There are two ways for you to ruin your reputation as a minister, do evil and/or associate with or vouch for those who are evil (false).
People will know you by your fruits, and what/who you tolerate. Your reputation plays a significant role in whether people, especially those who are seeking the Lord, will receive anything from you. Protect your gifts and calling from all sources of contamination. Jeremiah did not tolerate Hananiah (Jeremiah 28), and Paul did not tolerate the woman with the spirit of divination who was trying to associate herself with him and Silas (Acts 16:16-18). Also see Revelation 2:18-23 regarding the Lord’s heart of what people, particularly His ministers tolerate.
Never forget that we are to “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them.” ~ Ephesians 5:11 (KJV)
I close with the additional reminders:
o “…I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils. Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils. Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than He?” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:20-22 (KJV)
o “Regard not them that have familiar spirits, neither seek after wizards, to be defiled by them: I AM the Lord your God.” ~ Leviticus 19:31 (KJV)
o “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, ‘I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate’, saith the Lord, ‘and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters’, saith the Lord Almighty.” ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14-18 (KJV)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
I usually get irritated when I hear ministers (usually pastors) speak out against prophets when they are clueless about what a person goes through in order to become a prophet, and more importantly, how the Lord uses His prophets. I served in the U.S. Army for many years. I can tell you about things I experienced in basic training for example, but I would limit my comments regarding what the other branches of service basic training are like because I have never been through them. I have seen documentaries and movies about basic training for the other branches of service, but that does not make me fully qualified to speak about them. Similarly, the Lord specifically designs how He transforms a person into one of His apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers (Ephesians 4:11). You may have heard me speak out against (errant) pastors, even though I am not a pastor, but that is a part of my job description in accordance with Jeremiah 23, Ezekiel 34, Matthew 23, etc. However, I limit my comments as directed because I do not want to overstep my boundaries.
I recall being in the USO at an airport when I saw a deficiency on a young Marine’s uniform. I was not a Marine, so I would not have been able to spot a deficiency such as the improper placement of the accouterments on his uniform like a Marine Sergeant Major (SgtMaj) would. However, I saw that one of the clasps on his marksmanship badge was broken so I went over and quietly let him know. I did not do so from the point of view as a Soldier trying to make a Marine look bad. I also did not approach him like how a SgtMaj who does not want anything or anyone to be a poor reflection on the Marine Corps, to include a small dangling portion of a badge, may have. On the contrary, I treated him like a brother in arms who looked sharp but I wanted him to look his best by pointing out a deficiency he needed to correct. And by the way, I was not in uniform, yet I did not need to identify myself in order for the Marine to take corrective action. Similarly, there are things that the five types of ministers can point out to each other, in order to help them serve the Lord and His people to the fullest. But there are also limits, especially when a person’s deeds are not of the Holy Spirit.
An example of something I have heard pastors speak out against is “parking lot prophets”. I understand how they may be trying to protect their congregants, but I have never heard a pastor speak about receiving personal prophecy in private in the correct manner. Not every person who tries to deliver a prophetic message in private is a deceiver, a “parking lot prophet”. I can provide several Biblical examples of where the Lord sent a prophet to deliver a message in private. There are other cases where the recipient would have preferred if the message had been delivered in private, but I will only provide one for the sake of brevity. Take note of what happened when the Lord sent the prophet Ahijah to deliver the prophecy that Jeroboam was going to become king: “And it came to pass at that time when Jeroboam went out of Jerusalem, that the prophet Ahijah the Shilonite found him in the way; and he had clad himself with a new garment; and they two were alone in the field.” ~ 1 Kings 11:29 (KJV) Many of today’s pastors would have discouraged Jeroboam from receiving that prophecy because Ahijah would be described as a “parking lot prophet”. Also note, in addition to being alone, they were in a field instead of a place of worship. But here is one of the reasons why the Lord had the prophet deliver the message in private: “Solomon sought therefore to kill Jeroboam. And Jeroboam arose, and fled into Egypt, unto Shishak king of Egypt, and was in Egypt until the death of Solomon.” ~ 1 Kings 11:40 (KJV)
