Agendas

Everyone has one and some have more than one!

What is the goal of the person, or people and their agendas?

Some people are up front with theirs, and others keep theirs “close to the vest.”

Some agendas are greately concealed and others are quickly revealed!

Some are selfish and others benefit the rest!

Everyone has one and some have more than one!

Which ones are the best?

It was all a test?

Given enough time and access they will always eventually surface!

Wait for it!

Don’t fear it!

World changers will emerge too!

TEAMS – Train, Equip and Activate Maturing Saints in the Biblical lifestyle of purity and power!

Hidden in plain sight for those who want to see!

Agreed to, or too greedy to?

Stealth or wealth?

Went ones or sent sons?

The kingdom has it all and always has!

Everyone has one and some have more than one!

Which one do you have?

Which one are you?

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Spiritual Revolutionary

 

 

Called, Chosen and Our Choices

Many people do not realize that being called is just the first step in a long process of being chosen, and remaining in why they are called and have been chosen.

People settle into their calling because they discover their identity in it, but many fail to realize their identity is only partially in what they are called.

Our full identity is only found in the One who calls us and then chooses us in His calling us. Losing sight of Him reduces us down to someone who performs for Him to feel His love, instead of resting in our love relationship with Him. Adam and Eve discovered that early in their own walking down their path to purpose!

Any person who places their identity in what God calls them to do instead on God who chose them to do it runs a great risk of becoming a person they never dreamed they would digress into.

Jesus said, “Many are called but few are chosen.” That is an interesting statement that should lead enquirers to dig deeper and farther into what Jesus meant when He said that to the very ones He said it to.

The “them” Jesus was speaking to were the scribes and Pharisees who opposed the move of God and the Messiah who was the Facilitator of His movement.

In other words, they had no problem believing they could usurp God and His delegated authority figure.

Scribes were entrusted with the word of God and Pharisees were entrusted with maintaining purity within the community. Both failed miserably in their calling and and in their being chosen. Jesus said to His disciples, “If your righteousness does not exceed that of the scribes and Pharisees you will in no way enter the kingdom of heaven.”

Those are heavy words! They are not as heavy as these, “Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people, producing the fruit of it [Matthew 21:43].”

Let us all take note that being faithful to the end of what God has entrusted to us is more important than thinking we are so important we cannot disqualify ourselves from stewarding what He gifted us with in the beginning.

I want us to think about the original men Jesus called to be His disciples. There were more than the twelve that He ended up choosing to be His original, handpicked closest disciples.

In fact, out of those twelve there were three [Peter, James and John] who became even closer to Him than the other nine, but even Peter and James did not reach the level of intimacy that John attained.

John was so full of Jesus boiling oil couldn’t burn him and Patmos could not blind him! Now that is what I call a real revelation of Jesus, the Christ.

Choices! How far are you willing to go for a real relationship with Jesus based on intimacy with Him, not your working for Him?

At the end of His life Jesus had to say this to Philip, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip?” How long has Jesus been with you and yet you still have not moved close enough to really know Him?

Distance and disconnect from Jesus are detrimental to our mental state, and potentially to our eternal state!

I learned many years ago: Jesus chose twelve out of possibly a hundred or more disciples He called to follow Him, the “three” chose to get closer than the other nine and John the beloved got closer than James and Peter. So when Jesus calls and chooses us it is for the purpose of our discovering what choices we will make to make sure we have a close relationship to Him, not to what He calls and chooses us to do for Him.

We read, “12 It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles: 14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James and John; and Philip and Bartholomew; 15 and Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot; 16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor [Luke 6].”

Many were called disciples but He chose twelve out of the many He originally called. We are not told why He chose only those twelve or why He chose those specific men, except that He spent all night fellowshipping with His Father and we know He only did what He saw His Father do and He only said what He heard His Father say. We can deduce the Father directed Him to the twelve He wanted chosen.

There is an interesting choice in the group of twelve. His name is Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.

How would you like to be known throughout eternity as _______ ________ who became a traitor? Yikes!

“Became a traitor” is an interesting phrase to me, especially in light of what John reveals in chapter six of His gospel.

64 But there are some of you who do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. 65 And He was saying, ‘For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted him from the Father.'”

Luke said Judas “became a traitor” and John said Jesus “knew who it was who would betray Him,”

Jesus knew the moment He selected Judas as one of the twelve it was he who would eventually betray Him.

We must remember all His disciples believed in Jesus when they followed Him. Apparently Judas chose not to believe Jesus. Do you really believe the Jesus you tell people you believe in? And in John chapter eight we learn Jesus told the “Jews who believed Him” they were His disciples if “they continued in His word.”

Continuing in and ending with believing Jesus is much more important that beginning a belief in and believing Jesus!

Think rope! Think pull up and out! Think hang down! Now think choices! Now think about all the crap Judas had inside of him that everyone got to see once his bowels blew out!

Jesus made choices and so did Judas, but their reasons for choosing were totally different.

My purpose in bringing it up in this blog is the context of being called and chosen does not guarantee we will end up where we thought we would when God calls and chooses us. Jesus knew where Judas would end up but Judas had no idea what his choices would do to his being called and chosen.

Jesus also said this about choices, “ 16 You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. 17 This I command you, that you love one another [John 15].”

When Jesus chooses us He expects good fruit to be produced. Many see that fruit as being what they do and not who they become. In other words, they place their future in their performace for Jesus instead on a real relationship with Jesus.

Is the fruit Jesus expects the supernatural manifestations of His presence? Not if they are done for the wrong reasons.

21 Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles ?’ 23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; Depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness [Matthew 7].'”

First Jesus addressed those who overemphazied their relationship to Him, “Lord, Lord.” So much for all who say Jesus is Lord do so through the Holy Spirit. Now that is another matter to deal with at another time. Second, beginning in the kingdom does not guarantee ending in the kingdom. Just ask the scribes and Pharisees. We need to make sure we remain in the kingdom God is in. Third, these deceived people were eager to brag about THEIR exploits – TO JESUS. Fourth, they never realized knowing Jesus is no where near as important as Him knowing them.

Do you know Him? So do demons and people deceived enough to prostitute His name for their glory!

Paul said, “24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may win. 25 Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; 27 but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified. [1 Corinthians 9].”

God never disqualifies those He calls and chooses because His “gifts and calls are irrevocable.” Do we notice the word ‘anointing’ is not mentioned as irrevocable? How about the word ‘revelation?’ Are these intentional exclusions? I believe that they are intentional and a clue to the clueless.

For those who think that would never happen to them or any other New Testament minister read these words and weep, unless you are so enamored with yourself they cannot bring you to tears.

4 ‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love. 5 ‘Therefore remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent [Revelation 2].”

To have your lampstand removed means you are no longer getting revelation from the One who provided you with the illumination in the first place. Without His illumination there can be no Holy Spirit anointing becasue He is the One who gives illumination to us through the written Word of God.

Paul placed the responsibility of his remaining in his race squarely where it must be, on his shoulders.

Paul mentions running and prizes in his other epistles. The context of studying Paul and the race he ran is this: Paul never went where he was not sent. In other words, Paul had connections to a community of believers and those who led those believers. Paul was not a went one.  He was a sent one!

Secondly, Paul was never sent alone. When he began his ministry he was sent with another five fold minister and then he led a team of future five fold ministers and believers. Paul was a team player not a lone ranger! God does not have lone rangers representing Him. In His earthly ministry Jesus sent teams of at least two to represent Him and His mission.

That is another very important truth. No one has a kingdom ministry, message, mandate or mission apart from Jesus.

  • Philippians 3 – “12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. 13 Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let us therefore, as many as are perfect, have this attitude; and if in anything you have a different attitude, God will reveal that also to you; 16 however, let us keep living by that same standard to which we have attained.”
    • Paul said many things in this text but think about the following as you consider your calling and being chosen
      • He pressed on inspite of his imperfections!
      • He laid hold of that which Christ has laid hold of him.
      • He continuously pursued his purpose in life not settling in a status quo.
      • He looked ahead not behind!
      • He reiterated a core value of pressing onward toward a goal.
      • His goal and prize was Christ, and the upward call that is found only in Christ, the One who called and chose him.
      • He would not compromise what he learned, experienced and obtained and attained, in Christ.
  • Hebrews 12 – “1 Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
    • Look at the similar language in this text to the Philippians 3 text. This is why I believe Paul wrote Hebrews!
      • He knew he was connected to believers who had finished their race as well as to those he was running with and for in his own generation.
      • He recognized the necessity to not become entangled in life’s challenges and hell’s temptations.
      • He kept his eyes on the prize, Christ Jesus.
      • He knew Christ was heaven’s model and his [our] role model for all life and ministry.
      • He did not follow Jesus in His earthly ministry but Jesus had burned the Cross into his consciousness deep enough it was the central theme of his life and ministry.
      • He realized weariness and heart failure was a present tense potential problem if he took his eyes off of his Prize.
  • 2 Timothy 4 – “6 For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8 in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.”
    • Once again Paul references a race and he ties it to expending his life as a sacrificial drink offering to God and for the people he ran with and for
      • His Prize was in full view!
      • He was confident in his effort and he would be rewarded for it.
      • He knew he had been in a fight but it was a good fight because he never got knocked out. Even when he was stoned to death he got up and went right back in the city among those who tried to take him out.
      • He finished the course [race that Jesus set before him]!
      • He kept THE faith which means he remained faithful to his mission, message and his mandate to preach where no man had preached before.

