Eat Your Vegetables

Hebrews 5:   MSG
11  I have a lot more to say about this, but it is hard to get it across to you since you’ve picked up this bad habit of not listening.
12  By this time you ought to be teachers yourselves, yet here I find you need someone to sit down with you and go over the basics on God again, starting from square one—baby’s milk, when you should have been on solid food long ago!
13  Milk is for beginners, inexperienced in God’s ways;
14  solid food is for the mature, who have some practice in telling right from wrong.

1 Corinthians 13:    MSG
11  When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

While growing up there were things I just couldn’t understand why my mom made us do them.  They were not cruel, but necessary so that when I left home I would have the skills to make it through life.  Like making the bed, cleaning up the bedroom, taking dirty clothes down to the laundry room, and last but not least eat vegetables.  Mom had one rule try them at least once and if I didn’t like them she understood.  My sisters ate every kind of vegetable, but my bother and me it was just corn.

Looking back on those things I am now so grateful for the lessons that I learned from my mom.  I know how to cook meals, wash my laundry without having my white clothes turn strange colors.  I can even bake a pie once in awhile.  

Now I would like to focus on the two portions of Scripture for my text.

I have not met a person yet who does not find babies cute, the way they smile, blow bubbles, and make the noise of cuing.  The laughter that comes from them as you bounce them on your knee, to the astonished look as they complete their first step.  Yes, babies are cute and to that there is no doubt.

Now what is not so cute is when a full grown adult, barring any mental or physical challenges, is when that adult is still blowing bubbles and talking baby talk.  Yes, their body says they are mature physically, but their mental faculities are still in the infant stage.

This is the concept the Apostle Paul was trying to convey to the church at Corinth and the Hebrews.

When I travelled throughout Canada and the United States quite frequently  I would find many who have sat in a church pew for years still could not tell the basic tenets of the faith.  Oh, they could tell you what singer they liked, or what night their favorite tv show was on.  One would assume that these people would know the fundementals of the Gospel.

At my home church, which could sit about fifty people, we did not have a youth night, childrens church or really not even a full Sunday school program.  There was only one service for many years it was Sunday evening.  All ages sat together during the entirety of the service.

We didn’t have a multi instrument band, just my grandfather, until his death, playing a six string guitar.  No choir with fancy clothes, but what we did have was adults who were dedicated to sharing the Word of God.

My mom would take us to different churches on a Sunday morning, sometimes even on Sunday night, which had programs on top of programs for the parishoners.  Yet, if I had my choice I would pick our small church where tall poplars lined the small parking lot.  

Somehow though with what some would call lacking, before I was a teenager I could tell you all the books of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in order and without missing any of them.

Paul was rebuking those early Christians for being stagnant in the spiritual growth.  Chastising them for still needing the milk instead of the full meat of the Word of God.

I do not watch my of what is deemed as Christian television, so when I do I find there is a total famine in North America for the true meat of God’s Word.

I hear alot of what I call “marshmellow fluff”.  Oh my critics would say to me, but look how big the congregation is, it must be blessed of God.  My reply to these critics is this, a NFL or NHL has large numbers of people showing up does that mean the God has blessed those gatherings also?  I would answer that question with a resounding, “NO”!

The late Reverend Harold Cracknell, a former pastor of mine, believed if you knew the hymsn of the “church”, you knew the doctrine of the “church”.  They have sat songs like “There Is Power In the Blood”, “At the Cross”, and replaced them with minor key songs.  If you research the Scripture you will find that these songs were song by the children of Israel when they were taken captive by the Bablyonians.  The Word of God tells us that they hung up their harps on the trees.

No longer do we find any congregations with the windows wide open letting their songs of praise and power drift out into the air for all to hear.  I researched the beginnings of “The Salvation Army” and how William Booth would gather up some musicians and singers then go out on the street corners singing and preaching the Word of God with power and the anointing.  As they did is men, women, children would declare their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ by repenting of the their sin.

Hosea 4:6 MSG
6  My people are ruined because they don’t know what’s right or true. Because you’ve turned your back on knowledge, I’ve turned my back on you priests. Because you refuse to recognize the revelation of God, I’m no longer recognizing your children.

If you are summoned to move to the side of the road by the flashing lights of a police car and find the officer telling you have broken the rules of the road.  You should never tell that police officer that you were not aware of that law.  The reply you will hear is “ignorance is no excuse”.

So it is with the body of Christ today, “ignorance is no excuse”.  There is a deep lack of the knowledge of the Word of God.  I know that the printing presses are still working to bind together Bibles, techology is so developed that we can have many different translations of The Word of God on our computer that sits in our homes.  Most Bible software is free  Even if you are totally blind in sight there is even the Word on tape/CD spoken out loud.  Therefore, there is no excuse for one not to know the depths of God’s Word.

