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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Men, Marriage, Spirituality

Men, Marriage, Spirituality
Hey GUYS... -this Blog's for you (us)f.. 

Since you are the head of the family, problems in the family will always point back to the man,  and that is where correction and humbling must begin.

Us men are the "gate-keepers".
We can let in all kinds of good and all kinds of evil.  Do you want to know why some of us husbands, fathers, and guys have some or a lot of the problems we do or did?
-and I speak as one that learned some things the hard way.

Let's begin with a question, WHO is your spiritual head?

Sure, you think it is Jesus Christ, at least we thought He was.
So let's look at a few common idols of us men.  

1. A pastor.
    is NOT your "spiritual covering" or "spiritual head".  The pastor does not take God's
    place when you have a problem, need comfort, counsel, or advice. He cannot fix the problem
     with your kids, marriage, or  YOU.  He may help or advise, 
 But I would have you know,
     that the head of every man is Christ" -
1Corinthians 11:3

That one verse in 1Corinthians 11:3 is a game-changer fellas. 
When you really get the revelation of that one verse, it can change your view of yourself as you relate to your wife, daughter, and family.
The order must change if Christ is not your "head", then something else is..
And that "something" else becomes the head of you and your family and your family will be a reflection of your head.

2.  Next idol:   The almighty dollar, job, money, and finances.
     Before you deny putting this idol ahead of the Lord, what was your priority this morning?
     Was it getting to work or having some devotional time with the Lord?
     Did you pray and read His Word?
     Does God mostly fit in on on the weekend?
Not putting God FIRST?  As in "no other gods before Me"?  Where do we put God in the first hour of our day?

Most men carry a burden to provide for family or our self and we easily justify the pursuit of our work-life and the pursuit of material desires.

How does this idol take form in our life?
We borrow, finance, and charge to get what we cannot afford. -contrary to the scriptures that taught us to "owe no man".
This idol changes the order of our life and time management, God could not be first in that because His Word did not seem to apply to our excuses to have more as we justified our pursuits and pleasures through unscriptural debt.
We become "servant to the lender" and are not free to serve God because we "owe".

3. ME?   
An Idol called SELF

HE is the man in the mirror.
He wants HIS WAY, he lusts for respect, pleasure, pride, admirationand power.
He puts responsibility and decision-making on her then gets mad when anything fizzles.
He will blame her for his trouble,
HE will make excuses for himself,
HE will justify his sin and point out others faults.
He can make "her" his mommy so HE can be lazy and passive.
He will chase sports and movies, lust and greed, and then HE gets angry......
He can even wimp out and make a wife do what he should be doing. 
HE may even use the scripture as a club to beat her into submission as HE demands his way......  (the term "righteous anger" is not in the Bible)

Anger is very, very destructive and there is no excuse for us giving into it as God will never hold unrepented anger guiltless.
It is our responsibility to those we hurt and wounded with anger and repent to them.....
Rooting out anger is a must, and deliverance may be necessary. 

The WORD speaks authoritatively to HUSBANDS:

Christ will not honor your prayers when you have not honored your wife.
In our face, guys:  1Peter 3:7 YOU husbands,
in like manner, dwell with your wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto the
woman, as unto the weaker vessel, as being also joint-heirs of the grace of life;
to the end that your prayers be not hindered.
He instructs us to GIVE   (you know guys, as in not to withhold from her --->
---> "HONOR":     value, that is, by analogy esteem  (i.e. especially of the highest degree),
                          or the dignity itself:  honour, precious, price, some.
---> that your prayers be not Hindered:    to frustrate: - cut down (off, out), hew down, hinder.

God would do this to your prayers?
Perhaps this is why some men do not get answers.  
And this: 
Colossians 3:19 Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.
What is "bitter"?

 to produce a bitter taste in the stomach,  to embitter. exasperate, render angry, indignant
 to be embittered, irritated to visit with bitterness, to grieve (deal bitterly with)

and Eph. 5:25 Husbands,
love  ("agape":  i.e. sacrificial, in laying down your Christ did)
your wives, even  as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it (Christ got up off the Lazy-Boy and served, gave up his time, desires, sports, computer, and order to give of Himself, which is what men do not usually do by nature)

28 Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. 
   ----->  He that loveth his own wife loveth himself
(here is where rejection, self-hatred and unforgiveness interfere with loving her.
Here is where you find out why you are unable to give what every woman desires in her man.
Love is KIND, love is not selfish, love is patient, love gives of itself to meet the needs of another)

