enTITLEd   

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)
A Test of My Faith
Endure life’s fiery trials.

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)
Repent
People will recognize you by your fruit. ‘Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.’ ~ Matthew 3:8 (NIV)

 

 

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Oncology

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.

Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free
Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free

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.

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

 

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.

God, The Love of My Life (2)

Discernment (Three Voices)  

The three “voices” in your life come from God, the soul (which is comprised of the mind, will, and emotions), and devils. It is very important for you to discern the source of the voice that is trying to influence you; there is only one voice that is always correct. After all, “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” ~ Proverbs 16:25 (KJV)

Sometimes those voices are communicated via human messengers, who may not be aware of the source of their speech, and you have to discern for them. Imagine Peter’s shock when he thought he was doing a good thing by rebuking Jesus. “But he [Jesus] turned, and said unto Peter, ‘Get thee behind Me, satan: thou art an offence unto Me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.’” ~ Matthew 16:23 (KJV) You may have to do the same thing to others when a devil tries to use them to speak into your life. Conversely, oftentimes, people think of how the following Scripture applies to others without realizing they have to apply it to themselves also: “Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” ~ 1 John 4:1 (KJV) Everyone needs to test the spirit behind the voice that is trying to influence their life. The following is aimed at helping you identify which one of those three voices is trying to influence you.

 

Holy Spirit Led
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit IAW 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5:22-23.

The “voice” of the Lord aligns with His written Words in the Bible. However, the Words must be contextually correct and geared towards leading away from sin and towards a closer relationship with the Lord (Revelation 19:10). Jesus said His sheep know His voice and they will only follow Him (John 10:27). Note that He said His voice as opposed to His Words. Keep in mind that the devil used the written Words of God in an attempt to lead Jesus into sin (Luke 4:1-13). The voice of God leads us out or away from sin, and behavior that reflects negatively on the Lord. It is tragic when people get deceived into sinful behavior and they use the Word of God to justify their sins. When the lady was caught committing adultery, the Pharisees tried to use the Words of God to get her killed, while trying to tempt Jesus in the process. [The Pharisees were holy men yet their actions were reminiscent of the devil (Luke 4:1-13).] But the Lord found a way of escape for her that did not violate His written Words (Exodus 33:19). However, the Lord told her that He did not condemn her, but she should go and sin no more (John 8:1-11). He did not tell her to go stay with her lover because He is gracious. If you find yourself using Scriptures to justify living in sin, you need to seek counsel from people who have a close relationship with the Lord. The Pharisees knew the Law but they did not know God, or His Son [God in the flesh]. You do not need counsel from people who know the Scriptures but do not know God or they may misapply the Scriptures to your situation. Many things went into Jesus decisions to release the adulteress, such as how the Pharisees violated Deuteronomy 6:16, and misapplied the Law stated in Leviticus 20:10.

Just like how Jesus rebuked the devil who inspired Peter’s words, you need to rebuke devils too. However, there are times when people rebuke a devil but the source of evil actually came from a person’s mind. David was a king and I have no doubt that devils were around him trying to lead him into sin. For as the Lord said, ‘…smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…’ ~ Zechariah 13:7 (KJV) The devils know that principle, which is a part of why it is so important to pray for leaders, in the church and the secular world, even if you may not like or agree with them personally or professionally. Just take a look at the evil kings of Israel who led the people deeper into sin. Now, for as much as devils tried to influence David, I don’t think we can put too much blame on the devils once David walked out on the roof of his house and saw the beautiful Bathsheba taking a bath.

God, The Love of My Life (2)

The devil is entitled to set his bait but you don’t have to take it. The Lord told Cain that sin was at his door but he must rule over it (Genesis 4:7). Also keep the following in mind:

  • “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13 (KJV)

 

  • “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” ~ James 4:7 (KJV)

 

  • It is hard to tempt a person with something he or she has no desire for.

One of the reasons David did not need demonic assistance for what happened next was that he already had many wives and concubines at that point, which was symbolic of his desire for women. For single people who struggle with sexual temptation, do not assume that being married is going to make the temptation any less. Being married is probably going to make it worse, and that is when the devil will most likely send his best assets to target you and your marriage. Like the Lord said, sin is crouching at your door but you must rule over it. When you get married, sexual sin may begin knocking on the door of your life more fervently. When David asked his servants about the woman, one of them said it was Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife (2 Samuel 11:3). The Lord had just given David a way of escape. But rather than having his servants going to get one of his wives or concubines to satisfy any urges he may have had, David had them bring Bathsheba to him. Before David was king, he felt convicted for cutting off a piece of king Saul’s robe. Saul was a wicked man who was trying to kill David, but he would not harm the king because he was the Lord’s anointed (1 Samuel 24). But as the king, David did not have the same conviction to stop from going too far with Bathsheba. David would have been more justified in killing Saul than defiling Bathsheba.

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

Similarly to how there are three voices, there are three portals of sin, which are: “…the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life…” ~ 1 John 2:16 (KJV) David apparently succumbed to all three and it started when he fixed his eyes on Bathsheba. Many people stumble at that point because their lust activates the voice of their soul (the mind, will, and emotions). Keep in mind that the Lord said, ‘The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?’ ~ Jeremiah 17:9 (KJV) Just look at how David’s son Amnon claimed he was basically madly in love with Tamar, and how quickly that emotion changed to hate once he exerted his will on her (2 Samuel 13). It also did not help that Amnon fed the lust of his flesh by taking a messenger of satan’s advice when he listen to Jonadab. Amnon listened to the wrong voice and it cost him his life. Undoubtedly, the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

When it comes to “voices”, the Lord said the following, which also applies to those who are not prophets:

  • ‘The prophets prophesy lies in My name: I sent them not, neither have I commanded them, neither spake unto them: they prophesy unto you a false vision and divination, and a thing of nought, and the deceit of their heart.’ ~ Jeremiah 14:14 (KJV)

 

  • ‘How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? Yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart.’ ~ Jeremiah 23:26 (KJV)

That reminds me, the three voices are also the three sources of dreams and visions. Sometimes people are utterly convinced that a dream or vision was from the Lord when it was actually the deceit of their own heart manifesting in a visual way.

Minister to the People
Minister to the People

When the voice aligns with Scripture but feeds the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and/or the pride of life, it is a sign that it is most likely not of God. Again, this is a part of the reason why it is vitally important to have a relationship with the Lord. Many false prophets give prophecies about how great the Lord is allegedly going to make a person, in part to feed the recipient’s pride. Sure, the Lord gave Joseph two dreams regarding how his family would one day bow down to him (Genesis 37). But, because the dreams (prophecies) were from the Lord, He took Joseph through a 13-year humbling process before Joseph got in position for them to bow down to him, and then he had to wait about 7 more years before it happened. If a person is full of pride upon receiving a prophecy but does not begin to go through a humbling process before the alleged appointed time, there should be a high index of suspicion that the prophecy was not from the Lord. There are so many Scriptures that address the fact that the Lord humbles the proud and exalts the humble. For example, ‘…God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.’ ~ James 4:6 (KJV) The voice of the Lord is going to drive a person towards humility. Look at the incredible ways in which the Lord used Moses, even the Lord said to him, ‘See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh: and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet.’ ~ Exodus 7:1 (KJV) But we see why the Lord could say that about Moses, and entrust him with so much power. It is written: “Now the man Moses was very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” ~ Numbers 12:3 (KJV) Pride has a way of blocking one’s ability to receive the things from the Lord. People tend to shut God’s voice down and listen to things that feed the soul, which makes them more prone to listening to the carnal voices from the soul or a devil.

It is a bad sign when a person refuses to listen to wise counsel, especially because it contradicts his or her desires. After all, “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” ~ Proverbs 11:14 (KJV) People perished because the following kings failed to listen to wise counsel, and as you will soon see, there is a difference between counsel and wise (Godly) counsel. Lest not forget, “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” ~ Proverbs 13:20 (KJV)

  • When satan inspired David, a king and prophet, to conduct a census of Israel, his general, Joab, gave David wise advice to not trespass against the Lord. But the king overruled his general’s advice and incurred the Lord’s wrath. Sadly, 70,000 people perished because David would not listen to Joab’s wise counsel (1 Chronicles 21).

 

  • The prophet Micaiah warned king Ahab to not go to battle at Ramothgilead lest he die. However, the king imprisoned the prophet and ignored his wise (Godly) counsel. Subsequently, the king died a slow and painful death (1 Kings 22).

 

  • Rehoboam succeeded his father Solomon as Israel’s king. The king had a tough decision to make when his people petitioned him to lighten the yokes king Solomon had imposed on them. Rehoboam consulted with the old men, who had served with the wise king Solomon, and they recommended that he grant the people’s requests in order to retain their loyalty. But then the king sought the counsel of the young men whom he had grown up with. They appealed to the king’s pride by recommending that he make things more difficult for the people to make it known that he was “better” than Solomon. King Rehoboam followed the advice of his friends and ended up losing the 10 northern tribes of Israel to Jeroboam, and one of his men was killed. Rehoboam remained king of Judah to the south while Jeroboam reigned over Israel (1 Kings 12).

We are instructed to “…have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.” ~ Ephesians 5:11-13 (KJV) Yes, it is a shame to speak about what some Christians, to include ministers, are doing or thinking about doing in “secret” on this very day. The Lord gave David time to repent of his transgressions against Bathsheba and her deceased husband Uriah. But since David did not, his rebuke and subsequent judgment were made public. No one is going to discredit the Lord and continue doing so for too long. The devil is a deceiver, but as previously mentioned, he is not the only source of deception. The late Arthur Fletcher of the UNCF is credited with coining the phrase, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Sadly, many Christians are wasting their minds on sinful things, sometimes cloaked under the Lord’s name. When a person does something that he or she alleges is from the Lord, but has to take measures to cover his or her tracks to avoid detection or in order to gain access, those are indicators that deception (evil) is involved. Too many Christians are using their minds to accomplish evil as opposed to glorifying God. Please stop using Scriptures or the Lord’s name to justify sinful actions.

 

Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free
Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free

Another sign that deception is indicated is when a person tries to obtain an allegedly Godly objective by inducing a spirit of fear. That is witchcraft because it involves imposing one person’s will on another individual. It gets even worse when such witchcraft, based on a spirit of fear, is made to look like succumbing to it will be pleasing to the Lord. Fear of that type is not the reverential fear of the Lord. Sadly, it has to do with control by supplanting a person’s will, which is not pleasing to the Lord, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV) Fear is one of the reasons why some people are seduced into cults but find it hard to leave when they discover the dark truth.

