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Seeing the LORD in the Here and Now

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Sermon on Sanctification through Christ

How sanctified are you?

 

This is a sermon that is an audio file – .mp3, and it talks about the three aspects of sanctification.  For those interested in listening to the sermon click on the link above.  There is a mystery story in the beginning, which is revealed in the end.  I pray that we all learn more about this process of sanctification, and not only just learn, but to be able to apply and use.  Approximately 37 minutes.

Being used in the Kingdom of God

 

This sermon had a powerful punch to it.  It leaves me with somethings that need to be dealt with in my own life.  It talks about the protocol to enter into the presence of God, and how our own strength keeps God from being able to use us.  We are called to be priests and kings, and this video points out the prospects of being a priest for God, which is the duty of those that are believers.  It is about the process of sanctification.  I pray that this video will cause you to look at some areas in your own life that you might need to change, but as for me I will be sharing what I have learned sometime later, if God wills.

 

 

Introduction to Law in the New Testament

There is much confusion in the Church today on how much focus should we put on the law and how much impact does grace have in our lives.  The Greek word for law in the New Testament is nomos.  The thing that people get hung up about the law is that they think, how can they carry out all those 613 commandments?  In the Old Testament, particularly the Books of Moses, Mosaic Law, Pentateuch, or the Torah, the Jews did not distinguish between the law as we do today.  The term law referred to ethical law or moral law, civil law, and ceremonious law.  Thayer’s Lexicon says that the law mentioned in the New Testaments for the purpose of Christians was frequently used to ascribe to the ethical or moral law.  Jews did not distinguish between the different aspects of the law and combined all of it to one.

Jesus talks a lot in Matthew how the Pharisees and scribes obeyed the letter of the law, but they were only doing it to be seen.  They had no true intention of following God.  They were zealous for their rituals and they habitually following the traditions of men.  That is why Jesus, who came not to destroy the Law or the Prophets, but came to fulfill it (Matthew 5:17) mentions the distinction between the Jews and the Gentiles.  In the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard, and the Vinedresser and the Servants, and the Woe where He mentions the that proselyters will win one soul, but take them to hell with them, Jesus wanted to make a distinction between the outward ceremonious following of the law and the inward change that has to come from following the moral and ethical laws..  That’s what Paul is talking about in Romans 7:13-25.

The Jews were taking all these practices and not honoring the heart of God.  Jesus says they would celebrate the feasts, but only to find the best place to sit, and not to honor God with it.  They probably thought that food was the most important thing, but they forgot the purpose of the law of the feasts.  In Matthew 23:3, Jesus says: “For they bind heavy burdens heard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.”  What I think He’s saying here is that they put all these religious ceremonious laws as an obligation, but when it comes to serving with the heart of the matter and treating people like they want to be treated, they don’t do anything to lift the burden.  That’s why He says “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

Law is very important in society and without law people would go into anarchy.  But this law, this ethical and moral law is based on love and not a bunch of rules you have to follow.  This is where the Jews were failing.  They wanted to hold on to all their traditions, but their heart was far from God.  They wanted to honor Him with their lips, but their hearts were far from Him.  That’s why Jesus said all of the law can be summarized in two parts:  Love God with all your heart, and love your neighbor as you love yourself.  It is all about the conscience and the development of human character to be perfected into the image of God so that we can be grafted into the Branch, which is Jesus Christ.

Every human being has been created with a conscience.  Some people have their conscience seared.  Even people, believers and nonbelievers, weigh their wrong and right actions by their conscience, but without the proper foundation, which is Christ, sometimes those lines get blurred and you do what is wrong and you think its right and you do what you think is right when it is actually wrong.  People need discernment and judgment to discern what is right and wrong, and that’s where law comes into picture.  Without a set of standards you wouldn’t be able to tell what you are doing is right or wrong.

