Saturday, August 25, 2012

Concert Mania for God: But is HE Really There?

All day worship, non-stop worship, super concerts. Wow!

With the coming of  electronic and digital technology, perfecting sound systems have become possible. Human voice and instrumentals have never blended so accurately harmonious before--and voice ranges incredibly reached with amazing clearness, perhaps like that of heaven's own music. So churches today have zeroed in on music more than at any time in history. 

They have come up with "non-stop worship" and concerts. In fact, they spend a lot of money for these and send their youths investing time, effort, and money, and even health on the same. They spend their energies and sleepless nights over them. 

I love music and concerts to the Lord. I love the way some individuals master the Lord's intense presence and "bring it down" to where they are so that people around get the bread crumbs that "fall from the table" of such individuals. Wow! Praise God! I wish I had the same anointing. The genuine thing cannot be produced except by Holy Spirit anointing.

But there are others; their talents can produce somewhat the same effects (at times even better), make the audience cry, make them feel God, make them commit to the Lord, change them dramatically, or make them go wild with dancing and fun which they call "joy." What concert mania for God! But question is, is he really there?

I can't help but think; is it God they feel or is it the charisma of the one leading in worship? Sometimes, the worship leader has God's power to bring down God's presence so that being one with the leader's spirit of worship can allow us to share the benefits that the leader himself enjoys. There's such a thing, I admit. And I crave for that more than I crave for my daily physical bread.

But most times, it's just a showbiz effect--like what people feel during secular concerts, especially secular rock concerts. People cry and feel something intense and different. They also can change dramatically, dance wildly, and be profusely welling up with love--all because the lead singer and the band moved them to. Talented guys can do that without anointing from the Holy Spirit.

And sometimes, the same happens in worship concerts or church services without the people knowing it. They worship the worship leader--his voice quality, charisma, appeal--the person of the leader. It's not God. Church people often worship the gifts that God gives a worship leader. Such gifts can create a concert mania for God, but is he really there?

Or, sometimes concerts and good singing can create the impression that it is the highest ministry there is. The singers or worship leaders become popular and begin to have a following and young people imitate them and often that's what inspires many of them to seek a place on stage to be seen performing as good as their "Christian" idol is. Worse, they want to be able to perform like their favorite secular rock band.

Then singing on stage begins to look like the reason why Jesus died on the cross--so people can be saved and join a church and sing in the choir or worship team. And the grand goal is to one day be able to do a big concert and be like the popular worship leaders they idolize.

You can see their faces, looking so sincere and touched by the lyrics of the song or so powerfully moved by God (and why not? They're faces are seen on camera so they got to do the act). There are folks who do this with a genuine heart, but sometimes you see the majority others just trying to act it out. It's all showbiz.

Like for instance, there was this "mighty worship leader" who performed so good and intensely on stage. But when he wasn't leading worship on stage and was just seated in the pews among other church people, he wasn't doing the same intense worship. He was talking with someone or busy doing something with the sound system while worship was going on. And this wasn't exclusive to him. I often see the same scenario in different churches I've been to.

Some people can create a concert mania for God, but is he really there? If talented "Christians" can create gods that seem to be Jesus Christ but are not, they can also create amazing worship atmospheres that are false but look genuine. And shallow people get easily deceived. As long as the voice quality is superb and the leader looks spiritual and able to quote verses and declare "anointed" phrases on stage--and the band plays excellently--people believe and are moved.

Purely human charisma can move people and even make them "born again" and commit to the church.

But they don't ask whether God is really in it. If you're sharp in the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit, you'd know. You'd easily detect folly and fakes, no matter how good they look and sound. Concert mania for God is good, but is he really there?

True Worship

Anyway, truth is basic and simple: Paul said in Romans 12 that spiritual worship is presenting our bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God. If you want to know what real worship is, that's real worship. In fact, that's the only acceptable worship in God's eyes, not super concerts or singing, especially many of those done on camera.

