Celebrity Worship & True Saints – By Thomas Koester

“Celebrity-worship and hero-worship should not be confused. Yet we confuse them every day, and by doing so we’ve come dangerously close to depriving ourselves of all real models. We lose sight of the men and women who do not simply seem great because they are famous but are famous because they are great. We come closer and closer to degrading all fame into notoriety.” Daniel J. Boorstin – 1914 – February 28, 2004, American Historian

We have done the same thing in the Church. We make celebrities out of ministers, authors and musicians and then we call them “Saints.” True Saints are birthed out of trial and suffering and not out of fame and glory.

There is no “American Idol” for Sainthood.

Saints are known only in heaven. In earth, they are despised, rejected and ignored. Saints will never be seen at the front of the line. To them, being last is first; being invisible is visibility; being hidden is being discovered.

Outward talent and “anointing” do not confirm Saints. The Anti-Christ and his crowd disprove this theory everyday.

The hidden-indwelling Spirit of God; the silent character of Christ, beneath the skin of a Jesus-disciple is the surest mark of a true Saint.

They are not mostly heard, not mostly seen, but are camouflaged in quietness and a godly poverty. You would more than likely see them ragged and without — even confuse them as homeless and wretched. They would be despised and turned away from most houses of worship.

They may indeed have wonderful talent, but for them the stage of such worshipful expression is a darkened closet, the solitude of a lonely trail or an alley of a forgotton city.

True Saints are sojourners, not citizens of earth, but passer-byers. There’s no time to sit and enjoy furniture, a sofa or even a soft bed. No roof or four walls to call their own.

Their investments are not of this world. Their deposits are unseen and unknown to institutions of earth. Their only debt is love. They’re always tirelessly paying it forward from unseen resources.

True Saints are in a ceaseless love affair with Jesus. It never grows cold, or just warm. Their passion for the Christ grows hotter and hotter, until the religious snuff them out.

True Saints are unwanted in most “churches.” Their presence is a judgment, and indictment against worldliness – There are only two ways in which a Saint will leave such a church; by divine decree or crucifixion.

True Saints don’t form clubs, ministries or groups. Their fellowship halls are clouds of witnesses, those who’ve gone before, who cheer them on from a distant world. Two or three Saints together are a crowd. Each one walks with a thousand angels – not because of who they are, but because of their nearness to Christ.

The more I write, the more I realize how rare true Saints are and how far off I am. They are more likely to be born in the third world, rather than in free and industrialized nations.

Lord, how we need you to birth true Saints.

As our society crumbles and our nation wains, a time is coming when Saints will reign. As darkness falls and liberty’s light grows dim, Saints will be counted, but no less than ten. For if more than ten true Saints existed in this great nation, this nation would have been greater!

Father in heaven, bring down your judgment against your worldly church. Purge her, refine her and beautify her for Christ. Don’t listen to our petty-prayers of revival – bring rather true fire from heaven and cleanse us by the zeal of Christ and make us once again into a house of prayer and sainthood.

Forgive us for degrading Christ and his true disciples – Make us into Saints, like Saints of old, tested by fire and prison, molded by persecution and derision.

Purge your people of worldliness and religiosity. We repent of our churchy and celebrity ways. We renounce worldly wealth, fame, fortune and house – to pursue a better kingdom in heaven than on earth.

In Jesus’ Name and Authority, as it is in heaven may it also be on earth. – Whatever it takes Oh Lord, make it so. Your ends, justifies our suffering – Let it begin!

Rise up O House of God – Wake up O sleeper. Let your Righteousness shine forth and your Saints arise from ash and cinder.

God, Sexuality and Confused Christianity – By Thomas Koester

A few years ago a Christian brother approached me and confessed that he was in a relationship with a married woman for the past two years.

He went on and told me the woman was unhappy in her marriage and that he and this woman were in love. The real shock came after he told me that he had spoken to his pastor about this relationship. Under full disclosure, he had asked the pastor if he should continue with the relationship, and the pastor’s reply:

“Well, let me pray about this and get back to you.”

Scripture is quite clear as to the answer of my friend’s question and confusion.

Why are so many Christians practicing sexual fornication, adultery and other destructive lifestyles unchecked and unchallenged by Churches and pastors?

Why are so many Churches and pastors so outspoken against homosexuality, yet tolerate their congregation’s practices of heterosexual sins and adultery?

