KEY TO CLEANSING THE LATTER HOUSE: JUDGMENT AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD

I believe there is no other way the modern day Church will be cleansed from all its hypocrisy and impurities derived from the worship  of mammon, except through judgment that produces the fear of the Lord. It may come through hardship, death, or even a crisis of massive proportions such as a civil war to bring this about. The landscape of Christianity must be cleansed, so that the Church’s impact can be much more far reaching. Without widespread and deep repentance and awakening,  this may be the only solution and remedy to the current idolatrous condition of the church world. The power and glory of God may not be restored to the Church any other way. We are so far gone and numb to the true condition of the nation and the Church that this may be the only remedy to true restoration (see this recent article by my friend Michael L. Brown – How Can We Be So Numb?). A severe shaking may be our last line of hope.

Let’s take a close look at the first miracle of judgment in the early Church that cleansed it immediately of the sin and hypocrisy that was seeking entrance. This judgment kept it strong and pure and increased its power and impact.

“In hearing these words, Ananias fell down and died. And great fear came on all those who heard these things” (Acts 5:5).

“At once she (Sapphira) fell down at his feet and died. Upon entering, the young men found her dead and carried her out and buried her beside her husband. Great fear came on the entire church and on all those who heard these things. Many signs and wonders were performed among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon’s Porch. No one else dared join them, but the people respected them. Believers were increasingly added to the Lord, crowds of both men and women” (Acts 5:10-14).

Can you see how this cleansing led to increased fear and power with many believers being added to the Lord?

We often forget these portions of Scripture and how this judgment produced the component of the fear of the Lord, which stopped this lie and other impurities from having access into the early Church, thus preserving its white hot purity and keeping it from being defiled. This miracle of judgment contributed to the glory, power, and growth of the early Church. Notice also the effect it had on the people:

“No one else dared join them (the disciples), but the people respected them” (Acts 5:13).

The Message Bible says it this way: “But even though people admired them a lot, outsiders were wary about joining them. On the other hand, those who put their trust in the Master were added right and left, men and women both.”

Could these incidents of judgment in the early Church be a type and shadow of what we may expect in the last days Church in both the coming judgment and glory:

Could it be that preachers who have peddled the word of God for gain have their ministries judged and some even be publicly humiliated and taken out of the way?

Could churches and ministries that have been built on compromise and the wisdom of man see a mass exodus as people begin to seek pure truth and authenticity as well as the reality of the Holy Spirit and the power of God?

Could we see organizations and companies who have used their power and wealth to persecute the righteous be shaken and some big CEO’s even die? Could we also see the same type of judgement on leaders of nations who persecute the glorious Church and do not give glory to God (think of king Herod; Acts 12:23)?

I believe we will see these kind judgments again but only as the glory increases and is restored to the true Church.

POLARIZATION: ONE EFFECT OF GOD’S JUDGMENTS AND THE FEAR OF THE LORD

The judgment that fell on Ananias and Sapphira caused sinners to be leery of joining themselves to the apostles and the church while at the same time gaining public respect and influence. This divided or polarized those who were not interested in genuine repentance and living whole-heartedly for the Lord from the multitudes that were being genuinely converted and being added to the church. Oh how we need this work done today in this era of postmodern and so called progressive Christianity! It would root out so much complacency, carnality, and compromise.

The dividing line was very distinct in the early Church. In a day when we are trying to include everyone into our sheepfolds by toning down on the demands of the gospel, there was a certain exclusivity that the judgments of God and the fear of the Lord produced in the Church’s earliest beginnings. People couldn’t enter in with sin in their lives. In many places today, it is difficult to tell the difference between the Christian and non-Christian, but not in the early Church. God wants to restore this polarization in the Church of today.

This is an excerpt from my newest book awaiting its release, THE CLEANSING OF THE TEMPLE, RESTORING THE GLORY TO THE LATTER DAY CHURCH. 

Join our growing list of subscribers hungry for truth and the pure glory of the Lord.

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GREAT ENCOURAGEMENT AND WARNING FROM SMITH WIGGLESWORTH FOR THESE END OF DAYS

Here is the word that was given by Smith Wigglesworth to Lester Sumrall in 1939.

Smith Wigglesworth to Lester Sumrall in 1939 (WWII ready to break out):  With tears rolling down his face Smith cried saying,

“I probably won’t see you again now. My job is almost finished.” As he continued to pray he cried, “I see it, I see it!”
Brother Sumrall asked, “What do you see, what do you see?”

