Barnyard Wisdom Wednesday, Jun 30 2010 

God uses nature as a classroom.  God says things like go to the ant thou sluggard.  God mentions many critters as teachers to us humans.

One time a donkey spoke to a greedy prophet.  The man’s name was Balaam.  We don’t know the donkey’s name.

We do know the donkey’s nature!  Her nature was to be faithful!  When chided by her ignorant owner, she let him know that had she not always been faithful?  Balaam had to say yes she had!

Then there was this certain rooster.  Simon Peter one of Jesus’ disciples was warming his hands at the fire.  The  rooster crowed.

In Israel it was very important to have a faithful rooster!  In fact if the rooster did not crow at the same time each day, it became Sunday dinner.

Time was critical and it was considered treason by the Rabbi’s to give a false time signal.  So Mr cock-a-doodle-do must have been very faithful to his job or he would have been dispensed with long ago.

My point is that God would not even use a jack, er, a donkey, unless that animal proved to be faithful!  God used the rooster only after it had been faithful!

Does he require any less of us? Shouldn’t we strive to be faithful?

Are you faithful in:

  • Church attendance
  • Giving finances to God
  • Prayer
  • Fasting
  • Daily devotion
  • Witnessing
  • Worship and praise

Hey what do you say let’s all use a little barnyard wisdom and be as smart as a donkey and a rooster.

When we prove faithful, God will use us also!

Thanks for reading today!

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Kill The Indian Monday, Jun 28 2010 

In the late 1800’s the United States government was faced with the issue of how to deal with the Native American.  It was a perplexing problem.

First of all there were many different tribes.  Then there was the distances and areas where the tribes lived.  Mostly there was the issue of war.  The native American was a formidable warrior!  If the Indian tribes had joined forces and fought the U.S. military as a coalition, who knows the outcome?

History tells us the Indian did not join other tribes to resist and consequently, the tribes were slowly methodically eliminated.

Their story is a long, brutal, heart wrenching story.  It is a sad epilogue on our government that they made promises and then broke those promises many many times.

If you have never read the story of the Nez Perce, it would be my recommendation to add it to your to do list of reading.  It is the story of Chief Joseph leading his people 800 miles to attempt to escape to Canada.  The Nez Perce chiefs astounded the Calvary over and over with their tactics.  They used brilliant manuvers like the best trained generals of the world.

Eventually Chief Joseph and his survivors were brought to bay, and his surrender speech is still a classic today.  You can google it and read it.  It will make you weep!

As the government wrestled with the problem of resettling the Indian, and signing treaties, a speech was given in Denver in 1892.  Captain Richard Pratt spoke and in his speech he made a statement that has entered into American lore.  He declared…

“A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one, and the high sanction of his destruction has been an enormous factor in promoting Indian massacres.  In a sense I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead.  Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”

There began an effort to change the Indian into a white man.  He was forced to no longer speak his native tongue.  He was forced to change his appearance to look like his white captors. It was an all out effort to kill the Indian, but save the man.

John 10.10 says our enemy is determined to steal, kill and destroy.  It is my opinion that Satan wants to kill the Apostolic, but save the christian.

Satan wants us to change our Apostolic appearance to look like the christians around us.  His desire is we become what everyone else is.

Satan desires that we surrender our Apostolic worship and adopt the more calm, respected ways of other churches.

Satan desires that we surrender our Apostolic doctrine of Acts 2.38 so we can live peacefully with those of differing views.

Satan desires to kill the Apostolic, but save the christian.

Just for the record, there is a small band of Apostolics in the Northwest corner of the United States that have decided we will not surrender!

We will not surrender our Apostolic appearance.  We will not surrender our Apostolic worship.  We will not surrender our Apostolic doctrine.

Like Chief Joseph, we have no desire to fight and war, but when Satan attempts to take away our identity, we have decided we will fight.

Thanks for reading today!

The Four Steps On The Journey Of A Reprobate Wednesday, Jun 16 2010 

The four steps on the Journey of a Reprobate

Rom 1.28 God gave them over to a Reprobate mind

There is a difference between backsliding and becoming a reprobate! Reprobate means worthless, castaway, or rejected.

2 Thes 2.10-12 because they received not a love for the truth.

Lam 3.12 Marked for falling.

