Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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Seeker of Truth OR Follower of Religion

Seeker of Truth OR Follower of Religion

Laying out the difference between being a true disciple of Christ, a truth seeker, versus a follower of religion, specifically the religion of Christianity.

Luke 5:38 “But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved.

Matthew 7:13-14 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.

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Seeking, Not Judging

Seeking, Not Judging

 

From my previous post, there were some comments questioning whether all churches are lumped together in this concept of Church System. Here I want to address that issue because it touches upon a fundamental aspect of our walk with God.

God is judge, not us. His Word is judge, not us. Ezekiel 34:20

Even Jesus didn’t judge for Himself. He heard from God and that is what He did. We are to follow His example in all things. John 5:30 “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me. Further, Paul says he doesn’t even judge himself, only God judges him. 1 Corinthians 4:3-4.

When we ask the question whether this denomination, my church, or this pastor is good or not, it’s God’s judgment not ours.

What do I mean? How do we know what to do?

When it comes to our lives, we don’t judge good or bad. We look to God and His truth and that’s our guide. God judges and we follow His lead, whatever and wherever. Following God’s lead and not our judgments is choosing to eat of the tree of life instead of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. The former is letting God be judge and being one with His will and simply walking in it. The latter is putting us as judge of what is good or bad.

To know and follow God’s judgments and ways, we have to set our ill-understanding aside and follow Him daily. Luke 9:23 Therefore, each day we sit with God, we seek the truth, we seek the pure manna from heaven (the instruction/truth of the Holy Spirit grounded in the Bible), we seek to know God so we can follow Him, and we seek His counsel throughout the day. (Seeking entails having a LOVE for the Truth, and putting time to know God as the priority in our day) We seek, ask, and act. We don’t pontificate on what we think is good by our own limited understanding. We seek counsel from the One who knows all.

Therefore, it’s not up to us to judge about this church or not, it’s up to God. To be able to know and hear His leading in this area we have to diligently seek Him. We have to put His words above religious leaders. We can’t read the Bible with our religious leaders opinions as our filters. We read for a desire for truth, realizing we don’t know and we may be misled in our current understanding. As we do, we will come to know God and His will; as He directs. We will be in the state of mind to be watchful for the times we are in. We will be hearing from God so we can walk in His will.

If we haven’t spent time diligently seeking, we will be very susceptible to deception. We won’t be able to follow God’s voice and not the voice of others because we are listening to ourselves. Make sense?

Seeking to know God comes first, so we can follow Him above all else. THEN we’ll be able to know what to do because then we will simply see and follow as Jesus did. It’s not about us deciding good or bad. It’s knowing God and following Him. See the difference? This following comes into play with all aspects of our lives, including this issue of leaving the church system (CS).

If you aren’t diligently seeking, how can your truly follow God’s voice? Again, not seeking is a spiritual death trap, because you remain spiritually blind. So even if you feel I’m wrong about the CS, spend time each day with God seeking to know Him as He is and His truth – this is your life, literally. Amos 5:4

When you seek you gain the spiritual “eyes” to see and the “ears” to hear. Revelation 2:29 As for leaving the CS, I “see” the CS corruption and the spiritual death and decay it breeds. Jeremiah 19:4 “Because they have forsaken Me and made this an alien place, because they have burned incense in it to other gods whom neither they, their fathers, nor the kings of Judah have known, and have filled this place with the blood of the innocents.” It isn’t my judgments, it’s just looking and seeing as God leads. It’s not about comparing churches, saying this one seems pretty good, or this pastor seems like a good man. Those are all our judgments. Instead, it’s seeking God with all our heart, soul, and mind. Then wherever He leads we follow. 1 Chronicles 16:11

The Bible is written to all who profess to be God’s people, which includes many denominations and groups. We all are to be examining our lives by its words. To think they are words for someone else is a grave mistake. Read Jeremiah, Isaiah, the minor prophets and Revelation seeking the instruction of the Holy Spirit and listen to what God has to say. When you look into the Bible with a heart to know truth and not to follow the doctrines of mankind, then you will “see”. Then you will know what to do. You will “see” the CS for what it is, how it destroys souls, and the impeding judgment. You will see the contrast between the system and the true temple of God.

