Sayings From The Dragon Slayer

May. 5, 2018

As helpful as it can be to compare doctrines of different men concerning the Scripture; it also becomes apparent that the doctrines of men about God can lead to a sandy foundation of division, confusion, and error which amounts to a weak and incomplete understanding of the full counsel of God which can only come through the hearing of Christ, which is the doctrine of God, not just about God. Jesus said that His sheep will hear His voice, and will follow no other (Jn 10). I referr you to (Prov 3:5-6, 29:18-19, Mt 16, 17:5, Jn 5:34-44). In order to establish this communication from God, the church must first get on it’s knees and humbly bow to God with unceasing prayer (1 Thess 5:17); My Father’s house is a house of prayer (Mt 21:13), but you have made it a house of merchandise (Jn2:16). 

No matter how sophisticated men become in their intellectual theological reasonings about God, they will never come to the place of knowing God except through a personal union with God through Jesus Christ formed in their own souls. Jesus said that in this alone is eternal life (Jn 17). Jesus clearly said that if we continue in His words we will know the truth and the truth will make us free (Jn 8:31-32). Jesus said that He Himself was the way, the truth and the life (Jn 14:6). Christ became the anointed presence of God to the church when the Holy Spirit was poured out at Pentecost (Ac 1-2). This is why John could say that the Holy Spirit will lead us into all truth (Jn 16:13); that we need no man to teach us truth, for the anointing teaches us all things, and is truth (1 Jn 2:20-27). 

This does not mean that an immature Christian can apply this directly to his own life without first becoming spiritually mature himself. Paul clearly taught that Christians must first  become mature through God gifted mature ministers before they themselves can do the work of Spirit directed ministry and become ministers of the Word of Truth (Eph 4). Jesus said that we would be either condemned or justified by our words (Mt 12:31-37). Paul taught on this need of becoming properly equipped as teachers before attempting to teach others in a way that they may taste God and become mature Christians, lest they crucified Christ afresh (Heb 5:11-6:6). This calling carries with it a great responsibility that will be judged by God Himself (Ja 3:1, 2 Pet, Jude).

May God have mercy on us all.

Your kindly remarks, questions, or prayer requests are welcome here: 

http://www.at-the-crossroad.com/431864242

Apr. 2, 2018

One of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray…" (Luke 11:1); then he said that we are to continue to ask, seek, and not until the door of the Holy Spirit is opened to us (11:9-13).

In today’s Christian world most Christians pray to get things from God for themselves, this is a selfish approach to prayer, whereas the Scripture teaches that we are to pray for the purpose of getting God in our life; in other words to become holy as God is holy, for without holiness no man shall see God (1 Pet 1:15-17, Heb 12:14). The purpose of Jesus’s high priestly prayer was for the purpose of us becoming one with God (Jn 17); to become children of God through the word of God/Christ (Jn 1:1-12). The reason scripture does not teach that we should pray for things from God, is because God already knows what we need (Mt 6:8). Good strippers for us is to be transformed by the renewing of our mind and become a new creation in Christ (Rm 12:1-2, 2 Co 5:17).

Prayer is not a normal part of the life of the natural man. We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer Mt 4:4). When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life. Prayer is the way that the life of God in us is nourished. Our common ideas regarding prayer are not found in the New Testament. We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God (Mt 4:4).

“Ask, and you will receive…” (John 16:24). We complain before God, and sometimes we are apologetic or indifferent to Him, but we actually ask Him for very few things. Yet a child exhibits a magnificent boldness to ask! Our Lord said, “…unless you…become as little children…” (Matthew 18:3). Ask and God will do. Give Jesus Christ the opportunity and the room to work. The problem is that no one will ever do this until he is at his wits’ end. When a person is at his wits’ end, it no longer seems to be a cowardly thing to pray; in fact, it is the only way he can get in touch with the truth and the reality of God Himself. Be yourself before God and present Him with your problems— the very things that have brought you to your wits’ end. But as long as you think you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.

To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things through God who works in me.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things and live his life. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature in order that we may become perfect/mature, as our heavenly Father is perfect (Mt 5:48).