Jonah 2.8 Forsake their own mercy.

Spirits use people, the spirit wanders in dry places, seeking a dwelling place!  In John 13.27 Satan entered Judas.

Spirits looking for dry places, Mt 12.43, Luke 11.24 the spirit walks and looks.  The spirit is looking, looking, looking, are you exempt??

Consider the plumbline in Amos 7.7-9.  No one ever knows when God walks away.  He said it concerning Israel, then 800 years later he silently walked away in Matt 23.37.  The nation of Israel never knew when he left.  That is the way God walks away from a reprobate.  They never know the moment, and believe things are the same as always.

Jesus called the temple “my house”, and then finally with tears and sadness, the last thing he said of it was, “Your house is left unto you desolate”.  He simply turned and quietly walked away. To this day the nation of Israel does not recognize the moment.

No one used of Satan ever thinks they are, Rom 1.28, 2 Tim 3.8,Tit 1.16.

Years ago I talked to a woman on ferry.  She was living in a sinful relationship. Yet, she was convinced God approved of how she was living.  She even quoted scripture to defend her sinful life style. This shows me the power of the human mind to convince itself that it is right!!

The journey of a reprobate is a slow road!  People who backslide quickly come back to church often, but slow measured, calculated backsliders drift away, and many times become reprobate.

The road to being a reprobate always involves feelings toward the pastor or someone else. A reprobate never sees or understands what is happening to them.  People who backslide quickly can turn it around but there are reasons why a reprobate never returns to God.  There are steps in the journey.

Step one is Eph 4.30, Grieve the spirit (spurn an object of love).

Step two is 2 Tim 3.8 Resist the spirit, make excuses – argue with God (holiness, etc)

Step three is 1 Thes 5.19 Quench the spirit (cut off) stop it, won’t yield, override feelings

Step four is Heb 10.29 4) Blaspheme the spirit (refuse the only help available)

– 1. Trodden underfoot the Son of God

– 2. Counted the blood unholy

– 3. Done despite unto the Spirit of grace

No more sacrifice for sin!

Consider the 10 virgins, 5 were wise, 5 were foolish.

Someone is gonna be a foolish virgin! Go ahead walk out, let God mark you as a target.  Let God draw a bullseye on your back, draw his bow, set you for a mark, start the journey of a reprobate.  Not me, I’m going to find a place to pray!

A reprobate loses sense of time. They say not today, not now.

Rom 1.28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper. (NAS)

Rom 1.28 Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. (NIV)

Rom 1.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting. (NKJ)

Rom 1.28 When they refused to acknowledge God, he abandoned them to their evil minds and let them do things that should never be done. (NLT)

Rom1.28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. (RSV)

Rom 1.28 So it was that when they gave God up and would not even acknowledge him, God gave them up to doing everything their evil minds could think of. (TLB)

Verses for journey of a reprobate

Rom 1.28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; (KJV) reprobate mind = rejected, worthless, castaway

II Th 2.10-12

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because the received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:  (delusion – to stray from orthodoxy or piety)

12 That they might be damned who believe not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.  (sentenced, condemned, judged)

Lam 3.12-13

12 He hath bent his bow, and set me as a mark for the arrow.

13 He hath caused the arrows of his quiver to enter into my reins.

Jonah 2.8

8 They that observe lying vanities forsake their own mercy.

John 13.27

27 And after the sop Satan entered into him.  The said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

Matt 12.43-44

43 When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.

44 Then he saith, I will return unto my house from whence I came out; and when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.

Amos 7.7-9

7 Thus he shewed me: and, behold, the Lord stood upon a wall made by a plumbline, with a plumbline in his hand.

8 And the LORD said unto me, Amos, what seest thou?  And I said, A plumbline.  Then said the Lord, Behold, I will set a plumbline in the midst of my people Israel: I will not again pass by them any more:

9 And the high places of Israel shall be desolate, and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste; and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.

Rom 1.28

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

2 Tim 3.8

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

Titus 1.16

16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

Eph 4.30

30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. (Step #1 – Grieve the Spirit – spurn an object of love)

2 Tim 3.8

8 Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.  (Step #2 – Resist – make excuses, argue with God – holiness etc)

1 Thes 5.19

19 Quench not the Spirit.  (Step #3 – Quench – cut off – stop, won’t yield, override feelings)

Heb 10.29

29 Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shal he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace?  (Step #4 – Blaspheme).

