Spiritual Warfare Prep

Spiritual Warfare Prep
We Are In The Lord's Army

Friday, November 13, 2015

When "Your Truth" Hurts "My Truth" And Destroys My Dignity

If you have seen the news, you are aware that there were shootings near Paris that has hurt many and killed some people. Some are, at this moment, being held hostage. According to the NY Post, this is a Terrorist attack.

We live in a society where we value what we think is freedom. We certainly value, perhaps unknowingly, freedom from having to obey God. Many think that God has too many restrictions on our lives. So, we think we can do what we want and really be free. But are we really free to do what we want?

There is a group of people who have made up a logo that says, 'Coexist' meaning that we should all get together and work together in peace, no matter what religion we hold onto. But does that really work?

The Terrorists who killed dozens of people today are practicing their religion. They believe that the god they are trusting in has directed them to kill people who do not hold to their religious beliefs. How can we follow the belief system of those who hold to the slogan of 'Coexist' and practice a belief system that says to kill other people who don't believe in our religion?

This is the fallacy of those who believe that they can believe in whatever they think of as truth. What if you are a person who holds onto that belief system, and a Muslim comes to you to kill you because you will not submit to Allah? Will you submit in a superficial way just to save your neck, or will you stand up for what you actually believe in, or know is true? How do you feel about the Terrorist who wants to kill you, who believe that everyone should be practicing their own truth?

So, you who believe in my truth and your truth being what is prominent and what should be allowed to be practiced in everyone's life, how do you feel about Isis? Remember, your truth will end up backfiring on you when someone else's truth violates your truth.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

What Our World Looks Like Because We See Through a Glass Darkly

New insight into something I see in the body of Christ. I am on Facebook as well as on other social media and I continually see professing Christians tearing one another apart. There are even specialized groups with matching mottos that do this ('We Tear Wolves Up', etc.)

There are professing Christians who seem to rejoice when a famous Christian comes out of the closet, not because the person is trying to be restored to the church, but because now, the professing Christian is finally admitting to how evil he or she really is, which is what they want to emphasize. But even in other ways, Christians seem to delight in finding others who disagree with them doctrinally and call them 'heretics' as well.

Granted, we are not going to agree on everything. This is where we find confusion and arrogance. As one Christian pointed out, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, so when two Christians do not see something the same way, that means one of them is not following the Holy Spirit and is a heretic.

But is that true? Of course, the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth. But this is a gradual process. It doesn't mean that we become perfect in knowledge when we come to Christ. The moment we get saved, that is the beginning point of learning to live a new life in a new way, not the final outcome of our lives!

Here is the crux of it all: We see through a glass darkly. When we use the spiritual gifts, we only use them in part. We do not come to Christ, receiving immediate perfection. We have to go through the process of sanctification and we will become mature.

So, when you see a 'fallen' Christian (see Galatians 6) or someone in the body of Christ who you disagree with, please be patient with him or her. They may be struggling in their walk with God. They don't need to be knocked down or unfairly criticized because of their difficulties. They need someone to pray for them so they can repent and get back into the battle again.

Something to keep in mind; the Pharisees were in total opposition to God. There was a time when they saw God for who He is. They chose not to respond to Him as God. Jesus dealt sternly with these people. There are other people who are just in sin, like prostitutes, thieves, liars, pornographers, etc. These people are not usually in a place of spiritual authority like the Pharisees were. When they hear the Gospel, many of them do repent and come to Christ. Sometimes, they struggle though in their walk with God. They need to have someone walk along their side while they struggle. These groups are two different groups. Both have rebelled against God, but the latter group is not after opposing God because God is a threat to their authority and ability to control others. That is why Jesus dealt with the Pharisees the way He did in comparison to the way He treated the tax collectors and prostitutes.

We have to be careful to not treat people who we disagree with in the same way Jesus treated the Pharisees. We will disagree as long as we are living on this planet. Even when we are more mature in the Lord, we will still disagree with others in the Lord. We all see through a glass darkly. We need to respect others who also see through the glass darkly.

And if you do enjoy finding out who the latest false teacher is so you can expose him or her, please check your heart and try to find the reason you enjoy this so much. This may be the first step that will have a major impact on your life.

"I might have all my spiritual theological ducks in a row, but if I don't have the love of God in my heart, I have missed God."

Saturday, November 7, 2015

They Will Know We Are Christians By Our .....Back Stabbing?

I am so full of blog ideas that I don't know where to begin right now. I have had very little time for the internet and blogging, but, I will pick an idea and see where that one goes.

