Christians Eat Their Own


I’m a bit disturbed over people who seem to criticize various Christian groups or ministers.

No doubt there are charlatans out there that are fleecing the flock, so to speak, but I am amazed at the attacks on each other that occurs.

If there are churches that hold “healing and prophecy schools” and charge $5k to attend are worthy of looking into.

Bethel Church may well be skirting along the edge of a redefined sort of Tarot Card reading in the Christalignment teachings and practices. But I’m not going there.

Hillsong has gone through controversy as well with Frank Houston and sexual misconduct. This was thirty years prior to 2016 as best as I can tell. What has he done since then. Did he come clean before God and the people? I don’t know.

Vertical Worship leader James MacDonald was accused of a gambling problem. He was in with Moody Bible Institute and was released to a Sabbatical of an undetermined amount of time to my knowledge.

Elevation leader Steven Furtick has been accused of projecting a cult-like leadership. I have to ask what his church leadership is doing about it? Does he not answer to someone?

Now take River Valley Worship and I find no controversy with this church. Are they good or just not yet accused of something?

The title of this post isn’t to demean or prove anything wrong on either side, but I have a huge question. If these churches indeed have controversy, why have others pointed fingers of condemnation at them and not tried to rectify the issues first hand with these entities that claim such large audiences?

I was once a member of a church that had a strong leader. He was an only child and I would have to say he must have gotten pretty much anything he wanted as a child. His dad died from heart disease when he was a lad. He taught in a school for ministry, had an honorary doctorate that was given after many years of service. He was truly a great teacher and preacher, but he was not a “people person”. This got him into several controversies over his time in ministry.

People in this small town in which I live prayed for a man of God to come lead them and he was the one who showed up. When I met him he appeared aloof, caustic, yet very intelligent and knowledgeable about scripture. However his knowledge crossed grain with me and made me angry.

This anger put into me a strong desire to learn the word to prove him wrong if for no other reason. You see, I was a Hal Lindseyite and was well read in the works of John F. Walvoord and his son concerning the Rapture doctrine. This was my main falling out with this pastor. He had a different view of scripture on eschatology. I don’t want to belabor this subject here.

The church the people and he formed became controversial almost from the start and people in the town considered it a snake-handling cult simply because the building that was built had no windows except stained glass in the doors. They also accused this pastor of doing away with the second coming of the Lord. I beg to differ. He did not say even once there would be no second coming. He had a different approach. And to level that playing field a bit, before I met him I found a book on eschatology that thoroughly went through at least seven different views of the second coming. Safe to say we all agreed that there is a second coming.

I will adamantly tell you God placed me in that church for thirty years. During that time I studied in their school for ministry for at least four years and was in the worship team for twenty-five of those years. Enough of that, though. Suffice to say, I’ve had my share of short-comings as well as some of the other leadership there that I eventually became a part of.

BUT! The difference comes that when something wrong happened there was mediation of each and every situation with a fair hand. Why do I say this?

Our pastor was even involved with Chapel Hill Harvester Church and Bishop Earl Paulk. I know of the sexual misconduct he became embroiled in, but the matter came to a boil when lies and deceit became the order of the day to cover up what was going on. The Bishop ruined himself even after several pastors and counselors tried to restore him. Here’s the kicker. Christians should forgive.

If the offender continues to be unrepentant, then leave it before God. God’s principles of the kingdom that were set up in times past will take care of the unrepentant heart. Bishop Paulk died a miserable death at the age of 81. I don’t gloat over the judgement he received. I mourn for the loss of a soul that God had favored so highly yet brought himself to naught.

I look back at the about instances of these mega-ministries and certainly there may have been fault, but why do Christians eat their own? Do they not know it is only right to confront these issues and deal with them properly? Instead I see condemnation thrown around with no mediation. He who is without sin cast the first stone. And before going on a brother in Christ, first get the log out of your own eye before tackling splinters in another’s eye.

