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Will You Really Die For Him?

February 26, 2015 in Bro. Heath's Blogs, The Holy Bride

willyoureallydie

I have a question burning in my spirit, for you.

Will you really die for Him? Or should I ask, will you really live for Him? Oh I have heard a lot of people say, oh I will be a martyr for the Lord… I will die for Jesus… But the truth is, You will not die for any cause that you have not lived for… No, you won’t die for Jesus if you don’t first live for Him! You think that some how you’re character is going to sprout boldness and courage in the face of death… to give your ultimate all to die for Jesus… but in life you never lived for Him with your all… I don’t think so! If we are too cowardly to take a bold stand for Jesus now in this evil age of compromise, against sin, the devil and the world, do you really think that we’ll suddenly become a men or women of conviction and faith when they threaten to throw us to the lions, to lay our heads on the chopping block?

No, if we compromise our faith and moral convictions now because we don’t want to seem too fanatical, too radical, we don’t want to be too bold in our love for Jesus and our faith in Him, lest we look uncool and out of touch with the modern lukewarm, social church and our acceptance for the ever changing culture towards decadence and sin… oh we may get persecuted as haters by the militant unbelievers and sinners because we don’t readily embrace false religions or sexual perversion.

I am quite sure that when they give an ultimatum to convert to this false religion or die, or convert to accepting immorality and decadence as a new citizen in our new world order or we’re going to put you in prison or kill you, that we’re going to do as we have done already when persecution has been merely verbal and a bit of a social pressure. We will totally cave in and compromise our Christian principles and moral convictions to those who confront us. We will most likely deny the faith altogether when threatened with death. Why? Because if it’s too hard for your flesh to resist sin and temptation than what makes you think your flesh will resist being thrown to the lions when your whole life at stake.

If you didn’t crucify your flesh spiritually with it’s ungodly passions and lusts as Jesus commanded us to do, to take up our cross daily to follow Him, then do you really think you’re going to submit to being crucified literally if threatened by such persecution? If you didn’t burn with a radical passion and commitment to love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, do you really believe that if threatened to be burned alive like other martyrs of the past, that you will readily submit yourself to the flames? I don’t think so!

I think the truth is, that the great falling away or apostasy prophesied in the last days, that is being fulfilled even now, is not evident by empty churches… but as Leonard Ravenhill used to say, the churches are filled with empty people! That what we have is a lot of unbelieving believers… a lot of those who profess Christianity, but do not actually posses the true Christ of Christianity.

And a Christless Christianity is nothing more than Ianity! It’s a religion of self-exaltation and self-piety. And I believe that most of these people in churches who maintain a nice Sunday religion, but Jesus is not their all in all, every day of the week, if confronted with the threat of death, if they do not compromise or deny their faith, they will suddenly turn tail and quit the church and deny ever being involved with Christ or His gospel. You see, the truth is, only those who have committed their all to something worth living for, will commit their all to that self same something worth dying for…

Years ago I heard a story that in China or North Korea that soldiers with guns burst into a local church and they threatened everyone inside that only those who denied their faith in Christ were free to leave and there were quite a few people who got up and walked out. Those handful of Christians who stayed then witnessed the soldiers put down their weapons. They apologized to those remaining Christians and said, We too are Christians, but we needed to weed out the unbelievers. We want to worship with only true believers.
What would you have done?

It’s time for professing Christians everywhere to be fully committed to Jesus or understand that to be anything less is to be like Judas who betrayed the Son of God with a kiss… We betray our Lord with a kiss of compromise, a kiss of lukewarm love and half hearted commitment… We need to either grow some backbone and quit allowing sinful flesh to rule our lives or militant evildoers to intimidate us or we mind’s well go ahead and join the wicked in their vanity fair. There really is no middle ground. You can’t keep riding the fence, if you do, you will surely end up falling off on the wrong side.

God doesn’t have cowards in His kingdom either. We need to be bold in our faith and declaration that Jesus is Lord, Lord of our lives. Not just in word but in the truth of how we live. The wicked and cowardly flee when no one is even pursuing them but the righteous are as bold as a lion.
And like the many Christian martyrs who died in the spectacle of the Roman arena, although they were subdued by lions unto death, their spirits were more courageous and fearless than those savage beasts… and their witness to what it means to truly follow Jesus remains with us today.

I think of the faith of the early church, men like Stephen the first martyr, who stood boldly to rebuke the hypocrisy of the religious leaders in Israel. He didn’t fear men and their angry faces, He feared God alone… and his faith and convictions cost him his life as they stoned him to death.

Stephen had something that casual churchgoers don’t have, He had a belief in something so strong, that he would die for that belief. He had a heart full of passion for Jesus alone, not for materialistic things, for houses or cars or football or the next electronic gadget. Stephen could die for His Lord because He lived for Him that even his enemies said that his face shined like an angel’s.

