Definning Christianity verses religion
by phil larussa
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I believe this to be one of the most controversial subjects I can write on in my life time. However, I am writing this article because of what I have heard over these many years from people not being able to identify the difference. Christianity is a living personal relationship with Jesus Christ through the Holy Ghost. If you have had a born again experience by asking Christ Jesus to come into your heart and confessed that before men then; you have the Holy Ghost living in you. A person must also have a personal witness of this in their mind, will and emotions that they can identify with.
This experience is what spiritually impregnated us into Godís family and He becomes our Father as He is Jesus Father. There is no other name other then Christ Jesus given to man kind under heaven that can let a person get into the kingdom of God and be able to participate in it.
The kingdom of God and all of Godís attributes comes into us the very day we accept Jesus into our heart and a spiritual miracle takes place.
Religion on the other hand are rules consisting of denominational teachings that have no true Holy Spirit inspiration as far as biblical doctrine and it causes a person to live in obligated works that makes them work harder in trying to obey God and in their ignorance; they try to pull God out of heaven and make Him into their individual beliefs which; puts burdens of self righteous endeavors on them and it has NO POWER to change mankindĎs sinful human behavior in any way.
It was in the Garden of Eden where Satan put a curse on Adam and Eve when they listened to his leadings and acted upon it. Satan made them believe that God made them incomplete and they decided to put on a fig leaf robe of self righteousness and they became religious. The biggest down fall for mankind is; living their daily life without a vibrant personal conversation with God; where a person learns to identify His voice from all the other voices that are trying to influence and vie for his attention.
Mankindís basic human nature forgets or never comes to know where the foundation of life comes from and they make up some form of religiosity that has a will of its own. It has become obvious to me that the people, who constantly read my articles on the web, are those who are searching for wisdom higher than their own and a greater revelation in knowing God; which is giving them a greater understanding of how to find purpose and meaning for their life.
I recently heard on a news channel from the host who claims to be a Catholic and a Christian that, he needed to not question or debate people who declare that; unless a man is born again and accepts Jesus as his savior; he is going to hell because; this has no meaning for him and these people are kooks. He called himself a Christian however, it wasnít important for him to listen to people who believe scripture and say ďOnly Jesus is the way the truth and the lifeĒ as it is stated in John 14:6.
There were millions of people who heard that statement and he claimed to be a Christian because he was Catholic. I am sorry sir but; scripture tells me that unless one knows that Jesus is the Son of God and believes this in his heart and confesses that with his mouth and has had a born again experience; he is living under a curse. The sad thing, his basic desire was to do right and he has a tenacity to stand up for right living which is very commendable however, he doesnít know Jesus as his Savior and is heading for an eternity in hell unless he has a born again experience in Christ.
There are many who believe that; this statement sounds grossly unkind and indeed very cruel however, are we really going to believe what the bible teaches. The bible is Godís last will and testament that He gave to His creation so that; they wouldnít constantly oppose themselves and, Godís word has to be rightly interpreted if we are going to participate in Godís kingdom as His children and live the abundant life here on earth and in heaven for eternity with Him.
I donít know how many churches and different denominations there are in the world today and when I look at this fact from a biblical point of view, it is a staggering reality to realize that being a member of a church and being actively or partially involved in it has no significance as to whether you are going to spend eternity in hell or heaven. Thatís right. Thatís exactly what I said and what scripture proclaims.
A person does not go to hell for his sins nor does he go to heaven for his good works; it only depends on whether a person has asked Jesus to come into their life and have made Him their Savior and have been born again from above.
At times I feel like a watchmen proclaiming a warning proclamation and encouraging the body of Christ to awake from a drunken spiritual sleep because the days in which weíre living are extremely evil and the physical manifestation of the anti-christ figure is getting ready to be revealed to the world and I am afraid that the true born again church is not going to be able to identify him because of their ignorance of the scriptures. It is obvious that the denominations that are not teaching that a person must be born again to gain eternal life; are definitely going to be deceived; when the anti-christ is revealed.
