Abba’s Child – By Thomas Koester

Sometimes its the simple prayer of a desperate heart that changes everything!

I know my Heavenly Daddy has me where he wants me, in his capable hands. But sometimes I forget. Its not always easy to place my life and my prayers into his hands, but when the struggling is over, and I rest in who he is, I find peace and the assurance that he hears my prayers.

I can, and do at times, recount the prayers in which he’s answered. Since, in most times my prayers are about major issues, they indeed are worth remembering and thanking him all over again. But those desperate, little prayers are just as meaningful too and worth remembering. This is why the first word His Spirit teaches us to say is “Abba Father,” which actually means “poppa” or “da-da.” He wants that kind of trust and that kind of familiarity from us, he invites us to call out to him as an infant, frail, dependent and trusting.

My favorite title in all the world is “Daddy.” It was my precious daughter, Tessa who’d call daddy, while my boys would call me dad or pops. Daddy is the title that would melt my heart and soften my face.

I truly believe that our Heavenly Father loves us to call him “daddy,” “poppa” or even da-da.” I think he wants to hear that name and title from you too. I believe that Abba may be God’s favorite name also.

One lonely and rainy morning I was traveling to work. It was still dark, as I headed to Vasco Road in Brentwood, California. I had been prayerless for weeks, as I had drifted from God. I desperately wanted to pray, but I had lost my words and was filled with shame.

I remembered a simple prayer that I read in a book by Brennan Manning, titled: “Abba’s Child.”

I began reciting the words:

“Abba-Father, I belong to you…” …Abba-Father, I belong to you!

Over and over again this prayer bubbled up from my desperate and lonely heart.

With the rain pounding my windshield, tears began streaming down my face, making it harder to see.

With more than a few dozen cars ahead of me, I came to a stop at the dreaded lighted intersection of Camino Diablo and Vasco Road. While traffic was inching along, I kept desperately praying that simply prayer, Abba-Father, I belong to you.

In my desperatness, I added “I am my beloved’s and he is mine, his banner over me is love, taken from the Old Testament book, Songs of Songs.

I finaly made it to the intersection, as one by one, each car navigated their turns. In the pouring down rain, I completed my turn onto Vasco Road, heading towards Livermore, still crying and praying with all my heart.

As soon as my headlights lit up the car in front of me, I could read their license plate frame. It read:

“ABBA’S CHILD.”

I had to wipe my eyes, just to confirm what I was seeing was real. My heart became instantly alive again. My soul began to soar! I heard God, loud and clear, in the depths of my heart.

God had heard my simple, but desperate prayer. He reminded me in that moment at Camino Diablo and Vasco Road that I am still his child.

I am Abba’s Child! God’s miraculous reminder changed me in an instant and restored my soul.

God hears our prayers! Even when we’ve brushed him off, or drifted far away from him. Abba-God, rushes back at the sound of our cries — at the sound of our awkward prayers, he comes back into our lives just as a real daddy does.

I ask you to look at the photo below of those two sets hands and imagine your little hands in God’s capable hands. Now, release your fears, worries, concerns; your sicknesses and diseases; your loss of love or marriage; your suffering and finances, and let it all go into God’s strong and sure hands. Take a deep breath, relax, …let it go, he can handle it all.

“The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path]. When he falls, he will not be hurled down, because the Lord is the One who holds his hand and sustains him.” Psalm 37:23-24 Amplified Bible

Now thank him and sleep well tonight, and when you wake up, remind yourself of this little prayer:

“Abba Father, I belong to you.” “…Abba Father, I belong to you.” “I am my beloveds and he is mine, his banner over me is love.” Amen

Breaking The Gravitational Force of Doubt – By Thomas Koester

Doubt is the gravitational force that keeps you from piercing through the atmosphere of the impossible.

Doubt is a killer of dreams and all that gives your life meaning.

Your faith is the rocket fuel that allows you to violate the forces of nature, doubt and physics.

