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Archive for October, 2009


As many Christians embark the paganism of Halloween, trying to bring the knowledge of Christ to worldlings, another more important event happened in History on this date, The Reformation! Many in the Christian communities do not even know what this event entails, let alone its importance to Christian theology. Here is a brief history if you find the desire to continue:
WHAT IS REFORMATION DAY?
Reformation Day is an important liturgical festival that is celebrated by Lutherans and Christians of many Protestant denominations.  It commemorates Dr. Martin Luther’s posting of his Ninety-five Theses on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31, 1517.  This act triggered the movement in world history known as the Reformation.  While the historical date for the observance of Reformation is October 31st, most churches celebrate it on the last Sunday in October.
WHAT WAS THE REFORMATION?
While it had profound and lasting impacts on the political, economic, social, literary, and artistic aspects of modern society, the Reformation was at its heart a religious movement.  The Reformation was the great rediscovery of the doctrine of justification, that is, the good news of salvation by grace through faith for Christ’s sake.
WHY WAS THE CHURCH IN NEED OF REFORM?
For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church had been plagued by false doctrines, superstition, ignorance, and corruption.  Since most ordinary Christians were illiterate and had little knowledge of the Bible, they relied on their clergy for religious instruction and guidance.  Tragically however, monks, priests, bishops, and even the popes in Rome taught unbiblical doctrines like purgatory and salvation through good works.  Spiritually earnest people tried to justify themselves by charitable works, pilgrimages, and all kinds of religious performances and devotions, but they were left wondering if they had done enough to appease God’s righteous anger and escape His punishment.  The truth of the gospel — the good news that God is loving and merciful, that He offers each and every one of us forgiveness and salvation not because of what we do, but because of what Christ has already done for us — was largely forgotten by both clergy and laity.  The Holy Spirit used an Augustinian monk and university professor named Martin Luther to restore the gospel to its rightful place as the cornerstone doctrine of Christianity.
DOES THE CHURCH TODAY NEED REFORMATION?
Some Theologians say the Church is in need of another Reformation. It is the opinion of the one writing this that the Church doesn’t need Reformed but Renewed! The Church needs Revived and empowered by the means of Repentance!  The Church needs to stop entertaining sinners and start preaching and living the faith in the Person and Works of Jesus Christ. Salvation by Grace alone through Faith alone should be the catalyst by which Christianity thrives! Remember this event in the past as we reach lost souls for the sake of Jesus Christ!

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America is in a spiritual spiral. Christians seem to chase their tails when it comes to changing the moral decline in America. It appears that America does not care about a relationship with its Creator who bestowed the freedoms that has brought more light and hope to this dark world than any other country in history. What’s the problem? Better yet, what is the solution? I am a believer in the transforming power of Jesus Christ through the  indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit. The solution to America’s problem is so obvious that most Christian’s may not see.  Why do Christians want people of the world to understand God’s Word?  They can’t!  For the redeemed reading this, they will understand. The unredeemed reading this will scoff.  Scripture says “1Co 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”
When the Spirit illuminates the heart, then a part of the man sees that which he has never seen before; a part of him knows which he never knew before, and that with a kind of knowing which the most acute thinker cannot imitate.  He knows now in a deep and authoritative way, and what he knows needs no reasoned proof.  His experience of knowing is above reason, immediate, perfectly convincing and inwardly satisfying.  “A man can receive nothing.”  That is the burden of the Bible. Whatever men may think of human reason, God takes a low view of it…1Co 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  “The inability of human reason as an organ of Divine Knowledge arises not from its own weakness but from its unfittedness for the task by its own nature.   It was not given as an organ by which to know God.” Tozer It takes the Holy Spirit to unlock the Book!  He who reads simply with the eye of the intellect will miss the glory of the Book, and will never realize the soul food with which it is stored.  It is well to ask the Light and blessing of the Holy Spirit upon us each time we read.  America does not need another man to change the moral temperature of the country; it needs the Christians to seek to minister to the empty souls of its countrymen.  As an example, consider this.  Pornography enslaves millions in America. To change this moral depravity is not found in government regulation but is found in showing people Jesus.  If Jesus changes the hearts of the pornography seeking people, then the pornography industry will be out of business.  Christians understand this but the enslaved cannot.  Let us seek to lift Jesus up and allow Him to transform lives instead of trying to reason with the lost!