Prophets do not give prophecies in private as a way to escape accountability, false prophets do. You receiving a prophecy in public, to include a church, may bring out the devils in people you would not suspect. As was the case with Jerobaom, prophecies are a magnet for spiritual warfare. Lest not forget that it was Joseph’s brothers who wanted to kill him so that the Word of the Lord would not come to pass (Genesis 37). Joseph may have thought his family would be supportive of his God-given dreams that they would bow down to him. But even his father Jacob, a man who had several prophetic dreams from the Lord that came to pass, rebuked his son (Genesis 37:10). Too many pastors have used their limited knowledge of prophets, and prophetic ministry, to cause harm to true prophetic ministries. They applied Scriptures such when the apostle Paul wrote: “Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:29 (KJV) That is a doctrine primarily for periods of prophetic utterances in a church service or other public settings. It does not mean every prophecy should be given in public. Don’t forget that some prophecies do not require the recipient to judge if it is a Word from the Lord or not. If the Lord sends a prophet to tell a person to stop committing adultery because He is going to unleash the devil on both transgressors, the adulterer would probably prefer to receive that message in private. In addition, the person would know the messenger was from God. I know people have used the Lord’s name in vain to deceive others, but pastors, please stop making it seem as if all prophets are false prophets. When you teach about what to look for in a false prophet at least take the time to study and then speak about how true prophets operate. I have heard that some pastors teach that John the Baptist was the last prophet, even though the Bible speaks about the prophet Agabus (Acts 21), and the apostle Paul established doctrine for how prophets should prophesy in church. A part of why I speak out against errant pastors is because of their ability to mislead God’s people, arguably more so than prophets, evangelists, and teachers.
I am also dumbfounded by how many pastors preach the errant doctrine of having a “spiritual covering”. Some pastors do it out of ignorance, others want to protect people, but some simply want to gather people to themselves for tithing purposes (another false doctrine commonly taught in churches – see Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14:22-29, etc. for the truth). Many ministers want to serve as a “spiritual covering” for others even though that is a function of the Holy Spirit (John 16:7-14). In addition, many ministers who want to serve as a “spiritual covering” (god) for others need covering themselves. Just look at ministers who have succumbed to greed, lust, perversion, etc. Some of those fallen ministers had identified another minister as his or her “spiritual father or mother”, yet that “spiritual parent” was powerless to prevent the other minister’s downfall. Some people would criticize me for not submitting to authority, ignorant of the fact that I simply refuse to bow to baal. I have heard many ministers cite Paul’s reference to Timothy as his son in the faith (1 Timothy 1:2, 2 Timothy 1:2, etc.) for having spiritual sons and daughters. But they seemingly overlook that the same apostle also referred to the same Timothy as a brother (2 Corinthians 1:1, Philemon 1:1).
Many ministers who are serving as a “spiritual covering” for others are wrestling with the same sins the people they are “covering” are struggling with. If you have ever experience sleep paralysis, which is actually a demonic attack, say or think about the human who is your spiritual covering and see what happens. Then call on or think about the name of Jesus and see what happens. The same demon that attacks you probably just left your spiritual covering’s house and he or she is busy watching a pornographic video or engaging in some other sin, most likely oblivious to what you are experiencing. Let’s just say it is hard for your spiritual covering to cast out a demon he or she is in a partnership with. Also, keep in mind how the Lord exposed the idolatry people were practicing in the temple to his prophet Ezekiel (Ezekiel 8). There is still a lot of idolatry in many so-called houses of God. Many ministers fell because people saw that the minister was about to fall and felt intimated and could not approach the minister as a brother or sister in Christ. Other people worship their pastor and believe that the pastor can say or do no wrong; they even defend the pastor’s errant ways. There is no better “spiritual covering” than the Holy Spirit, and He dwells in the clergy and the laity (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). Prophets do not point people to ministers, to include themselves; they point people to Jesus, which is also one of the functions of the Holy Spirit.
