Posted by: Lady Dunamis | August 23, 2015

So You Want to Know about Witchcraft

What do you think about when you hear the word witchcraft? Harry Potter? Psychics? Wicca and voodoo? What about reality TV star mediums? Many may dismiss it as fraudulent while others seek to make contact in the beyond to gain some esoteric knowledge only known to a few. This work of darkness not only hides behind the veil of human flesh deceiving and manipulating the unsuspecting, vulnerable, and ignorant; it ensnares the soul to be entangled in a web of spiritual destruction and demise.

Witchcraft is experienced on a daily basis from well-meaning friends, family, co-workers or associates. It besets us without warning or proclamation. Some parents want to control their adult children through financial or emotional manipulation. The un-seemingly harmless person who plays the victim card when in repeated distress. The annoying social vampire who swallows up your time and energy talking about him or herself, violating personal boundaries forcing friendship. It is the silent treatment, outbursts of anger or crying fits in hopes to allure and manipulate you into doing things the other party wants you to do. And the manifestations of it are endless.

The work of witchcraft is both natural and spiritual. In the book of Galatians, witchcraft is a natural desire:

“Now the works of the flesh are manifest which are these: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such the like. “ (1)

Witchcraft is also spiritual, referring to the work of sorcery such as seeking and conjuring up of spirits. Many believe when a medium seeks to have communication with the dead that they are in contact with the dead, for example a dead relative who can confirm their present circumstances or portend their future. Or believing that the spirit of a dead loved one is co-existing with them. Both assumptions are false. The living and the dead do not co-exist in the same realm nor should they have direct contact with each other because of the very nature of the worlds they both exist in.

In the book of first Samuel, Saul’s army was afraid of the Philistines and he sought counsel from the Lord, but “…when Saul inquired of the Lord, the Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets.” (2) When Saul could not get an answer from God, he requested the aid of the witch at Endor to communicate with the prophet Samuel from the dead about his outcome with the Philistines. All who practiced occultism (human sacrifice, divination, necromancy, enchantment and spells, mediums (aka consulter with familiar spirits), and magicians) (3) were to be excommunicated and put to death (4).

The witch at Endor knew this and asked for Saul (disguised) to swear that her life would not be harmed. After Saul promised she would not be punished, in verse 10 the medium asks who she should bring up but in verse twelve she was startled by what she saw because Samuel rose from the dead without her conjuring up a spirit to feign as if it were the prophet Samuel.  The witch told Saul that she “saw gods ascending out of the earth,” (5) this means she saw individuals (be it men, angels, or demons) who were connected to the spiritual world. Samuel was not raised from the dead by this medium and this was not an exception to the rule. Witchcraft is hateful to God, has been and always will be forbidden. Although the Scripture does not divulge how he came from the dead, we do know he was raised from the dead and told Saul of his outcome.

The only One who has been given ALL power in heaven and in earth is Jesus Christ, who is the true Potentate, King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Only at his command principalities, powers, and rulers submit.

“For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and for him.” (6)

Human beings do not have the divine right to resurrect from the dead or exercise control over demon spirits. Only believers in Christ Jesus have the power to expose, excommunicate, and bind demonic forces. No Christian should be talking to demons or seeking counsel from the dead.

Christians need not practice religious syncretism because the Word of God is sufficient for past, present, and future knowledge. It is possible for Christians to have spiritual experiences but these supernatural encounters will not violate the law of God.

In the story about the Rich Man and Lazarus, the rich man was in hell and asked Father Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his living relatives to not come to hell. Father Abraham responded to the rich man, “they have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them,” (7) but the rich man pressed that if one from the dead brought the news they would listen. Abraham said, “if they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” (8)

References

  1. Galatians 5:19-21
  2. I Samuel 28:6
  3. Deuteronomy 18:9-12
  4. Leviticus 20:27
  5. I Samuel 28:14
  6. Colossians 1:16
  7. Luke 16:29
  8. Luke 16:31
Posted by: Lady Dunamis | August 16, 2015

So You Say You’re a Christian: Prove it!

Christian exhortation usually starts off with “the devil wants your stuff so praise God in advance for the victory,” or “don’t let the devil steal your praise.” Then the encouragement shifted from the devil desiring houses, cars, land, and praise to “the devil wants to steal your faith.” I am fully persuaded that it is none of the above. I believe the devil wants your position in the kingdom that has been secured by faith in Christ Jesus.

As heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ, we are afforded the privilege to sit with Christ in heavenly places (1) have dominion over demonic influences (2), spiritual gifting for the edification of the saints and the maturation of the body of Christ (3) and to proclaim the good news (4)* of Jesus as Savior, Lord, and the soon returning King. But what continual angst does Satan have against God that he would continually seek to thwart the kingdom of God?

“Thou was perfect in thy ways from the day that thou was created, till iniquity was found in thee.” (5)*

“And [Jesus] said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.” (6)

When Satan was lifted up in pride, he lost his place and position in heaven. There was no appeal or reversal of that judgment. In fact he took down a portion of the angelic host “who kept not their first estate but left their own habitation, [whom God] hath reserved in everlasting chains of darkness unto the judgment of the great day.” (7)

Since the Garden of Eden, we see how Satan has declared war against God and all of humanity with his sole purpose to kill, steal, and destroy, (8) but God counterattacked by sending Jesus, the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world. Now through him we have access to Father God, eternal life, and the rule of God’s kingdom. For man (and woman) to be restored is unbearable, so he battles against the saints by launching wiles, schemes, and tricks in three areas of our lives where we are all vulnerable: our needs, our pride, and our desire to be recognized. Let’s take a look at Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness.

Area of Need:

“If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” (9)

This one is a no brainer. Jesus was in the wilderness without food for 40 days and nights and then he became hungry. Of course he would want to have some food in the middle of the wilderness no doubt. But the key here is not so much his hunger as it is his reliance upon the Father to provide. As the God-man he could have easily spoken the word and it would be so; however, he would have relied upon his ability than the Father’s providence.

Area of Pride:

If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down.” (10)

Here we have the first reality television show staring Jesus, and the host Satan misinterpreting scripture to prompt Jesus to make a fool of himself by showing off his miraculous powers. Since the first temptation didn’t work, Satan tries the old switch-a-roo by using another object of temptation which is closely related to the last tempation.

Desire to be recognized:

“All these things will I give thee if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” (11)

Ah! Now we get to the root of the matter. Notice Satan didn’t say this time “if thou be the Son of God” because he saw his previous attempts fail, but what he is after is still the same. In this scenario he uses riches, glory and fame of which already belongs to the Lord. In exchange for these “gifts” Satan wants what is rightfully due to God: worship.

What do we see through the example of Jesus that Satan oftentimes does to us? Here is a perfect opportunity to lure Jesus off the straight and narrow and present to him the riches of the world. All he has to do is forget who he is, whose he is, and his purpose all in exchange for a piece of bread, instant fame, material possessions, and submission to a fallen angel who is eternally damned. Doesn’t sound so inviting when put like that.

What Satan was able to accomplish through the serpent with Adam and Eve he failed to do with Jesus because Jesus knew:

  • Who he was (Identity)
  • Why he was here (Purpose)
  • What he needed to accomplish (Destiny)

You never have to prove your identity because that was settled on the cross. All you have to do is live a life that pleases the Lord. Proving your worth to people who do not believe in your God and promote the idea of greatness and self-worth through works is secular garbage.

So the next time you are beset with temptation, do what Jesus did. Resist the devil, remain faithful to God, and obey his commandments. You are and will be destined to rule in the kingdom which is and which is to come.

Stay encouraged and be faithful. The King is coming!

References

  1. Ephesians 2:6
  2. Mark 16:17-18
  3. Ephesians 4:11-16
  4. Only spirit filled believers in Christ Jesus are authorized to promote the word of God. Anyone who professes to be commissioned and is not a Christian is a false prophet
  5. Ezekiel 28:15. This would be considered a double reference. Ezekiel was talking about the King of Tyre but revealing the influence he was under (Satan) as demonstrated by his pride and arrogance.
  6. Luke 10:18
  7. Jude 1:6
  8. John 10:10
  9. Matthew 4:3
  10. Matthew 4:6

 

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | August 16, 2015

I’ll Talk For Myself by Dr. Claude Alexander

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | August 9, 2015

Generational Curses: Another False Doctrine

“The word of the Lord came unto me again, saying, What mean ye, that ye use this proverb concerning the land of Israel saying, The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge? As I live, saith the Lord God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel.” Ezekiel 18:1-3

“Visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children.” Exodus 20:5

At a casual glance these two scriptures look contradictory, but they are not. When God dealt with Israel, he viewed the nation as one. We see examples of God’s judgment visited upon transgressors like Achan, when he took the forbidden Babylonian garments. He and all his household were stoned to death because his actions led Israel to be defeated at Ai. (1) During Korah’s rebellion, he boldly challenged God’s choice of electing Moses and consequently, the Lord responded by opening up the earth “swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.” (2) These are examples of God executing judgment not only on the individual trespassers but their families and associations as well.  Although the person is held accountable for his/her own deeds, the influence and repercussions are corporate.