Listen dear reader, don’t get cocky because you have a call from God that you have answered. Don’t become arrogant because Jesus chose you and you responded to His choice.

Remember God chose Israel out of all the nations on earth to be His people, and He chose Judas, a Jewish man to be one of Jesus’ closest disciples.

According to Peter [Acts 2] “the whole house of Israel” was guilty of innocent blood, the “men of Israel” chose to betray God and His sent Son, and Judas was the key player in that conspiracy to crucify the “Man.” Luke records Peter’s words with this, “[Who was] delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God.”

God chose the very ones who would betray the Christ, and they chose to be the ones to betray Him. Being called, and being chosen is meaningless if we make wrong choices that end up placing us in opposition to God and His purposes in the earth.

The fact we believe we started for the right reasons is no guarantee we will end up in the right place. Our choices throughout our lives are just as important as God’s choice to call and choose us!

Receive and steward God’s Passion, Power, Presence, Priority, Process, Provision, Pruning, Purging, Purity, and Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Spiritual Revolutionary

People of Purpose, Purity and Power

Now, more than ever, is the time for God’s people to be people of purpose, living on purpose for the sole purpose of fulfilling God’s purpose for giving them His life. Two ways to ensure that happens is by living in purity and power.

All of the New Testament writers, in one way or another, spoke into the importance of this truth. And the truths they wrote about are timeless, speaking into every generation of people who read and heed their wise counsel.

Jesus, who is heaven’s model and our role-model for all life and ministry, is the Author and Perfecter of this life of faithful obedience to the Father.

May wife Donna and I have a call on our lives that in part is to train, equip, and activate maturing saints in the Biblical lifestyle of purity and power. Having a DNA of “In earth as it IS in heaven” [Matthew 6:10 KJV], requires us to pursue the life Jesus lived and to lead others into experiencing.

Mistakes happen! A mistake is a momentary lapse of good judgment. We have discovered there are way too many people who use the “I made a mistake” excuse for a lifestyle of repetitive “lapses of good judgment.” At some point people need to grasp they are not making mistakes. but they are revealing corrupt core values that if not repented of will lead them to dark places and possible eternal destruction.

Peter, a disciple of Jesus who made some mistakes in his life, wrote the following instruction to people displaced because of their commitment to Christ.

1 Peter 3 – “10 The one who desires life, to love and see good days, Must keep his tongue from evil and [he must keep] his lips from speaking deceit. 11 He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Do you desire life? The life Peter is referring to is the life God possesses and passes on to those who desire His life.

Do you desire love? The love Peter is referring to is the love God possesses and passes on to those who choose to receive and communicate God’s love. God’s love does not change when a person rejects His love, because God never changes in His nature and character. He is eternally consistent!

Do you desire to see good days? The good days Peter is referring to that can be seen [experienced] are upright, honorable and therefore useful to God and to us. In other words, these “good days” are days when we live right according to the life God desires we live, and we choose to live because we choose to honor God.

Please pay close attention to this text!

This is a quote of Psalms 32:12-16 and Peter uses this text as he writes to believers in Christ who previously were not the people of God. Some believe Peter is writing just to Gentiles. Others believe he is writing to both Gentiles and Jews who previously were not born again believers in Christ. Either way, they are now Christians by virtue of their “being chosen by God, according to the foreknowledge of the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled by His blood” [1 Peter 1:2].

Look at what Peter says in 1:2 about the people he wrote to who were scattered into at least 5 areas quite possibly because of persecution.

1. Chosen by God according to the foreknowledge of the Father

This does not mean God only selects a select few to be saved. This means God saves those who choose to be selected to be saved. “Whosoever may come”, and “Many are called but few are chosen” are truths that reveal 1] everyone has the opportunity to come, and 2] only those who do come can be chosen. The call to salvation is offered to all, but only those who accept the call and the conditions of God’s call are saved.

2. By the sanctifying work of the Spirit

True separation to God always produces the life God saved us to live
. This sanctification must lead to a holy [pure] lifestyle
. In other words, if our life is not holy God did not give it to us. “14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy'” [1:14-16].

3. To obey Jesus Christ

There can be no purity without complete obedience to Christ who fully obeyed the Father. Our love for God is proved in our obedience to God. Peter is saying that we are chosen to obey Christ. This is a different reality than we are chosen to go to heaven.

  • John 14:31 – “But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me. Get up, let us go from here.”
  • John 14:15 – “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

I find it interesting Jesus followed up His “Loving Me means obeying Me” with “I love the Father by doing exactly as the Father commands Me.” True leadership is seen in setting the example for those who follow us. Pharisees [False leaders] put things on people they refuse to do themselves. By the way, the world is watching to see if what we say is congruent with how we live. Do we prove to the world we love God by fully obeying Him? Jesus did! And He is our role-model.

4. To be sprinkled by His blood

Being cleansed from all impurity must lead to a consistent lifestyle of living pure. This is an illustration taken from the Old Testament examples of – 1] The Hebrew people and the mixed multitude who were delivered from Egypt and the death angel by putting the blood of a sacrificed lamb on the doorposts of their homes [hearts]; 2] The sanctifying of all the materials, furniture, and utensils of Moses’ Tabernacle and Solomon’s temple; 3] The sanctifying of the priests where blood and oil was placed on their right ears, thumbs and big toes representing cleansing and anointing for service. Once these were sprinkled they were never to be used for any other purpose.

Peter lists some vitally important lifestyle characteristics of Christian character that leads to the life God desires for all people, but especially for anyone claiming to be His.

They:

1. Must keep their tongue from evil

  • ‘Evil’ here means worthless, destructive that comes from a belief that is not true
  • “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Our mouths reveal what really is in our heart.

2. Must keep their lips from speaking deceit

  • ‘Deceit’ here means a decoy [misleading for the purpose of luring away from what is true and holy]

3. Must turn away from evil and do good

  • ‘Turn away’ here means to turn completely from the wrong direction, or to head in the correct direction, to shun anything and anyone living unholy so we do not emulate their bad behavior
  • ‘Evil’ here is the same word used above [worthless, destructive that comes from a belief that is not true]
  • ‘Do good’ here means to produce, be the authors of, and abide in all that is honorable and beneficial to a holy lifestyle

4. Must seek peace and pursue it

  • ‘Seek’ here means to demand, require, crave and to pursue on purpose in order to find what you are seeking. It does not means meandering around pretending you are looking for something.
  • ‘Peace’ here means harmony, security, safety, prosperity, connection to others, and rest. This is the equivalent of the Hebrew word shalom.
  • ‘Pursue’ here means to run swiftly, passionately and purposefully in order to obtain the goal or prize.

Peter states the reason for these to be adhered to is because:

1. The eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous

God loves the unrighteous but His eyes are toward the righteous!

  • ‘Toward’ here means over and on
  • God’s eyes are not on those who are evil
    • Habakkuk 1:13 – “You are of purer eyes than to behold evil, And cannot look on wickedness.”
    • This is why God turned away from Jesus on the Cross, and for the first time there was a disconnect between Father and Son. When Jesus became sin God could not look on the wickedness He bore for us.

2. The ears of the Lord attend to their prayer

  • ”Ears attend’ here means to be aware of, attentive to, and understand
  • ‘Prayer’ here means needs, desires, long for and even wants, and to make those known through seeking God, asking and entreating God. The idea here is our seeking God will direct what we desire and want to be what He desires and wants for us, which includes a holy life set apart to God and His purposes in the earth.

