Quote for Today
“To the world, truth is whatever man deems it to be. But to the one who is of the truth, he will hear Jesus voice, and recognize truth”
– Jerry Parks
“To the world, truth is whatever man deems it to be. But to the one who is of the truth, he will hear Jesus voice, and recognize truth”
– Jerry Parks
“Why were we not able to cast him out?”
It is a question which arises from truthful hearts; hearts with a quest for substance. While many would accept the outcome and simply move on unaffected and unchallenged by their lack of results, those who desire the reality of His power will embrace these pivotal moments in their pursuit of Him.
Jesus replied with this penetrating answer:
“Because of your unbelief”
To grow in truth, the child of God must receive truth. If we refuse the Words of our Master and the actualities of our faith, we choose a path of excuses and religion. The inability to recognize our need of Him is the dividing line between disciples of Christ and the religious adherent. One desires truth at any cost; the other seeks consolation and comfort. One desires the truth while the other seeks explanations and excuses.
Jesus can deal with the unbelief of His Own who will receive truth regardless of its personal impact. Jesus cannot help those who choose the way of hypocrisy and pretense. Falsehood is not a foundation upon which He will build. Confession without substance and teachings void of the demonstration of His power culminate in an unremarkable and impotent Christian experience.
The desire to know the truth must exceed our desire to not have our own feelings hurt or to hurt the feelings of others. Facing our own inadequacies is essential to our growth and development in Him. True ministry must be able to “speak the truth” to another in the same spirit of grace by which He has confronted our own failings.
Grace and Truth are never separated. Only the pretext of a religious “grace” sacrifices truth upon the altars of humanism, more concerned with the “feelings” of an individual rather than the truth.
“Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry,
but that ye sorrowed to repentance:
for ye were made sorry after a godly manner…”
2 Corinthians 7:9
Godly sorrow is the path to victory, confidence and a true life in Christ. The gift of repentance is the greatest of all gifts and proof of the goodness of God.
“Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?”
“Give me … a compassionate heart, quickly moved to grieve for the woes of others and to active pity for them, even as our Lord Jesus Christ beheld our poverty and hasted to help us. Give me grace ever to alleviate the crosses and difficulties of those around me, and never to add to them; teach me to be a consoler in sorrow, to take thought for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan; let my charity show itself not in words only but in deed and truth.”
— Johann Arndt (1555-1621)
“If the foot shall say,
Because I am not the hand,
I am not of the body;
is it therefore not of the body?”
I Corinthians 12:15
Value. Even in earthly things the value of something is based on what someone will pay for it, not its intrinsic worth. Something that may be of little value to one is priceless to another. In the Church at Corinth there was much dissimulation and controversy because there was much value put on specific expressions while others were minimized. Today we have a similar situation where multitudes of God’s redeemed people sit in ignorance of the wealth and the precious investment that is theirs in Christ Jesus. We all admire a gracious ministration of God in an individual, but the truth of the New Covenant is that Jesus paid the SAME PRICE for every man. He tasted the SAME DEATH for everyone that calls upon HIS NAME. The attitude expressed here “because I am not the hand”, therefore I am of less value is really an expression of unbelief rather than humility. Function does not determine value, rather the price paid! How we need to see things through the eyes of our Redeemer! We hear things such as; “I could never preach like that, pray like that” and that may be true. However, it is the “I” that is the problem, not the giver. For there to be unity, life and glory in the Body of Christ there is no room for I. This is His Body and HE PLACES the members in it as it pleases HIM not us; there is no such thing as something insignificant in God’s Eternal purposes. What HE has purchased is to become a priceless, unique and powerful expression of HIS LIFE. It is UNBELIEF that says “because I am not the hand, I am not of the body…” It is the recipient of the one talent which hid his portion in the ground that received such a stern judgement from the hand of the Lord.