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Fear


“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For by me thy days shall be multiplied, and the years of thy life shall be increased.” Proverbs 9:10-11

This subject must be first described in a positive sense. The reason for saying this is because we first have to create a reverential knowledge of God.

The word “Yiraw” translates to “fear (of God)”, respect, reverence, piety revered

The positive sense gained from this shows us that when we develop a healthy respect for God it becomes the open door for us to walk through into wisdom. This wisdom is described in this passage as “in a good sense”, skillful, wisdom with prudence and ethics.

Three things can be seen out of this type of fear.

  1. Wisdom
  2. Knowledge of the Holy One – Understanding
  3. Increased life

Wisdom, I feel, actually comes with age or growing into maturity. The trial and error time of life as we begin our walk is where this starts. It is the time when we learn principles, but have yet experienced the reality of those principles.

Wisdom is gained by falling down, finding out why, getting up and going on with an intact reverence for God who will guide us as we continue to walk. As we do so our knowledge of Him increases and the by-product is understanding.

Other things build upon this learning. Faith and trust become foundational to our walk based on our time of growing. Oh, we have faith in the knowledge of our salvation, but that is just the beginning. It starts there as faith, then to greater faith and yet greater faith

For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”Romans 1:17

Righteousness in the Greek word here implies the condition that is acceptable to God. This acceptance is marked by integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting. One part of the definition states that it comes by observance of divine law, but I was hazard a thought that it’s also a doing or obeying of those divine laws. In doing so one is approved of or acceptable of God.

How else can this be obtained without a proper reverence (fear) of God? Once again reverence opens the door to wisdom. Wisdom opens the door to knowledge and knowledge is the beginning of the growth of faith from it’s point of origin in salvation. The more we understand who God is will determine yet one other aspect of life.

In all of this, He will lengthen your days. I can say this is an actual working part of my life. In spite of my falling downs in life, I continued to get up, brush myself off and start walking yet again. You can too.

If you’ve fallen down, most of the time it comes from taking your eyes off of Him. He has strengthened you with wisdom and knowledge to know Him better and find that the faith He puts in you is sufficient to overcome all the negative connotations of another type of fear.

Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. – Luke 12:32

In this verse we find there is a connotation to reverence, but there is also a note of to fear (i.e. hesitate) to do something (for fear of harm) We do honestly have a fear of the unknown. It’s a natural thing to do so by way of our soul, but God is speaking through His Son that He desires to give us the Kingdom.

To possess the Kingdom we must alleviate our fears of the unknown and activate our faith that grows from our wisdom and knowledge of our Father. We must not dwell on failures of the past and look forward to what God has fore-ordained for us to achieve. Possession of the Kingdom.

Negative fear has no part in yours or my life. Ongoing maturity in the spirit is the time of solidification of negating that type of fear. On a sliding scale of negative fear to positive fear (reverence) we should be progressing daily as we gain this knowledge of our Father through His wisdom endowed to us through faith in Him.

God is a loving God. He’s done all for us when His Son went to the cross, died and was resurrected for all of our shortcomings. Then He forgot them as though they never existed. We have freedom from the fear of His wrath. As long as we honestly do our very best to please God, just get up when we fall down and walk again, He will be pleased with you and accept you into the beloved.

I can’t express how much of the negative fear the world spews out is such a false narrative to life. It can so easily be overcome by looking to Him. He’s our fortress. Run to him when you sense you need help against the enemy of your souls.

The tag line on my email says it all. . .

There’s a place where fear has to meet the God you know. – Casting Crowns

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My Mind Is Stayed Upon Him


All my life I thought I had things figured out. But of late, I’ve found yet another level of this life that God has opened to me. I’m at a point where I’m separating myself from what I used to think about what it is to be a Christian.

I talk to God constantly and in these times He has turned leaf after leaf of understanding to my mind. It has revolutionized my thinking with a whole new paradigm.

I can’t measure what other people’s experiences are with their realization and acceptance of salvation. All I can vouch for is mine. I feel if in some way I’d like to share what I’m feeling and yet I feel a bit inadequate to put down into print or verbalize.

