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Showing posts from April, 2010

DISTORTION

"Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth..." Acts 20:30
I'm writing with a heavy heart today, as I'm overwhelmed by the massive distortions of truth perpetuated by men who call themselves believers in Christ.  Just visiting the blog world, the writings of the people central to all the so-called "Christian industries" such as publishing, and music, and the arts, education, and ministry is a journey into the chaos of self-promotion.       This is not Christ.  This smorgasbord of self-focus is not Christ.  The name of Christ is not mentioned, except in passing, like a reference on a resume.         Of course I serve Christ, so I do this, or that, and look at me, and at my fine, wonderful life of achievements.  Of course I serve Christ, but look at me and my family, and my latest book, or CD, or degree, or conference speaking schedule.  Of course I serve Jesus, that's why I'm so successful, and have a big following on all the social m…

DIVIDING WITH JESUS

A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing


“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on, there will be five in one family divided against each other…” --Luke 12:51,52
A great dividing began with Christ, and continues unabated today.His work was to do what He saw His Father doing, no matter what the religious establishment thought about Him, or told Him, or taught the people. So with true disciples of Christ throughout the centuries since. God’s called out people become Jesus to the world.By the Spirit of God living in us, we become the Plumb Line, and we become Living Stones over whom the people stumble.We, as true, obedient followers of the Lord, cause division wherever we go.As we live out the Word of God, we each become a double-edged sword that divides men soul from spirit, and causes them discomfort, if only by the lives we lead that run counter to theirs. Like Jesus, His true disciples will be persecuted by both the pagan and religious worlds.The God…

GOD HATES OUR RELIGIOUS POSTURING

A. BROTHER
“I hate, I despise your religious feasts; I cannot stand your assemblies. Even though you bring Me burnt offerings, and grain offerings, I will not accept them. Though you bring choice fellowship offerings, I will have no regard for them. Away with the noise of your songs! I will not listen to the music of your harps. But let justice roll on like a river, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.” --Amos 5:21-24

These are hard words, but they must be spoken today, to the modern American churches.God is speaking, and we must listen. The Lord God Almighty is fed up with our religious posturing and our self-seeking modern Christianity.We have hewn for ourselves cisterns that cannot hold Living Water, but have made sure we have plenty to eat, and plenty of music, and great religious feasts and assemblies.We bring what we consider our ‘offerings’ of carefully crafted entertainments, the choicest of programs and talents to display. God has no regard for them.He is not listening to our nois…

FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE VERSUS SECONDHAND TRUTH

I share another T. Austin Sparks teaching, which talks simply about a problem we have in the churches today.We thirst for the wrong kind of knowledge-a knowledge that does not save.We search for objective truth, and yet it is subjective power that we need, from the Holy Spirit, and from knowing the Lord Jesus Christ.Enjoy, and seek Christ first! FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE T. AUSTIN SPARKS

The people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits. (Daniel 11:32).
How much do you depend upon conferences and teachers to keep you going? Must you attend meetings just because you feel that the last lot you got has been used up and you must get a fresh supply? Or have you been emancipated from all human props and put into a place of glorious independence, because you KNOW YOUR GOD? It doesn't matter if you are plunged into the middle of the Sahara, youknow your Godand can stand independently of all natural helps - this thing has become YOU! That is the kind of knowledge that means power. T…

WHAT I HAVE I GIVE YOU

A. Brother ©2009 Narrowgate Publishing
“Then Peter said, ‘Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.’ “--Acts 3:6
When I was in prayer this morning I asked Jesus what I should do right now in light of my present, very limiting circumstances.A phrase came into my mind. “Do what you can with what you have.”I can’t claim this was God’s voice, nor is it important that I do so.Because when I opened the Word of God to continue looking at the book of Acts, I immediately came upon this verse, and it was definitely the voice of God confirming what I’d thought. Isn’t this the answer to all the questions we have of God today about our circumstances?Isn’t this the answer to our complicated and convoluted and confusing reasoning about what we should do today?When we are frightened and confused, or lack any sense of direction, is it not because we don’t believe God is in our present circumstances? We are just like the disciples, who were in the…

WHEN LEADERSHIP IS IN THE WRONG

A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“As for those who seemed to be important—whatever they were makes no difference to me; God does not judge by external appearance—these men added nothing to my message…James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given to me.”--Gal. 2:6,9
“When Peter came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he was clearly in the wrong…When I saw that they were not acting in line with the truth of the gospel, I said to Peter in front of them all…--Gal. 2:11,14
Brothers, there is a hugely important truth here, and one that is desperately needed in this hour, among the churches that claim Christ as Lord in our society. Leadership in the Body of Christ is a different thing than leadership in the world.Our leaders are measured by the Word of God, and their obedience to Christ in every matter.They are not despots, or commanders.They are servants, and are to be humble and gentle…

CALLING ALL FAILURES IN THIS LIFE

A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing


          If I judged by what I see and what I have experienced personally in my life over the past 57 years, I would not follow Christ, or have anything to do with those who claim to follow Him.            Why should I?  I have been part of what I consider a monumental failure—my own life, the lives of those I know within the churches, the lives of those within my family who claim to be Christians, and the self-satisfied smug lives of those successful people around me who think they are God’s gift to others because of their success.  The whole charade has made me sick, and caused me to break away from the churches, which organizations and institutions make me physically ill with their pompous, showy worship, and pride of place, and lust for looking good in the eyes of the world.           I know who I am.  I am a sinful, flawed person, with a deep need for change.  God knows that I know this.  He is not like men—seeing only the surface problems, th…

REVEAL YOUR SON IN ME

A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing


“I want you to know, brothers, that the gospel I preached is not something that man made up.I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.”--Gal. 1:11,12
“But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the gentiles, I did not consult any man…”--Gal. 1:15,16
Revelation is a word that comes from the root verb: to reveal.So Jesus Christ revealed the good news to Paul first, and Paul then prayed that God the Father would reveal Christ to others by his life. Notice Paul says God revealed His Son in Paul.He doesn’t say, “God revealed His Son through my preaching to the gentiles.” No, Paul says very distinctly that God was pleased to reveal Jesus in Paul. So the revelation of Jesus Christ that Paul received was the one this apostle ended up preaching his entire life:
“I have been crucified with Christ and I …

LIKE WINE LEFT ON ITS DREGS

A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing


“Moab has been at rest from her youth, like wine left on its dregs, not poured from one jar to another— she has not gone into exile. So she tastes as she did, and her aroma is unchanged.” --Jeremiah 48:11
There is no way to change into the image of God in Christ without a complete disruption of our restful, static lives. Would we become a sweet aroma to God’s sense of smell? Then we must be poured out.Like Paul was poured out, his life being given for the ekklesia, the called out to be together people of God, as a living sacrifice we are to be poured out, unsettled, turned upside down and inside out, in order to become the sweet smelling aroma of Christ to His Father.As Jesus was poured out, His life given freely for us, so we must give our lives freely for one another, sacrificing our own plans and dreams and goals to God in exchange for His Kingdom. “Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life will preserve it.” --Luke 17:33
Jes…