30   because we are members of his body.
       (so is she, as your sister in Christ, and how will God reward us for verbally assaulting her,
       "lording" ourselves over her, or in some cases making her the head of the family?)
33   Nevertheless do ye also severally love each one his own wife even as himself;
        and let the wife see that she fear
(i.e. respect) her husband. 
Let's not major on demanding respect until after we are living and fulfilling what is written for husbands. Your wife will gladly "fear", i.e. respect you, for loving and giving of yourself )

If a man is disobedient in these, his prayer is "hindered", i.e., cut off, an it is evident many marriages are under a curse because the man is out of God's order in His relationship to God, and in his ministry to his wife and family.

the context is in regard to a man and his ministry, but men, please note:

1Tim. 3:4 one that rules well his own house, 
       having his children in subjection with all gravity;
  but if a man knows  not 
(i.e. to understand, perceives, see)
(in what manner)  to rule his own house
       how shall he 
take care of the church of God?

"Take care of"    is one Greek Word: "Epimeleomai"  (Strong's #1959).
"Epimeleomai"  was used only three times in all the New testament.
Once in 1Timothy, and twice in Luke 10, by Jesus how He meant "take care of " to be applied.

Please consider Luke 10: 34
    and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them;
    and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him.
    35)  "On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and
 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend,
              when I return I will repay you

These may answer the question as to why there are not more men raised up as ministers to God's people. Their home life and marriage, hinder their relationship to God.
And the way they "take care of"  their own bride will keep the man from being entrusted with taking care of God's lambs according to the verse in 1Timothy.

Do we "take care of"  our wife the way the good Samaritan did with a wounded fellow sojourner? Or do we ignore their wounds and hurts as we pursue our agenda and schedule?
What kind of "take care of" do we practice at home, then among others?

"Take care of" the wounded man was to comfort,  heal, to give caring attention, to gently restore.    

There are some amazing things in the Old Testament law, and they still apply when we transgress our New Testament Covenant. 
Some are found in Deuteronomy 28, which is heavily directed toward the men.

They include our children being given over to strangers (vs. 32 and 41),
a wife leaving for another man and rejecting her own children ( vs. 30),
in addition to various other ills.

Think of children going into gangs, "lifestyles", or taken captive by culture.
Think of a wife that leaves her own dear children to be with another man.
You have the God-given desire to work and provide, yet there is no blessing.. Why?
Even the curse of unemployment will be broken when your prayers are not hindered by bitterness, criticalness, and fault-finding. He puts chastisings on men through our  finances!
 (He is trying to get our attention, remember?)

God is chastising and judging men for anger, for judging others by criticizing and condemning,  for holding grudges, and not "taking care" like Jesus told us,  -instead of blessing them as He desires to do.

It is clear, if only part of the curse operates in our life, our family will suffer with us.. 

"Take care" gentlemen.  

Friday, June 17, 2011

Isaiah 52 They Have Marred Jesus Visage and Form

Look around at church as we know it.
God knew and foretold us that the distorted picture of Christianity around us would come to pass, and that He would deliver a remnant of people out from it.
Here is one of those prophecies and our understanding of it.

Isaiah 52
1 Awake, awake, put on thy strength, O Zion; put on thy beautiful garments
      (our strength is in the authority of the Word, and the works of our Covenant.
     “behold I give you power…”    And to walk in mercy, forgiveness,  meekness, kindness.)

   O Jerusalem, the holy city ( NT new Jerusalem, -Rev. 21:10)
   : for henceforth there shall no more come into thee the uncircumcised         (the uncircumcised in heart Rom. 2:28-29)
      and the unclean.
those that are defiled,and “dead bodies” of dead churches.
         see Mat. 15:18-20,  Revelation 3:1  And to the angel of the church in Sardis write:…
         I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and thou art dead.)

2 Shake thyself from the dust   (our fleshly thinking and works) ;
    arise, sit on thy throne (the throne is where Christ reigns as we are seated with Him) ,
(NT new) Jerusalem: loose thyself from the bonds of thy neck       (we became slaves to men in following traditional church)
    O captive daughter of Zion. 

the Bride of Christ taken captive by the leaders of Christianity
 just as God’s people of Israel  were in captivity to their leaders at the time of Christ.
Luke 4:18,  The Spirit of the Lord is upon me… He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives)

3  For the LORD says, You were sold for nothing;
(made merchandise of by the false shepherds. The “nought” of spiritually empty
       programs,  classes, and passive watching others perform)
and ye shall be redeemed without money.  (by the FREELY given Gospel...)