The Bible speaks about the impeding judgment on the “house of God” and to leave and fully embrace God as our sanctuary, which is leading to something tremendous… the New Jerusalem, the temple from heaven. Revelation 21:2-3 It’s out with the old and in with the new, just as in the days of Jesus. We are the temple of God. God’s dwelling place is with us, in us. We have the Holy Spirit as a guarantee that we are His, and a taste of things to come. A fuller manifestation of God dwelling within us is upon us. Revelation 21:22 Be careful to not be like the church leaders and members of Jesus’ day, who held on to their traditions and understanding and missed Christ, the truth. The old is passing away, and God is doing a new and tremendous thing … are you ready to embrace it?


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Seeing without Blinders

Seeing without Blinders: Organized Religion

I’m expanding on the previous post; Why leave the Church System (CS). In hopes to spur diligently seeking, I further explain why it’s imperative to leave the corruption of the CS and cling to the Truth and the true temple of God, a place made without hands. Luke 17:21

As individual seeking is deemed unnecessary (see previous post), those in the CS receive an “image” of God “handed” to them by “trusted authorities.” This receiving without discernment, creates a gateway for deception. It opens the pathway for false images to arise. It opens the door for the father of lies to enter in. Without individual seeking, which leads to discernment, truth and spiritual understanding, darkness prevails. 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10

The number of professing believers who diligently seek God to know Him as He is through the Bible by the instruction of the Holy Spirit are few. Thus in the CS there are numerous ways for the father of lies to covertly spew his poison. There comes a point where the deception spreads and takes over the entity. A little leaven affects the whole lump. Lies breed corruption and spiritual decay.

God knew this corruption would happen. It’s foretold through the prophets to warn us. As a result, in the end as a part of judgment, God gives the CS over to its own corruption as it’s released into the hands of the enemy. Revelation 18:2 God allows the people to walk the path they have chosen, which is to follow and heed “religious leaders” instead of Him. As a result, the enemy now reigns where he shouldn’t. Lamentations 2:7, Matt 24:15. When we see this happening, we are told to flee, and not to go back for any reason. Matthew 24:16-18

In Lamentations 4:12, it says no one would believe that God would let the enemy take over the sanctuary. Read the Bible again and you see that He has and He will as a part of judgment. For those seeking and “watching”, they see what the CS has become – an inhabitation of every foul thing Revelation 18:2, a den of thieves, and place where souls are destroyed as they are kept from entering into the kingdom. This is powerful language of the Bible to make an insurmountable point.

But I don’t see evil people in my church. Over and over we are warned that the enemy looks humble, kind, godly… is transformed into ministers of light and righteousness, wolves in sheep clothing.  2 Corinthians 11:12-15 What will that look like? Remember it’s deception. They don’t appear as slick salesmen (well, some do); they look like the humble and godly person. Even someone with “good” intentions can be lead astray. A soul without discernment because of a lack of LOVE for the truth is a breeding ground for lies regardless of how nice.

What is so evil? We are doing nice things. The father of lies is moving in. John 8:44 God’s definition of evil and good are different from this world’s definitions. Evil is anything counter to God’s will. The greatest evil is that disguised as good.  Without individual seeking, an image of God is being manifested in the CS that defines good and evil and keeps people from seeing the truth. Our eternal life is knowing the true God; not some image. John 17:3

But my church references the Bible One of Satan’s greatest tactics is using God’s words and twisting them to make them a lie. It’s what lures people in because there is an element of truth. He did this with Eve and Jesus. Satan uses the Bible for his purposes to destroy, which you see throughout church history. For those who lack a LOVE for the truth, they won’t be able to discern between the holy and profane. They don’t see the twisting of the scriptures. Thus, they are given into the delusion that puts them on the path to destruction. It’s like being lost to the world’s lies. A lie is a lie. As the CS keeps people from true seeking, those inside are kept from the light, thus darkness spreads.

This corruption and evil that is destroying souls is why true seekers are leaving. In diligent seeking, eyes are open to see what is taking place in the CS. The sanctuary is being given over for judgment and the impending plagues.  Examine the lives of those in the CS and your own. In the CS, you will experience the plagues that come upon it. Revelation 18:4 Therefore, you have to leave. Most are expecting plagues that look the same in each life. What looks the same is the suffering, but how they’re manifested appears different. Revelation 9:17-18.

In seeking, you see the signs and leave. If you haven’t been seeking, you will stay because you are following the religious leaders who tell you why you should be there. What voice you have been following is the voice you will heed.

