in and of itself. OK, but when does that happen? Many say that tongues and the sign gifts ceased when the canon of Scripture was completed. Well, then if all the things that are in part are done away when that which is perfect or complete is come why do we still preach since we have the canon of Scripture?
We say that preaching is the forth-telling of the Word versus foretelling like the ancient prophets and the Apostles did. Well, if the canon is what is spoken of in this passage then all prophesy whether forth telling or foretelling should cease. No scholar would ever suggest that the canon ended that part of what is in part and that we should stop preaching. .
Knowledge shall vanish away. I agree that sometimes it seems like knowledge is almost totally absent from our society, but in reality we have greatly increased our knowledge and we are still seeking and gaining knowledge. Indeed, with all we know we realize how much more we still not know so knowledge has not vanished since the canon was completed. All of our knowledge will vanish away when we stand before the omniscient One and we receive true knowledge at a level we cannot now comprehend.
We are still children and until we are glorified we will stay children in the big picture. We will mature if we walk with God and grow in the knowledge of Him, but we will not be full grown until this flesh is put away. We call our teenagers children even though they have far more knowledge than a toddler for though they know a great deal they still only know in part and will learn much more before they die. We are still seeing through a veil or flesh or a poor mirror of who we are and who God is, but when we are there with Him face to face we will see clearly. We will know Him as He knows us. That day has not yet come even though the canon has been complete for two thousand years. When that day comes we will put away the childish things we have in this life and will take on the things of full grown redeemed men.
So that which is perfect has not yet come and indeed the Millennium is not the perfect or complete plan of God. Yet, many of the things we are experiencing in the Church will change and so many of the gifts may pass away then since we will be in the presence of Christ on the throne. Until that day or after the last day of the Millennium we can safely say that which is perfect or complete has not yet come.
Therefore, we can expect the Holy Spirit to act in the same way as He did in the first century. He is still convicting the world, sealing the believer until the day of redemption and dispensing gifts to the Body. Since that is all the same, it is not unreasonable to expect the gifts to stay the same because the needs are the same.
Truly, in every generation, the Church needs to be established in the hearts and minds of the people. We are surrounded on every side by the enemies of God, who have their own message, but also come at times as angels of light using the name Christian, but have another gospel. Paul said that there must needs be divisions among us that the approved may stand out. The gifts are what has us stand out from the other religions and also the cults.
Paul said that he came to preach, not only in word, but in power so that our faith did not rest in enticing words, but the power of God. He also warned that there would be those who had a form of godliness, but denied the power thereof. That power is in the gospel and that gospel was preached in power of the Spirit and the preachers exercised the gifts and the gifts were given to the saved. Why would that change? Are cessationists denying the power when they limit what the Spirit can do and what He can give? It seems to be that way. Many denominations have apostatized from the truth and have a form of godliness in that they use the bible, terms and symbols, but deny the power of the gospel in many ways by errors in Christology. Soteriology, Hamartiology, Ecclesiology and Pneumatology and in the end become cults instead of being part of the Body. Are the cessationists in danger of doing the same at least in Pneumatology?
The Spirit gives life to the letter. If we start telling Him what He can and cannot do are we sucking life from the letter and are left with only the letter and erudite homilies of men? Is that why we need Starbucks and entertainment to fill our buildings? Paul said to stay away from those who have form and not power thus showing the ecumenical movement as something needed by those who lack the power because they deny it. Machinations of men to promote programs that only work short term because they lack the power.
We need to seek the Lord and ask for the Spirit to be who He is and do what He does in our lives! We need not fear fakes and in essence erase some portions of Scriptures for fear of fakes and delusional. I know people who would never practice James 5:14,15 because that is in the past or it would make them look like Pentecostals. Some will not raise hands in worship, but might shoot an arm out for an instant like some kind of salute to avoid looking Pentecostal. They must stand perfectly still when they sing lest they look like those Holy Rollers. That is all silly as no Scripture belongs only to one group. We are exhorted to lift up holy hands and even David danced before the Lord, but we dare not look like one of those crazy people.
Fakes and fanatics should only cause us to dig deeper into prayer and draw closer to God to be sure we get the real deal. Why miss out on power and abundance because someone is a fake or an abuser of something that will empower our lives to live holy, be fruitful in our ministries and draw us into His presence? Seek Him. Ask for the Spirit to bring you into a closer relationship with Christ and show you where you are to fit in the Body and what gift has been given to you do what you are called to do. You will never regret it. We still need D. L. Moodys, Hudson Taylors and others to win the lost. Even more so we just need the Body to be filled with people are filled with the Spirit and exercising their gift that we may stand out as the approved of God and that the world will be moved by the people of God who are moved by the Spirit of God. Will you seek all that He has for you? May we all receive His abundant power! Maranatha!!!!