A reprobate resists the only cure for sin, Jesus.  And thus completes the journey of a reprobate.  They step into the horrible land of the living damned.

God help me to never start down the steps on the journey of a reprobate!

Thanks for reading today!

Steve Jobs of Apple says no to Porn! Monday, Jun 14 2010 

Apple company stands against pornography

Cupertino, CA – June 8, 2010. In the never-ending battle of the technological titans, score one for Steve Jobs. No, the CEO of Apple hasn’t come out with yet another groundbreaking iProduct, at least not since the iPad.

But he’s done something even more extraordinary—he’s brought good values into the mix.

Jobs has made it clear that he wants to keep pornography off Apple products as much as possible. Obviously Apple can’t control everything its users do, but it can make porn scarcer on its products, and it has done just that.

A British newspaper, The Guardian, reports, “So insistent is Apple [on this policy], many magazine publishers developing ‘apps’ for the new iPad . . . have had to self-censor.”

As you might expect, this has triggered a frenzy among some critics. Ryan Tate, a writer for the Gawker website, sniped at Jobs about suppressing his customers’ “freedom,” prompting Jobs to respond, “Yep, freedom from programs that steal your private data. Freedom from programs that trash your battery. Freedom from porn. Yep, freedom.”

When Tate replied that he didn’t want “freedom from porn,” Jobs answered, “You might care more about porn when you have kids.” In a correspondence with a consumer, Jobs went even further, speaking of his company’s “moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.”

How refreshing it is to see someone who actually gets it—that yes, there are those of us who prefer to be free from the storm of smut that assaults us from every television, computer, and phone screen. The supply of pornographic material is so overwhelming that access to it is certainly not an issue of “freedom” anymore, if it ever was.

Jobs has pointed out that people who want to see porn on their phones, and who want easier access to it on their computers, can easily get all they want if they buy other companies’ products. But as he said in a press conference, “That’s a place we don’t want to go—so we’re not going to go there.”

What Jobs seems to understand, and what his critics seem to be ignoring, is that there’s so much more to pornography than just issues of economics or free speech. It shouldn’t even need to be explained, but apparently for some people it does: Pornography is an ugly, poisonous, degrading business for everyone involved, whether they’re making it, using it, or selling it.

As my colleague Kim Moreland recently mentioned on our blog, The Point, new studies are demonstrating yet again just how dangerous and addictive it can be. It tears at the fabric of marriages and families and of society itself. Its use is connected from everything to higher divorce rates to human trafficking to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Aside from the occasional reference to protecting kids (which is enough), Steve Jobs didn’t go thoroughly into the reasons for his policy. But for whatever reason, he truly is demonstrating corporate responsibility, the kind that we desperately need more businesses to show in this sex-obsessed society.

May he continue to stand by his principles, and may his tribe increase.

Note: This commentary delivered by PFM President Mark Earley.

Thanks for reading today!

