Journey to Micro Church – #4

harney-peak-jpeg There were a few things driving me from our modern Church system. One: The complex and business like nature it had become. I was looking for the simplicity of Christ, not complexity. Jesus was simple and deep, not complex and shallow, and so should his Church be. But most Churches today are completely “program” oriented, rather than the simplicity of flowing in the Holy Spirit.

Two: Along with the business like system, came a constant need for money. Somehow pastors were no longer living by faith and love offerings, as the early church did, but built mansions, ate expensive meals, drove luxury cars, fine clothes, had 401k, retirement funds, investments, and all while preaching about the one who taught us to be nonmaterialistic and help others. These big Churches were money hungry machines teaching a different Jesus than the Apostle Paul taught! (II Cor. 11:3-6)

Third: Jesus shifted us away from stone cold temples to the family warmth of tables in homes. He sat and ate with sinners. He got thrown out of temples. He showed us a Church “family”, not a congregation. But Rome and Constantine took us back into those cold temples, not Jesus, or the Apostles, or the early Church fathers of the first 300 years!

I could make quite a list of reasons, actually. The stage platforms, all the shish, boom, bah, and hype. Manipulation. Etc, etc. But so much of it seems to come back to the ego and pride of man, and a love for money, though they deny all this.

Black Elk experienced this first-hand in his day. Let me continue a couple of his quotes, and it will be very obvious what I’m referring to.

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Black Elk > “But if the vision was true and mighty, as I know, it is true and mighty yet; for such things are of the spirit, and it is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost.” (Black Elk Speaks – Chapter One).

(Black Elk Speaks – Chapter Seven) > “Afterward I learned that it was Pahuska (General Custer) who had led his soldiers into the Black Hills that summer to see what he could find. He had no right to be in there, because all that country was ours. Also the Wasichus (basically referring to the white man) had made a treaty with Red Cloud (1868) which said it would be ours as long as the grass should grow and water flow. Later I learned too that Pahuska had found there much of the yellow metal that makes the Wasichus crazy; and that is what made the bad trouble, just as it did before, when the hundred were rubbed out.”

It is in the darkness of their eyes that men get lost. I love the way he says that. And the yellow metal that makes the white man crazy! Indeed, indeed. Some things never change, but it ought not be so in the family of God!

The love of money. Ego and money are such temptations for man. I spoke to a lady the other day, who has struggled all her life to keep bills paid, while her Pastor is currently building himself a mansion; complete with vaulted ceilings, spiral staircase, a lake right out the patio doors, I mean really really nice. I asked her what she thought of this? She shrugged her shoulders and said, “Oh well.”

The old story of the King who thought he was wearing fine clothes, but was actually walking around naked, but no one would say anything, because of whatever reasons they may have had, until a young boy asked too loudly, “Why is the King walking around naked?” And the crowd was shocked!

These are a few of the reasons I left and simply went to God’s word in my Bible and began seeking simple truth. It’s there! And early Church fathers verify it all in early records written, and so much more! The fork of the road leading to the Dark Ages is there! And we are repeating much of history today, but for some reason, few there be who are willing to point out the naked king and offer real solutions.

This was all part of my early journey as I sought God in the Black Hills. That book came home with me, from South Dakota to Indiana. I was amazed at the greed, the love of money, the needless slaughter of the bison, the Indian’s food! For the love of money! And I see that same ugliness in our modern religious system! And we shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh well?” I can no longer do that.

I hadn’t been home long when God led me to download 5,000 pages of early Church history and begin my studies. How enlightening it was. Men like Polycarp, disciple of the Apostle John. And events that were taking place at that time. Decisions being made. The path to the Dark Ages, but not till 300 AD!

So how did we stray from a Church that turned the world upside down, to a Church acting like the Roman Empire?! Hhmmm. Well…you can bet pride, power, and money had a lot to do with it. Few there be who was pointing out the naked king, and those who were, were not of the popular opinion, but time certainly proved them right. Those who had wisdom, those who spoke the obvious truth, those who were right, were ignored and pushed aside, their voices silenced!

But today…the Internet…easy access to information, books, historical records… podcasting… the truth is getting out there… knowledge is spreading… some are asking about the naked kings… a revival is building, but not in the big Church buildings. This modern system is too much like a copy of the world. It has become a millstone around our neck showing the world a different Jesus. Not the one who walked Jerusalem in the day, and died on a bloody cross, without a place to even be buried.