Faith destroys doubt, in spite of fear.

Faith in the ability and will of God can only win when you reject all other options. The more primary your faith becomes, the more God can do through your faith.

Asking God, how? is a faithless question. The question, “how?” can cause a failure in launching your faith and your ability to breakthrough the gravitational forces of doubt…

…He wants your immediate obedience, because this shows just how much you trust him for all the unseen details.

When you break the gravitational forces of doubt, angels gather in excited anticipation and demons become unsettled and defeated.

Now, go do what you’ve been called to do. Sometimes the equipping and provisions are developed during the journey, and this too will cause your faith to soar.

What are you waiting for?

You already have permission from God to do the impossible. When you step out to do the impossible God shows himself in each impossible step. His miracles become the breadcrumbs for others to follow and a testimonial to your faith and God’s faithfulness.

Break through the gravitational forces of doubt and miracles will become the norm.

Only A Whisper to Heaven – By Thomas Koester

The key to living a blessed life rather than a cursed life, is repairing the broken lines of communication between your heart and your father’s — Your father’s heart is your “telephone line” to the heart of Abba-God.

Remember who you are, who you belong to and how much you’re loved. This does not change. Your greatest loss is not that your’re not loved, or do not belong, or have no identity, but that you have simply forgotten. Or maybe its been years, or decades of anger that has turned your heart bitter towards your father, which has caused your deafness to Heaven.

Heaven’s voice is not as far as you think.

“We talk about heaven being so far away. It is within speaking distance to those who belong there. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people.” Dwight L. Moody

You only have to whisper to hear your name echoed from heaven. When you turn back to God, he will be found. Your pain and loneliness is not your punishment, but your preparation for His presence. Don’t give up, God’s presence will come flooding back into your life.

I know that sometimes we transfer our hurts and anger for our fathers to our Heavenly Father, and so we shut our ears to God. I know it’s hard to forgive, but only in forgiveness and repentance can we hear our Heavenly Father’s voice again.

I know this, not just because I read it in the Bible, but that I’ve experienced this firsthand, between me and my father. Just 4-days before my dad passed away, I forgave him for those years of silence, neglect and abuse.

It took so much effort and courage to whisper in the darkness of my father’s death-filled, VA hospital room in Martinez, California.

Dad?

“Yes, son?”

…Dad, I love you!

“…I love you too, son!”

I repeated my, ‘I love you dad’ proclamations over and over again, basking in my father’s response of,

“I love you too, son!”

From that day forward, heaven became wide open and my new belief that my dad loves me convinced me that my Heavenly Father loves me too.

Up until that day, my 39 year old heart had never heard those precious words from my father.

You see, the Devil knows all too well that broken communication with our earthly fathers breaks and disrupts our communication, to and from our Heavenly Father.

This is why the words of the Prophet, Malachi are so significant:

“…And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4:6

The key to living a blessed life rather than a cursed life, is in repairing the broken lines of communication between your heart and your father’s — Your father’s heart is your “telephone line” to the heart of Abba-God.

“People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30: 19-21

The words that exist quietly within your broken heart, when whispered to heaven will change everything.

Suddenly, you’ll have the courage to forgive your father and others too. On the day that happens, Heaven will become opened and you’ll hear the voice of your Heavenly Father.

You only have to whisper to heaven to be heard.

The Missing Language Of Love – The Power of a Father’s Words – By Thomas Koester

A father’s likes, for example, sports, politics, music, or cars, etc becomes the language in which he speaks to his children, and which they speak to their fathers. The fact that many fathers do not listen with their hearts is why so many sons, and why so many daughters remain disconnected from their dads. They may not like sports, politics or music, etc, and therefore have nothing to say. I meet so many people that are obsessed with sports, politics, drugs, drinking, etc because this is the only way that they can relate to, or speak with their fathers.

Many people have no idea as to why they like or do these things, and rarely make the connection that they do these things because this was their father’s language — this is how they’ve learned to gain their father’s approval and acceptance and his attention.