Pastors, and other ministers, look in the mirror and examine yourselves regarding if you have been speaking on things you are not qualified to speak on. Doctors can read x-rays yet they rely on the expertise of a radiologist. Each ministry gift in Ephesians 4:11 has an area of expertise; the functions of an evangelist are different from those of a teacher, yet they are co-laborers in and for Christ. True pastors aim to protect the children of God, and so do true prophets. Pastors are referred to as shepherds, and prophets are the watchmen who look out for the sheep, and the shepherds. I also refer to prophets as being the Good Shepherd’s “sheepdogs”, so please stop treating them as if they are wolves or expect them to act like sheep. Instead, shepherds, learn to work with the sheepdogs. A sheepdog is not going to turn on a shepherd unless the shepherd is hurting the flock or the sheepdog. Arguably, no one is against a false prophet more than a true prophet… The Good Shepherd uses sheepdogs because He knows that some shepherds are hirelings, wolves in shepherd’s clothing, so He uses His sheepdogs to root them out. The Lord’s instructions to some of His sheepdogs are similar to the following instructions that He gave to Jeremiah:
‘Behold, I have put My Words in thy mouth. See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant… And I will utter My judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken Me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands. Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings…, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land. And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I AM with thee’, saith the Lord, ‘to deliver thee.’ ~ Jeremiah 1:9-10, 16-19 (KJV)
Prophets, if you have been bowing down to “your pastor”, worshipping baal, it is time to get off your knees. If necessary, how can the Lord use you to rebuke someone who has you on a leash? Nathan worked for king David, and he respected the king, but we know what happened in 2 Samuel 12. Do not become like king Ahab’s prophets, instead, be a vessel of the Lord like Micaiah (1 Kings 22). Too many prophets have become like spiritual eunuchs in churches.
There is only one version of the truth, and that is the truth without a version or revision. Similarly, there are many antichrists but there is only one Christ Jesus (1 John 2:18, John 3:16). Never revise the truth to exclude the portions that contradict your narrative. The Bible includes Jacob’s deception, king Saul’s rebellion, David’s adultery, etc. If my life story was in the Bible, you would see a man who, in one way or another, violated all 10 of the Lord’s Commandments (Exodus 20:3-17). However, I am a recipient of God’s love as demonstrated through His mercy and grace. I can relate to when Paul said, “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Timothy 1:15-17 (KJV)
God changed me, but He does not change, and neither does the truth. Please keep the following in mind:
“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” ~ Hebrews 13:8 (KJV)
‘For I AM the Lord, I change not…’ ~ Malachi 3:6 (KJV)
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
On March 7, 2016, I was inspired to post “Burning Question” about how the Lord had not ordained Jacob and Leah’s “marriage”, He simply allowed it. Many people can attest to being in situations the Lord has given them the grace to endure but they don’t have His blessing. There was a subordinate question in the “Burning Question” post I had left unanswered, until now.
Why did the Lord warn Jacob of several things, to include Laban trying to cheat him of his wages, but He did not warn Jacob that Laban was going to deceive him into marrying Leah, a woman he did not love?
Initially, I did not intend to answer that question; I was going to leave well enough alone. But that changed while listening to a sermon that addressed David’s affair with Bathsheba, and the subsequent murderous cover up (2 Samuel 11). When the Lord rendered His judgment against David, He had forgiven him and spared his life, but David, the Lord’s anointed, was still going to reap the consequences for his actions. Do not confuse the Lord’s forgiveness with Him absolving you of the consequences of your actions. God is not mocked and you will reap what you have sown (Galatians 6:7-8). And please, do not think that your anointing is going to prevent you reaping the consequences of your actions. David was a beloved king, yet the Lord did not give him immunity from disciplinary actions. Never forget that the Lord is holy and He expects us to be holy.
David was publicly punished for the things he did in “private” (2 Samuel 12), but then again, nothing is private because it cannot be hidden from the Lord. David had slept with another man’s wife, gotten her pregnant, and still had not repented after the baby was born, presumably nine moths later. The length of time David went without repenting, basically parading his transgressions for the world to see, contributed to the Lord allowing David’s son, Absalom, to have sex with ten of David’s concubines in the open. If you try to publicly make a mockery out of the Lord He may make a public spectacle out of you. Again, God is not mocked and you will reap what you have sown (Galatians 6:7-8).
