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Friday, August 12, 2016 at 7:44:00 PM

America vs. God: Can you be a Patriot AND Be a Servant of The Most High God?

Hebrews 11 - King James Version (KJV)

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

11 Through faith also Sara herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised.

12 Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.

15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.

16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

In Hebrews 11:8-16 our faith is challenged with a seemingly preposterous idea. In today's religious world we're often encouraged to put our Christianity before our "culture"; but this troupe does not originate nor does it resonate with Scripture!  Faith should grow out of a culture in a general sense. But aren't some cultural ideas & practices detrimental to the faith of an individual??? To put it simply, YES! But the cultural practices that harm the faith of the individual are refereed to in today's vernacular as: "Politics & Nationalism/Patriotism"
The way in which "American values/ideas" have rooted themselves in the hearts and minds of the average U.S. citizen represent a spiritual "Trojan Horse".
In verse 9, we are confronted with a 'strange notion', Abraham's faith was NOT attached to his rights as a citizen of a particular nation. Before we unpack this let's define the term 'citizenship': A citizen is an individual who pledges allegiance to a particular state in order to get certain protections from said state. Citizenship starts with a decision made by an individual, an economic decision (per paying taxes or tribute), and a spiritual decision (per the pledge; placing ones hand over their heart). The State promises all kinds of benefits to this individual, which could seem like a 'match made in heaven'! Abraham wasn't called "the friend of God" for nothing! The faith that Abraham wielded was faith NOT based on some kind of "political platform" or "theological systematic doctrines" but his faith was an active faith that did NOT start with an individual but started with a community. Abraham understood that his faith would eventually be foundational for trillions & trillions of people throughout history. This is where our faith should start as well, but it leads us into a conundrum...
Do American political and national allegiances replace "true faith in God"?
 When we look at these passages in Hebrews we can answer in the affirmative. Looking into the so called "Evangelical" & "Conservative" movements of U.S. politics also yields an answer in the affirmative. So what is an American Christian to do? First of all, the addition of the term 'American' to the word 'Christian' should raise red flags immediately. Abraham would have never identified his faith with a particular nation-state. But we are told that we live in "One Nation Under God", a nation of believers and patriots? This twisted theology causes individuals to seek the State before they seek God, because as the slogan goes "the nation is under God", so all you have to do in order to receive God's protection is pledge allegiance to the nation.  Abraham didn't participate in this spiritually backwards ritual.  Abraham's faith is not founded upon "individualism", God honors it and does something unfathomable. God uses Abraham's name as a surname  (vs. 16), so that He will be known as "The God of Abraham"! Do you see the stark contrast here?


In verse 10, we see that the pursuit of faith was a constant act of looking for a totally just, totally righteous and totally beneficial city that Abraham and his posterity could become ultimate citizens in. Christ in Matt. 6:33, alluded to this by imploring us to NOT seek after material goods and mammon, like those who are of the world (state dependent), but to primarily seek the proverbial  "pie in the sky", God's kingdom! Do you see the stark contrast here?

 'I pledge allegiance to the flag & republic' vs. 'Constantly seeking after the kingdom of God and it's righteousness'

The "Framers & Founders" of the American Republic were self admitted Freemasons, master builder's, not just in a physical sense but in a ideological & spiritual sense as well. They structured and coded the U.S. government after pagan European rituals and practices. Do you see the stark contrast here?

Abraham and his family were looking for a city that had God as it's "framer & master builder", they were looking for righteousness NOT a Bill of Rights. 

The problem with American Christianity starts with the "American Branding" and ends with an insincere faux faith, that masquerades as Biblical but in reality is only Political. It's one thing to live in a nation; it's another thing to have a nation live in you. This is the definition of 'Patriotism', while noble in the eyes of the populous, it's worthless in the eyes of God. In verse 15, Abraham and his family were not singing "God Bless The Land of Ur", they were not singing "My Country Tis of Thee Sweetland of Ugarits"; their faith didn't take them to golden shores to be conquered nor did they fly planted flags. Their taxes & tithes were not payment for State sponsored protection & safety, but rather they were so full of faith they became cheerleaders for their faithful offspring! Abraham understood that if he wanted a "Great Country" and a "Better Country", that it wasn't going to be found among the corrupt bureaucracy of his age. Times have changed, and those that say they have faith are now trusting in the Holy Triumvirate of 'The Ballot Box, Super PACs, and Civil Duty'.  In our age people would rather have State ordained individual rights/welfare rather than faith-based God given promises that they may never see but their posterity will. The way forward is narrow as The Messiah says, and there are many that would rather take the broad road because it's popular and has temporal yet fleeting perks. One cannot serve God & Mammon, so ask yourself this question: If I pledge allegiance to a Capitalist nation based on materialistic hedonism, am I also serving God?

