Is Jesus Worried About A Wall?

Jesus is not anti-security or anti-wall!

Apparently the Pope is! At at least as it pertains to us and not him! He lives behind a huge wall, literally and metaphorically! He believes if you believe in a wall you cannot be a Christian. Okay?

The Pope believes he is the Vicar of Christ. I mean no ill toward the Pope or anyone who is Catholic, but he is not the Vicar of Christ and he is not the head of Christ’s Church. But that is another blog! Stay with me though and you may discover why the Pope feels it is okay for him to live behind a huge wall and restrict access to his domain.

I have been accused on many occasions of being black and white and that I am dangerous as a result of it. Those accusations are accurate, just not in the context of how they have been used. I am dangerous to the status quo of rote religiosity and unhealthy requirements to tow a company line that Jesus the Christ has not given me to tow.

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane!

3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 And God saw the light, that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.” [Genesis 1]

Several things jump out at me as I read this text again.

  • God said let there be light and there was light!
  • God did not say let there be darkness! Why?
    • I believe I know but I want you to think about that question.
  • God saw the light and said that it [the light] was good!
  • God saw the darkness but He did not call it good! Why?
    • Again, I want you to think about the question.
  • God divided the light from the darkness! Why?
    • Once again I want you to think!
  • God called the light ‘day’ [hot]!
  • God called the dark ‘night’ [to twist, to roll back and away from the light. Or, the opposite of hot which is cold]!

Are you following me here? If not follow on with me!

14 And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write, ‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,  I will vomit you out of My mouth.” [Revelation 3]

There must be a clear delineation so that God, and people can know exactly where we stand on important issues that relate to heaven and earth! Lukewarmness is an affront to God and those who will not make a clear stand in the light [hot] or the dark [cold] must repent or be spewed [puked, vomited] out of Jesus’s mouth!

To be intellectually honest I see at least two meanings here:

First and foremost, Laodicea sat between an area of hot springs and an area of cold mountain bodies of water. Both of these two places were known for their refreshing and therapeutic characteristics. So, if we are not refreshing and therapeutic then we are in danger of being vomit. That is the context of what Jesus is saying in this text.

Two, you have to decide what you are going to be and where you are going to stand. I find it interesting in the Book of Beginnings [Genesis] and the Book of Revealings [Revelation of Christ] we find references to hot [day] and cold [night] as it pertains to a clear delineation of our posture, position and representation of Jesus Christ.

Therefore, in the Revelation text darkness as it pertains to displeasing God is living in compromise where you are unwilling to make a stand that is clear cut, consistent and capable of being helpful to others looking for and needing refreshing and healing.

Jesus is not into allowing our being abused unnecessarily!

But I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also.” [Matthew 5:39]

But wait just one minute. How did Jesus respond when He was slapped at His mock trial?

 22 And when He had said these things, one of the officers who stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, “Do You answer the high priest like that?” 23 Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why do you strike Me?” [John 18]

Did you notice the obvious in what Jesus said and did not say? Jesus said there are times when “slaps” are not appropriate. In His case at that time it was not appropriate for the officers to slap Him. So He did not turn His cheek and take another blow!
Jesus said, “If I did not speak evil [a falsehood] why did you slap Me?” It is a fair question to ask was He inferring a “righteous” slap would have been appropriate?
“Faithful are the wounds  of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses  of an enemy.” [Proverbs 27:6]
I believe Jesus was also inferring that we don’t have to just stand by and get slapped because someone wants to wound, hurt and or offend us. This was a religious trial that was not legal according to the Jewish law. Jesus defended His position and did not turn the other cheek.
When Jesus stood before Pilate and was being interrogated by him Jesus did not “stand down.” He spoke truth to the one [Pilate] who believed he was in charge of that conversation.
Yet, later when He was being mocked and abused [slapped] by the Romans He did turn the other cheek. That was part of God’s redemptive plan for man!
I have been slapped by people when I needed it and I have been slapped by people when it was not justified.
I have been wounded by friends when I needed it and I have been kissed by enemies disguised as friends when I did not deserve it! Some of the most vocal “Amener’s” have been some of the most vehement and violent “slappers”.
We need to know when to justify our position and when to turn the other cheek!
“When you are persecuted in one city flee to the next.” [MT 10:23]
“15 Therefore when you see the abomination of desolation which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains.” [MT 24]
These texts indicate Jesus did not want His people [followers, disciples, brothers and sisters according to God’s redemptive plan] to die foolishly or prematurely, in the upcoming and impending destruction of Jerusalem.
But the king was enraged, and he sent his armies and destroyed those murderers and set their city on fire.” [MT 22:7]
This is a prophetic parable revealing the impending destruction of Jerusalem, Judaism and the unrepentant people in the city. Jesus is saying once again, as He did all through the Old Testament, that God [the king] would send [use] foreign invaders to destroy the Jewish people because of their arrogance and absolute rebellion against the king [Him].
“And Jesus said to them [His followers, disciples, brothers and sisters according to God’s plan of redemption], ‘Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down.’” [MT 24:2]
The reason for this prophetic revelation was because the Jewish people had reached the tipping point of rebellion against God and Jesus was responding to and answering specific questions from the disciples He called and trained for 3 1/2 years.
What if the Jews [all the house of Israel, not just a small remnant] had repented of their conspiracy to kill Jesus?
What if they as a nation had accepted Jesus as the Savior of the world?
Would the Romans have still come and slaughtered over 1 million Jews, destroyed Jerusalem and the hallowed Temple, and torn down that wall?
We will never know!
If Jesus was anti wall then why didn’t He say, “Do you see that wall? I don’t like it or what it represents. So, I am going to give you My closest allies a plan to bring it down just like I  brought down the wall of Jericho!”
The only reason that wall came down was because of the absolute arrogance of those who hid behind it. It was not an impediment to what Jesus was there to do or would ever do.
If a wall is built in the USA to provide a safe boundary for the citizens to live in peace and real productivity, Jesus will not be upset and His purposes for the USA and the world will not be encumbered in any way! To insinuate otherwise is simply arrogance on display!
By the way, the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City, the Bride of Christ, has a huge wall and only 12 gates.
2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 10 And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, 11 having the glory of God. Her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear jasper. 12 It had a great and high wall, with twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels; and names were written on them, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the sons of Israel. 13 There were three gates on the east and three gates on the north and three gates on the south and three gates on the west. 14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundation stones, and on them were the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.”[Revelation 21:2; 10-14]
And God will not allow anyone or anything unholy into His walled city.
“And nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose  names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.” [Revelation 21:27]
To me, it is absolutely ridiculous for religious people and especially religious leaders to insinuate God would not be pleased with the government of the USA’s attempts to secure our borders even if it meant building a wall with limited number of gates to control entry into and exiting out of this wonderful land.
And just in case you are not sure of what I feel, believe or where I stand on this critical issue – I am over the mockers in ministry who think that love means not having conditions to being in relationship with God or other people, and especially Christian people.
My goodness folks, read the Bible without preconceived and predetermined biases.
God has always had conditions to relationship!
Read the Bible slow!
Read the Bible as if you have never read it before or ever heard someone teach it before!
Read it like the Berean believers in Acts 17! They received the taught word with gladness but searched the Scriptures themselves to see if what was being taught as truth was true!
And please, develop critical thinking! I am not talking about having a critical spirit or giving yourself over to criticism. I am talking about being able to think for yourself and not blindly follow someone because you are in agreement with what they say or teach because that is what you have been taught to do.
Stop following those who tell what to think! Find someone who will teach you how to think!
Just because you agree with what your favorite teacher says is true does not mean what you believe to be true is truth.
I learned that lesson the hard way! I learned that you can honor man [authority] and dishonor God and that you may have to disobey man in order to honor God. The tension is in the knowing which is appropriate!
The church suffers from the Moses syndrome – “Moses, go up on the mountain and hear what God is saying and then come down and tell us what He said.”
You are responsible for your own self!
Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A Hisstorymaker
Keep HIS Passion! Keep HIS Purpose! Keep HIS Faith!

The Throne! The Opportunity! The Responsibility!

One of the most misunderstood events in the purposes of God is the ascension of Jesus the Christ into the realm of heaven and His being seated on David’s throne.

There are many who believe that Jesus is not sitting on a throne right now and that He must return to earth in order to sit on David’s throne where He will begin His righteous reign on the earth.

I have not figured out what these people believe Jesus has been doing for the past 2000 years unless they think He has been disengaged from His responsibilities of being the King of kings and Lord of lords, and the Head of His Church. Maybe they think He has been in planning meetings on what the third temple in Jerusalem and His throne should look like.

Not happening and not going to happen!

“30 Therefore, [David] being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him that of the fruit of his body, according to the flesh, He would raise up the Christ to sit on his throne.

31 He, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

32 This Jesus God has raised up, of which we are all witnesses.

33 Therefore being exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He poured out this which you now see and hear.”

[Acts 2]

I have good news for you for the New Year!

Jesus has been sitting on David’s throne for about 2,000 years in fulfillment of the Father’s promise to King David. Peter, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit said the resurrection of Jesus the Christ, THE promised descendant of David who would not suffer corruption [decay] in death, was to exalt Him to David’s throne.

One of the benefits resulting from Jesus’s ascension to and being seated on David’s throne is the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that began on the Day Of Pentecost, but is promised to every person in every generation who believes on the Christ.

This promise of the Holy Spirit is for the empowering of believers to represent God in a way that truly represents God – in purity and power!

Christianity is only Biblical Christianity when the purity and power of the Holy Spirit is the leading indicators of the life and ministry of the people who call themselves Christian.

Look carefully at these words – “The one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” [1 John 2:6 NAS]

Jesus lived the Christian life to demonstrate for the Christian how God expects us all to live. He did this by maintaining a faith filled and faithful life of purity, and an overwhelming power over all the works of the devil, including temptation.

If you are waiting for Jesus to return to earth to sit on David’s throne then you have misunderstood the purpose of Father God in the Person of His Son, Jesus the Christ, and the Person of the Holy Spirit!

By waiting on Jesus to come back to begin His reign on earth you are missing your opportunity to rule and reign with Him right now.

