private communications

These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete. 1John1:4

“No reasonable expectation of privacy”

This is what one “Big” Silicon Valley Tech company recently quipped, defending their right to scan private emails that use their services. Government agencies have admitted to their ability to crack encryption codes and “intrude upon communications”.

As we enter further into the brave new computer-enhanced world, there is no longer any “reasonable expectation of privacy protections”.

Your mail, email, phone calls, private blogs, files, photos, records, etc.  …… all are now potentially open and technically available for electronic or live perusing by  IT geeks and government powers that be.

Shall we then stop speaking? Shall we then quiet our witness? How about encouraging the other saints?

We can choose now to be intimidated; to put a lid on it and quiet down……. or we can choose now, to continue on as usual with both our public and our private spoken and written communications….paying no mind to whoever may be listening or reading……….. (as if nothing were different)……… with trust and joy. Let us choose to continue in our witness and choose to continue on encouraging one another.

Dragons speak

Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. Rev13:11

World famous, world loyal Christian Leaders (all of them!) speak, they tweet, they give speeches, they make magazine covers. They deceive the multitudes with their dragonspeak. But we’re not listening; we’re not following. We’re not participating with them in the “dialogue” unto consensus, death and hell.

Unknown and dead to self, loyal to Christ alone, we listen to the voice of Jesus Christ. We hear Him and do what He says. We speak what He tells us to speak. There is no dialectic game play on the narrow path unto Life.

The troublemakers

Guest post:

BE LIKE STEPHEN: MAKING THE RIGHT KIND OF TROUBLE

by: A. Brother

“But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. ‘Look,’ he said, ‘I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.” At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.”

