Category Archives: Sanctification

Self Absorbed?

I am guilty myself of being self-absorbed, and of course, it is not deliberate but rather to various extents part of all our natures.

I personally think that Religious self-absorption is the most hideous! The reason for this is that it focuses our attention on particular doctrines and personally held beliefs; that is not usually Biblical, or in some cases what might be called “extra-Biblical”, which is also unbiblical.

How does one discover how far off they might be? The answer is found in the Holy Spirit, the ultimate teacher! At this point, many will stop reading as it sounds like an oversimplification of finding the truth. But in fact, it is the only way to come into a knowledge of the truth!

I have studied my Bible for over 40 years, within the time frame I have been taught what I call extra-Biblical teachings, and like I said, they are not Biblical and oftentimes off balance. This is what so-called cults do, they use the scripture and customize them to their particular stick.

It is very important to have “good” Bible teachers. Even from the time of the Apostle Paul, many ministers struggled to have teaching explained within the proper contexts. Nowadays are certainly no exception! Many well intention people (and institutions) preach questionable doctrines as being from Christ, these are the ones Jesus referenced in Matthew 24:5,KJV: “For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and shall deceive many.”

Jesus is speaking about false teachings “particularly” in the “end days” – and not just people claiming to be the Messiah or Savior! This passage describes a spiritual delusion, not just an intellectual one. All glory belongs to Christ the Lord, and not the teachers in other words. Ask yourself, how many have claimed to hold the truth, yet have deceived many?

It takes the Lord time to show us the places that we lack understanding, and I have found that one of the biggest obstetrical in my life has been well-meaning, yet deceived people themselves! This is why we must trust in the Lord, and lean not to our own understanding! That brings me to the point of walking by faith, and not by sight. It is too easy to be instructed by others “the way”, but ultimately we must discover this for ourselves. I am not speaking about some type of pluralistic philosophy based on relativism, I am speaking about being led of the Lord into all Biblical truths!

I have found that the first thing that must go is my introspective self adsorption to leaning to my own understanding. Only then is it possible for the Lord to show us himself and his absolute designing of the events and perceptions we may often misread?

Again, this is a very personal thing that all true believers need to yield to in our lives, as the Lord will not force His will upon anyone! This is not about rigid religious customs, ceremonies, or scriptural dogma, it is about yielding ourselves to Christ!

The problem is that many false teachers walk around today wanting people to follow them. Yet we must not; as that place of spiritual understanding and reproof belongs only to the Lord alone! Yes, there is correction and reproof from Elders in the church, but even being put out of the body, is so that ultimately the Lord will show us what we need to learn! That’s the only way anyone can truly learn anyway, as it’s our spiritual condition the Lord is concerned with, not our doctrine per say.

I once had a brother tell me that he could not teach me any more of the Lord. That was one of the most liberating moments in my life, although I didn’t realize it at the time. This was a painful point in my life, that the brother was removed I had known so well, however, it was so that the Lord himself could show me even greater truths; and by no small part in using even more mature brethren to help me grow in my understanding!

We used to say in street ministry, “don’t put God in a box – he won’t be able to teach you anything!” This holds particularly true concerning bad Bible teachings from people and institutions!

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Perception

Is the Lord in control of your life?

I have learned in walking with the Lord that in His providence, He will provide you with people to grow in a greater understanding of His purposes in your life! Yet you must be willing to open your eyes in acknowledgment to the Lord in all things! You must ask yourself, “where is my heart”?

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We are never alone when saved!

Just over a year after returning home from active duty at Ft. Bragg, NC. And just joining back up with my old unit, I suffered a massive heart attack which I was not expected to survive. However, Jesus my Lord lay shoulder to shoulder against me on that day of 02/06/2005, at the very moment my heart stopped beating!

Do you know Jesus? Without him, only deep loneliness and darkness would have occurred to me at that moment; and perhaps maybe I wouldn’t have had a second chance at life?

The Bible tells us, that without Christ we all would be doomed to hell upon our deaths! This great love of our heavenly Father was in sending his only-begotten son to die on a cross in our behalves!