Instead of waiting for something to happen why not step up and into your rightful place as a result of what has happened and begin exercising your God-given authority in a world that is waiting for responsible sons of God to arise.

There are many places in the Bible I could go to convince you, if you need convincing, that Jesus is reigning right now as you read this blog, but I will stick to this one –

1 Corinthians 15:26

“For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet.”

2016 is a year that is poised for the sons [mature children] of God to rise up like the Son of God and fulfill what the Son commanded the sons – disciple nations!

“According to your faith will it be done for you.”

Let’s do this!

Keep HIS Faith! Keep HIS Passion! Keep HIS Purity! Keep HIS Purpose!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin

HIS Hisstorymaker

 

 

 

 

 

God Has Only One Holy Nation!

Who is the holy nation that is God’s very own possession?

This blog follows Foolish Preachers Versus The Foolishness Of Preaching where I wrote in more detail on the importance of the message of the cross of Christ being protected from being made of no effect.

This issue is one of the many where the cross of Christ is reduced to no effect, especially among those who hold to a “special favored status” theology for natural Israel. What I mean by that is the notion that “all of Israel will be saved” when they see Jesus coming in the clouds instead of having to come to the cross for their deliverance from sin.

As I stated in Foolish Preachers Versus The Foolishness Of Preaching blog I addressed this and so much more in two teaching series’ – WHO IS THE ISRAEL OF GOD, And What Does That Have To With Me; and JESUS AND JERUSALEM.

Well meaning and [I will be kind] most probably mistaken Christians promote that the natural State of Israel, and unsaved Jewish people, are God’s possession and holy nation.

You see them write or say things like:

  • God will bless those who bless [natural] Israel [the unsaved Jews] and God will curse those who curse [natural] Israel [unsaved Jews].
    • There is not one verse of Scripture in the Old or New Testaments that say this. In fact, the very opposite is said in the Scripture.

Or they say or write,

  • The day America turns its back on [the State of] Israel [unsaved Jews], is the day God turns His back on America.
    • This irresponsible statement is based on the previous statement and has zero basis in Scripture.

What does the Scripture say? The Scripture must be our only guide to understanding this very important truth that is clearly laid out for the intellectually honest to see.

By the way, God turned His back on natural Israel and spoke Ichabod [the glory has departed] over it 2000 years ago. God has not stopped loving them. He loves everyone where they are but that never means He loves where they are.

By the way, they became enemies of the cross when they rejected God, and His plan of salvation for the whole world – by the cross of Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son. They remain enemies of the cross to this day!

Matthew 23:37,38 NKJV

37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate.”

Listen to the impact of His words – “See! YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT TO YOU.”

First He said “Your house”. This is a clear revelation that it was not His house. Jesus was also making the point that “their house” was of their own making. God’s house is now the individual and corporate body of Christ that is made up of everyone who has been born again and surrendered to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Next He said, “Is left”. Jesus made a present tense [2000 years ago] declaration that God was abandoning them, right then. And by the way, God has never moved back in to that “house”.

Then He said, “To you”. Can it get any scarier than this. “YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN.” Another way to see this portion of His denunciation is to realize that He was very serious about their isolation and the removal of His protection. By the way, He is not protecting them even to this day contrary to the popular theological arguments to the contrary.

They have been on their own for 2000 years! Please do not say God brought them back to their land. God has not brought them back. For God to be responsible for their return He would have had to violate His own word stating that for Him to restore them to the land they would have to repent for violating their relationship to Him.

I cannot recall where they have repented for murdering the Son of God!

“Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” [Acts 2:36]

“Desolate” literally means, abandoned, divorced, uninhabited, deprived of the aid and protection of others, especially of friends, acquaintances, kindred, a flock deserted by their shepherd, a waste [place].

Jesus said, “See! I HAVE LEFT you all alone, and you will remain on your own unless, and until you repent.

Verse 39 says, “For I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” When Jesus says, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord” He was speaking of His current and contemporary coming at the time He was speaking, 2000 years ago.

Jesus was not talking about some time in the distant future from when He was speaking. He was speaking to His generation which was the terminal generation – for within 40 years the end came for them.

Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.”[Matthew 23:36 NAS] It takes a lot of manipulating the text to stretch “this generation” 2000 years into the future.

Why this extreme rejection of this historic people who had been chosen by God out of all of the nations on the planet thousands of years before? The answer is found in verse 38, “BUT YOU WERE UNWILLING.”

Friends, it is NEVER a good plan to be unwilling to do God’s will. It is never a good idea to continuously reject the overtures of a loving God who continuously does everything He can to reach you.

How often I wanted to gather you together under My wings.” Jesus was expressing His exasperation at the lengths the natural Jewish people had gone to reject His every overture to love and protect them. He was also stating the many times He wooed them, called them, corrected them, communicated to them to come to Him – in the Old Testament!

We must understand that until Jesus died on the cross and was resurrected everything in the Gospels was Old Testament. The New Testament was being revealed [it was being unveiled, uncovered] through the life and ministry of Jesus but it was not inaugurated until the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

They left God no choice but to move on from them to a people who would value Him and His love for them.

Matthew 21:43

Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you [natural Israel] and given to a people [born again saints], producing the fruit of it.”

This is the punch line [pun intended] that followed a scathing parable illustrating how natural Israel had been unfaithful to God, to the point of killing His Son, and He had had enough.

So, who is the only true nation that belongs to God.

Psalm 33:12 NASB

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people whom He has chosen for His own inheritance.”

There is ONLY one nation on this earth who can claim this verse as their own. That nation is the nation whose God is the Lord Jesus Christ!

1 Peter 2:9, 10 NASB

9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; 10 for you once were not a people, but now you are the people OF GOD; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.”

God has NO other nation and He has no other people that are His possession [inheritance] and to proclaim otherwise is not Scriptural and very unwise.

If you hold to the belief that there is some other nation, an unholy nation, that God calls His own possession then you are diluting the effectiveness and affect of the cross of Jesus Christ.

I have written blogs and taught extensively on this deceptive doctrine that carried out to the extent of its illogical logic reduces the sons and daughters of God [the Church and the Bride of Christ – God’s holy nation] as second class citizens and hostages of a God who according to those who hold to this doctrine punishes people who reject the false notion they perpetrate on an uninformed people.

Should we love and bless the unsaved Jewish people and the State of Israel?

Absolutely!

But not under the threat of a curse from God coming to ruin our lives.

We are supposed to bless those who curse us according to Jesus in Luke 6:28. We are to love our enemies according to Jesus in Matthew 5:44. But never is a curse from God associated with not doing these things. We are told that doing these things make us like our Father.

What God do they serve? I believe they serve a god they have created in their own minds. Minds which are not renewed in the New Testament revelation Jesus and the original apostles and other writers of the New Testament preached.

We will see in the following Scriptures the reason we [the holy nation of God as the people of God] are to love and bless all the nations of people of the earth, not just the Jewish State [nation, people].

How are we to love them? By telling them the truth about their need for repentance and God’s forgiveness.

In fact, John the apostle writes this in his gospel that Jesus, the Son of God and Man said.

John 3:16,17 NASB

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.”

  • To me these two verses clearly state God’s heart is the world, not just the Jewish world. God sent Jesus into the world to save the world. The unfortunate truth is that many in the world, both the Jewish and non-Jewish world, refuse to believe God by receiving Jesus as God’s only hope and Savior of the world.

John 3:18 NASB

“”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.’”

  • Jesus makes it abundantly clear that those who do not believe in Him are ALREADY judged by God, and those who do believe God does not judge. So, quit with all the God is going to curse you if you do not bless natural [the State of] Israel and the natural Jew.

John 3:36 NASB

He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

  • Those who believe in God’s Son, Jesus, HAVE eternal life and those who do not believe not only will NOT SEE life, but they are presently abiding in the wrath of God. God’s wrath is upon those who reject Jesus, not on those who do not bless those who have rejected Jesus.

Do I have to go on? No, but I will!

John 8:31,32 NASB

31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, ‘If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.’”

  • To those Jewish people who “believed” in Him he said, “You MUST continue in my word to qualify as My true disciples.”
    • Thus, those Jewish “believers” who ceased believing in the continuing revelation of the cross and all of the benefits revealed and released through it ceased being His disciples – PERIOD!
    • We need to understand that even demons believe in Jesus but that does mean they are in a right relationship with God [James 2:19]
    • We also need to understand Jesus made all of these statements prior to dying on the cross and that every one of His original  disciples were Jewish, believed on Him, but had to come to the cross in order to be saved.
    • So, if there is some other way for the Jewish people to be saved, like seeing Jesus in the clouds, then God will have to apologize to all of the Jewish converts in the first century and beyond who  were persecuted and killed for their faith in the cross of Christ.

We have already heard from Peter in the text from 1 Peter above where he very succinctly reveals who the real people of God are post cross of Christ.

Now let’s take a quick look at what Paul the apostle had to say concerning our subject.

Paul

Galatians 3:6-9 NASB

6 Even so Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness. 7 Therefore, be sure that it is those who are of faith who are sons of Abraham. 8 The Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying,All the nations will be blessed in you.’ 9 So then those who are of faith are blessed with Abraham, the believer.”

  • Abraham, according to Paul, was an Old Testament believer in the New Testament Gospel. Abraham’s faith was in the message that God was going to bless the entire world, not just the Jewish world, through their faith in the message of the Messiah, which is salvation from sin and the punishment of sin by the life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and Holy Spirit baptism to all who would believe in Jesus Christ of Nazareth as their personal Savior and the Lord of their life.

Now, as to the assertion that God will bless those who bless natural and unsaved Israel and curse those who curse them, let us take a look at what God actually said and to whom He said it.

Moses

Genesis 12:1-3 NASB

1 Now the Lord said to Abram, “Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to the land which I will show you; 2 And I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; And so you shall be a blessing; 3 And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.”

