What does a real Christian look like

Throughout church history there has been many changes to the perception of what a Christian should look like and should act like.

Well meaning people, myself included, have taken the word of God and tried to give a relevant interpretation to Scripture.

For those whose eyes are not open and those whose spiritual senses have not been activated. They rely upon another person’s vision. Who in turn do the very best they can to in detail describe what a Christian looks like what a Christian acts like and what are the expectations of one who bears the name of Christ Jesus.

Man is the judge of the outward appearance but God is the judge of the heart.

Much of the present church has been divided into two camps. These two camps have their headquarters in extremes.

Camp 1:
You have the very liberal – Rejection of rules, unrestrained and free living. It’s my own journey, it’s my own faith, it’s my own life. Don’t judge me.
Camp motto: God is love full of mercy and grace.
All things are viewed through the lens…we are all Gods people, he loves us, no worries.

Camp 2.
You have the ultra conservative- legalistic rule writing measuring stick watching pharisee.
Camp motto: God is Holy full of righteous Judgement
All things are viewed through this lens… cross the T. Dot the I. Make sure you don’t miss a beat God is always watching.

The motto is true in both camps. They stand firmly upon truth. They are often unmovable because they so strongly believe in their motto. They have both feet upon 1/2 of the revelation.

We see in part and understand in part.

Camp 3- God wants us to be somewhere in the middle of these two extremes. These truths are not opposed to one another. God wants both of these rocks these pillars of truth to be the foundation of every believer. Place a foot firmly upon each motto.

Love-A compelling driving desire for relationship (closeness, fellowship, intimacy- and are culture everything is presumed sexual, this is not in a sexual way but rather affection confidence and strong and strengthening attachment)

1 John 4:7-11
7   Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.
8   He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.
9   In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
10   Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
11   Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

Mercy-suspended or stayed and or delayed judgment. You don’t get what you do deserve.

Titus 3:3-5
3   For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4   But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
5   Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Grace-transforming power. You get what you don’t deserve.
Grace – unmerited favor
Grace- enabling power

Grace gives the power to be accepted by God even with your past record.

In other words it doesn’t matter who you used to be what you used to do what you used to think about God yourself others or the world around you.

It doesn’t matter because Grace is not only here to justify you. Grace is here to transform you into another image.

So what you look like before the transformation doesn’t matter. His grace is sufficient for you.

I have confidence in his grace
HIs Grace has the power to transform me
It is all sufficient.

Grace gospel that is not transforming is a perverted Gospel.

Grace is our teacher and transforming power

Titus 2:11-15
11   For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,
12   Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;
13   Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;
14   Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
15   These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

When you recognize you have missed the mark cry out for Gods grace that you may be transformed into his image.

I do not have confidence in my own will, my own abilities, my own flesh, but I do have confidence in your grace and your all sufficient power to make me into the image of yourself.

Some may trust in horses some may trust in chariots but we will trust in the name of our Lord

Holiness-separated and set apart from the world and from the crowd for a special purpose.
Those that reject holiness have consented to a life of average living. They reject the ability to do things the average person cannot do.

1 Peter 1:13-19
13   Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
14   As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
15   But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
16   Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
17   And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
18   Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
19   But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Righteousness-right action from one in a righteous state. None righteous no not one. Our righteousness is but filthy rags

2 Corinthians 5:18-21
18   And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19   To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.
20   Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21   For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Righteousness is not so much about what you have done, but more about what he has done in you.

We work the works of righteousness only when it is Christ’s work working through us.

Judgement- condemnation and justification.
The applying and the removal of penalty

Temporary judgement and eternal judgement.

Matthew 25:14-30

Matthew 25:23
His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord.
Matthew 25:28-30
28   Take therefore the talent from him, and give it unto him which hath ten talents.
29   For unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath.
30   And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

We are not free from effort
Our job is
0. To have confidence or faith in Christ Jesus his sacrifice and his grace

0. To have a Clear conscience before God
Perfect before God perfect in conscience sprinkled and removed the evil conscience and replaced with a clear conscience before God

0. Receive sonship and the restoration of sonship by understanding your identity of what Jesus has done and accomplished for you on the cross This brings the best out of you.