Popular worship singers and leaders seem to be great servants of God only because we blind ourselves with the standards of this world. We admire them like how the world admired Michael Jackson. We respect anyone who makes it good on stage in public. We forget about Kingdom qualities that the Word of God exalts like being lowly and meek as Jesus chose to be son of a poor carpenter and born in a dirty manger.

We forget about genuine missionaries who live and work with the poor or the sick or those who gave up possessions and riches and fame and chose to live simple, low profile lives. Their lives are daily true worships but no one likes to imitate them. No one feels "anointed" to do as they did. Everyone in church is after the stage and the spot lights. Everyone feels led to sing for God.

Genuinely anointed worship leaders and singers are great in God's eyes. In fact, I respect them a lot. But you see, to God, the least are the greatest.

The Unquenchable Worshipper: Coming Back to the Heart of Worship (Worship Series)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Love and Forgive Your Enemies?

Love and forgive your enemies. This is often either ignored or misinterpreted by many churches. Again, as in other articles I've written here on similar subjects, people often think to love and forgive your enemies means to let everything go along it's course, especially the wrong, and you meekly accept it all, hoping things would come out better in the end because "all things work together for good."

And more and more church people today seem to avoid conflicts, confrontation, and "judging" to preserve what they think is "harmony" or "peace" that they have, especially in fellowship. They'd rather pretend nothing's wrong when something is wrong, and sometimes keep wrong things secret, talking about them in secret meetings and careful not to leak the thing in church--to give the church denomination an immaculate image. 

That's not the glorious church, for sure. That's the clandestine synagogue of Satan.

For instance, I've often seen corruption and sexual immorality issues kept mum in church, even protecting the identity of the offender and victim. When truth about it is given light in the church by some who expose it they call it "gossip." They scare people who ask what's going on to keep them mum because talking about the issue, they warn, makes people gossips. So, they pretend nothing's wrong and wish the issue would just go away--which never happens. 

You see, as long as you avoid or skirt a sin issue or choose to just forget about it--without using God's justice to expose the truth and the culprit and discipline the guilty in front of the church (as my Jesus says we should), nothing will just go away or be forgotten. It's all recorded in God's Book and the issue is sure to give birth to another issue. Unresolved sin and wickedness issues are like free radicals--they multiply and spread fast, producing gangrene--gangrene spiritually blind people do not see. 

Lots of church people today misinterpret God's love and forgiveness as just forgetting about sin and wickedness issues, "and let's just worship the Lord and enjoy our fellowship and do the ministry." If you confront the issues, they scare you as being judgmental and unforgiving and having a contentious, quarrelsome spirit which, they say, is not of God's loving and forgiving Spirit. You lack God's grace, they add.

Well, there are people who are quarrelsome in church and gossip and judge without God's justice. That's not what we're talking of here. But there are also those who, like some churches I've seen, simply ignore sin in people's lives and continue to use such people in ministry, giving them "another chance" because they claim that that is in keeping with God's grace and mercy.

Giving unrepentant people another chance at ministry, because that is according to God's grace and mercy? Where is that in the bible? And they wouldn't like to hear about the unrepentant being useless in anyway to God in church (probably because they're unrepentant themselves). They want these unrepentant people seen active in ministry because they say that's a sign of spiritual restoration. God is working in them to be spiritually better, they claim. "Keep them busy in church and they'd somehow meet God there and be restored." They like to think that God is in it when they make the unrepentant active in church.

I've seen how pastors who committed sexual immorality (or other sin) and remain unrepentant but still get ordained or installed into a major church ministry. The leaders who install them say we shouldn't be magnifying the negatives but instead looking for the brighter side of things--look for good things in people, not their bad sides--so they can be given a chance. That's God's mercy and love, they say, and we shouldn't judge these unrepentant church people.

Moreover, they say that we should hurry up spreading the Gospel and planting churches because we're losing time by majoring on disciplining spiritually erring church people and leaders. If we get too concerned about cleaning up sin in people's lives, we'd never get anything done because, fact is, you can't get sin out of people's lives--even ministers. So, let's just count on God's grace to take care of on-going sin in them.

