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HOME OF THE PLATINUM EAGLES AND HEAVENLY BLISS
Restoring the Foundation:
The Simple Gospel Psalm 11:3 If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?
That's a valid question, isn't it? This short psalm by David reveals his understanding of not just natural but spiritual warfare. The kingdom of darkness is undisturbed by the saints sleeping, politicking, or even focusing on the prince of darkness. But when the Church is united around its King and obeying His commands – the war is on.
For all its faults, blemishes, and weaknesses, the Church of Christ has enough focus on Jesus and His Kingdom to get us closer and closer to a showdown. The question still remains, though, about our foundations. Will we stay true and fight to restore these foundations under pressure, or look for another answer?
Even if you are off target by one degree, the longer you go that way, the further away from center you get. We are clearly in a God-approved "civil war in the Church."
I know, that sounds outrageous. Listen to what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:17-19: "Regarding this next item, I'm not at all pleased. I am getting the picture that when you meet together it brings out your worst side instead of your best! First, I get this report on your divisiveness, competing with and criticizing each other. I'm reluctant to believe it, but there it is. The best that can be said for it is that the testing process will bring truth into the open and confirm it" (The Message Bible).
As Paul said, this is disturbing, but a test. What is the test? In a time when the foundations are being assaulted in the Church and the nation, what will the saints do? One thing we can't afford to do is business as usual. We don't need to necessarily do more, but we focus on that which is most profitable.
One of the most wonderful things about coming into Christ is the freedom He gives us in almost every way. We are not under the law. Instead, we are freed from sin's penalty and power. We are free to worship and adore Him with all the creativity He gave us. We are free from a poverty mindset knowing God's resources are limitless. And we are free from the curses of the wicked one and have access to healing and wholeness. "It is for freedom Christ has set us free...only don't use it as an occasion to be selfish" (paraphrased). This comes from Paul's words to the Galatians in Galatians 5:1 and 13.
But freedom comes with both privilege and responsibility, not rights. In fact, the meaning of "rights" is not what is usually thought of today when they say, "I get what I want. It's my right."
It actually has to do with what is just, right and honorable. The only reason I bring this up is that the "rights" mentality in our culture has even invaded the Church in how we often think. So what I am getting at is this: Much of what we focus on is what we want, because we are free to choose. But what we want is not necessarily what God would have us focus on or what is best for 1) us, 2) the Church at large, or 3) the world we are trying to reach with Christ.
Nothing But Christ: 1 Corinthians Chapter 1 and 2:1-5
I encourage you to read 1 Corinthians, chapter 1, in its entirety for context. I simply pulled out some verses for emphasis and to save space. But what Paul is clearly saying about THE TEST is whether we will stay true to the simple truth of the Gospel as the source of power in the Church, versus getting caught up in following men, philosophies, and concepts of our faith. Will we lean solely on Christ? It is not men, methods, or cultural trends that will enable us to reach the world, but the power of the risen Lord.
1 Corinthians 1:10-13, 18-19, 23-25, 29-31 ...But I urge and entreat you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you be in perfect harmony and full agreement in what you say, and that there be no dissensions or factions or divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in your common understanding and in your opinions and judgments. For it has been made clear to me, my brethren, by those of Chloe's household, that there are contentions and wrangling and factions among you. What I mean is this, that each one of you [either] says, "I belong to Paul," or "I belong to Apollos," or "I belong to Cephas (Peter)," or "I belong to Christ." Is Christ (the Messiah) divided into parts? Was Paul crucified on behalf of you? Or were you baptized into the name of Paul?...
...For the story and message of the Cross is sheer absurdity and folly to those who are perishing and on their way to perdition, but to us who are being saved it is the [manifestation of] the power of God. For it is written, I will baffle and render useless and destroy the learning of the learned and the philosophy of the philosophers and the cleverness of the clever and the discernment of the discerning; I will frustrate and nullify [them] and bring [them] to nothing...We preach Christ (the Messiah) crucified, [preaching which] to the Jews is a scandal and an offensive stumbling block [that springs a snare or trap], and to the Gentiles, it is absurd and utterly unphilosophical nonsense.
