Tuesday, October 25, 2011

True Holiness Gauge

It's easy to seclude yourself in church ministries and not get involved in the world and "live holy." That was the idea of monasteries where monks lived in mountain seclusion far away from civilization. And they indeed assumed an appearance of holiness. But that's not the true gauge of holiness.

I've seen believers and pastors who looked okay while engrossed in church ministries but went wild with sin when exposed to the real world. Some drowned in greed, others wallowed in lust, fornication, adultery, and other forms of sexual immorality. They didn't have the heart to manage things in the world even while soaked in church ministries. Church attendance or ministries cannot empower you to overcome the world. They just incubate sin, nourishing and growing it in a quiet environment waiting for the right time to explode like a time bomb.

In fact, the church as it is today (the church put up by men for men) is in no position to handle money the way the Acts church was able to. Yes, there are big churches with lots of money today, but they reek of corruption and wicked ulterior motives. You hear of such stories left and right while their leaders try to cover up everything to maintain a paper-tiger immaculate image. A useless bunch.

How many, for instance, have ended up in sexual immorality once they start earning big income? The trend seems to be pecuniary gain followed by pride, self-conceit, and then sexual immorality. Many have not been able to repent and go back to the Lord. Many choose to remain with their live-in partners rather than to their original spouses. These are really the last days.

If you look okay and seem to have a healthy church life while boxed within the four walls of church ministry, don't think for a sec that you're approved of God. That's not the true holiness gauge. Then what is?

Live Holy in the World

Though we are not of this world, we are in the in it and should "overcome" it, the Master said. Because He overcame the world, so should we--that's what he said to his true disciples.And overcoming does not mean we immerse ourselves in church ministries, even if these ministries are done in the world or in worldly places. There's still the tendency to be out of touch from the world's realities while under the aegis of institutionalized church ministries. There's still the monastical seclusive effect.

Thus, there are lots of pastors who hide behind their titles as they seek to gain the world's approval. Showing off their pastoral "badge" is like an access code to people's trust and confidence, and that places them in the unrealistic (superficial) nature of the world. You'd never have a real feel of the world by hiding behind your church ministries. I cannot imagine Jesus going around showing off that he was the Christ, so people would respect and listen to him. He just went around as a son of a carpenter and even forbade his disciples from telling people who he really was, until the proper time.

We should live the Jesus LIFE while involved in the world. That's the true holiness gauge. Don't announce that you are doing a church ministry or that you're a church minister because that would most probably elicit respect for institutionalized religion from religious people, and that would produce the monastical seclusive effect that would secure you from being in touch with the real world.

So live as an ordinary person while you get involved in the world, unprotected by synthetic religious covering. This way, you can really gauge the true strength of your holy life--if you in fact have it. People will tempt you with money, fornication, sexual immorality and other forms of corruption like they would ordinary people they meet in the world. Sexy girls or attractive men will lure you with no-holds-bar, and then your true holiness condition will be exposed before you. That's the true holiness gauge.

Jesus was exposed to such tremendous worldly exposure. He was known to be a teacher, but he exposed himself to "sinners" and tax collectors as a mere neighborhood friend. The Pharisees wouldn't dare do the same. They were protected by their made-up Pharisaical image, wearing their long robes and turbans as "badges" to protect themselves from being exposed openly to the real world out there. You can be in the real world and still be thoroughly out of touch with reality--and never gauge your true spiritual condition.

Having a true holiness gauge is vital to being God's flesh in the world. God's flesh means you know your true spiritual condition--that you have the spiritual strength that Jesus himself has, because Jesus lives in you 100 percent. You have the Jesus DNA.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No Genuine Righteousness NO Genuine God-Power

I'm astonished at how most "believers" don't get it--that if there's no genuine righteousness, there's no genuine God-power. No matter how well you perform on church stage, how well you lead in worship, how well you lead the church, and how big your church building, membership, or church income is, if you don't have genuine righteousness--the kind that Jesus has and gives--you have no genuine God-power, you got nothing but trash.

Paul said God's Kingdom is not a matter of talk. It's all about power, real power. Not the political leverage you see a lot of church people use to influence other people. It's not how you see church pastors and leaders allying with political figures to gain political influence. It's genuine Kingdom GOD-power. And you can't have any of it if you have no genuine righteousness. 

Despite this obvious fact in the bible, you still see a lot of fake pastors, preachers, and church leaders living in sin and then hiding behind facades of strict religiosity. Worse are those who assume Christian leadership and yet openly live in sin. You wouldn't believe how they're out there performing for God and yet embracing the standards of the world, spreading the lie that God understands your life of sin because he knows that your'e mere human. And anyway, salvation is by grace alone.