The 67th Book Of The Bible Saturday, Jun 12 2010 

“There is an earthquake in your mouth”   Acts 16.16-26
When God decides to use you – it is always after he tries you.
Greatness is chosen out of the furnace of affliction and adversity.
Find somebody mightily used of God – somewhere they have been broken – they may look humble – but they can fight or they wouldn’t be where they are.
We are broken in private – it is lonely – no one really understands.  We want people to understand our woundings and hurtings – God wants a vessel for oil to flow through.  (His love is perfect & unknowable)
They that live godly shall suffer persecution.  We have almost made people believe if you have great faith – you won’t go through anything – that’s not true.  No one is exempt from pain.
In the text, Paul and Silas got in a prison.  From prominence to prison.  God is sovereign. He can bless you in a mess.
Some of the most wretched ungodly people make the best christians.  Nothing worse than a bunch of goody two shoe christians who brag about what the haven’t done.
Some folks are just so glad to be saved.  They’ve been through so much, they have hurt so long, they’ve wept so many nights, they’ve suffered and wrestled with anger and sin and violence.  They’ve been victimized and abused, mistreated, some have been molested and ostracized.  They are full of guilt – then they hear about the blood of Jesus that washes them and gives them a 2nd chance.
While you argue over who’s gonna get this position, who’s got the biggest church, who’s the greatest preacher, who can hit the highest note, they are just so glad to be saved, don’t care if they ever get called on – just glad to be washed in the blood!
When you start doing things for God you are gonna run into opposition.  Paul and Silas got on the enemies hit list by doing the will of God.  They had fooled around and delivered a witch, broke a yoke, and put some evil men out of business – that’s what good church do – they shut down some things.
We need to shut some things down.  Quit being so nice – Paul just shut it down – didn’t ask anybody – Don’t let anybody tell you that doing the will of God won’t get you in trouble – it will.
I have learned from personal experience, you can be right and be treated wrong.  Be criticized – doing right, be lied on – can’t even defend yourself.  You can be victimized and have to hold your peace – can’t say nothing – just have wait on the Lord to straighten it out.  You can suffer many days – God does nothing – he lets you suffer.
God moved Paul’s ministry into the prison where he was treated like an animal, stripped and beaten.
Paul had had a bad day.
There are all kinds of prisons.  Sometimes you can’t even explain your prison – people make assumptions – yak, yak, yak (like Job’s friends!)
I came to tell you – God is gonna get glory out of the worst circumstances of your life.
You need to tell someone – something good is gonna come out of this – it hurts, I’m crying, I’m in trouble – I’m not in this for nothing.
Without trials – You only have a theory.

You are only looking in the window – you can get in a prison and not know how you got there!  When you get there you’ll learn how to pray!  You won’t need books or tapes or seminars.  People talking about you like a dog – you will pray!  (When you hurt bad enough)
Learn to say with me – Glad for the Bad – it made me pray!
Some of you have resented your problems – they made you – you have to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ – nobody helped me – but check it out I’m still here!  I’m tougher than I look. I’m a survivor!
Tell yourself about your friends – Thank you for not helping me – or I’d have had to praise you – but I had to pray – now I praise Him (I think I’ll praise Him for things I can’t testify about) (The victim – perpetrator)
Ez. 3.10-15…Ezekiel
I was hot, wroth.  God said sit where they lay sat – you must sit where they sit.  Put your books up and sit where I sat – 7 days.  I was astonished.  He lived as a captive.  He visited the jailhouse.
I’ve spent some nights in a prison and I wanted out, but, can’t think or figure or budget my way out – I was in prison.  Did not know how to get out.
God did not deliver us from on high – He came through 42 generations, into a dressing room called Mary’s womb wrapped himself in flesh and for 33 years sat where we sat!  Touched by the feelings of our infirmities.  Tempted in all points.  Sat where we sat!  (He feels what I feel)
God is not into child abuse – you are coming out of your trouble! God is gonna get a lot of glory from your pain.  God will reverse your trouble and pain.
The bible says the enemy must pay you back double for every night you cried and suffered, every injury.  Is. 61.7
Paul and Silas went from notoriety to obscurity – why??  Someone beating your child and you don’t stop them?  God suffered it for greater glory.
When people see what you have been through they are going to believe in God!  They have seen God’s power in you.  Tell yourself I am a testimony. I haven’t lost my mind, haven’t thrown in the towel, I’m in church – I am a testimony to the power of God.
You are the 67th book of the Bible. People are gonna read you and believe in God.
I don’t have to argue with you if Jesus is real: look at meIf He wasn’t real I wouldn’t be here!
Paul – the man of faith, power – epistle writer, beaten – stripped – sitting where they sat.  When he went in there was no singing.  Sometimes you can’t sing – I told myself I’d never go through this and here I am in it.  No shouting – they beat him, took all day late into the night.
God – I thought you loved me – Here I am bound.  I’m doing my best.  No deliverance – no escape no release – torment, suffering – God where are you – they are gonna kill me –I thought I’d be out of this by now.