This anti-christ lying spirit is already running ramped on the earth and the body of Christ which is supposed to be the light and salt of the earth are still on the milk of the word and in their spiritual diapers causing them to be ignorant of the devilís devices. Godly wisdom needs to be put on the highest pedestal and proclaimed everywhere in the market places of life. It is time for the body of Christ to be released from their pent up denominational encampments of bondage and become a witness in their particular arenas of life.
We have Satan sitting in places of authority in born again churches of today as he was seated in the church of Pergamos as stated in Rev.2:12-13 by John the Apostle. The word Pergamos in the Greek means a strong fortified tower of deception. This can only take place because the anointed true interpretation of scripture is not being taught in these places of worship and being led by the Holy Ghost with the power of His anointing on it.
We must heed Paul the Apostles warning as stated in 1 Corinthians 1:10-18 when he says. ď I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments. For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloeís household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you.
What I mean is each one of you [either] says, I belong to Paul, or I belong to Apollos, or I belong to Cephas (Peter), or I belong to Christ. Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul? I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, lest anyone should say that I baptized in my own name. [Yes] I did baptize the household of Stephanas also. More than these, I do not remember that I baptized anyone.
For Christ (the Messiah) sent me out not to baptize but [to evangelize by] preaching the glad tidings (the Gospel), and that not with verbal eloquence, lest the cross of Christ should be deprived of force and emptied of its power and rendered vain (fruitless, void of value, and of no effect). For the story and message of the cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to hell, but to us who are being saved; it is the [manifestation of] the power of God. For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing.Ē
There are some extremely offensive so called Christian programming on television today that are practicing witchcraft and itís going on in the name of Christ. You can actually see the face of spiritual death on the faces of the people sitting under this kind of ministry. It is impossible to list all the denominational names on church buildings today and Paul was trying to stress that he came to preach a gospel of only talking about getting a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and getting to have fellowship with Him daily. He was now hearing reports that people were starting to follow peopleís teaching of different doctrines. Throughout the New Testament, the different churchís that were started were named on their location and not by any leader teaching denominational doctrines or philosophies.
The Catholic Church was built on Peter the Apostle as being its first pope and that is very true however, it was not to be built on Peter the man but on the fact that he had a revelation from God the Father that; Jesus was the Son of God and not on him being infallible in proclaiming the word of God. There can be no compromise but, we must have mercy on those that teach this kind of man made nonsense and manipulative doctrines and pray that; God sets them free because; these doctrines have no power to change lives. When a person does not personally exercise their ability to test the spirit to see if what theyíre hearing is from God, they put their life in the hands of other so called authorities giving them direction and edification from the word of God and they are committing spiritual suicide. This type deception is running ramped on the earth at this time.
Our harmony of gathering together must be in Christís name not in our labors of trying to love each other from an outward appearance of common agendas. It must be from hearts that have been changed by letting the Holy Ghost be leading our assembling, whether in a church gathering or in our family gathering with one another and only by us experiencing Godís love.
The Catholic Church has become a large corporation of power that has millions of people under their control and the Holy Ghost will bypass the traditional leadership and move on the hungry people who want more of God that are under their control. If you understand history; Marten Luther broke from the Catholic Church and started the Lutheran denomination because he realized the difference between religions verses the grace of God and after all these many years; the Lutheran church have added other doctrines to the Gospel.
From historical learned facts I can say something about all denominations that have added to or subtracted from the true gospel of Christ. It is not my intention to bash denominations; this is a common deception that happens to mankindís human nature which is susceptible to false teaching. Scripture tells us that we do not fight against flesh and blood (physical opponents) but against spiritual principalities and powers in high places in the heavenlies influencing the minds of human beings to believe false doctrines and trying to water down the true interpretation of scripture and make Godís word of non effect.
When people are ignorant of rightly interpreting scripture and do not know how to discern subtleties in the spiritual world; they have no hope in being able to recognize Satanís devices and become like sheep being led to be slaughtered. This can only happen because people do not know how highly prized they are in Godís sight and how much God wants to take a personal interest in their development and accepts his children as pure and faultless.
In turn, this ignorance causes them to have low self esteem and a lack of love for them self and their lives are focused on trivial pursuits that have no meaning as them being a child of God. The more I recognize this condition as God shows it me, the more I am empowered by Him to guard my heart and mind where the issues of life are formed. The greatest and only purpose for mankind is to be a child of God and submit to His purpose and the call He has on their life.