“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord,
we persuade men…”
II Corinthians 5:11
The FEAR OF THE LORD is the great leveler of men. Paul is stating here that the thing that propelled HIM from one city to the next in HIS declaration of the Gospel was the fear of the Lord. The fear of the Lord does not paralyze men it enables men to walk, live and be responsible to the investment of the Lord in our lives. It causes us to face our own unbelief and ARISE to walk in HIS PROVISION. It frees us from the fear of man, the fear of inadequacy and the fear of failure. It brings us to the awful recognition that it is to HIM that I must give an account, and that it is a terrible sin to hold the precious things of HIM in faithless inactivity and unbelief. This is the DAY for the people of God to ARISE and LIVE and WALK in the provisions of the SON in OUR FATHER’S HOUSE. All things are HIS, and HE is looking for a healthy return upon the investment that HE has given.
The validity of any ministry is revealed in the degree of life that the people of God exhibit within the sphere of its influence. Unique, powerful and varied expressions pulsate with a life that only lives to bring glory, honour and praise unto HIM from which all things do flow. The purpose of ministry is to bring others into their own ministry by ministering faith and responsibility into the life of each believer. For it is in each member feeling the “weight” of their obligation unto their Lord and Saviour that this body will arise in such glory and power that this world will know that this is indeed the Body of Christ.
“…but God hath tempered the body together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked: That there should be no schism in the body; but that the members should have the same care one for another“
I Corinthians 12:24 – 25
It is in the doing of these things that they become the everyday reality of our lives. We must tear down these strongholds for the desire of the Lord is to bring us to the same love one for another that there be no schism in the body of Christ.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
Malachi 3:10 – 11
We hear much of tithing. How repulsive that it has become only a tithing of the unrighteousness mammon and not a tithing of the produce of the Lord within the hearts of the individual believer! How dare we believe that in giving more money the result will be “meat in HIS HOUSE”! Finances will not produce spiritual meat to supply the people of God with strength in the power of HIS MIGHT! The Church of Jesus Christ is a SPIRITUAL House not an earthly organization! A Spiritual house needs spiritual tools to build it, and it is in the functioning of each and every member that this house will arise and be fully completed!
This is the day for the people of God to walk in their gifts and callings and to know the responsibility and necessity of bringing their spiritual tithes into the storehouse, that there may be fullness and blessing in our midst.
“What difference does it make to you
what someone else becomes, or says, or does?
You do not need to answer for others,
only for yourself”
THOMAS À KEMPIS (C. 1380–1471)
“There is no man living that can do the work that God has got for me to do. No one can do it but myself. And if the work ain’t done we will have to answer for it when we stand before God’s bar”
“…But ye gave the Nazarites wine to drink;
and commanded the prophets, saying, Prophesy not”
The road to apostasy is paved with carelessness, the watering down of true discipleship, and a refusal to hear the Word of the Lord. The calamities and judgments that followed such a prescription of “religion” are devastating and inevitable. Where the fear of the Lord no longer enters the mind of the people of God, His Holiness and Majesty is watered down to a God who no longer is concerned about righteousness and truth. Truth becomes a teaching rather than a life and righteousness is reduced to doctrinal position in the stead of a heart where the fire of God burns the dross of fallen humanity. Where the majority of the preaching today in its essence declares ‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil”.
“And it shall come to pass at that time
That I will search Jerusalem with lamps,
And punish the men who are settled in complacency,
who say in their heart,
‘The Lord will not do good, Nor will He do evil”
The result of the religion of men is to reduce God to an idea and a concept which portrays Him as one that neither rewards righteousness nor judges evil. While this is not said in so many words it is the premise of much of the presentation of the gospel in this hour. We tell the world that they need to repent but after having “accepted Him” there is a carelessness about how one lives. The complacency and apathy of the people of God in this hour is evident when we no longer expect from ourselves a life of true righteousness and those who are pursuing this life are told to “drink wine (compromise)” and in effect “don’t take this stuff too seriously”. We hear the expression that a man is so heavenly minded that he is no earthly good; in fact it should be stated that unless we become heavenly minded our lives are no earthly good!
May the Lord stir up the prophetic word in this hour to show the error, apostasy and the carelessness of His people. Let there be a WORD going forth in the FIRE of His love and jealously that this is the DAY OF THE LORD. THIS IS THE DAY TO TURN FROM OUR WAYS. It is not a day to live carelessly and walk in the love of the things of this world for the WORD OF THE LORD IS…
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world.