What about us?
There’s still hope, and God’s mercy, if we ourselves have been cowards and failed to live for Jesus like we should, to turn around and become the person that God wants us to be… we can become part of the assembly of hearts courageous… We can say to the core of our souls, I am committed to Jesus alone, I forsake all to follow Him. The apostle Peter, who at first denied the Lord and even deserted Jesus at the cross, Jesus pulled him out of that miry pit of compromise and lukewarmness and set his feet upon a rock and in the end Peter would go to his own cross and die for His precious Savior and Lord.

The beloved Apostle Paul also lived with the fear of God and would not compromise the heavenly vision he had received. His life was totally dedicated to Christ. He gave his all, even in the midst of the most intense suffering and persecution. And when they warned Paul that he would suffer great persecution and that his life might even be taken, he said, “none of these things move me, neither do I count my life dear to myself… I am ready for my life to be offered up to God as a sweet sacrifice for Him.”
Paul could say this from the core of his soul because he was fully committed, and his life showed it.

Oh brothers and sisters, I truly believe we are living in the very last days and that our faith in the coming days and months is about to be tested greatly, even to the shedding of our blood, for some of us. Jesus said about the last generation of believers, “you’ll be hated by all nations for my name’s sake”. We see the evil tide rising through militant Islam, militant Satanism, militant atheism, militant hedonism and sexual perversion… Christians are being slaughtered more and more both literally and through liberal media propaganda, a social engineering to indoctrinate the masses against our Biblical, God fearing convictions… to say we are bigots and bullys and haters because we dare to take a stand against immorality and the decadence of this age.

In just the last few years, I have seen America in utter free fall and she is losing the last bit of Christian persona… As Revelation says, “Fallen, Fallen, Babylon the great is fallen, and has become the dwelling place of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean, impure and hateful bird!” I hear many prophetic words about America being Mystery Babylon, and that she is about to fall… I believe she has already fallen and the only thing left is the judgment of our God against the great wickedness and compromise of this nation.

Either we take a stand against this evil tide rising, so fast and furious or we get swept away by it. Our sons and daughters need to see that we are fully committed, fully engaged, giving our all to Jesus or they too will compromise. We must settle it once and for all in our hearts, as for me and my house, we are going to serve the Lord… and like the song says, this world has nothing for us and whatever comes our way through the fire or pouring rain, we won’t be shaken! We won’t be shaken! We will trust in the Lord Our God. We will not compromise His holy standards!

As the wickedness comes in like a flood, we will raise up the standard of holiness and proclaim the truth with our lives. And because we have been living for the Lord, no, not perfect, but with everything in us, we strive to live holy and to love people and love Jesus, then and then only, will we have the ability, the character and integrity within us, to die for His precious name…

So when you’re threaten to be thrown to the lions, will you stare them down as a bold lion yourself because Jesus is more to you than a symbol, a cliché, a passing fad, a ritual religion. He is your precious friend, Saviour and Lord. He is your all in all. You passionately love him and there’s no way you will be ashamed of the one who gave His all and died for you… You will your all to Him. Are you like this? Will you really die for Him? Will you really live for Him?

*We make no apologies for the many scriptures and references in this article because it is necessary that you know that it is not our opinion but God’s Word that really matters in the end.


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The Secret To Why We Suffer (What I Learned When I Was Beaten To A Bloody Pulp)

February 26, 2015 in Bro. Heath's Blogs, The Holy Bride

whywesuffer

I have suffered a little in my life. From before I was even born, when my mother tried to abort me through taking a bunch of pain pills and then when I was born with multiple birth defects and then in my childhood, growing up in very abusive and dysfunctional family situations and even as an adult in many ways…but I can’t say that my suffering has been so great that I’ve become an expert on the subject. We all suffer greatly in some way, even those born with a silver spoon in their mouths.

But grasping why we suffer and the great sufferings of humanity is always an intriguing subject especially in light of the fact that there is a God of love who is behind all of creation and sometimes it’s hard to marry those two ideas. Bu something happened to me that forced me to confront God on the subject and I want to share it with you briefly.

Some years ago, I was working as a missionary with a ministry down in Houston Texas that had a home for drug addicts and homosexuals who had contracted the HIV virus and expressed a desire to change their lifestyles to serve God. The ministry had been given a multimillion-dollar home that happened to be in a neighborhood that had declined rapidly into poverty and decadence. The home was very nice and accommodating and really was a wonderful fit for the ministry.

However, it was smack dab in the center of this drug and gang infested neighborhood. And I have always loved the quote by Charles Thomas Studd, “Some wish to live within the sound of Church or Chapel bell; I want to run a Rescue Shop within a yard of hell.” So I came on board this ministry because I saw that it truly was a rescue shop within a yard of hell.

I lived there at the home ministering to these sad, totally mixed up and broken men who desperately needed Jesus. Some of them where spiritually attuned to this fact and others were just using the ministry as a place to crash between their sin filled partying and riotous living. I was really there just to be a light to show them the love of Jesus.

I was much younger and much more naïve (which is a nice diplomatic term for stupid), naïve in my understanding of my own faith in the Lord, the world, the devil and the principles of spiritual light versus spiritual darkness. So I had this false concept in my understanding that since I was in ministry, working for God and trying to be a light to the darkness that I had an invincible shield around me. I presumed that I had two giant guardian angels at my right and my left at all times. God was my body guard and being a King’s kid, I could walk fearlessly and boldly about this very dangerous neighborhood with no problem.

