Archive for December, 2014


“To the angel of the church in Ephesus write: The One who holds the seven stars in His right hand, the One who walks among the seven golden lampstands, says this: ‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place-unless you repent. (‭Revelation‬ ‭2‬:‭1-5‬ NASB)

I was curious about this so I went out and read a number of posts and websites talking about this scripture. I found them all to be lacking what I was feeling. Especially one in particular. He interpreted the above as a church which had gotten so religious that they focused mainly upon their own rituals and activities and lost track of Jesus. I just don’t see that. God told them that they “endured for His names sake and did not grow weary.” This isnt a church that lost sight of God at all.

I tend to fall upon the revelations of William Branham here. I believe his revelations were proved by his ministry, by the signs and wonders performed. Don’t believe all that you read. In the revelation the Lord gave him, the Ephesians were the first church age, basically from Pentacost through about 235 AD(Nicean council) if I remember correctly. This seems right to me as it speaks of apostles and a vibrant church that did many things. Apostles really haven’t been in place much since the beginning. Some call themselves apostles but not many walk it. So we are talking about the church back then, the kind where peters “shadow” healed people, where Paul put a whole church city in turmoil just by witnessing not of Christ. A time when the power of God was manifest. And this, one of the most powerful churches, God said they lost their love.

Instead of a the previous writer I mentioned who tried to apply this scripture to the current church, you need that context. So what was the problem. That they were seeing such a successful ministry, that they were bringing all these people to Christ, changing the world, but they forgot something.

In the end, what were we made for? To be sons of God, to be friends, to be a bride. Our first role is that of a priest, to minister to God, then to take that to a world. If that relationship begins to suffer, we can cover it over with more effort, but God knows.

No, our initial purpose is to love God. This does not involve mission trips, or bible studies, or even witnessing. This is not the message I tend to hear among many of the evangelical churches I’ve know, even the pentacostal ones.  They focus on your participation, your giving, your sacrifice.  What they cannot see is your heart.  No, this involves coming alone in your room, and loving Him. Talking with Him, meditating upon all His words(Bible or rema words), waiting upon Him, setting your heart upon Him. When you make your love service to Him, you have left your love. You love is him. You can be the bride of Christ.

Do you remember what it was like to first be in love with your spouse. How you could just watch them, stare into their eyes, talk about the dumbest things. How everything they did was wonderful. Now, apply that to Jesus. Do the same things. Treat Him them same way. Make your love real and vibrant, not a show of what services you can provide but what love you can express. Woo Him. Sing love songs to Him. Touch His heart.

Draw near… for you know what the result of that is.

I was never taught holiness growing up.  I was taught about doing the right things, about the commandments, about being good, but not holiness.  I’ve always known that we should be good, do the right thing, because that’s what God wants us to do.  I think I knew in some way that the better I was, the more pleased He would be, but we’ve been brought up with so much grace, it’s hard to really know what to believe.  It’s more like we’re shooting for a cutoff.  Somewhere good enough that we know we’re saved because God’s working in our lives to keep us good, but not so good that we have to give up too much, or try to hard.  Far be it that we inconvenience ourselves for God.

So, let’s just say I start looking into holiness more, we can probably think Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj for that.  And one day I went searching for scriptures and found this one.

Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. – 2 Corinthians 7:1

Interesting.  So having “these promises”, we need to be holy.  That intrigued me more, maybe I found something very valuable here, so I go back and read the section before.

Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among themAnd I will be their God, and they shall be My people“Therefore, come out from their midst and be separate,” says the Lord.  “And do not touch what is unclean; and I will welcome you.  “And I will be a father to you, and you shall be sons and daughters to Me,” says the Lord Almighty. – 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

Now, at this point, I feel like I need to be honest.  When I read that, it just went over my head.  I remember thinking, what do these have to do with holiness, what is this, and why is it worth it.  Not exactly sure why it didn’t sink in much, in fact, I nearly moved on, but decided to add it to my list.  My list of passages to meditate on.  I keep a list.  Things I want to memorize and just go over and over, and somehow I knew this was on.

So I memorized it, meditated on it a little bit.  Seemed good, still not a big revelation, until recently.  When I go back over it and make sure I have it memorized and I really begin to think here.