One of the many aspects of inducing the spirit of fear is how people are afraid to speak out against errant religious leaders, to include the wolves in shepherd’s clothing. For example, congregants are often told [from the pulpit] to not touch the Lord’s anointed, as if they aren’t anointed too. In addition, some of the so-called “Lord’s anointed” are not anointed at all, or at least not by the Lord. Also, lest not forget that King Saul was the Lord’s anointed but the Spirit of the Lord had departed from him and an evil spirit began troubling (influencing) him (1 Samuel 16:14). We are even told of Saul prophesying under the unction of an evil spirit, after which he demonstrated the fruit of that spirit by trying to kill David (1 Samuel 18:10-11). Some Christians are doing the same thing. They are listening to the wrong voice, sometimes errantly professing that they are hearing from the Lord, even when the fruits clearly contradict that assertion. [See Galatians 5:19-23 to compare and contrast the works of the flesh versus the fruit of the Holy Spirit.] Many of those deceived individuals are trying to silence those who are truly hearing from the Lord and communicating His messages.

 

Repent
People will recognize you by your fruit. ‘Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.’ ~ Matthew 3:8 (NIV)

When it comes to religious leaders, the apostle Paul wrote, “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.” ~ 1 Timothy 5:19-20 (KJV) Initially, we are told to not receive unsubstantiated allegations against an elder, which basically means not to receive gossip or slander. But that does not mean a young parishioner who was secretly abused by a priest should not report it, especially since evidence can be gathered in some cases to support the person’s claim. Subsequently, we are told to publicly rebuke those who sin so others may fear. Sadly, throughout history, many abusive elders were simply reassigned without admonishment, so they left a trail of destruction wherever they went. The same apostle who wrote that letter to Timothy publicly rebuked Peter, a senior apostle in terms of having been a Christian and being commissioned as an apostle much longer than Paul (Galatians 2). Yet, Paul publicly exposed Peter’s hypocrisy, which included leading other Jewish believers from fellowshipping with the Gentile believers. Not only is that an example of publicly rebuking an errant elder, it also demonstrates that actual or perceived seniority does not always equate to greater righteousness. Again, back to the example of Saul and David, it was David, the junior of the two who was being led by the Spirit of God and was the more righteous. Saul was serving as king but the Lord had rejected him and accepted David (1 Samuel 13-16). The Lord may have anointed many of today’s religious leaders but some have since been rejected. One of who failed to publicly rebuke someone who basically called him a fourth member of the Godhead. Eve made the same mistake when the devil told her that eating the “forbidden fruit” would make her and Adam like gods (Genesis 3:1-7).

In addition to everything presented thus far, when it comes to discerning the source of the influencing voice, you can also to draw from the following:

“Let the prophets speak two or three, and let the other judge. If any thing be revealed to another that sitteth by, let the first hold his peace. For ye may all prophesy one by one, that all may learn, and all may be comforted. And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets. For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:29-33 (KJV)

Without going too in depth, a part of judging prophecy is discerning which voice is influencing a person. Sometimes the Holy Spirit gives a Word of knowledge regarding such matters, or you can tell via the gift of discerning of spirits (1 Corinthians 12). You can see how the prophet Jeremiah judged Hananiah’s prophecy. The prophecy sounded plausible so Jeremiah initially said ‘Amen’. But Jeremiah followed up with a few things to help others judge the prophecy, and to give Hananiah a chance to repent. One of those statements include, ‘…when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the prophet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.’ ~ Jeremiah 28:9 (KJV) It may take the fullness of time to determine if something had truly come from the Lord, which is one of several reasons to record what people declare in the name of the Lord in accordance with Habakkuk 2:2-3. Another way to discern which spirit a person is of is based on when he or she is questioned or even challenged on their words. It becomes more blatantly obvious if what was stated in the name of the Lord does not come to pass. But, the Lord did not allow people to wait to see if Hananiah had truly spoken on His behalf. Jeremiah had left the house of the Lord when God sent him back to confront Hananiah:

“Then said the prophet Jeremiah unto Hananiah the prophet, ‘Hear now, Hananiah; The Lord hath not sent thee; but thou makest this people to trust in a lie. Therefore thus saith the Lord; ‘Behold, I will cast thee from off the face of the earth: this year thou shalt die, because thou hast taught rebellion against the Lord.’ So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.” ~ Jeremiah 28:15-17 (KJV)

The pride of life may have plagued Hananiah, even to the point where he did not repent when he had the chance. He wanted to be noticed or he would have kept quiet. He had no reverence for the Lord to make proclamations in His name, even though the Lord had not spoken to him, sent him, or commanded him to speak. Misusing the Lord’s name carries serious penalties, to include being labeled as a lying or false prophet. The Lord addressed the consequences of that when He said, ‘Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His name in vain.’ ~ Exodus 20:7 (KJV) In addition, what happened to Hananiah may have been only the beginning of his torments, for as Jesus said:

‘Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

Hananiah prophesied in the Lord’s name, yet he was a worker of iniquity. He may have fooled some people along the way but he could not fool God. He hid some things in the dark for a while but the Lord exposed him in the light. Hananiah wanted notoriety and he got it, but as a Biblical example and a warning to errant and false prophets. One of the ways to help discern which spirit a person is of, which is a part of why the spirits of the prophets is subject to the prophets, is to get to know the Lord’s voice for yourself. When you are used to hearing from the Lord for yourself, the voice of another you will NOT follow.

Duplicity

Another helpful tip in determining which spirit a voice is of is to look for evidence of a snake. Snakes hiss when confronted; confront a false prophet and see what happens, to include how they try to slither away from taking accountability for missing the mark. Snakes have a forked tongue, so from the same mouth may come smooth seductive words followed by the voice of a devil. Some snakes have fangs that inject venom, which is what happens when a person lies, it spreads poison. Other snakes are constrictors (with teeth) and they want to squeeze the life out of your relationship with Christ. Whether the snake is venomous or nonvenomous, it twists the truth to meet its objective. Snakes set traps by lying in wait, sometimes along trails that lead to watering holes. So when a person is on track to seek the living waters of Christ, the snake tries to prevent the person from getting to Jesus. And finally, I think, do not overlook the undeniable sign when you see the shed skin of a snake. No matter how many times a snake sheds it skin, it is still a snake, but each time it becomes an even bigger snake without ever improving its character.

Listening to the wrong voice for too long may cause the Lord to hand a person over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1). A person who refuses to heed wise counsel and listen to the truth may develop a disdain for the truth. So, “…because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.” ~ 2 Thessalonians 2:10-12 (KJV) Do not ignore the signs when a person who claims to be speaking on the Lord’s behalf is delusional. For “…the [Holy] Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron.” ~ 1 Timothy 4:1-2 (KJV) Moreover, ensure you are listening to the right voice. Do not let pride get in the way of your repentance if either your soul or a devil (seducing spirit) leads you astray. Arguably, the only thing worse than getting deceived is remaining in the deception when you know the truth. I sincerely doubt it was the first time Hananiah had told lies in the name of the Lord, but it certainly became his last. It is very important to know the voices in your life, both when you are alone and when others are communicating to you. Please, try the spirits because not every spirit is of God. Do not allow the “yes” you have contrived in your deceitful heart prevent you from hearing the “no” the Lord is communicating to you.

A Test of My Faith
Endure life’s fiery trials.

 

 

Fully Equipped

It is great to have a pastor who will protect you from the wiles of the enemy. However, does that pastor equip you to discern and defeat the enemy?

Just in case you are wondering why you need to defeat the enemy, since he is “a defeated foe”, maybe your life is somehow free of any form of demonic resistance. But let’s assume that it is, I invite you to refer to Scriptures such as 2 Corinthians 2:11, 10:3-5; 1 Peter 5:8; 1 Thessalonians 2:17-18; James 4:7; Ephesians 6:10-19.

One of the best ways to defeat the enemy is by fulfilling your calling from the Lord. A pastor’s “protection” is sometimes what prevents people from fulfilling their Godly calling. By the way, not every calling involves starting a church. The Lord may have called you to preach without calling you to be a pastor. In addition, He may have called you to preach but not in your church or any church building… Many people know their place in the church building, to include where they sit, but they don’t know where they stand in the kingdom of God. Would you be completely lost without your shepherd (pastor) or do you know how to find the Good Shepherd (Christ Jesus)? Can you lead someone to Christ or do you only know how to lead people to your church? What do you do when you know what the Lord has called you to do but no one in your church either knows your calling or wants to acknowledge it?

Please keep the following in mind:

  • ‘Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered…’ ~ Zechariah 13:7 (KJV) Consequently, pray for ministers, especially those who are effective against the kingdom of darkness because they endure a tremendous level of spiritual warfare.

 

  • “And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.” ~ 1 Corinthians 3:1-2 (KJV)

 

  • “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the Word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” ~ Hebrews 5:12-14 (KJV)

Are you prepared to do what the Lord has called you to do, and are you doing it?

So, while those who watch out for you will have to give an account to the Lord for you (Hebrews 13:17), everyone will have to give an account of him or herself to the Lord (Romans 14:12). Keep “The Parable of the Talents” in mind, with specific emphasis on the master’s rebuke and disposition of the servant who hid his talent without putting it to good use (Matthew 25:14:31). Again, are you doing what the Lord has called you to do? In fact, do you know what the Lord has called you to do and where He wants you to be? If you don’t, I strongly suggest that you ask Him.

Minister to the People
Minister to the People

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

“I Decree and Declare…” 

Many so-called prophecies fail to come to pass because of errant teaching from ministers who are obviously clueless about what prophecy truly is, or, they are intentionally deceitful. Instead of “prophesying” from the soul, lest not forget, “…prophecy came not in old time by THE WILL OF MAN: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” ~ 2 Peter 1:21 (KJV) That standard has not changed. Take a look at the prophet Ezekiel’s actions in the valley of dry bones (Ezekiel 37); he only spoke as directed by the Lord.

Many people have been led into practicing witchcraft by proclaiming things and expecting the Lord to react like a genie to fulfill their commands. Ministers need to stop giving motivational speeches that are thinly veiled as prophecies. The Lord clearly said, But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in My name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, ‘How shall we know the word which the Lord hath not spoken?’ When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.’ ~ Deuteronomy 18:20-22 (KJV)

People continue to “decree and declare” yet have not figured out why they have not gotten anywhere. The Lord is only required to fulfill His Words. Sadly, ministers will continue with the antics because people tolerate them. For as the Lord said,A wonderful and horrible thing is committed in the land; the prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and My people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?’ ~ Jeremiah 5:30-31 (KJV)

Additional References: Jeremiah 28:15-17, 29:30-32; Ezekiel 13; “Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant”

Holy Spirit Led
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit IAW 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5:22-23.

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

“Mercy Rule”

When it comes to divorce, the easy answer is, “God hates divorce”, and that is what many ministers will tell those who are contemplating getting divorced. “Somehow” even though very Biblical, I cannot give such a cookie-cutter answer. Brace yourself because the following may cut across the grain of your application of Scriptures. While this dissertation addresses divorce, it is meant to serve as an example of what Jesus meant when He said, ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:24 (KJV)

Undoubtedly, God hates divorce because He clearly said so (Malachi 2:16). Unfortunately, the devil tries to counterfeit and/or corrupt the things of the Lord, to include marriage. There are Christians who have gotten in bad marriages, and it may seem as if there is no way out, besides adultery, but both parties are being faithful. However, despite being sexually faithful to each other, it is now painfully obvious that the union was of the devil, and he has one or both people trapped. In some cases, what seemed like two lovers of and believers in Christ getting married is now apparent that the other person was an imposter, an emissary of the devil. The other way out of a marriage is death, but it may seem as if the other person has the lifespan of a Galápagos tortoise. Moreover, to compound to that, each day with the person is seemingly taking away from your lifespan, which is a part of the devil’s plan. Many people have committed suicide in an effort to escape from such demonically arranged unions.