That above reminded me of how Laban deceived Jacob, and how the impacts had lifelong consequences. However, lest not forget that Jacob was also a deceiver. He had previously partnered with his mother to deceive his father so he could steal his brother’s blessing. Jacob’s efforts to deceive his brother had lifelong consequences on his Esau. So, when Laban deceived Jacob into marrying Leah, it was payback, poetic justice, for what he had done to Esau. Jacob had dressed up and went into his father’s tent under false pretenses, similarly to how Leah would later pretend to be her younger sister Rachel in the tent (Genesis 27, 29).
I will be somewhat transparent with you, translucent to be more accurate. I have received payback that was so well played so to speak that I had to admire the Lord’s work, even while reaping the consequences for my actions. I know what it’s like to receive the Lord’s forgiveness but still had to pay a price that was at least commensurate with my actions. There were times when I laughed because of how well the Lord paid me back for my transgression, true poetic justice. However, my laughter was not because I was mocking the Lord, it was because He paid me back better than if someone had tried taking revenge. The last time the Lord disciplined me there was no laughing on my part though, and He did not delay the administration of justice. To this day, I have been scared straight, without having been behind bars. But it takes maturity to accept one’s punishment, and to even say, “I deserved that.”
There was a time when David got in trouble for taking a census so the Lord gave him a choice of three punishments. David chose to have the Lord punish him instead of falling into the hands of men, because they can be ruthless. David was correct because the Lord punished him, but He displayed mercy towards the end (1 Chronicles 21). However, do not think the Lord is someone for you to take lightly. Study everything that happened after David’s transgressions with Bathsheba and you will see severe impacts on David, and his family. The wages of sin truly is death, and those who hate God love death. The Lord is merciful, but please do not think you can manipulate Him with your tears and fasting. David’s efforts did not spare the life of the first son he and Bathsheba had conceived. That child would have been a constant reminder of David’s sinful actions. Unfortunately, many people are carrying around the fruits of their transgressions, as if it is something to be proud of.
We do not always do something to deserve going through certain challenges. But there are times when we need to learn and grow when we receive poetic justice from the Lord for our transgressions (Hebrews 12:2-11).
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
In your quest to seek prophets for a prophecy, consider the fact that Jesus died to speak directly to you instead. Jesus said, ‘My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.’ ~ John 10:27 (KJV) Prophets have their place, but don’t ever let a prophet take the Lord’s place in your life. Prophets have voices, but they are not always the same as the voice of your Lord.
In closing, consider the following invitation from the Lord, Jesus, ‘As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear My voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with Me in My throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with My Father in His throne.’ ~ Revelation 3:19-21 (KJV) Knock! Knock!
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
It is one thing to forgive, but forgetting is a much different battle, yet they are like conjoined twins. Jesus told us to forgive but He never told us to forget (Matthew 18:21-22). The Lord also basically said those who are forgiven of much tend to love more than those who are forgiven of little (Luke 7). By the way, He said those Words to Peter among others, and little did Peter know how much he would need Christ’s forgiveness after denying Him thrice. In addition, there is the important warning from the Lord to forgive others or the Heavenly Father will not forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15).