Throughout Israel’s history, there has been a cyclical relationship of their sinning and God’s salvation. Israel departed from the ways of God and would be overthrown by an opposing nation. They would cry out to the Lord to be rescued and delivered, but there came a time when God had enough. This led to the Israeli deportations on 734, 724-722 (3) and the Judean deportations on 597 and 586 (4) to be under the yoke of King Nebuchadnezzar for a period of 70 years.

Prior to Jeremiah prophesying about the new covenant that would be established between God and the nation of Israel in the latter days, he noted, “in those days they shall say no more, the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children’s teeth are set on edge. But everyone shall die for his own iniquity: every man that eateth the sour grape his (emphasis mine) teeth shall be set on edge.” (5)

Both Jeremiah and Ezekiel were on the same page. The main theme was personal accountability and all were going to be responsible for his or her actions before the Lord. When the Lord said, “the soul that sinneth, it shall die,” that was to replace the proverb of the children’s teeth on edge.

The doctrine of generational curses identifies genetic dispositions such as diseases and sickness as spiritually inherited and unique to genealogical lines of which can be destroyed through prayer. What this doctrine fails to acknowledge is the universality of sin, how God dealt with it, and overlooks the power of learned behaviors. When Adam transgressed, all of humanity fell. To suppose sin is generationally unique and can be eliminated through prayer is errant.

Sin is a spiritual problem that plagues humanity and God’s solution to sin was dealt with by sacrifice. First through Adam and Eve’s covering, then by type and shadow under the Law of Moses, and finally personified through Jesus Christ.

We confuse judgment and the consequences of sin and rationalize it as a generational curse. When Adam and Eve sinned their judgment was spiritual enmity (between the seed of the woman and the seed of Satan), multiplied sorrow in childbirth, a shift in weight and responsibility in marriage, unfruitful labor, and death. The consequence of sin (death) resulted in life threatening ailments, sinful behaviors, and in some cases, loss of life, such as:

  • Murder motived from jealousy and envy. (6)
  • Presumption that man has the right to take human life. (7)
  • Violence and continual evil in the heart of men (8)
  • Life span decreased (9)
  • Lewd and immoral behavior (10)
  • Women unable to bear children (11)
  • Violence, inhospitality, homosexuality, and incest (12)
  • Poor vision (13)
  • Rape (14)
  • Death in childbearing (15)

In Deuteronomy 28 the scriptures elaborate in great detail what would happen to Israel if they failed to obey the commandments of the Lord: poverty, sickness, and disease. Here we see prosperity, health and life are directly linked to obedience to God’s word. Walking in God’s word sanctifies and rebellion brings corruption. Believing in God is the gateway but it demands a response from the recipient of God’s grace.

Using prayer as a means to escape a non-existent generational curse is delusion. We acknowledge that by being born in a state of sin, we are unable to escape incurable sicknesses and diseases; however, there is much scriptural proof that God has supremacy over all. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit we are empowered to control eating and spending habits, kill envy and strife, and put our own spirits under subjection walking in self-control and moderation. To pray these away is offensive to God and ignores the redemptive work of his Son.

As Christians we should always remember it is “…better to obey than sacrifice and to hearken than the fat of rams” (16).