He said, “I see a healing revival coming right after World War II. It’ll be so easy to get people healed. I see it! I see it! I won’t be here for it, but you will be.” And there was a great healing revival right after the war.

He continued to prophesy, “I see another one, I see people of all different denominations being filled with the Holy Ghost.” That was the Charismatic renewal. God raised up movements and ministries during that era such as the Full Gospel businessmen.

Then Brother Wigglesworth prophesied again and said, “I see another move of God. I see auditoriums full of people, coming with notebooks. There will be a wave of teaching on faith and healing.” We did experience that wave he saw, and men called it the Word of Faith movement.

Then he prophesied farther into the future that we are in now, “After that, after the third wave,” he started sobbing. “I see the last day revival that’s going to usher in the precious fruit of the earth. It will be the greatest revival this world has ever seen! It’s going to be a wave of the gifts of the Spirit. The ministry gifts will be flowing on this planet earth. I see hospitals being emptied out, and they will bring the sick to churches where they allow the Holy Ghost to move.” Now that is super exciting!

SOBER WARNING

Wigglesworth also warned of the increasing spiritual darkness and gross darkness as well as false movements and doctrines of devils within the carnal and compromising church, such as the false grace message and false gospel.

“All the saints of God that get the real vision of this wonderful transformation are recognizing every day that the world is getting worse and worse and worse and ripening for judgment. And God is bringing us to a place where we that are spiritual are having  a clear vision that we must at any cost put off the works of darkness. We must be getting ourselves ready for that glorious day when we see Christ.

“These are the last days. What will be the strongest confirmation for me to bring to you the reality that we are living in the last days?

“There are in the church two classes. There are  believers which are disobedient, or I ought to say, there are children which are saved by the power of God which are still choosing to live as disobedient children. And then there are children which are just the same saved by the power of God, but who all the time are longing to be more obedient.

“In this fact, Satan has a great part to play. It is on this factor in these last years that some of us have been brought to great grief at the first opening of the door with the brazen fact to fleshly sinful forces. And we heard the word come rushing, like the wind to a “new theology” that is damnable, devilish, evil power that teaches you can be disobedient children, and still be right with God.

“As soon as this was noised abroad everywhere, this “new theology,” everybody began to say, ”What is this new theology?” It’s an absolute lie from the devil!”

We must be heed these serious warnings and be so ever watchful and prayerful in this hour.

The spirit of this age is to get you to believe a lie. If you believe a lie you cannot believe the truth. When once you are contaminated with a lie against the Word of God, He sends you strong delusion that you shall believe a lie. God’s Word is your only hope to be rescued from this deceiving spirit. God’s Word, which is being diminished and minimized by many in these evil days, is the final authority of truth for all times and for all ages.

When we see these things which are coming to pass, what do we know? We know the time is at hand. The fig tree is budding as we see these false prophets and these lying spirits increasing.

Let us stay strong in the truth of God’s Word and keep moving with the true manifestation of the Spirit in this final hour.

WE MUST FIND OUR WAY INTO THE HOLY OF HOLIES

We were in a missions prayer meeting recently and I heard these words:

“The Holy of Holies is the deepest part of My heart.”

As we were praying for unreached people groups I saw the faces representing all human beings that have ever lived on planet earth. I saw God’s great love for each one. I saw that He had made provision for all of them to live with Him forever. I saw the uttermost parts of the earth where many had not been reached or engaged with the gospel. I saw the great struggles of humanity. I saw them as if walking through a hot desert with a load of goods being carried on their backs. They were slumped over with weariness and heavy burdens of hardship. It broke my heart. I was seeing them the way God sees them.

Your own heart will break and melt, too when any aspect of the deepest part of God’s heart is unveiled to you. When His unfathomable love for humanity is revealed to you it turns you away from self-centeredness. You will take on more of the Lord’s nature as people start becoming the object of your love. You reach out to help them as meeting their needs becomes your joy. Your meat and drink is doing the will of the Father and finishing His work (John 4:34).

It is in those intimate moments in the Holy of Holies when the Lord speaks to you and teaches you His heart and ways that you are most alive. You are one with His heart. You burn with His fire when you hear His living word and the Scriptures are opened unto you.

