Saturday, May 1, 2010


Living Word

Christian Fellowship

“That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving...” Psalm 26:7

Vol. 19, No. 5 May 2010

There comes a time in our Christian walk when each of us must make the decision of how we are going to serve the Lord. Will we give our all to Him, or will we continue in a half-hearted manner, adding Christ to our lives?

Those who choose the latter will find very little fulfillment in the church. It will become dry and boring. But for those who choose to give Christ their all, they will discover a depth of living that will never be drab or boring, but ever-alive.

Difficulties will be with us, but we will have Christ Jesus there to guide us into the victories that await us. We may experience some ups and downs, but He will make every path level and straight. The eventual outcome to all our struggles will be fullness of joy and a delight in His love.

Mar 12:30 “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”

This past winter was difficult for many. But now we are in a new season where life blossoms once again. Why not be among those who find the fullness that comes in giving one’s all to the Lord?

In Christ,
Pr. Steve

Willful Sin

Heb 10:26 (KJV) “For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,”

Both the Old Testament and New Testament make a distinction between the sin of our flesh, the lusts and the passions that so easily overtake us and deliberate, premeditated willful sin. God wants to forgive us and deliver us completely from all the uncleanness that dwells in us. But deliberate disobedience to God’s commands and will is something we need to discuss.

Deliberate sin brings punishment – it can cause us to lose our salvation. Why? Because it is rebellion against God! Paul tells us there is a war within our minds that makes us prisoners of sin. These are compulsions that drive us to do things we don’t want to do. Atonement for these kinds of sin has been made through Jesus Christ. Even under the Old Testament Law, sacrifices could be given to remove the penalty.

Now under the New Testament if we follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, we can be delivered from these strongholds; and as we are, we gain eternal life.

But what happens if, after we have received the truth about our sin, we choose not to do anything about it? In other words, what happens when we literally, knowingly and willingly commit sins?

There is forgiveness and deliverance for all bondages of sin. We are born with them and we must have a desire to get them out of us. God will deal with us endlessly to remove the sin and the effect of the sin. But when we ignore the signs and the direction for deliverance, because we belong to God a fiery judgment begins to come. Today we see this happen with marriages, jobs, and other sacred areas of our life that seem to be breaking down.

Leviticus 4:27 tells us a sin can be unintentional when a person is caught off guard and negligent of the Lord’s will. An offering must be given to restore such a person. Jesus is that offering, not Buddha and not Muhammed.

What happens to the person who willfully sins (Num. 15:32-35)? He dies. This man was not deceived. He simply decided to ignore what God had said about the Sabbath and do what he felt like doing. How many Christians do you know today who do what they feel like, knowing it is wrong? For them, a spiritual death is taking place.

In the New Testament the covenant assumes that once a person puts his hand to the plow he will not look back. Why? Because the sacrifice of Christ is given to perfect the individual for eternity with regard to both the guilt and the power of sin. While the guilt is removed at once when repentance takes place, the power of sin is broken only as the believer continues to co-operate with the Holy Spirit on a day by day basis to overcome all urges. As you continue to obey God, the blood atonement keeps on cleansing from moment to moment, gradually removing the desire to disobey.

All your sin from this point forward is to be unintentional. When the Holy Spirit points out to you some area that needs cleansed, repentance should come immediately, along with a renouncing of ever doing it again. We must continue to call upon the Lord because of the temptations and pull of the world.

When we willfully choose to disobey God, we become His enemy. That is why the man who gathered wood on the Sabbath was stoned. He was displeasing to God. He was literally challenging God and His authority. (Deut. 7:9-10) God has not changed. The difference is that we have more of God’s nature in us so we can serve God. The rules are not less strict but more serious. God loves you endlessly, but He will tolerate only so much and will choose to repay face to face.

God has endless compassion and mercy on those who are bound with sin and want to be rid of it. You know if you are crying out for deliverance God will not ignore that cry. If you have prayed and are reaching out for deliverance, then God in His infinite wisdom will test you until the deliverance is complete. But if you say in your heart, “I am going to do whatever I please because God loves me too much to let something happen,” you are in deliberate and willful sin, not being led by the Spirit of God’s love; and you are being deceived.

What will happen in America? Because many have rejected the true nature of God and continue to do what they want, God will judge severely until people get a true understanding of who He is and that He requires holiness.