If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him”
I John 2:15
The focus of our life is the revelation of the love of our life. Our prayer life reveals the things that are dear to us. If all we pray for is our needs, wants and troubles, if the only things we hold up in prayer are those things that concern US and OUR little circle then we NEED to find Him afresh. We are here for the “building up of the Body of Christ”; to see the “Unity of the Faith” revealed IN THE EARTH! If the Risen Christ is ever “making intercession for US” that expression of love for others should also be a reality in our hearts.
“Though all the winds of doctrine were let loose to play upon the earth, so Truth be in the field, we do injuriously by licensing and prohibiting to misdoubt her strength. Let her and Falsehood grapple; who ever knew Truth put to the worse, in a free and open encounter”
– John Milton
“It is wondrous how, the truer we become, the more unerringly we know the ring of truth, can discern whether a man be true or not, and can fasten at once upon the rising lie in word and look and dissembling act – wondrous how the charity of Christ in the heart perceives every aberration from charity in others, in ungentle thought or slanderous tone.”
– FW Robertson
“A god who is all love, all grace, all mercy, no sovereignty, no justice, no holiness, and no wrath is an idol.”
– RC Sproul
“Beware of manufacturing a God of your own: a God who is all mercy, but not just; a God who is all love, but not holy; a God who as a heaven for every body, but a hell for none; a God who can allow good and bad to be side by side in time, but will make no distinction between good and broad in eternity. Such a God is an idol of your own, as truly an idol as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple. The hands of your own fancy and sentimentality have made him. He is not the God of the Bible, and beside the God of the Bible there is no God at all.”
– J.C. Ryle
“And God said unto Moses,
I AM THAT I AM”
Lost within the complex maze of religion there is a bright and shining truth: God is God. Men and women seek to define the mystery of God with words, doctrines and dogmas. In so doing they invariably end up with an image or a concept of something which has little or no relationship to His true being. Through the ages people have established images and methods of worship in order to appease their inner sense of knowing that He exists. Religion is merely the invention of men seeking to unravel the mystery; to find the wonder of God within the riddle of their innate consciousness of His reality. Even the atheist acknowledges the idea of God by his determination to argue His non-existence. This sense of God is universal for within creation lies the thumbprint and the effervescence of His certainty. The idea of matter coming into existence out of nothing is in itself an absurdity. Neither can life and consciousness of being spring forth from inanimate matter. To hold the notion that the birth of a life is the summation of mindless, inanimate specks of the material world evolving themselves from nothingness into the spark of a living soul is to deny all logic or reason.
One of the fundamental laws of Being is that inanimate matter is incapable of the acknowledgement of its own existence.
“I AM THAT I AM”
This is the declaration of God Himself. What is true in Him is true of us. We are who we are. This sounds trite and banal yet at the core of this acknowledgment is the rationale as to who we are. The mystery of self is in itself proof of God’s existence. It is this sense of being and self wherein lies the spark and inspiration for the contemplation and inquiry into the mystery of God.
The verity of our being is the validation of His being.
The distinctiveness of each life, the individuality and uniqueness of every living thing, speaks of a creator who is capable of infinite thought and design. The concept of uniqueness communicates an aspect of His attentive design to every one of us! We need look no further than the mystery of the singularity of every living thing to recognize a creator. Every tree, flower, animal and human, though each may be of the same species, differs in its own being. The fir tree, though bearing a likeness to all other fir trees, is still differentiated by its own being. Its bent, its limbs and overall structure are the result of the master creator. All creation has purpose and design within our own experiential reality.
The interaction of the forces of nature express the integrated logic of design. The wind, rain and heat shape and form the beauty of mountains, canyons and deserts. Rivers cut into the various geographical features of our world producing beauty that fills our souls with awe. All are expressions of the design of God. The fact that we are created by His design and then set into this world to be formed and shaped by our interactions with the rest of His creation speaks of His continued interest in each of us. The ongoing works of God are the means and method of Him finishing what He has begun. The living tree, ever becoming more of itself through the process of life, is a mere reflection of God’s work in the human soul. Trees which have suffered great injury respond by becoming very unique from their counterparts. Life is the ability to respond and react to the experiences around us. It is this reaction which defines our own growth and brings us in reality to the development of our own being. Nothing in life is static; everything is moving, changing and in the process of becoming. It is this process of becoming that brings us to the reality of Good and Evil.