Well, to make a long story shorter, I was mugged one night by two young men, pistol whipped until they fractured my skull and left me in a bloody pulp out in the middle of the street. I think they had intended to kill me but a few cars had gone by and one lady actually rolled down her window and reasoned with them to leave me alone.

Two many witnesses had made them stop, I think. Or it could be that the Holy Spirit convicted any conscience they had, because as they were beating me, I remember telling them over and over “Please don’t do this, Jesus loves you.” At any rate, I started to blackout and only vaguely remember bits of pieces of wandering the street and knocking on someone’s house door covered in my blood, asking for help. I then vaguely recall paramedics tearing off my pants and shirt and putting me in an ambulance.

There is a lot more to this story and much more incredible testimony to this test that I won’t go into since it kind of deviates from my message here. But I did learn a very valuable spiritual lesson from this ordeal…. A secret to why we suffer. I am not so proud to assume I have a complete revelation but I would like to share with you what I do know.

When I came back to the ministry home from the hospital, for quite a few days during my physical healing, I had an intense spiritual battle going on in my soul. I basically became very depressed and disillusioned in my faith in the Lord. I couldn’t understand why God had put a giant hole in my invincible bubble and why my guardian angels seemed to be away on vacation while I was beaten to a bloody pulp.

Yes, I admit, I did all the things many of us do when we go through trials and tribulations, I stuck my fist in the air and raged against Heaven, cursed and told God he wasn’t fair and just and a good father. I am ashamed of it now, but I was pretty ticked off that I was seemingly so neglected by the Sovereign Lord God Almighty… especially since I was one of His “special children”, you know, one of those special children who God the Father doesn’t ever let bad things happen to them.

I was doing God’s will, I thought. I mean, isn’t there some scripture somewhere in the Bible that plainly says that if you’re in the will of God, no bad or traumatic thing will ever happen to you?

I searched long and hard for those scriptures but even to this day I have yet to find one. But even if it’s not in Bible, isn’t there some unseen spiritual law that clearly says that if you’re a child of God, and doing some real, one on one intense ministry stuff that God’s protection is guaranteed… that no evil will befall us who are most pious and devoted to the Kingdom of God?

So I was confused and disillusioned until I finally simmered down and could hear God’s voice above the clamor of my religious pride and self centered piety. And the conversation between God and I went something like this-

“God, I can’t abandon my faith altogether because I know your real through all the experiences of you in my life… besides the butterfly tells me so and the rest of the totally genius and cleverly designed creation screaming at the top of it’s lungs of your existence but I am depressed and disillusioned right now about my faith, about you and about doing ministry. I don’t know where I am, Lord?”
And God said, “I know my son, you are exactly where I want you to be, though.

“So you want me to be disillusioned and down and out like this?
“Yes, my son I do. Many find jewels of precious truth and the secrets of my Kingdom through their disillusionments. And you will to.”
“Okay… So Father, what might I learn from this course “Suffering 101”?

Well Heath, what does My Word say about suffering in this present time?
Well, it’s not worth comparing to the glory that will one day be revealed, I guess.
And what else?
Um, well it’s supposed to be a light, momentary affliction… but Lord being beaten and pistol whipped didn’t feel too light to me.

Son, you can’t see the forest because of the giant trees just in front you… you can’t see the splendor of the panoramic view of my perfect will and divine plan looking through the pinhole of a finite, mortal life. Your vision is limited to what’s in your face right now. And you reason and react like any man who can’t see beyond the here and now. But I behold eternity… And as my child, I want you to begin thinking long term… like as in forever. I want you to have always before you an eternal perspective.

Yes, Lord I know I can’t see even one tenth of one degree in the circumference of the 360 degrees of your eternal view… but Lord why did you abandon me? Why didn’t my guardian angels kick some butt? Did I really have to go through all that to learn something?

Well Heath, you are pretty thick headed. And besides you only gave me a token insincere thanks that you weren’t killed in that ordeal. If I had abandoned you, you’d be talking to me right now before the Great White Throne Of My Judgment Seat. And by the way, your angels did kick butt and that’s why you’re still alive. And yes, just as you can’t truly learn how to swim on dry land or even by reading an illustrated swimming for Dummies book, you can’t learn some of the deep eternal truths of my Kingdom without some real experiences to get you there, Heath.

Have you not prayed to me many times, God give me revelation and deep understanding of your Kingdom? Do you think that you can just coast along on a flowery path of roses, of comfort and convenience to enter into my Kingdom? When my Word says clearly that it is through much tribulation that my children enter the Kingdom of God.

And then I hung my head in shame and told God- Oh. Okay, I’m sorry Father. Even now, I’m starting to see the forest. I shouldn’t have charged you with neglect and abandonment. That’s just the spoiled kid inside of me. I know you love me and this mugging/beating didn’t take you by surprise. If anything I probably deserve what I got.