One idea I have was already started in my mind, but it was formulated by an email I received this week. Unfortunately, the person who wrote it does not want the email shared at this time. It put into words, everything I am thinking on this subject, which I will tell you about in a minute.

Ever since I came to Christ as a teenager, I have seen something very distressful in the body of Christ. I was raised in a loving home with moral parents who taught me very well when it came to manners and how to treat other people. We did not go to a Bible believing church, nor had any of us heard the Gospel yet. In spite of that, we knew the difference between right and wrong, and love and hate. We knew that we needed to treat people with respect, no matter who they were.

Fast-forward to the time when I am 18, and newly married. I used to order tracts from different companies and I guess my name got on a mailing list. Somehow, somebody got my name and started sending me a weekly paper called, 'The Sword of the Lord'. Sounds exciting doesn't it? Well, it was disappointing because in it these 'men of God' were tearing down everyone who was a well known Christian who they considered to be a 'false teacher'. That is what the whole paper was about. It was like a gossip paper about the other Christians they didn't like. Both my husband and I knew something was wrong with this paper, but didn't quite know what it was. Were they really trying to help people to detect false teachers or were they having a heyday with opportunities they took advantage of when flaws came up in other people who were more well known than they were?

I honestly thought that with maturity, as people grow in humility and sanctification, this kind of thing would diminish over time. Well, sadly, it didn't.

Today, I have gotten involved in many ministries as well as listening to Bible teachers and listening to radio programs and watching videos. I am sad to say that today, as well as many years ago, this same spirit is in the church. I see the mocking of people who they don't agree with. I see the focus on what other Christians are doing or not doing, or doing wrong (in their eyes), yet, I do not see much in the way of focusing on the Lord and His majesty.

Doesn't the Bible say that we should not rejoice when a brother falls? Oh yeah, that's right. We've decided who is in and who isn't. We have decided who is truly saved and who isn't, and those who we've decided who aren't in, we have also assigned motives to them.

I think of the recent movie, The War Room, which has a small part where Beth Moore plays in. I can't tell you how many people were reluctant to go to this movie because they deem Beth Moore as a false teacher because she is supposedly into something called, 'Contemplative prayer'. Contemplative prayer is also tied in with meditation, and those are supposed to be practices from some of the Eastern religions. We know that using mantras that are useless (like 'Say over and over to yourself 'I am awesome') are dangerous. When we use those kinds of mantras to try to convince ourselves of something false or opposed to Scripture, that is dangerous. I have actually heard teachings like this in one of the businesses that I am in. I have to admit though, that, even though I do not know a ton of stuff about Beth Moore, I seriously doubt that she is into Transcendental Meditation or anything of that sort. Those who oppose her on the Internet never really give examples of what she is accused of doing. All they say is that she is a false teacher because she does contemplative praying.

Friends, when we accuse people of something and we really don't have the backing for what we say, we are seriously sinning against someone in the body of Christ. We are picking people apart because we basically are arrogant and don't see our own sin. We use the term, 'exposing false teaching' when all we are doing is finding someone we disagree with and calling him or her a false teacher. Do you realize what kind of damage this does to the body of Christ?

Jesus said, "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34, 35 ESV

Will others see God's love in us for them and for those in the body of Christ, or will they see a group of people who are filled with jealousy and rivalry, which is no different than what the world has to offer?

Why do we pick on immature Christians or those who have fallen? Shouldn't we be praying for them? Is the God we profess to believe in big enough to change these people? If you had a son or daughter who was a 'false teacher' would you boot him or her out of your life or would you be praying for your child to come to his or her senses? How much more should we love one another in the body of Christ, and how much more should we be serving one another in weakness and in strengths?

One last word about false teachers or converts: Yes, they will be there. They will be in pulpits around the world. They will be in our church buildings whenever they are open. When do we warn others about them? Let me give you 2 quick examples from our own experiences in church.

My husband and I were leading a home group in someone else's house, years ago. I was sitting next to a new lady who seemed nice to me. I suspected nothing. The next week, we were having home group at our house. I got a call from one of our pastors. He told me to watch out for this woman. He asked if she ever came to our home group. She was planning on coming to home group that night. Our pastor told us that she would go from home group to home group and slander people wherever she went. He told me to be careful around her.

