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Showing posts from May, 2010

FROM WANDERERS TO WARRIORS

FROM WANDERERS TO WARRIORS A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
“The idols speak deceit, diviners see visions that lie; they tell dreams that are false,  they give comfort in vain. Therefore the people wander like sheep oppressed for lack of a shepherd. My anger burns against the shepherds, and I will punish the leaders; For the Lord Almighty will care for His flock, the house of Judah, and make them like a proud horse in battle. From Judah will come the cornerstone, from Him the tent peg, from Him the battle bow, from Him every ruler. Together they will be like mighty men trampling the muddy streets in battle. Because the Lord is with them, they will fight and overthrow the horsemen.” --Zechariah 10:2-5
The Lord’s people wander like sheep over the hills, unsure of anything, trying to appear as if they are well-fed and healthy.Their idols, those whom they hold up as their examples, speak about worldly things, lead the sheep down paths that go nowhere, and put them out in pastures that have no gra…

EKKLESIA? OR JUST "CHURCH"? Part Four of Four.

EKKLESIA—Part Four. A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

Specific instances of our need to ‘play church’ instead of being the “called out people of God that gather together”:
1.In regard to places of worship, and our need to build cathedrals and sanctuaries, Jesus replied clearly to the Samaritan woman’s concern about where she should worship:
“Believe me, woman, the time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem…a time is coming when and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks.God is Spirit, and His worshippers must worship in spirit and truth.”--John 4:21-24
So how impressed is God with our cathedrals and temples and sanctuaries? Not the slightest bit.We build them for ourselves, not for Him.He is to be worshipped in Spirit, and by our obedience to the truth.That is true worship, not gathering together with pomp and ceremony, with flags flying a…

EKKLESIA? OR JUST "CHURCH"? Part Three.

EKKLESIA—Part Three. A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
I am not a biblical scholar.I have spent a lifetime reading and studying the Scriptures, and until recently, it made very little difference in my life.I had grown up doing church, and lived most of my adult life doing church, so I am familiar with everything in our “Christian subculture”.I’m here to declare that one can spend a lifetime in the church, but not know the power of God in his life.I was truly an “evangelical of evangelicals”, by birth, by lineage, and by profession.Yet I became lost, a man burdened with sins and anxieties, in constant pain; unable to find solace from his brothers, or help within the institutions we call churches.I became completely disillusioned by the gap between what I read in Scripture—this rich life Christ promised us and the early ekklesia I saw there—and our current church life. God called me back, and reached out with His love to me. And when the Holy Spirit reaches out and fills us, when God ca…

EKKLESIA? OR JUST "CHURCH"? Part Two.

EKKLESIA—Part Two. A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing
Those of us who’ve grown up in the “church” must be the first to question what we’ve been taught and test it in the Light of God’s Word for ourselves, no longer accepting the word of those shepherds who exist at the beck and call of those who pay their salaries.Not listening to those whose entire secure livelihoods and career paths depend upon preaching and teaching things that will be acceptable to the religious majority. We in the church organizations, the church denominations, are prone to accept things as routine and normal that are at best man-made and ineffective, and at worst apostate. Tragically, and not unexpectedly, our current versions of “church” are built mostly upon the traditions of men.
Many of us, if we’re honest, will admit we’ve never seen one person come to Christ in our church services.We’ve seen Christians drift from church to church, and group to group, and so the mega-churches drained all the small churches t…

ARE WE THE EKKLESIA? OR JUST CHURCHES?

EKKLESIA—Part One A. Brother ©2009 Narrowgate Publishing


The Greek word ekklesia is used over 100 times in the New Testament to describe what happens when God’s chosen and called out people gather together wherever they are.This word has been translated “church” in our Bibles.We need to see that this translation has become completely inadequate for describing what should happen when those who love God gather together. One of satan’s greatest and most important tasks on his daily agenda is to keep true followers of Christ apart.He is dedicated to separating those who love God from each other in any way he can.The enemy of our souls knows that when Christ’s men and women become filled with the Holy Spirit, and begin coming together not just to worship for an hour on Sunday, but gathering in earnest, in constant prayer, confessing their sins to one another, sharing with each other their earthly incomes and possessions, giving love with open hearts and hands, and in general being like Jesus—a…

PASSIVE PARALYSIS OR DELIBERATE FAITH

FROM THE WRITINGS OF T. AUSTIN SPARKS OPEN WINDOWS
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. (Hebrews 10:23).
Faith is going to determine which of two things is going to characterise us. This is the real point. It is either going to be that we are living under a terrible paralysis, as altogether petrified through confusion, perplexity, inability to understand, being unable to disentangle, to sort things out, to see straight and see clearly, to know what is meant by happenings. 
That means utter paralysis, simply standing with our hands on our hips, helpless and hopeless. That is the effect of the absence of a positive faith. 
The only way of life and deliverance from such a paralysis is a deliberate faith in God which causes us to take the attitude that we are going on with God, understanding or not understanding, explaining or not explaining, having light or having no light; we are going right on with God on the basis of what God has done in us, mad…

STRENGTH COMES THROUGH DEATH

STRENGTH COMES THROUGH DEATH A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“Thus he killed many more when he died than when he lived.” --Judges 16:30
Our strength as men and women in Christ comes after death.We haven’t begun to learn the secrets of true strength until we being the process of dying to ourselves, and our sins. (See Romans 6, and Galations 5) In Sampson’s case, though called by God to lead Israel, he gave away his strength to women, and to pleasure, and wasted most of the precious time God had given him.His story is a lot like some of ours, Christian brothers—a story dominated by thoughtless and selfish living.Though called to great purposes by our God, we give ourselves to worldly passions and lowly goals. It is by dying to ourselves that we live unto God. Often, like Samson, the only way we begin to understand the Lord’s Way is when our strength is gone, and our eyes are gouged out.Read the entire account of Sampson’s life.He wasted much, but in the end, when he repented and gave him…

IT'S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW

IT’S NOT WHAT YOU KNOW A. Brother ©2010 Narrowgate Publishing

“When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony of God.For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, with much trembling.My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” --1 Cor. 2:1-5
All my life I’ve been addicted to knowledge.Since I was a child, knowing things was important to me.Having information, gathering information, reading, studying, collecting data, finding out about things.It was the way I was raised. And our world has gone this direction in the last couple of centuries.Science and literature, the arts, education.These are the holy grails of modern life.If we can only know more, we can figure life out, and get things straightened ou…