What a rotten mind...what a rotten heart.

No wonder church today is so powerless. Yes, they plant churches everywhere, but they're all powerless. Many of them have even turned into Satan's synagogue. They do marvelous worships every Sunday (even very lively and "anointed" ones that you feel God's presence, many claim) and they got lots of money and beautiful and comfy church buildings--but they're Satan's synagogues nonetheless, haven and breeding grounds for wickedness because it remains untouched there, enjoying safety. Sin grows quietly there without interruption or disturbance.

How did Jesus Love and Forgive?

Unconditional forgiveness? God never forgives sinners unless they repent. Paul always reminds in his letters to "forgive as the Lord forgave you." The Lord will NEVER forgive you unless you repent and naturally produce the fruit of repentance. And that's how we should forgive others. We should apply the same principle.

My Jesus prayed on the cross: "Father, forgive them because they're not aware of their wrongs." Did the Father forgive them? If they had repented, he would have. Without repentance there's no forgiveness. Even Jesus taught that. Jesus said that on the cross to demonstrate how he had no personal hatred or grievance against his enemies. He is willing that they would be forgiven. 

Give unrepentant sinners another chance at ministry? What do you think God's work is, a playground for sinners? God showed in the Old Testament (OT) that even if you were a priest, if you touched the Ark unworthily or touch it against HIS holiness principles, you'd die. God showed this in the OT several times, and Paul said in one of his letters that these things had been written to give us warning today. Meaning, OT principles are still applicable to the church age. We are not under Law but we uphold the principles in it [Rom.3.31]. 

My Jesus loved his enemies by lambasting them in their spiritual ignorance and wicked lives. He rebuked them mercilessly. "Unless you repent, you too will die!" he warned without mincing words. That's God's love as demonstrated by Jesus. Remember, my Jesus is the real and final interpretation of Scriptures. If you want real meanings of God's Word in the bible, look at how Jesus lived them out. Jesus is the Word--Word made flesh so we can interpret the bible accurately and not depend on human theology and denominational doctrines. 

When my Jesus called them fools, hypocrites, unmarked graves, fox, weeds to be pulled up by the Father and things like that, it was God's love. He had to warn them in the strongest possible terms (because of their stubbornness) because God loved them. He didn't want them to go to hell--and mind you, these were God's people in Israel, not gentiles or pagans. God disciplines whom he loves. In fact, souls are in hell because of God's love and justice for them. His justice is his love and his love is his justice.

The OT once declared that Israel kept producing illegitimate offspring. This was because they did things against God's Word and Kingdom principles. Today, the church keeps producing illegitimate "children of God." There are too many Ishmaels in church who will never share in the inheritance of  legitimate children (Jacobs). Many still cannot believe this truth--can you be "born again" and yet be a child of the devil? 

There are those who think they're born again but really, nothing happened to them in the spirit. They got scared of hell and wanted a quick option out of it, heard the Good News formula of a way out, grabbed it, and "accepted" Jesus in their minds. They just got smart about it, not really repentant and enlightened. Then they joined the church and wreak havoc there with their "growing" ministries. They're Ishmaels.

They worship and pray superbly, attend church faithfully, give their tithes and offering, and mouth church linggo and memory verses so well (many of them post nothing on their FB but bible verses--oh wow), and yet they're unrepentant. They're doing this because they're either scared of hell or want recognition. It's not for love. God will never forgive them unless they genuinely repent. And the genuinely penitent have the fruit of the Spirit always manifesting, have Jesus himself manifesting in their lives and bodies, and you see them naturally have the Jesus meekness and power without effort. They have God's flesh, God's very DNA in Christ. And they understand everything I'm talking about here on this blog.

Love and forgive your enemies? Don't listen to how denominational churches interpret it because they use it to control and easily manage people into docility, not freedom. Listen to how Jesus lived it out with his life. That frees you to genuinely love and forgive your enemies, the Kingdom way.