  • Ah! The promise of blessings and curses was given to Abram who became Abraham. This is the same Abraham who Paul said the gospel was preached to and who believed the gospel.
  • So based on the text where the misguided and mistreatment of what God actually said, a curse is reserved for those who do not bless the Abraham who believed God through the receiving of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as well as all those who like Abraham, have believed the gospel of Jesus Christ.
    • Folks, this is not complicated. God said what He meant and He means what He says. “And in you [Abraham the believer] all the families of the earth will be blessed [by believing God just as Abraham did].”

So, to accurately divide and rightly handle the word of truth [God], we must admit that this promise was not made to a natural people but a born again person who had believed God’s gospel that through him ALL the nations [people] of the earth would be blessed by believing the gospel as he did.

Therefore, this promise cannot and does not pertain to the natural and unsaved [unbelieving] Jewish people called the State of Israel, for they are not inheritors of the promises of Abraham – Period!

So, why do people still follow this misguided teaching? Because they, just like those in the first century that were misguided “believers”, want to keep the flesh in the forefront of their theology, to their demise. These folks are persecutors of the cross of Christ. They are deluded and they distort and dilute the power of the message of the cross of Jesus Christ.

Paul

Galatians 6:12-16 NASB

12 Those who desire to make a good showing in the flesh try to compel you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for the cross of Christ. 13 For those who are circumcised do not even keep the Law themselves, but they desire to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh. 14 But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world. 15 For neither is circumcision anything, nor uncircumcision, but a new creation. 16 And those who will walk by this rule, peace and mercy be upon them, and upon the Israel of God.”

  • I wrote about verses 12-14 in my previous blog so I will not comment here.
  • Paul in verse 15 makes it very clear that there is no advantage nor disadvantage in being Jewish or not being Jewish. The point of this text is “a new creation” which we know to be those “in Christ.”
  • There are those who try to parse the last verse where it says, “peace be upon them [the new creation – the believers in Christ Jesus], and upon the Israel of God”, as meaning there are two separate and distinct groups of people Paul is talking about.
    • One is the new creation meaning those who are in Christ Jesus, and
    • The other is the Israel of God meaning the natural and unsaved Jewish people

Let’s look at another text and see if this way of interpreting the Scripture holds up.

Mark

Mark 16:7 NASB

“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’”

  • Is the angel of the Lord saying that Peter is not one of the disciples by there being an ‘and’ between the word ‘disciples’ and ‘Peter’? Could it be that because of Peter’s denial of Jesus three times that he forfeited his place among the twelve? Or is the angel simply specifying that Peter needs special attention as a disciple and one of the future pillars of the Church because of his poor choice?

I want to tell you that Peter never was removed from his place in the special group of the apostle’s of the Lamb. And in the same way the use of the word ‘and’ in Paul’s text in Galatians 6 does not communicate a separation into two distinct groups. It simply communicates the special designation of the Israel of God – those who are part of God’s new creation, those who are in Christ Jesus.

Lastly, do not believe the “believers” who want to take you back into a natural reality and diminish or destroy your faith in and faithfulness to the revelation of the Cross of Jesus Christ. Believe it or not we still are dealing with Judaizers who cannot or will not let go of the notion that God’s blessings are tied up in natural and still unbelieving Jewish people.

They will accuse you of spiritualizing the text. I know because I get accused of that often. I also get accused of twisting the Scripture to fit “my theology.”

There is a principle in interpreting Scripture. It is simply take literal what is literal and not to take literally what is not literal.

Paul said this, “However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural; then the spiritual.” [1 Corinthians 15:46]

This is another principle that must be understood to understand the Bible. The Old Testament, among other things, was about a natural people [Israel] seeking spiritual encounters with God. The New Testament, especially starting in the Book of Acts, is about a spiritual people living in a natural world.

First [OT] the natural. Then [NT] the spiritual. Jesus illustrated this in John 3 in His conversation with Nicodemus. He gave him natural examples of spiritual truths but Nicodemus could not understand those spiritual truths because the natural mind cannot receive anything from the Spirit of God [1 Corinthians 2:14].

These naturally minded people are either unaware of, or do not care to admit, that all of the promises of God are yes and amen in Christ Jesus, and no one and no where else.

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us [saints].” [2 Corinthians 1:20]

Stay close to the cross of Christ and the Christ of the cross, for in Him you live, and move, and have all of your being.

For more information on this subject please watch my series on Youtube/Bethel Church Brunswick, GA or download it from iTunes on WHO IS THE ISRAEL OF GOD, And What Does That Have To Do With Me, and my series called JESUS AND JERUSALEM.

Keep HIS Faith! Keep HIS Passion! Keep HIS Truth!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury
One of His Hisstorymakers

Foolish Preachers Versus The Foolishness Of Preaching!

God is pleased with the foolishness of preaching but not with the foolishness of preachers!

There are way too many examples of how preachers are foolish to cover them all in this blog but I do want to focus on some of them.

There is not a lot of evidence in the Scripture explaining the phrase “foolishness of preaching” so I will not be spending much time trying to detail how that plays out.

Preaching styles vary for many reasons and may create the sense of it being foolish.

A preacher’s style may be staid, or animated. Preaching may come through a monotone preacher or one whose voice fluctuates between the extremes of shouting and a whisper.

Some preachers use notes and never vary from their notes, and others may never use notes. Some use notes as launching platforms where the wind of the Holy Spirit takes off through them and they end up “preaching prophetically”. Some stand stationary behind the pulpit and others roam all over the place.

The phrase “foolishness of preaching” may simply mean that the idea of someone presuming to speak for God is considered foolish by certain people who have no value for the verbal communication of the Word of God, or for those who say they speak for God.

I mean, “You actually believe you hear from God?” That is totally foolish to some people!

Here is what Paul said in Romans 1:18 KJV – “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.”

Paul would later say that he “preached Christ and Him crucified.” The cross, the crucifixion, and everything purchased on it should always be central and the core value of any message taught. I do not mean that every message should specifically mention the cross. But the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus is the message of the gospel we teach.

The cross and the “foolish” preaching of it is foolishness to those who are perishing because they refuse to accept and embrace the power of the cross.

The message of the cross is so much broader than a get out of hell message. It is a get out of hell and a get hell out of you message. That is the power of the cross!

1 Corinthians 1:21 KJV

“For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe.”

This verse reveals a lot and one main aspect of the revelation is that God only saves those who believe.

There are foolish preachers preaching that everyone is saved by God because God in Christ is not counting people’s sins against them. They provide the verse of Scripture to prove their point.

2 Corinthians 5:19 NKJ [In Part]

“God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them.”

There are key phrases in Scripture that foolish preachers miss, misuse, mistake, and mis-represent. Some of them are “in Christ”, “through Christ”, “with Christ”, “by Christ”, etc.

Everyone is not saved unless they are “in Christ”. Jesus is the Savior of all mankind but only those who believe are saved.

1 Timothy 4:10 NKJ

“For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”

Foolish preachers rarely if ever suffer for their labor, much less suffer reproach. To be reproached means to be criticized for your refusal to compromise your experiences in God for the pleasure of man, the popularity with men, or for a position or paycheck from men.

It means to have people be disappointed in you and disapprove of you because of your stand for God and not with them or for them in their unwillingness to grow up in Christ. Immaturity and irresponsibility seems to be chic in certain Christian circles.

I am long over the people who think the mission of the church is to “have fun” and everyone just “get along”.

There is only One Savior and that is Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save everyone but only those who “believe” will be saved.

How can we know we or someone else is really saved, or that we are a believer in Jesus?

Persuaded To The Point Of Persecution!

If we are not taking heat for our “believing” there is a good chance we are not a Biblical believer.
2 Timothy 3:12 NAS
“Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Demonstrations Of Miraculous Signs!
Mark 16:15-20 The Message Bible
15 Then he said, ‘Go into the world. Go everywhere and announce the Message of God’s good news to one and all. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized is saved; whoever refuses to believe is damned. 17 These are some of the signs that will accompany believers: They will throw out demons in my name, they will speak in new tongues, 18 they will take snakes in their hands, they will drink poison and not be hurt, they will lay hands on the sick and make them well.’ 19 Then the Master Jesus, after briefing them, was taken up to heaven, and he sat down beside God in the place of honor. 20 And the disciples went everywhere preaching, the Master working right with them, validating the Message with indisputable evidence.”
What are the indisputable evidences that validate that we are Biblical believers in Jesus Christ?
Are there miraculous manifestations of God and His power in our teaching ministry?
Does our preaching attract God? Does Jesus come to work with us? Or is the work we are doing for Him devoid of Him? Are we are relying completely on our own prowess to convince the people we are teaching that God is real?

Are We New Or Are We The Same Old Person?

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 NAS

17 Therefore if anyone is in Christhe is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. 18 Now all these things are from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were making an appeal through us; we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.”

There must be a reconciliation with God that results in a radically new life in Christ. This is implying there has been a breach in the relationship and a new connection must be made between the one who disconnected and God who waits for the wayward one to come to Him.

This new connection to God results in the person becoming new in every aspect. That person may not perfectly live out their “newness” but the change is such that those that know them the best know they are “new.”

You may be able to fool members of a church you hide in but you cannot fool the ones you live life with.

Our “being new” and “living new” should cause consternation in the people we used to live life with. If it doesn’t how new are we?

1 Peter 4:1-4 NKJ

1 Therefore, since Christ suffered for us  in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, 2 that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God3 For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. 4 In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.”

Do we even believe we can cease sinning? Not if we are sitting under the ministry of foolish preachers who teach we cannot overcome temptation and sin.

We have wasted too much time already and there is not enough time to keep wasting time.

Here again, is our new lifestyle attracting persecution, reproach, and or criticism?

If not, why not?

What is the problem?

Paul, in our 1 Corinthians 1:21 text, states that the world did not know God because of the limitations of the wisdom of the world. God, in His wisdom chose to make Himself known through the foolishness [by man’s standards] of [the] preaching of His gospel, so that the world could be saved by God, in Christ.

How do preachers become foolish?

Paul reveals one way in verse 17 of 1 Corinthians chapter 1 [KJV] – “For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”

Here are some other translations of this very important verse:

God’s Word Translation

“Christ didn’t send me to baptize. Instead, he sent me to spread the Good News. I didn’t use intellectual arguments. That would have made the cross of Christ lose its meaning.”