When I was about sixteen, God undoubtedly wooed me to give Him my heart and accept his gracious redemption of my soul. From then till I was about twenty seven I squandered it while still knowing that at the age of thirteen I was told by God I had a calling to the ministry. At this latter age, after suffering what is now known to me and a time of depression I gave my heart afresh to Him.

This time in my life was a supernatural time for me. For whatever you believe I don’t have words to tell you different. Only what I know and believe to be true. On March 13th 1977 after asking God if it was real my Baptist mind wanted to know about the baptism in the Holy Ghost with the evidence of speaking in tongues. He answered my request.

Looking back now I see who I was as a candidate for the calling upon me. Young and crying fresh from the womb of life as it was to the life it was to be. Too young to know. Too young to know any better. So began my life-long journey to become what I thought God wanted me to be.

Many trials and testings are too numerous to mention in one setting. In a nut shell, I slowly declined over the years from fervency to failure. It hit me at the age of 56. Tired, broken and destitute in body, soul and spirit. By the time I reached 58 my first wife and I had separated and I was alone in a psychologist’s office suffering from severe depression. I’d completely lost my way.

BUT God. He’d not given up on me. Up out of the ashes of the old me began to rise a new person. The things I had done wrong slowly began to right themselves to what has resulted in a totally different person. It was my Jacob experience.

And God said unto him, Thy name is Jacob: thy name shall not be called any more Jacob, but Israel shall be thy name: and he called his name Israel.Gen 35:10

I had been called by my middle name all my life as “Larry”, but during this time of change I became know by all as “James” or just “Jim”. My old self had died. This is the new me.

My remarriage has been an integral part of my healing process. Ever since my separation she has been by my side encouraging me and loving me unconditionally. I’d never experience that kind of love before. Even from most Christians.

There has been one example after another since 2009 that has proven God was in the molding of the new me. My wife and I went to a church together for a while. This first church we attended together was where we got married. The second church we thought was home, but it turned into a disaster in the leadership and we left. God directed us to where we are now and He told me this is where we shall remain til the end of my days.

Since being in the church I’ve become recognized for the calling on my life and was ordained. My wife asked to join me and is attending a school to become ordained in a couple of year. This isn’t happening for me to see my end any time shortly. God has given me many more years to proclaim His goodness.

Lately, I’ve found God and me talking more. I thought prayer was a whole different thing than what I’m finding. It used to be more like a boss and employee type conversation, but at this point in my life I’ve found myself in a much deeper intimacy talk with my Father. Actually you would think me crazy, but we talk, cry and laugh together. Sometimes I’ll ask if “this” is okay and He’ll automatically say “yes”, “no” or “what do you have to say about it?” The latter is because He knows I already know the answer. I suppose you get my drift, so to speak.

Also, this church has given me a much stronger sense of foundation in Him. My surety of salvation is at its strongest ever in my entire life. My love for others has increased in multiples. I can honestly say I love other people more now than ever before. I also see more hunger in most everyone in this church than any other. There is only about two hundred of us, but we have a large heart.

Those of you reading this should earnestly seek to be more intimate with God. He’s not a mean ole God waiting to smack you on the back of the head and send you to hell for the last mistake you made. He’s a loving God. He laid out a plan for you to live eternally.

But, you say, what about judgment day? The only judgment that will condemn ones self is they bring that upon themselves by not accepting Him as their Savior. He completed the old law and instituted the new law. Accepting that new age of salvation of salvation from 2000 years ago is all He needed to do. Jesus said it all in three words. “It is finished”. Salvation was what was wrapped up in a gift to you by his shed blood.

All you have to do is accept that gift and walk as best you can in His righteousness. Whenever you fall down, get back up wipe yourself off by asking Him to help you with your shortcomings by acknowledging you were wrong and He is just to put His arm around you and help you along.

I’ve given up on Him years ago for a time, but no more. My mind is stayed on Him. Let that be your testimony as well. He’s my Rock, my Fortress and my Salvation.