And God interrupted by pretentious humility and said, No Heath, you didn’t deserve what you got…. You deserved a lot, lot more… but fortunately my Son stepped in and took your punishment by hanging on a cross for you. And the suffering you received through this ordeal was not your suffering but it was my Son’s, you just happened to be the one they took it out on. But you should understand that to live for Christ is to fellowship in His sufferings… that the true Christian experience is not a nice neat little package of going to church on Sundays and some token religious exercises you do to feel good about yourself.

My Word says, “Yea all who desire to live a godly life shall suffer…”

This is what I meant when I said take up your cross and follow me. Your cross is more than a cliché or religious metaphor… it is a life surrendered to dying… to dying daily on the cross where all self righteousness, self centeredness, self worth, self indulgences, self importance, self esteem is crucified so that my Spirit, my resurrected life can shine through you.

The truth is Heath, how can I use you to show the world my kingdom if you react like worldly people do who have no faith, when trials and tribulations, and offenses come? You act as if you are more special or more privileged than the rest of humanity who suffer in the same like manner. Your ordeal is just one common to all mankind. Being a believer, being My child does not exempt you from this life’s ordeals. Christians get flat tires, their houses burn down. Their loved ones die, sometimes even in horrific manner. Anything and everything you can think of, may befall one of My children… in this world… in this life. It rains on the just and the unjust.

It also floods and destroys on the just and unjust. However, the just can many times pray away the evil… and miracles can happen… but not always. Sometimes, no matter what, if it is your time to go, there is no way to circumvent it. But as My child, if you are looking past the here and now, with an eternal perspective, death, no matter how it comes, is no grim reaper but a glad angel to whisk you to your blessed eternal habitations with me, your Lord and Savior. Do you really believe in me, a just and holy God who is pure love?

Do you not think that I will make every wrong, right, every injustice, I will bring justice. Every moment of suffering in your temporal life, no matter how morbid, horrifying, or painful, it might be, will I not apply a beautiful healing on that day that will leave you completely cured without a single scar to remember your trauma and suffering?

Yes, the only scars that will remain in the everlasting kingdom are the scars upon the lamb of God that took away the sins of the world. I will dry your tears and there will be no more sorrow or death, only my beautiful children will be filled with innocence and laughter for all of eternity. I promised you this and I will fulfill my Word.

Yet you doubt me in your trial, in your tribulation. And even many unbelievers and sinners are not so presumptuous to blame me for when they suffer. But you shake your fist and rage against all Heaven because deep down, you truly believe you’re a better person who doesn’t deserve to experience the human conditions that is common to man in this fallen world.

You think you’re innocent… but no is truly innocent. Only My son was innocent. But you think that because you are My child that common calamities should never ever befall you… and when they do… you practically want to give up your faith in me…Heath, you sound more like a “fair weather friend” rather than one of my true friends. If you’re going to follow me, follow me to the cross and not to some glamorous unrealistic Christian life, free from pain and sorrow. Because in this world, you will suffer tribulation, persecution and evil men and demons will plot to take your life… but be of good cheer… look past the here and now….

Look upon eternity… for I have overcome the world! Whatever happens to you in this life, be it small or great, be it trivial or traumatic, be it suffering or even sudden horrific death, settle it now in your heart that I am on your side and everything that happens to you will ultimately fit within my plan to give you an eternal future and hope.

Well, after being sliced and diced and fried up as a fritter by the spirit of God, it was hard for to me to open mouth… believe it or not… and the only thing left in me was the question that burns in so many of us, I said, Well Lord, when evil befalls us like in my situation, or when some Christian dies in a horrific manner, or even an unbeliever, is it always your will or something you planned as the Sovereign Lord God Almighty?

And the Lord I believe spoke this, “No. It hasn’t been my will since the fall Adam and Eve that my children should suffer, that mankind should experience the evils of this fallen world. It’s not my will that men should murder or that accidents should maim. My will is for a perfect world, a world with no pain, no sorrow, no evil, no sin.

But all of mankind’s sorrows and sufferings, your own, are due to the choices you make either directly by sin and rebellion against my ways and the consequences thereof, or by the curse of sin itself, from the fall of Adam to the gradual disintegration of the elements. Most suffering comes by wrong choices from a fallen humanity and the rest is due to a fallen, cursed world in decay. Both are the consequences of sin though- it’s the judgment of love against unloving choices.

Even my children who truly love me, no matter how holy or disciplined in my ways will never know complete perfection in their flesh, in this world. They are still subject to the elements of this world, to the indiscretions of a fallen nature. They may be 99 percent of the time walking in my Spirit but in a brief moment of weakness… that 1 percent moment, they turn to the beggarly elements and do a fleshly thing… perhaps as silly as road rage in traffic, the stress of the day, they lose patience and swerve into a lane that ultimately takes their lives or the life of someone else. Could I have prevented that?