NET Bible

“For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel–and not with clever speech, so that the cross of Christ would not become useless.”

International Standard Version

“For the Messiah did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, not with eloquent wisdom, so the cross of the Messiah won’t be emptied of its power.”

Aramaic Bible In Plain English

“For The Messiah sent me not to baptize, but to preach The Good News, not in wisdom of words, lest the crucifixion of The Messiah would be rejected.”

Weymouth New Testament

“Christ did not send me to baptize, but to proclaim the Good News; and not in merely wise words–lest the Cross of Christ should be deprived of its power.”

Living Bible

“For Christ didn’t send me to baptize, and even if my preaching sounds poor, for I do not fill my sermons with profound words and high sounding ideas, for fear of diluting the mighty power there is in the simple message of the cross of Christ.”

Preachers become foolish by preaching their own wisdom founded on their own ways and word, and not the wisdom of God which is centered on the Cross of Christ.

The Cross of Christ involves so much more than Jesus hanging on it for 6 hours until He gave up His life for the world.

The Cross of Christ is the place of payment for all that Christ purchased for the world. Jesus demonstrated all that He would purchase prior to His purchasing it all on the Cross. He did it by teaching [using words] and by demonstrating [not using words but using God’s authority and power] to intervene in the helplessness and hopelessness of mankind’s condition.

Friends, the message of the Cross can be watered down [Living Bible] and made of “none effect” [King James].

The preaching of the Cross of Christ must be accompanied by demonstrations of the Spirit and power or it is watered down to the wisdom and natural abilities of men.

The preachers who preach without demonstrations of the Spirit and power are foolish.

Jesus was known as a preacher [teacher] who moved past just talking about God’s message to man. He proved what He taught by performing signs and wonders and miracles.

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; 2 this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs  that You do unless God is with him.” [John 3 NAS]

The proof that God was with Jesus in His teaching [preaching, proclaiming and explaining God’s message to man] ministry was the “signs” that He did in conjunction with His teaching.

Even the foolish preacher Nicodemus had enough character to acknowledge God set Jesus apart from the traditional teachers in Israel.

Did you notice Nicodemus did not say the proof God was with Christ was the way Jesus used words to teach the people? That is not to say Jesus did not have a way with words as we will see later.

It is interesting to me how a teacher in Israel recognized a teacher sent by God. Signs always point to the greater reality the sign represents.

Where are the present day foolish preachers who will acknowledge there is a lack of completeness in their personal teaching ministry if there is no “signs” accompanying their messages. Where are their messages pointing the people they are teaching?

Look at what Luke says in Acts 1:1 NKJ – “The former account I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach.”

Luke confirms the teaching ministry of Jesus was broader than a vocal ministry. There was a “doing” and a “teaching”. This is real kingdom ministry.

Why Are People Attracted To Our Ministry?

Luke 5:15 NAS

“But the news about Him was spreading even farther, and large crowds were gathering to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses.”

There are a lot of preachers and teachers who through their motivational speaking abilities, their natural charisma, or their business acumen   attract a lot of people to their meetings. But how many of the people who come to hear also come to be healed?

Foolish preachers create church cultures that “believe in the miraculous” but never give people an opportunity to be healed proving they do not truly believe. If there is not corresponding activity of our “belief” then what we “believe” is useless.

Some say, “Well, we don’t want anyone to be disappointed if they do not get healed so we don’t “focus” on healing or other miraculous activity.”

My God folks! Do they not realize they are disappointing the very people who need God’s miraculous intervention, whether it be physical, emotional or spiritual?

Do The People We Teach Recognize God’s Authority On Our Teaching?

Matthew 7:28,29 NKJ

28And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.”

Foolish preachers can say all the right things but if what they are saying is not releasing God’s authority then they are wasting their time and the time of those who came to hear them.

Is Our Teaching Tickling Ears Or Transforming Lives?

2 Timothy 4:1-4

1 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, 4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.”

Paul is speaking to his spiritual son Timothy and former world traveler on his apostolic missionary team. He gives Timothy a solemn [serious] charge where God the Father and Christ Jesus are witnesses and the Ones who will be the ultimate judges of the living and the dead.

Folks, teaching for God is a serious calling. Paul tells Timothy to preach the word; be ready when you feel ready or not. Then he raises the bar for those who are not settling for being a foolish preacher.

Preach the word of God – With gravity and authority which must be listened to and obeyed.

Reprove – With conviction in order to convict by exposing the fallacy of false beliefs, to reprehend severely, to reprehend and call people to give an account of their behavior.

Rebuke – To censure severely to reveal the true value of those being taught. To honor by not allowing people to live below the price Jesus paid and the standard that price provides them.

Exhort -To call people up to their rightful place in Christ.

How? With great patience [endurance] and instruction [foundational and revelational teaching that creates an inner structure within those being taught that will be able to support everything God want to release to and though them]!

Why? For the time will come when they will NOT endure sound doctrine but will constantly want their ears tickled.

The result will be those who sit under the teachings of foolish preachers will only seek out those teachers who affirm their immaturity based on what they desire, not what God desires for them.

These fools will turn their ears away from the truth [what they need to hear and what God wants them to hear] and those preachers of foolishness who proclaim the truth to them, and ultimately they will turn toward myths [false fables].

What a sad commentary of the culture of compromise that began with a foolish preacher who compromised his or her personal call.

Paul differentiates between the foolishness of foolish preaching and God’s definition of the foolishness of preaching in 1 Corinthians chapter two verses 1-5 KJV –

1 And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3 And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. 4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: 5  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

When preachers reduce their preaching to what they can do through their own enticing words their preaching has become man’s wisdom and not God’s. God’s wisdom is revealed in the manifestation of the demonstration of the Holy Spirit and [His] power.

Paul came in “weakness”! This means he recognized his human limitations and allowed for God’s strength to manifest.

Paul came in “fear”! Paul had a holy reverence for God and the responsibility the call of God to represent Him posed for him!

Paul came in “much trembling”! Paul knew the work of God must be executed in the power of the Spirit of God and he dealt with the anxiety that his responsibility at times was overwhelming!

The result of that kind of teaching ministry is “your faith should not stand on the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”

This is startling to me. The goal of preaching [teaching] is that people’s faith would be in the power of God and in the God who possesses all power. Teaching ministry should be not be in the wisdom of the natural intellectual or oratorical abilities of the one teaching for God.

Going back to the original text in 1 Corinthians 1:21 we see how God chooses to save people and His choice is through the foolishness of preaching.

How can we tell when those who preach are foolish instead of operating in the foolishness of preaching?
Galatians 6:12 NAS
“Those who desire to  make a good showing in the flesh try to compel  you to be circumcised, simply so that they will not be persecuted for  the cross of Christ.”
In other words, a key motivation of a foolish preacher originates in the flesh, not the Spirit. They substitute and propagate outward appearances  instead of inward transformation.

One last text I want to share with you in this blog to test the theology of Biblical preaching  of foolishness is found in Romans chapter 15:

15 But I have written very boldly to you on some points so as to remind you again, because of the grace that was given me from God, 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles, ministering as a priest the gospel of God, so that my offering of the Gentiles may become acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. 17 Therefore in Christ Jesus I have found reason for boasting in things pertaining to God. 18 For I will not presume to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me, resulting in the obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed, 19 in the power of signs and wonders, in the power of the Spirit; so that from Jerusalem and round about as far as Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 20 And thus I aspired to preach the gospel, not where Christ was already named, so that I would not build on another man’s foundation.”

Foolish preachers rarely if ever write or teach boldly, much less very boldly!

Paul is emphasizing how daring he was in his writing to the believers in Rome. He was boldly courageous, not worrying about how people may “feel” about the way he communicated truths to them.

Foolish preachers couch their communication in non-confrontational ways so as not to “hurt” the feelings of the people they are teaching.

Paul is saying he wrote to them as if he would never have the opportunity to “speak” to them again. This created a sense of urgency in what he said and how he said it. What he communicated needed to have maximum impact, especially if he never spoke to them again.

He goes on to say many things in this text.

Verse 15

Paul tells them that it is God’s grace that gives him the boldness. Foolish preachers and foolish people think God’s grace gives them license to be immature and irresponsible.

Verse 16

Paul says that he is a servant [minister] and priest [representative of the people to God and a representative of God to the people] to the Gentiles. He continues by stating his ministry is an offering that he wants to be acceptable to and sanctified by the Holy Spirit. This is so much different than the man pleasing ministry of the foolish preacher.

Verse 17

Paul says that his boasting in Christ pertains to the things pertaining to God, not man. Foolish preachers boast in the things that pertain to themselves, or other people. Primarily they complement the people they surround themselves with who facilitate their foolishness. Their primary subject is themselves and what they have accomplished.

Verse 18

To Paul presumption is not a good plan. He does not dare to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through him. In other words, he upholds the standard of His many experiences in Christ uncompromisingly, and the evidence of his commitment is the obedience of the Gentiles to God in how they live and in what they say. Their lifestyle does not contradict or betray their lips.

Verse 19

Once again Paul speaks of the importance of signs, wonders and miracles in the ministry of teaching in every place he traveled for Christ. Paul said he “fully preached the gospel”. The gospel is never fully preached where signs, wonders and miracles are absent.

Verse 20

Paul did not want to minister on another man’s foundation. Foundations are vitally important to the overall success of what is being built. In order to endure the tests of time Paul made sure his ministry was built on the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the One who authored Christian ministry.

If all gospel teachers followed Jesus and Paul’s methodology of ministry there would not be any foolish preachers.

Lord, help us to raise up a massive army of preachers of foolishness, and fire all the ones who are just foolish preachers.

This is a huge subject that I have only scratched the surface in this blog! As always in my writing and speaking ministry I hope, pray and expect you will do your own research to verify that what I am saying is Biblically correct.

My reason in writing and teaching is so that your life and ministry will be as effective as the Holy Spirit who calls you to minister for Him desires it to be!

Keep HIS Faith! Keep HIS Passion!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury

One Of HIS Hisstorymakers

 

Cain, Rejectee Or Rejector?