Don’t be foolish if you have not personally come to Christ, as I am speaking about an eternity apart from such great love with everlasting suffering in a lake of fire, with Satan and all his demons!

John 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus was next to me when my heart stopped!

* Click on picture to see larger image.

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Think Your Something?

Always be careful to not put yourself above others. This has always plagued mankind throughout history!


 

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Jesus stays with us!

Today I was reminded just how lonely death would be; if we didn’t know Jesus!

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Sealed or Filled

It is by the Grace of God that we come to Jesus Christ, in repentance towards Salvation; we are sealed for the day of “redemption” of our glorified bodies the Bible tells us. Yet we must choose to walk either in the Holy Spirit, or in the flesh. The Lord will not force us to “yield to the Spirit” in the workings in our lives, as that is up to us to decide. The book of Acts explains to us about the Holy Spirit, and that the “natural mind receives not” the things of God; so that too becomes a choice of our free will – to walk in the Spirit, or the flesh. It has taken me a long time to understand this rift between the “spiritual” brethren, and the “natural” ones!


 

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For the Love of God!

We must be careful to be listening to the Lord in the love of Christ, so we do not fall into the trap of being self-serving, rather than God serving when concerning others.


 

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Only Jesus is Truth

Galatians 6:1-10
Bear One Another’s Burdens
1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. 6 Let the one who is taught the word share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.


 

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FREE WILL

In its purist form, we have no power over sin – unless we “allow” God to intervein in our behalf!




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Looking Back

This is a screenshot of an email I received from Back to the Bible; it shows the true meaning of what the Apostle Paul was speaking about in “running the good race” for Christ.  It is pure and simple, it reminds us that life is a challenge, and if we do not want to be disqualified, we will push forward in our faith to obtain the victory in every matter we might encounter!

Paul wrote this as an encouragement to the early church, it was not a threat based in fear of losing one’s Salvation. As this was written in love, in showing the great power available to all believers who will put their trust in Christ alone throughout their lives in faith. It was never intended to be used for a worrisome foreboding, in using guilt and fear, (which this text it is oftentimes manipulated the mean) – yet it does not!

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July 27, 2020 · 9:41 pm

A Quantum Question

The natural mind understands NOT the things of God…

The elect, providence, the cross, running the good race, saved from sin, eternal life, regeneration, sanctification, Holiness, redemption, leaven (puffed up) and the contexts of sound doctrine cannot be completely understood by the natural mind alone. Rather it is by “Faith Alone” through the atoning blood of Christ that we are made complete.

If we attempt to grasp our faith in Christ by intellect alone, we will become frustrated in discovering we have no power over sin! Yet, more often than not many believe they play apart in their redemption – and eternal security by works; and yet works without faith is dead!

It has been my experience that Salvation is in “quantum mechanics” or a Spiritual issue, (as it is conceived in the mind of God) and therefore has no beginning and no end, so it cannot be grasped through our natural understanding of the scriptures alone, but only by faith which also is spiritual and God inspired.

I believe Paul understood this, and is why he preached Christ, and Christ Crucified “alone” then instructed the brethren to move in faith beyond what is elementary.

Yet men still contend and are content to argue the essence of what Christ has already accomplished at Calvary! In my opinion, this is because men refuse to try and fathom the infinite love and mercy by grace our heavenly father has given to all who would believe on the only-begotten son of the living God, who suffered on a cross and given as a ransom for all who would put their faith in him.

Salvation seems to be a never-ending argument (like many others) in using men who founded many different “denominational” positions and beliefs’. Often the later imperfect founders are scrutinized for their brutality in pushing their beliefs on others, “and rightly so”. Yet this does not negate nor diminish the power of the Gospel in any way shape or form!

By FAITH, we are saved by GRACE, and not of ourselves, that any man may boast.

We are Bridesmaids and are to remain FAITHFUL, not out of fear but because of our love for Christ. Are they’re those who will be lost: absolutely – but not because of their human efforts, it is simply because they would not remain faithful to Christ – and Christ alone for salvation. This boils down to the heart, not dogma nor our personal failings, but rather our love for the Bridegroom. Which is all based in God inspired faith, not religious works of the flesh.