Many times I do intervene with a miracle. But sometimes not. Did I plan it? Did I want it? Was that a judgment on them? A consequence of choice? Yes, perhaps. But No, as a loving Father, the God who is love, I never desired men to suffer, ever. The first paradise, the Garden of Eden revealed that… but free will and free choice is part of my character, my image which man was created in the likeness of. And it is not my desire to have robots that choose love because they were made to choose it. Love by it’s very nature, is given and received as a choice not out of manipulation and control but out of an expression of free will.

Ultimately through suffering, mankind redeemed is going to learn that the way of love is the only way to exist. It is my kingdom. My son was the ultimate example of love. No man can enter my kingdom without learning this way of love… It is the only way that mankind can exist in eternity. That is why all suffering is temporal and I make use of it as teacher, as a trainer to men’s hearts and souls… to bring the greatest revelation to the soul and that will eventually make all of redeemed humanity both one with the Father, and one with the Son… All the laws and the prophets can be summed up in the choice to love.

As a loving Father, I am committed to this perfection, to this paradise to come and those who ultimately choose the way of love, a repentance from unloving and sinful choices will reign with me in my kingdom of love and light.

Even with this revelation from the Lord, as a child of God, living in a world full of temptation, trial and tribulation, making a choice to love others as God would have us love them and be a witness of His love is a sacrifice of self, and ironically a suffering of our own soul. To crucify our self love is the beginning of loving others as Jesus loves us. Because human nature without God’s love is to be selfish. It is the love of self that wants to be the center of attention, that wants to gratify it’s fleshly desires even if it hurts or debases another human being or God.

So most of the world and even within the so called Christian mainstream is truly focused only on self love, self pleasure, self comfort, self convenience and gratifying the desires of the temporal flesh in the here and now… with no eternal perspective. Look around you, how many people truly walk in God’s love? Not many. Most of us like to talk about ourselves and crave others to focus on us… or if we’re professing Christians, we might spiritually manipulate people into thinking about how great a person that we are, what a fine Christian, what a great spiritual leader or pastor, etc.

Many people, including pastors and mega church leaders in Christianity do not actually walk in love for Jesus and others… it is clearly seen. You see that their faces and names are plastered on billboards, on television screens and gobs of so called “Christian marketing material” that clearly show that they are really not trying to remain a humble servant dedicated to lifting up Jesus alone but more wanting the praise of men or worse, the money of men.

Self-love has deceived their religious souls and they really think they are the hottest thing since John the Baptist. Full of religiosity and spiritual ego, they live in sprawling mansions, drive expensive cars, have leer jets to take them to their next spiritual conference to milk the naïve and gullible church folks out of their tithes and offerings. And all the while, they truly believe they represent, this meek, humble, non-materialistic Lord Jesus of the Bible.

Self-love is man’s greatest downfall. Most of the self help, self esteem and self love books and teachings on the market if thrown into the ocean would do all the church and mankind a huge favor. The problem isn’t that we need to focus more on ourselves… no, that is the problem from the beginning of the fall of Adam. This is the problem with this last day generation of a complete narcissistic society and culture. As the scripture says, “In the last days, perilous times will come and men will be lovers of themselves…” No time in history has self love and sociopathic narcissism been so rampant and problematic.

Unbelievable murder and mayhem and debauchery and decadence fills the news these days. It’s unheard of. Most everyone is living in their own little comfort zone and pleasure bubble and yet the world is more full of pain and suffering than ever before. Only a handful of humble people, churches and ministries are actually making a difference in their little communities.

The world is not only going to hell in a hand basket but spiraling in free fall towards the flames. Suffering and sorrow in this world is not to be blamed therefore on the God of love but on the godless love of self. If we all would truly begin to love as Christ loved us, we would begin to find the joy and lasting happiness and peace we all so desire. The reason why the happiest people in the world are the most generous and kind, who have developed a habit of esteeming others better than themselves and are constantly sacrificing their own needs to meet the needs of others is because they are knowingly or unknowingly tapping into the very core of God’s divine nature and His expressed image.

We were created to be like God in the image of His likeness so when we fulfill the law of selfless love, we actually are rewarded with a divine joy that is directly connected to God’s character. I have met the poorest people who were very rich and I have met the richest people who were very poor. There are countless folks in third world countries who walk barefooted and sleep on a dirt floor but to meet them you would think they were kings living in castles.

Their faces glow with an unworldly joy and they have not a materialistic bone in their body. Should you try to give them something of worth, they do not greedily grasp it as their own with a feeling of “this belongs to me” but they will turn around and share it with everyone until the thing is dispersed and consumed by all in need. Amazing selfless love!

I have been challenged and convicted many times by people of this caliber that I have personally come to the conclusion that to be born in America, with our emphasis on materialism and wealth to bring us happiness, is not as blessed as we think it is. Like the Word teaches in the book of Revelation, “we are rich and increased with goods and have need of nothing… but truly we are poor, blind, wretched and naked.”

I share about the love of self versus selfless love because this is key, this is the secret to understanding why we suffer, why suffering and sorrow is so common to our human condition, why war, murder, mayhem, crime, turmoil and distress of nations is what we read in the headlines everyday. God speaks to his people and says that it is through God’s love alone, this selfless love that we begin to break the cycle of sin and evil around us.