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Friday, May 20, 2016 at 10:18:00 AM

Separating the SHEEP from the GOATS...

Matthew 25:31-46

31 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: 32 And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats 33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me.46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.

Ever heard the phrase "Greatest of All Time" or G.O.A.T.? To humans the goat has been a symbol of power and dominance. Sheep, on the other hand, have been given the label of: dumb, stupid, followers. But yet in Matthew 25, The Lord puts the sheep at His right hand and the goats are placed into a position of ultimate judgement and damnation. The goats are punished according to their works.

The Hebrew word for 'goat' is - ez' with is used for female & male goats and it literally means "strength". In the Bible the goat had many uses.

  • The meat from the kid was a delicacy (Genesis 27:9; Judges 6:19)
  • The male goat is best for sacrificial offerings (Leviticus 22:19; Psalms 50:9)
  • The goat is more profitable for it's owner (Proverbs 27:26-27)
  • The young goat was given as a very worthy and honorable gift (Genesis 38:17, Judges 15:1)
  • The young goats were offered at Passover (Exodus 12:5, 2 Chronicles 35:7)
  • The hair of the goat was used for the tabernacle (Exodus 25:4, 35:23-24, 36:14-18)

But what does the Bible say about the Characteristics of the "goats".

  • High Class Status- The goat was an important part of the wealth of the elites as well as the wealth of the farmer (Proverbs27:26)
  • High Mindedness- The young goats were often kept in smaller exclusive flocks because of their high market value. (1 Kings 20:27)
  • Prideful- The wild goats have a habitation high upon the clefts of the rocks (Psalms 104:17, Job 39:1, 1 Samuel 24:2 [compare Obadiah 1:3-4])
  • Strong- The goat symbolized might & strength (Daniel 8:5-8)
  • Top Positions- the male goat is the goat that leads the flock (Jeremiah 50:8)

The lack of humility and a prideful heart have caused the "goats" to be blinded to their own sin. When the Lord confronts them about their sin, the goats do not apologize, nor do they accept responsibility, rather they deny God by challenging The Lord to PROVE His case. The flocks of goats are led by male goats (men), BUT the flocks of sheep are led by the Good Shepherd

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Thursday, May 19, 2016 at 7:22:00 AM

Courage to Connect Through Prayer & Praise: True Godly Prosperity & Success Series

Daniel Chapter 2

King Nebuchadnezzar asks all of his "wise men" to do the impossible... he asks them to interrupt a dream that he forgot. Of course, no one could do this, so the King ordered that all the "wise men" be killed; even Daniel and his friends. Even though Daniel didn't know the details of the dream, he told the king that he could interpret it for him (Dan. 2:16).  Daniel asked his friends to pray for mercy and then Daniel praised God.

"In his dependence on God's mercy Daniel seeks out his like-minded companions to join him in prayer for a revelation of the contents of the dream, and at the end of his thanksgiving he acknowledges their help. It is fitting that their Hebrew names should be used in this context of faith and prayer". -
Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries Book of Daniel by Joyce G. Baldwin

This small group of like-minded, men of faith, resorted to the only technique that they knew. They prayed for mercy and they praised The Most High, in order to get solutions to a life threatening problem. The courage that they had to come together, and petition THE LORD together, cannot be overstated.

Being strong and having good courage can help us individually (Deut. 31:6); but when you have courage to connect with other believers, pray & give thanks together, the impossible can happen.  Even though some circumstances and situations seem insurmountable, with the added prayers of other believers we will all be able to give thanks for the goodness that THE LORD will shower upon all of us (Ephesians 5:19-20).

When we have courage in Prayer & Praise together with fellow believers (Dan 2:48-49)...we will have success, stability & prosperity in our families!

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Monday, May 09, 2016 at 8:20:00 PM

Faithfullness As Your Standard: True Godly Prosperity & Success Series

Hidden in the Prophetic book of Daniel is a blueprint of TRUE prosperity & success under the most unlikely of circumstances. Please read Daniel chapters 1 through 6. Godly prosperity & success isn't contingent upon having large amounts of materials and it is not based on current circumstances.

The 'riches and blessings' that God grants in The Book of Daniel are not the kind that kings go to war for, but they are the kind that kings search for!

Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah were chosen out of the captivity to teach the rest of God's people how to speak in the Babylonian "tounge" (Daniel 1:4-6). The King ordered that they should eat his portion of meat, so that they bay be healthy (Daniel 1:5). But Daniel purposed in his heart that he would not Defile himself. God knows everthing that our heart ponders (Ps. 44:21). And the thoughts that fill our hearts spill out into our behavior and language (Matt 24:34). Daniel set a standard for himself and he made the decision in his heart that he would remain faithful! We should ask God to help us to unite our hears, that we may walk in TRUTH and know the way of the Lord (Psalm 86:11). Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah did not defile themselves with the Kings portion of meat but they ate pulse (Daniel 1:11-12). These men were faithful and obedient to the commandments The Lord had given them. Even while under "the gun" of the king, they stayed obedient to what God had revealed to them.

"Daniel rejected this symbol of dependence on the king because he wished to be free to fulfill his primary obligations to the God he served. The defilement he feared was not so much a ritual as a moral defilement, arising from the subtle flattery of gifts and favors which entailed hidden implications of loyal support, however dubious the king's future policies might prove to be". -
Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries Book of Daniel by Joyce G. Baldwin

 They were not waiting nor did they want favors from the earthly king and in return they received favor from the King of Kings! What are we to learn from these men of God in the area of success & prosperity????

When we settle in our hearts to remain faithful and obedient to The Lord we will obtain: Gods' Blessing of Wisdom & Understanding.

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Wednesday, April 27, 2016 at 7:36:00 AM

Where Are Miracles Found Today?: Part 1

The greek word for "Miracles" is "Dunamis"...The Holy Spirit give the power & ability to do that which seems contrary to modern thought (the impossible).....What do these "Miracles" look like in our society today...modern day miracles are not about getting out of wheel chairs and throwing away crutches. Miracles today involve true healing of the inner man! Young people giving up their personal preferences to follow Christ...Homosexuals forsaking "Born this way" identity to denying themselves to following Christ, Women making sacrifices for their children and families by following The Word, Hard heart racists putting down their flags & forsaking their pride to be obedient to Christ, Churches coming together to help the poor and oppressed in their own communities, these are the signs that should follow salvation that we need to see in our world today!

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at 9:31:00 AM

Are you Sympathetic or Empathetic?

The Difference Between Sympathy & Empathy

The difference between sympathy and empathy is not always clear. But simply put sympathy is when you SEND a card and empathy is when you are IN the card. Sympathy is when you understand how others feel but empathy is when you feel how others feel. Sympathy is when you say "Awww that's sad" and empathy is when you say "Ouch! That hurts". The Lord Jesus Christ did not come just to prove that God sympathizes with our needs but He came to show that God empathizes with our needs. In these two passages we see that Christ not only faced the same temptations that we face, but I felt the same emotions that we feel when we fix them. He is able to give use true power to overcome temptations because He experienced true compassion, and He shows true mercy to us in our weakness! This is not just mercy for us as individuals but TRUE mercy that flows from member to member giving hope to those that feel defeated!

Mercy will always rejoice over judgment because mercy wins!

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Monday, April 18, 2016 at 9:27:00 AM

What it means to be truly GREAT in Ministry: Spirit-Led Ministry Series

Mark 9:33-36 - And he came to Capernaum: and being in the house he asked them, What was it that ye disputed among yourselves by the way? But they held their peace: for by the way they had disputed among themselves, who should be the greatest.And he sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.

Isn't it fascinating how we always want to be on top? How we always want to be seen and look for attention? Fame no matter how small, not matter how negative, no matter what the cost, seems to be something almost everyone desires. The contemporary view of being "GREAT" or being "SUCCESSFUL" or being "ON TOP" is only a shade of what it means to be truly "first", truly "great". In Mark 9th chapter, Christ answers a dispute among His disciples, this dispute may seem silly, but it is at the root of our humanity & our experience in the Western World!

In our society the desire to "BE THE MAN" the desire to "OWN" someone the desire to "WIN WIN WIN", are forced down our throats from birth while remaining a huge stumbling block to our spiritual development.

Diakonos....Spirit-led ministry, is where a man can be truly great.....a man can be truly "ON TOP" by being used by The Holy Spirit as a servant. Laboring and not giving in to the sensual temptations of this world that call on us to be "Mr. Cool"! Instead answering the call of God which is: true greatness, true hope, true splendor, and true power. Who got served?

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Thursday, April 14, 2016 at 4:57:00 AM

Be Anxious for Nothing: Is Worrying a Sin?