My father’s language was politics and technology. I found myself learning all I could about current political events, and the latest technological gadget, so I would have something to say to my dad. I wanted my father’s approval; his acceptance and respect, so I learned his language. The sad part is that my relationship with my father was always in the shallows, and never at the level and depth of heart and soul. Sadly, this became my languages also between my own sons and daughter.

One day, I inspected a water-damaged home In Antioch, CA, with the homeowner and his family present. All the decorations in the kitchen, family room, and master bedroom were covered with San Francisco 49er’s paraphernalia — I mean, it was everywhere! After I was completed with my task, the husband asked me:

“So, do you watch sports? …what do you think of those 49ers?”

I replied:

I don’t watch or like sports so much.

His facial expression intimated shock and amazement!

I further replied:

…You like sports because this was the only way you can speak with your father, and gain his attention and approval.

I glanced at his wife, and her face suddenly lit up with shock!

She quickly replied:

“MY GOSH, THAT’S SO TRUE!”

The husband just stood there, with his mouth opened, with the expression as though someone had just died!

You begin to learn how powerful for good, or evil, our father’s likes, especially when they become the mechanism of speech or language with their children.

The Bible points this out in the last book of the Old Testament, and in the very last two verses:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. And he shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.” Malachi 4: 5-6.

Do you see?

If the fathers do not turn their hearts to their children, the earth will be cursed. What curses the world is silent fathers, and fathers that do not speak from their hearts. This, in turn, causes children not to speak from their hearts also. Instead, their relationship with their dads is in the shallows. Very little, to no life pass from the father to their children. And sadly, this lack of transaction creates an emotional and relational deficit from generation to generation.

Proverbs 4: 23 puts it this way:

“Watch over your heart with all diligence,
For from it flow the springs of life.”

If you’re a father, change the language from sports, politics, or anything that keeps your relationship with your kids in shallow places, and listen and speak from your heart. From your heart flows the springs of life. Your kids can’t live successful, healthy and full lives without the spring of life from your heart. Your words and language matters. It’s a matter of life and death!

We dads have the power of life and death in our speech with our kids, young or old. Our words have the power to build or destroy the future of our children.

Help build your children’s future and speak the language of love.

Speak from your heart!

Inspired by Paul Spaar, and his Thursday, July 23, 2019, Facebook Live podcast. Thank you, Paul!

Operation Rapture – The Defeat of Christian Triumph & World Influence – By Thomas Koester

First, let me say that “end-time” prophecy does indeed matter, and having a clear understanding, at least as clear as possible, of end-time events is essential to healthy Christian living. In other words, future, and near-future prophetic events should not cause fear, but rather hope. Also, our eschatological views, no matter the variance, should not cripple our testimony and mission of preaching the gospel to all people, and at all times.

Just as Paul charged Timothy:

2 Timothy 4:1-2 (ESV)

“I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.”

Our end-time, prophetic views should purify us, not scare us, or for that matter, scare people into believing the truth of Jesus Christ. Also, our hope is not in heaven, but in Christ, and it’s when He is the center and focus of our hope that we become pure, as he is pure.

1 John 3:2-3 (ESV)

“Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.”

So, in light of this, let’s discuss the impact of today’s end-time, prophetic views on Christianity; on our mission and influence.

Pre-tribulation rapture and premillennialism is a few of Christianity’s great deceptions, and it became popular at the turn of the 19th Century and spread like a virus into the 20th Century. It began with a Jesuit Priest, named Manuel Diaz Lacunza, (1731 – 1801), who’s false eschatological teaching influenced John Nelson Darby, (1800-1882), and others. Later, C.I. Scofield, (1843 -1921), popularized the premillennial and dispensational views, and Dr. Scofield’s notes, sermons, and commentaries were actually published on the pages of the Bible. Scofield’s Reference Bible is still available and in print today! The Scofield Reference Bible had sold over two million copies by the end of World War II.