3. The face of the Lord is against those who do evil

  • ‘Face’ here means the countenance, eyes, look, appearance, expressions, and presence
  • This should convince those who believe God never shows a different “face” when He is dealing with people in different situations that He absolutely does.
    • Mark 3:5 – “After looking around at them with anger.”
  • This is a very descriptive verse that reveals Jesus not only looked directly at each one of them with anger, but the anger was not just for looks
  • Jesus communicated with His facial expression His strong displeasure with them
  • “Anger’ here means a violent emotion, temper, and an exhibition of punishment or the punishment itself. It is very hard for many to wrap their mind around this truth. Is it really possible for the perfect God who came as perfect Man to get so angry he directed it toward people with just a look?
  • ‘Against’ here means to position in front of, or to be directed toward. This means God deals with those who misbehave face to face, or He confronts the people who are misbehaving. God never sweeps misbehavior under the rug or pretends it does not exist. God always approaches from the front to speak directly to those who are not living holy and or healthy, especially in a Christian community context. God never talks behind someone’s back, and neither should we.
  • ‘Do’ here means the same as ‘ do good’ above. To produce, make, construct, author, to cause someone to do something – with the word ‘evil’ following it is the exact opposite of ‘do good’ in verse 11
  • ‘Evil’ here means of a bad nature [which would mean live like you are still unsaved], to cause trouble or injury that originates in thoughts that are wicked [twisted, or twisting truth]

I am concluding this blog by going back to the beginning. To be people of purpose, purity and power, we must desire life, [desire] to love and want to see good days. To realize our desire we must direct our attention toward the God who through His love saved us, toward those who are in right relationship with God and us, hear [understand] what they say to us, while simultaneously turning completely away from those who do evil, and seek to harm us by ensnaring us in their evil.

Keep HIS Passion, Power, Presence, Priority, Process, Provision, Pruning, Purity, Purging, and Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

A Spiritual Revolutionary

Is God’s Love Unconditional?

If you believe God’s love is unconditional, and by that you mean that God loves regardless if anyone accepts or appreciates His love then the answer would be yes. God does not need anyone to accept or appreciate Him, or His love. God is love and God is not a needy, ego driven Person. He is totally confident in who He is. God is eternally self-sufficient!

But if you are referring to God’s love being unconditional as it pertains to Him relating to people, then His love is not unconditional. It is in fact, uber-conditional!

If God has no conditions on His love does that mean He also has no expectations for His love? By that I mean, does God send His love out into a vacuum, or is it purposely directed toward a desired human target?

If God’s love has a desired human target does God not have conditions and expectations for that human target to be in a relationship of love with Him? Can God have no conditions and still have expectations?

How do you measure love that has no conditions or expectations? Who defines that kind of love? If there are no conditions or expectations how can anyone feel successful in loving God, or the people in their life?

The Psalmist said, “Your lovingkindness, O Lord, extends to the heavens,” [36:5a]. To me this means God is the Author and Definer of His love.

Paul wrote to the Ephesians, “14 For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God” [Ephesians 3].

The psalmist said God’s love reaches to the heavens and Paul says he prayed we would comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth, length, height and depth of God’s love as expressed in Christ. His prayer was so “that you [we] may be filled up to all the fullness of God.”

In other words, Paul is revealing that God’s love can be measured which means there are definable boundaries for us to understand how we are to relate to God and His love.

If God’s love is unconditional, then what about Jesus? He is God who came as a human being who lived within the limits of humanity even though He remained fully God? Did the perfect personification of God and His love love unconditionally and without any expectations?

Paul, the most revelatory teacher of God’s truth except for Jesus, wrote a basic but vitally important truth about how to obtain revelation into spiritual things.

1 Corinthians 15:46 – “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.”

Obviously, the spirit world preceded the natural world as God is Spirit and He is the One who spoke all things natural into existence, and personally hand made the original man in the beginning. So, what is Paul revealing in this verse? Paul is revealing that we can learn spiritual truths from natural things.

When you take a look at how God, in His infinite wisdom, made mankind physically so that the heart would have maximum protection, you can receive insight into the spiritual dynamic of God, His love, His love of relationship, His love for people in relationship to Him and others, as well as the prescribed rules He set out to be in relationship with Him and in representing Him.

God positioned the heart in the human body in such a way that it would take great effort and or great force to physically damage it. By this we can see that God was communicating that protecting our heart was of special importance to Him. If God made that kind of decision to protect the heart of His crown jewel of creation then what do we learn about God, His love, and how He protects His heart? We are made in His likeness and image!

It is absolutely dangerous for preachers, or any person for that matter, to say God loves unconditionally. God loves eternally! God loves perfectly! But there are ZERO verses that say God loves unconditionally. In fact, the word ‘unconditional’ is not found in any of the major translations that are considered the most accurate to the original texts.

If God loves unconditionally then Jesus must have loved unconditionally, since He was God in the flesh. Additionally, God must expect you and me to love unconditionally. If that is true would that not mean that He expects us to remain in genuinely abusive and unsafe relationships.

For instance, if Jesus loved unconditionally then why did he question those who struck Him in the face at His mockery of a trial. “If I have spoken wrongly, testify of the wrong; but if rightly, why do you strike Me?” [John 18:23]

You do realize that God divorced natural Israel, don’t you?

Two times in the Old Testament [Isaiah 50:1; Jeremiah 3:8] it is recorded that God divorced Israel. And Jesus, in the New Testament [Matthew 23:38] put the final nail in their coffin when He wept over Jerusalem declaring He was leaving their house desolate [divorced and abandoned]. Why would God divorce Israel if He loved them without conditions?

For love to be real love there must be real, and definable parameters to define what love is.

There is not 1 [ONE] verse in the Bible that says – “unconditional love,” or “love unconditionally” as it pertains to God and His love. In fact, you cannot find one verse with the words “God”, “love”, and “unconditional” in it.

There are only two Bibles that have the word “unconditional” in them.

They are:

Good News Translation – Has 4 verses with “unconditional” in them

Leviticus 27:28,29 – “None of you may sell or buy back what you have unconditionally dedicated to the Lord, whether it is a human being, an animal, or land. It belongs permanently to the Lord. Not even human beings who have been unconditionally dedicated may be bought back; they must be put to death.”

  • These verses have to do with what someone dedicates unconditionally to the Lord!

Numbers 18:14 – “Everything in Israel that has been unconditionally dedicated to me belongs to you.”

  • This verse has to do with the Levites getting what God’s people unconditionally dedictated to Him.

Numbers 21:2 – “Then the Israelites made a vow to the Lord: “If you will let us conquer these people, we will unconditionally dedicate them and their cities to you and will destroy them.”

  • This verse has to do with God’s people making a vow to the Lord of unconditionally dedicating the people and their cities God defeated to God.

The Message Bible – Has just two verses with “unconditional” in them

Daniel 6:8 – “Issue this decree, O king, and make it unconditional, as if written in stone like all the laws of the Medes and the Persians.”

  • This verse speaks of a decree Darius made at the behest of his advisors so they could entrap Daniel, who was a covenant keeping praying man, in a plot born out of their jealousy of him.

Matthew 18:35 – “And that’s exactly what my Father in heaven is going to do to each one of you who doesn’t forgive unconditionally anyone who asks for mercy.”

  • This verse is in reference to forgiveness and unforgiveness. It is similar to what Jesus said in Matthew 6 about our being forgiven by God is directly connected to our willingness to forgive those who have wronged us.

I have searched the King James, New King James, New American Standard, New International Version, English Standard Version, J.P. Greene’s Literal Version, Young’s Literal Translation, as well as the Weymouth New Testament Translation and the International Standard Version of the New Testament, and have not found one [1] verse that says the words “unconditional love”, or “love unconditionally” in them. As stated above, there are no verses with “God”, “love”, and “unconditional” in them.

In fact, Jesus, who is God who came as a human being said:

“46 While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him. 47 Someone said to Him, ‘Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.’ 48 But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?’ 49 And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, ‘Behold My mother and My brothers! 50 For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.'” [Matthew 12]

  • If love is not conditional why would Jesus put conditions on who He regarded His family to be?

“Why do you call Me Lord, Lord and do not do what I say.” Luke 6:46

  • If love is not conditional then why would Jesus question the confession of those calling Him Lord, Lord?

“16 For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. 18 He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.“[ John 3]

  • If love is not conditional then why did Jesus say people must believe in Him [who He says He is, what He came to do, etc] in order to be saved and not condemned?

“So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine.'” John 8:31

  • If love is not conditional why would Jesus tell the Jews who believed Him they must continue in His word to be genuine disciples?

“If you love Me you will keep My commandments.” John 14:15

Or, “Because you love Me you will keep [obey] My commandments [word].”

  • If love is unconditional then why did Jesus attach obedience to being in relationship with Him?

“So that the world may know that I love the Father I do exactly as the Father commands Me.” John 14:31

  • If love is not conditional then why would Jesus feel the need to demonstrate His love to the Father with His complete obedience to His Father?

“You are My friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:14

Or, “You are My friends because you do what I command you.”

  • If love is not conditional why would Jesus place a condition on friendship?

There are many other texts that clearly communicate that God has requirements to His love, and that there are requirements to receive His love and to maintain a right [righteous] relationship with Him.

One of the great texts that is normally the “proof text” for the unconditional lover is 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. “4 Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.”

The word ‘unconditional’ is not found or assumed in that text.

