Those Who can Hear

September 17, 2015

Luke 19:41-44
As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.”

Those Who can Hear

This morning as I read these words I saw how they will apply to the Christian religion like they did to Jerusalem. The Christian religion is often the Saul that seeks to kill their David and the Jews that kill their Messiah. They call good evil and evil good. They have their established path and doctrine and they so often dogmatically refuse to move from it, truth or not. Many in this hour are catching the vision of how God is taking so many out of a dead form that has been largely shaped and molded by the ideologies and agendas of men with enough truth and Jesus to make it look of God. God is saying this is time for the former things to pass away that all things may become new. God is no longer in our temples made with stone. That is not to say that there are not precious saints still within their walls. It grieved the heart of Jesus because when He saw what was to come upon Jerusalem and because He was their peace and He was hidden from their eyes as a whole. He saw and prophesied the destruction of Jerusalem because it represented the former covenant that was passing away that the NEW covenant might come in. This parallels much of what is happening in this day when many in the throes of the Christian religion fail to see that this is the day of the Kingdom. As Christ is ushering in His Kingdom through a people who are learning their identity in Him, there will be those in Christianity who will be jealous, envious and will rise up to resist this coming move of God. Just as the Jews, as a whole, missed the Messiah many who regard themselves as Christians will miss Him again.
The word of the Lord is going forth to all those who have an ear to hear. It is not your theology of the rapture that will save you, it is your entering into Him now. His presence is already here in such a powerful way moving among those He is raising us up in this hour. Many are looking up into the heavens and into the outward realms for Christ to come and Jesus says what so many fail to hear in Luke 17:20-21, “Once, having been asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God does not come with your careful observation, 21nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” Many will miss the coming kingdom because they are looking in the wrong place and are still focused on the outward.
Even now these words will be hard for many to hear. Your safety is not in the walls and gates of Jerusalem or the walls of your theology and religion. Your safety is in the mighty fortress of your God and in the power of His Spirit life within you. You must learn where His hiding place is for you and what it is to be hidden under the shadow of His wing. You will find it in the rest of God, not in religious works and efforts. The only one that will bring us peace and safety is Christ and the intimate relationship of knowing Him. He gave warning to the people that truly knew Him and rescued them out of Jerusalem before destruction came, but those who put their confidence in the walls and bulwarks of their tradition and religion that they thought God would protect, found that which they had built and relied upon utterly torn down and destroyed with not one stone left standing upon another. If you are resting and trusting upon the walls of your Christian religion, denominations and traditions you may well perish with them for the Kingdom of God is being ushered in and the former things are passing away with violence.
Hear the Word of the Lord in Luke 13:34, “”O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'” So it is in this day and this hour. Hear what the Spirit of the Lord is speaking!

Blessings,
#kent

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The Seductress

April 24, 2015

The Seductress

Proverbs 7
1 My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. 2 Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. 3 Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart. 4 Say to wisdom, “You are my sister,” and call understanding your kinsman; 5 they will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words. 6 At the window of my house I looked out through the lattice. 7 I saw among the simple, I noticed among the young men, a youth who lacked judgment. 8 He was going down the street near her corner, walking along in the direction of her house 9 at twilight, as the day was fading, as the dark of night set in. 10 Then out came a woman to meet him, dressed like a prostitute and with crafty intent. 11 (She is loud and defiant, her feet never stay at home;
12 now in the street, now in the squares, at every corner she lurks.) 13 She took hold of him and kissed him
and with a brazen face she said: 14 “I have fellowship offerings at home; today I fulfilled my vows. 15 So I came out to meet you; I looked for you and have found you! 16 I have covered my bed with colored linens from Egypt. 17 I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes and cinnamon. 18 Come, let’s drink deep of love till morning; let’s enjoy ourselves with love! 19 My husband is not at home; he has gone on a long journey. 20 He took his purse filled with money and will not be home till full moon.” 21 With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. 22 All at once he followed her like an ox going to the slaughter, like a deer stepping into a noose 23 till an arrow pierces his liver, like a bird darting into a snare, little knowing it will cost him his life. 24 Now then, my sons, listen to me; pay attention to what I say. 25 Do not let your heart turn to her ways or stray into her paths. 26 Many are the victims she has brought down; her slain are a mighty throng. 27 Her house is a highway to the grave, leading down to the chambers of death.