Yes, much of what an old Indian before my time had to say, speaks to me. God surprised me with that. Black Elk speaks, and so does God! Of the seven Churches of Revelation, are we Smyrna or Laodicea? The answer seems obvious to me, but not to those still applauding naked kings. It’s time to awaken, light your lamps, and see if your light is true, or dies? When was the last time you got away from all the rat race and shish-boom-bah, and went out somewhere “simple”, alone with God, and heard his “whispers”? This is where my journey to Micro Church began, though at the time, I had no idea.

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Journey to Micro Church – #3

 

I try not to question how God speaks to me, whether it seems logical or makes sense in my carnal mind. I have only learned to know His voice, like a bellwether sheep; and as long as it does not conflict with God’s written word, then I have peace and go forward in faith, like a little child. I don’t try to figure it out. I look for what is God speaking? And that is how I ended up in South Dakota at a time few tourist go.

They had had a big snow just before we got there, and yet we had wonderful weather the whole time, and I had Harney Peak and Black Elk Trail all to myself, because I followed that voice. Now…as I hiked up that path…God was speaking to me of some native Indian? Named Black Elk? And how would this Black Elk have anything to do with me in my day, and my search for answers? I did not know.

I have shared only a very little so far, of the words Black Elk spoke that have confirmed so much to me, about the nature of man, and the darkness in his eyes. His words confessing he felt as a man who had been given a great vision too big for him; those words glued to my heart from the first time I read them. And I ask the question, have YOU ever felt that way about anything? Can you identify with the words of a wise man native Indian who lived before your time?

The fact God led me to this very mountain and this very path leading to a peak this native Indian once stood upon and had a great vision, and I knew nothing of any of this. I had heard of Crazy Horse and Bear Butte. I had been there too, but I knew nothing of all this until I began reading the book after I came down out of Harney Peak and Black Elk Wilderness, and happened to find one copy of his book at an old bookstore. This is how my journey to Micro Church began. How strange. How unpredictable. And now that I have made this point, I’d like to share a little more of the vision Black Elk had, because somehow I identify with that too. And I think most Christian will. How very strange.

I will follow this quote with a small parable of Jesus. See if you see any similarities?

Black Elk > “But now that I can see it all as from a lonely hilltop, I know it was the story of a mighty vision given to a man too weak to use it; of a holy tree that should have flourished in a people’s heart with flowers and singing birds, and now it is withered; and of a people’s dream that died in bloody snow.”

JESUS CHRIST > “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a mustard seed planted in a field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of garden plantsit grows into a tree, and birds come and make nests in its branches.”  (Matt. 13: 31-32)

Again, I feel the pain personally, in Black Elk’s words, because I have spent 60 years involved in this modern Church system, only to feel it has devolved into some money hungry machine, mass producing warped disciples, of which I am one. But having found a new tree flourishing! A tree resembling what Christ first spoke and did, I have found such a refreshing in my spirit man as I have never experienced before!

Scripture confirms God always has a true remnant! His Kingdom of Heaven tree has never ceased to flourish or provide rest and refreshing in its branches! So even though I know Black Elks pain on the one hand, I find myself rejoicing every day with the treasure found in the field! I did not die in the wilderness! Before my eyes did close in mortal death, God has blessed me so, and I could want no more! Here’s a poem I’ve been working on >

“Death’s Door”

When my work is done, and my body spent, I will pass through one of many doors. There is but one I seek. The door of peace.

So many doors of regret, fear, and failure; but not this one.

Not the many doors of a wasted life and misspent time, but that one path of pure devotion. And tho my heart does anticipate, yet not before my time; God’s will, not mine.

Jesus told his mother, “It is not my time.” Yet to his Father he prayed, “Thy will, not mine.”

Even today if it be so, or much longer if God should choose, we seek this one door. The one labeled: Well done, good and faithful servant. This door I pray to see. This door I seek.

Filled with Holy Spirit and God-ambition, self melts away. He determines my day and the tasks thereof. An Enoch people. Steps ordered of the Lord. A life that soars. A fallen leaf flowing downstream.

Light and Day. God’s first creation to us, and they are one. Children of the Day! By way of Christ, not Moses! By way of Sarah, not Hagar! 

Not a Covenant of laws cut in the dark! But a bright Covenant of Light! One was born in darkness… but the other in a rising Son!

Perfect love cast out all fear.

The life of regret is the fear of death. The lost die badly. They die in fear, disappointment, defeat, disillusionment, struggle, anger, and darkness. With many questions and few answers.

But children of the day burst the cocoon with visions of transformation! It is not an ending for them, but a greater beginning!

Of this they have no doubt!