References

  1. Joshua 7
  2. Numbers 16:32
  3. Gothiel, Richard, Ryssel, Victor, Jastrow, Marcus, and Levias, Casper (n.d.) Captivity, Exile, or Babylonian, Jewish Encyclopedia at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4012-captivity
  4. Gothiel, Richard, Ryssel, Victor, Jastrow, Marcus, and Levias, Casper (n.d.) Captivity, Exile, or Babylonian, Jewish Encyclopedia at http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/4012-captivity
  5. Jeremiah 31:29-30
  6. Genesis 4:8
  7. Genesis 4:23
  8. Genesis 6:5
  9. Genesis 6:3
  10. Genesis 9:24
  11. Genesis 11:30
  12. Genesis 19
  13. Genesis 27:1
  14. Genesis 34
  15. Genesis 35:16-19
  16. I Samuel 15:22

 

 

 

 

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | August 1, 2015

Providence versus Miracles

From time to time I like listening to the bible narrated, but on a particular day I elected to tune in to a few gospel artists on iHeart Radio. Usually, I don’t get into discussions about what is considered legitimate gospel songs because musical taste is just as selective as one’s favorite dish. Not to mention that it fuels a fiery debate right along the lines of church and politics. However, in this case, I will tip toe on the border of being antagonistic and say most of what is passed off as praise and worship is perfectly and lyrically adorned as materialism using scriptures to justify some form of kingdom entitlement.

Believers in Christ Jesus are privileged because of what Jesus did and with that comes great responsibility, like living before the Lord in a manner that pleases him. Cars, homes, book deals and such the like have nothing to do with the kingdom of God. Those are earthly pleasures to facilitate life. For the record, if we are aiming for lyrical and scriptural accuracy in worshiping God, the Book of Psalms is where it is at.

While tapping to the beat of the music on iHeart Radio, I had to pause a few times because some of the lyrics were not scripturally accurate. Furthermore, all I kept hearing was how God was going to bless, I got a miracle, speak over yourself, go and get your blessings, chase your dreams, your miracle is on its way and in summary, all this was miraculous. This led me to ask the question. What is the difference between providence and the miraculous? It was time to search the scriptures.

In most cases when Christians talk about God doing a miracle, it is usually one and the same with receiving some sort of benefit. Although used synonymously, providence and miracles are distinctly different in purpose and in function.

Providence (Gk pronia, Latin providentia) is the sovereign divine superintendence of all things, guiding [people] toward their divinely predetermined end in a way that is consistent with their created nature, all to the glory and praise of God. (Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology) Note: providence is a pervasive idea in the scriptures and not a biblical term.

A miracle (Gk dunamis) is an ability or capability that is supernatural in nature. It is God’s power given to his representatives to show forth his authority, influence and supremacy over sin, sickness, and disease. The miraculous wonder should always point to God and not the individual whom God uses.

Below are a few examples of providence and miracles:

Providence

God told Elijah to go to the brook at Cherith. (I Kings 17:3-4)

This shows God’s care in meeting the prophet’s basic needs in a drought.

Naomi returned back to Bethlehem because she heard God visited his people with bread. (Ruth 1:6)

God not only cared for Naomi, but also provided for Ruth, the Moabitess who chose to serve God. Returning back to Bethlehem placed both in a position to be financially cared for through kinsmen redemption. In the grand scheme of things, Ruth was engrafted into the Jewish lineage and therefore became one of the four women identified in the genealogy of Jesus Christ.

Miracles

Paul’s handkerchiefs were used to heal the sick and cast out devils. (Acts 19:11-12)

It wasn’t the handkerchiefs or Paul that performed the miracles but God’s power. The item used or the person in and of itself does not have the ability to work the supernatural. It is God’s spirit that does the work. The confidence should be placed in God, not the person or thing used.

Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. (St. John 11:1-44)

Although Jesus could have prevented Lazarus’ death, the point of this miracle was not prevention but resurrection. God has power over life and death.

Providence and Miracles

Sometimes providence and the miraculous intersect. We read about Jesus providing for 5,000 men, not including women and children, with two fish and five loaves of bread. The provision was the bread and fish. How the Lord was able to feed the multitude is supernatural. (St Matthew 14:13-21)

Another example where providence and miracles intertwine is the widow and the oil. The prophet directed the widow to borrow vessels and use the oil she had but how she was able to sustain is unknown and a wonder. (II King 4:1-7)

In conclusion, providence is God meeting our basic needs so we can sustain. Since all of the world’s resources are at God’s beck and call, he distributes as he sees fit. When we accept and thank him for the provision, he is honored.  Miracles are independent of medical assistance and human intervention. They are supernatural in nature and are solely dependent upon God’s ability.