Sexuality is sacred and purposed filled, and is sanctioned only in the bonds of marriage between a man and a woman. Yet, even Christianity is progressively easing back from the sacredness of sexuality and marriage. And, is creating excuses and confusion by its silence towards the biblical view of sexuality and its sacredness.

I guess its more profitable to be silent as a pastor regarding sexual sins then to preach God’s Word and Truth as it relates to the sacredness of true sexuality. Christianity has created within itself, a sin-dependent class and a sin tolerant class of Christians. I think many pastors and church boards believe if pastors and teachers preached the biblical truth on sexuality their church attendance and tithing would rapidly decline.

And so, many Churches and Christian leaderships across this nation, are flirting with the development of a hybrid-Christian world view of sexuality and political/religious correctness. Thus, mixing two world views to increase their fame and fortunes. I sincerely wish it were not so!

You cannot use post-fallen man as a template of God’s ordination for the sacred. Only in Christ is man/woman restored, body, mind and spirit. Either his/her mind is transformed or it is not. Our identity is not our sin, nor is it our sexual proclivities. Our identity and sexual orientation is redeemed and cleansed, and so we must cease from sin through the power of God’s grace and the blood of Christ Jesus, his Son.

Therefore, one cannot be a Christian and be homosexual, bisexual, transgender or transvestite in thought or in deed. Nor can one be a Christian and live a lifestyle of unchecked fornication and adultery. For Christ not only fulfilled all the law, but changed the direction of the law to inwardly, making even our hearts and minds the territory of His Holy Presence and Kingdom.

Sexual purity is a necessity and is not an option! Even so, God is full of grace and mercy. Only do not use his grace and mercy as a crutch.

The sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit transforms and conforms us, even those with homosexual thoughts and feelings into the attitude and image of Christ, the perfect man. It is a cooperative relationship between the Spirit of Christ and the spirit of man, and it is not an easy process. It is at times messy and wrought with failure and setbacks, but God’s grace is not only his goodness, but more so, his enabling power of transformation and aid in our times of need. The Spirit of Grace does not leave us in our sin and with our proclivities, nor leaves us subjugated to its strongholds of thoughts and imaginations, but rather delivers us from evil.

Yes, race, sex and gender are sacred and ordained by God as he originally created them to be. But not what sin has devolved or distorted it into.

Do not equate the plight of racism with sexual orientation or gender confusion. Even if gender confusion and homosexuality happens in the womb or is a result of early childhood environmental development, does not make it sacred, but rather the results of the original fall and rebellion of man.

We are all born into sin and none are innocent. Whether one is born heterosexual or homosexual, we are all in need of a Redeemer, and utterly lost and hopeless without Christ. The power of the Gospel is good news to both the outer and inner life of all people. None are left out or excluded from salvation and redemption in Christ. In God there is no favoritism; nor racism; nor sexism. He is the God of all and has all power to transform any sinner and of any sexual orientation.

Even though God originally created man heterosexual, the fall of the heterosexual man and his sexual promiscuity is just as vile as the sexual actions of homosexuality. The promiscuity of one is met with the same consequences as that of the other.

God ordained man and woman to be one. Anything beyond this is outside of God’s ordination, and is subject to the laws of sin and death, for both the heterosexual and homosexual.

Christ is the hope of all peoples of the earth and none are excluded from his saving power, except only those who refuse to believe and obey.

“Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 World English Bible (WEB)

Don’t be confused, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, thoughts and imaginations.

A life without standards is a life without value. A valueless life, is a life without real love. Don’t be that person that cheapens love for sex; don’t do as the world does, but rather do what’s right, true and pure. Value your sexuality and the sexuality of others. Honor God with your bodies.

Searching For Significance – By Thomas Koester

The wounds of our past can most often propel us into a fruitless seach for significance. Our search is fruitless because the root of our search lies within our wounded heart. The damage to our heart was done many years and decades ago, and most likely when we were children.

Being wounded in our heart and mind as a child is an attack on our very identities and creates in us a desperate search for meaning and purpose.

You see, the wounds to our heart causes us to make a vow, or an agreement with the curses spoken over us. The curses were demonically engineered to warp or distort our true identity, forcing us to live behind masks and falsehood. Living like this can send us into an endless search for meaning and belonging. This fruitless search for significance can last a lifetime.

The curses may be the distant echoes from our mother or father’s voice, which may have inadvertently, or intentionally cursed our future and robbed us of worth and significance as their son or daughter. And this is why so many of us are lost from true living and true loving, or suffer with an inability to bond with others.