The Lord is serious about divorce because He is serious about marriage. The message I am inspired to convey is no way meant to take away from that. But rather, it is to encourage you to have a personal relationship with the Lord because sometimes He may have to remove you from a situation in an unconventional manner when the devil has you bound. [Okay, take a second to catch your breath after reading that…] I must also caution you that while the following may be like an escape clause, it is one the Lord uses sparingly, and most likely limited to dire situations where the life of one of His sons or daughters is at risk. The Lord is not going to condone getting divorced for trivial reasons such as weight gain, “falling out of love”, snoring, etc. In addition, before I delve into the issue of getting divorced, let me first address getting married. While people know that God hates divorce, they may not consider that He hates doomed marriages, especially the ones the devil puts together in an effort to steal, kill, or destroy a person’s destiny. Many people can testify that they got into a horrible marriage because they ignored the Lord’s warnings. The Lord gave those warnings in an effort to avert a looming disaster.

 

God, The Love of My Life (2)

Getting married is a choice, or it is supposed to be. Consequently, do not let anyone use witchcraft to pressure or manipulate you into getting married. I have heard many incredible testimonies of how the Lord brought two people together in holy matrimony. Tragically, I have also seen where people misused the Lord’s name to get a spouse (and somehow though it was pleasing to the Lord, and He was going to bless the “union”). For the record, the Lord is not going to force two people to be in a relationship. In Genesis 24, Abraham commissioned his servant to go and find a wife for his son Isaac. The servant asked what if the woman was not willing to be Isaac’s wife. Abraham said an angel of the Lord would go and help, but, if the woman was still not willing to be Isaac’s wife that the servant would be released from the oath. So, even though the Lord was going to use an angel to find a wife for Isaac, not even in those days, He was not going to force them to be together. So, if you believe someone is your God-ordained spouse, but you are trying to force the person to be with you, you are engaging in witchcraft. If you force someone to be in a relationship with you, to include a marriage, you may end up in a marriage where you are asking the Lord to get you out and He will most likely have you stay to suffer the consequences. Conversely, if you use witchcraft to manipulate a person into getting married but that person wants out, the Lord may create a way of escape for that person… I implore you to include the Lord in your decisions, especially regarding whom you should marry. The Lord may not always tell you who to marry, but please do not ignore Him when He tells you who not to marry. One of the things that may count against you in what I am about to present is if the Lord clearly told you not to marry someone and you disobeyed Him. There are times when the Lord’s communications are not very clear (Numbers 12:8), so if He warned you in such a manner, the level of grace He may extend to you will most likely be greater. Many things play a role in the Lord’s decisions, and even when we may not like His decisions, the Lord is a righteous judge.

The devil has used to the Lord’s hatred of divorce to keep many Christians in awful marriages. It may seem impossible to get a pardon from the Lord in the matter since Jesus said:

“And the Pharisees came to Him, and asked Him, ‘Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife?’ Tempting Him.

 And He answered and said unto them, ‘What did Moses command you?’

 And they said, ‘Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away.’

 And Jesus answered and said unto them, ‘For the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’

 And in the house His disciples asked Him again of the same matter. And He saith unto them, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.’” ~ Mark 10:2-12 (KJV)

“It hath been said, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: but I say unto you, ‘That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.’” ~ Matthew 5:31-32 (KJV)

“And I say unto you, ‘Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery.’” ~ Matthew 19:9 (KJV)

 

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Maybe you can see where God’s grace is needed in this issue already. For example, what if you are on your first marriage but your spouse was previously married to someone who is still alive? Does that mean your marriage is adulterous in the Lord’s sight, and your spouse should divorce you and return to his or her first spouse? Because, if that were the case, you would end up becoming a divorcee, and if someone were to marry you then he or she could be considered an adulterer. But if you think that provides a playground for the devil to use the Lord’s Words to ruin lives, there is more. Also, note that the Lord did not make a provision for a person who got divorced before becoming a Christian. In addition, what if someone has been married twice but both spouses had been married before, and their previous spouses are still alive? Yes, we need to refer to the Scriptures, but we need Jesus, the righteous judge, to render His verdict on an individual basis. I can imagine that the Lord hates divorce in part because it makes things so polluted and convoluted.

Christians oftentimes site adultery as a Biblical grounds for divorce. Even though it is, it does not mean they are commanded to get divorced in the event of adultery. Quite frankly, and this is me speaking, some marriages need to end because lives are at risk, but the one who poses the threat is faithful. The end of that union may not have to be a divorce but a permanent separation. Some people would much rather get out of that toxic relationship and remain single if necessary. The devil has founded many religions so he has emissaries who know how to fake holiness, to include remaining faithful to prevent the other person from escaping. However, that does not mean the Christian should go and have an affair to create a biblical ground for getting divorced. That will get the Christian in trouble with the Lord, and like David discovered, the Lord may forgive you of your sin(s) but there will be consequences (2 Samuel 12). Some Christians have had to deal with infidelity in their marriages but the Lord still did not release them from that marriage.

Another Scripture that complicates the possibility of getting divorced is:

“And unto the married I command, yet not I, but the Lord, ‘Let not the wife depart from her husband: but and if she depart, let her remain unmarried or be reconciled to her husband: and let not the husband put away his wife.’ But if the unbelieving depart, let him depart. A brother or a sister is not under bondage in such cases: but God hath called us to peace.” ~ 1 Corinthians 7:10-11,15 (KJV)

There are times in a marriage when things get challenging and getting divorced may seem like the best choice. But the Lord does not want divorce to be an easy “solution”; particularly for an issue He could help the couple resolve. There were times when Jesus seemingly bent the rules, but He did not when you look beneath the surface. That was a part of why He said, ‘If a man on the Sabbath day receive circumcision, that the Law of Moses should not be broken; are ye angry at Me, because I have made a man every whit whole on the Sabbath day? Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:23-24 (KJV) On the surface, it may have appeared as if they were righteously upholding the Law where the Lord said:

‘Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: But the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.’ ~ Exodus 20:9-11 (KJV)

There are times when two or more of the Lord’s commandments collide so we need Him to decide which one takes precedence. For example, I previously mentioned a person using witchcraft to manipulate a person into getting married. And that witch can rightfully tell the victim that God hates divorce. But the Lord also said, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’ ~ Exodus 22:18 (KJV) What do you think a witch would choose if the Lord gave that person a choice between getting divorced or suffering the consequences for practicing witchcraft? Again, it is important to not give cookie-cutter answers, especially since the Lord judges every case individually and righteously.

The Scriptures tells us that it is permissible for the unbeliever to depart, and that the Lord has called us to peace. But what if the unbeliever won’t leave because, as a messenger of satan, he or she gets pleasure from ensuring the believer does not live in peace? Again, the Lord takes divorce seriously because He takes marriage seriously. The Lord also takes adultery very seriously, so much in fact that the penalty is death. However, Jesus mercifully made a way of escape for the lady who had been caught committing adultery (John 8:1-11), even though the adulteress should have been put to death in accordance with Leviticus 20:10 and Exodus 20:14. That may have seemed like a clear violation of the Law, but the Lord had also said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.’ ~ Exodus 33:19 (KJV) Sometimes we get in a bind and we need the Lord’s grace and mercy, we need Him to implement what I have been inspired to call the “mercy rule”.

   

Second Chances: Worthy of Redemption
Love conquers all.

Sometimes it seems as if people forget that Jesus does not condone our sins, yet He is merciful and will forgive us of our sins without condemning us for them. A person who is convicted of a crime may file a motion to have the judge seal or expunge that record. In either case, if successful, the petitioner can legally deny ever being convicted to a crime. A sealed record still exists but is harder to access while an expunged record is destroyed, as if the crime was never committed. Do I really need to go any deeper with the parallels to the redemptive power of Christ’s blood to seal or expunge the record of your sins, in His court?

 The following is a beautiful example of how the Lord seals or expunges a person’s sinful records:

“And, behold, a woman in the city, which was a sinner, when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment.

Now when the Pharisee which had bidden Him saw it, he spake within himself, saying, ‘This man, if He were a prophet, would have known who and what manner of woman this is that toucheth Him: for she is a sinner.’

 And Jesus answering said unto him, ‘Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee.’

And he saith, ‘Master, say on.’

 ‘There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most?’

 Simon answered and said, ‘I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.’

And He said unto him, ‘Thou hast rightly judged.’ And He turned to the woman, and said unto Simon, ‘Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, thou gavest Me no water for My feet: but she hath washed My feet with tears, and wiped them with the hairs of her head. Thou gavest Me no kiss: but this woman since the time I came in hath not ceased to kiss My feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but this woman hath anointed My feet with ointment. Wherefore I say unto thee, ‘Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little.’

 And He said unto her, ‘Thy sins are forgiven.’

 And they that sat at meat with Him began to say within themselves, ‘Who is this that forgiveth sins also?’

And He said to the woman, ‘Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.’” ~ Luke 7:37-50 (KJV)

So, if you are on your second marriage and your spouse is on his or her fifth, and the Lord has mercifully given the both of you a fresh start, please, don’t take that opportunity for granted. Never lose sight of what the Lord has forgiven you for, and never go back to a relationship the Lord has rescued you from, especially if He told you to never return. You may have missed the warnings that were not so clear and gotten in trouble, but when He lets you out, don’t you dare go back in. The Lord hates divorce but He is not merciless. If you cried out to the Lord and He had mercy on you, like how He mercifully forgave the sinful lady who anointed Him and wiped His feet with her hair, thank Him and move on.

Those who have been married to their high school sweetheart for the last 30 years, or may never have been married, may not agree with those previous statements. In fact, they may vehemently oppose those remarks because they did not need God’s grace in the matter like others. Or so they may think, because the Lord also said, ‘Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, ‘Thou shalt not commit adultery’: But I say unto you, ‘That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.’ ~ Matthew 5:27-28 (KJV) In one way or another, we all need God’s grace. Take note of David’s reaction when Nathan told him about the rich man who had taken a poor man’s only sheep. The king pronounced a judgment of death, until he was told he was the rich man. Then he sought the Lord’s forgiveness and mercy instead (2 Samuel 12).