Another time, there was a man in our area who was starting a home church and it was flourishing. Many from the church I am in started going to this man's house. Some even left our church and joined this man's home church or whatever it was. We were listening to the tapes of this man's messages. He basically was a universalist. He taught free grace and no repentance. Our pastors became alarmed, and rightly so. On one Sunday morning, our pastor addressed the church on this issue and told the people that this man was teaching false doctrine. This had to be done to protect the church, not because we didn't want to lose members, but because people were being swept into a false belief system that would ultimately end up destroying them if they continued on that path.

So, if you have to expose a false teacher or heretic, please, make it clear (and give examples) of what he or she is doing that is heretical. Don't try to make a case out of suspicious activity that you don't have enough information about. Please be careful how this is handled. The world is watching, and they will not see an attractive Gospel when we are stabbing one another in the back.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Many Call God a "Bully" Because Of His Judgments On Earth and Mankind, But Why?

  The Reason why people get upset with God calling the shots, is simply because we tend to believe that man is the measure of all things.

   Recently, I was talking with a young man who didn't think it was fair that God would punish people who believed in other religions. Tonight, I talked with a woman who hinted out the idea that God was a bully, simply because God killed the firstborn sons in the Egyptian families during the night of the Passover.

   I keep mulling statements like these over and over again in my mind. I try to make sense of them and see what the people who make such statements are trying to say. But I fail to understand what they mean.

  The reason is simple. My starting point is different than theirs. Their starting point is based upon a belief system that says, 'man is the measure of all things'. That means, that out of all living beings that exist, man is the highest and gets to call the shots. If a person thinks that man is the measure of all things (the standard), if God is thrown in the picture, then God is subject to man. God is not all-powerful and certainly is unloving. This idea creates a weak God.

   Either God is the standard for everything or man is. If God doesn't exist, then man has to be at the top of the pole. But, what if God does exist? What if He is who He says He is in His word? Then man is not the measure of all things, and God is not a bully.

   It is hard to believe that people really do believe that 'man is the measure of all things', but many really do believe this lie. Their eyes are blinded to the true and living God. That is the reason we bring the light of the Gospel to them. Where there is light, the darkness disappears.

Sadly, our culture believes and teaches that man is the measure of all things. It teaches us that we evolved over billions of years and we finally reached the point of full humanity by the process of natural selection. Evolution is a theory which is made upon other theories. People don't even have to take a course in evolution to learn it. It is a commonly believed in fallacy that many have fallen prey to.

  We either start with the truth of who God is, or, we based our lives on the crumbling philosophies of the world. If we understand who God is, then we can rest in the fact that evolution is not true, and that there is a higher being whom we can turn to in repentance and faith. We all have to decide what our starting point will be. Whatever we choose to believe in will affect our eternal welfare.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Why So Many False Converts In The Church Harms The Gospel Message

Ever wonder why non-believers complain about hypocrites being in the church and using that as an excuse to not respond to the Gospel?

I have.

As I thought about this recently, I have a little insight. Although we all understand that no one can come to God by his or her own will, but the person can only come if God is drawing him or her to Himself, God can still create a searching heart in someone. He will do this in order for the person to search Him out and put his or her trust in the Savior.

I think people really are looking for reality. At least, some are. But what happens when a non-believer meets a professing Christian living in sin? The professing Christian is demonstrating a false Gospel.

Take, for example, a professing Christian who has loose morals. Let's say that he or she proudly talks about how God is all-loving and all-forgiving. The person may even make references to Christ or give God credit for doing a miracle in their life or answering prayer. But what if the person is still living in sin, and not concerned about dealing with his or her own sin?

Living in sin, while professing to believe in Jesus Christ as Savior is an oxymoron. Jesus did not die to allow us to stay in sin. He died so that we could be free from sin. We don't have to sleep around anymore. We don't have to try to manipulate others to get what we want. We don't have to take things that don't belong to us. God will help us with our anger problem. But if people profess Christ while continuing in sin, without even blinking an eye at their sin, something is seriously wrong.

That is a false Gospel. There is no reality in it. It basically says that Jesus is not powerful enough to help people out of their sin and all the ramifications that their sin brings to their lives. Who would want that kind of a Savior? A Savior who is truly God does not leave people in their sins, and at the same time give them a free pass to heaven. It is a powerless Gospel. It is a false Gospel. It misleads people because it misrepresents salvation and the Savior.

The Bible says that the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. The true Gospel is the only one that provides remedy for our sins. If we try to tell people about a Savior from sin, while we are still operating in our fleshly desires, people will not see God for who He is. They will see an idol who may or may not be able to take care of them. This idol may or may not be able to remedy their sin problem and this false god will not provide true forgiveness for sins. A new heart and the power of the Holy Spirit are not given to people who believe this erroneous Gospel.