<<<>>>

The poem is still a work in progress, but getting close. Unbelievers will laugh at the faith of Believers. But at home in the dark, they do not laugh.

There is more to be said of Black Elk, and the journey we have made to new visions of understanding. More to come, next episode. Thanks for reading. If you like what you read, if it has blessed you in any way, or made you slow down and think, if you would hit the “like” button, it is very encouraging and appreciated. Thanks.

Harney Peak in Black Elk Wilderness will always be a special place to me. Picture yourself there and perhaps you might catch a glimpse of what I mean.

 

 

“Learning to Share” Part 2

5738 So the REAL JESUS tells me I have to learn to share. Hhmm. If you read Part I, you know how I described my isolated and introverted childhood, not so good for learning to share. We also shared the analogy of the wolf verses the dog. The dog has wolf ancestry but chooses to love and serve a master. Dogs are such a picture of devotion and choosing to share.

Jesus said the meek shall inherit the earth. Wolves shall not, but the lovable mutt that works their way into your heart will survive! In the above picture, my friend Jason recently took on a new member to his family. Meet Luke. A full blooded yellow Lab.

However, Jason already had one dog, a chihuahua named Zak. And now Zak, who had been an only dog, is having to learn to share!

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“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need.” (Acts 2:44-45)

This is the Jesus I kept bumping into in our large fancy modern Church buildings that cost more to run than what we probably feed the poor, or help our neighbor. I was in a pickle and didn’t know what to do about it. I feel sorry for Zak, but he may be doing better at it, than I.

So I began sharing this spiritual dilemma with our Fellowship we started. We left the modern Church system so we could be REAL, like the Jesus I kept bumping into. As you can imagine, we all three felt the strain of living up to what Jesus actually taught, especially his whole Sermon on the Mount. Blessed are the poor in spirit? Well…maybe because they know what it is to lack, and need to share, in order to survive. Their hopes and dreams have been dashed so many times, now they are a broken vessel no longer prideful or attached to things. But what about me? I’ve always been lower middle class and never lacked. I also have stuff. Not just needs.

We know what it is to live from paycheck to paycheck, and barely squeeze by. But we have a small house of 1400 square feet in the big city. We have transportation, old though they be. We have food, heat, AC, medical if we need it, and a little extra for entertainment, and helping others, but the Jesus I kept bumping into wanted to take things to a much higher level! Because he is LOVE! And it seemed to be connected to COMMUNITY/ GOD’S FAMILY. And it’s all through our New Testament and early Church fathers. There is no denying or escaping it if your HONEST, and much of modern Church IS NOT!

I do love the wolf/ dog/ sheep analogy. They say sheep are the most stupid animal, but they happen to be smart enough to choose following a “higher being” than themself, known as man, also called a shepherd.

The dog also has chosen to follow a higher being, known as man, and master. But the wolf only follows another wolf. He is the alpha, small “a”, and he’s just another wolf.

The real Jesus says, “Follow me.” The real Jesus asked Peter, lovest thou these more than me?

Do I trust him? Do I love him? Am I making disciples? This Jesus tells me in Luke 14:33 that I cannot become his disciple without giving up everything I own. And I am to help the poor. The greater are always supposed to help the lesser, and there is always someone greater than you, but also having less than you. Those with less rarely can do much for those having more. That doesn’t even make sense.

So as I examined my possessions, I still have no real savings, not even a 401K. LOL. That got burned up in my back surgery. Our 2 vehicles are old and needed. The only thing leaping out at me is our small house. So I laid it before the Lord and asked, “What would you have me to do?”

This led to me, as the Bell Sheep of our Fellowship, this led to me sharing the vision of “what to do” with our small Fellowship, of which my wife is one, and Jason the other. Well… as you can imagine… I tried to blame it on the REAL JESUS… but somehow she kept looking at me.

This story will continue in Part 3.

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My dog, Shadow. We are dog lovers here.

“Yinneythought” for the day.

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When I am weak, then am I strong. 

Sometimes the world needs wine from us when all we have to give is water.

I see miracles every day as God somehow turns my water, to wine, and meets needs I could never meet.

So never let the devil tell you that your water, or your two fishes and a little bread is not good enough.

We’re not the winemaker, God is.

“Yinney” – Chapter 25

 

“Are you a spiritual teacher?” Bubba suddenly asked.

“I hear you are, too,” Yinney answered.

Bubba sat back on the limb and his demeanor became one of great interest. “Have you come to ask questions about Buddhism?”