0. Deny ourselves and worldly and fleshly lust
0. Be salt and light ambassadors for Christ

Are there areas in your life yet to be yielded.

Opposition to the Word of God and effective preaching 

A traveler was in a foreign land, for the purpose of our story we will call him Jack. One day in a crowd of people a mysterious man approached Jack and whispered something into his ear and walked away. Jack knew that he had been given information that had the potential to change his life forever. The secret that he had been given had the potential to bring health, prosperity, and great freedom to his family and to the world.  As he was pondering the magnitude of the potential of these spoken words, his meditation was interrupted by the screeching of car tires. As He turn towards the noise he realize the car was about to run him over. Quickly he maneuvered out-of-the-way of the reckless car and bearly escaped with his life. Standing to his feet he dusted himself off and went on his way. Moments later he had a strange feeling that he was being followed. As he ducked into a shadow to avoid being seen suddenly a hand covered his mouth and he was dragged to a nearby car gagged and blindfolded. Yesterday life was pretty much normal. What was it that changed, he wondered. Why did people all of the sudden want to destroy me? I dont even know these people,  how could they hate me so much. Why would they be against me? As you ponder these things It suddenly occurred to him. It isn’t me they hate it is the word that I’m carrying. 

The word God is precious.  The word has purpose, it is powerful, and has great potential to prosper those that hear it and hold it. 
Isaiah 55:8-11

8   For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 

9   For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. 

10   For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: 

11   So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it. 

God wants His Word to be effective in us. He desires the word to grow and to bear fruit in our lives. 
The Devil wants to stop the Word at every opportunity he is given.  Why?Because faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God.  Satan aggressively attacks at every stage, hoping to stop the word and ultimately destroy faith. 

Romans 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. 

Effective preaching has the Potential to prosper. The word is a seed. When properly planted it has the potential to increase faith and therefore prosper the individual, The land in which this individual lives, and the kingdom of God worldwide. 

The word is under attack. It’s not you it’s the word. 

In Luke 8 there is a parable of a farmer who sowed seed in ground of varying conditions. In this parable the seed is the preaching of God’s word. The ground is the hearts of men. 

Often times, when we reflect on this parable, we think of the condition of the heart. Although it is so important to make sure that our heart is ready to receive the word of God, today let’s focus on another aspect of this parable. What are the things that hinder us from growing, prospering, and producing fruit. What is the attack on the word that we must guard against. 

In all of these examples the people heard the word preached. There are some that will reject the initial preaching of the word and the seed is not able to be embedded in the hearts of these individuals. But many of these received the word of God however they did not grow properly and did not produce fruit.  Why?
You are responsible for your own spiritual growth

You cannot blame anyone not the preacher not your brother or sister in Christ not your economic situation not the country that you live and not the family you come from. 

Luke 8 There are 4 stages in this parable. 

Stage 1 The initial planting. Luke 8:5&12

The first seed was cast on the road where people walked on it and the birds stole away. The devil steals the preaching of the word from their heart so they cannot believe the preaching of God’s word and be saved. 
The seed was trampled- No respect for the preaching of the word.  No value in the word. Because The word is not precious to them they don’t treated with the respect it deserves. They are unaware that they are trampling maybe because they were preoccupied with other things. How can you be more focused. Get the sleep you need block out other thoughts that are distracting. 

The seed was stolen- as soon as you get out of church you can’t even remember what was preached. Even one week later you can’t recall what you have learned.  You can combat this by taking notes, reviewing, and meditating

Stage 2 the watering -Luke 8:6&13

Other seeds fell on the rock it grew but then died because it had no water. These people received the word gladly and started to grow. Then they stopped believing and turned away from God in the time of trouble because they did not have deep roots. 

1 Corinthians 3:6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 

Water is refreshing. You must hear and hear again. You must have the word continually refreshed by some more similar preaching. 

Psalms 119:9-11 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word. With my whole heart have I sought thee: O let me not wander from thy commandments. Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee. 