 

 

Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free
Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free

Jesus is oftentimes referred to as Lord and Savior. Some people need His saving grace when it comes to being bound in a demonically arranged marriage. They need the Lord to do something similar to what He did when He healed the lady who had a spirit of infirmity. By the way, rather than rejoicing that she had been delivered from the demonic oppression, the Pharisees chastised the Lord. But the Lord put them to shame when He retorted, ‘And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?’ ~ Luke 13:16 (KJV) Despite my proclamations about God’s grace, I must caution you that the “mercy rule” is not one to take lightly. For as Jesus said to the man He healed who had been crippled for 38 years, ‘Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.’” ~ John 5:14 (KJV) God’s grace is never freedom to sin, but rather, it is freedom from the devil’s bondage and freedom from sin. Do not abuse God’s grace, especially when He goes to great lengths to give it to you.

I could have ended this discourse with my previous statement. However, I feel led to keep going deeper to give further insight regarding how the Lord may make a decision in your case. In doing so, I will also provide additional Biblical precedence for the Lord’s seemingly controversial rulings.

Firstborn sons were to inherit the bulk of the inheritance and receive the father’s blessing, yet there were the following exceptions:

 

  • Ishmael was Abraham’s firstborn son, yet the Lord instructed Abraham to follow Sarah’s desire to put away Ishmael and his mother Hagar (Genesis 21). Even though the Lord would bless Ishmael, His covenant would be with the younger brother, Isaac. Ishmael’s descendants have an issue with Isaac’s descendants to this day, but their real issue is with the Lord’s decision (Genesis 17). On the surface, it may not seem fair, but who are we to argue with the Lord once He has made a decision?

 

  • Jacob (Israel) received the birthright instead of his older (twin) brother Esau, for as the Lord had said to their mother Rebekah, ‘…the elder shall serve the younger.’ ~ Genesis 25:23 (KJV) One of the things Esau discovered was that his father’s actions were irreversible.

 

  • Rueben was Israel’s eldest son, yet the birthright went to Joseph, Israel’s 11th In fact, Israel took Joseph’s sons Ephraim and Manasseh as his own, similarly to how Rueben and Simeon were his first and second born, respectively (Genesis 48:5). As an added twist, when Israel blessed Joseph’s two sons, he gave the blessing of the firstborn son to Ephraim instead of his elder brother Manasseh (Genesis 48).

Whenever you have an issue, take it to the Lord first because His ruling may contradict your pastor’s. But just like how your pastor will have a Biblical justification for that answer, so will the Lord. I strongly recommend that you obey the Lord; He is never wrong, to include when His decisions are controversial. Jesus is a righteous judge, and He instructed us to ‘Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.’ ~ John 7:24 (KJV) When it comes to marriages, many people erroneously assume all marriages were ordained by the Lord, and that both parties entered into the marriage willingly. As previously stated, some marriages were snares orchestrated by the devil to destroy a believer’s life and destiny. Similarly to the woman who was bound by a spirit of infirmity, the devil uses marriages to his children to bind children of God. Arguably, what is even worse is when he and his cohorts act as if the Lord is supposed to let them get away with their evil deeds. Jesus said, ‘What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.’ ~ Mark 10:9 (KJV) But that does not mean all marriages are of the Lord. A homosexual “marriage” is not of God yet it is a marriage that people can apply those same words to. Furthermore, many heterosexual marriages are not of the Lord either. In retrospect, many people who are in those ungodly marriages can now clearly see how the Lord tried to stop that union. In some cases, they knowingly disobeyed the Lord and now they know why He tried to stop them from getting married, without violating their free will.

 

Holy Spirit Led
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit IAW 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5:22-23.

In the matter of a divorce, what happens if a professing Christian is in a homosexual “marriage” but then loses his or her homosexual desires. Should that person remain in the marriage because God hates divorce? Sometimes a commandment of the Lord will usurp another in a particular situation. That is a part of why every situation requires a holistic review, and most certainly the Lord’s judgment and guidance. In another scenario, so while God hates divorce, what happens if a married couple discovers they were first brother and sister before they became husband and wife? Scripture tells us that ‘The nakedness of thy sister, the daughter of thy father, or daughter of thy mother, whether she be born at home, or born abroad, even their nakedness thou shalt not uncover.’ ~ Leviticus 18:9 (KJV) So which precept is going to be more applicable, God hating divorce or His commandment against incest? Or, should they remain married but stop having sex? The “mercy rule” is vital in times when God’s grace is needed, even in less extreme cases than those cited. In the cases the individual clearly heard from the Lord, possibly on the wedding day, to not get married, but he or she disobeyed Him and is now regretting that rebellious decision. Yet, even for those who knowingly rebelled against the Lord, He is merciful to forgive those who confess their sins, even if He does not make a way of escape from that marriage. The implementation of the “mercy rule” is solely at the Lord’s discretion.

The other aspect of marriage is that some people do not get married of their free will, which may cause the Lord to implement the “mercy rule”. Genesis 29 tells the horrific story of how Jacob was in love with Rachel but ended up marrying her older sister Leah instead. Jacob did everything that outwardly seemed as if he was in full agreement with the union, to include consummating the marriage. But as we know, Jacob woke up the following day, and when he came to his senses and saw the light, he knew he had married the wrong person, a woman he actually hated. Ladies and gentlemen, there are people who are as sinister as Leah’s father Laban, and as desperate as Leah, to use witchcraft to get a spouse. Witchcraft is a work of the flesh to cause a person to do something against his or her will (Galatians 5:19-21). In some cases, even though still a work of the flesh, witchcraft may involve the use of impure spirits to obtain that objective. Sadly, and even tragically, some people have gotten married to someone they felt was their God-ordained spouse. However, the ruse was because a devil pretended to be an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14) and deceived one or both parties into getting married. Many ministers have fallen into the trap of joining people in what they call holy matrimony; yet oblivious to the fact they were helping to form a covenant with the devil. The “mercy rule” is a tool for the Lord to break those demonic covenants.

Some ministers have even counseled couples based on the fact that they are married without judging righteously. It is important to examine how the couple met and what fueled their decision to get married. A sign that a marriage is most likely not of the Lord is if both parties cannot (honestly) agree that the Lord ordained it. The person who says the relationship is not of the Lord may say he or she never had peace prior to the “union”. The individual may even report being physically and/or spiritually manipulated into believing the sense of Godly peace would come after getting married. However, in some cases, there was never any peace, and it became readily apparent that the marriage was a terrible mistake from the onset. By the way, the one who was ensnared into the marriage may be willing to get divorced, even if it means never getting remarried. Conversely, the other person may be vehemently opposed to getting divorced, despite how the other person feels. That latter individual may cite Scriptures to justify his or her opposition to getting divorced, and may thereby appear outwardly righteous. But sometimes just a little discernment will help to uncover a more sinister agenda. Even the devil used Scriptures in an attempt to mislead Jesus and derail His destiny (Luke 4:1-13). Also, lest not forget that Jesus chastised the Pharisees for their hypocrisy. They looked outwardly clean and righteous but were full of uncleanliness, extortion, excess, hypocrisy and iniquity (Matthew 23:25-28). Some people got and are in marriages as a result of extortion by a person who is a covert monster.

One of the signs of (true) love is being willing to let go. Be very mindful of a person who claims to not want to grant a divorce (if applicable) because it is a God-ordained union. Sometimes the marriage is idolatrous, and that individual would not be willing to let go, even if the Lord was simply testing the person like He did when He asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac (Genesis 22). What Abraham was willing to do was what God eventually did. The Lord let go of what He loved the most. ‘For God so loved the world, that He GAVE His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’ ~ John 3:16 (KJV) God gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, out of love. Be careful of anyone who claims to be in love but is unwilling to let the other person go. That form of idolatry may indicate why the Lord is choosing or chose to implement the “mercy rule” (see Exodus 20:3-6). Even the prostitute whose son was stolen by another woman was willing to give him up rather than for him to die. The other prostitute had no love for the child so she would have preferred to have the child killed so the other woman would suffer too. Be careful of a spouse who gets pleasure from seeing his or her partner suffer.

King Solomon’s wise decision regarding the case between the two prostitutes is symbolic of how the Lord separates fact from fiction (1 Kings 3:16-28). Both women were claiming to be the mother of the son, which was impossible, yet they each had a convincing story. If a man and a woman cannot agree on the source of their marriage, something is definitely wrong. When Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for his son Isaac, it was readily apparent to Rebekah’s family that it was of the Lord. The Lord made it known to them via one of His angels (Genesis 24). Always be discerning to look for the Lord’s hands in a union, if the Lord is absent then the devil is probably present. In another example, when Joseph was going to quietly divorce Mary, the Lord sent an angel to reassure Joseph that her pregnancy was of the Holy Spirit, and for him to take her as his wife (Matthew 1:18-25). Be careful when one spouse tries to convince the other, or you, that the relationship is of the Lord. That is a form of manipulation (witchcraft), especially when the Lord has not spoken to the other person directly, or even worse, when the Lord has made it clear but the other person is defying the Lord. Remember, ‘Can two walk together, except they be agreed?’ ~ Amos 3:3 (KJV) When you examine the story of how Elijah was taken to heaven, every prophet knew that was going to be Elijah’s last day. They were all of one accord, from Elijah to Elisha, and even the prophets they encountered in Bethel and Jericho (2 Kings 2).

 

"Labor Pains"

 

One of the signs that the Lord’s hands are in a relationship is peace. Jesus is the ‘Prince of Peace’ (Isaiah 9:6) who provides peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:7). I am confident that Hosea was at peace when the Lord made one of His many “controversial” decisions by telling the prophet to go and marry a promiscuous woman (Hosea 1:2). The same thing goes for an even more “controversial” decision when the Lord told Hosea to go and redeem the woman who had left him and was living with another man (Hosea 3). One of the things that made the Lord’s second decision so controversial was it seemingly contradicted the Law on divorce and remarriage (see Deuteronomy 24:1-4). But God’s decisions were based on Christ’s relationship with the Jews who would first reject Him but He would pay the price to redeem them (and us). So again, peace is one of the hallmarks of a God-ordained relationship, “for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace…” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:33 (KJV)

Another sign of an ungodly union is if the woman proposed to the man, or pressured him to marry her, to include feigning a pregnancy. When things go outside the Lord’s created order, look out for Jezebel and her father the devil. Ruth expressed an interest in Boaz but she never pursued him, it was he who pursued her (Ruth 3-4). It is “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the Lord.” ~ Proverbs 18:22 (KJV) While the Lord may bring a woman to a man, as was the case with Eve and Adam (Genesis 2), and Rebekah and Isaac (Genesis 24), He is not going to have a woman chase a man. A marriage that starts outside of God’s divine order does not have to worry about trying to keep devils out because they are already in it. A good rule of thumb is anything that starts wrong will probably end wrong. Whenever you look at a relationship, and especially a marriage, start with the foundation.