Why would God give His people over? They turned from following Him. They followed an image of Him instead of Him. Matthew 7:22-23 (read these) They followed their own will. From the beginning God set before us life and death; His way or our way. Most haven’t sought to really know God’s way and fully chosen Him. God is giving them over to the choice they have made, themselves.

God is love. Sometimes the greatest act of love is allowing someone to walk their own path to learn it isn’t life so that they will turn to the One who is life. Many are living what they think is life, but are swimming in the mud-pit. God wants them free.

Jeremiah 23:15-30, 16:9-12

Seek. Psalm 34:10 Embrace God, His truth, and the instruction of the Holy Spirit. Desire the fellowship of the true believers who are the temple, a place without walls. Instead of each week receiving messages leading to spiritual depravity, each day dive into a fellowship with God seeking His face in the Bible to know Him and trust Him. Instead of heeding the voice of a person, heed God’s voice. Seek to draw near to God in truth and spirit and not to the doctrines of the religious leaders.

It’s the Word of God that saves and sanctifies. John 17:17. It’s the truth that will save you in the end.

Seek the truth from God. Stop following others. Start following Him.


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Why Leave the Church System??

Why Leave the Church System??

In this society, we’ve been conditioned to be handed things with instant gratification. (money – credit cards, food – McDonald’s, necessities – Walmart, relationships – Facebook, success – network marketing). We’re being taught and conditioned to this mindset. This mentality has become foundational to the church system – people tell you who God is and what God wants from you; then you do it.

Being a part of organized religion is often a first step for many of us, because we don’t know what else to do. So we follow what others tell us to do. But some of us come to a place where we sense there is “more”. And a restless awakens our hearts to seek after that “more” we are being called to and often that means moving beyond the boundaries of organized religion.

In organized religion as a whole, instead of you seeking to deeply know God, you are handed a pre-packaged God; a package deal of say a prayer, join the church, serve the church, and go to heaven. The church institution tells you how to pray, how to worship, how to tithe, and how to serve God. Instead of being lead by the Holy Spirit; you are led by a human. Each week you’re instructed by others on who God is, how to act and what He wants – instead of seeking Him yourself. However, seeking is foundational to a life with God. This is the one act that should be done above all others; yet it is deemed optional and not necessary. That slight in error has a grievous ripple effect.

1 Chronicles 16:10-11 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually

As God (and what a life following Him entails) are “handed” to you, seeking isn’t necessary. The act of spending time one-on-one daily with God seeking His face and the instruction of the Holy Spirit isn’t deemed essential to eternal life; therefore that’s why most don’t do it. However, in reality you gain the essentials to true life through seeking. Seeking leads to knowing, which leads to trusting, which leads to a true belief, repentance of self, dying to self, true surrender and a love for God that puts Him first. In addition, there is often a fear instilled in believers by the church in seeking on their own. They are warned to be careful to not go astray – in other words, the church will protect you from going astray. This false fear breeds the blind leading the blind mentality. Matthew 15:14

Since we’ve been conditioned by the society at large to be “handed” things it doesn’t cause us to pause when it pertains to God – though it should. God is not calling us to a religion but to a relationship. The church structure today is like giving someone a distorted painting of a place verses travelling there and experiencing it yourself. The church hands you a picture of the kingdom, a relationship with God, yet prohibits people from entering in by this plug and play mentality. Matthew 23:13 As one is captivated by the spoon-feeding, because it does have a temporary high as all instant things do, no “personal” relationship is developed by the believer. There is only an engagement to a structured system telling you who God is and what He wants from you. The relationship is with the church, not God.

With this pre-packaged God, people can’t hear God. It’s not part of the package because all they receive is from a person, not God. They aren’t connected to God. They only have a faulty image, and haven’t walked, talked and gone through life with Him. Thus their beliefs are in the system and not God. Their trust is in the words of people and not God. They’ve gone through life with an image and praying to that image, because they haven’t spent time seeking God’s face to know Him as He is, something no one else can do for them. Because they haven’t sought; they don’t see the difference. Only in the light, do you realize the darkness. Therefore they aren’t listening to God. They are listening to people talk about God believing they have a relationship because that is what they are told. This “receiving” and not “seeking”  is how many are and will be deceived.