I repeat my opening statement: “It is absolutely dangerous for preachers to say God loves unconditionally. ”

Here is just one of many Old Testament texts that established early on what the will of God is as it pertains to His love for His covenant people in the Old Testament.

“Know therefore that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God, who keeps His covenant and His lovingkindness to a thousandth generation with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” [Deuteronomy 7:9]

The Lord is God and God is faithful to keep His covenant and His love and kindness to a thousandth generation. But the condition is – with those who love Him and prove they love Him by valuing what He values with the value He places on it. God never stops loving but God certainly will stop relating to people who abuse Him and His love.

I feel like I am being a fool for focusing on this, but it is imperative that someone focus on it. There is zero, zip, nil, nada, none, nyet, NOT ONE verse that says God loves unconditionally!

Please, for the sake of your eternal state before, and with, God Almighty, do NOT believe those who tell you you can behave however you want and God is okay with you or your unhealthy and or unholy behavior. It is NOT true and it IS dangerous!

Please!

As a form of literary exclamation point I want to leave you with this text and thoughts.

Romans 2:4-8 – “4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who will render to each person according to his deeds: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation.”

If God loves unconditionally then why does God –

  • Give kindness that leads people to repent?
  • Care about people remaining stubborn and unrepentant?
  • Have a day of wrath where there is a revelation of His righteous judgment?
  • Render to each person according to their deeds?
  • Deliniate between those who do good and those who don’t?
    • To those who persevere in doing good they receive glory, honor, immortality and eternal life
  • Care that people are selfishly ambitious, disobedient to Him but obedient to unrighteousness?
    • To those who do not do good they receive wrath and indignation

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
His Hisstorymaker

Unity!

There are no scriptural texts that encourages or commands a unity of churches. Jesus said He would build the church so it is His responsibility to ensure there is unity in the church He builds.

The church Jesus builds is a living organism in right [righteous] relationship with God through Jesus. It is not an organization with the word ‘Church’ in it.

The church Jesus builds is local, regional, national, global and eternal!

The church Jesus builds has certain manifestations of unity and those manifestations are based on:

The Spirit

There is only one Spirit and He is in perfect harmony with the Father, the Son, the Word, will and ways of God.

The faith

There is only one faith and that faith is the One Jesus lived as a Man, born by the Spirit, and led and empowered by the Spirit to defeat everything the devil attempted to tempt Him with, and passed on to those He trained and all those who have followed in their footsteps fully following and committed to Jesus.

God’s love

God’s love is confrontational!

God’s love is pure!

God’s love is passionate and powerful to bring transformation from sinful behavior to righteous behavior!

If behavior is not transformed God nor His love were involved. Why? Because God’s love [God] never fails!

Living [dwelling] together in unity can only be achieved when we live like Jesus who overcame every attack, temptation and manifestation of evil the devil threw at Him, and fully obeyed everything God commanded Him to do.

The fact is there are only:

3 verses with ‘unity’ in them in the KJV:

Psalms 133:1

“brethren dwelling together in unity”

Ephesians 4:3

“keep the unity of the Spirit”

Ephesians 4:13

“come in the unity of the faith”

4 versus in the NKJ:

Job 10:8

“Your hands have made me and fashioned me, an intricate unity.” – This obviously has to do with his physical body, and his soul and spirit that made up his personality.

Psalms 133:1

“Brethren dwelling together in unity”

Ephesians 4:3

“Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit”

Ephesians 4:13

“come to the unity of the faith”

5 in the NAS but one [Colossians 3:14] addresses that which binds together not the result [unity] of being bound together:

Psalms 133:1

“Brothers to dwell together in unity”

John 17:23

“that they may be perfected [mature, complete, whole] in unity”

Ephesians 4:3

“the unity of the Spirit”

Ephesians 4:13

“the unity of the faith”

Colossians 3:14

“love, which is the perfect bond of unity” – speaks of God’s love is what binds His people in unity

The Bible clearly teaches unity is centered on “the faith”, “the Spirit”, “maturing [becoming like God] in unity”, and God’s love. If there are “Christians” filling “churches” that are not living like what God requires there is absolutely no way God would require those who are living like God commands to be in unity with those who are not living like God commands.

Additionally, those who are living like Jesus are not commanded to live in unity with church leaders who have created safe spaces for people to be a part of their church but who are not in unity with THE Spirit, THE faith Jesus lived and passed on, and THE love of God that transforms sinners into saints who no longer live like sinners.

The false notion that God wants us all to just get along is foreign to the eternal purpose of God as revealed in the written Word of God, as well as the Son of God and Son of Man who is the Word who became human to be God’s role model for all of us to live the way He lived.

If you find yourself living in disunity with others because you are in the unity of the Spirit, the unity of the faith, and the love of God as revealed by Jesus, then maybe you should find your family in the faith that will encourage you to press on toward maturity in Him.

Receive and steward God’s passion, power, presence, priority, process, promises, protection, provision, pruning, purging, purity and purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

HIS Hisstorymaker

Shame on You?

Jesus endured the shame of the cross so that we would not be ashamed of His relationship with us. Shame on you if you choose anyone other than Jesus to have top priority in your life.

“23 And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me. 24 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it. 25 For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” Luke 9

Many people interpret verse 26 to mean – “If I don’t witness to other people about Jesus then Jesus will be ashamed of me when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and the holy angels.”

That is true, but extremely limited in scope. What is missed and equally true is Jesus will also be ashamed of all those who compromise their revelation of, and experiences in God, for a position, promotion, paycheck or relationship.

When we check the context of our Luke 9 text we see the bigger picture Jesus is addressing. He and His original disciples were at Caesarea Philippi near the base of Mount Hermon. Jesus asked them who do the people say He is, and then He asked them who do they say He is. Jesus empowers people to define their relationship to Him. Once we identify He is Lord He requires a greater depth of commitment to follow Him.

V23 – “He was saying to them all” – “All” leaves no one out. It includes the disciples He was speaking to, and everyone who reads this text in every generation since Jesus spoke these words.

V23 – “If anyone wishes to come after Me” – Jesus lets everyone choose to follow [commit completely] or not. When a person volunteers to follow they accept responsibility for the relationship they freely chose to have with Him.

V23 – “He must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me” – Self must always be dealt with or you will begin to follow then quit when the journey is no longer “fun”. Taking up “his cross” is our cross not Jesus’. Our cross is the reason we are on the planet, and that includes everything we know about God and every experience we have in God that is meant to equip us to live the life Christ saved us to live.

V24 – “For everyone who wishes to save his life will lose it” – So much for the once saved always saved theological error. Once you choose to follow Jesus you forfeit your right to your life. Jesus is Lord of all or not at all! It is all or nothing with Jesus. Once on the path to your divine purpose it is fatal to quit following Jesus. God will allow you to back out of your commitment to follow Jesus, to your own harm.

V24 – “But whoever loses his life for My sake, he is the one who will save it” – Do you see how salvation works. “Saved but doing my own thing” is not the salvation Jesus paid for and God offers. “Losing our life” again speaks to forfeiting it to gain Jesus’ life.

V25 – “For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses or forfeits himself?” – This is where the pressure gets the strongest. When a person is presented with the option of worldly profit or “himself”, he must choose where his loyalties lie and who his lord truly is. Is “my lord” the Lord Jesus who bought me and called me to follow Him, or is “my lord” gaining the world’s approval? Many church leaders have created a church culture that is based on the world’s approval. That is why so many worldly people can attend and never surrender to the Lordship of Jesus.

V26 – “For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when He comes in His glory, and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.” – Whoever is ashamed of Jesus’ words is ashamed of Jesus who spoke them. This means whatever Jesus speaks and reveals to us we are fully responsible to live, obey, steward, and protect – AT ALL COSTS to our personal well-being. Compromise convolutes the truth, but it does not compromise the One who is Truth and who reveals Truth to us.

The false gospel that most people have gotten “saved” under has enslaved many in a compromised position of passionless, and purposeless faith in and faithfulness to God.

Romans 6:16 – “Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?” If this warning does not shake you to your core your core has already been compromised to the point that you may already be in grave danger.

How many people claim to be Holy Spirit filled Christians but are in relationships with people who will not allow them to fully represent the Jesus who saved them, called them, and filled them with the Holy Spirit? In presenting themselves as servants of those they are in relationship with they endanger the relationship they say they have with Jesus who called them to serve with Him, and as Him.

