“This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is almost gone; the day of salvation will soon be here. So remove your dark deeds like dirty clothes, and put on the shining armor of right living. Because we belong to the day, we must live decent lives for all to see. Don’t participate in the darkness of wild parties and drunkenness, or in sexual promiscuity and immoral living, or in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And don’t let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.” (Romans 13:11-14, NLT)
In addition to the previous post, I just want to encourage us all to examine ourselves. As I mentioned, many claim to believe the Bible to be true but are contradicting their professions with their own interpretations and lifestyles.
You see, we have deceived ourselves when we begin to pick and choose what commands (and directives) to obey. The bible can not just be true to us to an extent (until it becomes inconvenient). We have to accept it to be true (and right!) in its entirety.
I remember my mother bringing a couple young ladies over my house for what I thought would be a little Bible studying. Then she told them to just go through the scriptures and pick out what they like. After I explained how we have to read the scriptures in context, she told them that they don’t have to be (and I quote) “A radical Jesus person”. Um.. First of all, low blow. And second off all, YES WE DO! That’s the main requirement of being a FOLLOWER OF JESUS. We have to lay down our lives in order to follow Christ. And as “believers” and Bible readers shouldn’t we know this!? Unfortunately, many like my mother think that you are judging them when you propose things like truth, obedience and holiness. They will say that they aren’t any less of a Christian just because they don’t believe or live like you do. But friends, don’t be deceived (and if this is you, don’t deceive yourself). True believers of Jesus Christ don’t pursue their own standards of righteousness. In fact, you who oppose are really the ones being self righteous by living by your own standards of what’s right (or good enough!) regardless of what the Bible teaches. The scriptures are for training in RIGHTEOUSNESS. They are not self serving affirmations or demonic laws of attraction prompts!
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” (1 Timothy 3:16-17)
Personally, I just simply read the Bible as a guide. I obey the Lord’s commands as I surrender my life and MY OWN desires. I seek to continuously be sanctified knowing that righteousness in Christ isn’t optional or unattainable. So, if you claim to believe in the God of the Bible (the same God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob), then again, I challenge you to really examine what you say that you believe because the Bible teaches holiness not lawlessness or once saved always saved.
With nothing but love, Brandi
The message (or gospel!) of Jesus Christ was never meant to be complicated. In destroying the works of the devil and overcoming the world, Jesus died so that in him we would have the power (and the privilege!) to repent and overcome as he did. The kingdom, or judgement and reign of the one, true and living God and His Son Jesus Christ is coming! So if we love them and want to be apart of the kingdom (of righteousness, peace and joy) we have to live right— according to THEIR standards. So, I hope that you choose life. God bless you and feel free to comment on and/or share this video♥
“By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” (John 13:35)
So recently I blogged about coming separate from this world, and I mentioned how a lot of professing Christians are actually still unbelievers. In this post, I’m going to specify 3 things that I believe are (but aren’t limited to) indications of a true believer. So let’s get right into it.
#1 They believe the Bible to be completely true AND RIGHT!
In addition to the opening scripture, true disciples of Jesus Christ are deeply rooted in sound doctrine. The bible is clear on what is sin (and what is and isn’t appropriate for those professing godliness). Therefore true believers take into account the full counsel of the bible without cherry picking.
#2 They come to repentance and are born again of the Spirit
“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” 1John 3:9
True followers of Jesus Christ are not sinners. They do not live in a constant state of sin or worldliness (pursuing the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh or the pride of life). They understand that grace does NOT excuse sin and that there is no such thing as once saved always saved.
#3 They’re always concerned about the things of God
Real Christians are set on helping others also live upright because they know that this is the end of the age and that the whole world lies in wickedness (1John 5:19). They are not concerned about their everyday lives. They seek the kingdom of God first and deny themselves the “pleasures” and luxuries of this life.
Ultimately, there’s no distinction between mainstream Christianity and the world. They look a like, act a like, and pursue the same things making true children of God seem insane. Which is expected since they are a peculiar people 🙂
Much love, Brandi
(Featured image provided by pixels.com It reminds me of how we were once caught up as prey without even realizing the bigger picture including those around us who were free in Christ producing much fruit! I’m sure the photographer wasn’t trying to capture all of that but this is what came to my mind when I saw this image 🙂 Anyway..)
“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)
I want to take some time to talk about coming separate from this world because recently I had to come to terms with the fact that I was lukewarm. And a lot of us are lukewarm— claiming to be Christians when our lifestyles are no different from those who blatantly reject God. But before I get into coming separate from this world, I want briefly explain what I am referring to as “The world”.
When I mention the world, I am talking about the society’s system of resources, values, priorities and philosophies that are influenced by the devil. Since satan is the god of this world (according to scriptures like Matthew 4:8-10), he is the one orchestrating the ideas and moves of the people. Whether they know (or believe) it or not, those who aren’t in Christ (and Christians who aren’t abiding in the Spirit!) are being deceived (and employed!) by the devil.
We know that God’s children do not make a practice of sinning, for God’s Son holds them securely, and the evil one cannot touch them. We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the control of the evil one. (1 John 5:18-19, NLT)
Therefore, being a friend or in agreement with the ways of living AND THINKING like the world (or the cultures around us) puts us in direct opposition to God and His standards (which are clear in the bible).
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. (James 4:4)
So what am I saying? Am I saying that we have to live like the Amish? No, because Jesus sends his disciples out into the world (John 17:6-26, Matthew 28:16-20). What I’m saying is, is that we have to repent, and stop living like we don’t know what the bible teaches!
Like I mentioned above, this is how a lot of us have deceived ourselves into believing that we are Christians when in reality we are enemies of God.
