Who Do You Say that I AM?

“Who do you say that I am?” (Mt. 16:15) This is the question Jesus put to His disciples – and the right answer, given by Peter but shared by all of them, that He was the Messiah, the Son of God, is what Jesus said would be the foundation of the ekklesia, His people called out of this world’s darkness to be citizens of and family within His kingdom of light.

At the time that Peter gave this “right answer,” however, he did not really have the right answer. In his mind, the Messiah was surely going to rise up with military power and destroy the Romans, conveniently leaving Peter sitting in the second-most powerful position in the world.

At the time that Peter gave this “right answer,” an answer made possible only by receiving spiritual revelation from God (Mt. 16:17), he was miles ahead of the multitudes who superstitiously believed Jesus to be the reincarnation of John the Baptist, Elijah, Jeremiah or one of the prophets. (Mt. 16:14) But even in his rightness, Peter still held false beliefs about the true nature and mission of the Messiah. Being set free from these cherished beliefs, expectations and hopes in the Messiah would require great encounters with the realities of the depths of his own sinful nature and a complete breaking of Peter’s desire to be something great, something self-defined and designed and crafted. Peter, as Jesus came to know, needed to know that participation in godliness is not a thing that can be grasped but must be received. (Phlp. 2:6)

Asking who we say that Jesus is may produce the right answer – but it does not guarantee that we are free of deception about who Jesus is and what He requires of us. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (Jn. 8:31-32) The Jews to whom He said this did not abide in His word, they were not His disciples, they did not know the truth and they were not free – they conclusively demonstrated this by trying to kill Jesus for the crime and sin of blasphemy. (Jn. 8:59)

His disciples did remain in His word, they were His followers (even when they did not understand or totally agree), they came to know the truth (when the Spirit of truth was poured out upon them) and they became free.

This is the process we must all go through. It is not enough to know that Jesus is the Messiah – that is only the first step and a baby one at that. It is not enough to know all the “right answers” – we must be filled with the Spirit of Christ and God and we must follow Him by His Spirit if we are to truly be sons of the living God. (Rom. 8:14) It is not enough to trust in the mere fact that we know enough to say or sing, “You are my God” – we must progressively come to know Him (as He truly is and not how we want or believe Him to be) and worship Him in spirit and truth. When we have only a flawed understanding of who Christ is and what He requires of us, having “the right answer” but not the Spirit who gives us the right “substance,” only guarantees that our expression of ekklesia (the Greek word misrendered “church” in modern English translations) is also flawed and misguided.

Only when we are free from our own flesh- or sin-generated or contaminated notions of who Christ is and what He requires of us will His promise of liberty be fulfilled in our lives. Until such time, we will remain under the sway and power of the evil one because we have not left the realms of religious bondage so as to come into the glorious liberty of being the saints (the holy, set apart ones) of God. Until the power of God’s people – that is, the power each individual has to control and rule over his own life – is broken and that power placed totally and only into the hands of Christ and God, we will continue to mistakenly believe that dead works and religious requirements (“church”) are God’s plan for our lives and that fleshly religious façade and mere form of godliness is the “abundant life” that accompanies salvation instead of it being the very thing from which we should turn away and flee out from. (2 Tim. 3:5, 2 Cor. 6:17)

The way of the Messiah is truth, light, liberty, love, holiness and righteousness. All else, even when practiced in the name of Christ and God, is still merely a deception engineered by the devil so as to divert unwary souls from the way that leads to life. (Mt. 7:14)

Let he who has ears hear.

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Tithe of the Tithes to the “covering apostle”

Have you ever wondered where in scripture in the new covenant IN CHRIST does it speak about the tithe of the tithes must go to the covering apostle?  Look as long and as carefully as you like and can – it’s JUST NOT IN THERE unless you allow some (Holy) Spiritually unlearned, untaught and unstable “apostle,” “prophet” or some other exalted title twist the Scriptures just so for you.  The price tag on that, however, is his destruction and yours! (2 Pet. 3:16)

When one takes a closer look at this false teaching, immediately you will see that it is one Big Pyramid Scheme. Let’s do a simple math test and see what a crafty scheme it really is. For example if the “covering apostle” has under his “covering” a 100 churches and each church pays him a tithe of their tithes of fifteen thousand a month. I.e. 15000 * 100 = 1.5 million a month going to this “covering apostle”!