The Lord sees and knows all, which is why He may implement the “mercy rule” to extricate His son or daughter from a marriage that was from the devil. The Lord takes divorce seriously because He takes marriages very seriously. However, sometimes the “mercy rule” is implemented to prevent Him from losing one of His sons or daughters to the devil. King Solomon started off on the right track, like his father David, but he married women the Lord had commanded the Israelites not to marry. The Lord had forbidden marrying those people because He knew they would turn the Israelites’ hearts away from Him. Solomon, a king who had encounters with the Lord, began worshipping idols and made places of worship for them, because he was involved in ungodly unions. Do you really think the Lord would have objected to Solomon divorcing those women, or simply sending them away (which would have been worse for them because they could not remarry while he was still alive), in an effort to preserve his relationship with the Lord? [Take another break to catch your breath after that one also…] Keep in mind that king Solomon’s ungodly unions with believers in other gods caused a rift in his relationship with the Lord. The rift even resulted in a rift in the country that became the divided kingdoms of Israel and Judah (1 Kings 11). The “mercy rule” is meant to avert a worse disaster as a result of an ungodly union.

One of the many reasons why the Lord allowed Jacob and Leah’s union to stand was because she was going to help give birth to a nation. Leah gave birth to six sons who would be the six patriarchs of the tribes that formed the nation of Israel. Also, even though the Lord could have worked around it, they had consummated the marriage. The term consummate means to make a marriage legally complete through sexual intercourse. By the way, without getting too graphic, in today’s age, I need to elaborate that sexual intercourse refers to a man’s primary sex organ entering into a woman’s primary sex organ in a manner that could result in reproduction.

I mentioned Solomon’s ungodly marriages and there were other similar cases, but those Israelites handled it differently. The Israelites put away (divorced) their foreign wives and their children when they realized those unions had put them at enmity with God (Ezra 9-10). Some marriages are of the devil because he knows the marriage will have serious negative impacts on the person’s relationship with the Lord. By the way, we know that marrying an unbeliever is called being unequally yoked, but the same may apply to marrying a believer if your God-ordained destinies will take you in opposite directions. In addition, it is one thing to marry an unbeliever. But it is even worse to marry someone who believes in another god, a god he or she may be more committed to than you are to your God. That marriage will be steeped in spiritual warfare because only one god will reign supreme in a marriage. Every god is jealous and possessive, and the true and living God will not yield His glory to another. 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) In addition, the apostle Paul stated, “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV) Sometimes it is impossible for two people to get along because their gods won’t get along, especially when one serves the true and living God. One of the reasons why the Lord sent the prophet Hosea to get his unfaithful wife was to symbolize Him redeeming Israel from other gods, so he paid the price to redeem her (Hosea 3:1-2). So Christ, having paid the price to redeem His children, is not going to let devils keep those who belong to Him.

 

Round 2: The Battle Continues...
A collection of poetry on life’s battles, to include cancer.

The “mercy rule” is an extreme measure, one the Lord uses sparingly, but He can and does use it. Sometimes the Lord knows that if two people stay together it will end in a homicide, suicide, or a murder-suicide. It is a difficult thing to deal with telling two people to stay together because God hates divorce, and then the marriage ends in bloodshed, something the Lord was trying to prevent. In some cases, the one who ends up committing murder is the one the Lord was trying to extract from the marriage, His son or daughter. You may be annoyed with me referring to some people as the Lord’s sons and daughters. However, despite being God’s creations, we are not all his sons and daughters. Keep in mind that Jesus said:

 

  • ‘Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.’ ~ John 8:44 (KJV)

 

  • ‘Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves.’ ~ Matthew 23:15 (KJV)

 

Please do not mistake this dissertation as an argument for getting divorced, especially under frivolous conditions. This is more of an argument for taking marriage seriously, having a relationship with the Lord, and to lessen the possibly of being deceived and remaining deceived. But just in case you get snared, maybe the Lord will impose the “mercy rule”, as was the case when He found a way of escape for the lady who had been caught committing adultery, a transgression for which her and her lover should have been lawfully executed (John 8:1-11). Yet the Lord, even though He did not condone her behavior, He did not condemn her for it either. Instead, Jesus told her to go and sin no more. Those the Lord has forgiven of much tend to love Him even more for extending that grace and mercy to them. I begin to close with the following reminders of God’s love, as exemplified through His mercy and grace, which is the inspiration for what I have been calling, the “mercy rule”:

 

  • “And theLord descended in the cloud, and stood with him [Moses] there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord.And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, ‘The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children’s children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.’” ~ Exodus 34:5-7 (KJV)

 

  • “And He said, ‘I will make all My goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of theLord before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.’” ~ Exodus 33:19 (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)

 

  • ‘For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.’ ~ Hebrews 8:12 (KJV)

 

If you know the Lord has extended the “mercy rule” to you, and like the woman who was caught committing adultery, you know He rescued you from certain death or another form of calamity. Even though the Lord may have washed your sins away, you will have to wrestle with condemnation from devils. Those stubborn devils would love to make you feel condemned to the point where you would even return to what the Lord rescued you from. Please, don’t fall for that because you will most likely end up in a worse position than before. In addition, the Lord may not be as merciful in the future because you would be operating in willing disobedience against Him. The Pharisees were correct in the judgment for the woman under the Law, even though they did not mention the same judgment applied to the man based on Leviticus 20:10. But one of the things that counted against them was they were violating another Law by tempting Jesus (God), as a way to accuse Him (John 8:6). The Pharisees seemed righteous but they were being hypocrites, which is something that displeases the Lord. So, while they were focused on the woman committing adultery, and trying to use it as a snare against the Lord, Jesus was more focused on their hypocrisy and them violating the Law which states, ‘Ye shall not tempt the Lord your God…’ ~ Deuteronomy 6:16 (KJV) The Pharisees seemed holy but their actions were of the devil, about whom the following Scripture says, ‘…the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.’ ~ Revelation 12:10 (KJV)

When the Lord forgives you, He truly forgives you. When the accusers come along, keep in mind that “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” ~ Romans 8:1-2 (KJV)

A Test of My Faith
Endure life’s fiery trials.

 

Notes: Despite the length of this discourse, it only featured some of the things the Lord may use when determining the outcome of your case. Jesus is a righteous judge, and He will judge your case accordingly. Again, the “mercy rule” is not for frivolous divorces. I implore you to seek the Lord before getting married and follow those instructions, even if He gives them at the last minute. A cancelled wedding is better than a scheduled divorced. There is room at the cross for those who are going through a divorce, and it is not an unforgiveable sin, but let us work together by preventing divorces by preventing ill-advised marriages. There were people who knew Laban was about to deceive Jacob into marrying Leah, yet they said nothing. As a result, Leah ended up in a marriage with a man who hated her. She suffered the consequences for her desperate and deceptive actions by being condemned to a life of misery. So please, if you see something, say something. Divorce is a major problem in the world, to include in the church. Many marriages end before the photographer and/or videographer finish editing the files from the wedding day. Sometimes the wedding officiant knows the couple is not right for each other yet proceeds with the ceremony… So many things factor into people getting divorced, to include like when Leah married Jacob even though he was in love with Rachel. You may recall Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. The Lord said the man she was with was not her husband (John 4:16-18). Many people are in a similar situation because they are married to someone whose heart truly belongs to another, which is why the marriage was in trouble since its inception. But that is something for another discussion… So while the Lord hates divorce, I for one believe that it grieves Him when He sees two people who are about to get into a marriage with disaster written all over it. Particularly when the devil is about to put one of His sons or daughters in bondage. While marriage is a covenant, sometimes a person is making a covenant with a devil instead of a person and the Lord. As a result, the “mercy rule” allows the Lord’s sons or daughters to divorce the devil and break every covenant they knowingly or unknowingly entered into with him.

If the Lord has extended the “mercy rule to you regarding an ill-advised “marriage”, you should be able to relate to the following:

 ‘Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: BUT TO WHOM LITTLE IS FORGIVEN, THE SAME LOVETH LITTLE.’ And He said unto her, THY SINS ARE FORGIVEN.’ ~ Luke 7:47-48 (KJV)

Anatomy of a Heartbreak: When SAMson met Delilah
A narrative of recovering from heartbreak and reaching Jesus in the process.

 

Bonus Material 

 

“Setting The Captives Free”

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of My people, young and old alike. You tie magic charms on their wrists and furnish them with magic veils. Do you think you can trap others without bringing destruction on yourselves? You bring shame on Me among My people for a few handfuls of barley or a piece of bread. By lying to My people who love to listen to lies, you kill those who should not die, and you promise life to those who should not live.’

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I AM against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare My people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting My people free like birds set free from a cage. I will tear off the magic veils and save My people from your grasp. They will no longer be your victims. Then you will know that I AM the Lord. You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. Because of all this, you will no longer talk of seeing visions that you never saw, nor will you make predictions. For I will rescue My people from your grasp. Then you will know that I AM the Lord.’” ~ Ezekiel 13:18-23 (NLT)

On that note, I present the following videos:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

Covenants  

Please, do not take covenants lightly. In addition, there is a price to pay for entering into an agreement (covenant) that is based on deception, in part because deception is a form of witchcraft. Both the deceived and the deceiver will have hell to pay, metaphorically and literally. An agreement (covenant) that is based on deception is of the devil, and he will cause both parties to suffer. When the Gibeonites (Hivites) deceived the Israelites into entering into a covenant with them, which was against the Lord’s command to utterly destroy the inhabitants of the Promised Land, to include the Hivites (Deuteronomy 20:17), they brought a curse upon themselves and their descendants (Joshua 9:22-23). Unfortunately, one of the mistakes the Israelites made was to enter into the covenant without consulting with the Lord about the true identity of the deceptively cloaked Gibeonites. We also see the negative impacts of a deceitful covenant based on how Leah deceived Jacob into marrying her (Genesis 29-30). Also, in addition to Leah’s years of personal suffering, keep in mind what happened to their daughter Dinah (Genesis 34).

Survival
Survival

 

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” ~ Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV) For as much as I can speak about how Leah and her father Laban deceived Jacob into getting into that marriage, lest not forget that previously, Jacob’s mother Rebekah had convinced him to deceive his father Isaac so he could get his older brother Esau’s blessing (Genesis 27). Every seed reproduces after its kind, so be careful of the seeds you sow (Genesis 1:11-12, Matthew 7:15-20, etc.). Many people are weeping because they are reaping what they sowed, and the consequences may span generations. Lest not forget that your children will reap from what you have sown. Sadly, some people willingly bring curses upon themselves, and even their offspring, as was the case in the following example:

“When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.’ Then answered all the people, and said, ‘His blood be on us, and on our children.’ Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.” ~ Matthew 27:24-26 (KJV)

6, 3, 40, Forever

I would be remiss if I did not state that if you entered into a covenant with the devil, whether knowingly or unknowingly, willingly or unwillingly, if you seek the Lord, you will find Him. Yet, I must also warn you that the devil will try to do everything within his power to hold you to that covenant, but don’t let him. God is not going to hold you to a covenant you made with the devil because He is “…not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” ~ 2 Peter 3:9 (KJV) Keep in mind, ‘For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved.’ ~ John 3:16-17 (KJV) And, ‘If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.’ ~ John 8:36 (KJV)

I close with the following reminders:

  • ‘No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.’ ~ Jesus (Matthew 6:24 KJV)

 

  • “What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (KJV)

 

  • “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)

 

  • “…The blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin.” ~ 1 John 1:7 (KJV)

God, The Love of My Life (2)

 

 

Bonus Material: 

“IDentifying YOUR God-Ordained Spouse, and the counterfeits (Part 1 of 3)”: https://youtu.be/eISTMrktxcs

 

“IDentifying YOUR God-Ordained Spouse, and the counterfeits (Part 2 of 3)”: https://youtu.be/g-hAFrZg9P4

 

“IDentifying YOUR God-Ordained Spouse, and the counterfeits (Part 3 of 3)”: https://youtu.be/dVS3FkYEgVk

 

Witchcraft in Christianity: https://youtu.be/LipzCfedhZY

 

Marriage: God-ordained vs. God-endorsed: https://youtu.be/Goc8vsaTWNw

 

Spiritual Warfare Prayers: Restoration of Relationship (Marriage): https://youtu.be/PFN1AEUGVJI

 

“Setting The Captives Free”

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘What sorrow awaits you women who are ensnaring the souls of My people, young and old alike. You tie magic charms on their wrists and furnish them with magic veils. Do you think you can trap others without bringing destruction on yourselves? You bring shame on Me among My people for a few handfuls of barley or a piece of bread. By lying to My people who love to listen to lies, you kill those who should not die, and you promise life to those who should not live.’