Stage 3 the weeding and protecting the plant- Luke 8:7&14

Other seeds fell among the thorns the seeds grew but then later the weeds choked out the good plants. These people hear the teaching but Worries riches and pleasures of life kept them from growing and they could not produce good fruit. 

Some work has been given to it up to this point. 
Cares – missing and broken things bring cares and concerns. We must weed them out by proclamation of Gods word. 

Riches- you must be careful to still be desperate in your prosperity. False security in wealth and natural strength and power will end in spiritual ruin. You can have wealth and possession as long as they don’t have you. You must learn to depend upon God when there are other things available to turn to. 

Pleasures-  seasons and times of celebration are good but don’t become a pleasure seeker. Excess of entertainment can waste time and resources that can ultimately interfere with your study worship and spiritual growth. 
Stage 4 fruit bearing – Luke 8:8&15

Some seed fell on the good ground The seed grew and made it 100 times more grain. These people were honest in their heart they received the word of God and with patients they produced good fruit. 

Everyone fights through every stage. Those that endure till the end bear fruit. 

This is what you have been waiting for. 
You must pursue growth 

When you hear the preaching of the word it is delivered in seed form. You must make a commitment and put forth the effort necessary to pursue grows in the area which you have received the word seed. 
Some other thoughts to spur growth 

Romans 8

There is now therefore no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus Who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. 

We must recognize where we are. 

We must commit to health plan. The in Jesus plan. His plan is his word 

We must walk it out spiritually and not fleshly. 
I am a temple in which God dwells
I am a gate in which God releases heavenly supernatural power into the earth

Internal blocks have to do with what you believe about yourself about God and the circumstances of life. 

Right believing produces righteous action. 

When you believe right about yourself you will do right. 

When you believe Wright concerning God you will open the door for God’s righteous Ness to be worked in you. 

When you believe right about your circumstance you will operate in corrective action to make your circumstance right. 
We must preach the word of healing
We must administer healing power

We must promote continual healing in our own selves.  

Without condemnation we must recognize where we are. If you have a broken leg and you’re hobbling along no need for ridicule just know you’re hobbling along it’s where you are at this moment. It doesn’t mean you have to stay like this but you must do what is necessary to bring proper healing so in the future you’re no longer hobbling.  

This same principle will work in your emotions in your mental capacity and in your spiritual life

There is now therefore no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus Who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit. 

We must recognize where we are. 

We must commit to health plan. The in Jesus plan. 

We must walk it out spiritually and not fleshly. 

Opposing forces to the God vision in your heart


1. God still speaks through vision and dreams. And he will speak through a prophetic people. 
Joel 2:28-32

28   And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 

29   And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 

30   And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 

31   The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 

32   And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call. 

2. God is activating the spiritual senses of his people. We must exercise these senses to become mature in Christ. 
Hebrews 5:11-14

11   Of whom we have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing. 

12   For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. 

13   For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  

14   But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.   
3. You will have opposition but that is how you will prove his overcoming power 
John 16:33

These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. 
I’m gonna tell you something that’s going to take place but I’m going to tell you this ahead of time because if you will get in me you will have peace. If you stay in me nothing will be missing nothing will be broken….you will be whole… you will remain whole
You can typically tell when God is about ready to do something great….there comes a band of resistance. 
Oppositions

For Abraham it was the land of his fathers

For Moses it was pharaoh 

For Elijah it was Jezebel 

For Jesus it was the religious rulers of the temple 

For Paul it was numerous perils and sometimes prison.  
Cultural wars 

Babylonian culture

Zion culture
Jeremiah 50:10

And Chaldea shall be a spoil: all that spoil her shall be satisfied, saith the LORD. 
Chaldea- Jordan,Syria, Iraq

Spoil is the oil 
Genesis 15:7

And he said unto him, I am the LORD that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it. 
4. Come out from among them. God could not bless Abraham or make a covenant with him as long as he lived in the culture of Babylon. 
Jeremiah 50:44

Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen man, that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?  
He is Babylon 

Her is zion

Dreams
7/22/17

I had a dream that I was building a house and I could not find anyone to build the foundation. I had people to do the framing the roof the interior work but no one wanted to lay the foundation. 
There is no glory in clearing the land

