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“Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.” 1 Timothy 4:16 Doctrines have been the dividing line among many within the Church. The debate over doctrine has split brethren from fellowshipping with each other. And some who do not understand the importance of doctrine may either generalize all beliefs as being of equal value or dismiss all beliefs as being false. Doctrine or Didache is teaching or what is taught. Right teaching or instructions will produce righteous living. Paul was admonishing Timothy to pay attention to how his own character was being developed in relation to what was being taught. Is there an adherence to the Word of God bringing you into conformity to a godly standard? This can only take place when you continue in the original instructions which brought you to salvation, and build upon the foundation of those truths that which leads to spiritual maturity. Once you veer away to the left or to the right of the road rather than remaining on the path of truth, your capabilities to discern will be compromised.  The life of the instructor and the…

“For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land.” Ezekiel 36:24 People who are in exile are a people removed from their place. We see Israel being scattered among the nations and some taking on the character of the nations where they had been forced to occupy. Sin does not ask for our permission, but imposes its character upon those who occupy its territory. A culture of sin produces a people who readily adapt to the environment. It is then difficult for them to remember what God’s original intentions were for their lives. They merely see what others are doing and seemingly enjoying and adjust to their standard of living. But God stands up and makes His Presence known among them. He lets them know that even though they are in a strange place, Israel still carries His name. When His name is hallowed among the nations and a difference is made known by them to the other inhabitants, then deliverance will come. God will bring them into their own land. He is says to us, are we to represent Jesus where we are. Should He only…

He answered and said to them, “When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; (3) and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times.  Matthew 16:2-3 The corporate decisions made by both our spiritual and civic leaders are the uneasy breathing of this generation gasping for lack of spiritual air. The deficiencies reflect a climate of desperation, but without the knowledge of the Savior. The world has resorted to measures which are appeasing to the fallen masses, pacifying their appeals for pleasure thus taking the path of least resistance. Many Church leaders have relented to providing blind leadership by getting in front of the parade of fools. They hold the office and gain the attention, accolades, and allegiance of the people by giving them what they want and taking them where they desire to go. Where discernment is lacking, all things appear to be right. Every person is right in his own eyes because the King is absent from the consciousness of those who decide for us….

“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25 Is Church the place that we attend or a people in the process of being made? Many place more emphasis on place than in purpose. It is not a matter of getting what we consider to be our needs met. To be honest, we do not really know precisely what our needs are. There are symptoms, but our needs go much deeper. God knows. He knows our frame or the substance on which all that we have become was constructed upon. The foundation of our soul; mind, will, and emotion, is taken into account when the Word of God is spoken under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We are challenged at the very core of our being in order to discover His intentions for our lives.  We are not in place to merely receive affirmations. They will only strengthen the soul in its rebellious state against the knowledge of God. He is our Father. He rebukes us, challenges us, and affirms us. Oftentimes Church becomes a very uncomfortable place. We…

“By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.” Proverbs 24:4 The knowledge of God is the principle thing to be attained by all who would be wise. We are built up as the House of God and the Household of Faith. God Himself is to inhabit what the Holy Spirit is establishing as His permanent residence. This has to do with our personal identity and corporate identity. We are made wise to consider how the Church is interdependent and must function as the Body of Christ. It is through our unity that we are rightly constructed. Then each part contributes to the growth of every part. Never should we become exclusive in our endeavors to please God. The small portion given to the part will only inflate the ego and eliminate it from receiving the blessings of God’s promise. If the rooms are too filled with precious and pleasant riches, each room must allow Jesus Christ in that He might rearrange the furnishings, discard of the rubbish, and restore what is broken. When the fragrance of His Presence fills the room, life leading to life is the aroma of life. All is most precious because He determines…

“But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” Eph 4:7 The Lord has dispensed to each member of the Body of Christ a measure of grace. We have been enabled to function as a whole but yet dependent on every part doing its share. It is from the wholeness of the Body of Christ the witness of Jesus is made known to the world. A fragment may have an effect to a degree, but the full effect can only be experienced when we come together as a whole. Coming together and sharing together as one is the prayer of Jesus Christ. The enemy’s attempts to divide the Body may have delayed the witness but can never destroy the witness. There will be a people equipped for service with understanding of the times, and a clearer knowledge of purpose in the last days. They will not hoard their gifts as exclusive to their party, but see the whole as being greater than the sum of all its parts. It is through the synergized efforts of the Church that the world will know that Christ has come down from the Father. Then the love of…

“Then Zedekiah the king sent and took him out. The king asked him secretly in his house, and said, “Is there any word from the Lord?” Jeremiah 37:17 When it appears as if everything is well, any word will do. Extracurricular activities and entertainment may occupy one’s time and attention. There would be a generalized approach towards Church, leadership, and life. Convicting messages appear to be too harsh and insensitive. An approach to reach common ground among all men is then the agenda of those where a distinct sound of warning is not heard. Then trouble comes! New questions and concerns are raised when we hear from Him. There is a quest for real answers that can navigate the lost soul to a safe harbor. “Is there any word from the Lord?” We want to know if there is a true message to be relied upon. We need more than what would otherwise tickle our ears. That would be the same as taking a drug to desensitize oneself from the pain and somehow thinking that we have escaped the pressure. God is speaking today, but not what many wish to hear. His truth challenges the very core of our being….

“And it shall be that every living thing that moves, wherever the rivers go, will live. There will be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters go there; for they will be healed, and everything will live wherever the river goes.” Ezekiel 47:9 The waters of life will flow from the Temple thus producing life wherever it flows. The dry and brittle soil will receive the refreshing of revival when the Temple has enough water to flow from it to places beyond its doors. God has given us what the world so desperately needs. In a culture of death and spiritual stagnation, many are in pursuit of a truth that is able to reach the soul. The cosmetic treatments of fatal illnesses have not sufficed. There remains a wound deep within the soul that nothing external is able to satisfy. It requires the living water so that one would not have to continue coming to the well. God has given authority to the Church to be salt and light to the world. But His anointing will flow from His people touching the whole of His creation that now groans for redemption. God will pour out His Spirit upon…

“As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.” Matthew 24:32 One major sign of the return of Christ will be the renewed courage and strength among those who carry the testimony of the Lord. As it was in the days of the prophets and later the apostles, so shall it be among individuals who will stand for truth without compromise. They will be among a people who have relented to casual Christianity, but will not allow the pressures brought to bear against them to discourage them nor diminish their faith. There will be new life within the Church as both young and old will boldly face persecution if required, for righteousness sake. The sign will be an awakening spreading to the ends of the earth. The Kingdom of God will be their message, the cross will be their standard, and zeal of the Lord will totally consume them. Professor Martin Scharlemann of Concordia Seminary said, “As soon as the missionaries are no longer welcome to do their work and their host countries begin to expel them, look up.”

“Fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.” Philippians 2:2 What the Lord offers the Church should be shared alike by every believer. The benefits of salvation and the joy that accompanies obedience should be experienced by all. It is not enough for merely some to know the grace of the Lord and peace that resides within their hearts. God’s desire is that all should know Him in intimate and endearing ways. The mind can either be one’s best friend or worst enemy. When our minds retain the information of past experiences and attempt to decipher it without the renewing power of the Holy Spirit, division is inevitable. How can our varying experiences and thoughts lead to a unified conclusion? Each would interpret life and God on the basis of his own conclusions. Like-mindedness can only be attained when we hear the same message having the same Spirit in common.  The Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of unity. He will take us from where we were to a new place of worship. Then we see Christ together and love Him with the same love. He then takes what is within…