Unconditional Forgiveness: A Simple and Proven Method to Forgive Everyone and Everything

Monday, August 13, 2012

The Meek?

The meek will inherit the earth. This is the third teaching of my Jesus in the Beatitudes. Some versions render it gentle and humble in spirit

Most people have this idea that being meek means docility (easily controlled or managed), extreme tolerance, and being very nice to people. Nothing short of slavery. If you're meek then they should be able to easily enslave you and order you around. Strangely, this was not how my Jesus was. He was, of all people, impossible to control or manage. Not even Herod or the Roman Empire was able to do that. And definitely, he was never Mr Nice Guy.

What then is being meek?

Jesus gave us a hint what Kingdom meekness was when he gave the Sermon on the Mount, talking about being poor in spirit, mourning, being desperate for righteousness, being merciful, etc. But then, talking about being merciful and peace makers, Jesus lambasted religious leaders of his time without mercy, calling them fools, hypocrites, white-washed tombs, and hinted at their being fakes and someday being pulled up like weeds by the Father. He broke the Sabbath several times (that's hungering and thirsting for righteousness?).

How could all that be acts of meekness and mercy? And surely, that's not going to end up in peace. How was he a peace-maker then when all Jerusalem, especially the government and the religious leaders, were disturbed and the people were divided because of his teachings?

And the humble? 

We understand the word "humble" as someone who is often bowing or looking at the ground and talks softly and gently, careful to offend no one. That's why I see a lot of pastors trying to act humble by making sure their Sunday messages are tame and inoffensive--and then they let out a practiced and omnipresent smile on their face.

My Jesus was never like that. He offended people, and almost intentionally--if not intentionally intentionally. There was always high authority in his words, something easily mistaken to be pride or haughtiness, and he never apologized for anything he said or did. Have you read anywhere in Scriptures about him saying, "Oops! Sorry, I didn't mean to hurt you guys!"? Or, "Oh, I'm sorry for healing this guy on a Sabbath, but I didn't mean to offend your religion..."

He intentionally offended people and their religion. That's poor in spirit? That's meek? Was Jesus not practicing what he was preaching? 

Kingdom Meaning

My Jesus was shocking everyone, especially the religious leaders and teachers who believed God gave them the license to secure their church denomination with their sound theologies, and also shocked even his close-in disciples, with his life and teaching. And the extreme shock was intentional. He wanted to turn the world upside down because the world had been getting it all wrong--especially God's own chosen people.

With the extreme shock, Jesus was building God's Kingdom on earth. He didn't build it by planting churches everywhere and putting up church structures and buildings the way church denominations do it today. He was setting it up by his radical, extreme, and shocking LIFE and teachings. He was uprooting, tearing down, destroying, and overthrowing before he was to build and plant [Jer.1.10]. 

"You heard them say a tooth for a tooth...but now I tell you, love your enemies."

"Stay away from the yeast of the Pharisees..."

The lost chosen people of God (lost because of the Pharisees' bible-based theologies) couldn't pinpoint anymore what was right and wrong. To them, the meek were those who were easily manipulated by abusers without raising any objection. God had to bring back truth into them by defining words and terms in Kingdom vocabulary. 

And the best, ultimate, and final definition of words and terminologies in the bible is Jesus Christ. If you want to know what God means by a certain word, watch how Jesus lived and applied it. You want to know what Jesus meant by the meek? Watch how he lived it. You want to know what Jesus meant by peace makers and merciful? Watch how he lived it.

Do not consult men's dictionaries or denominational doctrines. Well, it's not a sin to do so, but you will end up lost as the Israelites were lost being stuffed in the head with nothing but Pharisaical garbage. 

Look at the word "meek" for instance. One dictionary says it is "submissive in disposition." Another says it's "deficient in spirit and courage." All that point to one thing--slavery. To be meek then, you need to be submissive because you're afraid to go against something. 

My Jesus was anything but that!

He was that kind of a meek person only to the Father.