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | July 27, 2015

The Preached Word

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house” Hebrews 11:7

“And [God] spared not the old world but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly.” II Peter 2:5

When we hear the saying “the preached word,” it automatically invokes an image of someone standing on a pulpit or on the street corner proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. While that would be the most widely accepted definition, there is much more to it. We place a lot of emphasis on the importance of precise interpretation, inductive reasoning versus deductive reasoning, or debating exegesis over eisegesis. However, when we think about Noah as a preacher, little if anything is said about his message.

Taking a trip into the book of Genesis, Noah is first introduced to us after God by way of the Holy Spirit, highlighting the current climate of the environment he lived in:

“And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” Genesis 6:5

Yet, we see that Noah found favor with God and was spared from the flood. But it begs the question, if he was a preacher of righteousness, what did Noah say? Apart from the Hollywood interpretation of Noah being ridiculed and scorned by his less than friendly neighbors, the scriptures gives us no evidence of what the wicked said or did in response to Noah’s divine instructions, but what we do know is Noah’s actions spoke louder than his words.

Noah was indeed a preacher of righteousness and not by what we deem to be the current standard of scriptural pontification. When we see God gracing Noah by sparing his life and that of his family, we know that Noah’s life style was distinctively different, insomuch that God had his eye on him. Under a direct commandment, Noah began to build the ark and this served as a two-fold witness: God’s salvation toward Noah and his family and God’s judgment to the condemned. When Noah built the ark, in essence his obedience was the preached word.

From the very beginning man defied God in the Garden of Eden by choosing the wisdom of the serpent over the wisdom of God. Cain killed his brother Abel because of the excellency of his sacrifice (Hebrews 11:4). Throughout the generations, the giants in the land or better yet, translated as men of renown, characterized for their violence had no regard for their fellow neighbors and chose women based on beauty instead of virtue. These men thought evil continually and when evil seems to go unchecked, the Lord will always send a witness. The time for salvation was over and Noah building the ark was a message of judgment.

Many believe that the preached word is the only way God can communicate, but we have scriptural proof that living a life of maturity and completeness (perfection) is by far a more convincing witness than passing out a tract.

By no means am I advocating that the gospel should no longer be preached. It should, otherwise, no one can believe on whom they have not heard. What I do support and believe is the gospel we hear, that is what we should do. But if there ever is a time when it is not possible to have a witnessing moment, the greatest testimony is a life that conforms to the scriptures. Not only will that testify to the inner light we possess, but the judgment to be had if they reject.

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | July 21, 2015

Unlocking the Treasures of Time by Dr. Jackie McCullough

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | July 12, 2015

The Mystery of Iniquity

“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who know letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall the Wicked be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming.”    II Thessalonians 2:7-8

There was a time when Christians heralded the message “Jesus is coming back, be ready” and that signaled to all who listened to take heed to the signs of the time. Although there is truth in that statement, something was highly misunderstood by the saints of yesteryear. Likewise, the church at Thessalonica misunderstood Jesus’ return coming as a “thief in the night.” (I Thessalonians 5:2) Instead, when beset by persecution, they believed that Day of the Lord arrived and somehow missed it. Paul addressed their concerns in discussing the Day of the Lord and the mystery of iniquity in his second letter.

To better understand the context of this scripture, we would need to refer the words of Jesus concerning the destruction of the temple and the last days. Jesus said, “take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.” (St. Matthew 24:4-5) Of course it wouldn’t stop there. These antichrists would precede the man of sin who would be empowered by Satan to perform signs and wonders and desecrate the holy place. This would be referred to as the abomination of Desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel. (Daniel 9:27, 12:11)

Without going into eschatological detail and attempting to determine the translation of the Church, I would like to focus on the words mystery and iniquity. Mystery or musterion (Greek) refers to things that have not been disclosed. Iniquity or anomia (Greek) is a transgression of the law. This could be in ignorance meaning a person is not knowledgeable about the law that he or she is breaking or one who has full knowledge of it and chooses to break it anyway. In either case, it is rebellion against God. For the believer, the satanic persuasion and influence permeating the church as well as unbelievers should be evident. We should not be shocked about the filth and debauchery that exists within our communities. In fact, it is an indication that the judgment of God is at the door!

Contrary to popular belief the Lord still reigns and we know this because the Holy Spirit restrains the work of iniquity so the church of God is not overtaken. There will come a time when he will remove his limitations and permit the Antichrist to reign for a time. This of course plays to God’s plan to conquer and destroy the son of perdition.

