THANK YOU BLOG READERS

I conducted a recent poll and I appreciate the responses of many of our readers. Your encouraging comments helped me to see the value that some of you still place on our Flaming Herald blog. 

Here are many of the comments I pieced together. 

“In this day and hour in which we live, there aren’t many voices out there like yours. Your messages have real spiritual meat in them and are filled with fire and passion.” G. B. 

“I get a lot out of your blogs…Way more than church.” K.P.

“I think the blogs are timely, a voice that addresses the state of the church today and teaches how to move the church forward. So many of us need that input because most of our churches are wanting in areas.” B.M.

“Maybe those of us who value the blog should “forward” it to friends more often for their edification and encourage them to subscribe and thereby increase readership and support.” B

“Often, you right a word that confirms just what I am hearing from the Lord and teaching to my Bible study groups.” D

“I’ve been going to church my whole life and can say that in the latter part of my churchgoing years can count on one hand the times that I have heard the pastor talked about hell, the end times, or encouraging us to get involved politically.” A

“For those of us who can’t find pastors to talk about topics like you do, we rely on online ministers to fill in the gaps.” A. L.

“I look forward with excitement to every article and share them with many and would be VERY DISAPPOINTED if you didn’t share.” M.H.

“thank you for your faithfulness in writing the blog, it has been a great blessing to me even confirming the word I have taught on – a number of times in the same week, which greatly encouraged and lifted me.” A pastor/Bible teacher

“Look forward to reading them and i share them with friends. I have read your books as well but i just purchase the rest of them.” J.C.

“As we know, there is a serious lack of truth being put out in our compromised culture (and Church) that we so need to hear, even be warned as you have! Personally, I’ve remembered points you’ve made, that continue to encourage me, and point me in the right way!” P.P.

“I love your blogs. I read them on my phone or at the library. Now I have the internet myself. I read all of them and forward some.” N.C.

“I read all of your articles. Your articles are stimulating and never boring and feed my spirit and I often pass these articles on to others, especially my wife, and with the Lord’s permission, I sometimes “steal” your main points when ministering to others.” K.J.

“Please keep writing the truth in love… you have been a life line for me..” C

“I know with you that I can get a clear perspective on things that are going on in our Christian community as it pertains to the Lord. Many out there have lost the pure teaching ability to teach on solid doctrine and it’s so watered down and even distorted. So I always hit your pages even if I don’t comment to see if my thinking is lining up with solid teaching.” C.S.

“I envy your writings and have stopped using the highlighter pen as I would end up highlighting most of it.” C.M.

“I do frequently read your blog. I think you are honest and have the courage to speak what the Holy Spirit directs you to share. You are a needed voice in God’s kingdom.” S

“Most people do not say it “the way it is”. I would miss this blog greatly. Do keep it up.” R.C.

“Yes, I’d feel disappointed if you discontinued the blog.” C.L.

Here’s one from Cyprus:

“You are one of the very few true prophetic voices that keep an open path to God’s heart and voice in these perilous days we live now.” A.A. 

Here’s one from a grandmother: 

“I read every blog and have copies of your books. Everything you write speaks volumes to me and brings hope and faith to a higher level. I save them often to reread and share…”

Here’s one that touched me deeply:

“I am so hungry and eager to learn and my only way is by reading. I can’t hear a pin drop- I’m deaf.” A.S.

Here’s one from British Columbia, Canada:

“We have limited access to “in person” contact with other like-minded believers. We are not currently attending any church because it appears that every church in our small city is wrapped up in the current wave of lukewarm and compromised “Christianity”. After struggling for many years, we finally gave up on going to a man-made institution that merely provides entertainment rather than Bible-based teaching. We rely on your blog, as well as a few other blogs, to help us keep a right perspective.” D & T

Here’s one from Africa:

“I have been challenged, motivated, corrected and confirmed by the “part” that God has entrusted you to release. And because of that, I see a greater “whole”. Thank you for your obedience in freely releasing your part. I live and travel in Africa, sometimes with little internet access.” M

Here’s one from Nigeria:

” I use your blogs in some of my sermons. By the way, I’m writing all the way from Nigeria.” P.M.

Here’s one from England:

“Actually I love reading your emails. They are full of passion and wisdom for the times we are in and personally challenging. I’ve also bought two of your books. I love watching the Holy Ghost Forums when they’re posted on YouTube. I love the way the Holy Spirit moves and speaks through you all. I’ve never seen anything like it. It stirs up my spirit, teaches me and increases my spiritual appetite for more.” N.H.

Thank you for encouraging me! I will continue. Please share these truths with others and on your social media pages.

Happy New Year to each of you!