Acts 7:55-58

When a man gets a full vision of Christ, and has his eyes opened to who Christ really is, and then seeks to communicate that fullness to others, he will run into trouble, and create much opposition.  Here we have that happening.  Stephen had testified to the full message of Christ in front of the religious establishment of his day, and he was rewarded by being dragged outside the city walls and stoned by a large crowd of men.
When any of us begins truly seeking to have his eyes opened to this fullness of life in Christ, and it begins happening, Christ in us will overflow to others, and the truth will often offend and even infuriate those who do not see.  It happened throughout Scripture, and it will happen to those today who make it their sole aim in life to know Christ, the fellowship of his suffering, the power of his resurrection.
My heart is grieving this morning over the state of the Body of Christ.  Not because I choose to be critical, or because I am legalistically imposing the measure of Scripture upon our current modes and methods of doing church.  But because I see the people of God like Jesus saw the Jews in His days among them, and wept.  I was raised in these churches, and spent many years trying to live the life they represented was the Christian life.  The Spirit of God grieves today at the hardness of our hearts, and the proud insistence that we know how to do everything Christian in the best way.
God’s people in our modern, affluent society are like sheep without a Shepherd.  Running to this man or that man who can speak well, or has written some landmark book about the Christian life.  Running after this or that new method, or clever program, or way of doing church that seems to breathe something new into their spiritual walks.
Scripture points back to Christ Himself, who is not only our Savior and Lord, but whose Life must be in us, whose Eyes must illuminate Truth to us, whose Mind must open us up to His fullness.  Our hearts must beat to the drum of His love in our chests.  This is what Jesus taught, that we are the branches to His Vine, and the Father the source of all nourishment.  That remaining in Him is the essential, and all other things are optional.
So why do we concentrate on the optional?
Today we have a plethora of pulchritudinous programming going on among Christians.  (Sorry for the cheesy PPP acronym).  That means a complete array of attractive systems for practicing and distributing the gospel.  The church has become like a spiritual candy store, holding out sweets and treats, hoping to lure people into attending.
Come here to church because we have so many services of different worship styles to meet your needs.  Come here and enjoy cappuccinos while you fellowship after worship.  Does your back get tired while meeting together?  Can’t see or hear the presentation very well?  No problem, we’ve installed expensive theatre-style seats and fabulous sound systems so you can concentrate on hearing the music and viewing the sermon in total comfort.  The Pastor is on a huge screen or multiple screens around the room so you can feel like you’re actually in a more intimate, personal setting.
Tired of traditions that bore you?  No worries, I feel you, we’ve done away with the things that take too much time and effort.  Communion is only hassled with on occasion, and then with little cups and tiny wafers, and love feasts among believers are a thing of the past.
Remember how Paul used to speak on and on to those early believers, cramming in Truth until late at night, meeting in homes day after day, gathering anytime they could find to be together, hungry for the Word, hungry for the Spirit to work, thirsting after righteousness like it was Life itself?  Forget about it!  We don’t need all that.
We have schedules to keep, and people to see, and business to conduct, and lives to live out in the world.  We’ve figured out how to do both!  Just keep your appointment with God in our services once or twice a week, or if you’re really zealous, meet for a Bible study, too.  That will set you on fire.
The reason we’ve settled for this type of Country-Club Christianity is that we have not understood the Christ-life.
We have been taught wrongly, by men who have only known the casual, easy gospel of modern, affluent religion, instead of the radical, revolutionary, life-changing, outside the city gates, stir-up-opposition-everywhere-you-go, stumbling-block, hate-inducing, cliff-edge, religion-destroying, faith- and love-filled Gospel of Christ that God absolutely will not allow to be contained in man-made systems or programs.
You can be a member of the Christian Country Club set, or you can be a member of the Body of Christ.  There is no middle ground.  From the birth of the Body, men have sought to impose their own religious mind-sets upon it, and have succeeded in the form of the huge Christian denominations and organizations throughout history.
The dynamic ekklesia, Christ’s church, which originally meant the “called out to be together” people of God, has been hijacked by religionEvery day more Christians get together and decide they want to form another group, or build another building to meet their needs.  Every day Christians make another list of options they want in their religion.  Every day Christians miss the simplicity of Christ, and His love and power, in favor of building another platform from which to proclaim an easy gospel.  With their list of choice options, they have managed to derail the Spirit of God from reaching men.  Like the Pharisees, they keep others out of the Kingdom as they are keeping themselves out.
The point is this:  Stephen saw what we must see.
Christ is all, and is our focus.  Not our methods and man-made options.  Not our forms of doing church.  We don’t worry about that.  We seek Christ, and He seeks us.  We die, He lives.  Individually and corporately.  Christ leads us by His Spirit, and dictates what we do and how we do it.
Today, Christ may do this.  Tomorrow He may do that.  Just as He did with His disciples, He is busy doing the Father’s work, and will not be pinned down as to where or how He’ll be doing it.  He looks for needs, and He responds.  Today He is in Bethany, tomorrow in Cana of Galilee, the next day in Jerusalem.  Today He’s healing people, tomorrow preaching from a hilltop, the next day He’s confronting the religious leaders.  He is ever meeting where two or three of us are gathered together.  He is not bound by our calendars and schedules.  And He would have us be more responsive and flexible, open to the Spirit of God to respond to one another and to His prompting.  Many of our modern churches are just as hide-bound and fixed in their ways as the highly liturgical churches they criticize.  They just have different traditions.
This dying to the Old Man and living to Christ in the New Man is a messy, hard, can’t-be-contained-in-traditions thing.  No carefully-programmed new church service format or electronic gadget is going to make this happen, or, more tragically, even allow this to happen.  There is no room in our carefully-scripted lives for God to move.
One thing is certain.  If you and I have the explosive, uncontainable Spirit of God in us, we will be like Stephen.  Seeing clearly the Christ we love and serve, and speaking of Him to whoever asks, no matter the consequences.  There is no room for compromise in the Kingdom of God.  We love and serve Christ, without any option.  That is the gospel, the good news of the Kingdom.  This hard, beautiful and ultimately impossible-without-God gospel that is Christ in us.
Like our Lord Jesus Christ, like Stephen, like a host of others including many around the world today, when we stand and tell the Truth from Scripture many will oppose us.  The fury of the oppressor, religious or pagan, has the same result.  The stoning of the one who sees.  The shooting of the Messenger.  The eradication or excommunication of the offender.
Be ready, brother or sister, if you seek Christ in all His fullness.  He will uphold you.
Visit the Narrow Gate blog by A. Brother here: The Narrow Gate

living in the Repeat

Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles: And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again. Mark 10:33-34

Yes this thing is on “Repeat”.