The root of the problem for many who sit in the same pew for years, even decades starts at the head of the physical church, the pastor.

1 Peter 4:17 MSG
17  It’s judgment time for Christians. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!

When one stands at the judgment seat of Christ I truly believe it will be worse for the shepherds/pastors who never preached the Word without fear or favor of men.  Who gave in to what the people wanted to hear.

2 Timothy 4:3 MSG
3  You’re going to find that there will be times when people will have no stomach for solid teaching, but will fill up on spiritual junk food—catchy opinions that tickle their fancy.

Yes, most Christians in the year 2018 who have professed their faith in Jesus Christ several years ago should be mature enough is Christ to go out and witness to others and win them to Christ.

I no longer stand behind a physical pulpit due to severe back problems but that has not stopped me in teaching the Word of God to others.  Truth be told I now can reach the entire globe wherever people are connected to the internet.  

So just as my mom told us to eat our vegetables the Word of God is saying to his church it is time to begin to digest the meat of the Word!

 

 

The Church: Abdication Of Power – Conclusion

Matthew 22:16-22 MSG
16  They sent their disciples, with a few of Herod’s followers mixed in, to ask, “Teacher, we know you have integrity, teach the way of God accurately, are indifferent to popular opinion, and don’t pander to your students.
17  So tell us honestly: Is it right to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”
18  Jesus knew they were up to no good. He said, “Why are you playing these games with me? Why are you trying to trap me?
19  Do you have a coin? Let me see it.” They handed him a silver piece.
20  “This engraving—who does it look like? And whose name is on it?
21  They said, “Caesar.” “Then give Caesar what is his, and give God what is his.
22  The Pharisees were speechless. They went off shaking their heads.

1 Timothy 2:1-3 MSG
1  The first thing I want you to do is pray. Pray every way you know how, for everyone you know.
2  Pray especially for rulers and their governments to rule well so we can be quietly about our business of living simply, in humble contemplation.
3  This is the way our Savior God wants us to live.

Politics Over Power

In the two above portions of Scripture are the only Scriptures that pertains to the Church and the government of man.

Religious organizations, chairities and of course Churches in North America have the pleasure of tax-empt of paying taxes to federal, state, and provinces.

If I were to pastor a local church I would immediately cancel this priviledge and pay taxes like any other business in the nation.  As long as local churches avail themselves to the tax – exemption of the government, the government has it’s power over them.

In America there is an unwritten term called “separation of Church and state’.  This term is not mentioned in their constitution.

In a Google search I found this information:

The First Amendment which ratified in 1791 states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” However, the phrase “separation of church and state” itself does not appear in the United States Constitution.

I find no referance in Scripture where the Church locked arms with the government of the day.  The church recognized that Rome was not their friend.  The Roman rule persecuted the Church and Christians alike.  They would crucify, stone to death, and even behead the followers of Christ.

Now we do have types of what happens when God’s people, Israel, and government joined hands.  The results were always the same, persecution and enslavement.

Yes, Israel had a king, but that was not perfect will for the nation.  They had grown frustrated with being led by the prophets of God.  Their desire was to be like other, pagan, nations and have a king to lead them.  God did give them a king, but, it came with a price, leaness to their souls.

Psalms 106:13-15 MSG
13  But it wasn’t long before they forgot the whole thing, wouldn’t wait to be told what to do.
14  They only cared about pleasing themselves in that desert, provoked God with their insistent demands.
15  He gave them exactly what they asked for— but along with it they got an empty heart.

During the tribulation, great tribulation there is coming an worldwide authority who will declare war first on Israel, and also the Church.  He will demand complete loyalty and demand Christians to deny Christ,.  If they choose not to bow to this anti-christ the Christian will lose its head.

The Church will find no ally with this government and will have to rely on the Head of the Church, Christ, and each other.  Buying daily needs such as milk and bread will not be an option for they will not have “the mark” mandated by the beast.

If I were an attorney who had to make a summation speech I believe that I would definitely would make the remarks that the church has abdicated it’s power for popularity, prosperity, and finally, politics.

As I look the picture I see is bleak, dark, and a body whose members are weak.  They cannot handle the meat of the Word, they have itching ears and only want from the pulpits messages which make the flesh feel good.

The message of the cross is a distant memory except for those of generations past.  Sanctuaries look like the clubs one would enter on a Saturday night.  The music could be mistaken for that of a soft rock radio station.  Everything that is done is for one purpose, the purpose of fleshly stimulation.  None which magnifies the Lord, lifts our spirit heavenward.