The apostle Paul taught that the work of the ministry is for the purpose of bringing the church into maturity (Eph 4). As we continue to pray to God for his Spirit working in us our inner man will be renewed day by day (2 Co 4:16-18). As our inner man is renewed day by day, the believer will become a manifest son of God who is then capable of setting the creation free Rm 8:19).

God has called us to be His body/church on earth for this very purpose. God requires His physical children, empowered by his Spirit to accomplish the things that are required on His physical earth. This was God‘s plan from the beginning (Gn 1:28), but man became separated from God by sin. The gospel of the kingdom was designed to bring the will of God on earth as it is in heaven, which is plainly stated in the Lords prayer. 

 

(Reposted by permission of The Dragon Slayer)

 

Mar. 27, 2018

“Woe is me, I am ruined, for I am a man of unclean lips“ (Isaiah 6:5).

Question: Why is it so difficult to tame the tongue?

Answer: The concept of taming the tongue is found in James 3 where God declares, through the apostle James, that “no one can tame the tongue” (James 3:8). The lengthy discussion about the tongue in this chapter is both convicting and illuminating. Among the things this chapter reveals about the tongue: it is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts (verse 5); it is a fire and a world of evil that defiles the whole person (verse 6); it is set on fire by hell (verse 6); and it is an unrestrainable evil and full of deadly poison (verse 7). Is it any wonder, then, that God declares that taming the tongue is impossible in one’s own strength?

When Adam sinned, God imputed that sin to mankind, so, whether or not we want to believe it, every human being is born with a wicked heart and an evil sin nature (Jeremiah 17:9, Romans 3:10–18). Lurking within each of us are varying degrees of hatred, bitterness, jealousy, and pride, and the tongue takes hold of these and other destructive tendencies and strikes out, often with a push from Satan. We see this every day among strangers, friends, siblings, and, worst of all, among husbands and wives, the very people who, next to their love for the Lord Jesus, should have the most love for each other (Ephesians 5:22–33). The great commandment is to love God with all our heart, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).

What is to be done, then, to tame the tongue? If God has declared that “no one” can tame the tongue, how can we even begin to do so? While many people have quit smoking or drinking by the power of the human will, the problem of the heart and tongue cannot be solved by human will power. It takes the power of the resurrected Christ within us to control the tongue, and that power is available only to those who turn their lives over to Him (Romans 8:10–14). As with so many things in life, “with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible” (Matthew 19:26).

There is only One who can control the tongue. Only by God’s Spirit living within us can we hope to gain control over our tongues. He convicts us when we sin with our lips, and that conviction drives us to repent and pray for more filling of the Spirit so we can avoid further sin. As we cling to Him and yield to Him in obedience, He controls us more and more, including our tongues.

“With man these things are impossible, but with God all things are possible“ (Matthew 19:26).

Here are seven Bible verses that refer to taming the tongue.

James 3:8 “But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. What is ironic in the human tongue, mine naturally included, is that “With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:9). That’s like expecting to find poisonous water and fresh water coming out of the same fountain.  It is contrary to the Spirit of God and the will of God.  Sadly, no human can tame this wild tongue of ours so we must rely on God’s strength in trying to bridle it because it’s just about as hard as bridling a wild stallion.

Proverbs 18:21 “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”

Words have meaning.  They can bring great joy and admonishment but they can also leave deep wounds where scars cannot be seen or easily be healed.   One small word can do so much good but it can also do so much bad.  The power of the human tongue is that it can make a child believe they’ll never amount to anything or they’ll feel encouraged by their parents and feel like they can amount to anything.   The rudder on a great ship is so tiny compared to the vessel but that same tiny rudder can cause the whole vessel to sink.

1 Peter 3:10 “Whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit.”

Peter writes about the tongue as something we must do; keep it from evil and the “lips from speaking deceit.”  It takes a cooperative work with the Spirit and Jesus strengthening us to keep this rebel member of the body. The tongue likes to move before the brain told it what to say.  Peter puts it like this; if we love life and desire to see a good day then keep the tongue from evil (words) and lips from lying because “a lying tongue” is an abomination to God (Proverbs6:17).