“And they said one to another, did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Lk. 24:32)

This is the greatest need of humanity. This is the greatest need of the Church—to know and actually feel God’s heart. In this way we are one with Him and we abide in Him. We are filled with His Spirit and the ministry of Jesus flows so naturally out of us, and His will is fulfilled in our lives. Once we receive God’s Spirit all of us have access into this secret place.

All of my life I’ve consciously or unconsciously been led to this place called the Holy of Holies. At times I didn’t know what it was that kept gnawing at me when I couldn’t find complete satisfaction and total fulfillment any other way. It was the Holy of Holies calling me in. It was the Holy Spirit wanting to get me in there. It is always our flesh that stands in the way and hinders us.

In the last several years of my life this has been my constant driving passion—to abide in the secret place. It is not necessarily a geographical place where you pray, but a place in your heart. It is there where you learn God’s ways and you become a friend of God. I am determined not to leave this earth until I learn to live as a friend of God every single day. It is my constant pressing as it was for Paul in his latter days.

“But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ” (Phil. 3:7-8).

The excellence of God’s holy intimate knowledge was Paul’s quest. This revelation led him to count all things loss and pursue a place of death to himself in order to gain Christ and His resurrection power.

“That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…” (v. 10)

It also led him to this ongoing pressing attitude:

“…but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me…I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (v. 12, 14).

It is this pressing attitude that will lead you “to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Eph. 3:19).

Oh beloved, to be filled with all the fullness of God is worth more than anything in this world. It is pure eternal ecstasy and heavenly bliss. Few of us have barely touched this realm.

Begin by praying in the Spirit quietly and reaching out in worship to God the Father of our spirits. Don’t be moved by the initial spiritual dryness. This is only evidence that the operation of your flesh has had ascendency over your spirit. It takes time to cultivate true spiritual fellowship and friendship with God where your spirit gains the ascendency.

Be assured that you can know the Father in a new dimension. His Son is the Bridegroom who is waiting for His Bride to awaken to this upward calling. And the Holy Spirit is always endeavoring to lead you into it.

May the cry of the Bride echo the desire of the Bridegroom to meet with us, ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming; go out to meet him!’ (Mt. 25:1-13).

Beloved, it is the midnight hour. It is the last hour to purchase more oil and not be found wanting. It is the end of an age when many antichrists are in the world (1 Jn. 2:18). It is a day to read and ponder the last words of Scripture until our hearts resonate with the same cry as the Spirit—until all who hear and thirst for the water of life come and drink freely.

I believe it is then when our cry is heightened to meet the measure of His cry that He will come quickly.

Oh what a day that will be!

And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” “And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.” He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus!” (Rev. 22:17, 20)

Our books are forerunners to personal holiness, the move of God, and the return of the Lord. They also combat the departure from the faith and the turning away from the truth we are seeing in our day. The Real Gospel, The Real Jesus, The Real Salvation, and  The Real Spirit Of Revivalare especially strategic in trumping the many falsehoods spreading in the modern day Church. If any of our books or articles on this blog are a blessing and encouragement to you please use the social media buttons below to share them.

Also, this ministry is sustained by the freewill offerings of those who believe in the mandate and message of revival that this ministry carries. Again, if this article has been a blessing to you, would you prayerfully consider making a tax-deductible contribution through our Paypal button to help? 

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Thank you, and may God’s richest and best be yours.

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!

FROM MY HEART: BLOG SURVEY

I’m a writer. I’ve been blogging consistently for five years. In that period of time I’ve written over 450 articles. As we enter the final week of 2018 I need to ask you the reader for some feedback because I’m praying and pondering  about stopping blogging altogether and perhaps focus on doing more videos in the coming year (understand that we also blog weekly for Charisma magazine). I’d appreciate if you took a few minutes of your time to respond to this survey.

There are a few hundred followers of this blog, but only 30-40% even open the email they receive from us. And that’s on a good day. Also, most never comment or interact in any way.

I’m not compensated for writing a blog. I don’t make any money with ads or anything like that. It doesn’t have enough views or visitors to even warrant consideration for that.

So here’s what I’m asking:

1. How often do you read this blog?

a) Almost every article

b) Often

c) Once in awhile or infrequently

d) Honestly, hardly at all

e) Never

2. What is the word that best describes the content of the articles you’ve read?

a) Stimulating and challenging, they feed my spirit

b) Too long

c) Boring and uninteresting

d) I actually save them to a file so I can refer to them again

e) Other

3. Would you feel any disappointment if we discontinued this blog?

a) Yes

b) Somewhat

c) No, not at all.