1 John 2:6 – “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.”

The Greek philosopher Plato developed a system of thought that bears his name. Then he trained his young disciple Aristotle in this system of Platonic philosophy. Aristotle built on Plato’s teaching and developed his own system known as Aristotelian logic. Aristotle then established schools called academies to train more disciples. This Greek discipleship system was very effective, because even after Rome conquered Greece, the Romans could not eradicate Greek influence. So while Rome wielded military power, the Greeks wielded power over the culture because well-trained Greek disciples were functioning at every level of the society. These people lived under Roman rule, but their thinking was Greek. And in the end, what people think is a lot more important and powerful than what an external power can force them to do. This helps us understand why Jesus commissioned the church to make disciples. When it’s done right, the disciple becomes a follower for life because the real battle for souls is waged in the mind. A well-trained disciple can live in a foreign, hostile culture without succumbing to that culture because his mind is fixed on another world. [Tony Evans, God’s Glorious Church: The Mystery and Mission of the Body of Christ].

It would be a shame to continue relating to the person, or people, who are requiring you to not fully submit to Jesus by reducing yourself down to someone less than who He says you are, and do less than what He called you to do. Shame on you if you continue to rebel and die, when Jesus offers you His life to live if you will die to yourself.

Keep His Passion, Power, Presence, Purity and Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
HIS Hisstorymaker

Is the State of Israel God’s Prophetic Time Clock?

The quick answer is ‘no’ to the question concerning the natural Jewish people and the nation State of Israel being God’s prophetic time clock.

In the 38 years I have been a sold out believer in Jesus Christ it has been reported by the pop prophetic voices in the church at least 6 different people purportedly to be the antichrist, as well as natural Israel being God’s prophetic time clock.

These dispen-sensational dispensers of fake news have taught we must keep our eyes on natural Israel to know what God is doing in the earth. This of course is completely unbiblical, as the writer of Hebrews tells us to fix our eyes of Jesus because He is the Author and Perfecter of faith [Hebrews 12:2].

Jesus is not just the Author and Perfecter of our faith. Our faith has not yet reached Jesus’ faith.

Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of all faith in and faithfulness to God the Father.

Additionally, Paul wrote this to the saints in Ephesus:

“1 For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles — 2 if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; 3 that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief. 4 By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, 5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; 6 to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, 7 of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power. 8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; 10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him. 13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.” [Ephesians 3]

Paul reveals a mystery was revealed to him, and that mystery was “of Christ.” This mystery of Christ was not made known in previous generations, and was at the time of Paul’s life being revealed to God’s holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit. This is very interesting because Paul states in Galatians 3 the gospel was preached to Abraham [3:8; Genesis 12:3c], and the writer of Hebrews tells us the gospel was preached to the people God delivered out of Egyptian bondage [4:2].

Paul goes on to be more specific about this mystery of Christ and that it is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body [of Christ], as well as fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. Who are the people the Gentiles are joined in being heirs, members and have fellowship with – BELIEVING Jews who continue on in His word!

Jesus described who those believing Jews are in John 8 – “30 As He spoke these words, many believed in Him. 31 Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, ‘If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. 32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.‘”

Paul states he was given grace to:

* Preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ [the gospel]
* Bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which had been hidden in God who created all things [the gospel]

All of this was so that the manifold wisdom of God “might now” be made known THROUGH THE CHURCH to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. Paul states emphatically these were done “in accordance with the ETERNAL purpose which God the Father carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

This wisdom includes God’s plans and how He uses the best way of accomplishing them.

So, for the last 2000 years God has been using His church, not unsaved natural Israel, to reveal His manifold wisdom. What began with revelation to the 1st century apostles and prophets is continuing through the real church of Jesus Christ of Nazareth even into eternity future.

There are many important truths that could be unpacked but for the sake of time and space I will not unpack all of those truths. Just read Paul’s text again very slowly and let what he wrote sink deeply into your spirit.

The Person of the Lord Jesus Christ, His life and ministry, is the only life that the revelation of the mystery hidden in God should guide our lives. Natural Israel is not a factor at all in what He is doing in, and revealing to, the earth.

The phrase “hidden in God” reminds me of another text with that phrase in it.

“1 Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. 3 For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” [Colossians 3]

We are to keep ‘seeking the things above’ and to ‘set our minds on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.’ This means we are to think like heaven [God] not earth [man].

It is impossible to be so heavenly minded you are no earthly good. It is possible to be so earthly minded you are no earthly good.

Paul uses ‘things above’ twice. This is because it is a vitally important truth. Heaven [God] has a higher way of doing things and a higher reason for doing them that way!

The life of our Lord is the guiding Light which unveils all of God’s eternal plan for the world. Nowhere in the New Testament do we find instruction to look to or depend on the unsaved, whether Jew or not, for what God is doing in the earth. Everything God has done, and is doing He is doing in and through the life of His Son Jesus Christ. God’s plan for man has ALWAYS been the Person of Jesus Christ.

Paul goes on to state this manifold wisdom of God is being made known through the church that Jesus is building and is the Head of to the unseen spiritual world that is manipulating the minds of people who are not surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Some Christians are being manipulated by these unseen spiritual “rulers and authorities.”

Here are some dates that are coming quickly that these unseen manipulators of truth would have us focus on.

April 23, 2018 – A new rapture date predicted by someone postulating he has figured out this date based on Revelation 12:1-2 and certain plantetary alignments that are happening or or about that date. Yawn! The rapture theology has ruptured so many times it is not even worth writing about in this blog.

May 14, 2018 – The nation State of Israel’s 70th anniversary. I was gloriously born again in April 1980. In the 38 years I have served Christ Jesus I have witnessed natural Israel’s 40th anniversary in 1988, her 50th “Jubilee” anniversary in 1998, and now her 70th anniversary May 14th. All of these dates were reportedly key dates in the time clock craziness the pop prophetic voices have used to divert people from the real truth, which is – “Keep your eyes on Jesus Christ” and “keep seeking and setting your minds on things above.”

In addition, we now have the “new fear” of WWIII starting over the Syrian dilemma and other geo-political issues facing the nations of the world. These matters are playing into the hysteria the world is about to come to an end. Memo, “The meek shall inherit the earth” so hang on to your sanity so you can stay focused on what your Father wants you to inherit.

I have often said, “If you truly believe this rapture and world ending nonsense then prove it by giving to me all of your property, money, investments, and any other items of real value because I have a mission to carry out training, equipping and activating maturing saints to effectively and faithfully steward the revolution Jesus started 2000 years ago.” I have a training center to build to be able to train all the people God has promised our team and I will train.

I would like to propose a funeral service be planned for the fake news reports from the so called Christian prophetic experts of the earth’s demise, and the secret rapture of Christ’s Bride, based on the misinformation that God and His plans are tied to the unbelieving Jewish people known as the nation State of Israel.

I for one have already laid to rest the lie that natural Israel is God’s prophetic time clock.

I pray with the passing of her 70th anniversary May 14, 2018 all believers will lay it to rest too, and the rest of the true Church of Jesus Christ will be prepared to inherit and steward the revolution Jesus started 2000 years ago. The world is depending on us!

Keep His Passion, Power, Presence, Purity and Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
HIS Hisstorymaker

God, His People, Purity and the Profane

God is passionate about His people and He is passionate about His people becoming pure and maintaining a pure lifestyle. Purity is paramount because Jesus said without it we cannot see God.

“Blessed are the pure in heart, for THEY shall see God.” Matthew 5:8

Impurity, or profanity in all of its forms, cannot be tolerated in the life of God’s people, especially if you are a leader who goes before God on behalf of people, and then goes before people on behalf of God.

“1 Now Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aaron, took their respective firepans, and after putting fire in them, placed incense on it and offered strange fire before the LORD, which He had not commanded them. 2 And fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “It is what the Lord spoke, saying, ‘By those who come near Me I will be treated as holy, And before all the people I will be honored.'” So Aaron, therefore, kept silent.. . . 8 The Lord then spoke to Aaron, saying, 9 ‘Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die—it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations— 10 and so as to make a distinction between the holy and the profane, and between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so as to teach the sons of Israel all the statutes which the Lord has spoken to them through Moses.”” Leviticus 10

The One who is described as an all consuming fire set on fire the two eldest sons of the High Priest Aaron. Their death, and the reason God struck them down with Holy fire is a matter of much debate.

Some speculate they did not use fire from the brazen altar. Some speculate they attempted to enter the tent of meeting at the wrong time. And others point to verse 9 in our selected text. ‘Do not drink wine or strong drink, neither you nor your sons with you, when you come into the tent of meeting, so that you will not die — it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations.”

The phrase, “it is a perpetual statute throughout your generations” is an interesting one. Most of the statements of this nature made in the Old Covenant expired with the arrival of Jesus on the planet and the inauguration of His earthly ministry. Some of those have to do with circumcision, the slaughter of animals, the Levitical priesthood, temple worship and Jerusalem as THE place of the worship of God, and others.

But this one carries forth into the New Covenant. While we find verses in the New Covenant that speak on the subject of drinking alcohol I believe the New Testament broadens the scope of what being drunk entails. One such reference we will look at later in this Blog.