An alcoholic father or mother, or your parent’s divorce or an untimely death of a mom or dad can also send messages of abandonedment, rejection and lostness.

Sometimes, we think love and romance, marriage or a baby will heal us.

Our failure is searching for significance in people, ministry, talent and money, which these things are powerless to fill and satisfy our emptiness. Only God can fill the God size hole in our hearts. True worth and significance comes only from the mouth and heart of God. Draw near and listen to Him and allow the only God of yesterday, today and tomorrow heal your hearts and end your search.

Let God help you do the impossible, which is to forgive those who’ve wounded the very preciousness of your heart and soul.

“The Spirit of the Lord, the Eternal, is on me.
The Lord has appointed me for a special purpose. He has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to repair broken hearts, And to declare to those who are held captive and bound in prison, “Be free from your imprisonment.”‘ – Isaiah 61:1

The above Scripture was read by Jesus on the day he began his public ministry. The Isaiah passage was fulfilled through him for you.

End your fruitless search for significance by turning your wounded heart and soul to God. With him you’ll find unspeakable riches and a place of real belonging and a life of true significance.

Breaking the curses spoken over us is not complicated. All curses were nailed to the cross of Jesus Christ, whereby, Jesus took upon himself all of our curses and the very death penalty for sin. The punishment of death on a cross inflicted on the innocent Lamb of God, has legally broken and nullified all of our agreements with curses.

Put your faith into the finished work of Jesus Christ. Put on forgiveness towards those that have cursed you; towards those who’ve wounded your heart and soul, believing in the death and resurrection. Jesus’s death and resurrection has destroyed the works of the Devil and has cancelled all curses against us…

…Just believe!

Come home to the True and Loving Father; come home, His lost son and lost daughter!

The Cozy & Snuggly Dangers of Apathy – By Thomas Koester

Apathy is so nice and cozy. You don’t have to worry about absolutely nothing!

It’s like enjoying your home, all of it’s comforts and niceties, and paying no attention to the fire in your attic and the flood rising in your basement.

Oh, never mind those pesky neighbors, pounding on your doors and windows, they’re just disturbing your tranquil occupation with Reality TV.

“Gees,” you think to yourself: “those neighbors need to get a life!”

“A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber.” Proverbs 6:10-11

Wake up people, we’re losing the cultural war – the battle for the very soul of our Nation, because the Church is asleep in the Light and doesn’t bother leaving it’s cozy pews to put Truth into practice.

Are we more mesmerized by the light trickling in through the pretty stained glass windows, than the Light of the Glorious Gospel beaming outward, like lightening from the East to the West?

If all the wars and rumor of wars are not troubling, and all the reports of world wide terrorisim aren’t unsettling; if Mother Nature’s fury is yesterday’s news and riots churning up bloody revolution is simply an inconvenience, then you’re not paying attention. The world is in turmoil and Churches split over scandal after scandal. Some priests molest and many pastors build their empires and dynastic ministries.

500 years ago, Martin Luther posted his Ninety Five Thesis on the Church doors to wake up the clergy, putting them on notice. He shocked the religious establishment and freed ideological and theological slaves from the falseness of fake religion and heresy into the Light of God’s Word.

Where are the Luthers of our time? Where are the Christlike Saints of unstoppable faith and undetoured obedience? Where are the brave souls awakened from apathy?

God is all about keeping his promises and there will, one day, be a day of reckoning – God does indeed hear the persistent prayers of desperate widows; However, Christ has said, “…when the Son of Man returns, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:8.

Church, your attics are on fire and in your basements the flood waters are rising! Stop allowing FEMA and the government the usurpation of your calling and the robbery of your crowns!

You’ve exchanged your glory for a 501-C3 tax break! Yet, Christ has said:

“Give back to Caesar the things of Caesar, and to God the things of God.”

You’ve given to Caesar too much, and to God, too little.

Wake up, Oh Bride of Christ, your finest hour is upon you and the fields of every Nation are white, ready for harvest.

If the signs of the times are any indication of the eminent return of Jesus Christ, then wake up from your apathy and off your faith, you are desperately needed!

The Tale of Two Churches – By Thomas Koester

The Early Church

While the First Century Church had it’s challenges, it was mostly devoted towards unity of love, the Word and evangelism; it was One Church, One Gospel, One Spirit and One Baptism. It was unincorporated, organic, relational and Christ-alone hierarchy. It was mobile redemptive communities, spreading and growing exponentially by the Spirit of Grace and authentic gospel power. Whereby, every believer was a participant and not a spectator.