“I have come seeking a table of fellowship,” Yinney answered. “I would like to have conversations concerning Buddhism and Christianity ‘IF’ …we can do so in an atmosphere of ‘fellowship’. In my faith ‘fellowship’ determines everything. If we can talk and share, while maintaining an atmosphere of peace and love, a true desire of knowing each other, and respect, then our conversations could bear great fruit. But if we cannot do so in such respect, if fellowship is not possible and it becomes a battle of pride, then I will take my leave, for I do not seek such things. I offer mutual respect and conversation about our favorite subjects, and to seek understanding.”

“Bubba was silent for a while, obviously in deep thought about this sloth, before asking, “And what is your faith?”

“I am a follower of Jesus the Christ and the Hebrew scriptures,” he answered.

By this time several monkeys were hanging around. The verbal drama playing out before them was the most interesting thing going on.

“I have also studied Hebrew scriptures,” Bubba said, “and we believe the Prophet Jesus was a great teacher. He is highly respected by one and all. But does not your scriptures ask, what fellowship can light have with darkness?

“Indeed it does,” Yinney confirmed, “and if we descend into darkness I will take my leave, as I have said, but ‘fellowship and mutual respect’ is not darkness, it is light. It is sought by my faith. Some religious people push a temple, not a table. They constantly press you to come to their Church building, but I say we have Church right here. I say every action we take should be a form of Church.”

“Hhmmm,” Bubba said as he rubbed his chin. “You are different. Perhaps we could test this thing you say. I too, have no desire for battle. I am peace loving even as the Buddha taught. My ways are simple, and I do enjoy good conversation about eternal things. Perhaps we should do this?”

“We already are,” Yinney revealed with a smile. Bubba’s eyes lit up, and slowly it began, that deep laughter rolling upward out of his soul! And then all the other monkeys began leaping about and cheering! Something new, something of great interest had come to their grove of rubber trees! This would provide much entertainment for one and all, the “Conversations of Bubba and Yinney”! There would be much to think about. Boredom was broken this day, as something new had come!

“So…how does this work?” Bubba asked. “Can this nice fat limb be our table?”

“It most certainly can,” Yinney answered.

“It is done then. We shall have spiritual conversation in an atmosphere of mutual respect! Are you thirsty, my very slow friend?”

“Yes, a drink would be nice,” Yinney answered.

Bubba motioned to another monkey, asked if he would be so kind to bring some drinks, the monkey hurried off and soon returned with a pitcher of juice, two cups, and some green leaves. He set them on the limb between them, and then leaped away to hang by his tail and listen.

“Oh this is very nice. Thank you,” Yinney said. “I have been on a six day journey seeking community in the neighborhood. I only recently chose my 7th Day Tree and became a part of this area.”

“I am aware of your need to be at the same tree every seven days,” Bubba said. “It sure presents a great danger for your kind.”

“Yes, it does. Our greatest danger. But also a great honor to bless the tree in such a way.”

Bubba watched the sloth slowly reaching for the cup of juice. He wondered how many drinks he could take before Yinney even took one? So far he was up to three, but who was counting?

“So how much time do you have before you must leave?”

The cup had finally reached the sloth’s lips. Yinney was parched and the juice was so good as he savored it. And he did savor it.

Bubba patiently waited, somewhat amused and amazed. The other Howler monkeys whispered in each other’s ears, and one began timing the sloth on his watch! The crowd around Bubba’s rubber tree had grown tremendously as word spread through the trees of the jungle like wild fire.

“Ahhhh,” Yinney finally said, “That juice is so good! I have the remainder of this day I can spend with you. Tomorrow morning I must leave, but if we have good fellowship, I will return as God allows. And you must visit me, too. My 7th Day Tree stands at this end of the lagoon.”

“very good,” Bubba said. “Everyone knows the lagoon you speak of, much like this grove of rubber trees is known. How did you learn of us?”

“Do you know a spider monkey named, Kujo?”

“Haaaa!” Bubba laughed! “I certainly do! So he has not been swallowed by an anaconda yet? Haaa! I love it when he tells me I’m just an accident. He is such a sad monkey. I don’t think I’ve ever heard him laugh.”

“That is sad,” Yinney agreed, “not to laugh.”

And so it was that Yinney became known in a grove of rubber trees as he sought fellowship with Bubba and whoever so desired. Communion was the heart of our Lord. He always had kind words for the lost and the hurting. He sat at tables with sinners and shared food, but he spoke very hard to the religious! And when he spoke in their big temples, his words so infuriated them, they would run him out!

This was the beginning of a friendship of respect between Bubba and Yinney, and many deep conversations.