 

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False Guilt

Is a tool of Satan in manipulating our emotions to carry a burden around that we need not be carrying. So, we seek relief by trying to atone for it! Yet the Bible teaches that we are only accountable for our own sins alone before the Lord, and that Christ shed his blood for the sinner that we might be set free! If we confess OUR SINS, he is faithful and just to forgive us, as we are redeemed by the atonement on the cross alone, and not of our own efforts!


 

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Damnation or Growth

Parables in the scriptures must always be read in contexts and the totality to other scripture, in relationship to the covenants – (the time we are now in).
Here are a couple examples…
Matthew 13: 1–9, 18–23 The parable of the sower of seed, is a growth parable for the actual believer ; just like in –
John 15 : 1-27 with particular examination of verse 6.


 

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Light Vessel

A believer is here to glorify God as a reflection of His work in us. We are to be “vessels of light for Christ”, not of our own efforts – but because of His grace and providence!
This is a hard lesson, but definitely one worth learning!


 

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Holiness or Hypocrisy?

My Utmost for His Highest, reads : Take the Initiative
…add to your faith virtue… 2 PETER 1:5
Add means that we have to do something. We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him. We have to do all that ourselves. We must “work out” our “own salvation” which God has worked in us (Philippians 2:12). Add means that we must get into the habit of doing things, and in the initial stages that is difficult. To take the initiative is to make a beginning— to instruct yourself in the way you must go.
Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well. Take the initiative— stop hesitating— take the first step. Be determined to act immediately in faith on what God says to you when He speaks, and never reconsider or change your initial decisions. If you hesitate when God tells you to do something, you are being careless, spurning the grace in which you stand. Take the initiative yourself, make a decision of your will right now, and make it impossible to go back. Burn your bridges behind you, saying, “I will write that letter,” or “I will pay that debt”; and then do it! Make it irrevocable.
We have to get into the habit of carefully listening to God about everything, forming the habit of finding out what He says and heeding it. If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know that the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.



In my opinion therefore, it is wrong to “hide behind the Lord”  when in fact we are being simply apathetic towards others; or when saying things like; it is wrong to love the world – instead of the Lord, when we are actually only loving ourselves! This is rather just a sanctimonious viewpoint of the soul, and ultimately the “grandest excuse” to be self-absorbed, apathetic, complacent, and dismissive of others!

With this type of narcissistic psychopathy (which can stem from a poor upbringing or parenting skills)   one must “push in to overcome this emotional complacency” by moving outside one’s self in the service of others, rather than simply “ withdrawing in the Lord” (self-Sanctification)  as an excuse from the idea of – actually engaging with others; which is oftentimes required to be effective to others, and our Lord when he direct us to be.

In short, our apathy towards others should never be painted as in simply following “Holiness”; when in fact Jesus never instructed anyone to become so socially withdrawn as to not engage with others. In fact, this type of behavior could be viewed as disobedience; when the Lord attempts to move in us – yet we will not be moved, and therefore is not in accordance with the scriptures, and is not how the Holy Spirit operates – but rather rooted in self instead.


 

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Lordship Salvation Teachings

People often have an incomplete understanding of different doctrines; they make statements which are untrue as a result. 

2 Timothy 2:15 – is written in proving such a point…

15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

A balanced understanding of the scriptures in contexts, is required to not mislead or deceive others.


 

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Above reproach?

When one sees themselves as alway in the right, the need to forgive and love others as yourself fades away, this is commonly referred to as legalism! Matthew 24:12 speaks to this, and why folks have no more use for others!


 

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Soul or Spirit?

Understanding Spirituality in discipleship to Jesus Christ, will always be conducive to the Bible.

The functions of the Holy Spirit is rooted to the human spirit in conscience and intuition; whereas the soul is rooted to the emotions and intellect of the mind. Without a clear understanding of the scriptures, people often confuse “emotional intelligence” with the intuition of the Holy Spirit’s leadings as exemplified in the Bible. This is an “all to common mistake” made within the Christians development.