It is said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. We, as human beings, are the sum of our strengths and our weaknesses. What truly makes our chain stronger is the power of the Spirit of Christ within us.
Proverbs 7 starts out by a father exhorting his son to keep the commandments, the Word of God within him. He emphasizes that by saying, don’t just listen to the Word, but make it part and substance of your being. Let that Word influence the works of your hands and write them on the tablets of your heart till they become who you are. Make God’s wisdom, knowledge and understanding as your sister and near relative.
Why do I need to do that? “They will keep you from the adulteress, from the wayward wife with her seductive words.”
This passage is not just about sexual seduction; it is more about spiritual seduction. Most all of us are familiar with the passage in 1 Peter 5:8 which says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” This is that same spirit that is at work to entice our souls away from Christ. It looks for our vulnerabilities, our weaknesses, and those areas of foolishness that we have yet to fully submit and bring into the obedience of Christ. They may have been subdued, lurking in the darkness of our soul. We haven’t wanted others to be aware of them and many times we ourselves are in denial that they exist, but they are there, looking and craving for the opportunity of expression and release. We often wrestle and struggle with these areas in our lives, but there will be a time and place of weakness in our lives that we will give place to them. We may not even see the immediate consequences of our actions, but this seductive spirit feeds upon the dust, the humanity and the lust of our souls. Once we begin to give place to this spirit it is like a spark and flame, it is never satisfied, but rather desires and hungers for more. It will drive us into the deeper clutches of sin and darkness. As we give more and more place to this seduction and the passion of our soul it is as the story of this young man and the harlot. We have become the fool and foolishness leads us down the road to ruin and destruction.
Many of us know or have known someone who was walking with Christ and then, as an animal caught in a trap, they became caught up in sin and their life departed more and more away from the path of righteousness. This harlot and seductress had laid hold upon them, seduced them with the lie and began leading them down the pathway to hell, while all the time exciting the passions of the flesh and promising temporal, empty riches of this world’s goods and pleasures.
It is possible as we read this, that this foolish young man could be us. Many of us know that, except for the grace of God, it would be us. This is why God’s Word must be the standard and the anchor upon which we found our life, our morality and our principles for living. When we depart from God’s precepts we exit onto a road that departs from the High Way of Holiness. That exit leads us away from the pathway to Life.
We have this illustration to let us know that the only thing that stands between this foolish young man and us, is following God’s Word through a maintained and intimate relationship with Him. Any of us could follow in his footsteps at any time, if we fail to continually guard our heart and keep it in the way of God’s Word and righteousness. Worldly enticements are always before us and they will touch the areas of weakness in our lives. This is where Christ and His Word shore up and fortify the breeches in the wall of our city. We must stand with the armor of God, ready to defend the citadel of our heart from the intrusion of the enemy. That enemy will always entice us with peace and safety while a dagger is concealed beneath their coat.
Be wise in the Word; discern the craftiness and the deceitfulness of your enemy. Know that it is the spirit of death that is wooing you into its arms. This spirit may have a beautiful face and enticing breasts, but within her grasp is the bosom of spiritual death and destruction.
A brother emailed me a scripture yesterday that fits very well here, “So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (James 4:7)”

Blessings,
#kent

Poor in Spirit

September 4, 2013

Poor in Spirit

Matthew 5:3
Blessed [are] the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

There is a parable that Jesus gave about a young man who thought he was very rich. He demanded his inheritance from his father and then set out to enjoy all that wealth. We find it wasn’t a long time before he had spent up all of his money on wild living and when all was gone, so were his so called friends. In the days to follow the young man came to a startling revelation. He was no longer rich, there was no longer security, there was no longer a family, or even daily provision. He was forced to take a job caring for pigs, just to share corn husks and trash food that was feed to them.
Many of us go through life and as long as our outward needs are met and things are going well we may never come to a revelation of how poor we truly are. It is usually when we come to the end of ourselves, our resources and feel the gnawing of hunger and emptiness in our soul that we make the discovery of how poor we really are. It is in the acknowledgement of this state that we are in a position to do something about it. Like the story of the Prodigal Son, we realize we are feeding on cornhusk and the emptiness of this natural life. Meanwhile our spiritual man is wretched, blind and naked. Even as Christians we can be so caught up in playing church and pretending religion that we think we have it all and yet that isn’t the way God perceives us at all. Religion may be among the things we acknowledge in our lives or a liturgy and practice we perform out of duty to God, but it isn’t our passion, our desire and our greatest need. We may be out of position with God altogether and not even realize it because we are going through the motions of life and spirituality.
How would we evaluate our relationship with Christ today? Would it be hot, lukewarm or cold? Many of us would have to admit that we are somewhere in the area of lukewarm.
“What’s wrong with lukewarm? That’s good enough isn’t it?”
That is not a good place to be, for the Word makes it quite clear that God doesn’t enjoy the taste of lukewarm. Revelations 3:15-19 may be the Lord’s personal rebuke and exhortation to us if we are in this state. “I know your [record of] works and what you are doing; you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were cold or hot! 16So, because you are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spew you out of My mouth! 17For you say, I am rich; I have prospered and grown wealthy, and I am in need of nothing; and you do not realize and understand that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18Therefore I counsel you to purchase from Me gold refined and tested by fire, that you may be [truly] wealthy, and white clothes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nudity from being seen, and salve to put on your eyes, that you may see. 19Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].” Our outward perceptions of ourselves are not always accurate and true. Many of us want to live out of a surface relationship with God like we do with many of our friends. You know how you meet an acquaintance on the street and you say, “Hi, how are you doing?”
“Oh, I’m fine. How are you?”
“I am doing well, thank you. Good talking to you. Have a nice day”
That about sums up the depth many of us may have with God. God isn’t real interested in surface relationships. He is a God of intimacy and depth. He wants to know and deal with the true and deepest issues of our heart and life, but we are always going around saying, “I’m fine, you’re fine, everything is fine.” We are living a lie. We are not acknowledging our true state before Him and He can’t meet us at our point of real need until we are willing to acknowledge how poor in spirit we truly are.
In Isaiah 66:1-2, God tells us, “Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
2For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” It is only the person that acknowledges how truly broken, wretched, blind and naked they are that is open and ready to allow God to meet their need. Like the story of the Prodigal Son, the Father is ever looking for the return of His son, longing for him and never ceasing to love him. He can do nothing for him until the son gets a revelation of his true state of being where he is disconnected and out of fellowship with the Father; that is us. Only in the revelation of spiritual poverty can we acknowledge our need and know that it is only in intimate relationship with the Father God that our spirits are made rich and prosper.
What is the condition of our spirit today?