“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘I AM against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare My people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting My people free like birds set free from a cage. I will tear off the magic veils and save My people from your grasp. They will no longer be your victims. Then you will know that I AM the Lord. You have discouraged the righteous with your lies, but I didn’t want them to be sad. And you have encouraged the wicked by promising them life, even though they continue in their sins. Because of all this, you will no longer talk of seeing visions that you never saw, nor will you make predictions. For I will rescue My people from your grasp. Then you will know that I AM the Lord.’” ~ Ezekiel 13:18-23 (NLT)

On that note, I present “Relationship Reality Check: Ungodly Marriages, Godly Divorces” (https://youtu.be/I68YT8KLu_E)

 

Dark heARTS  

I recently received an assignment regarding apostolic authority, with respect to combatting the dark arts. It was confirmation that my recent studies are in accordance with the Lord’s will. The studies are ongoing, but I am taking some time to share the following preliminary findings. I venture say this is not where you would expect me to start on such a topic. Today’s focus is on professing Christians who are either knowingly or unknowingly practicing the dark arts.

It is easy to say dark hearts practice the dark arts. However, the devil will lure those with broken, prideful, deceived, lonely, or any other heart malady into the dark arts. There are different levels and points of entry into the occult. Some people were dedicated into the occult as babies, or even before conception, but others got into the occult later in life. For example, those who were hurt and made a vow that no one would ever hurt them again. We know the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, but the devil will also try to exploit such an opportunity. If you have made such a vow, it is important to know that you cannot control who may try to hurt you. In addition, the moment you decide to take control of things, especially the actions of others, you have just extended an invitation to the devil for demonic assistance. Arguably, on its basic level, witchcraft is the employment of methods to control and/or manipulate others, to include by using Scriptures, but it can become demonic. You may initially try to do a seemingly noble thing by preventing people from hurting you. Yet, even that includes keeping them in subjection to your will instead of their own will, or, the Lord’s will for their lives. The preventative aspects tend to become retaliatory by trying to hurt those who hurt you, even though vengeance is the Lord’s. When you give the devil a foothold in your life he will turn it into a stronghold. That is a part of why it is so important to cast down vain imaginations (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free
Breakthrough: When Jesus Sets You Free

Anytime you start working against another mentally capable adult’s free will, you are engaging in witchcraft. I say that again, anytime you start working against another mentally capable adult’s free will, you are engaging in witchcraft. When Jesus taught His disciples to pray, one of the things He said was, Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.’ ~ Matthew 6:10 (KJV) Jesus spoke of the Heavenly Father’s will being done. The Lord epitomized that in Gethsemane when He was grieved unto death prior to His crucifixion, and He asked the Heavenly Father to remove the cup from Him (Matthew 26:38-44). But Jesus relented by basically saying, not His will but the Father’s will be done. Many professing Christians are lording over the lives of others by imposing their will, regardless of what God thinks. Consequently, to some degree, they are engaging in the dark arts.

One of the ways professing Christians engage in the dark arts is via prayers, sometimes even seemingly Godly prayers. Do not think it strange when witches try to infiltrate a religious organization that they try to become intercessors, or, they use the intercessors. Many hardcore occultists know and use the Bible, sometimes to the shame of many Christians. A common, yet oftentimes overlooked, example of a “witchcraft” prayer is asking the Lord to restore a marriage, after all, God hates divorce (Malachi 2:16). With that being said, people may delve into prayer without first trying to determine the Lord’s will. Few can fathom the thought that the Lord may have had reasons for allowing the union to dissolve, with no intention of bringing them back together. Let us take some time to examine that statement.

Ahab was an evil king, but he became worse after marrying Jezebel (1 Kings 16:30-33). Do you think the Lord would have objected to Ahab putting her away if that was what it took to build a relationship with the Lord? Let me add this, Jezebel was seemingly the most influential but she was not the only woman in the king’s life, as evidenced by his 70 sons (2 Kings 10:1). Now back to the matter of Ahab possibly putting away or even divorcing Jezebel; yes, there is a difference. Take note of when Elijah prophesied about Ahab and Jezebel’s death. Ahab humbled himself before the Lord and repented, but Jezebel did not (1 Kings 21:17-29). Jezebel is the type to stick to his/her faith until the end (1 Kings 19:1-2). That is a part of why Jesus described some people as being sheep while the others are goats (Matthew 25:31-46). They are both God’s creations, they may look and sound alike, graze in the same pasture (church) under the same shepherd (pastor), but the Good Shepherd is coming to divide them.

King Solomon was in a similar situation to Ahab. Even though the Lord is against plural marriages, He allowed it in times past. So, Solomon’s 1,000 wives and concubines was not what caused him to lose favor with the Lord. On the contrary, it was the ones who led him to worship other gods (1 Kings 11). Solomon, the one the Lord chose to build His temple, also built places to worship other gods. The devil still tries to get Christians to marry his sons and daughters in an effort to destroy their relationship with, and work for, the Lord… While this is not an argument for divorce, it simply illustrates how those kings would have been better off putting away or divorcing their mates to save their relationship with the Lord. We see an example of that in the following:

“Now when Ezra had prayed, and when he had confessed, weeping and casting himself down before the house of God, there assembled unto him out of Israel a very great congregation of men and women and children: for the people wept very sore. And Shechaniah the son of Jehiel, one of the sons of Elam, answered and said unto Ezra, ‘We have trespassed against our God, and have taken strange wives of the people of the land: yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. Now therefore let us make a covenant with our God to put away all the wives, and such as are born of them, according to the counsel of my lord, and of those that tremble at the commandment of our God; and let it be done according to the Law.’” ~ Ezra 10:1-3 (KJV)

A Place Called Hell

Many people have made marriage into an idol. As a result, they will use you to help them pray to obtain, retain, or regain that idol; one the Lord never wanted them to have. So please, whenever you receive a prayer request, ensure you pray for the Lord’s will to be done instead of a person’s. Many people think they are praying to the Lord but they are conjuring impure spirits instead. There are some prayers the Lord will not listen to or answer (Jeremiah 7:16, 11:14, 14:11-12), which is where the devils come in. Also, please keep the following in mind:

“From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” ~ James 4:1-3 (KJV)

Learn to recognize the idols in your own heart and the hearts of others. As a general guideline, whatever you think about or pursue more than the Lord, that is an idol. Do not consume your time with praying for the Lord to give you or someone else an idol. When the Lord allows you to have an idol, it is going to teach you a very harsh lesson.

God, The Love of My Life (2)

Leah knew Jacob did not love her, yet she was willing to do what it took to get him and keep him (Genesis 29-30). Jacob was her idol and her crushed her. Please examine her reactions after she had given birth to Jacob’s first four sons:

“And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, ‘Surely the Lord hath looked upon my affliction; now therefore my husband will love me.’

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, ‘Because the Lord hath heard I was hated, He hath therefore given me this son also’: and she called his name Simeon.

And she conceived again, and bare a son; and said, ‘Now this time will my husband be joined unto me, because I have born him three sons’: therefore was his name called Levi.

And she conceived again, and bare a son: and she said, ‘Now will I praise the Lord’: therefore she called his name Judah; and left bearing.” ~ Genesis 32-35 (KJV)

If what I am about to say about Leah seems coldhearted, I am. I do not tolerate witchcraft, especially when used to destroy another person’s life in an effort to advance one’s own ungodly objectives. I also know there are Christians who are patiently waiting on their God-ordained spouse, like how Rachel waited for seven years, but then people used witchcraft to block or delay that union. Also, a part of exerting apostolic authority is letting the Holy Spirit of the Lord lead you instead of your emotions. Many people will beg Jesus to not send them to hell, but His decision may seem coldhearted because it will not be based on emotions. The Lord blessed Leah (with children). But, He never let her feelings cause Him to turn Jacob’s heart away from his beloved Rachel to her instead; God is just. Yet, some professing Christians are using witchcraft in an effort to turn another person’ heart, a violation of their free will. The Lord saw Leah’s afflictions, but He also saw how she got into that position. Again, God is just.

Leah said the right thing after giving birth to Judah, which seemingly indicated she had released Jacob from being the idol of her heart. However, Jacob was still an idol in her heart as evidenced by the following: “And Leah conceived again, and bare Jacob the sixth son. And Leah said, ‘God hath endued me with a good dowry; now will my husband dwell with me, because I have born him six sons’: and she called his name Zebulun.” ~ Genesis 30:19-20 (KJV) That demonstrates how people struggle once they have an idol in their heart, which is why some people struggle to move on after a relationship ends. Why would Leah try so hard to obtain the love of a man who was clearly in love with another woman, and she knew he hated her?

Jesus said, ‘Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.’ ~ Matthew 22:37 (KJV) It is impossible to love the Lord in such a manner when you have an idol in your heart, especially while using witchcraft to obtain, retain, or regain it. If you find yourself, or someone else, pursuing an idol in such a way, the door is wide open to engaging in the dark arts, and the practitioner will even use the Word of the Lord to justify it.