I really encourage you to check these things out for yourselves. Please check out the following link, as well as the links and references at the end of this article:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scofield_Reference_Bible

The Apostles and the early Church Fathers did not teach this end-time interpretation and theory. In modern times, men like Charles C. Ryrie, born March 2, 1925, along with Hal Lindsey, and Tim LaHaye, are but a few of the modern-day prognosticators and purveyors of end-time prophecy. They are responsible for the unintended consequence of Christianity’s focus on millennialism, and away from the Great Commission of Christ, and the preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God in the here and now.

Matthew 24:14 (ESV)

“And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

I have read a lot of these authors, teachers, and pastors, and I am not rejecting or denying their faith and belief in God. I am only pointing out how their focus of millennialism, whether it be pre, post, or nonexistent, has distracted mainstream Christianity from the gospel mandate in reaching the lost world. If Christianity remains so focused on vacating earth, and end-time theological theory, America will grow dark like Europe, as Christianity has left Europe’s shores years ago.

“Operation Rapture,” has created a defeatist attitude, which has gripped mainstream Christianity, and taken it off the task and messaging of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It abandons the present reality and proclamation of the Kingdom of God, pushing it off into the distant future, and rejects the here and now the presentation of the Kingdom of God, preached and taught by Jesus Christ himself, some two thousand years ago.

Furthermore, it repudiates and marginalizes the great tribulation and suffering, which most of our Christian Brothers and Sisters are, and have been undergoing presently, and for past decades. Please read the following letter excerpt, written by the late Corrie Ten Boom in 1974:

“In China, the Christians were told, “Don’t worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated – raptured.” Then came a terrible persecution. Millions of Christians were tortured to death. Later I heard a Bishop from China say, sadly,

“We have failed. We should have made the people strong for persecution, rather than telling them Jesus would come first. Tell the people how to be strong in times of persecution, how to stand when the tribulation comes, – to stand and not faint.”

I feel I have a divine mandate to go and tell the people of this world that it is possible to be strong in the Lord Jesus Christ. We are in training for the tribulation, but more than sixty percent of the Body of Christ across the world has already entered into the tribulation. There is no way to escape it. We are next.” – Corrie Ten Boom (written 1974)

“Beam me up, Scottie!”

It really bothers me when I hear my Christian friends bemoan the trials of this life and their worries of apocalyptic doom, yet the only good news out of their mouths is that of the rapture, “Operation Rescue.” This defeatist attitude and their longing for “the airlift” into the heavens, has neutralized Christianity’s spiritual and cultural impact on the earth. We want to be “beamed up to heaven” rather than impact the earth for the glory of God and for the sake of the Gospel. The Church benefits the believers, while the Kingdom of God benefits the world. The Church equips believers to expand the Kingdom of God, rather than to expand Church buildings.

Now, we’ve all learned that Islamic-jihadist terrorists are beheading Christians, as well as other non-Islamic believers, and doing terrible atrocities, even to their own people. And this horror has touched, and is touching our own shores and heartland.

If this were not hideous enough, we’ve recently learned that Planned Parenthood, right here, in the “good ole US of A,” is heinously dismantling and harvesting partially aborted babies for their organs, tissue, and limbs!

Do they do this while the baby is still alive?

But, don’t you worry a thing, its useless tissue anyway.

Had enough?

Do you want to be “raptured,” or do you want to make a difference?

John 17:15-19 (NKJV)

Jesus Prays for His Disciples:

“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. 17 Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is the truth. 18 As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes, I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth.”

Make no mistake, I believe in a soon and coming appearing of Christ, the resurrection of the dead, the taking up of the saints; his judgment and reward for his children, and eternal judgment towards those who’ve rejected the Gospel and the Only Living Truth, Jesus Christ. However, this should stir us towards preaching the Gospel, not whining and crying for the return of Christ and Operation Rescue. While mainstream Christianity is preoccupied with the rapture, its mission and influence are disappearing from the earth! It certainly has in Europe and is now fast becoming invisible here in America.