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A COMPELLING HOLIDAY SERIES: WILL THE REAL CHRISTMAS JESUS PLEASE STAND UP? (PART 3)

The spirit of Christmas needs to be superceded by the Spirit of Christ. The spirit of Christmas is annual; the Spirit of Christ is eternal. The spirit of Christmas is sentimental; the Spirit of Christ is supernatural. The spirit of Christmas is a human product; the Spirit of Christ is a divine person. That makes all the difference in the world. ― Stuart Briscoe

There is such a great need in this hour for the unveiling of the intimate and excellency of the holy knowledge of the real Jesus.

Oh people, do you see what we’ve done with the Holy One?

We’ve brought Him down to our level and made Him so common. Yes, He was made a common man, but yet so uncommon. No man ever lived like Him. No man ever loved like Him. No man ever spoke like Him. He was full of grace and truth (Jn. 1:14). He spoke from the fullness of the Godhead.

All His words were the purest of wisdom. His works were the purest of power. His motives were the purest of love. He was the perfect man; not like us, but sent to make us like Him. Instead we’ve tried so hard to make Him like us.

Why is there an increasingly number of people in the West so confused or deceived about who Jesus really is? Why do they seem to have so little depth or spiritual substance in their lives? Why can’t some people’s Christianity seem to go beyond, “Jesus said, do not judge?” Is it not in large part due to the distorted message of Him that our pulpits, our preachers, and our churches have presented? Is it not for the lack of example we’ve had in many Christian leaders? Similarly, the reason for much of today’s current moral and cultural malaise stems from the Church’s distorted image and message of Christ. 

The image of Jesus for many professing Christians has been shaped by the society around them.  Unless you have an intimate relationship with the Holy One and His Word, the image you have of Him will be distorted. It will resemble the pop culture you live in and what the people of that culture worship. In the West, self is god. Corruptible man is worshipped. Humanism rules. And this is what we see in much of today’s Church. This is what we see during the Christmas holidays. Jesus is Santa Claus who has come bearing gifts for all of us while His demands are ignored.

The fewer preconceptions we bring from the outside, for instance in the reading of the gospels, the more clearly we shall see Him and hear Him as He really is. It is all too easy to believe in a Jesus who is largely a construction of our own imagination—an inoffensive Person whom no one could dislike or disapprove of, and certainly whom no one would ever crucify.

But the Jesus we meet in the gospels is far from being an inoffensive person. On the contrary, He caused offense quite frequently. Even His own loyal followers found Him to be offensive and quite disconcerting at times. He upset all established notions of religious propriety.

An inaccurate, distorted, and unbiblical view of Jesus is a big reason why many pastors fail to confront sin in the Church and speak of the evils in our society and educate people on true morality.

When asked why pastors don’t speak out against the evils in our nation and government one influential pastor said, “I think one reason is a lot of Christian leaders have the wrong idea about Jesus. They see Jesus as this little, wimpy guy who walked around plucking daisies and eating birdseed and saying nice things, but never doing anything controversial.” 

Oh, how wrong they are. Read the red letters of Jesus. It will be an eye opener for you. There was no political correctness about Him. He was firm. He was direct. And He usually rocked the boat. Such a contrast from the baby Jesus in a manger that is depicted at Christmas time. Yes, He was once a baby, but in glory He was born. The shepherds were frightened when they saw the glory of the Lord that surrounded His birth.

“Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified…” (Lk. 2:9, NLT).

As Christ was formed in Mary’s womb by the power of the Holy Spirit so has He been formed in every true born again believer. That is the true fulfillment of Christmas and why He came.

Do you know Him? Is He in you?

This Christmas series contains modified excerpts from my book, The Real Jesus. It is a book that I’d love to put into the hands of many during this holiday season. It would make a great gift.

If this article has been a blessing to you please share it. And may God make you a blessing during this Christmas season as you exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.  

A COMPELLING HOLIDAY SERIES: WILL THE REAL CHRISTMAS JESUS PLEASE STAND UP? (PART 2)

“Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ” (Col 2:8).

In the above scripture and letter to the Colossian church Paul is writing to them of the inward life, encouraging them in the Christ life they had received — to walk in Him, and to be rooted and built up in Him. He is warning us of philosophies and empty deceits, based on traditions of men, and the basic principles of the world that speak to us of humanistic things, mystical things, and outward things that are without real eternal substance.

Christmas time is a great example of how Christ has been brought down to a superficial man-made and mystical level by the traditions of men.

Much like today and throughout the centuries of time, Christianity can too easily slip into an outward-ness, a mere form of the power that it was meant to reflect and transmit through Christ. “Don’t be cheated”, Paul says, from the simplicity and completeness of the inward Christ life. There are many things that seek to rob, steal, and plunder our love, affection, and holy intimate knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ, and none more evident than this time of year. Christmas trees, stockings, and mistletoes, Santa Claus, and his reindeers, jingle bells and the one horse open sleigh tend to nurture warm fuzzy feelings that make us happy but hide the life altering revelation of the Holy One.