There’s no glory in excavation 

There’s no glory in a hole in the ground. There is no glory in the footer. No casual observer drives by a house and says “wow that’s an awesome foundation. Those concrete blocks just look great.”
The house represents vision. There are many people to finish vision but it’s hard to find someone to plant a vision. 
The thumb of the 5 fold ministry gifts is the apostle. The church planter. 
Jeremiah 1:5-10

5   Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  

6   Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 

7   But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 

8   Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 

9   Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 

10   See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant. 
6. The apostles job is more than digging and planting. It is also excavating. 
Rooting out- there are some deep issues of the past that need to be rooted out. 
Pulling down- there are some lofty attitudes and ideas. Some prideful things some spiritually elevated strongholds that need pulled down 
Destroy- there are some things that are controlling and influencing. Some things that are pulling away your focus from truly being the worshipper of God that you are called to be. 
Throw down- previous structures that look nothing like the plans that God has for you. (sometimes a good renovation is ok…other times the whole thing needs to come down.)
Today we are going to do some excavating.  

7. We can’t build without him

Co laborers. The spirit works with us confirming with signs
Psalms 127:1

..Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it:…
Naturally. 

The foundation of this ministry is the youth – 40 years old 

Bearing fruit in a field of tares. 

Matthew 13:24-30
24   Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: 

25   But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 

26   But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. 

27   So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares? 

28    He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up? 

29   But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them. 

30   Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn. 
You are a chosen generation- you are a race made of different races
Church folk like to get around other church folk that believe like they believe that talk their language. 
Most of the time in your life will be spent around Gentile’s…among the unbelievers. 
We must learn to live an upright life in a world of sinners. 

1 Peter 2:12

Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.  
Some Christians want to live right among the church folk but when they get into a crowd of Gentile’s they forget that they’re Christians. 
When you’re in the church you feel the need to act right because you know the other Christians are going to judge you on your behavior. But when they get out into the world….the world’s not going to judge you on your Christian behavior they’re going to except you for who you are not who you pretend to be. So those that don’t live uprightly naturally feel more comfortable in the world then what they do in the church. So, are you most comfortable when you are surrounded by the Gentiles? is that who you really are? What kind of a Christian are you? Are you faking it in church or are you faking it in the world?  
God doesn’t want us to be faking it at all. The church needs to be more companionate and the Christian needs to be bold enough to live right in the world of tares.

Maybe a small bunny trail here…a notable side note:

(Christian, are you Judging to condemnation or are you discerning to edification. 
Think about The Speck and beam parable.  

You need to judge your own Motivation and spirit behind the analyzing of another brothers conduct and the heart. 

Are you wanting to help or condemn that person?)
Tares were planted while the church was sleeping. 

Vs 25   But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way. 
While men are sleeping life goes on

Sleeping men – unconscious, powerless, insensible- they don’t know nor do they care about what is going on. 
Why is it that we are not seeing a revival. Why is it that the enemy is coming in and bringing destruction to our lives to our cities?

It is not because of our governmental situation. It is not because of our economical situation. It’s not because of our educational situation. 

It is because of our ecclesiastical situation. 
It’s because the church is full of apostates. From the pulpit to the pew we have forsaken what we know. What we have identified as The church are people 

Who know to live better than they’re living

Who know to pray better than they’re praying. Who know to watch better than they’re watching and to give better than they are giving. And to fear better than they’re fearing. 
What are Tares?

Anything that opposes healthy growth and fruitfulness in the people of God. May be opposition that is fleshly, mentally, or spiritually 
Spiritual opposition

Ephesians 6:12

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.    
Soulish opposition

Mark 4:18-19

18   And these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, 

19   And the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.  

-Cares of the world

-Deceitfulness of riches

-Lusts of other things. 
Fleshly opposition 

-Sinful men- wicked and unrighteous men and women may vex your soul as lot who lived in Sodom. 

-A religious spirit- controlling religious leaders- some of your greatest opposition will come from those who claim they are doing the work of God but are operating in a spirit other than the Holy Spirit. 
Acts 17:5-6 Religious leaders moved with envy, hand in hand with the lewd and assaulted the house of God’s righteous in hopes to stop those that are turning the world upside down. 