->OT Israel– the faithful remnant and the unfaithful harlot: and the Judgment of God upon His apostate people, via the Assyrians/Chaldeans.

->Jesus’ life—- the (Christ-rejecting)Religious Establishment working with the Roman Empire Leaders to kill those in the opposing Kingdom (Jesus and His people).

->First century believers—- under the pagan Caesars of Rome who also killed those in the opposing Kingdom.

->Middle ages Christians under the combined “Church-State Holy Roman Government Pope Empire” (with the inquisition) who worked as one to kill those in the opposing Kingdom.

->1400-1500’s persecution of believers who followed Jesus outside the State Churches, who killed (by the power of the State) believers who would not submit their allegiance to those kingdoms.

Prepare yourself — you are living in the repeat.

Believing and obeying Jesus

“You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John15

Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. Rev14

War, killing and the one world religion for world peace.

Satan is the ‘master-mind’ behind the powers that be (people) who are working against Christ. They have assigned the players and created the conflict. They are programming the masses in how they should believe about it all, and what the solutions to the conflicts should be. But we are not listening to their lies or instructions.

We have the mind OF CHRIST.

The people behind these events (what is happening now in the geo-political-religious-foreign-international realm) are working to get the American public in general but Christians especially to respond in certain ways:

1. Hate and fear the Muslims /Arabs/Egyptians/Persians, and want to go to war and blow them away (kill them with weapons) and “let god sort em out”.

2. Become so frustrated and discouraged with religious conflict and war that they eventually agree to the planned spiritual synthesis: an enforced satanic antichrist law-based one world religion for “permanent world peace”.

This is all satan’s work. How do we respond? We listen to Jesus and follow HIM, and do what HE tells us. Not to the god of this world, who is telling lies and telling you to do the exact opposite of what Jesus Christ said. Satan speaks across the airwaves on internet, TV, radio and yes, even Churches and Christian books and Christian conferences and Christian talk radio stations.

Here are basic instructions to us all, from the scriptures. See Him for your own personal instructions.

1. We obey Jesus Christ. We love the Muslims and ALL the peoples (ethnic groups) of the world. We love our neighbor, as we love ourselves. We love our enemies, those who hate us. We are merciful to them, as God showed us mercy. We love them as God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son… we bless those who curse us, we forgive those who kill us. Though 1000s fall beside us to believing the lie that they should go to war and kill “the enemy”, we as His witnesses, remain in the truth, have love for those who hate us, and we bring the gospel to them. In love and faith and obedience to Christ. In love and obedience we entrust our souls to our faithful Creator in faithfully obeying Jesus, whatever the repercussions.

2. We believe Jesus Christ, that Jesus is the way, the truth, the life, that no man comes to the Father, but by Him. We remain in the truth with simple childlike faith in Jesus Christ. Though 1000s fall beside us into the lie of global, law based, merciless, “rule of god” style, faux-moral, final solution, Jesus Christ-less spiritual global oneness. In love and faith and we entrust our souls to our faithful Creator in faithfully believing Jesus, whatever the results.

They turned the world upside down

This Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ. Acts17:3

Quote:
“If you wonder why the first century church turned the world upside down and why we do not, it is because they preached the gospel, and we do not. ” ~ quote from “Hearts for the Lost”.

The gospel that was preached in the first century offended the establishment Political Leaders (Rome) and the establishment Religious Leaders (of Jerusalem).

One result from their preaching (aside from people converting to faith in Jesus Christ) was that these followers of the Way (Christians) who preached the gospel, were labeled “traitors, treasonous and sacrilegious” by the State and, “heretics, law breakers and insubordinate” by the Religious Leaders. There was a price to pay for preaching this message.

Their preaching was not State Custom compliant (the custom of worshiping Caesar and the gods) nor was it Religious Tradition compliant (the tradition of loveless legalistic dead ritualistic rote religion).

Their preaching of JESUS IS THE WAY THE TRUTH THE LIFE and  REPENT THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND and SALVATION ONLY IN CHRIST JESUS THE LORD  actually offended the government and the religion! (“The State” and “The Church”, we would say today.) Their gospel threatened the State’s power and control over everyone as they forced allegiance to the gods and to Caesar as lord. Their gospel threatened the Religious Establishment’s power and control over everyone as they forced allegiance to the Religious Establishment and Leaders and Traditions and Rules.