Blessings,
kent

The Law of Sin and Death

March 28, 2012

Judges 21:25
In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes.

The Law of Sin and Death


The state that we see Israel in the book of Judges is the same state that we could see a lot of us as Christians in.  We have the promise and the inheritance and we have the Word of God, but we haven’t embraced our King.  Just as the Israelites could be God’s chosen people by name, it didn’t mean they were His people in their heart.  They became apostate, doing whatever seemed good to them, while ignoring who God had called them to be.  Isn’t that the way many in the Christian world have become.  They have become apostate because they live and do right in their own eyes and justification rather than according to the will and calling of God in Christ Jesus.
I am not writing this to bring condemnation, but to make us aware of which law we are living under in this state of mind.  Before Christ, we were living under the law of sin and death.  It was a law of the commandments whereby sin abounded because of the weakness of the flesh to live and keep it.  Under that law we stood condemned because we were lawless and law breakers.  Even in our best efforts we were not able to find reconciliation and intimate relationship with Papa because our sin stood to condemn us.  Because sin would ultimately rule us, God had to send judgement to correct us and bring us back to repentance.  There we would cry out under our judgement and God in His mercy would send a judge to bring us back to Himself where we would remain briefly before repeating the cycle again.
Now, we have a king and His name is Jesus.  He is not only the king, but the King of kings and the Lord of lords.  In His realm of authority and dominion He has called us out of the old law of sin and death, because the crucifixion of His divine life nailed that old law of condemnation to the cross.  When we come to Him in faith we must recognize that is where our old selfish sinful nature and man has been identified; with Him on that cross.  We also died to that former way of doing, “whatever seemed right in our own eyes.”  As He raised us up by faith into His life we come under a new law, because we have entered and become citizens and partakers of a new kingdom.  The laws of this kingdom don’t operate like the former one.  Here there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.  “In Christ” speaks to a state of being in our spirit man that is translated through our physical being.
We find this in Romans 8.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. 3For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”  The key to living in this realm and kingdom is living by faith out of the law of the Spirit and no longer after the flesh.   A line of demarcation has been drawn that you live under one law or the other, but you can’t live under both.
Jesus says you can’t serve to masters in Matthew 6:24, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”  Mammon is the old world order that falls under the law of sin and death.
The question then really becomes, “What law are we living under?”
Romans 8 goes on to define what it is to live in the law of the Spirit of life and what the differences are.  “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.
12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”
The Word doesn’t say we don’t still struggle with the inclinations toward our former sinful nature, but it has become a matter of new identity, allegiance and citizenship.  If you move to the United States from a foreign country and decide to become a US citizen then you have changed your identity, allegiance and citizenship. You must renounce the old to embrace the new. If the United States is at war with your former country, who are you going to fight for and stand with?  Where is your identity and allegiance?  You may feel the soul ties that want to draw you back to the former feelings you had for your country and countrymen, but now you have to cut them off, because it is no longer who you are.  You can no longer go between countries and have your allegiance divided or you will be considered a traitor.  You can no longer live under the former laws and traditions of the old country and still be a US citizen.  They don’t work in this new country.  You no longer have to live under tyranny, but you can live in freedom, but freedom isn’t freedom if it brings you again under the bondage of sin.  “13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  You see it is the Spirit that now indwells you that is the power in you to overcome who you used to be.  As we learn to live in obedience and faithfulness to Him we are led by Him.  It is living under His banner and direction that we become the sons of God.
If we are still doing whatever is right in our eyes we are missing what it is to live under the higher law.  It is only under this law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus that we live and abide in the life of God and we come to experience the intimacy of relationship with Him.  God has given us the choice to be sons or slaves.  Where is our true identity, allegiance and citizenship, in the law of sin and death or the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus?  Your identity is who you are, not what you call yourself

Blessings,
kent

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