When we choose to forgive and to have mercy rather to despise and take revenge upon someone, we choose to look at people around us not with the intent to manipulate them for our own agendas and selfish motives, to use people to get what we want, but we look at every opportunity to try to help people in their need and be an example that they too can live with a heart of selfless love. We choose to respect all men and women, boys and girls with decency and true spirituality rather than with debasement, degrading them, with sensuality and the lust of the flesh. When we can dialog with one another without a spirit of pride and self importance, self religiosity.

We can be humble, patient and kind. These are the things which bring healing rather than hurt, good pleasure rather than pain, sweet song rather than suffering.

So why do we suffer? It is because of our own sins against God’s spiritual laws that we suffer through the consequences of such disobedience and rebellion. We cannot get around the consequences of our sins… we will reap what we sow… this is one of God’s main spiritual laws fixed in eternity.

Like Billy Graham used to say, We can’t sow our wild oats and then pray to God for a crop failure… God will allow us to suffer the sting and evil of our sins and wrong choices so that we might learn the way of righteousness, the way of selfless love. It’s only then can we enter the Kingdom of God… and the good news is, we don’t have to wait until we die to enter His kingdom… we can be His kingdom on earth… we can bring His kingdom to others.

We can stop the vicious cycle of evil and suffering. This is why Jesus wants to be the Lord and Saviour of our lives… This is why He commands us to repent and change our ways.

So there you have it, in a nutshell. And I must confess that it’s harder to walk out selfless love on a daily basis than to explain it academically to you as I have now. I fail miserably many times as my self, my ego, my flesh is that fly in the ointment. But it is my desire to live like my Lord. It is my greatest desire to one day be completely free of the love of self and to walk as Jesus walked.

I think this is the litmus test to those who have been born again by the Spirit of God. It is not that our natures have completely transformed into perfect selfless characters in this world… I truly wish that were possible…but we do press on to that goal, to be holy, to be pure of evil, to love selflessly, to forgive readily… The Bible says “Those who have this hope of Christ in them purifies themselves even as He is pure.”

We may not be perfect but we are striving with all our hearts to walk this walk of faith and holiness that was once delivered up to the saints. And if we sin, if we fail, we do not wallow in the sewers of self pity and self justification for our sins, we immediately repent, get back up, beg for God’s mercy and once again strive to enter the kingdom of God, to be the sanctified vessels of honor, fit for the Master’s use.

It is those who wallow in their sins and even splash around in amusement of them, that I have a very hard time believing they have ever been touched by God’s love or experienced the true joys of His holy kingdom. I think they are deceiving themselves.

One quick story that illustrates entering into the kingdom of God by choosing to love… It actually had to do with precious my mother who was still alive when I was beaten to a bloody pulp. After a few weeks of God healing me both physically and spiritually from the ordeal, I went to see my mother. And she was somewhat of a new Christian then and even before she was a Christian she was a very loving and forgiving person.

She actually was one of the best examples I knew, of someone who forgives quickly and forgave quite thoroughly. She forgave a lot of great injustices in her life that most people would be embittered about to their very grave. But not mama, she was a forgiver. Except when I visited her after being beat up. She told me, almost in tears “Heathy, I can’t forgive those boys for doing that to you. I just can’t!” She was my mama and I was her baby boy.

I think I chuckled at her and told her “Mama, you have to forgive them… I already have… and we must never allow a root of bitterness to spring up in us because the world is always going to be there to try to put a splinter between us and God and we can’t allow it. God will take of those boys but we must pray for mercy.” My mama just shook her head no and we got on to some other subject. Every so often, during the next few years, she would remind me that she hadn’t forgiven those boys. And I would encourage her to let it go and let God in. Then one day she called me on the phone and she was crying.

I said “What’s wrong mama?” And she said, “Today, I forgave those boys… I forgave them Heathy from my heart and I pray for them to be saved!” I rejoiced with her for that breakthrough. She had learned the law of love and in that moment she again entered the kingdom of God. What was a stumbling block to her faith became a stepping stone to victory. The suffering that could have made her a bitter person, through Christ made her a better person.

So in conclusion, I want to challenge all of us, to not try to answer as a chalk board answer, or academically, the question If God is good, why is there suffering in this world? But to instead, answer that question by living according to the God of love and His holy Word, by being the answer to that question, to live without the love of self… to do as Jesus called all His true disciples to do in Matthew chapter 16 verse 24 “If any man wants to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.”

The way of Christ is the way of the cross… it’s the way of death to self and crucifixion of self love so that we can be resurrected to a new life of God’s love and holiness. May this truth go deep into the inward parts of all who hear what the Spirit of God is speaking. The secret to why we suffer is that God, our Father in His wisdom and love, always will choose the best path to bring us to a revelation of why love is the only choice we should always make… He uses our sins and the consequences of them to discipline us until the light bulb finally turns on in our awareness… that if we obey just this single law of love then we do not need to be governed by or forced to obey any other law in the universe. We will have arrived. This is the revelation and the truth that God so desire men to truly comprehend and live by.