The Holy Spirit functions to show the believer just who the Lord is in Christ, by experience and personal revelations which are comparable to Jesus, Mathew, Mark, Luke, John, Paul, and other early believers in the New Testament, who received the Holy Spirit on and after the day of Pentecost.

The Old Testament Saints are used in example to men’s hearts towards the Lord; if they be soft or hardened, while siting how obedience in faith was required in receiving the promises of the Lord.

David was an outstanding example of continued repentance of heart towards the Lord, and the infinite mercy shown to him.

The “Lamb of God” – Jesus Christ was the promised one (Messiah) first to the Jew, then to the Gentiles, who took away the sins of the world on a cross to all who would believe on him!

The law was given to Moses as an example of a school master – a measuring stick, to show how Holy the Lord God is, and how utterly hopeless humanity is in keeping even one aspect of the law within the hearts of men!      As an example; this is why adultery was used by Jesus in explaining even if a man didn’t engage in the physical act (like under the law of Moses) the human heart is still corrupted by sin, and even our thought life needs forgiveness!

Anyone who believes that apart from Christ, they can conform or perform to the Spirituality required to commune with the Father, has completely misunderstood the scriptural texts as to who Christ is, and the utter depravity of humanity!

The bottom line is that it is impossible to move in Holiness apart from the Spiritual connection to the Holy Spirit as for the atonement of Christ, and nothing less!

Paul said in Hebrew 6:1 “Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,”

Paul understood that the atonement of Christ has already been made complete in Christ for the believer by faith, which is the “Doctrine of Christ”.  It is imperative for our understanding and growth that we grasp this doctrine fully.

He is speaking of the total depravity of man, and the tremendous cost paid for our sinful souls by Christ on the cross!

Without a complete understanding of this “sound” doctrine, we could end up like a bunch of Monks once did, while attempting to continually move in Holiness within in the dark ages from 5th–15th century – prior to the reformation! Legalism is always the result from the Scribes of old to the present age, if our minds cannot grasp the infinite grace and mercy shown to us by the completed work of Christ on the cross!

It is ironic how sound Biblical teachings of who Christ is to the believer spiritually, can be twisted by the mind and soul into a convoluted understanding of the New Testament Gospel as being soulish rather than spiritual, when confusing the emotional intelligence of the soul with the actual spiritual life, which once and for all was provided and completed for us in Christ Jesus.

One thing which I can testify to is that my life is not my own since coming to the Lord! Providentially, although I attempted to plan for my life, it is the Lord who allowed or disallowed how I attempted to move forward. A major example of this is how I tried to go to sea with the Merchant Marine after my time in the Coast Guard.

My application continually became ensnared within the hiring administration of the Military Sealift Command again and again, till I finally gave up and moved in the direction of obtaining a job as a Marine Machinery technician aboard Army watercraft instead. One of the reasons for this is that I would meet my future wife (who I had prayed for 20 years) and direct her towards Christ for her salvation.

It was not me who chose any of my life’s course, but rather Christ within me, and in whom the Father offered me my bride in 1997. Yet only after a years’ worth of confirmations (almost daily) to my soul of what the Lord had indeed orchestrated. It was the most transformative time in all my Christian walk!

I can still remember where I was standing on the day the Lord spoke to my heart proclaiming that “my life was in his hands”! What a joyous “Spirit filled moment” that was for my soul; and is one which has proven itself again and again even to the point of my own death, and afterwards when being accused of  loving the world more than the Lord, by some poor doctrinally confused brethren.

The main thrust of my point is; that understanding sound doctrine is imperative to ones emotional and spiritual health, even when the Lord has moved from within you by his spirit in giving significant understanding to our souls of just who we are, and the grace given to us freely in Christ by Grace, and not of our own merit!

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The LORD is TRUTH!

“Mark Twain” (Samuel Clemens) once said: “Lies, damned lies, and statistics”
A phrase describing the persuasive power of numbers, particularly the use of statistics to bolster weak arguments. It is also sometimes colloquially used to doubt statistics used to prove an opponent’s point.

So, the believer must learn to yield to the Lord “in all things” when coming to a knowledge of the Truth! The “world” hasn’t this ability; yet the genuine believer has been given this ability to see in Christ!