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

Idolatry is one of the precursors for witchcraft. Apostolic authority will break your heart because it will crush your idol and possibly you. Apostolic authority is about examining the root instead of simply the fruit. Leah actually had the nerve at one point to accuse Rachel of stealing her husband (Genesis 30:15). On the surface, that seems as if it was the case because Jacob had married Leah first. However, upon further examination, the record shows Jacob had made a covenant with their father Laban to work for seven years to marry Rachel (Genesis 29:18). It was via witchcraft that Jacob married Leah first, or even at all. So, rather than being empathetic to someone like Leah, a rebuke is more appropriate. Sadly, many people use Leah as an example of thinking if they can get someone into a relationship, especially a marriage, that if/when the spell is broken, the relationship will last and they will have a fairy tale ending. But let me clear up some confusion, which is one of the signs of being under a witchcraft attack. Leah suffered as a result of her witchcraft, the confusion she sowed in Jacob’s life is something she reaped in her own life. When Jacob consummated the marriage, he thought he was making love to his beloved Rachel. Every time he had sex with Leah afterwards, she would be able to discern that Jacob’s actions towards her were not loving like the first time, when he thought she was Rachel. She also had to live with the fact that Jacob was giving Rachel the intimacy she had only gotten once. Then to add to Leah’s emotional confusion, Jacob kept having sex with her even though he did not love her, and he was not cleaving to her. Leah’s plight is a potent reminder to Christians to not engage in the dark arts, they may get what they want but not like what they got. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” ~ Galatians 6:7-8 (KJV) Another aspect of having apostolic authority is to confront and expose corruption, especially in the body of believers. Apostolic authority includes shining the Light in dark places, particularly in professing temples of the Holy Spirit (see 2 Corinthians 6:14-18).

One of the devices of the enemy is to form covenants with people, to include getting them into a demonically arranged union instead of a God-ordained one. Take note of how Laban and Leah used deception to get Jacob into a covenant, even though it violated the previous covenant. The devil will use ungodly means in an effort to ensnare you in a (seemingly) Godly covenant. It is important to discern whom a person truly made a covenant with, whether it is with God or the devil. Moreover, take a look at how the Lord may choose to honor His covenant, despite what you and/or the devil may have done. For example, the Lord promised Abraham and Sarah a child, but the birth of Ishmael, through Hagar, did not nullify the Lord’s promise. The Lord said He would bless Ishmael, but He was going to keep His covenant with the promised child, Isaac (Genesis 17). The apostle Paul summarized that quandary, and the Lord’s solution, in the following manner:

“For it is written, that Abraham had two sons, the one by a bondmaid, the other by a freewoman. But he who was of the bondwoman was born after the flesh; but he of the freewoman was by promise… Nevertheless what saith the scripture? ‘Cast out the bondwoman and her son: for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman.’” ~ Galatians 4:22-23, 30 (KJV)

Never confuse a work of the flesh with the work of the Holy Spirit. More on the work of the flash later… God is just and the way He implements His justice may surprise many people (see Isaiah 55:8-11, John 8:1-11, etc.).

On Trial A Test of My Faith_1

Many people have been deceived, to include via false prophecies, into thinking someone is his or her God-ordained spouse. One of the consequences is they will try to get or keep that person by any mean’s necessary, to include witchcraft. Never take a person’s words at face value. And that brings up a similar issue when Paul and Silas encountered the woman with a spirit of divination (Acts 16:16-19). Sadly, many prophetic people have either opened themselves up to familiar spirits, or, it was the source of their gift and calling to begin with. Do not let anyone pull on you to prophesy, to include you wanting to show off your gift. Those acts make room for devils to operate in your life, and you and others in your presence may not even realize it. What the spirit, through the woman, said about the men was correct. They were servants of the Most High God who were there to show them the way to salvation. It/she continued saying that for many days. However, despite telling the truth, Paul became grieved in his spirit and recognized the demon in her and cast it out. It may take some time, but having apostolic authority includes being able to recognize when dark is masquerading as light, and then confronting it. Do not be fooled by a person who prophesies accurately because they may do so with impure spirits and the wrong motives. The Lord still commanded the death of accurate false prophets, in part because of idolatry (Deuteronomy 13:1-5). I hope you have noticed a theme of idolatry throughout this discourse. Witchcraft is a form of idolatry, to include exalting the god of self.

An idol will have an evil altar dedicated to it, a point of embarkation/contact for witchcraft. For example, going to a person’s social media page and projecting evil thoughts towards them is a form of witchcraft, especially if there is a soul tie… Sometimes the evil altar is brought into the house of God when people decide to intercede against God’s will, and thereby conjure impure spirits to seemingly do a Godly thing. Judgment begins in the house of God. As a result, before addressing what dedicated occultist like Jezebel do, I had to address professing Christians who are in error and danger of hell fire. Having apostolic authority means confronting evil, especially in what should be temples of the Holy Spirit. Lest not forget:

 

  • “Now the WORKS OF THE FLESH are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,IDOLATRY, WITCHCRAFT, HATRED, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” ~ Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV) I see the Holy Spirit’s wisdom in listing these three side-by-side: “…idolatry, witchcraft, hatred…” Again, idolatry is a precursor of witchcraft and hatred and/or jealousy adds fuel to the fire. Remember, Leah was jealous of her sister Rachel.

 

  • “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and SORCERERS, and IDOLATERS, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” ~ Revelation 21:8 (KJV)

 

It is a shame what some professing Christians are doing while using the Lord’s name. That is a part of why Jesus said, Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord’, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Thy name? And in Thy name have cast out devils? And in Thy name done many wonderful works?’ And then will I profess unto them, ‘I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.’ ~ Matthew 7:21-23 (KJV)

Many Christians are engaging in the iniquity of witchcraft, and it is not very far off from what occultists are doing. Christians may not be sacrificing animals and intentionally conjuring impure spirits, but they have given themselves over to the devil by pursuing the idols of their hearts. One of the gateways is via prayers that are clearly against the Lord’s will, prayers that are focused on the lusts of their heart or another’s. When the devil sees that a person wants something badly enough, he will gladly help them (if possible), but it is going to cost them more than they are willing to pay. In the case of Leah, she got a husband but she did not get the love and was thereby treated like Jacob’s concubine. Joseph was Jacob’s twelfth child but eleventh son. Yet, Jacob treated Joseph like his firstborn, in part because he was the firstborn son of his beloved wife, Rachel (Genesis 30:22-24, 37, 48).

Also, keep in mind that David, a man after God’s own heart, succumbed to the lust of his eyes and flesh. Even though he had wives and concubines, he did what it took to get Bathsheba, simply to satisfy that lust (2 Samuel 11). For that moment, Bathsheba became an idol and it crushed him and his family. The following is an example of how no one is too anointed for the Lord to discipline, to include exposing the evil they do in the “dark”:

‘Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised Me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.’ Thus saith the Lord,’ Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. FOR THOU DIDST IT SECRETLY: BUT I WILL DO THIS THING BEFORE ALL ISRAEL, AND BEFORE THE SUN.’ And David said unto Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’ And Nathan said unto David, ‘The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. HOWBEIT, BECAUSE BY THIS DEED THOU HAST GIVEN GREAT OCCASION TO THE ENEMIES OF THE LORD TO BLASPHEME, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.’ ~ 2 Samuel 12:10-14 (KJV)

Holy Spirit Led
The gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit IAW 1 Corinthians 12 and Galatians 5:22-23.

I could have focused on the occultists, but like how Jesus cracked the whip in the temple of God, I too had to begin in the house of God. Too many people are professing to love the Lord yet giving His enemies reasons to blaspheme Him. It is a serious issue when there is not real delineation between the holy and the profane, such as people who engage in what I call “prophetic witchcraft” or “Christian witchcraft”. Things get even worse when some people are confronted about their sins do not humble themselves, like David. But rather, they will use their titles and/or position in an attempt to justify their evil deeds. Some even quote when David said, ‘Touch not Mine Anointed, and do My prophets no harm.’ ~ Psalm 105:15/1 Chronicles 16:22 (KJV) Yet, David, the Lord’s anointed king, did not use those words in an effort to justify himself in response to Nathan’s rebuke. Also, the king did not claim that only another king could correct him. A person is climbing up a very slippery slope when he/she refuses to take correction, particularly when retaliation is chosen over repentance. David’s predecessor, Saul, was notorious for falsely repenting. The Lord tolerated many of his evil deeds, for years after He rejected him (1 Samuel 13). But the moment Saul engaged in witchcraft, he was truly done (1 Samuel 28). If you have ventured into the dark arts, even if out of ignorance, repent before it is too late. The consequences are greater if you have read to this point but remain defiant in the pursuit of your idol.

Maybe next time I will discuss how to discern when you are under witchcraft attack. I can tell you by experience, there have been times when the Holy Spirit allowed me to discern when people were praying against me. On the surface, the prayers seemed holy. However, there is a difference between prayers that cause the Lord to send an angel with the answer or guidance, as was the case with Daniel (Daniel 10), versus when devils try to enforce another person’s request. If you are not discerning, you could possibly make a decision, thinking the Lord had sent a storm after you, like Jonah, when it was actually devils pushing you into an ungodly situation.

The Mouth Speaks

With apostolic authority, there is a time to ask the Lord to forgive people because of their ignorance. Conversely, sometimes you have “To deliver such an one unto satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” ~ 1 Corinthians 5:5 (KJV) Paul wrote, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” ~ Ephesians 6:12 (KJV) Yet, look at the way he dealt with Elymas, the sorcerer (a false prophet), who resisted him and Barnabas by trying to prevent them from preaching the gospel to Sergius Paulus (Acts 13). But then again, Paul did not wrestle with Elymas; he basically knocked him out (“he layeth the smacketh downeth”). Those with apostolic authority, or are being groomed to receive it, do not tolerate wolves, whether in sheep’s or shepherd’s clothing. For as much as I spoke out about witchcraft in the pews, it comes from pulpits too. Which is similar to Balaam on the mountains, erecting altars above the Israelites, looking for a way to curse them (Numbers 22-23, Revelation 2:14). Those with apostolic authority will seek to destroy the works of darkness, to include those evil altars, instead of tolerating, or even worse, participating in it. I have said a lot and there is more I could say, but I close with the following:

  • “Woe unto them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.” ~ Jude 11 (KJV)

 

  • “But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption; And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you; Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: AN HEART THEY HAVE EXERCISED WITH COVETOUS PRACTICES; cursed children: Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.” ~ 2 Peter 2:12-16 (KJV)

 

Do not gain the whole world (your idol) at the expense of forfeiting your soul. If you have gone astray, do not stay that way. Whatever you are doing, and regardless of when or where you are doing it, God is watching (Psalm 139).

RITW Cover
“Raised in the Wilderness: Rogue Reformers, Rallying the Remnant” is your guide to separating the prophetic from the pathetic.

P.S. See the following videos:

“IDentifying YOUR God-Ordained Spouse, and the counterfeits (Part 1 of 3)”: https://youtu.be/eISTMrktxcs

“IDentifying YOUR God-Ordained Spouse, and the counterfeits (Part 2 of 3)”: https://youtu.be/g-hAFrZg9P4

“IDentifying YOUR God-Ordained Spouse, and the counterfeits (Part 3 of 3)”: https://youtu.be/dVS3FkYEgVk

Witchcraft in Christianity: https://youtu.be/LipzCfedhZY

 Marriage: God-ordained vs. God-endorsed: https://youtu.be/Goc8vsaTWNw

The Sound of a Fallen Tree
A collection of poetry about heartbreak.

Social Aloe Ministries: “Glorifying God. Exposing the devil.”