While it is possible to separate forgiving from forgetting, it is important to not let holding on to memories cause you to hold on to unforgiveness, which could result in a cancer called bitterness. I purposely used the word cancer because I have seen someone with cancer and the root of the issue was unforgiveness that led to bitterness. One of the tests to see if you have forgiven someone is if you can pray for him or her, even if the person is unrepentant, and more importantly, pray that the Lord blesses the individual. For as Jesus also said, ‘Ye have heard that it hath been said, ‘Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.’ But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.’ ~ Matthew 5:43-44 (KJV)
A person’s repentance or even admission of guilt is not a condition for you to forgive those who transgressed against you. The Lord demonstrated this because even though David was going to suffer the consequences of his sins, the Lord had forgiven David before he had asked for His forgiveness (2 Samuel 12:13). Also, being unrepentant is not a reason for you to mistreat them. However, don’t forget who they are based on the true colors they have shown you, or especially if they Lord has revealed their true nature to you. It can be like having a venomous “pet snake”, if you keep it in your house, keep it in a locked container and never trust it, regardless of how well you treat it. By the way, I know some people make it hard to forget what they have done because they repeating their errant actions. Sometimes you forgot what they did but they do one thing that reminds you of every other thing they have done. They sabotage themselves…
One of the many incredible things about Jesus was how He treated Judas, even though He knew Judas was going to betray Him. The Lord made him an apostle and gave him full apostleship. The Lord sent Judas on a missionary trip with another apostle and gave them equal power over unclean spirits (Mark 6:7). Jesus also knew Judas was a thief, yet He “entrusted” him with His ministry funds, which Judas would steal from (John 12:4-6). Jesus kept Judas around because he was going to betray Him, so unless you also want to be betrayed, I don’t recommend that you keep a “Judas” around like that. Jesus was not caught of guard when Judas finally did what he had shown the propensity to do. See people for who they are and don’t forget it until you see evidence of repentance.
Don’t be fooled, despite how well Jesus treated Judas, which would serve as an indictment against him on the day of his judgment, Jesus never forgot who Judas truly was. The Lord did not publicly ostracize him, but Jesus let Judas know that He knew who the apostle truly was. For example:
When many of Jesus’ disciples turned away from Him stopped following Him, “Then said Jesus unto the twelve, ‘Will ye also go away?’ Then Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the Words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that Thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.’ Jesus answered them, ‘Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?’ He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the twelve.” ~ John 6:67-71 (KJV) Jesus did not call Judas a man of God, like what goes on in many churches today, but rather, He told the truth about him. We oftentimes think of Romans 2:4, regarding the goodness of God leading to repentance, without realizing that abusing God’s goodness also leads to a hellish eternal life sentence (Revelation 21:8).
During “the last supper”, even though Jesus did not call Judas out by name, He let the disciples know one of them would betray Him. Somehow, the disciples were oblivious to the fact that it would be Judas, even after all the time they had been together, and when Judas left the upper room that night. Maybe the apostles were too good at forgetting, to include when Jesus answered, ‘He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it.’ And when He had dipped the sop, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.” ~ John 13:26 (KJV) I cannot overstate it, do not let the Lord show you someone who means you no good, and then forget about it. The other apostles even made the following errant assumption when Judas left the room: “…Some of them thought, because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, ‘Buy those things that we have need of against the feast’; or, that he should give something to the poor.” ~ John 13:29 (KJV) Be careful about trying to cast a devil as a saint. Jesus is full of love, as demonstrated through His mercy and grace, but He still said, ‘The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of Him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! Good were it for that man if he had never been born.’ ~ Mark 14:21 (KJV)
When you hold on to the memory of a person, ensure you don’t hold on to bitterness. Forgiveness does not require the person to repent, but I say trust requires repentance. Judas did not change his ways (repent), so at the opportune time, he did what any snake would do, and that is strike. Judas was an apostle, but Jesus referred to him as a devil, so don’t be alarmed when I call him (or any other errant or false minister) a snake. I have had to tell people that they were practicing witchcraft, and those who realized and repented were restored, but those who continued are now called witches. I forgive very easily, and there are some things I have chosen to forget, but there are those cases where it is important that I hold on to the bad memories without being bitter. But it is all done to stay out of a “snake’s” striking distance. One of the reasons why I sometimes choose to forget about things some people have done is because the Lord said:
‘For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’ ~ Hebrews 8:12 (KJV)
‘I, even I, AM He that blotteth out thy transgressions for Mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.’ ~ Isaiah 43:25 (KJV)
“Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.” ~ Micah 7:18-19 (KJV)
There is more I could say, but I will hand the “microphone” over to the Lord, who said, ‘For I say unto you, ‘That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.’ Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment’: But I say unto you, ‘That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, ‘Raca’, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, ‘Thou fool’, shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison. [Some people will end up in jail or prison because they refuse to let go, to forgive.] Verily I say unto thee, ‘Thou shalt by no means come out thence, till thou hast paid the uttermost farthing.’ ~ Matthew 5:20-26 (KJV)
Some movies were made for the big screen (cinema) and later adapted for television. Conversely, other movies were made directly for television. Similarly, many marriages end up in divorce court, some of which were made to end in divorce because they were ill-advised and doomed from the start.