Have you ever felt rejected personally when you believed the person you valued did not appreciate the work you had done for them?

People who have their identity in what they do and not who they are do not respond well when their hard work is not enough to keep them where they believed their hard work had placed them. Their “old self” shows up.

The question that must be asked and answered is: Was there ever a new self or did the person just hide their “old self” well until they believed they were rejected? And then everyone gets to see their old self!

Cain was such an individual. Cain worked hard for God. Cain believed his hard work positioned him in a special place with God, and when God did not have the same value for his hard work, Cain proved his heart was never after God’s heart. This is the very reason Cain’s hard work was rejected. By the way, God did not reject Cain! God rejected his hard work as an offering of true worship.

Cain never understands their hard work does not place them where they are. Acceptance, value and honor place them where they are but their lack of honor disqualifies them for remaining where they had been placed!

When what we do is rejected we discover our lack of depth in the relationship with the one we did the work for! Cain saw God as his problem and the one who did not value their relationship.

3 So it came about in the course of time that Cain brought an offering to the Lord of the fruit of the ground. 4 Abel, on his part also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord had regard for Abel and for his offering; 5 but for Cain and for his offering He had no regard. So Cain became very angry and his countenance fell. 6 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? 7 “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” 8 Cain told Abel his brother. And it came about when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him.” Genesis 4

When the Lord rejected Cain’s offering [of the work of his own hands] the world around Cain felt the wrath of Cain’s lack of honor for God and His will [true worship based on His work].

God is looking for those “whose hearts are fully His!” [2 Chronicles 16:9] This statement is within the context of King Asa who only obeyed God when it was convenient. The king lashed out at the prophet who represented the God who rejected his partial obedience.

People who think God is impressed with their hard work and deserve special treatment because of their hard work reveal that they do not understand real relationship with God, or the kind of worship God looks for. God looks for those whose heart is fully His.

That is why Jesus would later talk about a people, “Who worship Me with their lips but their heart is far from Me.”

Relationship with God and His people begins with valuing what He values. Cain never connected to God’s heart because he was only interested in his hard work. His false belief created a heart that was hard and out of his hard heart he fell into what he carried in his heart – wrath.

People who carry wrath in their heart instinctively want judgment on others who do not do what they want.

They believe God has judged them so now they have a license to judge others!

Punishment of others is comfort food for Cain!

God gave Cain the opportunity to rise up after his countenance fell. God offered Cain a promotion! God offered Cain the opportunity to rise above the place he dwelt in his heart so that he would be able to see and experience God’s heart. Cain rejected the promotion!

Instead of seeing what God had offered him, Cain, because he did not value God or God’s community, continued his downward slide toward murder. Cain carried murder in his heart before God rejected his offering. When God rejected Cain’s offering Cain took it as personal rejection. The rejection did not create Cain’s hard heart but it did reveal it.

There are a lot of Cain’s in Christian communities [churches]!

Cain, God bless them, worship what they create instead of worshiping the Creator!

There are many examples of this in Scripture. Lucifer, Cain, Saul, and Judas are just a few of the personalities in Scripture that fell because they worshiped ‘their’ worship instead of the God who looks for worshipers who will worship Him in [by] spirit [not self] and [His] truth.

Idolatry is false worship and is condemned by God because it elevates what we have done above what God has done and is doing.

False worshipers become apparent when their expression of worship [what they worship] is not accepted by God. They look for someone else to blame instead of dealing with their false worship. This reveals their true intentions and why they are in the Community of believers. They need people of faith to affirm what they do because they do not have a real relationship with God. We know this is true because when they feel rejected they begin accusing God and those who they feel have rejected them.

They want and need to be accepted for what they do because they are hiding among the baggage of their old self! Never realizing they have been accepted and if what they do is rejected it is not a reflection of the value that God or His Community has for them!

When we believe we are rejected instead of understanding that our behavior is being rejected we disconnect from the people and place that has accepted us!

In verse 8 we read, “Cain told Abel his brother.” What did Cain tell Abel? Did Abel respond to Cain? If Abel responded to Cain what did he say?

Let’s look at a possibility!

Abel was Cain’s brother until Abel did not come into agreement with Cain. People who want others to tell them what they want to hear cannot handle being told what they need to hear. Now, Cain has felt the sting of rejection by God and his brother. And Cain is going to destroy the very one who was representing God to him by telling him the truth!

When Cain shows his true self [his old self] he proves he was not worthy of being in the Community.

9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” And he said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” 10 He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to Me from the ground. 11 “Now you are cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 “When you cultivate the ground, it will no longer yield its strength to you; you will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” 13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is too great to bear!14 “Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.” 15 So the Lord said to him, “Therefore whoever kills Cain, vengeance will be taken on him sevenfold.” And the Lord appointed  a sign for Cain, so that no one finding him would slay him.16 Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled  in the land of Nod, east of Eden.” Genesis 4

Verse 16 is a sad but revealing verse. “Then Cain went out from the presence of the Lord, and settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden.” Cain settled [sat in judgment] in the land of Nod [aimlessness, no connection to anything stable], east [that which is before] of Eden [the place of God’s pleasure].

The Garden God created for man to have access to and have responsibility over was ‘east of Eden’. Cain, because of his irreverent and dishonorable behavior settled farther east of the place of God’s original pleasure, which was the place He placed original man, his parents.

Cain wanted nothing to do with God or what pleased Him. Again, this decision revealed what Cain carried in his heart the whole time he was in God’s presence. He wanted the benefit of a relationship without being responsible in the relationship and when he did not get his way he totally disconnected. That never works out well!

Many people believe God drove Cain out from His presence! Cain is the one who said God was driving Him away. Cain, who was never truly connected to God, now totally disconnected from God! “Cain went out from the presence of the Lord.” Cain was still operating out of his will be done, not God’s!

God stated in verse 12 what had always been a reality in Cain’s heart. “You will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth.” God was simply revealing to Cain the truth that he was already a vagrant [a person without a settled home or regular work who wanders from place to place and lives by begging; one who wavers] and a wanderer [an aimless traveler] on the earth.”

To waver means you can not settle on what is established truth. Cain mixed his version of truth with God’s truth and then he settled on his version of truth.

People who mingle their version and perception of truth with God’s established truth will always feel rejected by those who have settled the matter of whose truth they will live by. Unsettled people cannot connect completely to settled people!

They are vagrants and wanderers. These are the ones who say, “God called me to serve you and to serve with you” and then when their lack of honor and reverence show up and is confronted, God mysteriously changes His mind. Now, “God told me to go over there and serve over there.” No He did not! God knew where you needed to be and when what you carried in your heart was confronted by those God called you to serve you revealed your vagrancy and your inability or unwillingness to settle down in established [God’s] truth.

Nepios [carnal, childish] believers are revealed by their instability!

Ephesians 4:14 – “As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine [their own version of truth], by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;”

Mature believers can handle the truth because they speak truth!

Ephesians 4:15 – “but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,”

Truth is found in what God wants us to hear not what we want to hear!

Can you handle THE truth?

From their instability nepios [immature] believers blame the mature believers when they are not moved [manuevered or manipulated] by their immature behavior.

Instead of staying connected to those who are stable they disconnect and drift into places where they find other immature believers so they can feel comfortable with their immaturity.

The Cain’s of the Community are self-centered!

Verses 13 and 14 reveal this truth – “Cain said to the Lord, ‘My punishment is too great to bear! Behold, You have driven me this day from the face of the [good and productive] ground; and from Your face I will be hidden, and I will be a vagrant and a wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.'”

Cain continued to blame God for his condition because the Cain’s of the Community can never be in the wrong!

“Whoever finds me will kill me” is a clear indication that Cain was looking for self preservation. He was not concerned with the preservation of God’s established truth or his brother Abel’s life. Cain’s only think of themselves! ‘How is this affecting me?’ is one of their core values when, ‘How is my childish behavior affecting the Community?’ should be their core value!

Loyalty and faithfulness are discovered in the process of disagreement and options!

Can you, or will you be loyal and faithful during disagreement or will you use the disagreement as your excuse to disconnect?

Because you have so many options for “worship” will you stay in the process of refinement where God called you to be and set you in to grow, or will you use the disagreement to move to Nod farther east of Eden, and therefore be a vagrant and wanderer forever, or at least until you decide to quit running and hiding?

Only you can answer these very important questions!

One thing is for sure, your future well-being depends on how you answer these questions!

Keep HIS Faith! Keep HIS Passion!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury

His Hisstorymaker

It’s Time To Act Up! Part 2 – The Apostle’s Doctrine

This is the second blog in the series It’s Time To Act Up!

Now is the time to rise up to your rightful place as a co-heir and co-laborer with Jesus the Christ.

In this second installment I want to revisit something we saw in the first blog – The Primitive Church.

On the Day of Pentecost Peter preached a pentecostal sermon and 3000 people were born again and ushered into the Kingdom of God.

In verse 42 of Acts 2 we read the following account written by Luke. This Luke is the author of the Gospel of Luke.

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine . . . “

Who were these apostles? What was the doctrine of these apostles? Why would anyone pay attention to what these apostles had to teach?

All of these are very good questions but in this blog I will focus on the apostle’s doctrine.

The Apostle’s Doctrine

I want to go ahead and inform you that I will not be delving into every aspect of the apostle’s doctrine in this blog. But I have chosen some aspects of it that I want to highlight.

Our selected verse begins by emphatically stating those who heard what was said on The Day of Pentecost “continued steadfastly” in the apostle’s doctrine. So let’s begin with what this means as a segue from Blog 1 to Blog 2.

To continue steadfastly means ~

They purposed to purposefully pay attention & not be passive hearers!

They purposed to purposefully direct their attention to the speaker and what was spoken!

They purposed to be purposefully unwavering, unswerving in their commitment to continue!

They purposed to purposefully position and posture themselves for optimum success!

In other words, these first century saints accepted personal responsibility for their progress in the faith. This means they understood the role that faithfulness plays in their personal progress. Or, they knew, “That preacher just doesn’t feed me anymore” is not a valid reason for their lack of growth.