John 4:35 (ESV)

“Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.”

Are we lazy Christians? Shouldn’t we understand by now that we are “Operation Rescue” to a dying world, which needs to hear about the only hope and message hidden within your hearts and souls?

Jesus Christ, came to earth, born as a man, to redeem those born under the law of sin and death that he, through your testimony and preaching, may save those who are perishing. The sowers have been sowing the seed of Truth for centuries, and now the easy work of harvesting is yours.

Yes, your redemption is drawing nigh, but so is the condemnation and eternal judgment of those whom you’ve failed by not preaching and living the Gospel!

2 Corinthians 5:10 (ESV)

“For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”

Saints are being murdered, beheaded and imprisoned throughout the world. Yet, your belief of a pre-tribulation rapture and premillennial eschatology seems to have forgotten them, and they feel left behind and forgotten by the Western Churches! And the world, well, they’ve not seen hide nor hair of the present Kingdom of God, and the glorious economy of the Risen and ruling King of Kings. You’ve kept kicking the can of God’s Kingdom down the road, instead of announcing, it’s existence and the power of His Kingdom!

Mainstream Christianity has corrupted herself in the prosperity messages of Heaven now, Kingdom later, and that persecution and tribulation are for those poor souls “left behind.” You’ve been duped and led astray by false shepherds; gathering to themselves many disciples, and lining their pockets with loads of your money and celebrity acclaim. Don’t you see? Their perversion and the false messages are designed to appeal and to attract you; corralling you into their tents, and away from your true calling and mission!

Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

2 Timothy 3:12 (ESV)

“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…”

Are we foolish Christians? Have we become so weak in our understanding and faith that the suffering life of Christ is not good enough for us? Maybe our opposition and fear of tribulation and persecution are because we have refused to live the crucified life, and preach the crucified and risen Savior. We have become addicted to the single attribute of Love, and have rejected the Wrath and Vengeance of God, His Justice; Holiness and Righteousness. The world needs to hear the truth of their condition before the arrival of The Righteous and Holy God. Salvation through repentance of sin and belief in the Son is their only access to the Father and everlasting life.

Our trivial handling of God’s grace and his love has produced a God, which requires no repentance, or sorrowfulness of our sins.

The only remedy against the wrath and anger of God is the belief in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ. Only believing in Christ Jesus will God’s righteous and holy anger be averted. The world, and yes, even your neighbor remains under God’s wrath, unless you venture out from your comfortable living and abandon your distraction with your ex-filtration. You are the rescue, and your “Ops” is to infiltrate the world with the message of salvation.

If God is all Love, then what did God pour out on Christ Jesus? And what is waiting for, and held in reserve for those whom you’ve failed to speak the only remedy against God’s wrath?

Your “Love Card” only presents a tolerant God, who winks and giggles at sin and compromise. Yes, God is Love, but only to the believer, those who love God.

1 John 4:8 (NET Bible)

“The person who does not love does not know God, because God is love.”

James 4:4

“You are like unfaithful wives, flirting with the glamour of this world, and never realizing that to be the world’s lover means becoming the enemy of God! Anyone who deliberately chooses to love the world is thereby making himself God’s enemy. Do you think what the scriptures have to say about this is a mere formality? Or do you imagine that this spirit of passionate jealousy is the Spirit he has caused to live in us? No, he gives us grace potent enough to meet this and every other evil spirit, if we are humble enough to receive it. That is why he says: ‘God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.’”

Through belief and teaching of Pre-Trib Rapture, Premillennial Eschatology, Dispensationalism, Prosperity Preaching, and the Love Card, we have turned the only Gospel of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ into a Golden Calf, and we call it Yahweh.

Pray for our Brothers and Sisters in Christ throughout the world, who’ve been in great tribulation for years, and have been “Left Behind” by Christianity, preoccupied with leaving the world, rather than occupying and transforming it.