America is in a spiritual spiral. Christians seem to chase their tails when it comes to changing the moral decline in America. It appears that America does not care about a relationship with its Creator who bestowed the freedoms that has brought more light and hope to this dark world than any other country in history. What’s the problem? Better yet, what is the solution? I am a believer in the transforming power of Jesus Christ through the  indwelling Presence of the Holy Spirit. The solution to America’s problem is so obvious that most Christian’s may not see.  Why do Christians want people of the world to understand God’s Word?  They can’t!  For the redeemed reading this, they will understand. The unredeemed reading this will scoff.  Scripture says “1Co 2:14 The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

When the Spirit illuminates the heart, then a part of the man sees that which he has never seen before; a part of him knows which he never knew before, and that with a kind of knowing which the most acute thinker cannot imitate.  He knows now in a deep and authoritative way, and what he knows needs no reasoned proof.  His experience of knowing is above reason, immediate, perfectly convincing and inwardly satisfying.  “A man can receive nothing.”  That is the burden of the Bible. Whatever men may think of human reason, God takes a low view of it…1Co 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  “The inability of human reason as an organ of Divine Knowledge arises not from its own weakness but from its unfittedness for the task by its own nature.   It was not given as an organ by which to know God.” Tozer It takes the Holy Spirit to unlock the Book!  He who reads simply with the eye of the intellect will miss the glory of the Book, and will never realize the soul food with which it is stored.  It is well to ask the Light and blessing of the Holy Spirit upon us each time we read.  America does not need another man to change the moral temperature of the country; it needs the Christians to seek to minister to the empty souls of its countrymen.  As an example, consider this.  Pornography enslaves millions in America. To change this moral depravity is not found in government regulation but is found in showing people Jesus.  If Jesus changes the hearts of the pornography seeking people, then the pornography industry will be out of business.  Christians understand this but the enslaved cannot.  Let us seek to lift Jesus up and allow Him to transform lives instead of trying to reason with the lost!

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Everyone worships something or somebody. The question is who? The question is what?  Here is the Truth about true worship; John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” The stark, tragic fact is that the efforts of many people to worship are unacceptable to God.  Without an infusion of the Holy Spirit there can be no true worship!  This is serious. It is hard for me to rest peacefully at night knowing that millions of cultured, religious people are merely carrying on church traditions and religious customs and they are not actually reaching God at all.
We must humbly worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Each one of us stands before the Truth to be judged.  Is it not now plain that the Presence and the Power of the Holy Spirit of God, far from being an optional luxury in our Christian lives, is a necessity? “The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.  He is not sensitive nor selfish nor temperamental.  What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year….He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds.” Tozer In every relationship that is important to you, there has to be participation ie. Fellowship. To grow in our relationships we must devote time, energy, humility, love and soul. So it is with our worship of God. We cannot and will not ever grow in worship without these important elements.  Jesus tells us “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
This is the first and greatest commandment.
And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ True Worship flows from the soul of the obedient believer.  So flee from the worship of religion, man, money and self image and come to the Wellspring of Righteousness the comes from Jesus Christ.  Ps 95:6-8 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;
for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. I pray you experience True worship with our Father this day through the Holy Spirit and the Truth!

Everyone worships something or somebody. The question is who? The question is what?  Here is the Truth about true worship; John 4:24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.” The stark, tragic fact is that the efforts of many people to worship are unacceptable to God.  Without an infusion of the Holy Spirit there can be no true worship!  This is serious. It is hard for me to rest peacefully at night knowing that millions of cultured, religious people are merely carrying on church traditions and religious customs and they are not actually reaching God at all.

We must humbly worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Each one of us stands before the Truth to be judged.  Is it not now plain that the Presence and the Power of the Holy Spirit of God, far from being an optional luxury in our Christian lives, is a necessity? “The fellowship of God is delightful beyond all telling. He communes with His redeemed ones in an easy, uninhibited fellowship that is restful and healing to the soul.  He is not sensitive nor selfish nor temperamental.  What He is today we shall find Him tomorrow and the next day and the next year….He loves us for ourselves and values our love more than galaxies of new created worlds.” Tozer In every relationship that is important to you, there has to be participation ie. Fellowship. To grow in our relationships we must devote time, energy, humility, love and soul. So it is with our worship of God. We cannot and will not ever grow in worship without these important elements.  Jesus tells us “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

This is the first and greatest commandment.