4  For thus says the Lord,
    My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there:
(the church went into bondage, just as Israel did. )
     and the Assyrian oppressed them without cause.
(As we did, we were oppressed by "strange" pastors who knew not the real gospel)

5 Now therefore, what do I here, says the LORD, 
   seeing that my people is taken away for nought?
    they that rule over them do howl,
   (authoritative voices proclaiming Christ as they maintain dominion and power over them. )
  says the LORD, and my name continually all the day is blasphemed.
means His authority and His Ways, and the hired shepherds set aside the Word,  as they maintain their position and income from those they rule over.  Thus, they will speak against Christ’s Will, as Peter did in Mat 16 right after he confessed Jesus as the Christ.  -And Judas did when sold his place in the kingdom for money from 
Israel’s leaders.

6 Therefore my people shall know my name:
     (His name is not about the correct Hebrew syllables. It is about the TRUE character and authority of Christ we are called to come into as we believe His Word. This truth is repeated in the Revelation of the "hidden Manna, NEW NAME, and the White Stone" in Rev. 2.  It is for them that "overcome" the false shepherds and traditions of Christianity)
 therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak; behold, it is I.
(My sheep HEAR MY VOICE.. Jesus said. John 10, as He calls them OUT of the sheepfolds of men.

7 How beautiful upon the mountains (the high places of God's kingdom when we ascend 
   spiritually up and are seated with Christ in the heavenlies)
    are the feet of him that brings good tidings, that publishes peace, that bringeth
    good tidings of good, that publishes salvation
(Greek: "soteria" and "sozo"),
   “soteria-salvation is:  deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation
     deliverance from the molestation of enemies)
     that says to Zion (God’s people) , Thy God reigns! (He reigns as we are conformed to Him, not the traditions and commands of men)

8 The voice of thy watchmen!
   they lift up the voice, together do they sing;
   for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord returns to Zion.
(WHEN the Lord returns (as the "latter rain" Hosea 2 ,  THEN will us watchmen "sing"
   i.e.,(preach, in ONE ACCORD and see "eye to eye" i.e .agree )

9 Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem;
(the wasted places of  "spoiled" Chrisitianity
 for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed NEW Jerusalem.

10 The Lord has made bare (revealed) his holy arm 
      in the eyes of all the nations  (those who “see and hear what the Spirit says to the churches);
      and all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
(the gospel preached in power as a witness to all nations.. Mat 24)

11 Depart, depart, go out from there, touch no unclean thing;
     go out of the midst of her; cleanse yourselves, you that bear the vessels of the Lord.
    ( A DOUBLE "departing.  ONCE for the call of natural Jews to leave apostate (the harlot)
    Judaism, at Jerusalem, the second time for "SPIRITUAL" Israel to come out of Babylonish
   Christianity  as it says again in Rev. 18:4 "come out of her MY people..").

12 For ye shall not go out in haste, neither shall ye go by flight: for the Lord will go before you;  and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
     (Praise the Lord for calling us OUT of her.  We did not leave in fear by persecution, we followed the Lamb out as He led us and watched our "back" as we came out to "overcome"  traditions and shepherds who do not abide in the Word.)
13 Behold, my servant (Jesus) shall deal wisely, he shall be exalted and lifted up,
     and shall be very high.
14  Like as many were astonished at his appearance
  was so marred more than any man,  and his form (figure or appearance)
      more than the sons of men),
 (the real Jesus is unrecognizable to the majority as they are impressed by the outward flesh.
Handsome, well-dressed, well spoken orators have distorted and marred the image of the true Jesus of scripture. 
The true Jesus has been distorted and made unrecognizable by apostate-Babylonish Christianity, as the church bears no resemblance to the church as Christ showed us in the book of Acts.)

15 so shall he sprinkle many nations (gentiles) ; kings  (rulers of God's people)
     shall shut their mouths at him:
(no man can withstand the manifestation of JESUS Christ
      as He comes forth in His true witnesses)
     for that which had not been told them shall they see;  (the truth of the Word)
  and that which they had not heard shall they understand.  ...for themselves, as the Lord opens to them the truth of the Word) (people who come out of apostate Christianity that never heard or saw the real Jesus as the scripture marred by the shepherds, that overcome the lies and distortions of the leavened  church, SHALL understand as the "see" the truth in the Word..)