It is not just the philosophies and empty deceits, included within them these human traditions of Christmas we need to beware of, but there are even good and acceptable things, which while having their proper place in the Christian life, have a tendency to cheat us from the real person and mind of Christ. For the true Christ-professing Christian, such things as buildings, budgets, programs, projects, meetings, committees, or other things that concern the church system apart from the mind of Christ, have the potential to dry up the real heart of the Christ life. Often it’s these very things that rob us of the hallowing intimacy which we are to experience with the Lord. These things although useful, must be kept in their proper perspective lest they dilute the vision of Jesus Himself.

When Christ was born, a hellish opposition immediately arose to attempt to kill and destroy Him (Mt. 2:13, 16). Likewise when the corporate counterpart of the Christ, the Man-child Company is brought forth near the end of this age (Rev. 12) there will be yet another most violent release of hellish opposition. “Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know it is the last hour” (1 John 2:18).

Everything of this world order is in direct opposition to the Christ being revealed personally in reality and power.

The return of the Lord will once again signal the removal of all that is earthly, temporal, and of man, so that only the eternal order of Jesus Christ and His kingdom remains. In the millennial reign of Christ on the earth I don’t believe we will be celebrating Christmas for He will be personally among us in reality and in power.

When Christ returns He is coming for the formation of Christ in us. It is Him in us that He will recognize. His words, “I never knew you,” and “I don’t know you” were spoken to so-called ministers and foolish virgins who were supposedly doing the work of God and who laid claim to His name (Mt. 7:23) (Mt. 25:12), but somehow the Christ was not found in them. Somehow their form of Christianity had replaced Christ Himself. Beware of the forms and festivities that hide Him from us.

So once again the question beckons us: How much of Christ is in your Christianity? Do you know Him or are all the Christmas traditions blocking your view?

This Christmas series contains modified excerpts from my book, The Real Jesus. It is a book that I’d love to put into the hands of many during this holiday season. It would make a great gift.

If this article has been a blessing to you please share it. And may God make you a blessing during this Christmas season as you exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.  

A COMPELLING HOLIDAY SERIES: WILL THE REAL CHRISTMAS JESUS PLEASE STAND UP?

When we see Jesus as He is, 
glorious and worthy of our deepest loyalties and affections,
 deserving of our total focus and supreme attention;
 we will catch fire inwardly and burn with holy fear, and a holy hunger for the Word will grip our hearts,
 and we will proclaim Him as He is. ~Anonymous~

We celebrate Christ’s birth on Christmas, but for most He is not the center of the rejoicing and celebration that marks this time of year. I think many of us would agree that Christmas has become so commercialized that Christ is hardly noticed, much less celebrated and revered.

Easter would be in the same category. How in the world a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ could’ve ever evolved into an affinity with Easter bunnies and Easter eggs I’ll never know. Such is the tenuous nature of idolatry.

Is it possible for Jesus Christ to be lost at Christmas time and in Christianity in general, the very religion whose name it bears and professes? We know that without a relationship with Christ, just another religion is all that remains. We also know from scripture that someone can profess to know Christ but in works actually deny Him (Titus 1:16). But isn’t it also true that in works many may profess to know Him, but in authentic heart knowledge they do not?

Who knew Jehovah in Old Testament times? That earthly system of Judaism was to point the way to Christ, but in actuality it hid Him from the multitudes who were enmeshed in the works of the law. The external had glossed over the need for the internal. Sin and death reigned in the old order of the Law and all its rituals and ceremonial rules and customs.

Isn’t the same true today? There is an external order in modern Christianity that seems to rule and it is quite evident during the Christmas holidays. Its emphasis on appearance, hype, professionalism, showmanship, production, and commercialism that is prominent, especially during this time of year,  tends to hide the real Jesus from us. It easily allows us to deceive ourselves into thinking that somehow God is pleased with all this while Christ is glossed over.

Even many of our contemporary churches with their Madison Avenue tactics have become echo chambers for the latest trends in pop psychology, marketing, politics, entertainment, and entrepreneurial leadership while the piercing revelation of Christ and His simple demands are often overlooked or packaged in a way to make Him palatable to the masses.

We have become all too enamored with our own glory in the kingdoms that we are building, at times totally unaware of receiving that invisible kingdom “that cannot be shaken” (Heb. 12:2).

Judaism with all its forms, rituals, and framework began its removal 2,000 years ago and was replaced with a spiritual, heavenly standard established in the New Covenant. And now in this end time marks once again the removal of all that is external to bring us to a forcing point, and it is this: 

After all is said and done, how much of the Christ do you really have? Not what you do, not what you’ve built, not what you have, not all the shopping and gift giving and receiving done at Christmas time, not even the noble activities which constitute your Christian life, but how much of the Christ Himself have you got?

This Christmas series contains modified excerpts from my book, The Real Jesus. It is a book that I’d love to put into the hands of many during this holiday season. It would make a great gift.

If this article has been a blessing to you please share it. And may God make you a blessing during this Christmas season as you exalt the Lord Jesus Christ.