Matthew 6:25-34

 Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: 20 But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: 21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. 23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! 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. 25 Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment? 26 Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? 27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature? 28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: 29 And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. 34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Are you committing sin when you worry or have anxiety?

Short Answer: No

The problem is not verses that talk about anxiety or worry but the lack of understanding of the context of these verses. As it pertains to Matthew 6:25, we cannot just start at verse 25, the context starts at verse 19. The command to "Not worry" in Matthew 25 is in context of money, mammon, & material possessions. The Greek word for 'Worry or Anxious' in this text is: merimnaó - which literally means 'to be distracted or divided/pulled apart'. So when Jesus say "do not worry" or "do not be anxious" the context of that statement is verse 24. He is telling us not to serve money or material possessions, AND also when we lack having them to not worry. Jesus is dealing with two things in regards to material possessions & money here: 1) Our Behavior 2) Our Feelings; verses 19-24 deal with Behavior, while verse 25-34 deal with the Feelings. Not having enough material goods, can cause people to DO things that are extremely dangerous and sinful. And not having enough material goods can also cause people to FEEL things that are damaging and stressful. Jesus comforts us in verses 25-34 when we have feelings of anxiety due to not having enough material goods or money BUT please understand, He is Not condemning us! Serving mammon (money and material goods) leads to condemnation because you are forsaking God as your Master and you are in essence "hating" Him. But feeling anxiety because of lack of mammon, is normal and you should talk to your Master about your needs, that you may be comforted. There is a beautifully summarized way of viewing Matthew 6:25-34, and that is in Philippians 4.

Rejoice in the Lord always: and again I say, Rejoice. Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:4-8

 These verses mirror and follow the template given in Matthew 6:25-34, by activating our relationship with God through Christ, we are able to come to Him with our anxieties, not live in excess, and get peace when life gets a little overwhelming. In Philippians 4:8, we are given a template of Matthew 6:34. We should not let life's "ups and downs" rip us away from our relationship with God, we must come to Him, and think about His goodness in 'this day', not dwelling on what will happen in the future, but focusing on God's goodness TODAY! Thanking God for the opportunities that He is giving us, right now! Notice that in verse 8 of Philipians 4 it does NOT say that we should focus on "the sin" of being anxious! And if you understand the inference in Matthew 6:33, Jesus is actually admonishing us to BE anxious or worry about seeking God's Righteousness & Power!

When someone says that "Worry is a Sin", they have been misinformed and are not understanding the scriptures properly. Pray that the Holy Spirit would help that person to understand the truth (if they are not receptive to teaching).

Feelings like angry, lust, worry, doubt, anxiety, fear, and loneliness have been demonized as sins for a long time, but The Word explains clearly that these feelings are not 'in and of themselves' sinful, even though they can lead to sinful intents or actions.  Worry & Anxiety are a part of life. But be comforted in knowing that The Lord knew this would come thousands of years ago and planned for it.

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Monday, April 11, 2016 at 3:55:00 PM

The Key of Consistency: The Meaning of True Spirit-Led Leadership Series

Matthew 23 (KJV)

Then spake Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat:  All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren.
And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted. But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves. Woe unto you, ye blind guides, which say, Whosoever shall swear by the temple, it is nothing; but whosoever shall swear by the gold of the temple, he is a debtor!
 Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gold, or the temple that sanctifieth the gold? And, Whosoever shall swear by the altar, it is nothing; but whosoever sweareth by the gift that is upon it, he is guilty.  Ye fools and blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift? Whoso therefore shall swear by the altar, sweareth by it, and by all things thereon. And whoso shall swear by the temple, sweareth by it, and by him that dwelleth therein. And he that shall swear by heaven, sweareth by the throne of God, and by him that sitteth thereon. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone. Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness. Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous, and say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.  For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Matthew 23rd chapter shows how far a leader can veer from the truth. A hypocrite (as
The Lord Yahshuah called some of the Pharisees & Scribes) is actually an actor. Someone who has a mask on, someone who acts the part but when the lights go out and the curtain closes, they become someone totally different. Consistency is not just something that a leader possesses, but it is something that arises when a believer is in tune with The Holy Spirit. It is being truly Spirit-led.

Leadership that is one way "on stage" and then another way "backstage" is not True Spirit Led leadership.