Revelation 21:8 (TLB)

“But cowards who turn back from following me, and those who are unfaithful to me, and the corrupt, and murderers, and the immoral, and those conversing with demons, and idol worshipers and all liars—their doom is in the Lake that burns with fire and sulphur. This is the Second Death.”

Hebrews 10:39

“Surely we are not going to be men who cower back and are lost, but men who maintain their faith until the salvation of their souls is complete!”

Please listen to the video message from Corrie Ten Boom: (You will have to confirm your age, do to the content of the video)

Notes & References:

For further study, check out the following sites:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manuel_Lacunza

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Irving

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Nelson_Darby

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scofield_Reference_Bible

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C._I._Scofield

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Caldwell_Ryrie

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Millennialism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispensationalism

Dispensationalism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Dispensationalism is an evangelical, futurist, Biblical interpretation that understands God to have related to human beings in different ways under different Biblical covenants in a series of “dispensations,” or periods in history. WIKIPEDIA

*All Bible quotes are from http://www.BibleGateway.com.

My Failed Masquerade – By Thomas Koester

God wants us as we are and not what we pretend to be.

It’s been a long season of letting go and stripping down. It’s been a time of pruning and preening, until all the old feathers are removed and the old eagle remains perched, cold, vulnerable and flightless. It’s a time of humility and powerlessness. It’s a time whereby I’ve become blind, deaf and mute. I long for even the faintest whisper from the Almighty; a glimpse of his existence and acknowledgement of my prayers.

It’s a time where others are making my decisions, not because I am a king my time of reigning has deminised — no, at this season of my life, God’s interests are sonship and not kingship. God must have his way, or I will become too strong, too hardened and too important. While my flesh yearns for such strength, independence and self-importance, yet, His spirit calls me heavenward.

So, I am sent back into the womb. Into seclusion; into the hands of God to be reformed, kneaded and made pliable, until obedience becomes instinct and my quality becomes refined. The purest gold is crystal clear and what we call beautiful, God calls dross.

In our human fragility and stubbornness we cease the process of humility way too early. If it’s our own deconstructing and demolition, we blame it on the devil. If it is a friend or neighbor facing such travails, we jump in to save and to fix, and so, short-circuit God’s best work in them.

As singer/songwriter, Jill Phillips has so artfully penned into song:

“…God is both the builder and the wrecking ball.”

And this truth gives good reason I cling to hope. Amazingly, through it all, God is masterfully in control of every detail.

However, religious-populace thought has dwarfed my perception and need for God. The extractible biblical principles and acquirable blessings “by cause and effect,” granted me the promised land of goodies without intimate relationship with Yahweh. I have become an idolater and have joined the ranks of “Christians” who have reformed and refashioned our gold and silver into objects of worship. We call it “Yahweh” and have found a way to satisfy our itch for deity worship and hang onto our addiction to sin.

We’ve even learned to worship our worship! And crave “the anointing” more than the Anointer.

We’ve convinced ourselves and others that God as “Love,” trumps God as Justice, Holiness and Righteousness. Oh, but how many of us do cry out for true justice, righteousness and holiness?

…Only mainstream Christianity has reinvented God. He’s become a benevolent and tolerant God, full of winks, giggles and thumbs-up at our sins.

So, I’ve been quiet and introspective. I’ve taken a look under the hood and it’s time for rebuilding and rethinking.

This 21st Century Christianity is finally equivalent to First Century Phariseeism, only without the dark flowing robes and phylacteries.

We’ve convinced ourselves that observances and the mastering of principals and rote make us acceptable to God. We are all whitewashed on the outside, but dead and dirty on the inside. We’ve shut our ears and mouths to our own inner immorality and duplicity. We’ve learned to masterfully direct the attention of others to our outward achievements and ministry appointments.

We’ve become the generation who’d see to the arrest of Jesus; treat him as an imposter, a fake and a phony — his presence an annoyance, and his outspokenness, a disturber of our traditions. We’d cast him out of our carpeted and high-tech sanctuaries and chase him and his homeless faction back to 73rd and West MacArthur.