When Jesus died on the Cross, that death was powerful enough to not only cleanse us from sin, but also it is powerful enough to set us free from living lives in sin. Jesus broke the power of sin.

So, if you see anyone who is out there telling about an all-forgiving, all-loving God that is ok with our sin, you are seeing a person who has a false Gospel. It is possible that the person is in ignorance and needs correct teaching and discipleship. Also, some have reacted against legalism and want others to make sure that they are not promoting a Gospel of works, therefore going to the other end of the spectrum, which is lawlessness.

Whatever the reason is, if we don't come to Jesus in repentance and faith, we will end up being a false convert and deceived into thinking that we are on our way to heaven when in reality, we aren't. The best way to combat this is to make sure we deal with our own sin first, then present the Gospel to others so they will know how they can be forgiven and set free from the power of sin. We want to communicate the power of God to a lost a dying world. We want to communicate a powerful Savior to a lost and dying world. We want to communicate a powerful Gospel to this world which is in utter darkness and needs to be set free.

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.  Romans 6:15-18

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Does Attacking People Groups Work In Representing Christ?

What is the best way to reach people with the Gospel? Many are skeptics. A lot are Catholics. Many, many are nominal Christians, at best. Some know the Gospel worded perfectly, but something is missing. Some are Muslims, while others are Jews. How do we reach them best?

According to the modern church, which professes Christianity, the best way seems to be to attack people groups, like Mormons, JWs, Catholics, and Seventh Day Adventists. But does attacking a group make the people in the group want to come to Christ?

Many are in denominations or groups because they were born into these groups. Take for example, Islam. If a person is born into an Islamic family, that person will likely stay Islam the rest of his or her life, simply because they have no reason to leave (that they are aware of) and belonging to Islam is part of their heritage. If they left Islam, they would lose part of their culture as well as their identity. So, how are they best reached for the Gospel?

The reason I am writing this is because I am on the Internet a lot and see what people are doing in order to try to 'reach' them with the Gospel. Reaching them, might be a stretch. Perhaps they have no intention of reaching these people groups with the Gospel. I don't know. I only know what I am reading.

Here is something that I believe is not right, and I doubt that it will work. There are people who stand outside a Catholic church, for example, and give out prepared tracts telling people why Catholicism is wrong. I don't know why these people don't just give out Gospel tracts to the people instead. Do you think people who come out of a Catholic church are going to eagerly read a tract telling them what is wrong with the Catholic church? Does this show kindness and respect for others?

I like what Ray Comfort does in this type of situation. He asks the question, "How do you share the Gospel with a Muslim?' or "How do you share the Gospel with a homosexual?" Whatever group he names, the answer is the same. The Gospel is the same for all.

You don't point a person to Christ by telling him or her what is wrong with their religion. You demonstrate Christ to them and declare the Gospel to them. Put yourself in their place. Let's say they never heard the Gospel before, and they come from a large denominational church. Pointing out to them the things wrong with their church will not bring them to Christ. Would you want someone coming up to you telling you the things wrong in your life? Would you listen to that person or would you become defensive because they were attacking something that is part of you?

We minister the Gospel to people. After they come to Christ, then God will help them separate the truth from the lies. This takes time. This is where we have to be careful. We try to do the work of the Holy Spirit in people's hearts. On top of that, we don't understand that God patiently works in all of our hearts, and we are not patient with people. Also, keep in mind that many professing Christians have incorrect ideas about what is right doctrine or wrong doctrine. For example, some believers do not believe in infant baptism. Others believe that infant baptism is part of a covenant. If we split hairs over this issue, we are going to end up dividing the Body of Christ. We are the division makers.

There are some professing Christians who have a very narrow understand/belief system of what makes up a true Christian, and therefore we have many who are preaching to other Christian groups and resorting to name calling and derogatory actions. Friends, this should never happen in the body of Christ. We have to agree to disagree.

The way we reach people with the Gospel is not by telling them what is wrong with the church they are part of (or whatever the group that they are in is). We lovingly, minister the Gospel to all. We teach people what God says about our sin. We teach people who God is and what He is like. We teach people that they are accountable to God, and we teach people what God has done to take care of our sin problem.