We only have one life to live and God made us to stand in the gap and be His hand extended to the poor and distressed peoples and we must run our race with tenacity and total abandonment for GodĎs cause of righteous living.
Life is not a casual game of heaping up prestigious worldly accolades and honors unto ourselves. We need to be bringing honor and glory by representing ourselves as being ďa chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [Godís] own purchased, special people, that we may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called us out of darkness into His marvelous light.Ē
! Wow! What a scripture and what a promise.
You notice that a person is called from a condition of spiritual darkness and they must accept that call if; they are going to be able to walk in the light of Godís counsel with His true revelation and be able to sense His fellow feelings as we seek Him for our needs and wants to be met.
In Exodus 19:5-6 God through Moses told the people ďNow therefore, if you will obey my voice in truth and keep my covenant, then you shall be my own peculiar possession and treasure from among and above all peoples; for all the earth is mine. And you shall be to me a kingdom of priests, a holy nation consecrated, and set apart to the worship of God.Ē
From what I have been hearing these passed forty five years from the pulpits of America, most of the body of Christ doesnít have a clue as to what their covenant with God represents. Thank God we still have a few pulpits preaching the true Gospel and some of these are coming from overseas. God help us to have a vision and an unquenchable hunger to be the priests and special peculiar people He wants us to be. There needs to be created in us an attitude that gives us a desire to totally commit ourselves in seeking Godís ideas with passion to the point that nothing else will satisfy our cravings for completion because; that is how God ordained it to be.
Paul states this to the Colossians in 2:20-23. ďIf you have died with Christ to material ways of looking at things and have escaped from the worldís crude and elemental notions and teachings of externalism, why do you live as if you still belong to the world? [Why do you submit to rules and regulations?ósuch as] Do not handle [this], Do not taste [that], Do not even touch [them], Referring to things all of which perish with being used.
When you do this; you are following human precepts and doctrines. These practices have indeed the outward appearance [that popularly passes] for wisdom, in promoting self-imposed rigor of devotion and delight in self-humiliation and severity of discipline of the body, but they are of (no value) in checking the indulgence of the flesh the lower nature.
Instead, they do not honor God but serve only to indulge the flesh. If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ.Ē
Religion is defined by God in Isaiah 29:13 by Isaiah when he says ďAnd the Lord said, for as much as these people draw near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but have removed their hearts and mind far from me, and their fear and reverence for Me are a commandment of manís making that is learned and practiced by repetition without any thought of the meaning.Ē Itís like people making the sign of the cross or praying the Our Father with no spiritual understanding of what they are saying or doing.
Itís like having fellowship with someone or a group and talking all the time but never really participating in a common agenda that is involved in the conversation with the thoughts and promptings of the Holy Ghost. We must understand how to gather in Christís name not in our own agendas.
In Eph. 4:20 Paul reminds us to ďnot grieve the Holy Spirit of God and do not offend or vex or sadden Him, by Whom you were sealed marked, and branded as Godís own, secured for the day of redemption of final deliverance through Christ from evil and the consequences of sin.Ē
The born again church has yet to see the true manifestation of the moving of the Holy Ghost as it happened in the upper room at Pentecost as it is described in the book of acts. Just 1% of the Holy Ghostís power is whatís empowering and covering by Godís grace His body and the other 99% is religion going on in the pulpits of America and around the world. We must be preaching not only does Jesus save us but; He also sanctifies us as saints and we are blameless in His sight. The gospel in a majority of areas is becoming unrecognizable since Jesus was resurrected and went back to heaven and gave us the Holy Ghost who is our teacher and comforter and the one who empowers us to live the Christian life.
We have heard from the born again church for years that Jesus saves and that has been preached in all types of media, from mouth to mouth, signs, T.V., radio etc. However, being saved is far more then Jesus saving us from an eternity in hell and there are many who believe that God would never send any one to hell in the first place.