So we understand what Tares are. We understand the Christian dilemma. We are planted among the tares and there is no escape until the final harvest. 

Since there will be tares until the time of reaping, we cannot use tares as an excuse for an unfruitful lifestyle. 
So how do you bear fruit in a field of tares?
Only the strong survive!

1. Make good use of every beam of light- the word is the light

Receive study and Process the word of God. 
Receive the revival in your own heart

Acts 17:11 Berea- received the word with readiness of mind searched scriptures
2. Drink in every drop of rain

Live in the blessing, the refreshing spirit of God
Gods blessing is upon the righteous 

Walking in His Favor 
Favor- a special attention or preference shown, gracious acts of kindness with rights and privileges granted. 
Who qualifies for God’s favor?

A. Those who are in covenant with him.  

      Genesis 12 

b. The righteous 

      1 Peter 3:12

C. Those who are merciful and speak the truth. 

      Proverbs 3:3-4. 

D. The repenting sinner seeking salvation of the lord. 

3. Fight for your position…give up no ground to your enemy. You must not give any position of opportunity to the devil.

Their is a great cloud of witnesses but there is also an adversary seeking to destroy. You must have a healthy balance of reality. 

Take heed lest you fall

1 Corinthians 10:12

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. 

How to Live and be Ready for the Rapture of the church. 

How to Live and be Ready for the Rapture of the church. 
1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

15   For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.  

16   For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise 

17   Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 

18   Wherefore comfort one another with these words.  
Spiritual Preparation & Spiritual Perception…

1. Spiritual preparation 
Matthew 25….10 virgins
They all knew the bride groom was coming
Half of them missed it
What was in common 

They were all expecting his coming 

They all had equipment

They all gathered in the same place

They all heard the call

They all arose to meet him. 

Until close to the end they all look the same. You couldn’t tell who was going to make it and who wouldn’t. 
He took the wise in and then he shut the door. 

There was no second boarding call. 
There is no second shuttle- there’s no I’ll get you next time I come around.  

What was different ?

What they were watching was the only difference 
Matthew 25:13

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. 
5 wise watched up and watched in

5 foolish watched up but not in. 
Many people are suffering from split focus. 

Their eyes are on many things
These foolish people would say I know that he’s coming I know that he’s coming soon I want to be ready when he appears. I am watching for him yet they are not watching with both eyes. 
They were watching up but not in. 
The foolish virgins allowed the oil of their life to dry up. Their flame went out. That which testified of their salvation that which set them apart from the darkness of the world. The light of their spiritual life went out. 
The sad thing is is that they didn’t even recognize it until his appearance. They became so comfortable living in the dim and then in the dark. 
You must watch for him and be ready at his appearance. For when he calls we must have attention upon him and upon our own spiritual condition. 
Preparation has to be made

People always prepare for what is important to them
The foolish virgins showed up at the right place but they were unprepared 

If someone shows up unprepared you can tell the level of priority that they put into what they do. 

Luke 21:34-36

34   And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 

35   For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 

36   Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. 
Watch and pray- they may say they’re watching they may say they’re praying but if their entire focus was upon being ready they would have noticed they didn’t have enough oil to sustain. They might have been watching halfway but they did not pay attention to the contents of their own spiritual condition.  

2. Spiritual perception 
We must become spiritually aware 
Revelation 1:10

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet, 
There is a difference between being in the spirit and in the flesh. 

Most Christians fluctuate between the two
The Bible says that we are not just to be occasionally in the spirit, But we are to walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh. 
Walk in the spirit not in the flesh

Galatians 5:16-18

16   This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.  

17   For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. 

18   But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. 
How did you get the spirit?

How do you walk in the spirit?
Galatians 3:1-5

Did you Work hard or hear faith?

You begin with hearing faith 

You mature with hearing faith
If salvation came through hearing faith

The walking and the working of the gifts of the spirit come by hearing faith. 
We must be aware of our spiritual existence
Visual Illustration 
We are a spirit

We possess a soul

We live in a body
Our body has five senses. 