But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:22-25)
Since we know that coming separate isn’t literal (because again, Jesus sends us out into the world), we know that it means forsaking fellowship with unbelievers (fake Christians!) and being delivered from evil.
When I wrote to you before, I told you not to associate with people who indulge in sexual sin. But I wasn’t talking about unbelievers who indulge in sexual sin, or are greedy, or cheat people, or worship idols. You would have to leave this world to avoid people like that. I meant that you are not to associate with anyone who claims to be a believer yet indulges in sexual sin, or is greedy, or worships idols, or is abusive, or is a drunkard, or cheats people. Don’t even eat with such people. (1 Corinthians 5:9-11, NLT)
It’s a sanctification process. This is what being holy and set apart (or separate!) is all about!
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2, NLT)
Just think of how many commands and directives (like women wearing head coverings to church) have been tossed out the window because we’re evolving with the culture. When we’re of the world, we think like the world. God is the same God of Israel. He’s still holy and His desires haven’t changed. If we truly want to be followers of His son Jesus Christ then we have to DENY OURSELVES and walk in righteousness. We can’t be worried about our own opinions or interpretations and social rankings.
“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. (Matthew 6:31-32, NLT)
So basically it all boils down to this, if you want to come separate from this world, just read your bible and with the power of the holy ghost start DOING what it says. The results are inevitable.
“Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25, NLT)
A while ago I posted on why I left the church and I just want to take the time to clarify some things. Now just because I’ve stopped associating with typical church people, doesn’t mean that I’ve isolated myself from the TRUE church or body of believers. I’m not crazy. “One who has isolated himself seeks his own desires; he rejects all sound judgment.” (Proverbs 18:1, NET)
As a matter of fact, my husband and I have found a deliverance ministry that we pray to become a part of. We understand the importance of fellowshipping with like minded believers. I am always praying to be connected with the saints. Especially with my sisters, that’s one of the reasons why I created this blog♥ But the truth of the matter is that your every day (on every corner!) church has conformed to this world and is full of idols and vain worship. So I’m going to share what my husband and I have been looking for in a congregation to determine whether or not they’re apart of the remnant or just some “christian” organization. Hopefully, this will also help some of you out.
Now, the first thing that we look for is Sound doctrine.
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. (1 Timothy 6:3-5)
Many are merely hearers and not doers of the Word so like that house build upon the sand, many churches aren’t built upon what Jesus teaches. They claim to be “Bible based” but they’re really just founded on man’s opinions and interpretations of it. So with that being said, find a place that preaches holiness, and that doesn’t have any taboo topics like demons or repentance.
Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths. (2 Timothy 4:2-4, NLT)
The power of God
This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Nowadays everyone is claiming to be a Christian but no one is overcoming sin or physically healing others. All we do is TALK but real believers posses real power and authority from God. Let them keep them motivational speeches.
For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power (1 Corinthians 4:20)
This could be a post in itself but all I’m going to say is that when looking for a place to fellowship we need to make sure that the church is being ran properly. For instance, sin should be addressed and error should be rebuked. They should be following the examples of the apostles and early churches not evolving with the culture.
Love and Humility
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. (John 13:34-35)
One thing that will be different about a congregation of people who are truly following Jesus is their humility and love for other people. We are so used to reserved, mean church cliques that we forgot that the greatest among us should be the servants.
But Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:25-28, NLT)
True followers of Jesus Christ humble themselves by lying down their lives to serve others. And true leaders aren’t too proud to (first speak!) repent publicly or to receive deliverance. Now of course they should be above reproach, but no one has no more to learn or to grow.
People of prayer and repentance
We should be gathering to pray and to edify each other. Not to be listening to the choir sing secular “gospel” music all day. Find a place where the people are dedicated to prayer. And I mean real prayer, not emotional (sensual), self seeking and eloquent vain prayer.
But anyway, these things are just a start. More importantly we all have to make sure that we are being led by God.
Your sister, Brandi
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God.
(2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1)
Now first of all, let me just start of by saying that this post isn’t really about why I left the “church” I was attending. It’s more about why I left the congregation of professing Christians in general.
See, there once was a time when I would shy away from admitting that I didn’t have a church home (as if going to church makes you a true believer) but what I’ve learned is to be bold and unapologetic about it because the true church has left the building.
Yup, that’s right! True followers of Jesus Christ are not hanging out in some government building being spoiled by philosophy and by vain deceit after the rudiments of this world or THE TRADITIONS OF MEN and not after Christ. So therefore, I have left the “church”, or I have forsaken the assembling of myself with church people—people who claim to know (and love!) God but are manifesting works of the flesh rather than fruits worthy of repentance.
I mean, what fellowship does a bible believing Christian have with contentious, carnal people who are not obeying the Lord’s commands but are busy building their own kingdoms (or brands!) here on this earth in the name of Jesus? I have met the REAL Jesus and I can assure you that the majority of professing Christians have not had a real encounter with (or revelation of) the living Christ!
These people are not truly seeking the Lord. They’re pursuing the pride of life while I choose DAILY to count it all dung that I might win Christ. And I’m not saying that i’m perfect or that I’m the only one. What I’m saying is is that I’ve been there and done that and have gained NOTHING.
I choose to live right. According to God’s standards, not according to people’s thoughts and/or feelings.
I’ve spent YEARS seeking the Lord and what I found is a HOLY God who isn’t interested in Sunday rituals or lip service.
And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
He requires true REPENTANCE, we have to come separate! And that includes from vain, proud and ignorant congregations. So, with that being said, if you don’t take anything else away from this post just know that I’ve decided to quit playing church and to wholeheartedly follow the Jesus.
With nothing but love,
If you’re interested, I shared how to choose the right congregation to fellowship with here