FRESH BREAD

I’d like to share a prophetic dream I had recently.

Many people were in a banqueting hall waiting for the guest of honor to arrive. He seemed to have delayed his coming. Then suddenly through a frosty designed long walled window I saw the shadow of a man with long flowing hair walking briskly.

It was Jesus.

Although I couldn’t make out his features due to the frosty window, I could see that He walking with a fast pace in long strides as if he was on an urgent mission. As he walked into the banqueting hall he approached me and spoke as a military officer in command:

“Farias! Did you get the bread?”

Oh no! The task of keeping fresh bread on hand had slipped my mind. In a frantic dash I rushed to the supply room in the back and found some old bread from the Salvation Army food bank. Due to its staleness I started warming it up in the microwave to make it soft and fresh, all to no avail. I had neglected to purchase fresh bread before Jesus came.

The oil in the lamps of the virgins (Matt. 25:1-13) represents both the Holy Spirit (oil) and the Word (lamp). The dynamic of the Holy Spirit illuminating the word of God to us is what make the word of God fresh. Many in the body of Christ have their lamps but little to no oil. They have the word but they’re not filled with the Spirit. They may have some oil in their lamps but no added vessel with any extra oil. This is what will determine the coming separation in the Church now and at the rapture.

My wife and I have traveled extensively to churches in the last 8 years. We are seeing an unholy trend. There are more and more Pentecostal/Charismatic Christians who have a Bible but no oil. Some are not baptized in the Holy Spirit though they’ve been in a P/C church for several years. They do not have a prayer language or they don’t utilize it.

Here’s what the Lord said after the dream:

“I’m bringing back voices that are speaking what I’m saying.  My people must learn to hear and discern properly for there are deceiving spirits moving even among those previously thought to be strong.  It is only the revelation and the feeding and nourishment that comes from partaking of the fresh bread of My Word that keeps them in Christ and in the Light.

“There are many warnings I’ve given My people.  Remember that in these days I said many would be offended and deceived and the love of many would wax cold.  Many in My church are being fed stale food. The children of Israel needed fresh manna every day to look for Me, and eat of Me, and be filled with Me. Learn to come to Me every day to hear what I have to say. The Son of man was always ready to give people fresh bread because He stayed in the Father’s presence. You must do the same.”  

Many celebrity minsters and well known names no longer serve fresh bread. They’re too busy or idle in prayer, and so they do not have spiritual nourishment to feed the people and are no longer following God’s perfect plan for their lives. My wife observed a minister with a household name speaking at a conference and noticed a great difference in their words. They were stale and lifeless even though there was much truth in them.

It’s not about a name or a celebrity but it’s about a vessel through whom the word of the Lord flows through. Truth is not enough. Knowledge is not enough. The kingdom of God is not in words but in power. Such is the state of many pastors and ministers in this hour. Such is the state of many believers. Remember that a big part of the warnings in the last days is that there will be many false apostles, false prophets, and false teachers. Deception is the greatest danger. Warnings could be the greatest ministry. Selah.

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Mario Murillo called it one of the most important words for this time. A severe warning from the Lord.

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SIN, TRUE AND FALSE CONVERSION, AND BABY CHRISTIANS

There are a vast number of people who, instead of making Jesus Christ their standard and just obeying the Bible because it is the Spirit-inspired Word of God, only aim to keep up a respectable religious front for others. Instead of seriously asking themselves what the Lord and His Word require, they tend to look at the status quo professing church member and imitate them. They do that which is outwardly respectable, but not what is inwardly right, true, and holy according to God’s Word.

Standing beside each other a true convert and a sinner will talk and act differently, but a true convert and a false convert can look similar. The Bible says there can be quite a few outward similarities between them. It tells us that an unsaved “religious” man (false convert) can be strictly moral and seem prayerful in his outward life (Mt. 23:8) (Mk.12:40); zealous in religion (Mt.23:15); and even conscientious in doing what is expected of him (Mt. 23:23).

A false convert can also be making efforts to gain converts and give money for the work of religion (1 Cor. 13:3; Mt.23:15; Lk. 18:12). But none of these things are necessarily fool proof signs that he has definitely been converted.

Remember that the false convert is not a Christ rejecter. He stands beside you in the midst of the congregation or he could be a member of another congregation. What he has done is merely change his means of serving himself, from the secular to the religious. Either way, he is still serving himself. Unlike a false convert, a “baby” Christian being young in the Lord is selfish at first, but the love of God is now shed abroad in his heart by the Holy Ghost (Rom. 5:5), and his motive to live unselfishly for the Lord has been planted there. He only needs to grow.

“And He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again” (2 Cor. 5:15).

In God’s sight it is the heart that determines whether he is a true Christian or not. We can’t judge someone’s heart, but we can judge the fruit of his life. But if the heart is wrong, everything else is wrong, no matter what is done outwardly. Either your heart is set on serving Christ supremely or it is set on serving yourself supremely. You either belong to God or you do not.

But the most basic and fundamental message of the gospel is that Jesus came to save us from our sins. The message to forsake our sins is not optional; it is an absolute necessity. It is as simple and clear as, “Surrender your will and live. Rebel and die.” No honest Bible scholar could justify the salvation of a man who still lives in sin. No definition of a Christian, that allows fellowship with sin and cost God His Son and Christ His life, comes from the Holy Spirit of God. He that practices sin has not been born of God.

“Whoever has been born of God does not (practice) sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot (practice) sin, because he has been born of God” (1 Jn. 3:9).

What about “baby” Christians? Don’t they sin? As a new convert I remember  sitting at a racquetball club after a workout and having a beer. My mentors, a young Christian couple, walked into the club at that time and later told me how disappointed they were in me. I had no knowledge of wrongdoing. If a “baby” Christian does not know that what he is doing is wrong, to him it is not sin. I was not drinking to get drunk, but enjoying a beer after a workout. In God’s eyes I was innocent.

If a “baby” Christian sins ignorantly, it is not reckoned as sin; if he sins knowingly, it is sin (Jas. 4:17).

My point is this: Although a “baby’’ Christian needs to grow spiritually his “growing” is not from partial repentance to then a commitment to complete repentance. All true converts who have come to genuine faith and repentance have forsaken all known sin, and are not knowingly living in sin. They have surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus and their will is bent toward serving Him. They just need to “grow” now as they receive more light from the Word of God and discipline new areas of their lives that the Holy Spirit reveals to them.

If a “baby” Christian is struggling with areas of the flesh and wants to be set free and made right, then we are to instruct them and help them and work through with them in these areas. Once I was instructed and knew that drinking beer did not provide for a godly Christian witness and could be a stumbling block to others I immediately stopped and have not even had so much as a sip of beer since them. As a young believer and disciple of Jesus it was far more important to me to please the Lord than to please my friends or look respectable in the eyes of the world.

The problem has been that there are so many professing “Christians” in churches today who are living in adultery, fornication, homosexuality, addicted to pornography, drinking, smoking weed, are gossipers, slanderers, criticizing other Christians etc. and nothing is being said or done about it.

We are called by Scripture to teach, exhort, and rebuke in these areas. We are called to confront such ones who are living intentionally in sin, and with meekness instruct them as a means of bringing them to repentance (Mt. 18:15-17) (Gal. 6:1). If they refuse, we are called to take one or two others with us and confront them again. If they refuse again, we are to tell the church and break fellowship with them and/or turn their flesh over to Satan for destruction so their spirits might be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus (1 Cor. 5).

If more Christian pastors and leaders were thorough in following through with these steps we would have a far purer and more powerful church.

That’s what love would do.