There is a reason why God made us better than animals.  Animals go based on instinct, and some have been conditioned to operate on reward and punishment.  But they have no sense of reason even though they may be loyal and faithful.  Without the ability to reason and distinguish what is right and wrong and why we made the mistakes that we made, it will be hard not to learn from them.

This is where I think that the Jews missed the point.  They were doing the law, but they didn’t discern what was right and wrong.  They had no conviction of wrong doing.  Nonbelievers and believers alike have a universal conscience.  John the Baptist and Jesus were always talking about repentance, and turning away from your sin.  Nonbelievers can repent from sin, but they have no access to the Truth in which why they are sinning, which is Jesus.  I am not saying that the Jews were like animals, but they were doing all these 613 things obsessively, and they were missing the point- to treat each other with love.

Let me use an example:  You can do all this obsessive calorie counting to meet your quotas, but how many of you can keep that up for the rest of your life?  It’s not the counting calories in themselves that make you lose weight, it is knowing what is the right and wrong foods to eat, and eat small portions, keeping sight of the bigger picture: a healthy lifestyle and when you seem to indulge yourself, then you either burn it off, or suffer the the consequences of eating the food that you did.

In the same way you can follow all the 613 commandments, but we cannot as people keep that up or we will become obsessive with them, and lose sight of the true purpose of them, which is to have the law written on our hearts, and the Holy Spirit will guide us in doing all these things.  The Holy Spirit will tell you if you have done something you shouldn’t have if you are sensitive to it.  When you eat a huge slice of chocolate cake, it looks so good and tastes so good, but deep down inside you knew you shouldn’t have eaten it you know it is wrong.  Even for the people that are skinny and think they can eat whatever they want, they are doing real damage to their bodies by eating harmful foods.  We can’t all be perfect in food, or in our spiritual walk, but we can learn how to be sensitive to know when we are making the wrong choices.  The Bible says, “Food is for the stomach and the stomach for food, but both will come to nought.”  Our spiritual walk is so much more vital to our lives than the foods we eat, but in this example you can see that you have to see the bigger picture and not be so obsessive with details.

Nonetheless, we should all keep the moral and ethical laws found in the Old Testament, because not only are they God’s laws, which is a good enough reason to uphold them, but because they are good guidelines for society and without standards, structure, order, and justice, society we wouldn’t have structure and we could do whatever we wanted all the time.  That kind of thinking leads to anarchy and chaos.

What’s so bad about Yoga? (revised)

Many people do Yoga as exercise, but do you know where it actually comes from and the meaning of the exercise of Yoga?

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x5ty5q_whats-wrong-with-yoga_webcam

DISCLAIMER:  I decided to preface this blog with a disclaimer that says that some people may not be ready to receive this.  I ask that you pray about it and let God help you decide what’s right in your heart.  This is supposed to be a form of meat to some people and to other people it might seem to be a form of milk, but whatever your level of faith is that is what you have to operate in.  But I encourage you to grow to keep an open mind, and be teachable to new levels of understanding and revelation.  Read the whole article with wisdom and don’t overgeneralize the message that it is trying to teach.  I am trying to show my understanding of the fine line between holiness and light, and darkness and deception and for those not ready to receive it I pray that someday you might be able to receive it.

The above sites were some of the sites I referred to when I first began to realize the term of Yoga.  Some of the links may be dead.  Did you know that the word “Yoga” means to be “yoked”?  And did you know that when you are doing yoga you are essentially yoking yourself with the hindu “creator of the world.”  We know that there is only one Creator and His name is YHWH, pronounced “YAHWEH”.  Anyone other than that (except for Jesus because He is included as part of YHWH”) then you are dealing with someone who is of darkness.  “God is light and there is no darkness in Him at all” [1 John]

I have some Christian and non-Christian friends and relatives who do or have done yoga.  For the non-Christian people who do yoga, their ignorance leads them to be exposed to the powers of darkness, but for the believers who know and intimately desire to be with Jesus and to be in Heaven and yet yearn to “live a healthy lifestyle”, but don’t know what powers they are being subjected to when they participate in yoga.