The first century gospel turned the world upside down! What does that mean? The State flipped out when the Christians preached Jesus as Lord and they declared their allegiance to Him alone! (and not to the State or their System!) The Religious Establishment flipped out when the Christians preached Jesus as Lord and declared their allegiance to Him alone! (and not to the Religious Leaders or their System of manmade rules!)

The people flipped out when they heard that Jesus is the Way– NOT Rome or Caesar’s decrees, NOT the Temple in Jerusalem or the Pharisees’ traditions. JESUS IS THE WAY! Many believed and followed Jesus Christ THE WAY.

The people flipped out when they heard that the KINGDOM OF GOD is here and it is NOT the rule of Government’s Caesar in Rome and it is NOT the rule of the Religious Pharisees in Jerusalem. THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS the rule of JESUS CHRIST! In the hearts of His people! Many believed and entered the KINGDOM OF GOD.

The people flipped out when they heard that salvation is NOT through the State (Government) and it is NOT through the “Temple in Jerusalem” (the “Church”) (Established Religion). SALVATION IS IN JESUS CHRIST! Many believed and received SALVATION IN CHRIST ALONE.

Why is it different today? Why are not the Christians turning the world upside down today as in the first century?(I speak primarily of Western Christians.) Because the Christians have forsaken exclusive marriage TO CHRIST and have entered adulterous relationship with The Establishment State, with all its idolatry and false pagan gods. They are not opposing it, not separating from it, but joining it and fornicating with it. They make The State part of the way in their hearts. They make the State part of their salvation in their hearts. They make The State the kingdom of God in their hearts.

The Christians have forsaken exclusive marriage TO CHRIST and have entered adulterous relationship with The Establishment Church with all its pagan idolatry and false doctrines, traditions, rituals and idols, not opposing these things, not separating from these things but joining it and fornicating with it. They make The Church part of the way to God in their hearts. They make The visible institutional Church, the Kingdom of God in their hearts. They make The Church a major factor in their salvation in their hearts.

The gospel that is preached now is weak because it leaves out the fact that “JESUS IS THE WAY” means that State Government and Religion are NOT the way.

The gospel that is preached now is weak because it leaves out the fact that “THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS AT HAND” means that USA, the world, the government, the presidents, politics, political leaders, parties, laws, constitutions, nations and The Institutional Church is NOT the Kingdom.

The gospel that is preached now is weak because it leaves out the fact that “SALVATION IS ONLY IN CHRIST JESUS” means that it is NOT in Government or politics and it is NOT in Church or Religion or Traditions.

One reason the preachers of the modern gospel do not want to say these things is because they do not believe the truth that the first century believers believed. The other reason is that preaching the truth as the first century believers did, would jeopardize their standing in the world, ie, the Establishment: politics, government, the State, The Church, religion, “important people”….all that is the Establishment of the world system and society.  Thus allegiance is given to The State and to The Church, and not exclusively to Christ. And the true gospel is not preached.

The early believers preached in such a way that all hearers knew that their allegiance was ONLY TO CHRIST and that they were not giving any to the state or to the establishment religion. They had left “fear of man” in all its cowering and obedience to State and Religion, to follow Christ. They had faith, courage and boldness to preach the real gospel and were not afraid to declare this truth and declare their exclusive allegiance to Christ. The underlying foundation for their allegiance to Christ alone and their preaching is they had love for Jesus Christ that superseded everything. Their love for Christ superseded their desire for acceptance in the Church and State of the day. They feared not: being labeled “traitor” or “heretic”. They feared not: losing approval, family, friends, job, position, titles, income, benefits, social standing, acceptance, greetings in the marketplace, status, or their very lives.