Sight hearing smell taste touch

These five senses are processed through our mind and our memory. 
In the same way our spirit also has senses. 

The senses of your spirit are also processed through your mind and memory. 
What you do in the body affects your mind and spirit
What you do in the spirit affects your mind and body
The language of the head is logical. Reasonable practical makes sense

It is Structured – left brain

The language of the heart is creative spontaneous inspirational full of design -right brain
There is a natural creativity and there is creativity enhanced by the spirit
Art and music is a release of the creative part of your brain. The release of such can be very spiritual. Can originate from the spirit. It can be Godly or it could be demonic. 

The spirit gives impressions, spiritual feelings, spiritual vision, spiritual thoughts. 
Some people have trained themselves to ignore that which did not come to them logically. 
The spiritual person learns and practices. He work on discerning what has come from his spirit what has come from his own emotions and what has come from the devil. 

The Jews use to cover their head with a shaw to pray. By doing this they shut out many of their natural senses. This would help them to focus on their spiritual sense
Watch to see what the Lord will speak to me

Habakkuk 2:1

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved.    

We must be spiritually prepared and have spiritual perception to walk in the spirit and be ready for his appearance. 

Fighting spiritual regression 

Some will Depart from the faith 
1 Timothy 4:1-5

1   Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 

2   Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 

3   Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth. 

4   For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving: 

5   For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. 
The world is in a continual state of decline. 
Satan the god of this world is a downward force. Below are the steps Satan takes to gain total control of your life. 

Regression. – leaving your state of righteousness and returning to bondage. 

Repress – your desires for God 

Suppress– your praise and your prayer life stifling your expression of life. 

Depression– he will bring you into a state of depression sapping all spiritual and mental energy. You start to waste your life

Oppression – torment your mind you will have a hard time shaking off ungodly desire

Obsession – control your thoughts continually 

Possession -loose all control of curtain capacity 

Regression is the first sign that the enemy is at work. 
You must fight it aggressively 
1. Filled with the spirit and the word 

Combat the Seducing spirits doctrines of Devils with praise and the word
The word is a sword only in your mouth
2. We must maintain a forward vision

We must live the truth. Speaking lies in hypocrisy Don’t look back- 

Luke 9:62

And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.   
3. Reject the culture of the world. 

They Forbid to marry and eat meat. 

We must separate our life from the culture of the world. In America it is hollywood that sets the worlds culture but it is the church that sets the Christian culture. We cannot allow the worldly culture to set the Christian culture. 
By Reaching forward and pressing toward perfection in Christ Jesus. What are you reaching for?

Philippians 3:12-14

12   Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. 

13   Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 

14   I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. 

From Glory to glory

We are the Head not the tail

We lead and have authority 

We are more than conquerors 

Ask, seek, knock

Ask. Seek. Knock
These signs shall follow them that believe
Mark 16:17

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Signs shall follow them- we don’t see many signs showing up because we don’t see many Christians showing up. 
Active or inactive Christianity 

illustration: active or inactive membership 
Active are those who show up and continue to show up. 
Signs follow active Christians. 
Matthew 16:2-4

2    He answered and said unto them, When it is evening, ye say, It will be fair weather: for the sky is red. 

3   And in the morning, It will be foul weather to day: for the sky is red and lowring. O ye hypocrites, ye can discern the face of the sky; but can ye not discern the signs of the times? 

4   A wicked and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given unto it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas. And he left them, and departed. 
You are not to be following signs…signs are to be following you
Signs follow active believing Christians
Believe- persuaded, place confidence in, trust and intrust 
Psalm 9:10

And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
They believe because they know
Signs follow active believing Christians who know God
Mark 16:20

And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
These signs were the manifestation of the Spirit at Work
1 Corinthians 12: 7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.

8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;

9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;

10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:

11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Luke 12:48

…For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.

Matthew 7:7 [Full Chapter]

Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
Ask

Matthew 7:9-11King James Version (KJV)

9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?

10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?