“So what does your holy Word say about ‘karma’?” Bubba asked.

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Sword of the Spirit

20180729_104851 It is a different path I teach, and like Jesus challenging the rich young ruler to give away his wealth, and inviting people to drink his blood, my words are not always easy to hear, or agree with. I’m realizing this more and more, and today is no exception. 

Per last article, where we made a trip to Georgia, performed a baptism, and bought grandson a Samurai sword. I have decided the “Sword of the Spirit” should be the next piece of our Armor of Light we examine. This armor is Christ Himself, whom we walk in.

I find it interesting the order of progression God has led us in our study of the spiritual armor. We began with the “Belt of Truth”, and considered it may be the most important piece because how can anything “not true” even begin to work? Truth is so vital to everything! That which is not true is not even real! But what is true?

From there we were led to the “Helmet of Salvation”, because the helmet covers our head, containing our brain, where we decide what is true and what we believe. We talked about the Matrix of our mind, our brain frame, and if we are living in REALITY, or not? And to this I might add, the “INVISIBLE” is more real than the “VISIBLE”. So says God. This is why God’s Word, our Sword, tells us to look at the INVISIBLE, not the VISIBLE. (II Cor. 4:18) But can we really live that way? Walking in the invisible?

Interesting, huh. This progression we have made. And why might God have us jump to the Sword next?

BECAUSE YOU CANNOT FAKE THE SWORD!

Anyone can put on armor, even hold a sword in their hand, and look like a warrior. However, let the enemy show up, let a real fight show up, and a warrior can no longer be FAKED! The Sword determines our REALNESS, or not! In a world loving virtual reality, the warrior still cannot be faked.

And let me ask this, What is a student who does not shine brighter, even unto the end?

You see, the Sword also demands a “student”. A person teachable. Learning the way of our Kingdom, our fighting style, spiritual warfare is a skill, and requires both a teacher and a student. Are we teachable? Are we creating disciples after Christ? Or are we living in a bunch of smoke and mirrors, a fake matrix of pretend, while seeking earthly things? Are we creating materialistic disciples in the name of Jesus?

“Endure suffering, along with me, as a good soldier (warrior) of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer (Jesus) who enlisted them.” (II Tim. 2:3-4)

Are we tied up in civilian things? Endure hardness? Are we a civilian or warrior? We will not fake it for long. Our daily actions will always give us away. Our prayer life. Our priorities. Our daily study. Our actual skill level. The belt we wear, somewhere between white and black, or still just white? Do we have a blue-light special Jesus? A cheap sword from China? Or are we REAL? Are we TRUE? Have we been the STUDENT? Have we been tempered in fire? Are we TEACHABLE? Have we proven we really want to KNOW and GROW? Do we live as a Priest/ Servant of Christ? What is our discipleship?

They say never take a gun, or knife, unless you’re willing to use it. Do you claim to be a disciple of that Word? Do you find these questions uncomfortable, or hard to answer? What do you really want? Are we materialistic disciples when Jesus challenged the young rich man to give away his wealth? Will the real Jesus please stand up.

I’m not preaching to live in poverty. The Lord’s prayer asks God to give us our “daily” bread. We should have enough. But how much is enough? When is enough enough?

I’m learning more and more every day that part of my mission from God is to preach REALITY in a virtual loving world. This does not gain me friends. I’m well aware of this. I may be considered negative on “money”, but I’m very positive on “simplicity”! My Teepee is to be a place of REALITY. At my Teepee we learn to depend on money less, and God more. Yes, Jesus really did teach such things. Will the real Jesus please stand up.

For example, the other day, and Churches do this all the time, but the other day a church youth group was taken on a great adventure in another state. They went camping, white water rafting, a swimming pool with some inflated pyramid to climb, and were taught biblical spiritual lessons while camping and hiking in the woods. Now I suppose this sounds like a very good thing, and I know how negative this makes me sound, as if simply trying to find fault, or be a party pooper, but does that church realize they are also teaching their youth to love money, because if you have money you can have great adventures? Have a lot of fun? Turn mother nature into a great big play ground? Is that the reality of nature? Or even God? Will the real Jesus please stand up.

Is this the only way to have fun in nature, by spending a lot of money? How many parents had to strain their budget so their child could go, and they were too embarrassed to ask for charity, so they added a little more to the credit card? Am I not supposed to ask such questions?