Whatever these two priests did to cause God to act so severely should cause every ‘priest’ of God to never attempt to enter God’s presence flippantly and irreverently. This should make every minister of the gospel take inventory every time they enter their prayer closet and especially before they speak on behalf of the God they say they represent.

As we examine the words ‘holy’, ‘profane’, ‘clean’, and ‘unclean’ in verse 10 we find some interesting information.

Holy ~~~

Sanctified and set apart to God and His purposes. It means to show oneself, and to keep oneself sacred and separate unto God. In other words, do not involve yourself in any activity or with any person that is not holy.

Clean ~~~

Pure! To purify oneself. Again, the responsibility is on the person to keep them free from all pollution.

Profane ~~~

Exposed! To make common. To wound or be wounded. To break one’s word. To become diseased. To be exposed means to have what you are hiding come to the surface because you did not deal with it. It means to treat what God calls holy as common, or unimportant. To wound or be wounded really has to do with victimizing others for your profane benefit and then playing the victim card when you get confronted. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not honor your word. This kind of profane behavior is like a disease that will destroy you.

Unclean ~~~

Impure. Defiled. Foul. To be regarded as unclean. People who do not bathe spiritually become as offensive to those around them as a person that rarely if ever takes a physical bath. They stink!

Drunkenness can be more than ingesting alcohol of any strength to the point of losing some or all of your faculties. Drunkenness can be being influenced by the ways of the world that causes us to lose focus on what is important to God. Being intoxicated diminishes our ability to walk right, think right or act right.

Paul wrote in Ephesians 5, “15 Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, 16 making the most of your time, because the days are evil. 17 So then do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. 18 And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit,”

Being “filled with the Spirit” is an intoxicating experience as revealed in Acts 2. “1 When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. 2 And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues , as the Spirit was giving them utterance. . . 14 But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. 15 For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only the third hour of the day; 16 but this is what was spoken of through the prophet Joel: 17 ‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says, ‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; 18 Even on my bondslaves, both men and women, I will in those days pour forth of My Spirit And they shall prophesy. 19 And I will grant wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. 20 The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and glorious day of the Lord shall come. 21 And it shall be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”

We see how the powerful experience with the Holy Spirit had such an intoxicating effect on the disciples that the people in Jerusalem thought they had been drinking alcohol.

Paul, in the Ephesians 5 text leads up to this admonition of paying attention to how we walk with a very strong exhortation on how to maintain our position of purity with God.

“1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; 2 and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. 3 But immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints ; 4 and there must be no filthiness and silly talk, or coarse jesting, which are not fitting, but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light 9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth), 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; 12 for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. 13 But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light. 14 For this reason it says, ‘Awake, sleeper, And arise from the dead, And Christ will shine on you.'”

There is so much meat in these texts it would take many blogs to extract all of the nutrients out of them. Let me summarize what I believe to be the most important aspects of what God wants His people to understand.

Paul mentions many character flaws in this text but I want to touch on greed. Greed is the desire to have what belongs to someone else which can lead to actions not holy or healthy where the greedy person seizes what does not belong to them. The person is not willing to pay the price paid by the person possessing what they want so they set out on a path to possess it through manipulation and control. Revealing how dishonorable they are in their core they corrupt the gift God has not given to them. And it rarely if ever ends well for them.

We all have an enormous responsibility to maintain and communicate a lifestyle that is free from the pollution of this world as well as to remain free from every activity that could impugn the character of the very God who has purified us with the blood of Jesus Christ, and freely given to us all we need in the Person of Jesus Christ.

“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” [Romans 8]

When Christians involve themselves in behavior that is unbecoming to one of God’s holy ‘helpers’ He must take drastic action to bring correction to the corrupted.”6 Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed.” 1 Corinthians 5

If the person does not deal with themselves God will authorize His delegated authority to deal with it and them. God has mature and healthy people positioned in places of power who will bring a correcting influence to those living in impurity. As stated above, it IS the responsibility of those who have been corrupted to correct their own behavior. The only responsibility the one, or ones, bringing correction have is to confront them with the truth in love and then enforce the will of God so that the greater community of the faithful ones will be kept safe.

The Greek word for ‘saved’ is sozo [sode’-zo]. Sozo means: forgiven, healed, delivered. It also means to be whole and to make whole. But one definition that seems to rarely be talked or written about is to be safe or to keep safe and sound.

To be saved means to be a safe person that does not bring harm to the community you are connected to. It also means when people who claim to be ‘saved’ are not safe to be around then the community and its leaders must take whatever safety measures they believe are commensurate with the “crime.”

” 2 You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. 3 For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. 4 In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, 5 I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.” 1 Corinthians 5

Paul, as the founding spiritual father of the church in Corinth had absolute authority on behalf of Christ Jesus to adjudicate righteousness within the community he gave birth to. No one has the legal spiritual right to adjudicate something in an area they have no personal investment in. We only have authority where we are under authority and have holy and healthy relationship with the people we are intervening on behalf of. To assume that right opens the assuming person up to the corruption being dealt with by the God-given spiritual authorities who do have a vested interest in the safety of the people being harmed.

So, God who is purity personified, ordains His delegated authorities to adjudicate righteousness within the community they live and serve in. People can choose to come clean, stay clean or they can choose to go somewhere else where they will feel accepted because the new place will not investigate why they left where they used to worship.

And that keeps the Body of Christ impure!

Keep His Passion, Power, Presence and Purity!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A Hisstorymaker

Sexual Sabotage

There is NEVER an excuse or good reason for sexual assault or harassment! PERIOD!

Sex is not a four-lettered word unless and until someone degrades it by demonizing sexual activity. Healthy sex is God’s idea!

Having worked with people who are survivors and even thrivers of sexual assault and harassment I can tell you that if I was not a born again believer in Jesus Christ I would demonstrate just how inexcusable that behavior is to those who harass and or assault females.

Having said that, I am concerned that the current mood and #metoo movement is being used to sabotage genuine sexual interaction between males and females.

Men are mainly motivated through what they observe, and when the observation of those females that catch the attention of males becomes a sexually unacceptable event we have entered into dangerous territory.

Even Jesus understood the nature of men is to look at women. That is why He said this,

Matthew 5 NAS

“28 I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 If your right hand makes you stumble, cut it off and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to go into hell.”

Did you notice Jesus qualified what constitutes unacceptable looking? Jesus made an obvious distinction between what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. In making the distinction Jesus gave the okay to looking that is void of lusting. According to Jesus, lust in the heart is the problem not the look with the eyes!

But eyes can be indicators of what is going on in the heart. When looks linger too long then lust may well be the reason. And when a male makes a female feel uncomfortable they have crossed a line that communicates the possibility lust is present.

All males are responsible for what they manufacture in their imagination and that is why Jesus taught men to deal with what they see when they see what they are looking at.

Males, here is your sign: When what you see is a person you want to have sex with instead of the person you are seeing you are probably lusting. “Cut it out!”

Lust is connected to covetousness which is connected to desiring to possess what one does not have legal access to. The desire develops into a plan of action that will bring about the desired possession.

A male does not sin when he sees a female and feels something sexual when he sees her. Those feelings are gifts from God. A male sins the moment he takes those feelings and begins the process of sexually possessing the female in his imagination. In other words, when a male sees a female that makes him feel sexually alive he has not sinned until he imagines what sex with her would be like. By not “cutting that out” its natural digression is to move to a physical attempt to carry out what the male carries in his heart. That is sin!

It is biologically factual that the same area in a man’s brain that causes hunger and gives pleasure from the smell, sight and taste of food is exactly the same area that gives a man pleasure from the smell, sight, touch and taste of a woman.

The same area of the brain [limbic system] controls our appreciation, and regulation of food and sex. The limbic system is where our emotional activity operates generally. By the way, I am not a brain surgeon. Food and sex travel along the same path and birth similar types of reactions. Dopamine is dumped when we see, smell, taste and or touch food that is appealing to our appetites. The same happens in the area of sexual interaction between males and females.

A male’s appetite for food and sex originate in similar places in the brain! That is one reason I believe Peter said, “Wherefore having girded up the loins of your mind.” [1 Peter 1:13 YLT]

In verse 14 Peter writes, “And, since you delight in obedience, do not shape your lives by the cravings which used to dominate you in the time of your ignorance.” [WNT]

In other words, living responsibly is possible for those who will be responsible for the life they are living.

Look at how the ABIPE translates verse 15, “But be Holy Ones in your entire way of life, as he who has called you is holy.”

“Using functional MRI scans, researchers examined the brains of young men as they looked at pictures of beautiful women. They found that feminine beauty affects a man’s brain at a very primal level – similar to what a hungry person gets from a good meal or addict gets from a fix. One of the researchers said, “This is hard core circuitry. This is not a conditioned response.” Another concluded, “Men apparently cannot do anything about their pleasurable feelings [in the presence of beauty].””