 

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FAITH DESTROYER

The Righteous Live by FAITH – Not by sight. In other words, what you believe does not affect the indwelling work of the Holy Spirit within you. Remember, we are God’s work, and not our own, once we have been sealed for the day of redemption!


 

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FBCKI Pastor Doug Baughan

Pastor Doug Baughan gives us a message of hope for Easter In spite of coved 19 keeping us from gathering. Be encouraged!😇


 

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Perfect Love Cast Out Fear

2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

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Stiff Necked

Oswald Chambers teaches on his April 7th devotional the following quote…

As the disciples were commanded, you should also say nothing until the Son of Man has risen in you— until the life of the risen Christ so dominates you that you truly understand what He taught while here on earth. When you grow and develop the right condition inwardly, the words Jesus spoke become so clear that you are amazed you did not grasp them before. In fact, you were not able to understand them before because you had not yet developed the proper spiritual condition to deal with them.

Our Lord doesn’t hide these things from us, but we are not prepared to receive them until we are in the right condition in our spiritual life. Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now” (John 16:12). We must have a oneness with His risen life before we are prepared to bear any particular truth from Him. Do we really know anything about the indwelling of the risen life of Jesus? The evidence that we do is that His Word is becoming understandable to us. God cannot reveal anything to us if we don’t have His Spirit. And our own unyielding and headstrong opinions will effectively prevent God from revealing anything to us. But our insensible thinking will end immediately once His resurrection life has its way with us.

“…tell no one….” But so many people do tell what they saw on the Mount of Transfiguration— their mountaintop experience. They have seen a vision and they testify to it, but there is no connection between what they say and how they live. Their lives don’t add up because the Son of Man has not yet risen in them. How long will it be before His resurrection life is formed and evident in you and in me?


It is headstrong and hypocritical to say that; others use the Bible to teach what they want, yet you yourself do the very same thing! (Romans 2:1-5)

How tragic to think that you are so spiritually spot on in your understanding, that you simply discard the discernment of others who have tried to share with you.

It is frustrating and almost laughable when we see a Bible study leader who “thinks” that they are so “very exclusively sanctified” in Christ; that no one else can move their heart towards seeing God move, beyond anything bigger than their own Cognitive Dissonance!

This is not Spirituality at all, but simply stubbornness and bull headed when even the closest of brethren are powerless to help, until one repents from such a comfortable yet prideful position of the mind, the one who is so blinded in their own conceits!  (Proverbs 26:12), (Romans 12:16)

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Completed in Christ

 

The Great Seporation

The above Graphic has been changed as the idea that Sheol, Hades, (the place of death or sleep) known as Abraham’s Bosom – for the Old Testament Saints no longer exists today as for waiting for the Savior *Messiah and Redeemer. As He Has Risen from the Dead; Jesus Christ 3 days and nights after his Crucifixion on the Cross of Calvary. He descended to the “Bowls of the Earth” then ascended to the right hand of the Father. Not only was Christ resurrection witnessed on that day, but all the Old Testament Saints were resurrected as well!

Isaiah speaks about Hell being “expanded” to receive the masses of people who were not saved from sin.

It is likely that Hell now included Hades, and the great chasm which separated the Old Testament Saints in Paradise. 

The idea that Hades still exists as a receptacle for those who died without Christ, and that Hell is for the “Broad Roader” (who once came to a Saving faith, then leaves their Salvation in Christ) is unbiblical, and simply cannot be supported by scriptural texts when taken in the context of both the Old or New Testaments.

Poor understanding of the scriptures often results in a “customization of them”, in support of a particular doctrine. To me this is Heretical to hold and to teach such doctrines *with the full knowledge of scriptural texts which invalidates such doctrines, and therefore deceives many.

Personally, I have found that anything which detracts from the Lord Jesus Christ, his burial and resurrection from the dead as the Son of the Living God (God Man) and ascension into heaven at the right hand of the Father, is a dangerous president to preach against the totality of the completed work of Christ done on the cross.

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Faith or Fear

Does this sound like Paul thinks that God’s Grace is being on the Broad Road?
2 Corinthians 12:9
9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.


 

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