This is brother Heath… and I am committed loving you with the love of Jesus, not to tell things that just tickle your ears and feed your flesh but to tell you life transforming truths that will set your soul free forever in God’s love! Amen.

*We make no apologies for the many scriptures and references in this article because it is necessary that you know that it is not our opinion but God’s Word that really matters in the end.


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The Emperor’s New Clothes

February 26, 2015 in Bro. Heath's Blogs, The Holy Bride

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“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.” Matthew 5:8

I want to talk to you about the emperor’s new clothes… you know the story… the story of a scoundrel and a scammer who convinced the emperor to wear invisible clothing… to parade himself among his subjects as if he was wearing the finest, most fashionable garments of royalty…yet in fact, he was wearing nothing at all. Talk about a major wardrobe malfunction and an epic fail, as his subjects saw their king totally exposed in his birthday suit… and they giggled, whispered and wondered  among themselves…. “Hey, neighbor, are you seeing what I’m seeing? The king is completely and utterly butt naked… ahhh…what’s up with that?”

This of course I believe is a wonderful parable that none of us can ever figure out without a divine revelation from God.

You see, there is a large majority of deceived individuals who by token admission will claim to be a Christian but who are no more Christian than the devil himself. According to the Word of God, you can not be a true Christian without genuine sorrow and repentance from sin. Jesus said, “I tell you, except you repent, you shall all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3 To repent of sin is to turn from it…  There are many who claim to have repented from their sin but yet still live in their sin. They somehow think that their shallow feelings of regret or remorse and perhaps some token verbal confession of sin is true repentance. But the scriptures clearly teach that true repentance is more than feelings of regret, shame or guilt, that it is more than just saying “I’m sorry” or making a vocalized confession of sin. “He that hides or covers his sins shall not prosper: but whoever confesses and forsakes them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

True repentance has always been defined as a forsaking of sin, to actually and literally stop your sinning! This isn’t preached much in the churches today for fear that sinners might get offended that they actually feel the guilt, and the shame of their sin… and the world is full of super sensitive sinners now who will militantly justify their wickedness and God forbid that you plead with them to give up their self destructive, unhealthy, unnatural, ungodly, immoral, perverted lifestyles… Today they will protest you as a narrow minded religious bigot who is spreading prejudice, intolerance and religious hate speech. And the mealy mouth preachers who have no fear of God but only fear man, they cower and appease to this wicked generation with a kinder, gentler message of the gospel… to cater not to a “seeker sensitive” crowd but to a “sin loving sensitive” crowd. Because anyone who is truly seeking God, a true seeker will eagerly embrace the message of true repentance and true deliverance from their destructive and miserable sins… and the consequences thereof.

But to get back to the analogy of the emperor’s new clothes is that there are plenty of scoundrel preachers along with whispering demons who will tell you, you being the emperor, that you don’t need to really repent of your sins to be forgiven and go to Heaven… all you need to do is make an empty ritual confession of your sins… hang your head and say you’re sorry every so often… but you don’t need to really give up your drunkenness and debauchery, your love of money, your materialistic and worldy heart, your lust, your greed, your adultery, your sexual perversions, your wicked imaginations, your bitterness and anger, your unforgiveness, your gluttony and over indulgence, your love for sensual pleasures… your self centeredness, ego and pride…

No that’s an old and harsh religion full of legalistic do’s and don’ts… you can’t really turn from wickedness, from a wicked heart and thought life… it’s your nature and it’s in your DNA to love sin… so forget about living some sort of holy, separated, sanctified life… that’s just a bunch of old religionists trying to get you to follow rules and religious regulations. Jesus loves and accepts you the way you are… they say… all you need to do is just have an intellectual belief in Jesus, a token confession of faith… no real need to repent, to live holy and pure… that’s just trying to work your way to heaven… it’s your self effort and salvation by works… Jesus paid the price and he did the works so now all you have to do is wear His symbolic invisible robe of righteousness… the emperor’s new clothes… just put on this invisible symbolic white garment of holiness… cause it’s not your holiness, it’s His… so bask in the light of His grace that allows you to go on sinning and living an unholy and ungodly, undisciplined fleshly, sin-filled lifestyle… and when you stand before God at Judgment day, you can tell God how much you love Him because He winked at your unrepentant heart… even though the Word says God no longer winks at your sin but commands you to repent…  and God allowed you to constantly have impure thoughts and imaginations, and unholy motives, even though His Word says to be holy and keep your mind pure from evil….

But He loved you anyways while you disregarded His commandments to obey Him and you rebelled against the Word of God time after time… even though you’ve read where Jesus said if you really love me you would keep my commandments… but it’s okay… it’ all under His invisible symbolic blood atonement… you are clothed with filthy rags, having never truly repented or lived a single day holy… you made popcorn confessions of your sins everyday and never once thought to turn from your evil… but’s its okay… you have an invisible robe of righteousness on… oh emperor of your new clothes…

This is the ultimate deception of this age…

I am afraid many so called “converts of the kingdom” are going to have a very rude awakening when they realize that they are naked,  that they were only “false converts of the kingdom”. When they stand before Jesus, the lion of Judah, the holy of holies, the great I Am, the All consuming Fire of His presence…. And they stand completely and utterly naked and wretched and wicked. And Jesus will say to them, Where is the reward of my suffering? Where is the return on my sacrifice? Why was my blood not powerful enough to truly atone you? How can I be your deliverer, your redeemer and your savior from sin, if you never have been truly delivered, redeemed and saved from your sin? Where is your robe of righteousness, your white garment of holiness that I clothe my servants with? My Holy spirit is given to those who’ve been truly saved… and by my Holy spirit I make men holy… but you are filthy, sinful, carnal and rebellious.