Matthew 16:19

And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Matthew 11:28

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

John 14:16

And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
John 11:22

But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
Revelation 21:6

And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Seek -seek for revelation hidden uncovered 
Knock- open spiritual doors. Doors for access and entry and exit.  

Doors are personal gates are corporate 
You can open doors for yourself and for others 
Let me get that door for you

You must allow time for Faith to work

1. Cake baking-They put all the ingredients together and put it in the oven. But don’t give time for it bake. 

2. Hospital patients-wait in the lobby, wait in the room, wait for dr. Wait for testing, wait for lab, wait for treatment, wait wor treatment to work. 

Ask receive practice 

The faith dimension

The faith dimension
Dimension- a property of measurable space.

We are living in a three dimensional world. Everything is measured by length width and depth

There is a fourth dimension

Scientists have been trying to study this dimension, they call it quantum physics. It is the behavior of molecules at an atomic level. A dimension of phenomenon sometimes things happen that cannot be measured through normal scientific measurements.

Illustration – the gathering of photons when acted upon by exterior energy.
Illustration- light absorbed, transferred, and reflected.

Scientists will not be able to comprehend This dimension without the Spirit of God.

1 Corinthians 2:11 For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.

I would like to refer to this dimension as the faith dimension.

Faith- The deep conviction of the infallible word of God.

Faith nutrition- what feeds your Faith? The word of God.

Romans 10:17So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Faith activation- what makes faith work? Hope is what puts your faith in action.

Hebrews 11:1Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Hope – The painted picture of God’s vision on your heart

Faith impartation-how can you pass it on? Talk it, pray it, live it

2 Timothy 1:5 When I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee, which dwelt first in thy grandmother Lois, and thy mother Eunice; and I am persuaded that in thee also.

There can be a passing down of generational curses. In the same manner there is the possibility of passing down generational blessing. Spiritual gifts that reside in you may very likely be caught by your children.

Hide The Beer! The Pastors Here

Hide the beer! The pastors Here.

This was a song that the swirling eddies recorded talking about hypocrisy in many Christian colleges. In fact many Christian colleges banned this song from being played on campus.

Apparently talking about alcohol and Christianity is a touchy subject.

But let’s face it, alcohol consumption and things that surround that topic is kind of a hot topic right now among churches. I would like to address this issue.

Did Jesus drink wine?
Wasn’t he called the friend of sinners?
Wasn’t he partying it up?
Was the wine that Jesus drink alcohol?

Yes, there was alcohol in the Old Testament and New Testament.

Yes people got drunk back then too.

Yes there were drunken parties and orgies and the suchlike going on in the same way that it is today.

Yes Jesus did drink wine on several occasions recorded in Scripture, whether that was fermented or unfermented is debatable. Seeing that the word for grape juice in the Bible is translated wine and the same word for fermented grape juice in the Bible is also translated wine.

Yes Jesus’ accusers did hurl insults at him, trying to discredit his testimony by calling him “the friend of sinners.”

Yes Jesus is the sinner’s best friend for he is the only one who can bring total restoration and forgiveness to their lives.

Yes Jesus forgave those in sin and told them to sin no more.

No Jesus was not hanging out in these places full of sinful demonstrations. Nor was he taking part in their sin, nor was he sitting back and tolerating those behaviors around him.

No Jesus was not getting wasted with the boys at the lake.

Yes Jesus opened up his arms to all who wanted to draw close to Him. The sinner and the saint.

Yes Jesus did encounter all different types of people from all different walks of life. Many that needed healing deliverance salvation and miracles.

All Scripture must be judged by other scriptures to make sure that we have a full understanding concerning issues that we face. Let’s not just take one scripture and use that scripture to justify our position.

Now let’s talk about the topic at hand.

Although the consumption of wine might be debatable scripturally. Revelry, which is drunken parties, and drunkenness is quite black-and-white.

I wrestled with this topic last year quite extensively when I was confronted with this idea of mixing alcohol with ministry. I have known this to be a hush hush topic in the past. As long as You don’t talk about drinking or the party life You lead no one will care enough to confront. However this has more recently become an open topic. Once again we see this progression of “Christian Culture” What was forbidden in one generation has been tolerated by the next and normalized by third.