Dr. Walt Larimore, MD [Page 99, His Brain, Her Brain]

Dr. Larimore writes, “Men apparently cannot do anything about their pleasurable feelings [in the presence of beauty].” He does not say, “Men are powerless to direct those feelings in a healthy and holy way.”

God is the One who hard wires humans in the womb of their mothers. So, if what Dr. Larimore states is true God hard wired males to be moved emotionally in the presence of what they perceive to be beautiful.

Psalms 139 NAS

    “13 For You formed my inward parts;
You wove me in my mother’s womb.

      14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Wonderful are Your works,
And my soul knows it very well.

      15 My frame was not hidden from You,
When I was made in secret,
And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth;”

According to David, God forms our frame and inward parts in our mother’s womb!

The God who gives only good gifts gifted us with pleasure points that are designed to be developed into healthy and holy eating and sexual activity. It is not a sin to see food that is appealing and desire to partake of it. It is a sin to want to possess it without going through the legal requirements to eat it.

The same is true when a male sees a female that creates a sense of sexual pleasure. Manipulating people or maneuvering into a desired position for the sole purpose of acquiring what is not legally ours is where desire turns from holy and healthy to ugly, unholy and unhealthy.

Now, if females do not want to be objectified or sexualized then they do need to ensure they are not “nakedly” marketing their “wares” by dressing in markedly obvious undress. And claiming being “unaware” is an unacceptable excuse. No female leaves their home unaware of how they are presenting themselves in public.

In other words, while men are responsible not to take what is not theirs, females have a responsibility not to communicate, “Come take me because I am free for the taking.”

No female deserves to be harassed or assaulted no matter what they are not wearing! PERIOD!

Here are two writers of the New Testament who “touched” on this subject.

Paul

 “9 Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments, 10 but rather by means of good works, as is proper for women making a claim to godliness.” [1 Timothy 2 NAS]

Peter

“3 Your adornment must not be merely external—braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; 4 but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.” [1 Peter 3 NAS]

Too many people misunderstand the message of these two men of God by focusing on the clothes instead of the core values. These verses are about the heart attitude of the females in the church. Proper clothing is important but what is most important is what is being communicated from the heart.

If the woman’s heart is right with God she will dress in a way that says, “I am an honorable person before God and man.” In other words, godly women want to catch and keep their man with their spiritual aptitude more than than their sexual appeal. Once married the clothing part becomes optional in the privacy of their personal space.

In the beginning they [male and female] were naked and unashamed! Kingdom covenental co-habitation should develop into shameless sharing of each other’s complete person and personality.

The way the different genders speak to one another needs to be clarified. Most communication is non-verbal so communicating clearly needs to be a core value for both genders.

For the single male, I would suggest before making some “barbaric” statement to a single female that has “caught” your gaze, to ask them this simple question. “What are you communicating to me in the way that you are dressed, or behaving?” Oh wait, in today’s sexually sensitive society that is now considered sexual insensitivity or harassment. But hey, if she is saying to you that she is sexually available that is your sign to flee youthful lusts.

1 Corinthians 6:18 ISV

“Keep on running away from sexual immorality.”

2 Timothy 2:22 NLT

“Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.”

For the female things can be more uncertain. If they confront those males that creep them out they may be subjecting themselves to more unwanted advances. Here is definitely where wisdom and a real reliance on the Holy Spirit is needed.

The unfortunate part is women have no real recourse except to be trained and armed for whatever action is necessary to protect themselves from real predators. That and having healthy and holy males in their life who will rain down holy hell on anyone not respecting the boundaries they are setting, and clearly communicating for themselves.

So what are we to do as a society? When communication is confusing, and seeking to understand what is being “said” is labeled sexual insensitivity at best and harassment at the worse, how are the genders supposed to engender themselves to each other in a healthy and holy way?

This blog is not going to solve the issue of sexual sabotage but hopefully it will begin a divine dialogue where the participants will not be demonized.

Keep HIS Passion, Peace, Power, Presence and Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

ABIPE – Aramaic Bible In Plain English

ISV – International Standard Version

NAS – New American Standard

NLT – New Living Translation

YLT – Young’s Literal Translation

Sheep Pen or Discipleship Den

Is your church the cool place to be or the correct place to be? Both places will result in a death. ‘Correct church’ will cause your flesh [carnal, selfish nature] to die so you can live in your divine purpose and ‘cool church’ will cause your destiny to die so that your flesh can live.

I feel it is time to release this word to those who call Jesus, ‘Lord’, but who are trapped in sheep pens instead of being raised to maturity in a discipleship den.

I have written and spoken often about the truth that society’s snowflakes did not start on college and university campuses in the late 20th or early 21st century. The snowflake syndrome began in seeker friendly and sensitive ‘spiritual’ environments in the mid to late 20th century where large pens were constructed to attract as many sheep as possible. Maybe the ‘spiritual’ leaders picked up on the post World War II hope for peace and the “let’s all try to get along” mentality.

Friends, if you will still call and consider me your friend, there can never be a spiritual detente with the devil. There will never be a cease fire with the fire of hell. There will never be a time to take it easy. And there will never be a season where the Holy Spirit will take a vacation from His vocation of equipping the saints for His mission, message, mandate and method of ministry.

Under the guise of “‘we believe” in the supernatural but we are not going to focus on it” or “how can we disciple people if they are not here” these under shepherds of God’s flock take them from the mountain of the Lord to the hill of man believing on the lower level of exertion they will find rest. If you compromise Biblical truth to trap people in your pen of coolness you will have to trick them with pseudo spiritual language so they will not discover the vastness of pasture that the Great Shepherd wants to lead them out to feed in.

David, the forerunner shepherd to the Shepherd was deceived out of his promised bride who was his soul mate. His virtuous bride was given instead to another man whose name mocked the man God had chosen to lead His covenant people. Merab [increase] was given to Adriel [flock of God] the Meholathite [meadow of dancing]. This marriage made in the mind of a mad man resulted in death of the offspring of Saul’s offense.

David handed the five sons born out of deception over to the Gibeonites [little hill] who “hung them in the mountain before the Lord” in the “first days of harvest” [2 Samuel 21:9]. This is a prophetic warning to every leader who uses deception to deprive true shepherds of their rightful increase.

Look at what Jeremiah prophesied about this type of leadership, “6 My people have become lost sheep; Their shepherds have led them astray. They have made them turn aside on the mountains; They have gone along from mountain to hill and have forgotten their resting place.  7 All who came upon them have devoured them; And their adversaries have said, ‘We are not guilty, inasmuch as they have sinned against the Lord who is the habitation of righteousness, Even the Lord, the hope of their fathers.'” [Jeremiah 50]

Anytime we reduce the mind of God down to the mind of men we open ourselves up to satanic seduction and devilish deception that will ultimately lead to someone’s destruction.

How can you tell if you are in the correct church? One way is to ask Jesus, the Head of the Church?

1 Corinthians 12:18

But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.”

Have you ever considered where God desires you to go to church? Did you even know God has desires? Did you know God has desires for you? “[God], who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” [1 Timothy 2:4].

Salvation is not to get you into heaven as much as it is to get you into truth and to get Truth into you. Jesus said of Himself, “I am the way! I am the truth! I am the life!” The way to real life must go through “the truth.” Jesus came that we may have life and that [life] in abundance. Modern Christianity has reduced abundance to a life of comfort when its original context called for extreme sacrifice to fulfill divine purpose.

People flee “correct church” to go to “cool church” so they can escape the process of preparation to their purpose. While there is spiritual abuse that can never be tolerated or justified many accusations of mistreatment are nothing more than not being able to manipulate the people God has called them to submit their personal process to promotion to.

All of a sudden God ‘speaks’ to them to change addresses and their new address is usually with a leader who will never address their rebellion, immaturity and irresponsibility.

“Cool church” has all the programs a person or family needs. “Cool church” has the cool looking facilities. “Cool church” even customizes their services so no one will be inconvenienced in time or expectation of growing up. The messages are customized to the least mature or the least committed so as not to offend anyone.

Catering to a congregation [a collection of people in the same place] instead of assembling [placing people in their rightful place] sanctified saints these relevant revelers do a great injustice to the ones justified by the One who justifies all who by faith in and faithfulness to the Father live their lives.

Another way to tell if you are in ‘correct church’ is – are you becoming more comfortable or more comforted? Christ does not want us to be comfortable. He sent the Comforter to comfort us as we go through the process of dying to self so that we can pursue our divine purpose on purpose. The Comforter leads us into all truth. Too many Christians find their comfort level in the truth they have always believed and resist being established in present truth.

Jesus is the Head of the Church and He is the good Shepherd of the sheep. As Head of the Church He is Commander and Chief of God’s army of kingdom advancers. His kingdom suffers violence by those who refuse to live the que sera, sera Christian life. The status quo is sickening to those who desire destiny instead of sympathy. The Shepherd Jesus leads the sheep in and out of the fold [pen] to find pasture.