We simply would not recognize Jesus of Nazareth, nor agree with his lifestyle and “unsuccessful demeanor” and lack of corporate-ness. Jesus’ ideas of “stewardship” would send our Church board members into convulsions.

I’m on a quest to find the simplicity of what Jesus taught. To archeologically excavate and rediscover what decades of religious debris has covered over, like the sands of time.

So, that’s what has been going on in the inside. The outside is a different story. It must be mastered, or it will become my master. And this is my battleground. It’s an ancient battle fought by many, but won by so precious few. My prayer is to join the few by relying on God’s grace and power through Jesus Christ.

Our Sunday morning masquerading must come to an end. The pretense and fakery must be replaced with humility and honesty, or else we become master Pharisees. We must capture our first love again and shed our sophisticated and false adult-selves and become children of God.

God wants us as we are and not what we pretend to be.

I pray that we, as a redeemed people, can leave all the religious fakery behind and get back to true redemption, rejoining God in redeeming this world. Because, if you haven’t noticed, this world is headed full speed towards hell and those that love to masquerade will be there to join them.

“Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood.” Revelations 22:15

I hope and pray that we all fail our masquerade. Amen

Healing For The Splintered Mind – By Thomas Koester

When we refuse to forgive ourselves and others, we split our identity. One part loaths and hates self and the other part seeks to exist (breath, eat and rest). It is the inner voice of self hatred and toxic unforgivness, which curses the outer self of life and of one’s existence.

We end up with two personalities in one body. We also try to exist in two separate worlds.

One world is real, full of life, hope and dreams. The other is false, filled with lies, masks and illusions. Sure, we can survive in our false worlds, but we were made for so much more than surviving…

…and you know it.

You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong. You don’t know what it is — you feel trapped inside, imprisoned by fear; maybe you feel like a hostage, only it’s you that holds the key to your own prison cell.

In the movie The Matrix, Neo asks Morpheus a question:

“If you’re killed in the matrix you die here?”

Morpheus:

“The body cannot live without the mind.”

The book of James puts it this way:

“The splinter of divided loyalty shatters your compass and leaves you dizzy and confused.” – James 1:8 (VOICE)

Do not yield to thoughts of self condemnation, or self hatred, for the end of such thoughts are self destruction and death. We need to yield and desire wisdom from God, who understands both the body and the mind. But if we reject his Wisdom and Truth, the mere inner thoughts, no matter how untrue and false will become reality. For either the wisdom from God and the belief of self hatred are both initiated by faith. And faith activates the power of both truth and false truth.

If you believe in the truth and wisdom from God you will live and thrive. Conversely, if you believe in self hatred and unforgivness you will become lifeless and die. For the body obeys the mind and a double minded person is unstable, confused and lost.

The standard of God’s Word, Wisdom and Truth never changes, therefore, anchor all your thoughts, fears and doubts upon him and you will find your way again and truly live.

This very moment you are standing at the crossroads, as Jeremiah puts it:

Yet the Lord pleads with you still: Ask where the good road is, the godly paths you used to walk in, in the days of long ago. Travel there, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, “No, that is not the road we want!” – Jeremiah 6:16 Living Bible (TLB)

If you will not turn to God, The Holy One of Truth and Wisdom, not even your loved ones can help you. Until you’re will to expose your false self and cease your fake salvation, you cannot be helped. Until you ask to be rescued, you’ll continue to drift further and further away.

I plead with you this day, turn to God and live!

“…you will weep no more. He will be gracious if you ask him for help. He will surely respond to the sound of your cries.” Isaiah 30:19

Jesus Christ died that you may live and was raised to life that you may never die.

For there is no peace and no rest in taking your life, but life and peace are in Jesus Christ.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Psalm 23

Trust Him, He will give you rest for all your weariness and heal your splintered mind.