Here is my take.
Too often I have seen alcohol destroy lives, families, and Christian witness. I have sat in counseling meetings with people who’s life laid waste because of alcohol abuse. I have seen alcohol consumption lead to Domestic abuse, adultery, divorce, abandonment, unemployment and much more regret. For these reasons I will never condone the drinking of alcoholic beverage. In fact I will stand against it as much as possible in discouraging such things.

Some may feel that I am old-fashioned in this area. Believe me I have done much thinking and praying on this subject. The Bible says that men are to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). I whole heartedly agree with this scripture. Each person needs to decide in his own heart and conscience how he or she should handle the subject of abstaining or not abstaining from alcoholic beverage. Then you must be true to your conscience. However in the area of drunkenness and attending bars and drunken parties the scriptures are quite clearly against these things. Christians are not to be a part of or contributing to this lifestyle. (See scripture below)

So as for me and those that are ministering with me I feel very strongly and therefore have raised the standard of ministry. I believe it is best for those in ministry need to be abstinent from alcoholic beverage and refrain from establishments that promote reveling. I’m not saying that you have to stay away from restaurants that may serve alcohol or have a bar in house. Or that you should not attend a wedding celebration or other special occasions where some people may choose to have alcohol. If you find yourself in an establishment or in a celebration where alcohol is present definitely live by conviction. If you are a part of ministry especially in the ministry at Liberty Church, refuse to drink alcohol. And if the celebration starts turning a bit wild it is probably your cue to gracefully bow out. And please do yourself, your church, and the kingdom of God a favor and “witness” somewhere else. Stay out of the bars and other drunken parties. Don’t go in. There are many other places that we can minister to the lost. Let’s focus on being a witness for God in our everyday lives. I believe God will bless us greatly as the standard is raised.

Ezekiel 44:23 And they shall teach my people the difference between the holy and profane, and cause them to discern between the unclean and the clean.

1 Thessalonians 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1 Peter 4:18-19 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

2 CORINTHIANS 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers, for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness?

James 4:4 – Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

Ephesians 5:11 – And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove [them].

Galatians 5:16-26 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.

Read this whole chapter:

1 Thessalonians chapter 5

Opening and closing the spiritual doors

Opening and closing the spiritual doors in your life.

Proverbs 8:34 ESV

Blessed is the one who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting beside my doors

doorway or gate way is a point of entry and exit

There are no one-way doors in the spirit that I know of.

If I were to mention one possible one-way door it would be the lake of fire. I’m not so sure that God just doesn’t set a time to close that door of the lake of fire where no man nor spirit will ever exit again
God can open doors that no man can shut and he can close doors that no man can open.

Doors of salvation
Doors of faith
Access into the doors of God’s promise
Doors into heaven
Doors or gates into hell

Doors to your spirit
Gateway into your mind

Accessible doors to the Holy Ghost into your life

The high place. At the place of a spiritual gate to the heavenlies.

Samuel lived in Rahma and was a frequent visitor of the Highplace
Elijah and the showdown with the prophets of bail and Asherah
1 kings
18

1 Worship
2 prayer
3 sacrifice

Open a door on purpose.

Matthew 7:7 ESV

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Matthew 7:13-14 ESV

“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.

– Jesus is the door to eternal life.

John 10:9 ESV

I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.

John 10:1-42 ESV

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” …

-Door to sin and to demonic oppression and destruction.

Genesis 4:7 ESV

If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door. Its desire is for you, but you must rule over it.”

– Doors opening to personal fellowship with the Lord
Revelation 3:8 ESV

“‘I know your works. Behold, I have set before you an open door, which no one is able to shut. I know that you have but little power, and yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.

Revelation 3:20 ESV

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

Psalm 24:7 ESV

Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.

– door opening to heaven.
Revelation 4:1 ESV

After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.”

-your mouth is a Doorway of blessing or cursing
Psalm 141:3 ESV

Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

– doorways Of ministry opportunity
1 Corinthians 16:8-9 ESV

But I will stay in Ephesus until Pentecost, for a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.