No wonder why this teaching is so religiously practiced and why these travelling hucksters cover the globe making disciples after themselves instead of followers after Christ. (see Acts 20:30)  Be not deceived – God is not mocked.  The one who sows to his carnal, religious flesh will reap the same death as the one who sows to his worldly, self-centered sinful flesh.  Only the one who sows to the Spirit will reap everlasting life.  (Gal. 6:7-8)  There is no middle ground.

Let he who has ears hear.

I’d love to hear your comments according to new covenant teachings In Christ and the original apostolic doctrine of Jesus’ s day.

God’s Order

Paul wrote, “God is not a God of disorder but of order.” (1 Cor. 14:33)  From this truth some have drawn the conclusion that anyone who promotes disorder speaks a word from the devil and the demonic.  As an example of God’s order, these will point to creation, such as a tree, and emphasize how it grows, how it is ordered and structured out to its furthest limb, twig and leaf.  These then go on to infer that anyone who speaks against the “church” structure, with its buildings, clergy, religious practices, doctrines and theologies is therefore promoting disorder and may be summarily dismissed as one speaking only a word from the devil and the demonic.

Yet this example comes up very short from the reality of the “church.”  Men have seen God’s “tree,” lopped off branches and replaced them with boards, pipes, wires, car parts or any other man-made or even demonic thing.  They have dug around the roots to give them air and watered the tree with sugar water or bleach, depending on their own peculiar bent and tastes in life.  And then men call this “God’s order” for His people.  Along comes someone who speaks against the boards, pipes, wires and all the other man-made or demonically-invented abominations and, for his efforts, gets labeled as one promoting disorder.  The truth is that anyone who places any man-made or demonic addition onto God’s “tree” is the one who is promoting and practicing disorder.  But since God’s order is only visible to the spiritually mature and since one who is called to speak about such things faces tremendous challenges and great opposition, this fact remains unavailable to the immature, carnal, abominable, apostate “church” even as every heart that truly seeks Christ knows these things to be true.

God is a God of order.  His order is that He has placed Christ as Head (King, Absolute Monarch and Ruler) over all things for His ekklesia – His people called out of this world’s darkness to be citizens and even family who attend to the issues and affairs of His kingdom of light, love, truth and goodness. (Eph. 1:22)  Anyone who does not have Christ as his or her true and literal King but instead follows man-made or demonically-induced doctrines or “theology,” who takes upon him or herself labels that seem to come from the Bible but in reality come from the authority structures that men have created in the name of Christ and God – no matter how much that one seems to operate and move in the Spirit of God – is impure and not entirely working for the kingdom of Christ and God.  In truth, he may work more for the kingdoms of darkness, death and deception than he does for the kingdom of God.  Anyone who clings to the manmade additions will find in the day when God removes these things from His “tree” that they have a very serious choice to make.

The presence of the dual streams of power (divine and demonic) that operate in the lives of so many who claim to follow Christ has long been overlooked because the “church” provides a place where the “pastor” can hide behind the pulpit and project forth an aura of infallibility and spiritual expertise that is not the reality of his or her life.  And the people sit quietly in their pews or chairs listening to a Bible lecture (“sermon” or “study”), briefly rub shoulders with one another and call that “fellowship,” never demonstrating the desperate and often demonized realities of their life to one another.  This modern aberration called “church” – especially the mega-“church” – is not God’s order but is instead a conglomeration of man-made traditions and demonic teachings grafted onto the way of following Christ and God.

The man or woman who, like Christ, is careful to speak against the human traditions (Mt. 15:3) and the demonic teachings (1 Tim. 4:1) while simultaneously cultivating the original structure and way of Christ under the leading of His Spirit of truth and holiness is not speaking from the demonic anymore than Christ was.  Any leader who labels the one who is being led by God’s Spirit to speak against man’s order of things as demonized is coming perilously close to the sin that Jesus said would not be forgiven, the blasphemy against the Spirit of God. (Mk. 3:29-30)  We have looked upon the grotesque additions of men to the things of God without spiritual understanding for so long that we, like the Pharisees of old, have powerful positions to protect and maintain and we will do so at the expense of even the lives of the sheep of God.

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.  For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap death, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Gal. 6:7)  This – one’s life genuinely lived in and by His Spirit, both individually and corporately, with Christ as the literal and true King – is God’s order.  Anything else is mere deception, fraud and counterfeit of the true way of following Christ and God.