It is not Godís intention to send anyone to hell that was why; Jesus died on the cross so if we will accept His sacrifice; we could avoid this from happening. Our sanctification is hardly being preached if at all in the pulpits today. Being born again has a totally different mindset with kingdom rules in comparison to a life of religious observances. Religion is a mind set of mundane and dead letter rules that become obligated agendas that are boring and ritualistic endeavors that wears a person out. Itís like carrying a gnawing sack of rats around in your mind that makes a person deal with a guilt ridden consciousness and a person never comes to truly love them self because; they donít know how to allow God their Father to love them and feel unworthy of receiving Godís love and affections. Letís define what this word sanctification means in regards to our relationship with God.
In the Greek the word for sanctification is hagiazo: It means that God looks at His children as innocent, holy, blameless and set apart from worldly thinking and entanglements by belonging to the Lord. It also means to be fostered and cherished. These are all attributes of a relationship with God who is the jealous lover of our soul and whose only interest is one of constantly encouraging and persuading us to interact with Him and surrendering to the security that He wants to offer us. I donít know how you can miss the fact that; this is a very real living relationship with a person not a bunch of rules and standards to live by or obligated deeds to be performed. Paul the Apostle wrote a letter to the Galatian church that were born again people who began their Christian walk by making a commitment to Christ and then started to add doctrines and obligations to their relationship with Jesus Christ.
He states in Galatians 5:1-9 ďChrist has made us free and completely liberated us; so stand fast, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery which you have once put off. Notice, it is I, Paul, who tells you that if you receive circumcision, Christ will be of no profit (advantage) to you [for if you distrust Him, you can gain nothing from Him]. I once more protest and testify to every man who receives circumcision that he is under obligation and bound to practice the whole of the Law and its ordinances.
If you seek to be justified and declared righteous and to be given a right standing with God through obeying laws, you have been brought to nothing and so separated (severed) from Christ. You have fallen away from grace His gracious favor and unmerited blessing. For we are not to relying on the Law but through the Holy Spiritís [help], by faith anticipate and wait for the blessing and good for which our righteousness and right standing with God which will cause us to conform to His will in purpose, thought, and action with great hope.
For [if we are] in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith activated and energized and expressed and working through love. You were running the race with true ideals. Who has interfered and hindered you from heeding and following the Truth? This [evil] persuasion is not from Him who called you and invited you to freedom in Christ. A little leaven, a slight inclination to error or a few false teachers leavens the whole lump and it perverts the whole conception of faith or misleads the whole church.Ē
In the Old Testament; circumcision was a ritual that had to be done so that the people could be accepted by God. However now, scripture tells us that when we accepted Christ, our hearts were circumcised by God and the ritual of being physically circumcised has no longer any validity.
In Colossians 2:11 Paul defines this principle when he says. In Christ you were circumcised with a circumcision not made with hands, but in a spiritual circumcision performed by Christ by stripping off the body of the flesh (the whole corrupt, carnal nature with its passions and lusts). Thus you were circumcised when you were buried with Him in your baptism, in which you were also raised with Him [to a new life] through [your] faith in the working of God [as displayed] when He raised Him up from the dead.Ē We must understand this concept of circumcision from a logical stand point.
Circumcision is the cutting away of the flesh from the male or female organ. It is an outward manifestation of a change to the physical body. Scripture tells us that God doesnít judge by the outward appearance any more but by the inward attitudes of our heart. We became a new creation in Christ the day we became born again and our heart was changed and we are now able to experience Godís love and acceptance and be empowered to live the Christian life.
Paul tells us in Romans 7:5-6 ďWhen we were living in our mere physical lives, the sinful passions that were awakened and aroused up by fact that our awareness of breaking Godís laws [which makes us sin conscience] were constantly operating in our natural powers (in our bodily organs, in the sensitive appetites and wills of the flesh), so that we bore fruit for death. But now we are DISCHARGED FROM THE LAW and have terminated all intercourse with it, and we have died to what once restrained and held us captive. So now we serve not under obedience to the old code of written regulations, but under obedience to the promptings of the Spirit in newness of life.Ē
Religion has a mentality behind it of us being constantly concerned about breaking the Ten Commandments or some personal laws of behavior we set up for ourselves to live by. It is a standard that one works at to measure up to a certain mindset that makes us judge our behavioral acts in our life. God only gave the Ten Commandments to Moses so the peopleís conscience could be pricket and they would realize that they were violating some laws. These laws or ordinances have no power to stop people from breaking them or by living by some standard they have set up for themselves. God had to send Christ into the world because by a person accepting His sacrifice at the cross, it gives them the power to obey Godís law by HIS POWER at work in our life.