The World System as it is now is overseen by the god of this world. The World System is that Establishment State and Establishment Religion. These World Systems are “business as usual” in the kingdom of darkness. Jesus was offered “all the kingdoms of the world” if He would bow down and worship the devil. He refused. The World System was humming along when Jesus Christ rose from the dead, appeared to His followers, ascended to heaven and sent the Holy Spirit to fill and empower His people. Their allegiance was to Christ alone. Their gospel was “Christ alone”. Their preaching messed with that world system as people were transferred from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of God’s Beloved Son. Their preaching upset the world system. They turned the world upside down.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
These that have turned the world upside down Acts17:6

are you willing

“Jesus is Lord”  1Cor12:3

Year 202 AD.
Roman State Official: “Declare your allegiance to Caesar! Say, ‘Caesar is lord’ and burn your incense on the altar to the gods of Rome!”

Christian: “No! I refuse. Jesus is Lord!” (declared with joy)

Roman Official: “Die Christian scum! You are guilty of sacrilege and treason against the Empire!”

Christ followers 202 AD: willing to die.

Year 2012 AD.
Roman State Official: “You have been approved. Sign here on the dotted line for your 501c3 State Incorporation Contract so you can have limited liability, financial gain and State permission and oversight.”

Pastor: “Yes sir!” (submissively)

Roman State Official: “Congratulations! Welcome to the Corporation. You are now duly incorporated with the State. By the power vested in me by the State, I pronounce you a Government Incorporated registered Church. Here is your manual of obligations, rules, regulations, requirements, and restrictions. Have a nice day!”

Churchianity 2012: willing to compromise

Friendship Evangelism

Here are some quotes from a recent newsletter article by David Brickner. Read the entire article here.

“Some people speak about “earning the right” to witness. While it seems like a humble thing to say, many people fail to see how that statement contradicts Scripture. The Bible teaches that proclaiming the gospel is an obligation to be fulfilled, not a right to be earned.”

“We hear much about relational or “friendship” evangelism, but the Bible says, “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore makes himself a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God (James 4:4).”

“Most who never quite get around to giving a clear-cut gospel message don’t even realize they are sacrificing their gospel witness on the altar of human acceptance.”

“It is easy to allow ourselves to believe that our silence is out of respect for those who might disagree with us. It is easy to see our motivation as noble, especially when we see our ultimate intention as positioning ourselves to be a better witness. But unfortunately, too often those intentions come to nothing, and we need to face the truth that sometimes our tact and our long-term intentions are merely masks that cover our natural fear of rejection and our reluctance to position ourselves where God really wants us: in a place of vulnerability.”

-quotes by David Brickner.

 

What Do You Expect?

I found this while blog surfing:

What Do You Expect?

By Paul Pilgrim

What do you expect when you minister or preach Jesus Christ to others? We were taught early on that we must witness our faith and commitment to Jesus Christ to the “un-saved”, or lost. This is not only what the apostles did, but they were also commanded of Jesus Christ himself to do so. We take the apostles mission and do the same thing because we want to see those who live in darkness to come to the light of Jesus Christ in their lives too.

But what are your expectations when you witness the light? Do you expect that others will respond and turn to Jesus Christ as savior and Lord? What do you do when they don’t, and does that shake your faith? Why don’t we see more brave people openly preaching Jesus Christ on the street corners, and in public places? Why do so many “Christians” not speak of Jesus Christ to anyone except when they get inside of a safe church building?

I think it is because of wrong expectations, that’s why. As long as what we say and preach is accepted by friends, family, and those we meet, then we are good with it, but that is hardly ever the case, and most people cannot bear being rejected by all for the sake of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Are you willing to preach, speak, and live according to your convictions, and the leading of the Holy Spirit? If you say yes, be prepared to be alone, for very few in this day can bear witness of the truth and light. If you still say yes, I will ask again what are your expectations?

You may be asking right now, ok Pilgrim, what should we expect?
Expect nothing, if you can. This way you will not be shaken, or tossed by what people may say or do. You should be obedient to God in your mission, and care not the reactions of people. We are witnesses of truth and light, which is Jesus Christ. We are to remain steadfast in our post, and there is no room for discouragement. Discouragement comes when our expectations are not met. Do not let the enemy gain a stronghold your life through loss of expectation.

We do the job God gave us, no matter if anyone ever believes us, or follows the light with us. In this wicked and evil generation in which we live, where faith in Jesus Christ is all but lost, except by a few, we should be evermore steadfast in our resolve to being a witness of the light.