This ever increasing mentality is one reason why those who are seeking are leaving the church – they see it for what it is; an offering of pre-packaged God. They aren’t into following people but God. They don’t want a faulty image handed to them. They want a real relationship. They want true fellowship with God and others. They see the idolatry of it. They see the damage of it; the plug and play that leaves souls starving and bound in affliction, pain, and loneliness as they once were.

As the church system is structured – individual seeking isn’t necessary. It’s optional. Yet, that is the one act that is to be above all others for a believer. Seeking leads to knowing, trusting and abiding with God in truth and spirit. It isn’t instant. It’s a journey that most are kept from walking by this erroneous mentality.

Like the other instant gratifications in our lives that have brought more problems than good, quadruple that and you have a taste of what this mentality does to a soul as it keeps them from an intimate union with God. Matthew 23:15

God loves us more than we can imagine. He wants us to intimately know Him, not live in some substitute reality of Him. Seek Him and you’ll find true life.

Pre-Packaged God

Come and see what we have to offer thee
A God of instant play, don’t delay
A ticket to heaven, come eat the leaven
No time to waste, come in haste

We give all you seek, we are humble and meek
Worship with us, as us, be us
One of our kind is a path for the blind
Say a prayer, live without care
Be good to your brother, love your mother

All is fulfilled with only a small bill
Your soul to keep, to own, to reap
We’ll fill your need, we’ll stop the bleed
Look no more, serve the board

Grow our club, to one blood
By a pre-packaged God to give a lost mob
Count the numbers, rejoice in the plunder
Souls trapped in lies, bound by disguise

In us you can trust, listen to us you must
No need to seek, we have the answers to keep
Don’t seek in private, don’t even try it
You’ll be taken away by evil’s sway
Stay with us, be us, trust us

A pre-packaged God, the path to trod

~Rachel DiPaolo


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Just a Label or the Real Deal

Just a Label

or

The Real Deal

 

Matthew 7:22-23 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

There is a sad epidemic in our nation, the “Christian” image. It’s one of the greatest distractions/deceptions to prohibiting people from truly seeking God as He is. For those on the outside, they see the masquerade and turn away not only from it but from God as well. For those on the inside and a part of it, they think it’s life (as they have been taught), yet fail to enter into the kingdom of God. Thus, many are living a deprived and unfilled life and believe that is the life Christ came to give them. They’ve never entered into the true kingdom because they believe what they’ve been told; that they’ve already entered.

For years, I lived this image. However, bound in the deception of it, I didn’t know I was living the image. I thought I was the real deal. So I didn’t seek any further. Yet, my life was a miserable mud-pit (of which I had no idea the extent of until I started experiencing true life). In my deception, I actually thought my mud-pit was pretty good. See how Satan keeps us in bondage?

On the outside, I looked like a follower of God, but I was a follower of self. Even in regards to my “religion”. I did and trusted what I had been taught by religious leaders, not God. Therefore, I couldn’t trust God because I never spent time with God to really know Him to trust Him. I spent time with religious people. I knew them and what they taught, so it was in them that I trusted – in the name of God. I didn’t realize this was the case until I was taught by God and “saw” the difference. It’s a HUGE difference, creating a HUGE chasm between living an image and true life in Christ. Mark 7:6-7

Spirit teaches spirit. It’s through revelation of the Holy Spirit that we gain truth and learn who God is so we can trust Him. When Peter said Jesus was the Christ, Jesus told him that he didn’t learn this from a person but the Holy Spirit. It was by this method of revelation that Christ would build His true Church. Matthew 16:17-18 We truly come to know God by being taught about God from the Holy Spirit. It’s not by flesh and blood that we learn. That is why it’s impossible to explain spiritual truths to someone without the spirit. They’ll never get it. But when you talk to someone who has also been taught by God they get it.

We learn about God from God because it fosters intimacy and love as God desires; just as you learn most about your spouse from your spouse. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, is given to us to teach us all things, especially about Him. We only know God when we seek Him one-on-one being grounded in the Bible and taught by the Holy Spirit. Those bound by this “image” have never diligently sought God trusting the Holy Spirit to reveal and teach them the truth of God and His ways. Instead they’ve relied on a person to show them.

So, what does this Christian image entail … well a lot of things, like going to church, tithing to the church, not saying certain things because you shouldn’t, being under the “authority” of your church leaders, living a certain “lifestyle” in accordance to the church, speaking the church lingo, helping out at the church, helping the church system to prosper, and leading others to come to church. When you really look at this… it is all about the church, not God.