I did camping trips with youth, and we had a great time, but it was actually very affordable. Almost nothing! We had a lot of poor kids, and not enough rich people to possibly pay for kids to have an expensive outing. And it wasn’t necessary anyway! So the poor kids are left out? No… I’m sure someone came up with the money, (I hope), but here again, it’s back to the money.

That is not what my grandson is learning at the Teepee when he is splitting wood. And we have a good time! A great workout! We don’t even have a wood splitter. I may get one someday, just for when I get behind on the wood, but I want to use axe, sledge, and wedge for as long as I can! It helps keep me strong! So I can endure hardness! Does anyone else see what I’m saying, or am I alone in such a brain frame? Are we all looking for our “Participation Trophy”? Or is God calling us to be true spiritual athletes?

I’m sorry to say this same church, when I was jobless after back surgery, kept taking me out for breakfast after the early morning prayer meeting. Pastor liked to eat out, and not cheap places. So they picked up my ticket, and the pastor’s, often, because if you were to continue the fellowship you just about had to go, or go home. (Which I did sometimes.) But their generosity sounds very Christian, right? Only problem was I did not want to eat out. I always had food. We had plenty of food at home. What I really needed was our main vehicle fixed. It was dead of winter, extreme cold, and my wife was freezing as she drove to work. They knew this, but they kept buying me a breakfast I didn’t need!

I felt God was giving them an opportunity, and if they failed, he would eventually provide another way. Our tax returns finally came in, and I did my own work as I would have done anyway, but it got fixed, I found work, and life went on. But while buying me breakfast, they were missing the real need. How many times I wished I just had the money they spent on my breakfast! Maybe this sounds crazy to you, but when you’re poor, or even just temporarily in a hard spot, you have a different perception. Jesus ALWAYS saw the poor from their perspective.

My simple life style has kept me strong enough to climb one of those “climbing walls”. This last week, my son took us on post to a gym where there was a “military” climbing wall. We had a good time! And this was no sissy wall! This was the military. There was no participation trophy. You could either climb the wall or not. No faking it! Your body either reached the top, or not, and mine did! At age 62! Am I bragging? I don’t know how to praise the benefits of simplicity without telling this story. But a lot of people cannot climb that wall at 62. Maybe that don’t mean much, or maybe it does, but God is good and his pleasures can be found without much money. Are we training materialistic disciples, or those who seek first the Kingdom of God? Can we think outside the money box?

The first thing God spoke to me as I began considering our Sword is that a Sword is meant to be used by a Warrior! And spiritual warriors must live in the REALITY of God’s battlefield, where a love for money is a real danger! They know they must train if they are going to survive. And on a spiritual battlefield you must be strong, strong in the Lord! So what makes us stronger, and what makes us weaker? The Apostle Paul spoke to Timothy about not being “tied up” or entangled in civilian affairs. Think like a Warrior! Again, we link our Sword to our Helmet and Belt. Be ye transformed (into a warrior of Christ), by the renewing of your mind! But a student >“studies”!

Ouch! I heard yelps clear over here. Reality check! Bursting the matrix bubble! I don’t care if you go to a modern church or not, the real question is, are we living as Jesus “DID”? If that modern church is working for you in that way, then keep it up!

What good is a student who does not shine brighter every day, even unto the end? How do we live an ancient way in our modern day? These are all challenges to a warrior, and also a challenge to any false reality. While we look not at that which is seen, but that which is not seen. Your brain will not automatically think in these ways. It must go through training, be born-again. Perhaps that youth outing was great discipleship in Christ, or perhaps it was teaching to love fun and money, but this was the same church that was blasting Micheal Jackson’s “Thriller” in their parking lot for a neighborhood outreach. Whaaat? I know this makes this church sound awful, but by today’s standards, it’s actually one of the better churches! But I’m sorry, I just can’t stay silent about our modern church ways.

My matrix thinks a different way. Those who love money always seem to think in terms of money. It is hard for them to see outside that box. Nature has many lessons to offer, including survival. It also teaches simplicity, how to be content, how to thrive on less. Some people go into nature and die. Some manage to survive. But a few actually thrive! Because they have been a student, and they have proven themself teachable.

If you’re in a real contest with nature, money will mean nothing. You got what you can carry on your back. Beyond that, might as well leave the rest of your money at home. Mother nature does not care. But to be a part of this church outing, someone had to lay down cold hard cash. For these youth to experience that again, they will need more money. What is God’s church about? Will these kids be able to think outside the money box? Who in the church was struggling to pay their rent that week, while the youth went white water rafting?