Please note that a movie does not change its genre after it starts, and most likely, the genre of your relationship won’t change if you get married. Like a movie, the genre of your relationship will have an impact on its quality and fate. For example:
Action/Adventure – you and your spouse live a life filled with adventure, and you enjoy life’s twists and turns. You married your best friend.
Comedy – you may not have married a comedian but your life is filled with joy. You can laugh with and even at each other. You married your best friend.
Crime – if it doesn’t end in divorce, your marriage will end in disaster, with possibly many emergency room visits before then.
Drama – you may end up working as late as possible to avoid going home to the chaos that will unfold, unless you can somehow avoid stepping on one of the many eggshells (landmines) at home.
Fantasy – you are wearing a ring but either you and/or your spouse’s thoughts are consumed with another, or others. You may think you are in a relationship but you are actually by yourself and living with a roommate.
Horror – the person you said “I do” to is not actually the one you married. And now you keep hearing, “Get out!”
Romance – you would marry your spouse all over again. It seems as if the fire keeps burning stronger with every passing year. You married your best friend.
Science Fiction – you and just about everyone else keep wondering how in the world you married that person. Internally, there is no effective communication because you are like from different planets from different galaxies. Any love you may have had has long since disappeared into a black hole.
Tragedy – you know your marriage was a mistake at best, and it is now painfully evident that it won’t end well. Everything about it is simply, tragic.
Western – you would much rather be a Lone Ranger, without Tonto, because of all the fighting. The police calls your house “The O.K. Corral” because they know of the wild “shootouts” that occur there. The two of you need marital counseling from Doc Holliday or one or both of you will need a tombstone, very soon.
Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”
A religious title is not meant to give a person a lordship entitlement over others (see Jesus’ comments in Matthew 23). Lest not forget that the Lord also said, ‘But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.’ ~ Luke 12:48 (KJV) Here are some things (stripes) a person with a title is truly entitled to, if they are ministers of Christ Jesus:
Greater Damnation: Jesus said, ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.’ ~ Matthew 23:14 (KJV)
Humility (to serve instead of being served): Jesus said, ‘But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.’ ~ Matthew 23:11-12 (KJV) Keep in mind that Jesus washed His disciples’ feet instead of them washing His.
Stricter Judgment: “My brethren, be not many masters [teachers], knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” ~ James 3:1 (KJV)
Increased Persecution: The apostle Paul wrote, “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.” ~ 2 Corinthians 11:23-28 (KJV)
Battle Pride: Samuel said to king Saul, ‘When thou wast little in thine own sight, wast thou not made the head of the tribes of Israel, and the Lordanointed thee king over Israel? …Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the Word of the Lord, He hath also rejected thee from being king.’ ~ 1 Samuel 15:17, 22-23 (KJV)
Ministers, regardless of which title you use, or even if you are like me and others where you choose not to use a title and let people judge your fruits instead, do not become conceited and bitter, like Haman. “And when Haman saw that Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence, then was Haman full of wrath. And he thought scorn to lay hands on Mordecai alone; for they had shewed him the people of Mordecai: wherefore Haman sought to destroy all the Jews that were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus, even the people of Mordecai.” ~ Esther 3:5-6 (KJV) As we know, Haman built gallows to hang Mordecai but those gallows were instead used for Haman and his ten sons (Esther 7, 9). Stay humble and lead people to worship Jesus instead of you.
If you are the kind of person who is so in love with your title(s) that you are usurping God’s authority, and desiring some form of worship (tribute) based on your title(s), I close with the following messages for you:
Repent, quickly, before the Lord removes your candlestick.