Finally, as I mentioned in a previous post, one of the defining elements of this image is that there is no real need to seek God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength because you’ve already arrived. Sure, you can always learn more, but no big deal, leave that up to the pastors to learn then regurgitate back to you. Luke 16:14-15 (This belief often isn’t said blatantly, but it’s said clearly.) Yet, this seeking is the one thing that leads you to truly trust, surrender and move into the abundant life Christ came to give.

This “image” is one of the most deceptive works out there because once you think you’ve found you stop seeking. People come to a church say “the sinner’s prayer” and are “encouraged” by others to get involved in all kings of activities. When people are busy doing these “wonderful” acts and receiving praise for them, they feel good about themselves and think something has changed, when it has all been self induced.

Now this message may seem “tough” to some of you. But this image is spoken of throughout the Bible. Psalm 50:21, Revelation 13, Matthew 23:27, Isaiah 29:13 People are living one way claiming they are of God, but in their hearts they are still lord. Their trust is in what they think is best and that is being a good Christian. They don’t diligently seek God’s will daily to follow His voice, not some person’s. Here is the catch; you won’t see this masquerade in your own life because you are in deception until you seek God and the light of truth floods your soul. So you may think this isn’t you as I did; but if you truly seek and you will find. So bottom line regardless, is seek God in truth trusting the Holy Spirit to teach you all things. God wants us to be real with Him and in a real relationship. He has so much to give us if we will draw near in TRUTH and SPIRIT.

So what does a true Christian look like?

There is no image. And eventually you lose all labels, and you are who you are as a child of God, of which we all are. This realization comes as we seek God and all He is with all their heart, soul, mind and strength and are taught by Him. John 6:45  When we have a single focus to do the will of God, not the will of man in the name of God. Matthew 21:31 Therefore we can look like a lot of things because God’s ways aren’t our ways.


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A Time to Leave ….

A Time to Leave ….

In my opinion, those who are following Christ Jesus will eventually leave the church system (CS) or the institutional church.

There will come a point when static beliefs of human-organized religion limit the pull upon our hearts for something deeper. As a result, there will come a time when the wheat will be separated from the tares, and I feel that time is upon us.

The church system has always had its problems because it’s full of people with problems. But there will come a time when the cries of the prophets who foretold these days will be answered and the corruption of the church will be addressed by God. This judgment by God is why Jesus gives potent warnings to the seven churches in Revelation. It’s a last call to get things straight before God does. There will be a time when there isn’t any more time. There will be a time to leave

As the end draws near and for God’s people’s protection, He is calling out of the CS those who truly follow Him. They are hearing from the Word of God that it’s time to leave and obeying it. Revelation 2:29

The CS is being consumed with darkness as the self-determined will (our “enemy”) gains ground. Lamentations 2:7 As the CS begins to fill with the darkness of deception, lies and the enemy’s ways, those heeding God’s voice are moving out of the darkness and into the light – for what fellowship has light with darkness? 2 Corin 6:14 Proverbs 14:7 There are many verses about not being involved with unhealthy fellowship. However, these verses are largely ignored by church goers as they listen to the church leaders who tell them they must be in a church. (Unhealthy vs. Healthy Fellowship)

I left the CS embracing the true church in 2004. (Out of the Church System, Into God’s Arms) As the years have passed, I see more and more believers coming out and embracing the true church, which is outside the CS. The true church is those who hold the spirit of God. Who put God and His Word first. Who seek His face. Who follow His voice. Who trust in God more than man. Who make up the temple built without hands.

A physical church built by man has always been filled with true believers and not, wheat and tares. But there will come a time when those groups will be separated, and if you look around it is happening now.

A couple interesting points I’ve noticed … Those leaving and embracing the true church are being led by God’s Word and the Holy Spirit – not by man’s persuasion. They have the Holy Spirit and follow the Spirit. The Spirit is moving them away from the CS that has corrupted and blasphemed God’s name. It’s because they draw near to God in truth and spirit on a regular basis that they are able to hear His voice among all the deception and follow at their appointed time.