Again, reality check. Is it our goal to disciple worldly Christians? Most churches would say “NO”. But what do their actions show? What does blasting “Thriller” on loud speakers say? I’m sorry if this sounds like a negative message, but you don’t play with Swords. They are sharp and will cut you. Warriors know this. I wish I could make truth more pleasant, but it’s only pleasant for those really seeking truth. And it’s only unpleasant for those who don’t want to know the truth. They want to stay in a false matrix, a lie. Is this true or not? Have I said anything that is not true according to the teachings of Christ? (Your Bible. Your Sword.)

Here’s another reality check: The Sword of the Spirit is a whole book on absolute truth, in which a true warrior can take such knowledge, train himself, apply it, and “thrive” on the battlefield. But thriving is not how big a pile of money you may have. Not on God’s battlefield. It’s more about the demons who lie defeated at your feet. That’s what a Sword is for. It’s about dispatching the enemy. We are not just the blessed, we are the bloody and blessed, covered in the blood of the Lamb. But will we study? Will we learn and change? Are we teachable?

I know this is warrior talk, and I have probably scared many away. Jesus did the same in his day, when he spoke of his blood. He scared many away with things he said. But we are talking about the Sword. Should I sugar coat a Sword? Will the real Jesus please stand up.

I have a saying of being Samurai for Christ. It’s an analogy, like Paul used the Roman Olympic games as an analogy. He spoke of an athlete training to win! The true Samurai lived for his Lord (Shogun), and by his sword. He lived and died by his sword. So do Christians. Jesus said those who live by the sword shall die by the sword. Was he saying not to have a sword? Or be wise in the Sword you choose to live and die by? (As the example he himself set, and many of our early church brothers and sisters.)

The knowledge contained in our Bible is about learning to thrive in the world we cannot see, a world that does not function according to flesh and blood, a world God says is more true than this physical mortality. We cannot afford to think like the world, because it simply will not work where we are going, nor where we already are. The ways of this world only lead to a wasted life in the Kingdom of God. This is truth. This is God’s reality. Be careful when your ways actually make sense to the world.

This is only the beginning of our look at the Sword, and our continued examination of REALITY. It seems God’s Armor has a whole lot to say about our perceived reality. But if we want to be free…seek truth. God’s Armor of Light is all about living FREE…unchained…untied…in the liberty of Spirit…as the eagle, not the sparrow.

This has been a long one, but there is much here to consider. Are we doing what Jesus did? Somehow, it just doesn’t look the same to me. Perhaps I’m chicken little crying that the sky is falling? Or perhaps not? As I warned at the beginning, my words are not always easy to hear, or agree with; but do they agree with what Jesus did? If so…?

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“Fellowship of the White Path” 7/1/18

Dark-Souls-2-Video-zur-Collectors-Edition-e1394526242293 What do you think Satan saw when he looked at Jesus? Did he see a weak and frail man wearing a very plain robe? (That’s what we are generally shone.) Or did he see a warrior fully clothed in armor? A powerful vessel of Light he was unable to defeat or contain?

What does a Priest of Christ actually look like in the world of the invisible? When the principalities and powers of darkness look on a Disciple of Christ, what do they actually see? What did they see when they looked at the Apostle John, Peter, or Paul? Is the picture of a Priest in my mind accurate to the reality of scripture? Just what is a Priest of Christ, anyway?

“I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn’t have to destroy the land, but I found no one.” Ezekiel 22:30

A profound sense of sadness strikes me when I read those words: “but I found no one.”

“So now I will pour out my fury (judgement of sin) on them…”

As God’s Kingdom of Priest, we are supposed to be “Gap Standers of Righteousness”. As Priest we are standing in that gap between lost man and God. Through Christ, we have been given the power, and the mission, to reach out with one hand to God, (Love God with all your being), and reach out to mankind with the other hand, (love your neighbor as yourself), and be a bridge others can walk upon to bring God and man together. This is a Priest of Christ. Gap Standers of Righteousness. And sometimes you will feel walked upon. Shake it off and go on. That’s what LOVE does.

In the day of Ezekiel, God sought for a man to stand in the gap and rebuild the wall of righteousness, but he found none. What DID he find? A bunch of people living like kings as they sought to fulfill their worldly desires. This is what I see in too many of today’s churches.

And notice! If you ever wondered what makes up that “hedge of protection” we’re always praying to God for? Ezekiel reveals here in these scriptures that it is a wall of “Righteousness” that “GUARDS” the land. How “righteous” of a life would you say the average person in your church is actually living? Or would you discover today’s church abundantly fits the detailed description God gives of Samaria and Jerusalem in the following chapters? The very cities he is about to pour judgement out on. The very cities he is about to bring a “Refining Fire” upon.