Jesus said, ‘The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.’ ~ Matthew 10:24 (KJV) The Lord also said, call no one rabbi, master, or father (Matthew 23). If we call the Son of God, ‘Jesus’, simply ‘Jesus’, why should we laud anyone based on a title when we are supposed to be brothers and sisters in Christ?
The Lord will not allow you to pollute His name (Isaiah 48:11), for as He said, ‘I AM the Lord: that is My name: and My glory will I not give to another, neither My praise to graven images.’ ~ Isaiah 42:8 (KJV)
Sometimes (or possibly more frequent than that), the messages I am inspired to communicate may seem like an attack on the body of Christ. Well, that is correct, but only to an extent. Cancer, which is oftentimes referred as an overgrowth of cells, is an attack on the body that requires aggressive and immediate remediation (counterattack) in order to save body parts and the victim’s life. I cannot imagine anyone going to an oncologist who recommends waiting to see how bad the cancer gets before taking action. Cancer’s goal is to kill and it won’t go away simply because you ignore it. Similarly, there is no need to passively wait to see how bad things are going to get when a “cancer” strikes the body of Christ. Like Jesus said, ‘…from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.’ ~ Matthew 11:12 (KJV) Do not tolerate the cancers in the body of Christ. Jesus certainly did not hold back when addressing the cancerous Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes who were running the synagogues and temple (e.g. Matthew 23). Well, neither do I when it comes to the cancerous wolves in sheep and shepherd’s clothing in the body of Christ. I do not attack the body of Christ, only the things that are attacking it. One of the cancers in the body of Christ is pride, especially among leaders, some of who were not called or commissioned by the Lord. Have you ever noticed that David never tried playing his harp for Goliath? Instead, David placed a rock in his sling and took immediate action against the man who cursed him by his gods (1 Samuel 17:43). Some physical battles are actually the manifestation of a spiritual battle that is about to come to an end.
Jesus is coming back to separate the congregation; He will take the “sheep” to heaven and send the “goats” to hell (Matthew 25:31-46). There are many churches that are full of “goats”; the larger the congregation is the easier it is for the goats to blend in. Like cells, when you put them under the microscope you will be able to tell. You can tell a lot about a congregation based on the shepherd. It is written: “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” ~ James 4:4 (KJV) Adultery also refers to those who serve other gods. When the leader of a church is well liked by secular society, in part because of his or her unwillingness to speak out against sin and what can get people sent to hell, that is a major red flag. It is very troubling when people who are living in sin do not even feel convicted to be around some Christians, to include ministers. Some professing Christians claim that Jesus would support homosexuality, even though God calls it an abomination, something He hates (Leviticus 18:22, Romans 1, etc.). Do not get confused; Jesus did not condemn the lady who had been caught committing adultery, in part because it was not the day of her judgment. Jesus did not condemn her on that day but it did not mean He condoned her sinful actions. He was more focused on addressing the hypocrisy of the Pharisees. However, the Lord gave her the chance to repent and told her to stop sinning (John 8:1-11). Let me stop before I really get started about Christians who are afraid to call out sin, to include in and from the pulpit, especially when the Holy Spirit is leading them to do so. But then again, it is hard for a person to cast out a devil he or she is in bed with.
Some ministers have even gone as far as to publicly declare that Christians and Muslims serve the same god, thereby misleading their congregations. I won’t go too in depth, but among many things, the Bible states: “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him.” ~ 1 John 5:1 (KJV) On the contrary, according to the quran: “No son did allah beget, nor is there any god along with him: (if there were many gods), behold, each god would have taken away what he had created, and some would have lorded it over others! Glory to allah! (he is free) from the (sort of) things they attribute to him!” ~ Surah 23:91 But lest not forget, “Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.” ~ 1 John 2:22-23 (KJV)
Again, adultery also refers to serving other gods. Christians, especially leaders, need to get out of bed with other gods and repent before they have their encounter with Christ. Until then, keep in mind that the Lord will judge you for what you do and also what you tolerate (Revelation 2:18-23). “…The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?” ~ 1 Peter 4:17-18 (KJV)
Remove the cancerous cells from your life (marriage, church, etc.) before they remove you.