Second, many feel restlessness in their spirits as they start to see a chasm between what is happening in the CS and God’s Word. They sense something is “off” that causes them to seek God’s counsel. When they do, they hear a call out of the CS. However, it’s only when they leave the CS that they see more clearly what it is and what it is becoming. The deception and darkness is great, even to dim a seeking believer’s eyes. Matthew 24:22

You can’t deny what is happening; believers are leaving the CS. They aren’t falling away from God or the true church (body of Christ – that’s not about a building or business), but the opposite – they are drawing closer to them. God is connecting these souls in amazing ways to encourage, support and pray. God told us what the CS would become and there would be a time to come out of it and into His care. Revelation 18 We have been warned. We have been told what to do. It isn’t our decision to stay and fight or to leave. It’s our duty to follow our God who is our faithful Lord and Shepherd.

For those in tune with the Holy Spirit, God calls them out to the wilderness where they become completely dependent on Him. They encounter others who have followed God’s voice out to abide under the protective wing of God. It’s a place where God is the provider, protector, teacher, guide and comforter – and who better? He is faithful beyond words to those who really trust in Him and not man.

Wherever you are, seek God in truth and spirit. For the times we are in, the warnings are vast about the deception that will take place. Seek and develop a love for the truth because is what will save you in the end. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

Examine your heart :

Who are you truly following God or man?
Do you speak of what God has taught you or what man has?
Where is your trust? Your dependence?
Where is your time spent – doing church activities or seeking God?
Do you abide in God’s Word or in man’s opinions and interpretations of God’s Word?

You may not agree with me, but I pray you seek God in all truth for there is no better time to start than now.

Related Blog Posts:

The True Church
Babylon – The Church SystemLeaving the Church Verses


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Our Capacity to be Influenced

Our Capacity to be Influenced

 

Through the awkward teenage years, I had a close friend who had a significant impact on me. Not only because we were around each other ALL the time, but it was an influential period in my life, as it is for most. Sometimes I wonder how my life would be different if she hadn’t been a part of it. It reminds me of the movie, Sliding Doors, a thought provoking story about the choices we make. Our decisions obviously have a huge impact on our lives, and choices about our friends have far-reaching ripple affects because of the power of their influence on us.

In day to day life, it’s important to understand our capability to be influenced. Right now we are being impacted by society, spouses, friends, religious leaders, family, and co-workers, in good and bad ways. This is why the Bible tells us to be wise about who are friends are and who we fellowship with, for their influence is extensive. (Healthy vs. Unhealthy Fellowship)

When a strong emotional element is part of the relationship, then the influencer gains even more power in affecting us – elements like acceptance, fear, guilt, loneliness, insecurity, attention, love, value, and purposefulness. Interestingly, most of these elements come into play when involved in a religious institution, like the church system (different from the true church, body of Christ). Thus, it’s tremendous power over people.

Because of the influence of others especially in the church system, it’s critical that we abide in the pure word of God (separate from others’ interpretations/opinions), on a daily basis. Take time to meditate on God’s truth. Learn to listen to His instruction and to hear His voice distinct from the others. Learn to trust Him to be the Teacher and have a foundation built on His instruction, not a human’s. Give an attentive ear, mind and heart to His Word and His instruction for a period each day without the influence of others’ words along with it. If we do this, in time, we will be wiser and more discerning among those who influence us. We will gain the ability to test all spirits as we are instructed in 1 John 4:1.

Matthew 10:16 “hold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.”

Years ago, I set out in the search for truth. I asked God to reveal the lies and deception I was taking part in. As I put His Word first above all others and abided in it daily, He started opening up my eyes and still is. It amazed me how I easily trusted the words of others – especially religious leaders. How I didn’t really test them. How I couldn’t test them because I wasn’t in the Word with a passion to know God and His truth. I didn’t put the Word first in my life. I relied on others to interpret and explain it to me and that was one of my biggest downfalls.

From personal experience, as I’ve mentioned before, it’s very profitable to spend time alone (months) simply in the Word of God with no other interpretations or opinions trusting the Holy Spirit to teach you. John 14:26 The Apostle Paul, spent time alone, so what he learned, he gained from God, not man. Galatians 1:11-12, 16-17 It makes ALL the difference. Why? Because are easily influenced by others and because of the heightened emotions religion brings.