And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ True Worship flows from the soul of the obedient believer.  So flee from the worship of religion, man, money and self image and come to the Wellspring of Righteousness the comes from Jesus Christ.  Ps 95:6-8 Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the LORD our Maker;

for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. I pray you experience True worship with our Father this day through the Holy Spirit and the Truth!

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A good article I want to share.

The people of Uganda call it Balokole. In the Luganda language it means “the saved ones,” but the word became synonymous with the East African Revival—one of the most significant Christian movements in modern history.

This revival had humble beginnings in September 1929, just before America’s Great Depression. Historians trace it to a prayer meeting on Namirembe Hill in Kampala, Uganda, where a missionary to Rwanda, Joe Church, prayed and read the Bible for two days with his friend Simeoni Nsibambi. They felt God had showed them that the African church was powerless because of a lack of personal holiness.

It is impossible to explain exactly what happened after this prayer meeting or how the resulting spiritual fervor spread. When God comes, unusual things happen. Within weeks after the Rev. Church returned to Gahini, Rwanda, Christians gathered to pray and confess their sins openly. A heavy spirit of conviction fell on the people. Whenever they repented for their sins and failures they would weep uncontrollably, ask others to forgive them and pledge to make restitution.

The weeping spread to farmlands and open fields. Unbelievers who visited these gatherings were converted after they witnessed the sincerity of the Christians. Repentance went deep. Husbands publicly apologized for adultery and farmers repented for stealing cows from each other. Eventually, as the revival spread from Rwanda to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Burundi, even the centuries-old tradition of polygamy (which was still common among professing Christians) was unraveled in some areas.

Balokole changed African Christianity forever. In a 1986 article for Christian History, Michael Harper writes of the revival: “It’s effects have been more lasting than almost any other revival in history, so that today there is hardly a single Protestant leader in East Africa who has not been touched by it in some way.”

I spent the past two weeks ministering in Uganda and Kenya, and everywhere I went I met people who still talk about the East African Revival—80 years after it began. It breathed resurrection power into dead, traditional churches and triggered aggressive church-planting movements that affected a variety of denominations.

Whether sermons were delivered from pulpits or under trees, six important themes were emphasized in those days: 1) the blood of Jesus; 2) the name of Jesus; 3) the cross of Jesus; 4) the Word of God; 5) the testimony of the saints; and 6) the anointing of the Holy Spirit.

Leaders also stressed the message of 1 John 6-7: “If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the light as He Himself is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His son cleanses us from all sin (NASB).” As was true in other spiritual awakenings in history (such as the Asbury Revival in Kentucky in 1970), people stood in front of each other and admitted their sins, no matter how embarrassing. The honesty cut deep into human pride and dealt a fatal blow against entrenched sin and religious hypocrisy.

After hearing more details about the East African Revival while I was in Uganda last week, I was convinced that this type of movement is the only thing that will pull the United States out of its current despair. We must have a spiritual awakening, or we die. Political engineering, economic policies, government bailouts and stimulus packages will not save us. No politician, Democrat or Republican, will reverse our course toward destruction.

Our only hope is that a backslidden American church—a church that is as smug, blind and lukewarm as the Laodiceans-—will “be zealous and repent” (see Rev. 3:19).

What encourages me is that God, not man, initiated all the spiritual awakenings of the past—including the First Great Awakening, which gave our country its historic Christian identity. Yes, we play our feeble part by praying, and we must storm heaven. Yes, awakenings come in response to our weak attempts to repent, and we must passionately seek a fresh baptism of holiness.

But we cannot manufacture revivals. Pentecostal fire comes from heaven alone. It is a sovereign blessing from a God who loves us and desires to rescue us from ourselves. We charismatics have generated a lot of our own sound and fury in the past 30 years, but much of what we have created is a shameful substitute for revival. We must become desperate for the real thing.

Today our movement is mired in the shallow waters of self-centered, carnal Christianity. May God mercifully send us our own version of Balokole. May gut-wrenching repentance and public confession of sin interrupt our trendy worship services. May this holy fire spread until the people of the United States see genuine Christians living the message we preach.

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