Scripture tells us to guard our heart where the issues of life are formed because; God deals with our heart and not by our outward behavior. In turn; this is what causes us to have peace with our Creator. When we became born again; the Spirit of God through the Holy Ghost comes to permanently come and make a home in us and when this happens; as we give Him permission to deal with our heart where the issues of life are made; it gives us a great hunger to walk in obedience to His leadings. God is a healing God and He wants us to be whole in Spirit, soul and physical body because; man is a triune being of Spirit, soul and body.
It is the Spirit man in us that was activated when we received Christ; and as we meditate on the word of God day and night; the Spirit man grows and persuades our soul the real us to submit to Godís leadings as a father nurturing His children. Our soul represents our mind, will and emotions and it also became one with the Lord when we were born again however, it starts out as a child in this newness of life that Paul talked about when we became born again from above and it needs to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ to mature to adulthood.
New born babies mess their diaper, have to learn how to walk, how to eat and how to become disciplined to succeed in life. This principle is entirely different from the attitude that the majority of people have of being judgmental and preaching that born again believers are still sinners in God sight because of their behavior. We must treat each other as Saints and young ones who are in training to become Priests and Kings in Godís kingdom. Our sin nature was dealt with at the cross and scripture tells us that we are the righteous in Christ meaning; we are already blameless, innocent and set apart as unto the Lord. Our righteousness in Christ must be the only firm foundation in place if; we are going to be delivered from a religious mentality.
As long as the born again children of God are being judged as sinners and not being taught their saintly position in Christ by loving parents who are called by God to look after their souls and nurture them,
They will never mature and recognize their call to greatness.
There are no words that I can come up with as to the seriousness of this situation because; this concept of Christians being a sinner after being saved is being preached in the majority of the born again churches of today. This is what is crippling Godís children from going out into the market places of life and doing the same works of Jesus because they continually stay in a mind set of trying hard to get sin out of their life and it hinders the Holy Ghost from persuading them of their spotless and righteous position in Christ.
However; a born again believer who lives with the true knowledge that they are breaking Godís laws on purpose are defined in James 4:17 by him as ďAny one who knows what is right to do but does it not, to him it is sin.Ē This condition can also exist if they are sitting under a religious atmosphere of preaching that harps on behavior and that we have to try harder to clean up our act and fly right.
This sin consciecness unto them self is caused by these two type atmosphere conditions and causes a person to focus on self and they canít enter Godís courts and confront God face to face expecting his favor because; their self esteem makes them look at them self with spots and wrinkles and they fear the wrath of God.
Paul states this in Heb. 8:10 ďFor this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will imprint my laws upon their minds, even upon their innermost thoughts and understanding, and engrave them upon their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Paul is talking about every person having an intimate and personal living relationship with God. He is prophesying to the Israelite people and he also talking to the Gentile people meaning us who are not of Jewish descent because; the Gentile people are also being grafted in to the body of Christ because of the Jews not recognizing and acknowledging Jesus as being the Son of God. This is why God turned to the gentile people because the majority of Jews are still waiting for Jesus to show up as their Messiah.
Christians are only those who follow a living God that comes to make a home in them and they become a tabernacle of the Lord. Religion in its many forms are people following dead letter doctrines of doís and doníts which has no life or power to get in touch with a loving Father God of the universe.
We now need to define this New Covenant that we entered into the day the kingdom of God came into us when we became born again. A person who accepts Jesus sacrifice on the cross and has this miracle of becoming born again has the Father, Son and Holy Ghost now residing in them. They also possess all of Godís characteristics with His power and authority and the ability to live by Jesus faith. This is entirely different then having faith in Jesus. When we live by Jesus faith, we give Him freedom to give us a desire to do his will and also the power to do it because the Holy Ghost is motivating and empowering our life.