Kingdom Meekness

If we watch how Jesus was meek, we see these points:
  1. He was meek to the Father.
  2. He was meek to the repentant.
  3. He was meek to those who surrendered to God.
  4. He was meek to the meek, rich or poor.
  5. He was not meek to those who refused to believe.
  6. He never abused those who were meek to him. People tend to abuse those whom they can easily manage or control. Some pastors do this to their flocks. Some church boards do this to their pastor and church.
  7. He was never meek to those who tried to manipulate him.
  8. He was never meek to religious or bible-based leaders who deceived people and challenged God's radical truth. He shocked them with his extreme LIFE and intellect.
  9. He was never meek to unrepentant sinners like Judas. He is never meek to unrepentant "Christians" or church people.
  10. He was never meek to people who refused to give up their religions to follow his non-religious, non-denominational church.
Kingdom meekness is meekness to the image of God in men. If the image of the holy and righteous God is seen in a person, that person ought to be rendered Kingdom meekness. In other words, in the Kingdom of God, meekness attracts meekness. Meekness is only given to the meek. And only the meek can give it away to another meek.

Jesus' extremely shocking life--the way he challenged and confronted the religious leaders and the wicked and the way he "broke" the Law--was Kingdom sourced. It did not come from a worldly heart. So don't imitate my Jesus--being insubmissive in your church and pastor and challenging everything and making trouble, shouting "you fools, hypocrites, brood of vipers," if your heart is not sourced from God's Kingdom.

And you won't have to cause trouble if you attend a church with genuine Kingdom meekness. So go look for that church with a pastor living a genuine Kingdom meekness. If your church is not like that, don't cause trouble there. Leave it and look for the genuine Glorious Church of Jesus Christ.

Jesus did the above because he had the Father's own heart. And the Father wanted to establish his Kingdom on earth. Jesus was fully committed to that and even sacrificed a lot, giving up his Kingdom and forgetting about his deity for a while to take the form of a servant, a man--a poor man at that, without possessions, without even a house of his own. 

That's God's flesh meekness. That's how we inherit the earth.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Without Revelation You Die

Jesus Christ revealed--this is the Rock where Jesus builds his church, a church which crashes the gates of hell. Jesus once asked the disciples who people from the villages said he was.

After saying this and that, Peter finally said Jesus was the Messiah, Son of God. My Jesus commended him and said that such insight was not from men but a revelation from God. "And upon this rock," he added, "I will build my church."

"This rock" is revelation that comes from God, revealing deeply (and much deeper each time) who Christ is. That's what the context says. Some think this rock referred to Peter, because Jesus had said, "I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock.."

Jesus was actually telling him, compared to this revelation Peter was a small rock. However, a small rock with a big revelation of who Jesus really is becomes the Rock (God) on which Christ will build the true church. No, you don't become God, but your life becomes hidden with Christ in God, so that The Rock (God) takes full charge of your body, your life. It's not you anymore but Christ who lives in you, as Paul said.

This was not exclusively to Peter. Anyone who gets God's revelation of who my Jesus really is becomes "on this Rock I will build my church." God is the Rock and you become part of Him. In fact, He is your LIFE.

It was not because Peter was so gifted with revelation that he had the Rock of revelation, or because he was so intelligent, but because the Lord is The Rock, and anyone who gets the revelation of who Christ is, Christ begins to live in him or her in bodily form. That individual begins to reveal the Rock outwardly.

Unfortunately, Peter's pride bloated and he began thinking he knew better than did Jesus. He was trying to save their gains and accomplishments so far in ministry when he rebuked my Jesus after He said he'd get killed. Peter's insight came from human thinking, not God's revelation. And my Jesus showed that anything humanly instigated is "Satan." Without revelation you die, even instantly. 

Revelation is vital. It is more important than your job, position, title, church ministry, business, finances, and even what would become of life in this world. Revelation is what Jesus died for. God's revelation alone will set us free from this world and wickedness. Without revelation or vision, a people perish, says Proverbs 29.18. You can be very active in church and ministry and have all the titles and degrees and yet be spiritually perishing. 