James 1:26 “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.”

Is there someone you know who seems to be religious but just can’t keep his tongue under control?  James has a word for them; if someone really thinks he’s a religious person but lies and deceives, then that person’s religion is totally worthless.  It’s one thing to say you’re a Christian but sometimes our words betray us; they reveal what’s in our heart.  Jesus clarifies this point by saying “the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things defile a man” (Matthew 15:18) because it is “out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” (Matthew15:19).

Proverbs 12:18 “There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

One second of restraint can mean avoiding a thousand days of regret.  What I mean is that spontaneous anger never ends well and the person who spoke the angry words nearly always ends up with regrets for what they said.  The use of imagery is very vivid and compares to the deadliness of a quick thrusting of rash words with that of actual sword thrusts.  This naturally injures the person on the receiving end however the tongue of the wise can often heal what the rash person has inflicted.  The rash one is constantly cutting a path by mowing down everyone in their way on the way to what they want, however the wise person’s words can act as a balm that promotes inner healing.

James 3:5 “So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire.”

It takes one tiny bit of gossip, one slip of someone’s confidential files, or some flash of anger in a moment to set a whole forest on fire.  Smallness does not mean insignificant.  Dynamite does come in small packages and nothing in the human body packs a punch like the human tongue.  It can do so many great things but it can also do so many destructive things.  Like the old Navy saying “loose lips sink ships” so a tongue can sink a marriage, a church, a relationship, a job, and just about anything else you can imagine. The tongue’s like a loose cannon on a wave-tossed ship. It can help but it can also quickly turn on you.

Proverbs 15:4 “A gentle tongue is a tree of life, but perverseness in it breaks the spirit.”

In this final Bible verse about taming the tongue, Solomon sees a gentle tongue as one that gives life but when used in a perverse or evil manner, it breaks the person’s spirit. At least it breaks their resistance to perversion.  The tongue and the words used can be profanity-laced or grace-filled. The choice is purely up to the one which the tongue belongs too.  It is a matter of personal choice so it is always best to remember that “The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouths of fools pour out folly” (Proverbs 15:2).

 

Conclusion

What was on the tongue of the psalmist should be on ours too as he wrote, “I cried to Him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue” (Psalm 66:17) so “my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long” (Psalm 71:24).  There is no greater use for the tongue “because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9).

Praying continually for God‘s mercy is an excellent use of the tongue.

(Used by permission of the Dragon Slayer.)

 
 
Mar. 10, 2018

"... Until Christ is formed in you." (From Galatians 4:19)

There are many Christian denominations in the world today, all claiming to have the corner on truth; but as Pilate asked Jesus: “what is truth?“ Jesus said that you will know them/truth by their fruits. Pauls criteria was whether Christ was being formed in you. So if you are experiencing a transformation from your old self to the new creation of Christ, Then you are on the path of truth according to Scriptures. 

In the mind of God, truth is a verb expressing the action of God and not merely somthing we verbally confess or say. Remember James said that the tongue was a member set on the fires of hell. Jesus said that He is the Way, Truth, and the Life (Jn 14:6). In other words being a doer of the word as James taught is the true expression of faith and truth. This ultimately means that we must be formed in Christ by doing Christ who is in us by the power of  God’s grace that works in us by faith, in order to be of the truth expressed in word and deed. If our words do not match our deeds, we are partakers of the lying evil one, and not true sons of God, Sense the truth is not in us in reality. The critical question then is: how can Christ be formed in us who is truth, In order that we can be set free from the world, the flesh, and the devil, and be doers of the word, not just hearers? The answer to this question is the answer to our salvation according to the scriptures! Let us proceed:

How Christ Is Formed In You

Paul was in travail until Christ be formed in the church members (Gal 4:19). Earlier in his letter, Paul provided the answer to the how: which is our co-crucifixion with Christ (Ga 2:20). Paul defined the gospel of God as our co- crucifixion, burial, and resurrection  with Christ (Rm 6:1-11). It is through this gospel, and no other that we receive power of the resurrection to put on immortality and recieve the knowledge and life of God (1 Co 15). This is work God worked in us by his loveand grace, but the Scriptures teach that this is not all there is to salvation of our souls. 