Paul says this in Philippians 2:13. ďNot in your own strength for it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.Ē Our surrendering to this scriptural principle is what delivers us from leaning towards our own understanding of working hard to stay in Godís graces. When we lean towards our own understanding; it puts us living with a survivor mode mentality and we have a warfare going on in our mind where; we have to be persuaded by the Holy Ghost to believe Godís thoughts verses our own thoughts and efforts.
Manís human nature was so damaged by Satan in the Garden of Eden that; it does not want to live under the control of being told what to do and, it takes time and patience by us experiencing a unending love by God to deliver us from a mentality that is suspicious of a God who we do not know or understand very well.
Our born again experience changes us into a new creature as stated in 11 Cor. 5:17 and our old unregenerate suspicious nature has passed away and all things have become new. In Godís sight this is the way He receives us; although mankind and our undisciplined carnal flesh wants to have security in something it has created in its own power; and its security is resting on man made foundations. It is as we walk in this new covenant understanding by Godís leadings and power that; we can be continually be renewed by the Holy Ghost.
The word covenant in the Greek is diatheke: It means having a contract, or having Christís temperament at work in us and this happens as we become separated unto the Lord in all our experiences of life. When we submit to this covenant and act on it; it causes our flesh nature to bow its heart and bend its knee and sink into a white robe of righteousness as a covering over us which stops us from having a (guilty consciencness.) This robe is the life of Jesus Christ Himself which causes us to stop judging ourselves by our outward behavior.
This spirit of guilt is a living entity and wants to side track us to concentrate on self rather then what Christís sacrifice at the cross gave us and it wants to stop us from staying in a mind set of experiencing all that God wants to give us through Jesus one act. Guilt brings with it what I call its brother fear. When this happens, there comes a feeling of being isolated and we feel as though we deserve some punishment because of something we have or not done.
Religion in its many forms makes self unrighteous decisions by using its conscience. There is a saying I have heard for years that says ďlet your conscience be your guide.Ē This is absolutely a lie from the pit of hell because; it was our conscience that was damaged in the Garden of Eden and we cannot trust its leadings. We must live by hearing every word that comes out of the mouth of the Holy Ghost in our inner man. We are Godís temple as I have said if; the Holy Ghost lives in us.
A person who does not have the Holy Ghost living in them is not a Christian and therefore God can not be a nurturing Father to them. They are Godís creation however, they are not His children in a covenant or personal family relationship and Godís covenant cannot be explained to them with passion and commitment because; they do not have spiritual ears to hear God.
The next thing we need to define is how this covenant came into being and how we need to relate with it. Our interacting with Godís covenant must be on an everyday personal relationship with the Holy Ghost.
Isaiah 28:10 tells us how itís done. ďPrecept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little and there a little.Ē This verse gives us the connotation that; there is a continual consciencness of a living relationship with a person that is with us at all times. This is a far cry from going to church by taking time out of our busy schedule once or twice a week to fulfill our spiritual obligation to stay in a right standing with God.
Our new covenant is a symbiosis of Godís Spirit and our spirit becoming one and we becoming likeminded in vision and purpose with Him. When Moses met with God at Mount Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments, he was awe struck by the glory of God that he was experiencing and he had to cover his face with a veil when approaching the people as he came down off the mountain to proclaim to them Godís Ten Commandments because; the people could not behold Godís glory on Moses face.
This covenant that we entered into when we became born again as Godís children has such a holding power that; no demon or difficulty of life that we can encounter; can separate us from Godís loving grasp.
Scripture tells us that our lives and name are written in the palm of His hand. The real issue is; our new covenant is not being taught and preached to the body of Christ as God intended and because of this, they have a lack of vision and knowledge of their kingdom rights and it has kept them palsied and inept as to whom they are in Christ.
There is such an attack by the devil in the days that we are living to the degree that; he is trying to rip the body of Christ from Godís holding power in their minds and the body of Christ is unprotected because; they do not know how to live and stay covered by their white righteous robe in Christ. This only happens because the majority of them are still being told that they are a sinner; which causes them to continually look under their righteous robe and see their faults and failures and they are using that as a standard or vision of them seeking for greatness.