The early church was Apostolic, in that it was a sending and outward reaching movement. It’s power source was the resurrection and it’s message was transformational, not only to one’s life, but to the whole community. The Early Church was validated by miraculous signs and wonders.

The Modern Church

For many modern-day churches, most of everything, including religious practice are more so influenced by Greco-Roman paganism and occult practice. The influence of First Century authentic Christian practice has nearly been neutralized by secular and pagan progressivism. This is why today’s evangelical, fundamental and charismatic [organizations] are nearly ineffectual in propagating a true gospel message and producing true Saints of God. They cannot reproduce in accordance with biblical authority, because they lack authentic spiritual seed [sperma], Greek for the word “seed.” In a metaphorical sense, many modern-day churches have become “GMO,” a Genetically Modified Organization.

The Modern Church has become Dynastic, in that it gathers and reaches inward, within the confines of a building. It is known by its power or influence in numbers. It is a dynasty governed by an elite celebrity class. It’s power source is institutional and collective hierarchy. Validated by street signs and billboards!

The Herodical and Pharisaical leaven has so permeated modern Christianity, along with occult and pagan influences, which require a complete reset rather than a reformat. Therefore, a time may be coming, whereby we must leave the polluted ecclesiastical construct and start from the beginning. Early reformation did not go far enough, and left too much Greco/Romanism and pagan practice in tact.

The Absent Church

I am sorry to say, my dear brothers and sisters, we have entered into, and for quite sometime, a post Christian Era. We have abdicated our biblical authority to political correctness and to a democratic culture rather than an other-worldly Spiritual Kingdom Economy. Our churches therefore are ruled my mass appeal and in-vogue stylistic theologians and fad-mongers.

Authentic biblical truth that could bring deep conviction and godly sorrow has been prohibited in most Sunday morning services, as the majority would up and leave, never to return, which would negatively effect “Church business.”

It is time to make ready and oil up our lamps. Darker days are approaching. The time to cease following false Christs and false teachers is now — the time to cease populating and financing false churches has arrived. If you cannot discern while there is light, what will you do when it becomes dark?

The Triumphant Church

Ready yourselves by reading the scriptures like never before. Strap yourselves into God’s promises. Bolt yourselves down to the foundation of God’s word and be prepared to be shaken until all shakable things have been rooted up and out. Cling to your faith, for it will be tried and refined. Trust in Jesus Christ and by all means, love on another.

Christ Jesus is coming back for a triumphant bride and not a worldly tramp!

We know the end of the story. While it will be a bumpy ride, our triumph is secured in Jesus Christ. He is our victory and he is The Great Shepherd of all who believe and obey the Truth.

Your soul will follow the fate of the Church you attend.

The Grasshopper and The Giant – By Thomas Koester

Remember the story of the twelve Hebrew spies that Moses sent into the promised land?

“Caleb interrupted, called for silence before Moses and said, “Let’s go up and take the land—now. We can do it.”

“…But the others said, “We can’t attack those people; they’re way stronger than we are.” They spread scary rumors among the People of Israel. They said, “We scouted out the land from one end to the other—it’s a land that swallows people whole. Everybody we saw was huge. Why, we even saw the Nephilim giants (the Anak giants come from the Nephilim). Alongside them we felt like grasshoppers. And they looked down on us as if we were grasshoppers.” Numbers 13: 30-33

It’s your faith in God that gives you proper perspective. Joshua and Caleb’s faith in the ability of God convinced them:

“Let’s go up and take the land—now. We can do it.” – Caleb

For many, the microscopic COVID-19 virus has become their giant. But even here and now, in the 21st century, we have a similar choice. Do we become paralyzed with fear? Do we spread rumors and fake news? Do we so easily forfeit our rights as citizens?

How does our faith work in this situation? Is an unseen pathogen beyond the ability of God?

Is Governor Cuomo right in what he said?

“The number [deaths] is down because we brought the number down,” he told the press. “God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that…” – Governor Cuomo, New York

Are we on our own, left to our own demise?

Certainly not!

Are you a Joshua and Caleb, or are you easily intimidated by giants?

If we could be convinced that the giants we face in our darkest days are only grasshoppers, then we’d realize that our faith in God actually makes us into giants.