If godly living and righteousness makes up the hedge of protection, I fear we are all in serious trouble! God is searching for those who might stand in the gap, but who will he find? You? Me? Some Moses willing to leave the pleasures of Egypt for a time, to suffer and lead a true people of God? Most of those claiming to be a Moses today, seem to live in palaces, not desert tents.

I believe the church is at that last fork in the road. If we don’t stop taking the left fork and lusting after the things of Egypt, and take the right path into the high places of righteousness, VERY BAD THINGS ARE ABOUT TO COME ON THE WANNABE PEOPLE OF GOD! You can ignore this preacher if you like, but look around, what do you see?

The church is full of people who want to be a child of God, but are not willing to pay the price of the path. So are they saved or not? Let’s put it this way, when the Refining Fires finally come, there will likely be a great falling away. So if we take this personally, which side of the fork have we been living? That is the question every one of us should be asking ourself. Are we in love with Jerusalem, or Egypt? Is our temple full of idols of Egypt, or sacred worship for the Father of our Lord?

And what does all this have to do with our subject of the Armor of Light? Two things: As asked before, what does Satan see? Does he see a frail human running around half naked because he has neglected his armor in Christ? If so, then secondly, Ephesians tells us to put on the whole Armor of Christ so that we will be able to “STAND” in the evil day. The Armor is part of God’s answer for strength to STAND, and not be a part of the great falling. But will we be a “Gap Stander of Righteousness”? Will we come out from among them and be the Priesthood? Will we wear this armor?

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And having done all to stand… STAND!

This is a true challenge, I know. In today’s modern world we are surrounded and overwhelmed with the “7 Deadly Sins”. As I type the words for this message, upon this very laptop I’m using to send forth a message of faith and righteousness, at the touch of a button on this very same device, in an instant, I could defile my Temple with more pornography than any man could ever exhaust. I could stir up every worldly desire for material things to a fevered pitch! This very same device so useful to preach God’s Word and gather his people, could spiritually kill me, strip me of my Armor, and possibly even send me to hell. Such a spiritually dangerous world we live in today. Choose you “this day”, every day, whom you will serve!

Which fork of the road are we living? Judgement is coming to the church. I feel it in my bones. Too much of the church is in bed with Egypt! I don’t know how much more time we have, but TODAY is always the day of salvation with our God. Do not put off what you know you need to do. Take up your cross, stand in that gap of righteousness, leave the palace even as Moses did, and be the Priest in Christ we are called to be!

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We will be mixing these chapters in Ezekiel with the Book of Ephesians. I will end this lesson with the Apostle Paul’s prayer for the church in Ephesians 1:16-20.

“I have not stopped thanking God for you constantly, asking God, the glorious Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, to give you spiritual wisdom and insight so that you might grow in your knowledge of God. I pray that your hearts be flooded with light so that you can understand the confident hope he has given to those he called — his holy people who are his rich and glorious inheritance. I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”

According to Ephesians, the very same mighty power that raised the dead body of Christ back to life on that day, dwells in us. This same power can raise us out of the dead things of our life, to become the Priest of Christ we desire to be, a Gap Stander of Righteousness. A bridge between God and lost mankind. This is Priesthood in Christ. Because of LOVE, we step in that gap.

The power for all this lies in the fact we have been called to be a Kingdom of Priest. As we are faithful to function in the things of our Priesthood, then our Armor stays fully charged, (God’s Holy Spirit in us!), and we STAND! This is how we are STRONG in the Lord. Anything less than this is a life of spiritual weakness and becoming the prey of every deadly mouse trap the devil carefully places this world’s cheese within. Don’t kid yourself. The 7 Deadly Sins are a trap of the highest order. No human can resist that cheese if they are not calling on the Lord. In our Priesthood, that same power that raised Christ from the dead, can raise us too, if we be the Warrior Priest we are called to be.

Before David faced the giant, Goliath, he was offered the armor of a worldly king, King Saul. David said he had not tested this armor, and the armor of this worldly king did not fit him, so he rejected it! I pray the armor of a worldly king fit not thee also. But if you are truly in Christ, not only has this armor been thoroughly tested, but it will also fit like a fine leather glove. Praise the name of our Lord forever! We must not neglect so great a gift! Amen! Do not be fooled to think David was not wearing armor that day, just because it couldn’t be seen by the human eye.

Full-Armor-Of-God-Wallpaper-7 This message has been brought to you by “Fellowship of the White Path”.

Grandpa White Feather.