We must strive to do what
The Lord Yahshuah said, that the Scribes and Pharisees of the 1st Century didn't do (Matt 23:23)! We must strive to build our faith, taking it seriously. We must strive to love our families, love our fellow brothers & sisters in Christ and love our enemies. We must strive to allow The Holy Spirit to convict us of our error, and purify us with fire!
Many times true Spirit-led leadership seems tough and almost unattainable! But we must be faithful in knowing that it is at it's root a heart issue first. Activity, activity, activity, is not the answer to the leadership issue; humility and purity of heart is the bunker of leadership. The battle to become a effective Spirit-led leader can only be won in our hearts, as the Holy Spirit seeks to purify us, focus us, and give us the key of  consistency!

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Monday, March 28, 2016 at 4:17:00 PM

#FakeGospel - Is The Gospel Being Counterfeited? (21st Century Evangelism Series)

1 Corinthians 2:1-5 (Phillips) " In the same way, my brothers, when I came to proclaim to you God’s secret purpose, I did not come equipped with any brilliance of speech or intellect. You may as well know now that it was my secret determination to concentrate entirely on Jesus Christ and the fact of his death upon the cross. As a matter of fact, in myself I was feeling far from strong; I was nervous and rather shaky. What I said and preached had none of the attractiveness of the clever mind, but it was a demonstration of the power of the Spirit! Plainly God’s purpose was that your faith should not rest upon man’s cleverness but upon the power of God."

In our age a 'hashtag' is used to identify and separate a message! So when it comes to The Gospel, the good news, what "hashtags" are being used today? Is the Gospel being #watereddown by our lack of commitment, is the Gospel being #smeared because of our lack of integrity, is the Gospel being #muffled because of 'the spirit of timidity', is the Gospel being #overshadowed by our patriotism, is the Gospel being #repackaged as "the American dream", is the Gospel being #cutdown because of racism and classism, is the Gospel being #corrupted into a tool for profit & greed, is the Gospel being #perverted into an individualized sugar-coated dessert to be consumed by westerners???? When it comes to evangelism...what is really at stake... how do we witness to a world that has become apathetic and subjective?

.... Aren't we all charged with the command to "preach the Gospel"?

What would it take to stop you from fulfilling the Great Commission (which is to spread the Gospel everywhere)? It's seems that in our world, "missions" and evangelism have become trimmed down to budget items & talking points. Can a lack of money stop The Great Commission??? If someone doesn't memorize a script, can they still witness & evangelize? What does it take for us to have enough faith to believe in The Power of God (through His Holy Spirit) over the worldly systems that have been put in place? When it comes to our personal witness, what does it take to give us the zeal and courage to share the Gospel with those that God places in our paths?

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Friday, March 25, 2016 at 4:08:00 PM

On Integrity: The Meaning of True Spirit-Led Leadership Series

There are no shortcuts to Spirit-led leadership! A worldly leader can do many things to raise their level of personal development. But when it comes to the 'Gifts of the Holy Spirit', there are no mantras to recite, no conferences to attend, no gurus to emulate...True Spirit-led leadership has to come from a person filled with the Spirit, committed to following The Voice of God no matter what the situation! As so called 'religious leaders', fail/fall, we are only reminded that it is not by earthly wisdom, physical prowess, aesthetic beauty, nor is it by superior intellect that prepares us for true Spirit-led leadership. Our vocabulary might be vast, our elocution may be unmatched, our fashion may be 'top ten', our "coolness" may be flawless, our shrewdness may by untouchable, our worldly success may be world class, but this doesn't indicate nor predicate true Spirit-led leadership!
The Gifts of The Spirit will not be televised, retweeted, virtually streamed, nor reproduced!

"The church today is trying to care for the citizens of the kingdom of heaven using the leadership structures and style of the kingdom of the world." - John R. Sittema

When does bad leadership turn into something more serious than just "bad leadership"! The quote by John Sittema is a picture of the reality that we face today. How much weight does integrity have in our lives? How much weight does loyalty have? How about diligence? How about faithfulness? It should have the same weight and importance to us as it has to God! This is where true Spirit-led leadership differs from what we see in the world... God can see through the lies, God can see through the façade, God can see past the walls that we try to put up. Purity of heart, focus of mind, faithfulness to the word that we give and the covenant that we make with our spouse are all essential to whether or not we qualify for true Spirit-led leadership. Fancy titles, fancy names, inside hookups, nor good looks can qualify us. The minute that we think that we're ready for leadership is the minute that we are disqualified! Cain had more abilities, more strength, more might, and more cunning than his brother, but his offering was rejected because his heart wasn't right! Create in us a clean heart O' God and renew a righteous Spirit in us...That we may have the integrity to LEAD!