Faith changes our perception of what is impossible or immovable, to what is possible and moveable. This is true of those with the smallest of faith. Even our smallest faith in God, can bring us our biggest triumphs in life.

Matter of fact, when you actuate your faith in God, the Devil and his minions sees you as a giant. Their perception of you changes as your faith is exercised.

So, believe the Eternal One who is in you, so that you may defeat the Evil One who is in the world. It should always be faith over matter and not matter over faith. Faith in God always triumphs against evil. Faith triumphs against our fears. Against our sicknesses; our diseases, our losses and against our loneliness. Faith moves us to do the impossible for God.

I’ll say it again…

…faith in God always triumphs.

It triumphs over everything, even in death. So, shout at your giants in the Name of Jesus; being yielded to God and while standing firm in your faith, and the giants must flee, and they’ll scurry away like grasshoppers!

Your faith is a bold proclamation of your sonship and authority in Christ, and it sends giants packing and shrinks them down to size.

The 14 year old singer-songwriter and poet, David, son of Jesse knew it. And, now you know it.

You are not the grasshopper. Your faith makes you the Giant!

Here’s the Church, And Here’s The Steeple, Open The Doors And Where’s All the People? – By Thomas Koester

The COVID-19 virus caused the emptying of 21st Century Christianity’s churches and cathedrals. While the empty tomb of our Lord and Savior is, and forever will be the main power source of Christianity, the Social Distancing edict might have inadvertently caused a miracle. Due to COVID-19, maybe empty church buildings will also become, in a small way, (a) power source for modern-day Christianity. Maybe our closed buildings will mean an opening to global evangelism.

The empty tomb meant that the old religious order of continual animal sacrifices was over. It means that the old order of the priesthood was over. It meant that the veil, which separated you and me from direct access to God was torn down. And very importantly, it meant that where two or more are gathered, there in their midst is the very presences of God, and no longer confined to the temple made by man. It means that even when we are alone, and without each other that God is with us and in our very own hearts.

God’s people no longer needed priests. God’s people no longer needed animal sacrifices to make atonement. God’s people no longer had to experience His favor and presence by proxy. And, God’s people no longer were confined to a temple made of bricks and mortar.

Because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, we are free of all the religious trappings and traditions of men and of the consequences of the law. We are free to be the Church wherever we gather, even as few as two people!

Let us capitalize on our present situation and be convinced, once and for all, that we, as God’s people are the Church. We are the living Church. We, you and I are the Bride of Christ. Our church buildings, plain or palatial were never meant to be the representation to the world. Although, sadly, Church buildings had become the identity of Christianity. It is my hope that God’s people will be recognized as the Church, and regain her position as the living Bride of Christ and the center of Christianity.

One Sunday, Toni and I visited a Church in Oakdale, California. When we arrived, we walked in and learned that the Church was emptied except for a few people that were preparing a luncheon, later to be enjoyed by the returning congregation. Rather than their typical service, the Church was in the downtown square, assisting their local community. We were actually pleasantly surprised and not at all offended by the empty sanctuary.

Do not be overcome because we cannot presently occupy a building, but celebrate that with or without buildings that we are the Bride of Christ, and that we’re meant to deliver the Gospel of the Kingdom to every nation and to every people. In doing so, our proclamation will hasten the ending and will launch the new beginning that we’ve all been longing for.

For the past 1700 years, Christianity created and built ornate cathedrals with spires and steeples pointing to the heavens.

Let the truth be known:

“Church steeples can be traced back thousands of years to Egypt and pagan worship. Roman Emperor Constantine and his “Edict of Milan” in 313CE, made the Empire officially neutral with regard to religion. Eventually, Pagan and Christian symbols were eventually merged at the Council of Nicea in 325CE, and new doctrines and dogmas were set up by the Holy Roman Catholic (meaning universal) Church, and strictly enforced, under penalty of death.”

Since then, this building emphasis, along with Christianity continually orbiting ornate and palatial constructs, we’ve ceased going into all the world with the Gospel, and instead invited all the world into our buildings. Over time, the contrast between Christianity and “worldlism” diminished. Rather than the world becoming more influenced by Christianity, the world’s influence had crept into our Churches and has negated our need for faith and the Great Commission.

Let’s pray that this COVID-19 virus heals Christianity from its obsession with buildings and steeples, and instead goes out, even as few as two-by-two, to all the peoples.

God’s blessings and power to the true Living Church and Bride of Christ – Amen

Thomas Koester,
Copperopolis, California, USA