The way to reach people is not by attacking them or putting them down. The Bible says that others will know we are Christians by our love, not by our arrogance. Whenever we point out the wrong in others, we are being arrogant (I am not saying we should not stand up for the truth, especially when it is being challenged or violated). It would be a whole other topic for another day to talk about standing up for the truth. But I am afraid that we have not put our pride away, and that we, at times, are trying to do God's work in a person's heart. Instead of presenting the truth to the person, and leaving the work of the heart to God, we try to reach the person or group by attacking them and eventually humiliating them. Somehow, we feel like this is our responsibility. That is sad.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

God Is Not A Religion

I think it is interesting that many people think of God as just one of many religions. Many think that because there are so many religions in the world, no one can know which one is right, if there is only one that is right.

A few of the religions are Judaism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Do we have to take those and try to figure out which one is the right one? Do all of them have a road that leads to heaven? What if there is something that can lead us to God, but it is not a religion? Would we be open to it?

God is not a religion. He is a supernatural being. He is the One who created us. Today people believe that man is the measure of all things. In other words, man is the highest being that exists. We got that way  because through the evolution process, we gradually became what we are today. We didn't stay like monkeys. We developed into highly intelligent beings that can make all kinds of decisions and create many things.

I saw something the other days indicating that man was on the upward progress of things. It made a statement of how bad we used to be, with wars, fighting, etc. and they showed pictures of how mankind was making progress toward peace, indicating that man is continuing to become better perfected through the continual process of evolution. I guess whoever did the video isn't seeing the whole picture though. If you look around the world today, it is not getting more and more peaceful and civilized. It is beginning to crumble because of the corruption of our sin. We are again going toward the type of beings we were in Genesis 6 when people were so corrupt that God destroyed the earth.

Man is not becoming better. Civilizations are not getting better. If we are not careful, our civilization will crumble right under our feet.

But, man wants to think he is the top of the pack. In spite of that, many are trying to find peace and fulfillment through a religion. But, the outcome is always the same. Religion doesn't change a person's heart. It just gives people something constructive to do while they think they are earning a way to get to heaven, if heaven really does exist.

If man thinks he is at the top of the pole, then there is no God over him. Because God has set eternity in our hearts, there is something deep down in us that wants more than just what is offered by mankind. But we can't quite figure out what that is. Religions are devised. Sometimes, authority is abused in these religions, and people want to stay away from anything 'religious'. Manipulation comes into play (think about Jehovah's Witnesses banging on your door). Leaders of religious groups tell people that they can't leave their group, and if they do, or if they try, there will be serious consequences. Some leaders end up getting arrested for fraudulent activity, while others are never caught, but people are victimized because of their actions.

So, when you talk to people about the Gospel and they accuse you of shoving religion down their throats, the reasons above could be the reason why they are opposing you and falsely accusing you. I recently had such a discussion with a group of people on the Internet. Someone put out a post that had to do with Planned Parenthood. A few people commented. I mentioned that the post and the problems that were being brought about because of abortion was really a heart issue. Well, I was suddenly accused of pushing religion down the throats of the people. Interesting how just making a statement ends up being an action of 'shoving God down our throats'.

Anyway, the point is, religion is dead works. It is a group with a set of religious beliefs and probably beliefs in a higher power of some sort and how we are to relate to this higher power. Some religions use the Bible. Many use it out of context to fit their belief system, and possibly to take advantage of other people who are in ignorance. Even nominal Christianity is dead. It is like a person belongs to a group with other people who hold a religious belief, but that belief system does not change their heart or give them the power to live a life that glorifies God. Religion keeps us in bondage to ourselves. It does not set us free to love God and to know Him more.

 But knowing God is a different story. We were made to have a relationship with God, not a membership in a religious group. No matter how well we keep the standard of the doctrines of the religious group, we can never please God on our own. We have to have a Savior from sin. We need a new heart. Religion can't do that. Religion cannot give us the power to say 'no' to sin and 'yes' to righteousness. Only a right relationship with God, through His Son Jesus Christ, can provide us with the way to know God.

There is only one way to heaven. There is no religion that is right. Only God is right. He has revealed Himself to us through His word. We can debate about the Scriptures all we want to, but they either truly are God's word or they aren't. People argue about the Bible not being authentic. I would like to know if they have actually sat down and studied what it says, or if it is just wishful thinking on their parts because they do not like what it says.

Either Jesus really spoke the words of life or He didn't. What kind of harm can it do if we actually read what the Scriptures say and let it apply to our hearts? If a person is so convinced that the Bible is a fraud, then why is he reluctant to actually sit down and look at what it says?

Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father but by Me." It is either true or false. If it is true, then we need to listen to the rest of what Jesus says. If it is not true, then we can still be free to read the Scriptures and at least know what we are talking about if we are trying to disprove the Bible as being God's word.