Example 1: Someone provokes you and you lose control and break their nose. Under the law you would be brought before a Judge and be required to make restitution. Your sin is forgiven. Example 2: But what if you decide to go out and start your own church because you don’t like the one God has sent you to, but God has not called you to start your own church – you do it out of spite and rebellion. What happens? You are cut off from the presence of God (Ex.30:37-38). You have opened yourself up for deception and delusion about the Word of God, and judgment will come. God will allow so much time to come to repentance and be restored, but then the time will come if you do not, you can be turned over to Satan. [Think about Hymenaeus and Alexander in I Tim. 1:20]!

Why can a person be restored from the first one? Because he was responding to some sinful hurt-- with which each of us is bound. His sin was unintentional and not premeditated. But the second example is one that puts that person in the place of God to do what he wants because he will not submit to the authority of Christ. He has presumed on the glory of God. His action was like “wild fire” which Korah created and was destroyed by (Jude 11).

Adam and Eve had no sin nature until after they sinned. They were not willfully disobeying because they hated God. Nonetheless, they paid the price for their actions.

Unintentional sin occurs for two reasons: the believer does not know God’s will concerning his issue, or the believer is driven by uncontrollable compulsions that must be dealt with.

The Apostle Paul was deceived when he assisted in the persecution of the early Christians. After encountering Christ, Paul would have given His life to take it all back.

It doesn’t matter how we feel. God will not bless when we tell people they can do whatever they want and still remain in a state of salvation.

Intentional sin occurs not when we are deceived, but when we want to do what we want to do, even though we could choose not to do that which is wrong.

You see, the Holy Spirit has been given to guide us step by step. When something happens to us that arouses thought of rage, we are supposed to respond to the Holy Spirit that says, “Hold on!” If we neglect to do that, the Lord will still forgive us if we will find the conviction that says, “You should not have done that.” We then will repent and be completely forgiven.

We have the power not to act upon the sinful nature. But many have been persuaded by the enemy that it is alright to do whatever, even when it is against the Word of Truth.

The issue at the Judgment Seat of Christ will not be one of the sinful impulses that bind our flesh, but rather what we have done with the clear direction of the Holy Spirit to our Spirit nature. Part of the training of walking out our deliverance is to be able to recognize where God gave you a way out. When you miss it, you repent and keep going.

Have you obeyed God when He told you to do something? If not, why not? This is the issue that will be raised, not “Why were you so bound with that terrible area of your life?”

After you have done all you know to do about your area of weakness, it is then time to rest in the Lord, knowing that He will take care of the manifestation of your deliverance. As we keep going to the throne of grace boldly asking for help, then God will meet our need. But if we stop going to the throne for mercy, we will be judged accordingly.

When we pray continually for God to release us from our chains, we receive a double blessing: first, God’s help in leading us with His righteous ways; and second, God’s help in gaining our salvation daily. But when we fail to seek Him we receive a double curse: God does not lead us into righteousness, and we lose the eternal life we would have been gaining.

Satan cannot force us to sin. He can only trick us through deception. We must simply pray daily for discernment and protection from the Deceiver so we will not be led into temptations. God will never condemn us because of unintentional sins as long as we repent and renounce them when they are brought to our attention. The blood of Christ will continue to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. This is how we keep our robes spotless.

Some may think that they can repent whenever they want, but as the darkness continues to increase, it becomes more and more difficult to walk in humble repentance unless we keep walking in righteousness. We truly need each other in this hour.

Many are looking for the blessings of the Lord today. They are available to the one who walks in holiness and humbleness of mind, having a continual attitude of repentance. Judgment is upon this nation. The chaos is spreading; but don’t neglect the more important area, one of righteous living.

-Pr. Steve

I am going to be sharing with you thoughts from my journal over the past few years. This is to show you how the Lord has brought about His Word in my life to minister to you and to show you how real this walk can be. Please read and understand by the Spirit about ...

. . . My calling as a pastor

Pastor’s Journal 2009

May 1: “Be bold be strong for I will be with you.”

May 2: “My goodness is to you and My hand of protection is upon you.”