But to those who are called, whether Jew or Greek (Gentile), Christ [is] the Power of God and the Wisdom of God. [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men...So that no mortal man should [have a pretense for glorying and] boast in the presence of God.
But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin]. So then, as it is written, "Let him who boasts and proudly rejoices and glories, boast and proudly rejoice and glory in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 2:1-5 As for myself, brethren, when I came to you, I did not come proclaiming to you the testimony and evidence or mystery and secret of God [concerning what He has done through Christ for the salvation of men] in lofty words of eloquence or human philosophy and wisdom; for I resolved to know nothing (to be acquainted with nothing, to make a display of the knowledge of nothing, and to be conscious of nothing) among you except Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and Him crucified.
And I was in (passed into a state of) weakness and fear (dread) and great trembling [after I had come] among you. And my language and my message were not set forth in persuasive (enticing and plausible) words of wisdom, but they were in demonstration of the [Holy] Spirit and power [a proof by the Spirit and power of God, operating on me and stirring in the minds of my hearers the most holy emotions and thus persuading them], so that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy), but in the power of God.
So, we see Paul pointing to the factions and why they are there. It is because of a focus on personalities and pride over spiritual gifts, and not on Christ. We have the same problem today. While God uses people, as He did Paul for the Corinthians to bring people into the Kingdom and establish them in the faith, it doesn't take long to lose focus on why we were saved and what the Church exists for.
So, here we find ourselves with factions (camps) today just as in Paul's day. And we find that many of the camps are crying out for unity. Paul's answer is our answer. Nothing "but Christ and Him crucified." Whenever we focus on personalities, philosophies, or even gifts more than the Giver we get into trouble. We need to major in the majors and minor on the minors. During renewal, it was best to preach Christ, not manifestations. Once in a while, we needed to give an answer to what was happening in a real outpouring, but mostly my answer was, "I don't know, but I do know Christ and the fruit of His work, so let's stay focused on Him."
When we brought (or bring) in the prophets, it was and is to bring an aspect of Christ to equip the saints, not get people dependent on men or enamored with their gift. The prophetic movement has given the Church hope for revival on a national and worldwide scale. Now, let's put feet to the hope and get down to the business of taking Christ to the world with the Word and the Spirit.
If we are going to be true to honoring Jesus we need to be committed to Christ, His Church, and His cause. Christ must be first in all things individual and corporate. And there is no other thing He is building on the earth but the Church. His Kingdom has come and is here, but it's the Church that expands and represents it. So if we belittle the Church, we belittle Christ and ourselves. And what of His cause?
"The Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost" (Luke 19:10). "God anointed Jesus who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil" (Acts 10:38). "For this purpose, the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil" (1 John 3:8). "I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me" (John 5:30).
He summed it up in the great commission to be carried out with the heart of the great commandment. It is really not complicated. That may not be glitzy enough for some today, but it's what Jesus died for.
The greatest weapons we have are walking in true righteousness, the Word of God, prayer, and spreading the Gospel with signs and wonders confirming. We do need modern-day apostles to accomplish this. But to be an apostle you must be and make disciples first. If what we are doing is not to that end, we are limiting God and leaving the world in the hands of the wicked one. We have a rare window of opportunity to see millions come to Christ. We can't afford to get away from the Source of power or spend time criticizing those who do.
So to close, let me say that while the civil war rages, let's stay focused on love, but especially on being true to Christ and the Gospel no matter what others contend for. My prayer daily is that the entire Body of Christ will get back to the foundation of CHRIST PLUS NOTHING, and honor Him by laying down our lives like Jesus to reach a lost and dying world with the hope of the Gospel. It's easy to point fingers at what is wrong for the Church, but can we look inward and look at what we are standing on? If it is not Christ, it is probably not worth contending for.
Amen, you better come on and say that Prophetess Irene. It is all about the Kingdom, and being about our father business
Irene Jones said:
I realy feel as the body of christ we are fighting for the wrong things. This is something to keep in our hearts as we read it. People are fighting for notoriety and not Christ. I rather have God say well done and I was a faithful servant. As christains we are to serve and lead people to christ. We must take care of the poor and pray for the sick. We have to be about his business. I don't want a big stage with my name in bright lights. I want to serve and do what God put in my heart to do..