Grace is power, not a license to continue sinning and getting God's approval at the same time. Paul told Titus that grace is power to say no to wickedness and yes to righteousness. And righteousness is not for it's own sake, but for real GOD-power, so we can operate fully in Kingdom power on earth and build God's Kingdom here--because the Kingdom is not just talk but power, said Paul. And the context is that of supernatural, miraculous power that produces the genuine JESUS LIFE in a believer (real God's flesh on earth, genuine Jesus DNA), signs and wonders, and the multi-faceted wisdom of God displayed for the spiritual realms to marvel at--for angels and devils to see and take awe in.

John says in him is NO SIN (1 Jn. 3.5). Even kids can understand that simple phrase. But you always find some denominational theologians trying to go around that and telling things to the contrary like a lying lawyer. And people of their own ilk like what they hear. That's why today all sorts of people become "born again," even showbiz folks who like showing off their breasts in public and get into hot kissing scenes, promoting sexual immorality. Even respected pastors get involved in wedding ceremonies of divorced people whose spouses still live.

No wonder the church is powerless.

But God is using ungodliness in church to destroy man's church. He isn't the author of ungodliness, but being sovereign, he uses it for his glorious ends. He's now raising up HIS glorious church, without spot or wrinkle or any other blemish, with faceless people living rigid righteous lives daily, giving flesh to the Word, and whose lives on earth Jesus himself lives through. Their very lives rebuke wickedness and ungodliness especially in the church--they also preach the Word fiercely but it's their lives that rebuke sin in fake believers. Each time fake Christians see the way these radical Jesus followers live their lives, they get offended. And the Word they release from their mouths demolishes the fake church that mere men build as they build their petty denominational empires.

No genuine righteousness--NO genuine GOD-power. If you don't have God-power in your life, everything you do is garbage, no matter how successful you seem to be. A lot of churches today need a big overhaul, and a lot more need utter demolishing because there's nothing worth salvaging--especially true with some big churches and denominations. The glorious church of Jesus Christ will stand alone. In Daniel's prophecy, the big statue made of gold, bronze, and iron and clay was thoroughly demolished--a Rock not made by human hands crashed it mercilessly--and that Rock alone stood firm and victorious for all time!

Come Lord Jesus! Amen!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Acts Church: "None Among Them was in Need"

Whenever I open my bible and pass through the book of Acts, I often come across this powerful phrase: None among them (those connected with the Acts church) was in need." Powerful! I often stop and look afar and reflect, and then God opens my mind and the Acts church suddenly appears right before me, as it were. God often does that when we talk.

God is not a liar. When he says "none" or "no one" in the Acts church was in need, he means it. You can count on it. Unlike today, you hear of church members who go bankrupt or jobless, or who are starving, or who are sick and do not have the means to seek a doctor and all the church could do is "pray" for them. And then they justify that by saying prayer is powerful and its the best help anyone can have. 

Jesus did pray a lot, but he didn't just pray for everyone. He fed multitudes and healed all the sick (and I mean all) and produced money when needed. So did the Acts church. They didn't just pray for the needy. In fact, none among them was in need because the church was able to provide all their needs. Today, Christian churches are known for solicitations or begging. And they're not ashamed of it. There are church buildings that were built through begging, and they're proud of it, calling it the power of God.

In fact, I know a lot of pastors and their families who live with poverty-line salaries. And they accept that as God's will. In the bible, nobody in church begged or lacked finances. None among them was in need. NONE.

No wonder nobody listens seriously to churches anymore. People join churches to escape boredom, problems, or be applauded on stage or recognized for doing this and that, nothing more. No one joins churches to surrender everything "at the apostles feet, and the apostles in turn gave to all according to their needs."

The Apostles Used Offerings for People's Daily Needs

Today, they use offerings to build church buildings, projects, and other things like that. Not the Acts church. It's priority was the people's needs. People seriously connecting with the church were able to "meet daily at the temple and in homes" because their needs were met daily. Imagine that? Believers then met "daily," not just Sundays. For sure, their needs then were no different from the needs of church people today. They also needed to feed their families and send their kids to school and pay some bills. 

But they were not stuck to some job or employment so that they could only attend church on Sundays. The Word says, they met daily. That's God's plan for true believers. Today, church people get to enjoy church only on Sundays because their companies or employers own their lives from Monday to Saturday, more than 8 hours a day. In the Philippines, a lot have to work abroad and mess up their lives there just to have food on the table. And they never question that--they think it's God's will for them. Anyway, churches and fellowships in the Middle East were instrumental to the salvation of thousands, they reason, so it's probably God's will for us to work and work there.