Yes, there are those who have not succumed to these methods, yet, they are few and far scattered across the globe.  The message of the cross is greeted with shouts of “we don’t want your bloody religion”.  It is only the message of the cross that pierces the stony heart of man to reveal to man that the only way to have forgiveness is through the blood that was shed on a cross made from a dogwood tree.

There is no urgency of the coming of the Lord, people somehow feel that the good times will never end.  Oh, how they are wrong.  We are not promised tomorrow, it is only by the sovereign grace of God.

I can see the hand of God as I listen to the headlines in the news.  As I at this moment understand the prophetic time clock of God, prophecy is being fulfilled at an alarming pace.  Countries in the news are Russia, Israel, Syria, Iran/Iraq(formely Persia), and the Pacific Rim are all described in prophetic prophecy.

I cannot tell what time the Son of God will return but, I can tell you were are in or about to enter the season Christ himself laid out to the disciples in Matthew chapter 24 and 25.

He is returning for a glorius church, a bride with her wedding garments washed and without wrinkle. 

So, it is with this that I ask the question, “Are You Ready for that Judgement Day”.

The Church: Abdication Of Power-Part Two

Jude 1:3 MSG  Dear friends, I’ve dropped everything to write you about this life of salvation that we have in common. I have to write insisting—begging!—that you fight with everything you have in you for this faith entrusted to us as a gift to guard and cherish.

Growing up we had a pastor, late Reverend Harold Cracknell, who believed that a pastor should not live below or above the people in the congregation.

While I pastored I made it well known where I lived, how much of a salary I was provided.  One time I decided to have everyone over to have a pizza party for the children of the Sunday School.  I lived in a two bedroom apartment in a 3 storey walk up building.  My congregation was always welcomed to stop in and visit, also they could find my phone number in the local phone directory.

Prosperity Over Power

I have become troubled in what I hear and see with pastors who no one knows where he lives and cannot be contacted by their very own congregation.

It would seem that pastors have made pastoring a way to enrich themselves in North America.  Many have a net worth of tens of millions of dollars at the lower end of the scale and other have a net worth of hundreds of millions of dollars.  I do not begrudge anyone for making a living wage.

The problem stems from a corrupt doctrine that they spew from their pulpits and also on their tv broadcasts, the doctrine of “prosperity”.

The doctrine main verse that is used it this:

3 John 1:2 KJV  Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.

On the surface this verse seems to imply that prosperity is for every believer.  On further investigation this verse is similar to that of one saying to a traveller, “Gods speed”.

The prosperity doctrine goes against all the precepts of the Gospel that Christ taught and preached while walking here on earth.

The gospel of denying yourself and picking up your cross and follow Jesus is no longer the creed being taught in the pulpits of North America.

Christ taught his disciples that we should not worry about tomorrow, only take one coat.

Luke 12:13-21 KJV
13  And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me.
14  And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you?
15  And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.
16  And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully:
17  And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?
18  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.
19  And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry.
20  But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?
21  So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.

While I travelled with an evangelist who preached the prosperity gospel sometimes I would talk to ladies and men who would tell me that they gave their rent money to the preacher believing that God would return it to them in a great financial miracle.  They would tell me that they gave their food money and the only thing they had left to eat “cat food”.  Yes, I know that sounds far fetched but that are some of the things I have been told by many coming to the meetings.

I do know that there are some pastors in pulpits who do not subscribe to the prosperity message.  Many of these pastors live an honest living wage, some supplement their income by working a secular job also.

The prosperity gospel has stripped many in the body of Christ from the message of the cross.  This message gives a false security to those who follow it.

Somewhere the message of the cross has been taken away and in its place this damnable doctrine the “prosperity gospel”.  They have abdicated power for prosperity.  Their faith is misguided.

As I have mentioned in past articles there is coming a day where their money will be worthless because of a man that Scriptures call “the anti-christ”.

His reign will be world wide, he will implement a cashless society and demand full loyalty and demand everyone receive his’ mark.  If one takes this mark they can buy and sell, those without will not.  Those who have this mark have sealed their judgment and will be thrown into hell.

Research will tell you when the markets crashed in the late 1920’s many men committed suicide because they had all lost their worth, they were multi millionaires who became penniless in the span of one day.  This scene will repeat itself in the tribulation spoken by the Apostle John in the Book of Revelation.

I would challenge you to learn how much the pastor/preacher/evangelist’s net worth.

My personal opinion, I do not support these preachers who are many times a millionaire, own multiple pieces of real estate and live in palaces surrounded by gates and fences.

I would like to say to those spread this message, “one day your millions will be no more, people will be shouting at you because you led them astay, calling for your death.”

Yes, many have abdicated power for prosperity.  May God have mercy on you!