God doesn’t even clear his throat.  You did it for Peter in Acts 12, why not for me?
No wind, no earthquake, no apostles pleading his case.  Where are the people I helped and blessed? Where are they? Where are my “friends”?  God why am I in this situation.
I might not even get out, but since I’m in this jam, I might as well learn how to survive.
I don’t see anything to be happy about I don’t feel happy. No cards, no letters, no good news.
But at midnight – I’m gonna think myself happy – whatsoever is good, pure, lovely, if there be any virtue, and praise and at Midnight.
In somebody’s life it is midnight.  You have been depressed, ostracized, criticized.  You have thought about giving up, throwing in the towel – now it’s 11:59 – you might as well praise God.  Open your mouth and cause an earthquake.
I will bless the Lord at all times – his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Even in bad times, I’m a single parent, I’m divorced, been mistreated, and misunderstood – but I’m gonna praise Him.  I’ve had some pain and I’ve had some scars but I will bless the Lord.  I’m a disciplined soldier!!
It’s midnight – it’s time to praise Him.
Time to get out of your prison.  Now or never!
There’s an earthquake in your mouth – open it up and praise him!  Give God praise!

You’ve gotta change your attitude while your are in the prison – then God delivers you.
You could have been out a long time ago – your deliverance is in your mouth – stop murmuring, complaining and feeling sorry for your self – stop blaming other people – throw back your head and praise God!!
Somebody needs to say – I’m coming out of this.  Excuse me – I’m coming out.  I’ve been in this long enough – I’m coming out!
C’mon survivor – get out right now!
When you get loose – everything in the prison gets set free, everything around you, connected to you – family, friends –
Devil I’m mad – you should have never let me get in the prison – cause now I’m not coming out alone I’m bringing everything out with me.
If you praise him – no prison can hold you!
Thanks for reading today!

Bara, the divine fiat of creation. Tuesday, Jun 1 2010 

In the beginning, God created.

There is great debate about how long the creative process was.  There are advocates for each creative day being 7,000 years long.  There are others who contend for each day being 1,000 years long.  Finally there are some who say no, each day was a 24-hour period.

Regardless of which position you take, as a Christian I certainly hope you take the position that God created all things.  Christians do not embrace evolution in any form.  We reject it wholesale!

Creation is one of the bedrocks of Christianity!  It is impossible to believe in God and not believe in creation.

In the act of creation Almighty God did many wonderful things.  The Hebrew word used in creation is bara.  This word means to create by divine fiat.  It signals that God had no help and no material to work with! (Fiat: origin: 1384, from fiat lux, “let there be light” in Genesis)

God did not remake, or re-design.  Almighty God stepped out on nothing in the inky blackness of eternity and simply spoke!

God created out of darkness!  When there was not so much as an angel’s wing disturbing the air, when there was nothing but God himself, God spoke.  There was no light but God himself!

One of the attributes of God that is His essence, is light.  John tells us that God is light.  It is what He is and who He is.

God opened his mouth and said, let there be light.  Suddenly all of creation blazed with blinding brilliant light.  Suns appeared, and stars spangled the night sky.  It happened in a nano second.

The speed of light was created by God in His original word and still confounds man today!  Every thing astronomers measure they measure by the first word out of God’s mouth!

God created light at the speed of light, and light maintains that speed today.

Is there darkness in your life right now?

Fear not! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever!  He can create light in your dark world by His divine fiat!  He longs to speak light into your world.

God also created from deadness.  When God opened His mouth and spoke there was no life anywhere.  When God spoke, when God Bara-ed, the amazing world of flora and fauna sprang for.

The incredible world of flowers, and birds, oceans, quasars, animals, and ultimately man sprang forth with prodigiality.  It staggers our finite mind at the completeness of creation.

Every form of life on earth today sprang from deadness. There was no life!

Does your life feel dead and pointless?

Take courage, in one word God can and will speak life into your deadness and things will spring forth!  People will be amazed at the abundance of your life, because of your God!

God created from chaos and disorder!  When God finished days one through three, He then repeats the cycle, and perfects on days four through six what He had created on days one through three.

When light was undefined, God created the sun, moon, and stars.  When the atmosphere above was empty and unpopulated, God created every bird of the air and every fish of the sea. When the dry land was uninhabited God made every beast, creature, and Man.

Don’t despair when your world seems like everything is disconnected and in pieces! Wait on God.  God will complete the work He began in your life.

Because our God is the same yesterday, today and forever, He still creates by divine fiat!  If you are in darkness, or in deadness, or in disorder, take heart!  He will create things in you and in your life that will astound the experts.

They will look at you and shake their learned heads and wonder how in the world did this ever come to pass!

Thanks for reading today!