In Deut. 4:23 and Heb.12:29 it states that; God is a consuming fire. There is also a story in Daniel 3 about three men who were called; Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego; who were put as rulers over a province by Nebuchadnezzar the king. These were Jewish men who served the one true God and they would not worship the Kingís golden image that he set up. So the king called them to his throne room to give an account of their behavior and this is what took place. Letís remember that, Satan is constantly taking us to task to doubt Godís holding power in our lives. I will paraphrase as we go along.
In Daniel 3:14-28 it tells us. ďThen Nebuchadnezzar in rage and fury commanded to bring Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego; and these men were brought before the king. Then Nebuchadnezzar said to them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up?
(This is man trying to make God into his own image.)
Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, dulcimer or bagpipe, and every kind of music to fall down and worship the image which I have made, very good. But if you do not worship, you shall be cast at once into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, and who is that God who can deliver you out of my hands? Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered the king. O Nebuchadnezzar, it is not necessary for us to answer you on this point.
If our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up!
Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury and his facial expression was changed [to antagonism] against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Therefore he commanded that the furnace should be heated seven times hotter than it was usually heated. And he commanded the strongest men in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and to cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these [three] men were bound in their cloaks, their tunics or undergarments, their turbans, and their other clothing, and they were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace.
Therefore because the kingís commandment was urgent and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame and sparks from the fire killed those men who handled Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, fell down bound into the burning fiery furnace. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king [saw and] was astounded, and he jumped up and said to his counselors, did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered, True, O king. He answered, Behold, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt! And the form of the fourth is like a son of the Gods!
Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and said, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you who are servants of the Highest God; come out and come here. Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego came out from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, the deputies, the governors, and the kingís counselors gathered around together and saw these menóthat the fire had no power upon their bodies, nor was the hair of their head singed; neither was their garments scorched or changed in color or condition, nor had even the smell of smoke clung to them. (No weapon formed against Godís children has a chance to prosper.)
Then Nebuchadnezzar said. Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Who has sent His angel and delivered His servants who believed in, trusted in Him! And they set aside the kingís command and yielded their bodies rather than serve or worship any god except their own God. Therefore I make a decree that any people, nation, and language that speaks anything amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be cut in pieces and their houses be made a dunghill, for there is no other God who can deliver in this way! Then the king then promoted Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the province of Babylon.Ē
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were living in Babylon which means in the Hebrew, a spirit of confusion. This world with its own religion is being manipulated by this spirit of Babylon. This is indeed a powerful testimony of three men who had passion and tenacity to make a stand for God in spite of the fact that they could have died a gruesome death for their beliefs. You will also notice that the Jews were Godís people and they were in an important place in their arena of life so God could use them as being the salt and light to their generation. This is where God has put all of his children and we can only fulfill this call by walking and understanding our covenant with Him.
As great a testimony as this is, we must point to a truth that is hardly ever mentioned in the pulpits of born again churches of today. When we participate in having a total surrendering to the Righteous Spirit of God; a miracle is constantly taking place within us; where Godís Spirit of Righteousness as we give it free rein in our lives; burns up all the things in our soul that hinders us from walking in freedom in our lives to fulfill His will by His power; and this must be the first priority of our life.
This cleansing process of change taking place can be at times scaring and uncomfortable. This is what it means when we say that; God is a consuming fire and this can only happen as we obey and understand that God wants to have the ultimate power to order our steps so we can fulfill His purposes. Our security is in His wisdom and strength and not any thing we can do or even attempt to do by some religious rite which is made up by man to imitate the Holy Ghostís power. The human will has great masquerading ability to do acts that look righteous however; God has nothing to do with its purposes.
In Malachi 3:1-3 the prophet states. ďBEHOLD, I send my messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me. And the Lord [the Messiah], whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; the Messenger or Angel of the covenant, whom you desire, behold, He shall come, says the Lord of hosts. But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refinerís fire and like fullersí soap; He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness.Ē
This fullerís soap in the Hebrew means that; God will be purifying us so we will be a light and shining beacon to the world. Only as we allow the Holy Ghost to flow His Righteous Spirit through our own personalities and have us prophetically speak in the name of the Lord, will we be able to have signs and wonders follow our encounters as we minister to people who God sends into our life in our particular arena of life.
