Well, so have many others, and this site is dedicated to pulling out the fiery darts of the enemy that would seek to crush your faith and your joy. This is not a diatribe against any movement or individual nor their defense. They each must stand on their own merits.
Like Jesus, we will use Scripture against Scripture, rightly dividing the Word of Truth. I am convinced that if they had printing presses in Jesus day, there would have been a proliferation of books on biblical reasons why Jesus could not be the Messiah--but yet He was.
I am not targeting the intellect here. Many would outdo me on that! But I am lifting up the Spirit of Truth. PLEASE email me if you have specific issues, pains and personal concerns. I want to address as much as I can in this area.
We will certainly not please everyone but if we can cause even one little one to not lose his or her faith, we will have done a good work. God bless you!
"With the heart, one believes..." It does not say with the mind, the intellect or the rule over you do you believe, but with the heart.
Some people make gods out of man's ability and strength. Our minds must be renewed, but they are renewed by God's power as we apply ourselves in Spirit and in Truth. What is Truth? His Word is Truth!
We must confess our salvation with our mouth-- it is an act of our faith -- it is our testimony -- but we do not proclaim the sovereignty of God as ours by our confession.
With boldness we enter before the Throne of Grace, but we do not come in casually or flippantly or in an air of authority before God (and attempting to change His Mind on eternal issues).
What does the Scripture say in Hebrews 4:16?
Jesus is the Living Word. He is not a bookshelf full of books. If knowledge causes you to love Him more, if it increases your personal time with Him with an overflow of love to other people, then that knowledge is good. But if it causes you to be puffed up and an authority over men, it is deceitful.
Matthew 20:25-28 says:
Where is the spirit of sacrifice? Is there sacrifice in your walk with God? We are to be like Jesus. The Spirit of Sacrifice should be at work in our lives. Many have been demonically mocked for this, but IT IS OF GOD.
Psalm 50:5 "Gather My saints together to Me, Those who have made a covenant with Me by sacrifice."
Jesus laid down His life for us and said that we must do likewise for our brothers and our sisters in the Lord. There is a false authority that has no spirit of sacrifice.
The fruit of the Holy Spirit (found in Galatians 5:22-23) is:
These are such powerful truths! How do you test what is the true Spirit of God? It has just been presented for you!
Is the Spirit peace, patience and kindness, or strife, impatience and anger? Is the Spirit of God faithful to you or "one mistake and you are out of here!"?
Is the Spirit of God gentle and easily entreated or are you pushed around and bullied? Is the Spirit of God wild and out of control or is there self discipline and self control? Obviously the Word tells us what the SPIRIT OF GOD is!
The Holy Spirit of self control means that God is NOT going to fly off the handle in a rage at you unless you have provoked Him for the umpteenth time and YOU KNOW IT! He is not an unjust or unfair God. This is really an area where we have to know the Word and discern the enemy!
God is raising His Children. He loves them. He wants them. He takes joy in their abilities.
2 Corinthians 3:17 Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is LIBERTY.
Romans 8:21 The creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious LIBERTY of the children of God.
I Corinthians 8:9 But beware lest somehow this LIBERTY of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.
We must have balance! Here Paul explains it:
I Corinthians 10:28-11:2
Mature Christians will know how to withhold some things that they have divine liberty in for the sake of another's soul. This is not a tyranny -- especially that which would be imposed by another individual -- but is rather A STATE OF THE HEART.
There are many that seek to dominate and control--some in the Name of the Lord--but this can keep you from obeying God. Again, this is an area where great discernment is needed, and you should pray for it, as well as having an understanding of authority.
God set up authority. He set up the principalities and powers, rulers and dominions--in the heavenlies and on earth--FOR THE BENEFIT OF HIS KINGDOM.
Where is the Kingdom of God? Did not Jesus say that "The Kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, 'See here!' or 'See there!' For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you."
Jesus commended the centurion who said he was under authority as well as in authority. Jesus said he had great faith! And this understanding of authority and submission and of Jesus' place in all of that, caused him to be able to receive the miracle of his heart's desire.
Through the sufferings of obedience and the knowledge of His Word, we learn authority. We need to learn what areas and dominions belong to others and what is ours. (We all have a place of dominion in God! And He is not unreasonable!)
There is righteous authority and unrighteous authority. Righteous authority takes a stronghold of well being for others in God, and we must respect these. Unrighteous authority usurps and /or undermines righteous authority, and we must discern this. In unrighteous authority, people are dominated, not Spiritually released through self discipline.
God has set up righteous authority in the home (the family), the local church and the Church which is His Body. As I just said, God is not unreasonable. People are, but He is not!
Jesus told the Pharisees that Moses permitted divorce because of men's hardness of hearts and there are still areas where hardness of heart prevails. But that does not mean it is God's perfect will and the Spirit of Love and Grace IS HIS HIGHER WILL!
God will back up His higher will.