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Ain’t Got Me Yet


Let’s see, I’ve had the Red measles, Black measles, German measles, mumps, chicken pox, my mom told me the docs told her I also had a mild case of small pox and an assortment of other diseases. I almost went deaf from a mastoid infection when I was seven. My mom was totally deaf in her left ear from something of the same.

I’ve had a cardiologist tell me I’d had a heart attack and yet another told me he thought I’d had a stroke. Those two as it turns out I have a normal heart nor did I have a stroke.

Now my brain could be called into question for simply thinking the way I do and say, but no, I didn’t have a stroke. The world will try to give you most any disease imaginable. I used to have high anxiety over it, but not any longer.

I’ve out-lived all my family, save my youngest brother who just turned fifty. There were seven of us.My dad even tried to tell me I’d be dead before or by sixty years old. I’ll be seventy this year. Still going strong.

Why am I saying this? Because this latest fiasco upon us does not put fear in me. Heck I was even in Germany when there was a major outbreak of Cholera to the south of where I was stationed.

The world is a no different today than it has been through time. These past few decades has made people soft. I don’t know what will happen to these last couple of generations. There are some good people out there, but they’ve not experienced what we old folks have endured.

I could ramble here and talk about living in a house with no plumbing and an outhouse and no TV and such, but I leave this for some other time.

I just know this one thing. Since God directed Libby Lewis Rowe and me to Kingdom Culture Church I’ve experienced a whole new level of understanding and felt the foundation under our lives becoming more solid as we move forward. That my friend is where you know you are answering God’s calling and election and making it sure. My mind is stayed on Him. Our trust is in Him. Tests are simply making this more true now than ever before.

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God’s Gift to Me


I have to say something about today. I don’t take any day for granted, but to share them with Libby Lewis Rowe is sufficient.

She is God’s earthly representation of His love for me. She stands by me patiently giving me encouragement constantly that life is here to live. God’s eye’s can be seen in hers. Her touch in God’s touch.

God loves me so much I can’t express it entirely. Believe me, it’s returned by me in thankfulness for His mercy and grace.

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THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER


Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. – Heb 13:8

Tenses in Hebrew.  Enlightenment comes from understanding language and customs.  Our Western culture and English language differ from the Oriental thought and culture.

There are four tenses in Hebrew verbs,

perfect,

imperfect,

participle and

imperative.

In the English language the verb tenses are related to time; past, present and future, while the Hebrew verbs are all related to action. The perfect tense is a completed action and in most cases is related to the English past tense (he cut). The imperfect tense is an incomplete action and is closely related to the English present and future tenses (he cuts or he will cut).

The Hebrew language has the present and past tense but no future tense. In the Hebrew language, Joel 2:28-32 reads as follows:

(Young’s Literal Translation of the Holy Bible with the correct tenses of the verbs)

“And it hath come to pass afterwards, I do pour out My spirit on all flesh, And prophesied have your sons and your daughters, Your old men do dream dreams, Your young men do see visions. And also on the men-servants, and on the maid-servants, In those days I do pour out My Spirit. And I have given wonders in the heavens, and in the earth, Blood and fire, and columns of smoke. The sun is turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, Before the coming of the day of Jehovah, The great and the fearful. And it hath come to pass, Every one who calleth in the name of Jehovah is delivered, For in mount Zion and in Jerusalem there is an escape, As Jehovah hath said, And among the remnants whom Jehovah is calling!”

When in the school of ministry I heard it said that the past and future are linear.  This explains Einsein’s thought on time as being a continuum (or linear/continuum) of space-time.

All of the verbs here are past or present.  There is no indication of a future tense.

One of the amazing things I came to realize is that Heb 13:8 is after reading this all my life in consideration that it was speaking in the three English tenses I find myself examining the verse more closely.  It says “yesterday”, “to day” and “for ever”.  Forever is not a future tense.

For ever is how it is written denoting two distinct thoughts.