The word of the Lord especially for this time and season is:  “He who is unjust, let him be unjust still; he who is filthy, let him be filthy still; he who is righteous, let him be righteous still; he who is holy, let him be holy still.” (Rev. 22:11)  God knows those who are His (2 Tim. 2:19) and may we not grow weary in our fight and work in His kingdom of light, love, truth and goodness. (Gal. 6:9)  Because of the precious promises God has given us, let us indeed purify ourselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit and perfect holiness in the fear of the Lord! (2 Cor. 7:1)

Let he who has ears hear.

The Passing Darkness

The observation has been made by many that mainline denominations are dying out.  For those who have eyes to see, the reason is blatantly obvious.  John wrote, “If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk (live, conduct our lives) in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth.” (1 Jn. 1:6)  The primary sins of the “church” are heresies (in the original sense found in the New Testament, “parties formed upon an idea or upon the leading of some man,” Greek hairesis [139]), contentions and selfish ambitions (in essence, rivalry for preeminence, Greek eris [2054] and eritheia [2052], also see 3 Jn. 9) and dissensions (especially between differing denominations and their “faithful” adherents, Greek dichostasia [1370], the “double standard” of “believe as I do or leave.”)  Each of these four sins is found in Paul’s list of the works of the flesh that prevent followers of Christ from attaining to or inheriting the kingdom of God. (see Gal. 5:19-21)  As the root of these sins, we must name the sin of lawlessness (Greek anomia [458], best recognized as the secular philosophy of relativism and summed up as “doing what is right in one’s own eyes” (see Jdgs. 21:25) as each individual decides which brand, flavor and kind of “ministry” he prefers most and then attends the “church” he or she likes best.  Those who practice this kind of religious lawlessness may well find themselves eternally dismissed by the King, Christ Jesus. (Mt. 7:21-23)

To this list we can add schisms (divisions, Greek schisma [4978]), which the very presence of denominational divisions simply proves that the “church” is not the body of Christ because “God composed [Christ’s] body…that there should be no schism in the body…” (1 Cor. 12:24-25)   We can add Nicolaitanism ([3531], “conquer or rule over the people” – Rev. 2:6, 15 ) where “pastors” and other professional rhetoriticians use sophistry and eloquence and various forms of deceptive “damage control” techniques to keep their passive, spiritually ignorant listeners comfortably imprisoned and seated at their feet. (also see 2 Tim. 4:3-4)  We can add greed and covetousness as far too many clergy are more interested in maintaining their lucrative career than they are in seeing that Christ’s ekklesia (Greek [1577], Christ’s “people called out of this world’s darkness to live in and attend to His kingdom of light,” the word inappropriately but most often translated “church” in English versions of the New Testament) stands as the unified, singular “pillar of truth.” (1 Tim. 3:15)  And there are other subtle sins such as these we could add but hopefully the point is made.

To this above list we could even add those “churches” that embrace and practice flagrant and open sin and abomination but this would only allow those who practice the above sins to think themselves approved by God simply because they do not practice these gross and obvious sins and abominations but instead simply and faithfully attend what they think of as a “good church.”  The truth remains that if we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet live in continuing darkness (wickedness, deception, lawlessness – doing what is right in our own eyes – sin or unrighteousness of any sort), we lie (to God, to others, to ourselves) and do not practice the truth (that is, hearing and following the Spirit of truth).

With all of this darkness practiced at most, if not all, denominational “churches,” it is no surprise they are dying out.  The darkness is passing away and those who hunger for truth and light are no longer fooled by the putrid smell of death wafting from the pulpits, through the pews and out of the “church” doors.

In contrast, the kingdom of Christ and God is without end (Dan. 7:13-14) and completely unshakeable. (Heb. 12:28)  The denominational “church” cannot long remain because God has promised that all things that can be shaken will be shaken and only that which cannot be shaken – His kingdom – will remain. (Heb. 12:27)  Only those who are truly in His kingdom – and not ensnared in some man’s “church” (by whatever name they call it, even “ekklesia”) – will be those who receive eternal life.

Christ’s kingdom is precisely that – a kingdom.  Look in any dictionary – a kingdom is a realm that is ruled by a king.  The subjects of a kingdom are those who live in obedience to the word of the king.  The kingdom of God is that realm where Christ and God are obeyed and the people live as children of light. (Eph. 5:8)  His will and His kingdom are inseparable. (Mt. 6:10)

Light or darkness – the choice, and the consequences, are ours.

Let he who has ears hear.