John the Baptist states this in Matthew 3:11 ďI baptize you with water for repentance. But after me will come one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not fit to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He will separate and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.Ē
We are not talking about some people going to hell here and some going into Godís barn for storage. This chaff is refuse and things that have to be burned up in us that come into conflict with Godís thought pattern; by God as a loving Father chastising every one of His children whom he loves. Our walk in Christís Righteous Spirit has a life of its own and a person must have a demonic veil over their spiritual thinking to not want a walk like this with God. When a person walks with this demonic veil (which is a beguiling spirit) over their spiritual understanding of their covenant rights in God, this causes them to be spiritually bankrupt and deceived in their freedom to enjoy Godís presence.
If we are going to be respected by the unsaved world as being peculiar people of God as scripture tells us, we must be having these firing furnace experiences with power to be the witness that we need to be. People who live in their own religious state of mind or self righteous mentality have no clue as to who they are in Christ and how God sees them. When we do not flow in Godís righteous Spirit; what we do is worship other gods. This is indeed living in severe ignorance and loss as Godís kids. (How tragic)
You can be a born again believer have Godís righteous Spirit in you and not walk in it because; you have never been taught the basic foundational principles of kingdom living and how Godís covenant works. This condition has existed in the born again church since Jesus physically left the planet and has been gaining strength ever since with false interpretation of scripture.
If we are truly going to understand how Godís covenant works; we must see that Jesus came not into the world to condemn it but; to deliver it from its many bondages of being an enemy unto itself. If you go into the hospitals of today to pray for the sick; you go with mercy and power; you do not tell the cancer patient who is dying that the reason he is sick is because Godís trying to get his attention or he caused this sickness to come upon himself.
The Apostles had the same problem of condemning people as they were being discipled by hanging out with the Lord as they went town to town as Jesus ministered to the needs of the people and they were in training by Him. They went into one town and the Apostles felt like the people did not give Jesus the honor that he deserved and they asked Him if; they could call fire down from heaven and destroy them.
Jesus had to rebuke them by telling them that He did not come into the world to condemn it but to save it them from themselves. He also rebuked them because He told them that with that type of reasoning coming out of their mouths; their father the devil was talking through them. So we see that we must be on our guard to not live in ignorance as to our position in the kingdom of God because; it causes us to be the devilís advocate and not the Lords.
Itís only as we hunger and thirst with our Righteous Spirit of Christ that will protect us from being caught up in all the false interpretation of scripture and the cunning of the devilís devices to sow mingled seed in our hearts and minds contrary to Godís passions and true identity. When mingled seed is sown, this causes the body of Christ to be scattered from walking with in Godís protected hedge and the devil divides and conquers the body of Christ. Most Christians do not understand who and what the enemy is and it cause division and discord within the body of Christ.
Ignorant unlearned born again people have no way of fighting the devilís devices in this inept state of mind. We must if we are serious about following Christ; focus our entire efforts on what it tells us in Matthew 6:33 which states. ďSeek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all the other needs you have will be supplied.Ē Religion represents (self) righteousness in its many forms. Anything we do in our own thinking contrary to the word of God is meaningless when it comes from the mind of manís thinking.
Thatís why Paul the Apostle tells us in Romans 12:1-2 ďI APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (Babylonian Age), fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed changed by the [entire] renewal of your mind by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove for yourselves what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect in His sight for you.Ē
Our spiritual man in us; is to be exercising and judging everything we hear in or outside of the church building through our continuing dialogue with the Holy Ghost who lives in us. Scripture tells us that the truth will set us free from any fouled up thinking as to how to live with power in Godís kingdom if; we will receive it. I have found that as long as my spirit within me is seeking for a higher wisdom then my own; it stabilizes my security in God as I seek Him. If you have read this far in this article; I believe you qualify as to being a God seeker.
We must depend and ask God to give us the tenacity to totally submit to the Holy Ghostís leadings because; only He can add to our continuing education and give us the assurance of how we were permanently and forever engrafted into Godís family as His child. His holding power of love must be planted deep within our subconscious mind. I have found that in my seeking after God, I feel like wanting to swim in an ocean that has no bottom to it. God help us to put him first in our life which is the only way we will get a greater vision of His call; as we seek Him with an unquenchable hunger to know Him better on a moment to moment basis.
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