What Is the Apostle’s Doctrine?

We get a vital clue early on in the day on that first Pentecost Sunday.

Acts 2:5-12

“5 And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under heaven. 6 And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. 7 Then they were all amazed and marveled, saying to one another, “Look, are not all these who speak Galileans? 8 And how is it that we hear, each in our own language in which we were born? 9 Parthians and Medes and Elamites, those dwelling in Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya adjoining Cyrene, visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretans and Arabs–we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” 12 So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?””

The wonderful works of God formed a framework for the Apostle’s doctrine [teaching, belief system, core values].

The apostle’s beliefs and core values were the platform from which they communicated through their words and lifestyle what they believed.

The way we live communicates more to others what we believe than our words!

Actions speak louder than words!

“The wonderful works of God”

  • God’s works are wonderful [full of wonder]

  • God is wonderful [full of wonder]

  • God is really good

  • God is really good at being really good

  • God is worth talking positively about

  • God is worthy of our praise

“We hear them speaking in our own tongues [languages]”

God cares enough for every person to communicate to every person in a language they can understand. This means that God is speaking to every individual in a language they recognize and should respond to in a way that connects, or reconnects them to God who loves them passionately.

God’s Awesome Deeds!

Psalm 66:5,6

“Come and see the works of God, who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men. 6 He turned the sea into dry land; They passed through the river on foot; There let us rejoice in Him! 7 He rules by His might forever.”

“Come and see the works of God”

God invites every generation to benefit from His past activities.

“Who is awesome in His deeds toward the sons of men”

God is awesome and He points His awesomeness towards the sons of men. This is a different depiction of God than the judgment preachers have. The Hebrew word for ‘awesome’ is yare [yaw-ray’]. This word means: To reverence, to be in awe of, to honor and respect, to have a healthy fear that leads to faithfulness in the relationship. This word can also mean to be afraid of.

The idea here I believe is a combination of the New Testament revelation where Jesus said [paraphrase], “Do not fear man or what man can do to you. Fear God who can destroy both body and soul in hell.” Jesus was clearly saying there is a day of judgment so don’t treat God with contempt. The context is clearly on the goodness of God should lead to honor and respect for God.

Also, “It is the kindness of God that leads men to repentance.” When we see the ministry of Jesus He confronted sin but loved the sinner. He even confronted the sin and corrupt mindsets of His disciples. But He came to save not to judge and condemn. “It is appointed unto man once to die, AND THEN the judgment.”

What is God inviting us to see?

“He turned the [Red] Sea into dry land” speaks of God delivering His people out of 430 years of Egyptian bondage and slavery. This is equivalent to the born again experience and water baptism. Through the new birth we are delivered from the domain of darkness [Egypt] and the prince of darkness [Pharaoh] and translated into the Kingdom of light [the Kingdom of God’s dear Son Jesus the Christ].

“They passed through the [Jordan] River on foot” speaks of God leading His people into their inheritance [destiny, His purpose for their lives].

God wants us to see that salvation without the proper destination is an unfulfilled salvation.

God does not save people to get them to a place called heaven. God saves people to be heavenly citizens on earth. In other words, born again people are God’s gateway to bring heaven to earth. Born again people are stewards of heavenly realities with a responsibility to overcome the world and occupy the world until God comes. The purpose of occupation is always transformation!

“There let us rejoice in Him”. God will lead people to the place of destiny but will not make a person enter, embrace, enjoy, expand or export their destiny. To rejoice denotes joyful celebration.

Where are we to rejoice? Not after crossing the Sea but after we have passed through the River by foot [we enter by our own volition] into our place of inheritance and destiny.

This does not mean we should not celebrate our deliverance from Egypt. It means we must proceed on to our destiny. Too many Christians think forgiveness is all there is to the Christian life. Forgiveness and conversion is the doorway to destiny.

Psalm 119:111

“Your testimonies I have taken as an inheritance forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”

The Hebrew root word for ‘testimony’ means to repeat, to do the same thing over and over.

When a testimony of God’s activities in our lives is released it carries an invitation for others to experience God in that very same way. It is like a prophetic word from God saying, “I will do it again for you [them].”

Psalm 78:5-8

“5 For He established a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers that they should teach them to their children, 6 that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, that they may arise and tell them to their children, 7 that they should put their confidence in God and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments, 8 and not be like their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that did not prepare its heart and whose spirit was not faithful to God.”

“God established a [the principle of sharing the] testimony [of His wonderful works]  in Jacob [the Prince who was living out of a false identity based on his behavior instead of his calling]!”

“[God] appointed a law in Israel [the redeemed and new name for Jacob after His conversion at the river Jabbok], which He commanded our fathers [those responsible for stewarding the miraculous interventions of God in the affairs of man].”

God wants each generation to pass on to future generations His testimonies! There are at least 3 or 4 generations of covenant people that should be introduced to the testimony depending on how you interpret verses 5 and 6.

Sharing God’s testimony creates confidence and courage in the lives of those who hear it and it keeps current the truth that God cares and is active in their lives. This results in faithfulness to God and His commandments [which are: Love God! Love people!] [Verse 7]

Failure to share the testimony causes people to forget God’s faithfulness which results in rebellion against God. [Verse 7]

God indicted the “fathers” for their failure to faithfully follow His decrees! God calls those who fail to pass on His testimony stubborn, rebellious, unprepared and unfaithful to Him. [Verse 8]

We see the results of this failure as we keep reading Psalm 78.

Psalm 78:9-11

9 The children of Ephraim, being armed and carrying bows, turned back in the day of battle.10 They did not keep the covenant of God; They refused to walk in His law, 11 and forgot His works and His wonders that He had shown them.”

These 3 verses need little commentary. Ephraim was one of the largest tribes numerically. History records them as the tribe that led the rebellion against God. They are often used to describe the “10 tribes”, the “house of Israel” as compared to the house of Judah.

The text tells us although they were prepared outwardly they were cowards inwardly. Because they “forgot” God’s works and His wonders that He had shown them they deserted in battle and their decision destroyed their destiny.

Psalm 78:40-43

40 How often they provoked Him in the wilderness, and grieved Him in the desert! 41 Yes, again and again they tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel. 42 They did not remember His power: The day when He redeemed them from the enemy, 43 when He worked His signs in Egypt, and His wonders in the field of Zoan;

These sons of the rebellious unfaithful fathers continued their downward spiral into apostasy. This should be a WARNING for anyone who believes they can live for God without living responsibly in the relationship with God.

Can you believe you can provoke and grieve and tempt and limit God?

We see again how rebellion in the heart causes amnesia in the head. I wonder if some of the mind and memory deficiencies we are seeing in our society today can be traced to unfaithfulness in sharing  with others the wonderful works of God in our lives.

The Hebrew word ‘signs’ in verse 43 is “oth or owth” [is sound like oath]. According to Brown-Driver-Brigg’s Definition this words means:  A sign or signal, a distinguishing mark, a banner, a miraculous sign, and proof.

According to Strong’s Definition is means: A beacon, a flag, a token and evidence.

The Hebrew word for ‘wonders’ in verse 43 is mopheth [mo-faith]. Yep! I love God! This word means: a wonder [as a special display of God’s power], a sign or token of a future event [do it again].

Mopheth comes from a Hebrew root word that means: To be bright, beautiful, conspicuous, and to beautify.

From these two graphic Hebrew words we can see how God wants to advertise His care for people and announce His intentions to help when life happens and we find ourselves in situations that need resources from the only Source that can truly deliver.

A great lesson in this is mopheth creates more signs and wonders and more signs and wonders creates mopheth!

For the life of me I cannot wrap my mind around the many modern, post modern, contemporary and relevant church cultures that refuse to allow the Spirit of God to manifest the gifts of God. Especially the gifts of healings and miracles.

Some “say”, “we believe in that”, but never allow it. They don’t want to create a climate for disappointment in case someone doesn’t get healed. What about those in their midst that have no hope other than God’s miraculous intervention? What about ‘mo faith’? Haven’t they already disappointed the very people that are out of human options?

1 Corinthians 2:1-5

“1 And when I came to you, brethren, I did not come with superiority of speech or of wisdom, proclaiming to you the testimony of God. 2 For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. 3 I was with you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling, 4 and my message and my preaching were not in persuasive words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5 so that your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

Paul used testimonies to reach the people of Corinth! His ministry in Athens was based on debate. His trip to Corinth gave him time to evaluate his methodology and when he arrived his change of strategy ended in greater success.

What was his change in strategy? He moved away from intelligent debate and made room for the moving of the Holy Spirit in supernatural power. The goal of his new method of ministry according to Paul, “so your faith would not rest on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

The fruit of this change in strategy? A Church was born! A significant church that brought the Gospel of the Kingdom to a new continent and invaded new cultures with the Kingdom culture.

Paul’s message was Jesus Christ, and Him crucified! Paul taught the life, supernatural ministry, death, burial, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. I am sure he also included his own personal testimonies that included his supernatural encounter on the road to Damascus, and his healing at the hands of Ananias, the skeptical servant of God.

This simple message about the Person named Jesus of Nazareth, God’s only begotten Son, who came from heaven to earth, to deliver all of God’s creation from bondage in the land of darkness [Egypt / sin], and to provide for us throughout our journey of discovering our purpose in life [40 years in the wilderness], and lead us into our inheritance [our destiny] – turned the world upside down in the first century.

Until the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ, and the simple message about His life and ministry, people were left to fend for themselves. The climate of the culture of that day was despair. Why? Rebellion! From Malachi to John and Jesus there was 400 years of silence from heaven.

Matthew 28:16-20

“16 But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated [Mount of Olives]. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. 18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.””

Jesus’ commands were part of the apostle’s doctrine [teaching]!

There are over 40 commands given by Jesus! Some are found in this text.