We also have a part to play in our salvation. Paul taught that we are to work out our own salvation in obedience with fear and trembling (Phil 2:12).  Jesus taught that if we love him we will keep his commandments (Jn 14:15-31). Jesus taught this radical gospel to his disciples when he said that we must also take up our cross through total denial of self in order to follow Him in the way of the kingdom of God (Lk 14:23-29). Personal repentance in order to enter the kingdom of God is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Mt 3:2).

The New Testament reveals that the cross is the foundation of the gospel of salvation. But if we do not yield to the Gospel in a practical way, by building our life upon it in word and deed, and not just in a forensic way, we will gain nothing of God due to a lack of spiritual substance and growth (1 Co 3). Jesus taught that is way what street and narrow hard, and that you will find it (Mt 7:13-14). Jesus said that unless we “yield” to the cross we will not taste His supper (Lk 14:23-24). This may have been what Paul meant when he warned the church not to take the Lords supper unworthily, lest we bring judgement upon ourselves  (1 Co 11:27-29). Paul also taught that we are to examine ourselves to see if we are in the faith (2 Co 13:5). Paul also spoke of tasting as it relates to spiritual growth founded upon the personal participation of the cross beyond mere doctrines about Christ, just professing Him. Paul taught that to do this is to crucified Christ afresh (Heb 5:14-6:6). James taught that even the Devils believe (Ja 2:14-19). He taught that if our faith is not proven by deeds of God working in and through us, we have a dead faith that is worthless (Ja 2:20-26).

Peter taught the church the critical need of repentance: changing our mind (elements), in order to experience the coming of Christ in us and grow in grace (2 Pet 3). Paul taught that it is through the experience of Christ in us that we grow from glory to glory (Col 1:27, 2 Co 3:18). Jesus taught that the kingdom of God begins in us (Lk 17:21) as we die to self (Lk 17:33).

Jude warned Christians about heretical apostate teacher who pervert the grace (spiritual power of Christ in us through our real participation with the cross of Christ). They pervert God’s true salvation with an empty gospel, being cisterns with no substance, and changing the grace of God into lawlessness, even denying our sole master: the Lord Jesus Christ, the anointed one, refusing to rely on the grace of God’s power in them. Paul wrote to Timothy to warn the church about teachers that have a form of godliness but denying the power thereof, from such turn away (2 Tim 3:5)!

They scoff at the glorious ones (saints). They scoff at anything that they do not understand; And what they do understand, they understand carnally by mere instinct and rationality, like irrational beasts – by these they corrupt themselves and their listeners, and are destroyed. This is why Paul taught that the carnal mind is opposed to God and cannot know God (Rm 8). Jesus taught that without a personal knowing of God we cannot have eternal life. To know and have the word of God is to know and have the life of Christ working and manifesting in your mortal body, since Christ is the Word able to form us into the children of God and thus have eternal life (Jn 1:1-17, Jn 17). “And by this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep his commandments” (1 Jn 2:3).

“Woe to them! For they have run in the way of Cain. And in the error of Balaam and have perished in rebellion like that of Koran!  These are hidden reefs, elements of danger in your love feasts (Lord’s supper), they are clouds without water swept along by the winds; trees, without fruit doubly dead, plucked up by the roots”.

You must remember the predictions made by the apostles. They told you in the last days there will be those who gratify there own unholy desires. It is they who cause divisions by their carnal mind. Devoid of the Holy Spirit and destitute of any higher spiritual life. This is what Paul meant when he wrote that we are saved by grace through faith which is the gift of God. For we are God‘s own handiwork re-created in Christ Jesus born a new that we may do those good works which God predestined that we should walk in them, living the good (God) life which he pre-arranged and made ready for us to live (Eph 2:8-10). Anyone who is in Christ is a new creation, all things have become new and the old has passed away (1 Co 5:17). When you think of it this is the central message of the incarnation of God realized in man. John said that those who do not teach that God has come in the flesh is anti-christ (1 Jn 4).