I know someone who is a nonbeliever to this day that practices yoga, and was practicing yoga until they got struck with cancer.  They didn’t know why they got cancer, and they left a pretty healthy life (they ate right, they did exercise (yoga), but they were committed to doing yoga.  Now I am not saying that yoga in itself caused the cancer, but it left a door open.  As a nonbeliever who becomes excused for their lack of knowledge, it might be a disgrace to God, and if He leads them to Him, then His blood will cover their sins.  But for a Christian, that is supposed to live a sanctified and holy life and to be intimate with our Creator, Jehovah, YHWH, Father God, why would they want to be yoked with someone who is not the One that created them?

In essence when you are doing Yoga, you are being submissive to and accepting Hinduism and denying Christ. Why is that?  Because there is a spirit behind it.  The stretches you do in yoga line up the “chakras” in the part of the body, which are circles in the body, and cause that part of the body to be submission to the “hindu creator”, who we know is not the Creator of the Bible.  I may even be as bold to say that hindu creator is actually satan.  That we are submitting ourselves to the powers of darkness, if we decide to line up our body, and yoke up our soul to the one that is not from above.

Now I may have tried yoga once as a Christian not knowing what I was doing when I was doing it, but I can testify that the hindu belief system is demonic in nature.  I used to be a hindu, and there are strong ties between the realm of the mind and the powers of darkness beheld in the mind when you practice hinduism, paganism, occultic, or any other belief that does not come from Jesus.  When you have held these ties for a long time, and held to these beliefs for a long time, you become soulish.  For more on that, I might have to talk about the three parts of a person (body, soul, and spirit).  Think of them as three gears- left to right.  We can get stuck in the first gear sometimes,  and then when we try to go to the the third gear we get stuck in second gear.  That’s where things like music have a large role.

During this time, in which today is actually Rosh Hashanah, a Jewish Holiday, but has value in Christianity, the emphasis is on Holiness and cleansing and getting your heart right with God.  When you get your heart right with God and walk a path of holiness your life becomes different.

Some people focus on yoga for exercise and losing weight, but there’s nothing like good old fashioned cardio,  lifting weights, and the best walking if you are able.  Besides yoga is really hard.  Why would you want to put yourself through that when 1) there are other ways to exercise 2) it’s not going to bear any fruit in the long run?

Now I have to mention breathing – I know there is a yoga-based breathing technique for relaxation – actually there’s more than one.  But the real breath in the Bible, comes from the Holy Spirit, or the Spirit of God, called ruwach.  So when God put His breath in us when He created us as humans, we were given a breath of life.  But when we became born again, we inherited a new breath of life, which is His Holy Spirit.  So when we breathe, we should put this in mind – “This is the air I breathe, Your very presence living in Me.” [from the song]

As far as relaxation goes, nothing can give us peace like Jehovah Shalom.  He even was peace for Gideon when he was afraid, “24Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord is Peace.” Judges 6:24

What does the Bible have to say about meditation?  Again, one of my favorite verses, Philippians 4:8 8For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them] or meditate on them.” (emphasis mine)

You make think that you need to relax, need to de-stress, need to get in shape, need to be worry free, but I am telling you that there is nothing so big that our God can’t solve and that your answers must be found in yoga, but your answers are actualy found in Jesus.  To find that peace that can only be found in Jehovah Shalom, the God that is of peace.  When you don’t have that peace you go looking in other places to find it.  As far as exercises go, I know that prayer alone cannot help you lose weight, but using godly wisdom when it comes to exercise and discerning the spirits when it comes to exercise, nutrition and living a healthy lifestyle, can lead you to fulfill the deep desires of your heart.  And if you don’t believe in Christ, then I pray that someday you’ll see what can fill that void in your life.

In my revision of this article I’d like to thank someone for oversimplifying the answers when it comes to things like exercise and faith.  Sometimes it takes a stretch of faith to walk the line of holiness and that takes a deeper level of maturity and a walk with Christ.