Additional Comments:

MY PERSONAL TESTIMONY OF HOW I CAME TO KNOW JESUS AND THE REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS

In the summer of 1979, while sharing a rented house with several of my college fraternity brothers in Bangor, Maine I came under the conviction of the Holy Ghost.

I was living in an old room adjacent to a garage and sleeping with just a mattress on the floor. While lying on that mattress one night after a drinking binge I turned on the television to see and hear a fiery preacher boldly proclaiming the gospel.

Immediately my senses were arrested, and I sobered up. My conscience was smitten. I knew I was not living right. I knew the things I was doing were sinful in God’s eyes.

As the gospel program came to an end, the preacher extended an offer for the viewer to write him if they had made a decision for Christ. If my recollection is accurate, I was held back by a thought. How can I stop sinning? So I wrote a letter to the television preacher asking him that very question. I never received a response so I continued to live a sinful lifestyle.

At this time the college mail room clerk who was a stalwart Christian had taken an interest in me and was a gospel witness in my life. This man was just a few years older than I and shone with the peace and presence of God. My curiosity was aroused by his disposition. One day, I saw his Bible open on his desk and knew instantly the secret of his bright countenance. I was intrigued by that.

Over a process of time, he shared many things with me, always answering all of my religious questions with, “the Bible says.” One day, in a moment of exacerbation, I asked him if he could not think for himself and give me his own opinion instead of quoting the Bible all the time. His response: “The Bible says that the carnal mind is enmity or hostility against God.” Aarrgh!

I saw that this man really believed the Bible to be the unadulterated Word of God, and he lived by it. That impressed me. As a devout Roman Catholic, I had never met anyone like him.

Gradually we became good friends, and he led me to Christ and taught me to observe the things He commanded from His Word. Immediately, he baptized me in water. The desire to drink, smoke weed and live a party lifestyle departed from me as I read His Word. I quickly proved my repentance by getting rid of my rock-n-roll albums that promoted sex, drugs and evil. I also made restitution by paying for some pornographic magazines I had stolen from a convenience store.

I spoke to the store manager and offered an explanation as I handed him the money and a letter with my testimony—quite different from many so-called conversions today when a prayer is made, a preacher’s hand is shaken, but no change is forthcoming.

I thank God for my humble beginnings and for a faithful witness who taught me what it meant to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Isn’t this what we should all be doing for those who are still lost?

This week, as I celebrate yet another Christmas—my 38th in Christ, I am reminded that just as Christ was birthed and formed in the womb of the virgin Mary by the power of the Holy Spirit, so has He been birthed and formed in each of us who are His disciples. In a real way, His incarnation 2,000 years ago repeatedly reproduces itself in human flesh every time someone is truly born of the Spirit and follows Jesus.

Although I strongly despise the many pagan rituals and commercialism that surround the Christmas season, I still celebrate our Savior’s birth with great joy and cheer. What I grossly detest is the perversion of the message the angels brought to the shepherds concerning His birth.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, and good will toward men!” (Luke 2:13-14).

The message the angels announced was not man having peace and goodwill towards one another, but it was a communication from the heavenly Father to mankind: “The armies of the heavenly host have not come to destroy you but to bring you a message of peace and good will. The Father has sent His Son as a Lamb (that is why He was born in a stable) and a peace offering to all of mankind.”

How sad that the peace and goodwill the Father offers to all of mankind in His Son has been reduced to, “All human beings be nice to each other and give each other gifts.”

His birth and incarnation—God becoming man—should remind us all of God’s ultimate purpose to be embodied in mankind, and for each of us to represent Him and His attributes.

“Christ in [us], the hope of glory” (Col. 1:27b). This is the real Jesus and the real meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all.

THE REAL JESUS

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.  

WHAT THE HOLY GHOST HAS BEEN SAYING FOR YEARS ON PROCRASTINATION AND PRAYER

The Holy Ghost said the following words though the late Kenneth E. Hagin years ago to the church world. They still apply today. Whosoever will, let him hear what the Spirit of God is saying. 

“Don’t draw back. The time is near, the time is at hand. No longer can you wait; no longer can you procrastinate. No longer can you say, Yeah, in another day I’ll consecrate. In a later day, I’ll wait on the Lord more. In another day, I will spend more time with Him. In another day, I’ll put my flesh under. No longer. Don’t draw back and don’t pull back.