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016 at 3:29:00 PM

The Art of the Kneel: The Meaning of True Spirit-Led Leadership Series

Mark 7:24-30 (Phillips)
Then he got up and left that place and went off to the neighborhood of Tyre. There he went into a house and wanted no one to know where he was. But it proved impossible to remain hidden. For no sooner had he got there, than a woman who had heard about him, and who had a daughter possessed by an evil spirit, arrived and prostrated herself before him. She was a Greek, a Syro-phoenician by birth, and she asked him to drive the evil spirit out of her daughter. Jesus said to her, “You must let the children have all they want first. It is not right, you know, to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she replied, “Yes, Lord, I know, but even the dogs under the table eat what the children leave.” “If you can answer like that,” Jesus said to her, “you can go home! The evil spirit has left your daughter.”  And she went back home and found the child lying quietly on her bed, and the evil spirit gone.

This is a powerful passage about leadership, even though at first glance it doesn't seem like it. The woman that comes to Jesus is a gentile of Greek origin. Her allegiance should be to the Roman Empire and her husband. But she comes to Jesus, not asking for an individual request, but she comes on behalf of her sick daughter. What makes this account astounding is what she says in verse 28... She says "Yes, Lord"... This is the Greek word 'Kurios', this word would only be reserved for her husband and/or a Roman King! When she says "YES LORD" she is making her allegiance to Christ known to the world! She is coming to Jesus as an ambassador to her family, but she turns over all of her duties, protocol, and honor...laying them at the feet of Christ.

The fact that this event comes right after verses 15-23 is a testament to True Spirit-led Leadership!

For what came out of the woman did not defile her, but led to deliverance for her sick daughter. When you are being truly led by the Holy Spirit in leadership, you will understand that the most important thing is not your own pride, your own privilege, nor your own purpose. But true Spirit-led leadership starts with humility and ends with healing! Religious rituals and personal piety add nothing to God's power nor do they result in spiritual deliverance for the people!

 A leader has to have a pure, clean heart; a heart that serves; a heart that hurts when people hurt; a heart that yields privilege in order to gain  power for the people; a heart that loves in the face of opposition; a heart that will humble itself by any means necessary!

The Syro-phoencian women in the passage exhibits the kinds of heart that many religious leaders lack today. As Christ clearly points out, this kind of heart does not belong to a particular class, gender, race, group, or tribe!  The individual must yield to the molding and shaping of the Holy Spirit in order for this heart to be purified enough, to exhibit true leadership! We need this type of leadership in our world more than ever, with scandals looming around every pew, and greed seeping from every exhortation. Today if we will hear His voice... Today if we would harden not our hearts.....Today if we would watch..... Today if we would pray...Today if we would humble ourselves... Today if we would kneel before His throne.....  Maybe true Spirit-led leadership would find us again.

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Tuesday, March 22, 2016 at 2:31:00 PM

Straight Outta The Well: The Essence of True Spirit-Led Evangelim (21st Century Evangelism Series)

Now when the Lord found that the Pharisees had heard that “Jesus is making and baptising more disciples than John”—although, in fact, it was not Jesus who did the baptising but his disciples—he left Judea and went off again to Galilee, which meant passing through Samaria. There he came to a little town called Sychar, which is near the historic plot of land that Jacob gave to his son, Joseph, and “Jacob’s Spring” was there. Jesus, tired with his journey, sat down beside it, just as he was. The time was about midday. Presently, a Samaritan woman arrived to draw some water.

“Please give me a drink,” Jesus said to her, for his disciples had gone away to the town to buy food. The Samaritan woman said to him, “How can you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.)

“If you knew what God can give,” Jesus replied, “and if you knew who it is that said to you, ‘Give me a drink’, I think you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water!”

“Sir,” said the woman, “you have nothing to draw water with and this well is deep—where can you get your living water? Are you a greater man than our ancestor, Jacob, who gave us this well, and drank here himself with his family, and his cattle?”

Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring in the man himself, welling up into eternal life.”

The woman said, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may stop being thirsty—and not have to come here to draw water any more!”

“Go and call your husband and then come back here,” said Jesus to her.

“I haven’t got a husband!” the woman answered. “You are quite right in saying, ‘I haven’t got a husband’,” replied Jesus, “for you have had five husbands and the man you have now is not your husband at all. Yes, you spoke the simple truth when you said that.” “Sir,” said the woman again, “I can see that you are a prophet! Now our ancestors worshipped on this hill-side, but you Jews say that Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship—” “Believe me,” returned Jesus, “the time is coming when worshipping the Father will not be a matter of ‘on this hill-side’ or ‘in Jerusalem’. Nowadays you are worshipping with your eyes shut. We Jews are worshipping with our eyes open, for the salvation of mankind is to come from our race. Yet the time is coming, yes, and has already come, when true worshippers will worship in spirit and in reality. Indeed, the Father looks for men who will worship him like that. God is spirit, and those who worship him can only worship in spirit and in reality.”