Friday, June 3, 2011

Should the Church Hire A Pastor?

Preach for a Paycheck?

"Hi Rory, I heard you on The Byte Show.   
 ... you said that pastors shouldn't be paid (hired).  I have always agreed, but we read something the other day in scripture that said some should be paid.  Thanks for taking time to read my email!  Wendy"  

Should pastors-ministers get paid for their services? YES and NO.
First of all, Jesus warned about "hirelings" and "wolves". We did not know what a church-wolf is except for a few blatant and infamous examples.  But even the rich and famous wolves do very nicely these days as they market their names, meetings, books, DVD's, and ministries.

 In the Book of Acts church that began in Acts 2,  none of the church elders exchanged their ministry for "filthy lucre".
The typical pastor was a working man who supported himself and the weak and needy, as Paul admonished and role-modeled for the "bishops" in Acts 20:35, and most simply gathered in homes.

 Never in God's New Testament was a pastor given sole authority over an assembly, or paid, taking tithes or a salary from God's people.  There are no "Senior Pastors", "Associate Pastors" "Assistant Pastor", etc in Scripture.  Pastors are one of the gifts of ministry, and never singled out for a hired, or salaried position. They were simply "elders", seasoned men of faith.

 ANY elder who dedicates his life to prayer and ministry of the Word, and meeting the physical needs of the brethren has a scriptural expectation to partake of the flock and God will see his needs are met, when they live by faith.  (rather than an entitlement mindset looking to God's people as their source).

They will never need to extort tithes, gifts, "faith partners", salaries, or manipulate God's people into "giving".
God put the word "extortion" in scripture to describe those that manipulate people to give.

 In Acts 20 Paul told the Ephesian elders-bishops, to work with their hands as Paul did, for an example as he was with them for 3 years.
Pastors were not to be exalted above the other ministry gifts in the church such as the prophets and teachers.
There is no scriptural example or command for a pastor to be the solo church "leader". -which is the "Nicolaitane error" form of church structure Jesus of "THIS I HATE".

Later in Paul's ministry, he was supplied by willing brethren in "the matter of giving and receiving", as he lived in a rented house in Rome, and was under house arrest.  The apostles in Jerusalem forsook their nets to minister as they said "we will give ourselves to the ministry of the Word prayer".

2Thess. 3:
7) For yourselves know how ye ought to imitate us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you;
    (disorderly means him not working)

8)  neither did we eat bread for nothing at any man`s hand, but in labor and travail, working night and day, that we might not burden any of you:
9)  not because we have not the right, but to make ourselves and example unto you,
     that ye should imitate us.   (pastors were not exempted)

10)  For even when we were with you, this we commanded you,
        If any will not work, neither let him eat.   

What Jesus taught His ministers:
Mat. 10:5 
These twelve Jesus sent forth, and charged them, saying,
7) "And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons: freely ye received, freely give.
Get you no gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses;
 no wallet for your journey, neither two coats, nor shoes, nor staff: for the laborer is worthy of his food."

and they never took up "offerings" for themselves as they went.

We live in a time where nice buildings organizations, followers and money are perceived as signs of God's blessing.
But Jesus and His disciples never said those outward things were signs of blessing.
 The scriptural manifestation of the kingdom of God is when demons are cast out, the sick healed, people receive the Holy Ghost and God's people give to meet the needs of the brethren..

Now let's imagine a different style of church overseer.
He is an elder among elders and the brethren, he may or may not work at a job or business.
He prays, studies the scriptures diligently, and ministers the Word as it is written.
He has no denominational license, no title or Doctorate Degree.
He trusts God and lives by faith in God's promises to provide, heal, protect, and preserve.
He teaches and walks in those promises for himself, in order for others to do likewise.
He knows how to live the faith he preaches without begging for offerings, fund-raising, and is free from the love of money.
He ministers in grace and his ministry confirmed by healing and other signs that follow believers..
He may literally lives by faith in trusting the Lord to provide either through his work or through brethren the Lord speaks to regarding his needs.

If you want to read who is qualified to be an "overseer" according to the scriptural qualifications, I have here a detailed writing for those of you that "desire the office of a bishop".

But as far as the "Now Hiring" sign in the window of the local church, I am sorry. It is not for us nor was it ever given in scripture. Nor were "evangelists" itinerant ministers church-hopping to preach for a paycheck  until they could land in an existing church in need of a pastor.