Who are you? I don’t believe I know you. You’re not one of mine for my sheep hear my voice and they follow me… my sheep loved me in truth and keep my commandments, my sheep repent of their sins, my sheep obey my commandment to be holy, to purify their hearts and minds, to live godly and unspotted from the world. But who are you? To come and parade about as if you are worthy to stand in my presence because some preacher told you that all you needed to do was say a little token prayer to receive my grace and mercy? Why didn’t you instead believe my Word? Did you really think that my grace gave you a license to practice sin, that on this day you stand before me with some invisible symbolic grace covering which would shield you from my wrath against all sin?

But my Word says, “For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, Teaching us to denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world.” Titus 2:11-12 No, the true power of grace is to make men holy in a real and life transforming way, not to make them artificially justified in unrepentant sin. Those who’ve been touch by my grace are clearly identifiable by my work of sanctification in their lives.  It doesn’t mean your perfect but it does mean you’re being perfected… It doesn’t mean you’ve completely arrived but it does mean you’re walking the highway of holiness.

A true godly conversion is always down this pathway of grace and holiness.

Many people in the church are like this emperor and his new clothes with this shallow and false teaching of a cheap grace, a repentance without turning from sin, and a holiness that is merely figurative or symbolic. They are but phantom garments ready to be exposed as fraudulent interpretations of the Holy Word of God. And those sin loving converts who are deceived by this false teaching will be shocked speechless to learn that they never truly loved the Lord nor were they ever clothed in the garments of true holiness.

Jesus made a very serious proclamation, eerily similar to the story of the emperor’s new clothes when He ended one of his parables about the wedding feast, when He comes back for his Holy Bride, which is defined as the true church without spot or wrinkle… when he said in Matthew 22:11-14 “And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: And he said to him, Friend, how came you in here not having a wedding garment? And he was speechless. Then said the king to the servants, Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. For many are called, but few are chosen.” It’s not enough to be called a Christian… are you following in the footsteps of Christ? Are you a chosen generation, a holy priesthood as the scripture say?

Will you be speechless on that day?

I want to end this message by pleading with you not to disregard it as a frivolous personal interpretation of the Bible but study out the scriptures diligently to see if these things be so… don’t just buy into the popular warm and fuzzy gospel that puts no demands on your soul to truly repent of your sin, your self-centeredness and  pride. God commands all men to repent and to flee the wrath to come which scriptures says is on all the sons of disobedience who practice unrighteousness.

The word of God is full of warnings and admonitions to live differently than the common sinner… to be holy as God is holy. These commandments are not optional. And the only way we can keep His commandments and to be holy is to allow His Holy Spirit to work this work in us. The work of the Holy Spirit within the believer is not just so we can speak in tongues, or get holy goosebumps when we fall backwards when a visiting preacher blows on us. The work of the Holy Spirit is to make men holy and keep them holy while living in this wicked, fallen world. And this holiness has very little to do with long hair, long dresses and long faces… but it has everything to do with loving people, loving the brethren and loving the lost and wayward.

Holiness has little to do with being some sort of perfect, pious, standoffish individual… but has everything to do with being patient, being kind, being merciful and forgiving, being compassionate and self sacrificing to help others in their need…

This gives more glory to God then all the miracles and outward manifestations of the glamorous modern church and all her projects and programs today.

In closing, listen to this scripture and tell me, whether holiness is merely symbolic as some “magical atonement or grace that will get us into the Kingdom or are we being admonished to literally and actually give up our wicked ways and to express the life of Christ.  “For this you know, that no fornicator, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things comes the wrath of God on the children of disobedience. Be not you therefore partakers with them.” Ephesians 5:5-7

Be not like the foolish emperor who was deceived into thinking that he was clothed in the proper garments… when actually he was naked and wretched. On judgment day, we need to be clothed in true humility and true Godliness not in shame and disgrace from living a fleshly, worldly, sin loving life.

Now, one last scripture to show us what we need to be truly clothed with…

“…Understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk or behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension, bitterness and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:11-14

Are you being clothed in true holiness or are you merely being deceived into thinking that you will stand worthy before the holy God who sees all in filthy garments of carnality and sin. Will you be speechless at the wedding feast?

God bless you, I speak these truths in love because I really do care for your souls and want you to know the true freedom and everlasting future that is found in the precious gospel of our Lord Jesus!

*We make no apologies for the many scriptures and references in this article because it is necessary that you know that it is not our opinion but God’s Word that really matters in the end.


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