“Of course I know that Messiah is coming,” returned the woman, “you know, the one who is called Christ. When he comes he will make everything plain to us.”

“I am Christ speaking to you now,” said Jesus. At this point his disciples arrived, and were surprised to find him talking to a woman, but none of them asked, “What do you want?” or “What are you talking to her about?” So the woman left her water-pot behind and went into the town and began to say to the people, “Come out and see the man who told me everything I’ve ever done! Can this be ‘Christ’?” So they left the town and started to come to Jesus.

John 4:1-30  (PHILLIPS Version)

The Samaritan woman was empowered by Christ to go back to Sychar and tell people about The "Coming of The Messiah"! We are well aware of the fact that she was of mixed "race/heritage" and Christ saying anything to her would have been taboo in the 1st Century. But Christ not only breaks cultural and "racial" protocol by speaking to her, but He empowers her to become a witness for Him! This is completely amazing! In the 1st century the testimony of a woman would not have been taken seriously, much less a woman who would have been considered an adulterous harlot! But Jesus saw the true potential that was in this woman, even though she was imperfect, even though she was the "wrong gender", even though she was the "wrong race", even though she had no husband; The Lord still looked on her as someone who had VALUE!

And not just any kind of value, value as a WITNESS! Value as an evangelist!

 In verse 39 it says "Many of the Samaritans who came out of that town believed in him through the woman’s testimony".... And what was her testimony "He told me everything I’ve ever done"... She didn't give 5 points, she didn't invite them to a religious service, she didn't tell them how holy she was, she didn't even quote scripture to them....She told them what her experience with Christ was...And her experience was about TRUTH, DELIVERANCE, and NEW LIFE!

No longer bound & shamed by her past, No longer hiding the reality of her current situation, No longer being incomplete, No longer feeling mediocre.

Christ gave her the LIVING WATER! This is an example of true Spirit-Led evangelism, that we can all learn from. We should no longer spend time debating doctrine and trying to convince the 'gainsayers'....true Spirit-Led evangelism needs to flow "straight outta us" and when it does.... it will not only be effective but also powerful, because it will not be by our own strength.

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016 at 11:06:00 AM

Social Media Meltdown: Is Social Media Destroying your Spiritual Life?- Age of Avatar Series

Is Social Media Destroying Your Spiritual Life?

Our society has become addicted to quick burst of social stimulus, it doesn't matter if that stimulus is from an incoming text message, a new 'like' on Facebook or Instagram, a favorite or retweet on Twitter, or comments & shares on various other Social Media (SM) platforms. This stimulus comes at a cost, an unseen cost for those who interact,  we will call this cost "
value of the social information". In order to understand why there is now a cost associated with our daily social moments; let's start with looking at the past.

In the past when people would have intimate or exciting moments with their family, these moments may be caught on camera or video tape. But once the moment was captured, the value was never measured by society because only family and friends would consume this information (and in a controlled manner).

But today, a intimate family moment is often "posted" on Social Media without any regard for who consumes this information nor who affirms.

 So how does this apply to the value of the social information; in order to determine that, we have to understand the psychology of a person who 'posts' content. When an individual posts social information on SM they are expecting to get a positive response back in the form of various indicators (likes, favorites, thumbs ups, shares, comments, etc.).  But they have no idea what kind of feedback they will receive, this is where the
value of the social information comes into play. People are allowing invaluable social moments to be "devalued" by putting them on the public auction block; like poker chips, betting they will win the SM jackpot (my post went viral yall!). So, the value of the social information is not decided by the individual that posts it but is determined by the perceived amount of 'positive indicators' received from the individuals SM peer group. This brings us to a myriad of issues involving 'how' individuals measure various indicators and 'why' are these indicators in control of the social value of any given post.

How an individual measures "likes/favorites/share" is completely based on the mental & spiritual state of the individual.

Here in-lies the problem because many times the reason why individuals are post content, is to obtain affirmation or to satisfy feelings of inadequacy. Therefore if the desired indicators are not "high" enough it with subconsciously bring down the value of the persons post (even if it is a picture of  their own child or loved one).

This is a dangerous practice as it will ultimately create a personality that views the sacred/important social moments of their own life through the filter of perceived social acceptance ( i.e. the high of getting 100 'likes'). This can lead to people staging pictures, or even staging scenes in order to summon the desired SM 'positive indicators'! This is similar to an addict who only wants to get that "high" feeling and doesn't care about the type of drugs nor the consequences to their body, mind & spirit.