If we are abiding in the Bible, but continue to embrace the interpretations of others, we can’t help but be strongly influenced by their words. Their philosophies will be a filter by which we read the Word. We have enough of our own filters to deal with, or should I say for God to remove and replace with the truth. If we are relying on others, we aren’t giving ourselves a chance to remove those faulty filters that twist the Word of God. If we come to God with a desire to know the truth and nothing but the truth, He will expose the deceptions in our heart. A love of the truth is what saves us in these days from the massive and growing deceptions in and outside the church community. 2 Thessalonians 2:10

Because of the extensive influence of the church system, it has become a feeding ground for deception. God’s Word says the enemy will take over the sanctuary. Lamentations 2:5-7, 14, 4:12 Though, it can be difficult to accept, especially because it’s the object of many believers’ trust, it doesn’t mean it hasn’t happened. When we are in the midst of Satan’s shenanigans (the self-will of man), it’s difficult to see and believe that our church would be influenced by him. In these days, we need to abide in God’s pure truth on a regular basis and put our trust fully into Him and not in man or the church system. Because of the deception that abounds, God is calling many of His people out of the church system and to Himself as the sanctuary. He is fulfilling the role the teacher, shepherd, protector, fortress, comfort, and help.

I know this post has gotten quite serious but the warnings in the Bible in regards to this issue are extensive. We have nothing to fear when our trust is truly in God alone. How do you know where your trust truly is? Remove those things from your life and you will soon see.

My prayer is that we will take time to recognize and acknowledge the influence those around us have on us; to ask God to give us clarity about what relationships and situations to embrace and which to let go. If it’s a letting go, know He’ll provide every need – I’ve seen it time and time again. He is more faithful than we know as we truly put our trust in Him.

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The True Church

The True Church

One of the first questions you get as a believer is, what church do you belong to?

Here is the “church” I desire and am finding:

It is the true body of believers located around the world. We are connected by spirit and truth. Ephesians 4:4 We are united because we are one in Christ. We are the temple of God whose foundation isn’t brick and stone, but the Word of God. Ephesians 2:20-22 It is a place without walls. It is about the body of believers coming together in spirit and truth and worshipping our God in the same. John 4:24. It is about the heart – as true love flows from God to each other. Gathering together isn’t about being in the same place, but being of one heart and united in the Spirit of God – though sometimes we are in the same place; in homes, coffee shops, nature. We meet other members all over. Membership is about the heart. We fellowship when and wherever. We pray when and wherever. We help each other (as led by the spirit) when there is a need. We are spirit-led not man-led. It isn’t about a building, a day, a time, a place, a format, a program, it is about our lives.

It is about unity not divisions. 1 Corinthians 1:12-13. Vulnerability, authenticity and honesty are fostered because there isn’t the pressure to conform or to fit a certain profile, but a freedom to be who we are as children learning and growing in Christ. Matthew 23:28

Each one is longing for and actively cultivating an intimate relationship with God, then comes together to share in the fruit, gifts, and questions of that personal relationship. Our passion is for God to be our first love. We seek to hear His voice, as we spend time listening. We long to go wherever He leads. The source of our spiritual nourishment is the Word of God, not man’s interpretation of His Word. We go there to feast on the truth. We are filled, satisfied and transformed. Truth is searched out no matter what it may be. Motives are purified. Honesty is grown within our lives as we are uncovered. There is confession and forgiveness. There is the sharing of burdens and fervent prayers for one another. True hope abounds. Mercy and grace prevails. Love consumes. Lies are revealed and expelled. We are exposed, delivered and healed.

The Holy Spirit is sought as each one’s most trusted counselor. He is our Teacher. He is our Authority. Spiritual gifts are manifested from the spirit of God not of spirits of deception. There is true accountability because the Holy Spirit dwells within each member convicting and leading. God is truly the head, not man. He is the Lord, the Shepherd, and the Leader. Ezekiel 34:23, Ezekiel 37:24

Belonging to the church, the true church is about the state of the heart.

This temple is found in the hearts of true believers. It isn’t a place made with man’s hands, but with God’s, and it is tremendous.

Related Posts:

Unhealthy verses Healthy Fellowship

Foundation for Young Believers (Address the issue of not forsaking the assembling of ourselves)

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An Adulterous Affair

An Adulterous Affair

I was in an adulterous affair for years. I claimed alliance to my husband, but my actions told a different story. I spent my time and energy cultivating trust and intimacy elsewhere. In all honesty, my husband and I didn’t have much of a relationship; it was in word only – not of the heart. We rarely talked. We hardly spent time together. Oh, I played the act of the good wife at the right times, but that is all it was – an act. Yet, I expected him to do so much for me. I hung out more with our friends than him. It was extremely backwards. I was very selfish and one sided. I was so caught up in my adulterous emotions because it felt “good” that I didn’t really think about what I was doing to him, me or to us. I didn’t realize I was living a lie that would never fulfill.