Firstly, I love the thought of God saying that I will be part of His people.  That He will dwell in us, and walk along side us.  What a promise! And it even gets better.  Not only that, but He goes on to say He will be a Father to us, and we will be sons and daughters to Him.  Think about this.  He will be a father.  Tell me, what child does not know his father.  What kind of child doesn’t live with his father, know his voice, see him often.  I can think of two types, an orphan or a bastard.  Either we were born and were lost, or we were born out of wedlock.  I really don’t have a spiritual analogy here for each, other than to say that I remember Jesus saying He would not leave us as orphans.

So let’s be honest with ourselves here.  It’s about time we actually believe the Bible.  If the word says we will be God’s people, He will dwell in us, walk with us, be our Father; don’t you think we would actually know Him.  We’re back to my age-old issue here with much of christianity right now.  We don’t know God.  We “spiritually” know Him, as in, we have faith in the Word, but we don’t live that.  We don’t talk with Him, see Him, move in His presence.  Instead, we guess, we hope, we blindly wander about trying to do His will.  If we’re honest, the life we live is not what He promised.

So what was the promise in 2 Corinthian 6, that if we come out from their midst and don’t touch what is unclean, then we will be His children.  Sounds to me like God wants us to be holy.  If that wasn’t clear enough, Paul finished it up.  “Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.”   So the natural result of these promises is to cleanse ourselves and be holy.

What does this mean?  That the basis of our relationship with God is holiness.  That’s it.

If we want to hear his voice, we better practice holiness.  If we want to walk in His courts, holiness.  If you want to see God(blessed are the pure in heart), holiness.

Be holy, for I am holy. – 1 Peter 1:16

If it couldn’t be done, why would Paul tell us to perfect holiness, instead of saying to try and be as holy as we can. It is possible. And it is necessary.  Something that popped into my head while I was praying today is below.  These three attributes being the basis for practicing holiness.  I have no scripture basis for this part, so take it with a grain of salt.

Holiness = HOnesty + humiLIty + brokeNESS

So holiness….

Who’s in?

This was from Sadhu Sundar Selvaraj’s series, A Rose For Jesus, where he was speaking about steps to coming to know Jesus, the bridegroom.  One of the last steps he gave, but said was one of the most important, was “Nakedness of your heart”.  He actually likened it to marriage and how, well, you get the picture.  We come before each other and there’s nothing hidden, nothing we can cover up.

This is key to our relationship with the Lord.  When we come before Him in prayer, in worship, we must bare our hearts.  We must open up completely to Him, we are who we are, there’s no hiding, no holding back.

So I heard him saying this, and I just wasn’t getting it.  I knew that this was very important, but its the sort of thing that as you talk about it you kind of think “duh, of course you are open before God”. I knew I didn’t really get it, so I continued to think on this, to ponder it.  Over the next few days it began to sink more and more in.

During this period, when I would come in prayer, I would first stop and try to open myself up.  Try to reveal all of my soul.  There’s no pretense, no memorized prayers, just me opening up, telling the Lord this is who I am, here are my faults, we both know they are there.  I want more of you, but I keep doing this.  Thank you for your mercy as always.  Know what I found?  When there’s honesty, it leads to holiness.  You see, when I’m honest with myself and with God, I can’t continue in my sin.  As long as I can pretend to myself that I am not in sin, and just not mention it, I’ll stay there.  But to be honest before the Lord, is to also be honest with myself.  When I get there, I repent.  I mean seriously, how can you come before the living God, say, look at my sin, but I think I’ll keep doing it.

As I write this, I was stopping of a period of not being open.  For years I could have my quiet times, and not be honest with God.  I could read my Bible, sometimes getting something out of it.  I could go through my list of prayers, things I need, others need, without really coming in humility  before God.  But now I know.  So for the last several days, I couldn’t pray, because I can’t come before the Lord that way anymore.  In my heart I knew I wasn’t ready to face Him, to face my sins and move away.  I wanted my things.  Isn’t so horrible how much we can turn against a God who loves us so much.

I’m sure this does much, much else.  How can you deepen a relationship with honesty and trust.  Same thing with God.  It’s always a little weird because we know that He knows it all anyway, but I think it’s best to not treat Him that way.  You come there, you tell Him all anyway.  Speak to Him as a person.  That’s always a big thing to me, God is a person, not a box or computer.  Talk to Him that way.

Always listen, stay humble, be open, cry often, and hunger.