 

 

Separated From the Church, By The Holy Spirit  

There are times when it is okay to extract portions of Scripture without it losing its context. The Proverbs are a great example of that because some are literally a line or two of Words of wisdom (1 Corinthians 12:8). Another passage that does not lose its meaning, or more importantly, causes confusion or could be used as a source of an errant doctrine, is the portion of Song of Solomon 2:7, 3:5, 8:4 which serves as a reminder and a warning to not arouse or awaken a person’s love until its ready. If you have ever tried to get into a relationship with someone who is not ready for a relationship, despite how incredible of a person you may be, you know what I mean. The same thing applies if someone has tried to start a relationship with you but you were simply not in a place to have an intimate relationship with someone.

God, The Love of My Life (2)

Regrettably, there is a Scripture that has been used out of context that has caused some people to go outside of the Lord’s will. Some may find this hard to believe, but there are times when the Lord will call someone out of a church for a season, or even permanently. However, the individual may be reluctant to leave because he or she has been told, “…And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” ~ Romans 10:14 (KJV) It is so important that when we look at a text, such as Romans 10:14, that we look at its context, and any supporting or contradicting co-texts. Examine a text by looking at its context and comparing and contrasting it to co-texts. Unfortunately, Romans 10:14 has been used to create an overreliance on pastors. The text uses the word “preacher” instead of “pastor”, and it is important to note that a preacher is not the same as a pastor. A part of my calling from the Lord is that of a preacher (a “herald or proclaimer of the divine Word” – Strong’s G2783/G2784). The Lord did not call me as a pastor (a shepherd, the overseer of a Christian assembly – Strong’s G4166). It is so important that we know our calling, the various facets, and the inherent roles and responsibilities. Paul had a multifaceted calling from the Lord as evidenced when he wrote, “Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.” ~ 1 Timothy 2:7 (KJV) Sadly, many people call themselves pastors when it is not what the Lord called them to be, and that is presuming that He called them at all.

Minister to the People
Minister to the People

A part of the reason why I mentioned Paul because he is the author of the Epistle to the Romans, and what is now called the tenth chapter of that letter primarily addresses those who are not saved, the ones who need to hear the gospel of Jesus, the Christ. Paul even started the letter by saying, “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.” ~ Romans 10:1 (KJV) That begins to show the context of what is written in the fourteenth verse. When the Lord re-commissioned the prophet Jonah to go to Nineveh, He said, ‘Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.’ ~ Jonah 3:2 (KJV) Jonah preached in the city by proclaiming (prophesying) its pending judgment and people repented. The Lord did not send his prophet there to establish a church and become its pastor; his assignment was simply to go and proclaim the Word of the Lord (preach) and then leave. Jonah preached the Word of the Lord to unsaved people, left, and it was more than enough to motivate the people to seek the Lord for themselves without the need for a pastor. One of the reasons why the Lord will call a person out of a church was because He sent them there but they stayed too long. Another reason may be that the church is about to go down and the Lord is rallying His remnant. Like John said, “And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, ‘Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.’” ~ Revelation 18:4-5 (KJV) David Koresh and Jim Jones were both ministers who led many of their followers to an untimely death, but thank the Lord for those who escaped.

A Test of My Faith
Endure life’s fiery trials.

 

Pastors are important, which is a part of why the Lord established the position (Ephesians 4:11), but Christians won’t necessarily be lost without a shepherd. Lambs need a shepherd more than mature sheep. Do not turn pastors, or any of the other ministry gifts in Ephesians 4:11 into demigods. Keep in mind that Paul did not come to accept Christ as his Lord and Savior because of a preacher or pastor. Stephen did great wonders and miracles among the people (Acts 6:8), and Paul heard Stephen preach the gospel of Christ (Acts 7), yet he consented to Stephen being stoned to death (Acts 8). It was Paul’s direct encounter with the resurrected Christ that led to repentance (Acts 9). But even after that, Paul did not go and seek out the apostles who had served with Jesus to learn the gospel of Jesus. The following from the apostle Paul gives a part of the answer to the questions he posed in Romans 10:14, which demonstrates how it is possible to learn about the gospel of Christ without a preacher:

“But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ. For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews’ religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: and profited in the Jews’ religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers. But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb, and called me by His grace, to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.” ~ Galatians 1:11-18 (KJV)

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Paul was a learned man in the Law because he was a Pharisee, but the Lord separated him from the Pharisees so he could learn about Christ. He knew about the Laws of God but he needed to learn about God’s grace through Christ Jesus. Similarly, many people have attended church for years, but they know more about church or pleasing their pastor than they know about the Lord and how to please Him. Sometimes the Lord wants to separate you from the church to draw you closer to Him. The apostle Paul said he did not receive the gospel from a man (preacher), but rather, from a direct revelation from Jesus. The Lord has called many people to serve Him and they presumptuously thought it meant going to a seminary or becoming their pastor’s “armor bearer”. However, the Lord wanted to use another teacher to reeducate Paul, the best teacher I know to tell others about Christ without the contaminants of human traditions. You may already know, or at least I hope you do, but that preeminent teacher is the Holy Spirit. Once you are saved, and your body becomes a temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), He becomes your teacher, the One who preaches about Christ. Lest not forget that the Lord said the following about the Holy Spirit:

  • ‘But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.’ ~ John 14:26 (KJV)

 

  • ‘Howbeit when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will shew you things to come. He shall glorify Me: for He shall receive of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.’ ~ John 16:13-14 (KJV)

Fivefold Ministry (Furnace of Affliction)

When the Holy Spirit is your teacher, He will teach you things directly, but He will also direct you towards and even away from human vessels. When the Lord called me to serve Him, I presumptuously began looking up seminaries, but the Holy Spirit stopped me because He had another path for me. If I had gone to a seminary, it would have caused delays in me getting trained for what the Lord has called me to do. Many can attest to what it means to go through what is affectionately referred to as “The School of the Holy Spirit”. The Lord has taught me a lot directly, but He has also linked me up with various people who taught me things along the way. Some teachers taught me things I should not do. In time, I found out why it was not the Lord’s will for me to go to a seminary, or to spend time in a church under a pastor. Saul should have mentored David, but instead, he forced the future king into exile and relentlessly pursued him to snuff out his God-ordained destiny, a plight to which I can relate very well. I found out why David said the Lord was his Shepherd Who restored his soul and led him on the path of righteousness. I have also been through the valley of the shadow of death and I am glad that the Holy Spirit got me out. I have not had a human to lead me (consistently), but I have not been without a leader. The Holy Spirit has been leading me, to include disciplining me; I have felt the Lord’s rod and staff. There have been times when ministers have tried to put a leash and muzzle on me, but that was not the kind of preacher or pastor that I needed. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” ~ Romans 8:14 (KJV) However, I am not a loose cannon because the Lord has kept me on a leash and even muzzled at times.

 

Humble Pie
The Lord exalts the humble.

Being led by the Holy Spirit does not mean I get to do as I please because I do not have a human pastor. On the contrary, it has resulted in a greater level of restriction (consecration). I know what the author of Hebrews means by, “For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth.” ~ Hebrews 12:6 (KJV) People who claim the Holy Spirit is leading them but they lack discipline are not being led by the Holy Spirit, or at least not yet. Unlike a pastor or preacher who is oblivious to some things, nothing gets by the Holy Spirit. There have been times when He has convicted me of things to remind me that I am no longer my own because Christ paid the price for me (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). I have discovered why some people called themselves a servant, sometimes translated as a slave of Christ (Titus 1:1, James 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1, Jude 1:1, etc.). This exhortation has taken an unexpected turn for me, in part because I never expected to share so much of my testimony. Another part of my testimony is the years I spent in relative isolation, to include periods where I would not even see or speak to another human being in person for days at a time. But I spent that time with the Lord, to include a two-year period spent repetitively going through the Bible from cover to cover. I did not have a preacher but I had Christ and I heard a lot from and about Him. The Lord was also working on me, privately, for as Jesus said about the Holy Spirit:

‘Nevertheless I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you. And when He is come, He will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: of sin, because they believe not on Me; of righteousness, because I go to My Father, and ye see Me no more; of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged.’ ~ John 16:7-11 (KJV)

"Labor Pains"

There was a time when I used to watch “Christian television”. However, and thankfully, the Lord cut that out because of the numerous errant doctrines many popular yet errant teachers were propagating, things that were polluting me. The owners of many “Christian television” stations are not going to like to hear what Jesus has to say to them on the day of their judgment. They are helping to spread “a gospel” that is not always “the gospel”. Like the apostle Paul wrote:

“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.  But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” ~ Galatians 1:6-9 (KJV)

False Prophet

I’ll give you a hint of what Jesus may say to many of those “Christian television” station owners (if they do not repent) with the following Words from the Lord, ‘But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.’ ~ John 10:12-13 (KJV) The same thing applies to pastors (who are actually hirelings) who invite wolves into their churches so they can raise funds. They fleece and slaughter the sheep they should be protecting and feeding. In addition to John 10, the Words of the Lord in Ezekiel 34 apply to those pastors, wolves in shepherd’s clothing.

If the Lord has placed you in a church under a pastor, then stay there. But if the Lord has called you out, do not be deceived into thinking that you will not be able to make it without a preacher or pastor. I cannot guarantee that there won’t be struggles, actually, I can assure you that persecution will come, to include from those in the institutional church. When Jesus went into the wilderness and did not eat or drink for 40 days and nights, and endured the devil’s temptations, it was the Holy Spirit who led Him there (Matthew 4:1-11). Jesus said His sheep know His voice and they follow Him (John 10:27). Thanks to their preacher and/or pastor, many people know the Word of God but they don’t know His voice. But even the devil uses God’s Words to mislead or try to mislead others (Genesis 3, Luke 4, etc.). Many people know a pastor or preacher’s voice but they don’t know the Lord. Pastors and preachers are important, and the Lord uses them in incredible ways to perfect the saints (Ephesians 4:12), but please don’t forget about the Holy Spirit. One of the things about the Holy Spirit is that unlike some ministers, He does not point you to Himself; but rather, He selflessly points you to Christ Jesus. In addition, sometimes the Holy Spirit will call you out of a church to prepare you to do the work of the Lord, which does not always take place in a church. Please keep the following in mind:

“Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, ‘Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.’ And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” ~ Acts 13:1-3 (KJV)

Pastors, many of whom demand your obedience to them, are not always as obedient to the Holy Spirit when it comes time to let people go like those men were. You have to determine whose voice you will listen to, a person or God. So in closing, keep in mind that it may be the Lord’s will to call you out of a church, just like when the Holy Spirit said, ‘Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.’ ~ Acts 13:2 (KJV)

Fivefold Ministry

 

For more information regarding why and how the Lord grooms prophets to have such disposition, see “Raised in the Wilderness: #Rogue Reformers, Rallying the #Remnant”. Now available at: https://www.amazon.com/Raised-Wilderness-Reformers-Rallying-Remnant-ebook/dp/B06Y5NVM6L/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1499889854&sr=8-5&keywords=kollin+l+taylor

 

Raised in the Wilderness (cover)
Are you a prophet?

 

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