So what does all this mean for the church? We are not to live in fear or abandon our daily duties as if Jesus is coming back within a split second, nor are we to believe that if we experience persecution that somehow we missed Jesus’ return. Instead we are to live in a state of readiness, be prepared to give an answer for the hope that is within us (I Peter 3:15), occupy until he comes (Luke 19:13) and always have oil in our vessels (St. Matthew 25:4).

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | July 5, 2015

The Church: Confused As Usual

The messages preached by the church are so confusing. First it was holiness or hell. Then it was the prosperity message. Now the faith movement has morphed into a consumerism that is so indistinguishable from unbelievers that the identity of Christians or dare I say C.I.N.O.s (Christians in name only) causes unbelievers to scratch their heads in unbelief. Why is the church here? What purpose does the church now serve other than to use consumerism as an advantage to fulfill personal gains?

Collectively, the church has failed to address the issue of one getting his or her house in order before they can become agents of change and partners in the work of the ministry. We hear the good news that Jesus saves and not before long are we enrolled into classes concerning financial stewardship, church bylaws; entangled into church bureaucracy, and sentenced to an endless list of sermonic tongue lashings purporting personal and political agendas using scripture as the church store front.

You’ve heard and seen it before. A commercial on tithing sandwiched between the church barbeque and recruitment for missionary work. Another building fund and sermon with the “consider your ways” scriptural reference of which has nothing to do with raising a church offering for a building fund as much as it does to provoke the exilic Jews to consider why there was 15 year gap for not finishing the work of building the temple! (Haggai 1:7) Ultimately, these agendas are set by the clergy in charge; however, does anyone raise the question why bible study is nearly empty and Sunday attendance is dwindling despite church expansion? One church in three locations and can hardly get people to show up for choir rehearsal.

Has it ever occurred to the religious elite that before people ever knew there was a God, their worries were the center of their attention? Is it really fair to expect people to just drop everything for Jesus and follow after him? A few might say yes because the disciples did it; however, there are a few things we must consider. First, when Jesus entered into each one’s life, they were at a point of need. Whether they were looking for the Messiah or for something that hadn’t been clear to them, they were in search for something. When Jesus came, his invitation was the initial point of entry, not the end all be all. Second, before they went to work for God, Jesus took time out to increase their faith, starting with turning water into wine at the wedding feast of Cana (St. John 2). That wasn’t about Jesus flexing his power, rather it was an opportunity for his disciples to believe on him and settle it in their minds that he was the One they were looking for. Third, Jesus spent three years disciplining 12 men for the work of the gospel. Three years. Thirty six months of teaching, preaching, encouraging, rebuking, allowing them to make mistakes and strengthening their faith. If it took Jesus three years of training, why do we think a six week course is going to make new converts right as rain?

We have it all backwards. The needs of the church should be addressed prior to taking the world by an evangelical storm. Before Israel was a light to the people in the land of Canaan, God saw to it that they learned and experienced his ability to provide in the wilderness. He taught them that “man shall not live by bread alone.” (Matthew 4:4) He gave them the 613 negative and affirmative commandments (Ten Commandments included) that governed their moral, ceremonial, and judicial lives. The Torah was a how to manual on dealing with issues of sexual purity, marriage and divorce, property redemption, business practices, dietary laws, dealings with Gentiles, and worship and service just to name a few. Much of the carnality displayed in the church today is due to a lack of training in the ways of the Lord.

Partnering with God in changing the lives of his people for the better is a hard and frustrating task. Many find it intrusive and few are thankful, yet, it is a necessary one. It is a task that empowers people to live a rich and fulfilling life now and in the time to come, eternal life.

Instead of the push for another “kingdom agenda” our fellow brothers and sisters would be greatly served in teaching them the way of God. Just because a person attended church for 20 years doesn’t mean they are knowledgeable about God and his ways. There is still a famine for the hearing of God’s word and God is in no way glorified when his children are ignorant and stumbling because of a lack of knowledge concerning him. (Hosea 4:6)

Time out for church as usual. Instead of trying to be the new corporate America with a church logo, we need to focus on what matters the most to God: his people and their relationship with him.

Posted by: Lady Dunamis | June 30, 2015

Holy Convocation 2015

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