The question of how Christ can be formed in us cannot be fully answered without recognizing the place of prayer and fasting in our spiritual life and warfare against the evil one. We find that in the old and New Testament prayer and fasting were the primary arsenal in overcoming the world, the flesh, and the devil, and hearing from God. If salvation and eternal life are dependent on overcoming The world, the flesh, and Satan, we must take seriously our part in the battle by putting on the whole armor of God (Eph 6). “If we live no longer in the flesh, but rather by the Spirit; if we walk and live faithfully in the Holy Spirit, response and controlled and guided by the Spirit; then we will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh without God” (Ga 5:16). Prayer and fasting is a critical part in accomplishing our goal.

(Republished on this page by permission of the Dragon Slayer.)

Jan. 23, 2018

The Way Of Christ To The Kingdom of God On Earth

As It Is In Heaven.

The phrase: “the way” is a very short and simple phrase, yet it incapsulates the whole plan of God for man and all of creation. We read that Christ is the way, the truth, and the life (Jn 14:6). We read that the Lord will instruct us and teach us in the way we should go; He will counsel us with His eye upon us (Ps 32:8).

Jesus taught that He and the Father were one, and that all those who believe in Him would have the same relationship that He did with the Father and would be able to do even greater works than Jesus Himself did (Jn 14). John further qualifies what is required to attain this power and relationship with the Father as Jesus had (1 Jn 2:14-27).

Here we learned that there are three stages of spiritual growth: little children, young man, and fathers who know, and are aware of the Father in heaven as Jesus was. The father level of belief within the church always had the word of God abiding in their hearts, and thus were victorious over the wicked one, and had no need of men to teach them because the anointing taught them all things. This section of scripture clarifies that Christians must go through a process of maturing before Christ can be fully effective in them. Paul taught that it was the work of the church through men who are called and prepared by God to bring the saints to perfection/maturity (Eph 4:10-32). But before this can happen we must traverse...

The Path Of Descent - “I must decrease, that God may increase” (Jn 3:30).

Jesus is a person and, at the same time, a process. Jesus is the Son of God, but he is also “the Way”—the way of the cross. He’s the goal and the means. "Take up your cross and follow me" (Lk 14:25-35).

Jesus undoes religion by doing the most amazing thing: he introduces God among the impure instead of among the pure! (Mk 2:17). The Pharisees who believed that they were already pure were actually hypocrites but did not know it. On the other hand those who knew they were sinful realized their need for a savior and thus called to God for his mercy and salvation.

“To die and thus to become” is the pattern of transformation in the entire physical and biological world. Why not the human? There seems to be no other cauldron of growth and transformation. "They who seek to find their life will lose it, but those who lose their life will find it" (Lk 17:33). We must present our whole body as it living sacrifice to God in order to be transformed (Rm 12:1-2).

“God is not found in the soul by adding anything, but by a process of subtraction.” Our vessels - the old man - must be broken before the anointing of God Spirit can flow through the new man formed by Christ as we partake of the cross of death to self with Him in order to rise again to resurrection life (Rm 6:1-13). This life is God Himself who is love flowing through the mature believer, for God is love (1 Jn 4:7-10).

Jesus’ story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32) and his story of the Pharisee and the tax collector (Luke 18:9-14) are both wonderful illustrations of how Jesus turns a spirituality of climbing, achieving, and perfection upside down. 

Little by little, breath by breath, love dissolves the illusions and fears born of our estrangement from the infinite love that is our very life. If you do not have love you are nothing (1 Co 13).

The church was first known as “The Way“ (Ac 9:2, 24:14). Let us all pursue the way of God and become fully manifest sons of God By the grace of His Spirit, in order to set ourselves the world and the whole creation free from the effects of sin and death in order that God‘s kingdom and will may be done on earth as it is in heaven (Rm 8). 

“Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand“ (Mt 3:2).