The Spirit of the Lord pleads with you. Come forward, more forward. Answer the call you hear in your heart. Respond unto the Spirit of God. It is not bad. It is good. The price that would be paid in the flesh is nothing compared to the glory which shall be revealed. It is not bad. Do not dread it. Do not draw back from it. It is a lie. It’s a deception that has held you back. It’s a lie. It’s a deception that has caused you to draw back. Go on in. Taste and see that the Lord is good.

Oh the treasures of the things He has laid up for you. The things that your heart is hungry for. Nothing else will satisfy your soul. Nothing else will give you the answer in your heart. Nothing else will satisfy what you seek. Nothing.

Oh, push in. Respond unto the Spirit of God. Just lay those other things aside. Humble the pride and fall before Him and wait upon Him. And as you do, your soul will blossom. Your spirit will spring forth. Yea, you will be a greater blessing unto your spouse. You’ll be a greater blessing unto your family because you will bloom forth. And you won’t be restricted like before. And you won’t be vexed like before. And you won’t be hindered like before.

Yea, you’ve done some things for them (your family). You’ve drawn back and you said it was for them. But you have not been a blessing to them in that the full blessing of the Lord was not upon thee. But if you shall press in, though it might seem to cost that price in the beginning, it might seem like it costs you. It might seem like it costs them. Yea, but that’s the only way to get to the things that they desire and the things that you desire and the things that are needed.

Yea, the things that must be in this hour, it cannot be delayed. It cannot be delayed. It must be now. Now, now is the time. So heed the call of the Spirit’s cry in your heart. Don’t say, “I’ll do it by and by.” But the time is now. Do not dread or fear. It is good. Taste and see that the Lord is good. Taste and see that the Lord is good!

Don’t think it’s too high a price. It’s nothing in comparison to the light and the glory that shall be revealed. Draw nigh unto Him. He shall draw nigh unto thee. Seek His face. He shall reveal Himself unto thee even in a greater way. And you shall rise up and you shall be enabled to be a far greater blessing.

And your latter end shall exceed and it shall overflow and it shall be abundant in blessing and glory and grace. And the evil one that thought to deter you and thought to lie to you and keep you from it, you shall look at him and you shall say, “Ha, ha, ha, ha… Your plan did not work. Ha, ha, ha, ha… It did not succeed. Ha, ha, ha, ha… I did not believe it. Ha, ha, ha, ha… I obeyed… Ha, ha, ha, ha… I ran my course. Ha, ha, ha, ha… I finished my job. Ha, ha, ha, ha. I have accomplished His will and with His glory I am filled. His grace, mercy and glory is with me day by day.”

And those things that once held you, those things that for years, years, and years deceived you and held you out; you shall look at them from that higher place. And they shall seem nothing to thee. They shall seem small and despised in your eyes. You shall look upon them in dismay and you shall say, “Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.” You shall see far, ha, ha, ha, ha… And you shall know well, and you shall move sure, and shaken shall be hell. And their power shall be confused for His authority you’ve used.”

And that which they greatly feared (hell’s demons) shall have happened. For they feared, they feared that the revelation of truth would come into the earth. They feared that it would come through the heavenly host that would withstand it. They feared that someone would stand. They feared that someone would seek. They feared that some would penetrate into that realm.

When the revelation comes, the truth doth set the captives free. And that which they have greatly feared, it shall even come to pass. It’ll come to pass. God shall reveal His truth unto His people. Yea, we’ve rejoiced in the light. And we’ve seen a little bit. And we moved, but oh, there’s so much more. There’s so much more. And the enemy would have us just revel in what we see and what we know and not push and penetrate to hold fast to receive more. But it shall not be for a glimpse we do see. And we shall not be satisfied until the truth in our hearts abides. We shall not draw back and we shall not fear until we have all that God would give year by year…increasing glory to glory, light to light. Not doing it in the flesh, but by the good faith fight.

And His plan shall be accomplished and His ways shall be straight. And then it shall be ready. He shall come. He’ll not be late. And His people shall have done His bidding and His people shall have heard His voice. And His Spirit shall have reaped the harvest through the church and His people shall rejoice. He calleth thee higher. Continue to look down on lowly things on the ground, but look up and see what He has reserved for thee. And by faith, let your heart reach out.

His Spirit lifts you up. Your heart has craved to know him. You shall know what your mind has hungered to know. You shall do what you were created to do.” THE END

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