My husband was God. (not my earthly husband)

Today I have a wonderful relationship – beyond my expectations. I’m so thankful He never gave up on me.

Adultery is a deceptive beast because the adulterers are so captivated by the sensual emotions that they don’t realize all the damage and pain they are creating.

There are two sides to adultery. On the side of the adulterer, there are feelings of excitement in the newness, the unknown, and the combined desire. On the other side of the one being cheated on, there are feelings of intense pain and hurt taking claim of their hearts. With adultery, you can’t have one side without the other. They are two sides of the same coin. Therefore, there is nothing about love in this act. It’s a selfish act that creates intense pain.

Isaiah 54:5 For your Maker is your husband, The LORD of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth.

God is our husband; we are His bride. God uses the example of adultery, something we can understand emotionally, in the Bible so we can taste how He feels when He isn’t our first love, what it does to us and our relationship with Him. Ezekiel 23 (Those who profess a relationship with God are the only ones who can cheat on Him, and play the harlot as He speaks of in His Word.)

I’ve talked before about how God’s people play the harlot against Him today. For example, they willingly trust in other things or people when they should be cultivating trust in God. They don’t spend time in His Word fostering intimacy. Without thought, they put other things and people above Him, even the church. They hold a lackadaisical attitude about spending time with Him. They don’t try to trust Him to be their Teacher about Him. They neglect to personally get to know Him. They give others the place of “first love”. They spend their time on everything else even serving Him but not with Him.

The alluring emotions of playing the harlot blind and deceive people to what they are really doing in their relationship with God – destroying it. This is a description of how I use to be. I’ve often considered the pain and loss, but what recently struck me was the other side of the coin – the enticing emotions that pull people into an adulterous affair so they forsake their first love and how blinding those emotions are to what they are truly creating. And I see many people being blinded by these emotions today.

When we are on the side of the adulterer, it doesn’t seem so bad because it feels “good” even though those emotions are fleeting, only in our heads and not reality. Reality is pain and death are being created in our life. But those emotions and the empty promises they allude to lure us in. They emotionally overtake us pushing us farther into the situation and mask any damage we are creating. We want more of what we are feeling and the cost of our actions is thrown to the wind. Actually, we don’t think about the costs, because we are consumed by the emotions and blinded to all sense of judgment, discernment, wisdom and true love. But the reality is we are creating much pain for all involved. Sometimes we don’t think about how our lackadaisical attitude or not spending time to get to know God affects His heart. But we can understand His heart through His Word as He uses the descriptions of harlotry over and over.

Ezekiel 23:19 “Yet she multiplied her harlotry In calling to remembrance the days of her youth, When she had played the harlot in the land of Egypt.

Love is about intimacy, putting others first, looking out for their needs, desiring to be with them, knowing them, listening and talking with them. No one trusts God perfectly, but what is our heart’s desire? What do our actions and efforts show? Do they show we desire intimacy with our Lord and for Him to be our first love?

It is very easy these days to be blinded to the state of our own hearts. Because of the “feel-good” emotions being pressed upon us by many leaders, teachers and pastors, we are mislead to thinking what we feel is love with God because His name is mentioned when it really is selfish indulgence. If it is so deceptive, how do we know we haven’t been lured in? Look at your life, how do you spend your time? What motivates you? What truly is your desire? Who are you listening to the most? Examining our hearts in earnest prayer with God and in His Word will expose the truth in us. 2 Corinthians 13:5

Until I really spent time and acted like a God’s bride, I never saw my actions for what they were – adulterous. I wasted years where I could have been in an incredible relationship. I’m thankful I’m not wasting anymore.

If you have found that your actions haven’t lived up to your words, make a renewed commitment to Christ to be your first love then start living your life to show it by making time to spend with Him, seeking His will, reading His Word, and listening and talking to Him. God is merciful and is looking for those who will come to Him in truth and spirit. Many of us, probably almost all have been in an adulterous affair against our Lord at some point. But now is the time to set things straight with Him.

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