  • “Go” – 2/3 of God’s name is GO. The Gospel begins with GO! What are we waiting for? We are not waiting on God. He is always on the GO!
  • “Make disciples” – Please notice Jesus did not say, “Make converts”. While conversion is important and the first step into discipleship we must remember and teach others that salvation may be a free gift, discipleship will cost us everything!
  • “Baptizing them” – Water baptism may not save a person but it is a requirement for discipleship. To be baptized in water in the 1st century was a huge deal. When most “converts” came up out of the water they were disowned, disinherited and a disgrace to their family, friends and faith [Judaism]. They were choosing to “lose everything in order to gain Christ.”
  • “Teaching them to observe ALL I commanded you” – Wow! What about that! Without obedience there is no relationship. This is a foreign concept today in our modern, post modern, contemporary and relevant Christianity.

Jesus was asked what are the greatest commandments. He replied, “Love God! Love people!

Jesus took His 10 commandments where 9 were negative and transformed them into 2 positive commandments. Under the Old Covenant the focus was on what we could not do and what we should stay away from. Under the New Covenant the focus is on what we get to do and Who we are to get close to.

So, what Jesus was saying is this:

Love trumps Law! Love is greater than rules and regulations!

If you are married, are you faithful to your spouse because the Law says, “Do not commit adultery” or are you faithful because you love them and would never do something that would violate them?

Well then, it is possible to remain faithful to God by demonstrating our love by not violating His heart!

The Miraculous Lifestyle Is Part Of Jesus’ Commands!

Matthew 9:35 – 10:1,7,8

35 Then Jesus went about all the cities and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness and every disease among the people. 36 But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd. 37 Then He said to His disciples, ‘The harvest truly is plentiful, but the laborers are few. 38 Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.’ 1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease. 7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.'”

V35 – Jesus always modeled Kingdom ministry. Kingdom ministry combines teaching and preaching the Gospel of the [His] Kingdom with demonstrations of supernatural power to destroy human maladies. Please notice He healed EVERY sickness and EVERY disease!

V36 – When he saw the human condition of dis-ease, dis-[re]pair, and dis-ability He was moved with compassion [with passion]. When we think of Christ’s passion we limit it to the work of the Cross. The work of the Cross was the payment for the results of the work of the Cross which Jesus dispensed before He went to the Cross.

Compassion is not sympathy. It is a stronger emotion that requires intervention. Sympathy sits impotent wishing things were different and doing its best to help the suffering endure it until they eventually die. Jesus saw the weariness [and hopelessness] and loss of relational connection [scattered].

Why were they in this condition? “They were LIKE sheep having NO shepherd.” They had shepherds but their shepherds were not intervening with God’s power to deliver them from their dysfunctions.

V37 – Jesus then directed His disciple’s attention to the real condition of the crowd. Jesus did not create a culture of worrying about not disappointing the people in the crowd. I also believe it was at this point that Jesus realized the ministry was too big for Him and He needed to empower His disciples to Act Up!

V38 – Jesus then employs the disciples to pray because prayer is the path to correct posture with God. Prayer means humility and dependance. Prayer is like plugging an extension cord into a wall electrical outlet so that the same power at the wall can be extended to where it is needed.

V10:1 – Jesus then licenses His disciples to do God’s work with God’s authority and power. Jesus is the King of the Kingdom and as King He grants certain privileges and responsibilities to the citizens of the Kingdom.

The word ‘power’ in this verse is not the best translation. It is the Greek word exousia [ex-oo-see’-ah] with the emphasis on the “see”. This is relevant! The English transliteration is authority, not power. Picture a traffic cop directing traffic in a busy intersection where the traffic light is not functioning.

The vehicles have more power than the lone policeman but the authority granted him by the governmental body he represents creates the climate of respect so when he blows his whistle, and or raises or waves his hand, the drivers in those vehicles obey. They stop when he says stop! They move in the direction he directs them to. This is what Jesus was granting to His disciples.

Jesus instructs them to do what they just watched Him do by “giving them authority to cast out unclean spirits, and to heal all [the different] kinds of sickness and all [the different] kinds of disease.”

V10:7 – Jesus then instructs His disciples to move forward – “As you go”. Next He tells them what to say, “The Kingdom of heaven [God] is at hand [here].” “The present tense reality of God’s rule is right here, right now, and is within your reach.”

V10:8 – Jesus gave 4 commands in order to demonstrate to those hearing that God and His Kingdom are here [present].  Please notice He did not command them to become better communicators of Truth. We should be better communicators of Truth but what we do to demonstrate Truth is more powerful than mere words in proper format. Those 4 commands are:

  1. Heal – the sick! Which ones? Those who are sick. Remember Jesus healed every sickness and disease among the people and gave His disciples a  “do it again” with this new crowd of people.
  2. Cleanse – the lepers! Leprosy is a type of sin that destroys people’s lives and separates them from society. This involves physical healing as Jesus physically healed lepers. The greater reality here is about the restoration to the community of those who have issues that are no longer hidden inside and have caused a disconnect in relationships.
  3. Raise – the dead! Which ones? Those who are dead. Jesus was always ruining funerals and the mindsets of the mourners.
  4. Cast out – devils! This is dealt with in Luke 10 where Jesus ups the ante by giving His disciples power [dunamis – dynamic supernatural power] and authority [exousia] to tread upon serpents and scorpions [types of unclean spirits]. I believe what He intended here is not simply commanding devils to leave people as it was to teach the people how to live free from demonic influence. Remember, Jesus said in another place that when an unclean spirit leaves it goes through arid places and then returns to see if the “house” has been put in order. The best way to cast out darkness is to infuse a house with light. The best way to remove evil is to practice God’s presence and righteous living. To “tread upon” evil spirits is to live above their influence by walking in purity and power – which is Biblical Christianity.

Giving is another commandment!

Luke 6:38 – “Give and it shall be given back to you . . .” This is a command not a suggestion. The context of this command is not money by the way. It applies to financially supporting God’s work but it not limited to it as some preachers seem to think and teach.

Acts 20:25 – “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” Jesus is not saying receiving is not a blessing and beneficial. He is simply saying there is something significantly greater available to a person that possesses their possessions instead of their possessions possessing them.

By the way, this statement attributed to Jesus is not found in the Gospels. That was for free!

The Supernatural lifestyle is another commandment!

Luke 24:49 – “Do not leave Jerusalem until you are clothed with Power.” “Do not leave your place of conversion to go do My work without My Power!”

Acts 1:4,5 – “4 And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, “you have heard from Me; 5 for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.””

Remember, Luke is the author of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts. He clearly clears up any ambiguity that may exist in the minds of the multitudes who believe this is not a command.

If you will do a study of Jesus’ instructions to His first disciples in the 4 Gospels you will find that almost every time, if not every time, He connects preaching to the miraculous. How we think we can advance His Kingdom in our day without the supernatural tools mandated and made available in that day is beyond me.

Acts 1:8 – “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Power is what Jesus said would be the prevalent evidence of a Spirit led and Spirit empowered life. This power is the miraculous power, strength and ability that is the Holy Spirit. This power is granted to the saints who in obedience to Christ, the Head of the Church, to destroy the works of the devil. This power, as we have seen in this blog is released through anointed preaching and teaching and in the undeniable release into the lives of people oppressed by the devil.

Acts 8:4-8

4 Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word. 5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.8 And there was great joy in that city.”

Persecution from the unsaved Jews in Jerusalem was now in full swing and some of the believers fled the city. Look carefully at the methodology and fruit of ministry by these “primitive” believers.

V4 – They preached the word – God’s word is always the foundation for ministry

V5 – Philip arrives in Samaria and preaches Christ. Notice He did not preach Jesus. He preached Christ which tells me the emphasis was on the Spirit baptized, Spirit led and Spirit empowered Jesus. Christianity that reduces the importance of or eliminates altogether the supernatural and miraculous is not the Christianity Jesus started and handed off to the “primitive” disciples.

V6 – Those in Samaria conducted themselves the same way those in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost [See The Primitive Church blog and the beginning of this blog]. These hearers with “one accord HEEDED the things spoken by Philip.” Luke goes on to say they ‘were hearing and seeing’ the miracles which he did.” The Gospel of the Kingdom continued to be seen and heard nearly 5-8 years after Pentecost. Miracles, not wise and persuasive messages got the people’s attention.

V7 – Notice that the text does not say Philip commanded the unclean spirits to come out of people. It does not even say he laid hands on the lame and paralyzed. He may have! I believe the Presence of God was so thick and the atmosphere in Samaria was so full of God’s glory that darkness had to flee.

V8 – The fruit of ministry that includes the miraculous was an entire city was filled with great joy. The way to win our cities is to allow the Spirit of God to demonstrate the power of God. We need to get back to the simplicity of the “primitive church”.

Acts 10:38 – “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”

Before the river Jordan experience Jesus was a law abiding, ethical and moral man. After His encounter with the Holy Spirit He went on the attack. I have multiple blogs and messages on what true Biblical Christianity is and is not.

When Jesus handed the baton of advancing His Kingdom from Jerusalem to the rest of the planet He wanted His work done the way He did it when He was personally and physically on the planet.

When Jesus came He said, “If you have seen Me, you have seen the Father.” This clearly communicates God sent Jesus to model Christianity.

The doctrine of the apostle’s was ~

God cares!

Jesus came!

He is the standard for all life and ministry, and He set the standard!

He is calling you!

He is calling you to be His disciple, not some preacher’s disciple!

He is calling you to reach your God-given purpose in earth!

It is time to Act Up!

A portion of this message  and future messages can be watched on YouTube at Bethel By The Sea. I am getting closer to publishing my book CHRISTIANITY THE WAY JESUS LIVED IT, Releasing The Christ Within You. A lot of this material is in this book.

Keep THE Faith! Keep THE Passion!

Our hunger and thirst for God escorts us into deep satisfaction in God!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin                                                                                                                                      A Hisstorymaker

The Complete Meaning Of Christmas – Part 2

In Part 2 of this blog I hope to illustrate how maturity was the goal God had in mind for our role model for all life and ministry – Jesus the Christ – and how it is His goal for every blood bought believer in Jesus the Christ.

Part 1 ended on the importance of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

We must remember that God waited to announce who His Son was and how pleased He was with His Son until His Son was baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit in the river Jordan.

In Acts chapter 19 Luke writes that as Christianity was progressing away from Jerusalem, the place of its origin, the baptism in the Holy Spirit continued to be a major theme for the blood bought believers of Jesus the Christ.   This happened approximately 20 years after Pentecost.