May 7: “Listen for Me in your experiences and you will know that I am speaking.” “I will stand upon my watch to see what He will say to me.” (Hab. 2:1)

May 11: “Do not fret over the unknown. Either I am Lord or not. I am in charge of My church and she is taken care of and My Spirit will lead her. You are My son and I make provision for you. You will learn to live one day at a time and endure to the end. The eye of the Lord is on those who fear Him, those who depend on His faithful love, even to keep them alive in famine.”

May 16: I lift my eyes to You, the one enthroned in Heaven. My eyes are on the Lord our God until He shows us favor. Show us favor, Lord, show us favor for we have had enough…… (Psm. 123)

May 18: It is necessary to pass through many troubles on our way into the Kingdom of God. (Acts 14:22)

May 19: “No weapon formed, prepared beforehand, against you shall prosper.”

May 23: The Lord has sworn saying, “Surely as I have thought so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed so shall it stand!” (Isa. 14:24)

May 26: For You are my stronghold – my faithful God – a refuge in time of trouble.

The Holiness of God

“God is not now any holier than He ever was. And He never was holier than now. He did not get His holiness from anyone nor from anywhere. He is Himself the Holiness. He is the All-Holy, the Holy One; He is holiness itself, beyond the power of thought to grasp or of word to express, beyond the power of all praise.”

“Language cannot express the holy, so God resorts to association and suggestion. He cannot say it outright because He would have to use words for which we know no meaning. He would have to translate it down to our unholiness. If He were to tell us how white He is, we would understand it in terms of only dingy grey.”

“It was a common thing in olden days, when God was the center of Human worship, to kneel at an altar and shake, tremble, weep, and perspire in agony of conviction. We don’t see it now because the God we preach is not the everlasting, awful God, ‘mine Holy One’ (Habakkuk 1:12), who is ‘of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity’ (Habakkuk 1:13).”

“We’ve used the technical interpretation of justification by faith and the imputed righteousness of Christ until we’ve watered down the wine of our spirituality. God help us in this evil hour!”

“We come into the presence of God with tainted souls. We come with our own concept of morality, having learned it from books, from newspapers and from school. We come to God dirty – our whitest white is dirty, our churches are dirty and our thoughts are dirty – and we do nothing about it!”

“If we came to God dirty, but trembling and shocked and awestruck in His presence, if we knelt at His feet and cried with Isaiah, ‘I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips’ (Isaiah 6:5), then I could understand. But we skip into His awful presence. We’re forgetting ‘holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord’ (Hebrews 12:14).”

“O God, soon every person must appear before you to give an account for the deeds done in the body. Father, keep upon us a sense of holiness so that we can’t sin and excuse it, but that repentance will be as deep as our lives. This we ask in Christ’s name. Amen.”

-excerpts by A.W. Tozer

Don’t Take God For Granted

Gen 1:27-29 (KJV) “So God created man in his [own] image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. (28) And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (29) And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which [is] the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

God has consistently given us every good thing we could ever need or desire. Right from the beginning He made us in His own image; He blessed us and caused us to multiply; and He gave us dominion over the whole earth and everything in it. Wow! What more could a person want? Well, let’s see what mankind wanted more at that time.

Gen 2:15-17 (KJV) “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it. (16) And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: (17) But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.”

God had given them dominion over “...Every living thing that moveth upon the earth” (Gen 1:29). But He did not want them to partake of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They were instructed to exercise their dominion over that tree, the place from which satan tempted Eve. But they were not content with having everything else except that one thing that they were not supposed to have. The same thing happens today with Christians who just can’t settle for the life that Jesus died for them to have. Instead of walking with the Lord in harmony with life more abundant, many people who have confessed Christ to be their Lord and Savior are still living in sin and seem to have no fear of death.

Gen 3:1-7 (KJV) “Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (2) And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: (3) But of the fruit of the tree which [is] in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. (4) And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: (5) For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. (6) And when the woman saw that the tree [was] good for food, and that it [was] pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make [one] wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat. (7) And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they [were] naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”

The biggest lie we could ever believe is that we could know better than God. The biggest mistake we could ever make would be to think that He could make a mistake or be wrong about anything. In our everyday living we should not take God for granted, but instead seek to keep ourselves according to the direction of His Holy Word and His Holy Spirit. And may we quickly repent and return to the Lord, if by chance any have befooled us to walk outside of the direction we have received from Him.

-Kurt Thurston

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