 It is a perpetual popularity contest, a virtual environment that simulates a 'type' of fame & notoriety.

 Not only is this detrimental to the individual but it is detrimental to the community at large, and it creates a vicious cycle; the individual gets their fleeting taste of fame or importance and their audience gets a quick consumable meme that they can forget as soon as they lay down their cellphone.

The feeling of inadequacy saturates our culture, from not driving the coolest car, not getting the best grades, not eating the most popular foods, not seeing the newest shows, to not being the most successful; peer pressure is no longer an issue for grade-schoolers thanks to SM. The fear of missing out (FoMO), has become a mental disorder causing many to feel anxiety if they cannot access their favorite SM platforms. These fears and feelings are not real, but their effects are definitely causing problems in our society. The increased consumption of coffee & other caffeine related drinks indicates a world in which "connectivity" no longer means actually being connected but means being infected! Infected with a desire to "be" something different than what you actually are, infected with the desire to feel false joy and shallow "likes" in the absence of healthy relationships. The infection grows and grows unchecked everyday for those who never stop long enough to do a quick introspection.

A small daily self evaluation, simply asking the questions: Am I spending touch time thinking about Social Media? What do I get out of Social Media that I don't get from physical interaction? Am I really missing out on anything if I don't check my SM feeds? Does this moment need to be captured & posted all over the internet? What am I teaching my children with my Social Media habits? Will I have a meltdown if I stay away from Social Media for a week, or month?

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 4:12:00 PM


This is a quote from Marvin Gaye made in 1976 about the song 'Mercy Mercy Me':

"I would love to quit show business and go after that knowledge and that power that the truly gifted sorcerer has. The power's here, it's in the rocks, it's in the air, it's in the animals. There are men of knowledge who could take these forces and elements and cause mysterious things to happen to the body, transform, themselves, and do many, many marvelous things. I would like to become a man of power and I would like to use it in a good fashion. The knowledge that we have is enough to catapult ourselves over the hurdle into super-knowledge, where we become super-beings. But at that point we always destroy ourselves. That will always happen because super knowledge is only for the chosen few. but the few can be of a great number, that's why I talk about it. If only we would adhere to certain laws that Mother Nature..."

What stands out is how Marvin wants to give up being a "famous/successful" music artist to become a "spiritually powerful" shaman/warlock ...why would a man who has everything that money, fame, and worldly power can buy, want to trade it all to be spiritually transformed and wield supernatural abilities??? Isn't this man happy with his success as a music artist???? This man was looking for salvation in rituals, this man was looking for spiritual "illumination" in sacrifices and wanted to take the kingdom by force. We cannot find 'safe harbor' from the terrors of this life by resorting to violence and coercion of the natural elements.

Matthew 9:9-13
As Jesus passed on from there, He saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, “Follow Me.” So he arose and followed Him. Now it happened, as Jesus sat at the table in the house, that behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and sat down with Him and His disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

Hosea 6:4-6
“O Ephraim, what shall I do to you?
O Judah, what shall I do to you?
For your faithfulness is like a morning cloud,
And like the early dew it goes away.

Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets,
I have slain them by the words of My mouth;
And your judgments are like light that goes forth.

For I desire mercy and not sacrifice,
And the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings.

In Matthew 9:13 Christ references Hosea 6th chapter, in response to the criticism He received from certain religious leaders. It's simple to see how Christ's answer was a perfect response to His critics, but even more is revealed after reading Hosea 6! Christ's response was not just about His "sinful" company, but it was about the very hearts of the religious leadership. It is not that these religious men had no form of "righteousness", in fact they had much piety! But it was the fact that their position before God did not effect those around them. Their spiritual reach stopped at the ends of their garments, they were in effect, spiritually impotent. In Hosea 6, sin ran rampant not because "sacrifices", Offering, and Tithes weren't being given....But because true Faith, true worship, and a true relationship with God was not manifest. Dead rituals were present, church attendance was high, the offering plate was full, priests were performing at optimal levels....but no mercy was present in the community, no true intimacy with God, NO REPENTANCE!

 For this is the secret of 'mercy'... it's a catalyst for repentance!

As we deal with our fellow brothers & sisters in Christ and The Holy Spirit flows "The gift of Mercy" through us.... it will help provide an environment for repentance... Mercy suits the case!

Resistance is Future ...(James 4:6-10)

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