But if you go back to the bible and do the basics there, you'd see that God has a simple formula so that no one in church will be in need--if we radically believe the Word. The problem is, no one dares believe this, and Christians would rather continue with their usual routine, enjoy the comfort and safety, rather than risk God's radical ways and formulas. And their theologians would scare them with doctrines and human theologies about the "dangers" of God's pure ways. So they stay in Egypt and think it's good to build there and totally forget about the Promise Land. So they all die in Egypt, or in the wilderness (because while they try to make some steps going to the Promise Land, their hearts are still in Egypt), thinking they have done God's will.

They prefer the onions and meat and spices of Egypt. In other words, they want to just beg and solicit to have church funds and pray for their poor brethren, which James says is dead faith. They're just content at being slaves of their bosses 6 days a week and giving God one day. They don't want to bother with the flowing honey and milk ("flowing" denotes a continuous free supply) of Canaan.

Acts Church Secret

The secret of the Acts church was:
  1. They surrendered all their material possessions at the apostles' feet.
  2. No one claimed any ownership to anything. They all shared everything and considered all in the church as rightful users of church properties. Of course, this was administered by the leadership of the apostles and prophets. 
  3. They allowed the apostles to distribute the money to any who had need. No questions asked.
  4. Instead of going to employment daily, they met daily and devoted themselves to the apostles' teachings,  fellowship, communion, plus prayer. They did nothing but that. 
  5. They sold their goods (2.45). They had "goods" they sold. The Acts church was into marketing. We get some idea of this in Paul's "tent making." In Greek, "Selling their properties and goods" (huparxis) denotes proprietorship. They were in business. No wonder they never solicited or begged.
You see, the reason why they never begged and were able to give to each one according to his or her need was that, they donated their wealth to the apostles and they did a business. 

If you're radical enough to believe this, your church should be doing a business. For me, God designed network marketing business for the church. It's perfect for the church. This business became available in these last days for a reason. It's the ideal business to be in if you want money for Kingdom building use because it gives the potential to earn big with a small capital. It's power made big in weakness.

Of course, you need to look for a respectable networking company and business. Pray, do your research well, and then step out in faith once God gives you the go signal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sheep Amid Wolves In Sheep's Clothing

Living as sheep amid wolves is nothing. Well, there can be lots of pressures but it's easy to see where to go, where to seek refuge. But when sheep live amid wolves in sheep's clothing, it's a different matter altogether. You got to stay spiritually extra sharp.

Wolves in sheep's clothing are dangerous. They really seem allies in Christ. They help you build the church. They sound and look so, so spiritual. But they have this one trait that few see: they sometimes take off the sheep's clothing when nobody's around--or so they think. If you have God's eyes--and God sees everything; in fact nothing can be hidden from his eyes--then you easily spot wolves leaving the crowd to go somewhere secret to change clothes for a while. 

You see, wolves are never really comfy in sheep's clothing. They get used to wearing it, but there's some sort of an expiry date or time when they need to take it off to let their natural skin breathe--or else the skin gets suffocated and it withers like dried leaves. You crumple the leaves and they never rebound back to their original shape. In fact, they crackle. So are wolves that stay too long in sheep clothing. They crackle with a mere touch. So they need to go some place remote and change costume for a while.

But few take notice of it. What most people see is the wolf back in sheep clothing after the respite. And when they're in sheep clothing, they can adapt so well that it's almost impossible to see any wolf trace. So you got to see the times when wolves suddenly leave the crowd to change costume somewhere secret. You got to watch their unguarded moments--which is difficult because they very seldom allow themselves to get caught unguarded.

Thus, if you live a weak spiritual life you'd get easily deceived by wolves in sheep clothing and soon become like them. And a strong spiritual life does NOT mean you get active in church and often quote scripture and post nothing but bible verses on your FB wall. It does not mean you read your bible daily and evangelize to "lost" souls regularly. It does not mean you always sing songs to God and lead in worship and be part of the worship team. It does not mean you always act nice to people. All that is good, but they don't automatically equate to strong spiritual life. In fact, many wolves live like that.

A strong spiritual life is JESUS living your life daily, each moment. Period. Vital to this is being deep in the spoken Word of God and strong in the Holy Spirit. That's sheep that hear Jesus' voice, called by name, and follow him. That's being genuine God's flesh on earth. That's the Jesus DNA.

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