That sounds like an oxymoron to me. Why would sheep need to find pasture in the pen? The answer is found in the Greek words in the verse and in verse 3, “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

Here is what verse 9 says, “I am the door; if anyone enters through Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.” Confusion comes in by not studying the Greek words in the verse. The same Greek word is used for the English translated words ‘enters’ and ‘go’. The words ‘in and out’ after ‘go’ are not in the original Greek. The Greek word is eisérchomai [ice-er’-khom-ahee] which means ‘to enter’ and ‘to go in and out’. The translators in verse 9 added ‘in and out’ because of the use of the word ‘enter’. Their interpretation, in my opinion, was biased.

I believe the translators would have been more accurate if they would have maintained the theme Jesus set in place in verse 3. Here it is again, “To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”

Shepherds lead sheep out to find pasture and lead them into the pen for greater protection. To me this is where the analogy of a believer in Christ Jesus as a sheep begins to break down. Sheep are basically dumb animals that need to be watched closely and led around or they will run off and get lost. In other words, sheep cannot think for themselves and keep themselves safe.

There are pastors [shepherds] who believe their people [sheep] are not capable of functioning without them. I was sitting in a service years ago when the pastor told his people, “You need me to be your pastor.” I was shocked! That kind of attitude proves the pastor has not empowered his people to mature. That attitude proves the pastor has taught his people what to think not how to think. That attitude proves the pastor needs people who are not as spiritually savvy as he is because he needs them to need him. That pastor served for his own needs not the needs of those he was supposed to be leading ‘out’.

Going back to John 10:3 we will find the words “them out” are not in the Greek. The Greek text ends with “leads”. Leads means – to lead out, away from, and to a goal. It comes from a root word meaning – abundance, exceedingly above and beyond. Jesus wants His ‘sheep’ to move out into the abundance that He came to give them. Jesus wants His ‘sheep’ not to stay in the pen but to reach their goal. What is the goal Jesus wants His ‘sheep’ to reach?

Paul tells us in Philippians 3:14 – ” I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Every believer’s goal should be Christ Jesus and the call of God that is in Christ Jesus. Nothing short of that is satisfactory for the true saint who is set apart to the purpose God has them on the planet.

Pen

A small enclosure where animals are kept, or where people are confined. A very restricted space.

God’s people are systematically herded into spaces where they are confined in their present level of maturity. This severely restricts them in them understanding their responsibility as believers in Christ Jesus. Even those who attend church in a large building with large open spaces are susceptible to the pen mentality of leaders who see people as sheep and not soldiers.

A great way to tell if your leader is limited in their understanding of their responsibility to lead is they allow their people to choose whether they will develop into disciples, and what timetable they will develop if they indeed ever do develop. Jesus did not leave maturing to chance. He immediately brought change to a culture that produced unproductive kingdom citizens.

Integration in immigration is critical to keeping the community of the believers pure and powerful. We are seeing how this has severely weakened our country [USA] as we have treated illegal immigrants as rightful citizens. If we have no common core values [a Constitution] we are not a genuine country. If we have no recognizable boundaries [borders] we are not a legitimate country. If we do not have a plan to integrate how can we expect to legitimately protect our land.

Terrorism does not have to be bombastic. It can be simplistic. A case in point is how in less than a generation in the USA people have become fearful of holding to, expressing and expanding Biblical Christianity into every sphere of influence.

The same is true in our church communities. If we allow people to come into our communities who do not have our common unity of core values then the level of commitment begins to drop to their level. This is especially true if we do not present to them the standard of excellence Christ expects of everyone and desires to hold them to.

What about the shepherds who have compromised God’s core values for the sake of their position, a promotion and a pay check?

“Our citizenship is in heaven” which means we must have, maintain and protect our common core values. Our core values are based in the Constitution of God’s kingdom, which begins with the Sermon on the Mount and the continued revelatory teachings of Jesus and those who followed Him in the first century.

Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount [Matthew 5:48] – ” You are to be perfect just as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Now, there is no timetable in that statement but there is a definitive goal of perfection. Well maybe there is a timetable. Jesus expected these men to mature to the place of fatherhood in the three years He would spend training them before He would ascend back to His Father’s side.

In most modern or post-modern churches the modern mindset of Christianity is perfection is not possible so full commitment to Christ is optional.

Look at what John the apostle said about personal responsibility and development.

1 John 2

“1 My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. 3 By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him: 6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

12 I am writing to you, little children, because your sins have been forgiven you for His name’s sake. 13 I am writing to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I am writing to you, young men, because you have overcome the evil one. I have written to you, children, because you know the Father. 14 I have written to you, fathers, because you know Him who has been from the beginning. I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the evil one.”

In these verses we find four levels of personal maturity. They are ‘little children” in verses 1 and 12, “fathers”, “young men” and “children” in verse 13, “fathers”, “young men” in verse 14.

So we have little children, children, young men and fathers. You may be asking why have I listed children and little children separately? In the Greek New Testament there are four levels of maturity in the childhood stage of development. ‘Children’ is the third level and ‘little children’ is the fourth. Then we have young men and father’s. All four have distinct characteristics of maturity.

Let’s take a cursory look at the characteristics of each level of maturity beginning with the children level found in verse 13.

Children, according to John, are those who know the Father. Keep in mind this is the third level of maturity in the childhood stage of development. ‘Father’ is capitalized so John is talking about the heavenly Father. This is so critical to our understanding of the truths being presented in this Blog. Remember, Jesus said we are to be just like our Father. John is revealing that what makes it possible for Christians to mature to the perfection of Father is we know Him personally and experientially as children.

Next, in verse 1 John writes that little children can learn that sinning is not permissible. What does that do to your theology? Do you automatically begin to argue with what John wrote 2,000 years ago. Remember, John was the one who laid his head on Jesus’ chest and is known as the apostle of love. John said he wrote to the little children so they would know they “may” not sin. John did not say, “can not sin.” This is a huge truth that must be accepted and embraced in order to pursue such a possible feat.

John then addresses young men. These “young men” I believe coincide with the second level of maturity called sonship [sons and daughters]. These young men are strong. These young men have God’s word in them. And these young men have overcome the evil one. These young warriors no longer pray, “Deliver us from the evil one.” Now that they have progressed in maturity to the point that the devil prays, “Deliver me from these young men.”

Lastly, John writes to fathers who know God who is from the beginning. What beginning is John alluding to? Maybe John is talking about “in the beginning” of Genesis 1. Or maybe, as I believe, John is talking about knowing the God who has been with them the entire process of maturing from childhood to fatherhood.

The key verse to me in this wonderful chapter of 1 john is verse 6 which says, “the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” John puts the onus on [all of] us. “If” we “say we abide in Him” then we “ought to walk in the same manner as Jesus walked.” That my friends separates genuine Christianity and genuine Christians from religious Christianity and religious Christians.

In the New American Standard New Testament we find the word sheep as it pertains to people 39x and the word soldier as it pertains to believers 5x. Once we move out of the Gospels those numbers change considerable to sheep 4x and soldier 5x. Paul the apostle is the only New Testament author connecting saints to soldiers. That may be because he saw his mission of advancing God’s spiritual kingdom in a hostile natural world as a military campaign. After all, the word ‘apostle’ is taken from the Greco-Roman world of military warfare.

Den

A wild animal’s lair or place of habitation. Our modern understanding of a den is a comfortable place where a person can pursue an activity in private. ‘Den’ comes from a Germanic word meaning ‘threshing floor’ which certainly does not present comfort. A threshing floor is a place where chaff is separated from wheat or some other grain used for feeding people. The process of threshing at times is violent in nature as the fruit [core of the kernel] has to be separated from the husk by crushing and then further separated by blowing wind. For this blog lets think of comfort as a place we feel at home being comforted by the Comforter in His making us uncomfortable in our call as Christians.

All Christians begin as ‘wild animals’ who need to be trained in righteousness. One of the main places of training is the proverbial threshing floor of discipleship where we are supposed to learn that purity and power are two main characteristics of a true Christian.

Discipleship is about becoming like the Lord who all Christians are to be discipled to.

Are you being discipled to the leader who lets you stay in your pen?

Or are you being discipled to the Leader who wants you to get out of the pen and be discipled in the den where threshing creates thriving and purpose gives you vision to endure the pain?

Are you being discipled to the leader who wants you to stay a child so they can feel important and even superior to you?

Or are you being discipled by a leader who is not threatened by your maturity and wants you to grow into manhood?

Your future awaits you but you will have to decide in the present what is going to die.

Will your destiny or your carnality die?

You ultimately determine your destination!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

Keep HIS Passion, Power, Presence, Purity and Purpose!