Evil in itself can only exist if there is the notion of Good. It is in our knowledge of goodness that we have the ability to call something evil. If there were only evil, there would be no contrasting value from which we could assess its nature. The atheist who questions how there could be a God when they consider the evil in the world, is aware of a sense of goodness from which he is referencing “evil”. It is a contradiction in itself. This innate understanding of good is an affirmation of God’s existence. The laws of government, which set the boundaries of the behavior of its citizens, is proof world wide of this latent consciousness of good and evil. Even the most primitive, undeveloped and isolated societies of the world have laws which are designed to govern their conduct. If there were no fingerprint of God within humanity, if we were but the outcome of a mindless process of atomic matter, reason would not exist. Good and evil would be a non-existent concept. It is the sense of goodness alone by which evil is defined.
The more evil an individual or nation becomes the greater their sense of goodness diminishes. The progressive work of evil, apart from repentance, will culminate in greater darkness. The more an individual becomes good, the greater their sensitivity to evil. It is this discrimination that increases their capacity to recognize the good, choose the good and thereby become good. Evil becomes more evil in the light of that which is good.
Good and evil are expressions of the latent condition of the soul. The existence of both is evident in the mixture and impurity of our own selves. God’s work in us is to purify our hearts; purity is simply the absence of mixture. Purity is the desire of a life committed to truth and holiness. Purity is the lens through which we see God (“Blessed are the pure in heart…for they shall see God” Matthew 5:8). Religion has little desire for purity. Its way of “seeing” God lies in instructions and teachings, observances of laws and regulations, and their purpose is to convince others of their “rightness”. External observances will never in themselves effect change in the nature of an individual. Transformation requires a higher nature bringing change to a lower nature. Jesus Himself questioned the religious leaders of His day “And which of you with taking thought can add to his stature one foot?”. These “spiritual” leaders were slaves to their own traditions and laws. They measured themselves by an outward conformity to their concept of God and set themselves in opposition to the Light of God. Their pride resulted in a life of hypocrisy. They measured their growth in God by their external adherence to the law rather than by the internal transformation of their hearts to the goodness, grace and wonder of God. Religion can make people capable of greater evil because they have an ability to justify evil under the pretense of “doing God a service” (John 16:2). They think that what they “believe” determines who they are before God – regardless of their actions. Such a contradiction is deception.
Another universal law of being is this: what people DO is the revelation of WHO they are. Religion tends to affirm what people “believe” determines who they are regardless of their actions. Such a contradiction is the LIE of religious deception.
Another Fundamental Law of Being is:
What One DOES is the revelation of what One IS
“Let no man deceive you:
he that does righteousness is righteous…”
1 John 3:7
How simple this statement is and yet within the religious world of teachings and doctrines this is a contradiction! One religion teaches if I pray every day, I am in good standing with God regardless if I kill or injure others around me. Another religion teaches if I simply confess a statement of faith I am no longer accountable for my ongoing actions. In some manner or another it becomes a way to pacify or excuse the wrong being and doing. Whenever evil is justified God’s proximity to that heart is lessened. To kill another in the name of God is inconceivable. To despise another (who is created in the image of God) is to despise God Himself. Right doing can only come in truth from right being. The hope of righteousness (right being) cannot be known through the outward works of religion. The Peace OF God cannot be known apart from the righteousness 0f God. True Peace is the fruit of the rightness of being, not a correctness of doctrine.. The purpose of teaching is to bring men and women into purity of heart and the authenticity of life. The God who tells us to “love our enemies” is capable of making this a reality.
“Love thinketh no evil…”
1 Corinthians 13:4-5
When a life is governed by the incomprehensible Love of God, it becomes incapable of thinking evil. It is incapable of envy and lust. Love is the true fulfillment of the heart of man. An individual filled with Love has no need for other things. His deepest longings are fully met in the admiration and the worship of God Himself.
“Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned,
in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.”
This fulfillment is only available within the Life of Christ Himself. Rest is experienced only when God Himself is at rest within us.
“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness:
I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.”