1.  For  –  eij “ice)  a primary preposition; to or into (indicating the point reached or entered), of place, time, or (figuratively) purpose (result, etc.)  “For” (as used in Ac 2:38 “for the forgiveness…”) could have two meanings. If you saw a poster saying “Jesse James wanted for robbery”, “for” could mean Jesse is wanted so he can commit a robbery, or is wanted because he has committed a robbery. The later sense is the correct one. So too in this passage, the word “for” signifies an action in the past. Otherwise, it would violate the entire tenor of the NT teaching on salvation by grace and not by works.  When Jesus said on the cross “It is done” The law was fulfilled and all from the past through eternity were reconciled to God.  The next lesson we’ll deal with that.

2.  Ever  –  aiwn “ahee-ohn” properly, an age; by extension, perpetuity (also past); by implication, the world; specially (Jewish) a Messianic period (present or future):–age, course, eternal, (for) ever(-more), (n-)ever, (beginning of the , while the) world (began, without end). Compare 5550. G104 / for ever, an unbroken age, perpetuity of time, eternity.

Just for information concerning the other two tenses:

1.  Hebrew participles are “verbal adjectives”, meaning that they function like adjectives though they are constructed from verbs.  Participles used the same endings you have learned for nouns and adjective, so learning their inflections is easy.  There’s more to this, but this is sufficient for this study.

2.  An imperative verb is used to express direct commands, instructions, and other similar actions with varying degrees of desirability as determined by the context.  This is also sufficient for this study to know.

The point of all this is to say what we assume to already know.  He NEVER CHANGES.

My personal assumptions on the study are this.

God lives in the eternal realm.  There are 73 verses that describe the Eternal God.  A couple of these are:

Deuteronomy 32:40   – Indeed, I lift up My hand to heaven, And say, as I live forever,

Ephesians 1:4  . . .just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him In love.

This leads me to something that will help growing Christians who worry and have anxiety.  God lives in the for ever realm.  As I said earlier that the school of ministry taught me that the past and future are linear.  God sees the future from the past.  We can only see the past from the future.  Faith plays big in this whole scenario of viewing the future.  If we truly hear God say something we have yet to encounter, it’s because He sees it already from His vantage point in the past.  He speaks it to us in the present moment that it is already in place and done because He sees it that way.  We need to align our hearts to His all-knowing vantage point.

God let me see how a prophet speaks to people concerning future events to our way of thinking.  It’s like there’s a thin membrane to the past and future in God and in the “present”, He allows the prophet to poke their head through that veil into the linear line of past and future (really the eternal realm) and see the things He wants seen to pull back into the present and speak into the lives of those it’s intended for.

More to come. . .

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WAR?


An acquaintance of mine on Facebook logged a post this morning that simply said “Putting all jokes aside, God please protect us from what is coming”. The following is my response to this person.

I don’t press my beliefs on others. If living it doesn’t say enough then it isn’t worth talking about. So with that just read something from my years of study.

The following is basic Biblical history. The Middle East came from the two sons of Abraham. Ishmael and Isaac. Ishmael was the son of the endeavors of Abraham and Sarah to fulfill God’s promise to them through Sarah’s handmaid. Isaac was the miracle God promised. Ishmael is the father of the Arab nations. That’s Biblically recorded in history. You can see this in the link below.

The Truth about Abraham, Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac ...
Hagar and Ishmael were expelled from the house at Sarah’s demand.

The Arab nations have been fighting with Israel for centuries. Not just the last few decades. Many nations, including Russia as well as the US, have tried to mend the rifts in the Middle East but it is not going to happen. Past administrations in our nation have coddled almost every tribe in the Middle East and as of this past week, you can see where it goes. I’m not saying anything here on that is new.

War is coming. It’s inevitable. Humankind has not learned its lessons from history. Passivism will not make it go away. It will, however, put us who practice this method of living to the front of the line to be annihilated at the beginning. What many are feeling like yourself is for real. It will happen. Mark that down. If you have a fighting spirit, prepare yourself.

https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/ishmael/

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