Revelation is God-Initiative

Anything God himself does is powerful. Revelation is God-initiative. Bible study is when you try to seek God in Scriptures with helps from some literature materials. That's good. But if you remain just doing that, you'd soon perish. No wonder there are many who are burned out by church. Without revelation you die, even if you study the bible, even formally in bible schools or seminaries. What you get from these human institutions are facts, not revelation. Facts amuse you and make you smarter. Revelation transforms you--forming Christ Himself in you. You die to the world and my Jesus begins to really live in you. Only direct revelation can do that, not facts.

Revelation is When God Opens Up Truth to You

Bible study is man's effort to know God. It's a good basic training. You try to know God with your intellect, and this also is only possible through the Holy Spirit. But somewhere in your spiritual life, you have to leave basic teachings behind and go on to maturity, says Hebrews. 

As you know God more intimately, He begins to open up truth to you. In this case, it's no longer your effort. It's God's effort. God is opening up something to you, and you should pay special attention. All you need to do is listen. You don't even have to think or analyze anything. Hence, when Jesus was transfigured and Peter began thinking up things they should do, God's voice told him, "This is my well loved Son. I'm so fond of him. Listen to Him."

Revelation is when you just watch what God is doing and opening to you. Once upon a time, I loved bible studies so much. But the moment I learned about revelation, I've always sought it. I want God to open the eyes of my heart to see the genuine hope of his calling, the tremendous power of the inheritance I have in Christ--God's own incomparable power in me. That power was the one he used to resurrect Jesus from the dead and place him on his right hand [Eph.1.18-22]. 

Revelation sits you on the same throne where Jesus is seated (because you are in him), far above any position or title or authority or privilege this world worships. Thus, if all you get from your church are facts and bible studies and information and other forms of human knowledge (though this also comes from Holy Spirit enlightenment), you're still headed towards death.

There's a way that seems correct, but later you discover that it leads to death, says Proverbs. Revelation from God keeps you away from this.

Revelation means God is at work in you. No matter how weak or small you seem to the world, as long as you have revelation, you are assured that God is at work in you. Because only God can open revelations. The devil can play tricks with information and facts (masquerading as an angel of light), but only God has the right to revelations.You're on the right track, regardless of your material or worldly accomplishments, even in ministry, if you get fresh revelations from God daily.

Revelations is the meat that forms Christ in you, giving you the Jesus DNA, which is God's flesh on earth.

Even the wicked and criminals get material possessions in this world. They get respect and popularity. They accomplish a lot of things, even for God. They are recognized and envied by narrow-minded people. But only the truly righteous are rewarded with God's revelations. Moses in Deuteronomy told God's people that secrets belong to God--but the things revealed belong to us and our children. God's revelation is the real inheritance that lasts. It's a real treasure to have God reveal his secrets with us, by his grace and mercy. That makes those who are poor in this world to be rich in God.

Revelation Makes You Poor in Spirit

But revelation has a price. It's free--being by grace through faith--but it costs total surrendering of your life. No more rights or privileges or setting up your own denomination or popularity enjoyment. Revelations destroy the flesh and ego. If you still have your ego, you've not yet tasted genuine God's revelation. If you still talk about your growing church ministry like it's all to your credit, you still haven't eaten even a piece of real revelation. You've been deceived by facts and information.

Revelation leads to the Jesus cross--rejection, scorn, being belittled, persecution, being hated even by so-called Christians, misinterpreted, abandonment (even by your disciples), and a seeming image of defeat. All these were suffered by Jesus. But revelation also leads to a future glory, often a glory and ascension (Kingdom promotion) that only your real disciples would see and appreciate, as in the case of my Jesus.

How Jesus Really Saw Sinners, Religious Leaders and the Rich

Image from 123RF. Let's not see it with the eyes of the Pharisees and law teachers. It reeks of toleration. They thought Christ m...

Popular Posts