August 23, 2016
1 God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by His Son, whom He hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds;
God does still speak to His children and is interactive in their lives. His sheep still hear His voice, What has happened is that we are trained to not listen to it so we don’t hear it or we think it is our conscience or our own brain speaking. We also think that the only time God speaks is when we are reading the Word.
Sometimes, it is a verse we may not have deliberately memorized or even remember ever reading. Sometimes, it is “nudge” in our hearts to pray or witness to someone. Sometimes He puts words in our mouths. A preacher might say something not planned in His sermon and even unrelated to his sermon, but afterward have someone say that it was exactly what they needed to hear.
Sometimes, it may be something that comes to your mind that sounds like your voice, but the thought is either so profound or so needful in your life you wonder how “you” came up with it when you were thinking about something on the opposite end of the spectrum at the time.
And then there are times when you are very quiet or in deep despair when you hear something not in your voice that brings you great clarity or hope. That is God speaking to you through the Holy Spirit, the inner witness, Who was sent to guide you into all truth and to comfort you as well as convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. He does not do that silently all the time.
Yes, God did speak and is speaking to us through His Son, but He sent the Holy Spirit as His representative to convey His direction for the Spirit will not speak of Himself, but will speak what He hears from Jesus,
7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
8 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:
9 Of sin, because they believe not on me;
10 Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;
11 Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.
12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
15 All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
The Holy Spirit will never say anything that contradicts the Word of God that He was directly involved with writing. He does supply the life to the letter thus you cannot properly interpret or “rightly divide the word of truth” unless He is teaching you. Without His teaching the letter kills and we become Pharisees hypocrites or religious unbelievers like the Sadducees so listen up and make sure you hear Him speaking. Yes, there are many voices speaking and false spirits, but don’t let those imposters and liars keep you from the blessing and protection that comes from the true voice that is yet speaking and will speak until we see Jesus in front of us and hear His voice directly.
Isa 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
If God had the Holy Spirit do that back in the day before He was sent to indwell each believer, how much more will He do it now for the ones He has sealed with the Spirit? May God open our ears to Him. Thank God that He is still speaking to us through His Son, the living Word, via the written Word, but Who also sent the Spirit to teach us the written Word as well as speaking to us what He hears from the Son that is specific for each of His children’s lives. Rejoice in His voice! Maranatha!
August 18, 2016
Ask the Holy Spirit, the Divine armorer, to load you up and then move out in the power of His might to light up the night! Hooah! Maranatha!!
August 18, 2016
John records Jesus as saying whoever believes on Him would do greater works than He did, not just to those in the 1st century or one generation. He did His works through the Spirit and we now have that same Spirit in us if we are truly born of God. That being so, why would the Spirit stop empowering the Church to do beyond what Christ did especially in an age such as ours where the mystery of iniquity is showing itself so boldly and evil men are waxing worse and worse due to demonic influence? People still need deliverance, healing and so on.
Having been a “theologian” that taught that the Holy Spirit was now limited because the canon of Scripture was completed, I now repent of that and I want Him to make me a true theologian through the power of the Spirit, not just by the doctrines of men. The Bible is the foundation and the Spirit will not do anything that contradicts the word He was involved with writing. He and the Word work in conjunction as the letter kills, but the Spirit makes alive. (2 Cor 3:6) That being true, He is not going to allow the words of Christ to be unfulfilled.
True, the Spirit is not going to give a show for a wicked and adulterous generation who only seek the signs and not Jesus like the Pharisees and Herod, but that does not mean He will cease to empower the Church to do His works and greater. He doesn’t do Holy Ghost traveling shows where He manifests at 10, 2 and 4 like some seem to promote, but He will do what He was sent to do and that is to empower the Body of Christ to glorify God, win souls and edify the saints while convicting the world of sin and judgment.
Matthew 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
Maybe you are not seeing the power and works of the Spirit manifested is because you believe what the theologians told you and not what Jesus said. Put down your denominational/theological glasses and ask why you are not experiencing the Acts of the Church as shown in the book of Acts. Calling it the Acts of the Apostles was a misnomer as folks other than the Apostles were filled and doing mighty works. It was the Acts of the Church that was built upon Jesus and Apostles, Jesus being the chief cornerstone. Even the carnal Church at Corinth was endued with the gifts and they were not Apostles. An Apostle won them to Christ, but the Spirit gifted them with all of the gifts, not just a select few.
Seek Christ! Seek to be empowered and allow the Spirit to give you what He wills and you may find that you have been missing out on all that God wants for you because of theologians and your lack of faith. Maranatha!