1 And it happened, while Apollos was at Corinth, that Paul, having passed through the upper regions, came to Ephesus. And finding some disciples 2 he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” So they said to him, “We have not so much as heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said to them, “Into what then were you baptized?” So they said, “Into John’s baptism.” 4 Then Paul said, “John indeed baptized with a baptism of repentance, saying to the people that they should believe on Him who would come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.” 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke with tongues and prophesied.”

Did you, dear reader,  receive the Holy Spirit when you believed on Jesus the Christ?

This is not talking about the new birth where every person, upon receiving Jesus the Christ as their Lord, receives the Holy Spirit [Between John 20 & Acts 2 were 47 days]. These disciples were believers in Jesus the Christ. They were “disciples” and they had “believed.” They had just been baptized into John’s baptism. The text does not say they repented and accepted Christ. It says they were baptized in the name of the [their] Lord Jesus. Paul then laid hands on them and they were immediately baptized in the Holy Spirit and they spoke with [unknown, heavenly] tongues and prophesied.

Are you like the people in Ephesus who were confused at Paul’s question?

Are you interested in the truth about the importance of the baptism in the Holy Spirit?

Do you have anyone in your life that can clear up any confusion that you may have?

I can make myself available if you don’t have someone?

I believe your maturity in Christ depends on how you respond!

Let’s transition to an Old Testament text that reveals a tremendous amount of information about God’s purpose for the Christ Child.

Isaiah 9:6,7 GWT – “6 A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us. The government will rest on His shoulders. He will be named: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 His government and peace will have unlimited growth. He will establish David’s throne and kingdom. He will uphold it with justice and righteousness now and forever. The Lord of Armies is determined to do this!”

V6 – “A child will be born for us. A son will be given to us.”

This Child was born for us!

This Christ Child was born to be a role model. He was born “for us”. He is our example! We are to follow in His footsteps!  He was born to carry something tremendous and tremendously important for the planet.

All children are born to become someone who can be given to a purpose that is much greater than themselves!

Children are born, not to remain children, or childish! The same goes for those who are born again by the Spirit of God.

The Son was given the government, not the Child!

The Son was given His government, not the Child!

Are you aware and do you care that God wants to give something tremendous to you so that He can give you as a tremendous gift to the planet? Our level of maturity will determine if we ever have access to it.

1 Corinthians 13:11 GWT – “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, thought like a child, and reasoned like a child. When I became an adult, I no longer used [employed] childish ways [childishness].”

NAS – “When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things [childishness].”

MSG – “When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.”

There is a huge difference between childlikeness and childishness!

We are to remain childlike even though we are to lose our childishness. Childishness on an adult is not cute, or appealing!

The word child is used 5x in the 1 Corinthian 13 text. All 5 are the Greek word nepios [nay-pee-os].

Nepios is the 2nd level of maturity in the childhood stage of maturity [Greek words for child are Brephos, Nepios, Paidion, Teknon].

Nepios means immature, unable to speak intelligently, self-centered, self-absorbed, selfish, carnal [living out of our old unsaved nature]. Paul uses this word in 1 Corinthians 3.

Included in this word for immaturity is the word negate.

Negate – To nullify or cause to be ineffective; to be negative; to bring or cause negative results [especially through pessimism].

Pessimism – The tendency to see, anticipate, or emphasize only bad or undesirable outcomes, results, conditions, problems, etc.

My wife Donna and I have been together 43 years. 39 of those years as a married couple. When we were teenagers I called her a pessimist one day. Her response was to hit me and say, “I am not a pest.” Of course we had a discussion about what I really said and did not say. As I have thought about that “event” in our history together I realized a pessimist is a pest. Pessimists bug positive people. Pessimists don’t like positive people and the feeling is mutual. Pessimists attract other pessimists so they can talk about all that is wrong in the world, or at least their world. Many times they deduce their problems are the positive people in their world who won’t agree with them.

What is negating our individual progress toward maturity and responsibility?

Is it possible that our individual issues of immaturity are impeding our personal growth and is hampering the overall growth of the corporate Body of Christ?

Paul said he made a decision to get rid of everything that was hindering his progress!

This Son was given to us!

Sonship is the second level of maturity in the Kingdom of God. This maturing process from childhood to sonship is critical to the person born being given by God to a greater purpose. It is in this “given to us” that defines the purpose for why they was born for us. Jesus was born to carry the weight of governing [ruling] the world. He had to successfully progress through the four stages of development as a child before He could reach the sonship level of maturity.

Have you ever thought why Jesus arrived as a Baby in a manger? By the way, everyone starts in a manger. A manger can represent the place of insignificance where we are unnoticed and unappreciated by those who do not really know and love us.

The manger was not the goal. It was the place of beginning. It was meager and it was messy. But it was the origin of the greatest thing God has ever done on the planet. Christmas began in a Mary, then a messy manger, but it continues in the masses of maturing blood bought believers in Jesus the Christ as they manifest the Son of Man through their own personal mission, ministry and mandate.

Jesus is called the last Adam. He is not the second Adam. There will not be another Adam.

The first Adam arrived on the planet as a man. He represents every human being that is lost, separated from God and without hope in this world. The last Adam arrived as a Baby and represents every blood bought son and daughter of God.

The first Adam was “born” in a Garden where everything was provided and perfect. The last Adam was born in a stall. The first Adam’s failure to fulfill his mission, mandate and ministry from God temporarily stalled God’s purposes for mankind. The last Adam’s obedience restored the relationship and reignited man’s role in stewarding heavenly realities that will ultimately transform God’s planet back into a Paradise.

The first Adam had no experience or history with God in spiritual warfare and therefore he had no idea how to fight off the serpent who attacked his identity [made in the image and likeness of God] and his mission, ministry and mandate to take Paradise to the rest of the planet [rule, reign, subdue, be fruitful, etc].

The last Adam was born a Baby. He had the advantage of a process of maturing where He had to endure all kinds of hardships and attacks against His identity [a bastard child, the son of a carpenter, etc], and against His mission, ministry and mandate [“By what authority are you doing these things”, etc]. This Man “learned obedience from the things He suffered.”

Those experiences were invaluable to Him to remain true to Who He was and what He was born to become and ultimately accomplish.

Let’s take a look at what Paul had to say to the blood bought believers in Galatia.

Galatians 4:1-7 CEV – 1 Children who are under age are no better off than slaves, even though everything their parents own will someday be theirs. 2 This is because children are placed in the care of guardians and teachers until the time their parents have set. 3 That is how it was with us. We were like children ruled by the powers of this world.4 But when the time was right, God sent his Son, and a woman gave birth to him. His Son obeyed the Law, 5 so he could set us free from the Law, and we could become God’s children. 6 Now that we are his children, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts. And his Spirit tells us that God is our Father.7 You are no longer slaves. You are God’s children, and you will be given what he has promised.”

The word ‘children’ in verses 1 -3 is the word nepios we have studied above. As long as we are carnal, self-absorbed, self-centered, and selfish [stuck on ourselves] then the Father cannot release what He has reserved for us.

God wants us to grow up into sonship, just like His Son Jesus the Christ did. Remember, the government was the Babe’s in the manger but it was not given to Him until the river Jordan. It was there that He began to assault the enemy who had been assaulting Him His entire life up to that point.

There is another truth in this text that I missed until recently. Paul tells us that “when the fullness of time came God sent forth His Son, born of a woman.” I see this this way – God finally found a woman who was prepared  [pure and open to God”s supernatural interventions in her life] to carry the responsibility to bring to term the greatest gift God would ever give to the planet.

Mary, who “knew” no man was open to trying something new. Her availability to the Creator created her opportunity to become “great” with Child.

In conjunction, it was important that Joseph was able to cover her during the most difficult time of the process. Their responsibility did not lessen, it only changed once the Babe was born.

Could it be that God is waiting again for the conceivers, carriers and coverers to become prepared so that at the right time He can release something again on the planet that the people on the planet desperately need?

God needs mature people, male and female, to become pregnant with His purposes and He needs mature leaders, male and female, who will cover the carriers of those purposes.

Are you ready?

What do you need to do to get ready?

What all does God want to give to you so that He can then give you to others?

To whom does God want to give you?

For what purpose does God want to give you to those He wants to receive you?

What if they don’t receive you?

How will their acceptance or rejection affect why you were born?

What is your history with God?

How is your history with God affecting your stance against the attacks of the enemy against your identity and life purpose?

Is the enemy attacking you?

If not, why not?

What if anything have your learned or are learning from the things you have suffered or are suffering as you stay true to who you are in Christ, and what God has called you to become and accomplish?

The process between our birth, new birth and our revealing to the world determines how much influence we will have in our world.

We are told in the Isaiah 9 text that His government and peace will have unlimited growth. Contrary to contemporary pop theology, Jesus inaugurated His kingdom 2000 years ago. It started small in a small geographical location with a small band of ragged disciples. It has grown and will continue to grow until the whole earth is filled with the knowledge of the glory of God.

Many “followers” drew near to Jesus and eventually left Him. Jesus remained Jesus! All of Jesus’ original followers deserted Him when He was the most vulnerable. Jesus remained Jesus!

Do not despise small beginnings

Zechariah 4:6-10 GNT – “6 The angel told me to give Zerubbabel this message from the Lord: “You will succeed, not by military might or by your own strength, but by My Spirit. 7 Obstacles as great as mountains will disappear before you. You will rebuild the Temple, and as you put the last stone in place, the people will shout, ‘Beautiful, beautiful!’ ” 8 Another message came to me from the Lord. 9 He said, “Zerubbabel has laid the foundation of the Temple, and he will finish the building. When this happens, my people will know that it is I who sent you to them. 10a They are disappointed because so little progress is being made. But they will see Zerubbabel continuing to build the Temple, and they will be glad.”

Zerubbabel did not allow the lack of help to deter him from working. Keep working friend even when you are not seeing the kind of results you desire.

Though your beginning is small yet great will your end be

Job 8:7 NCV – “Where you began will seem unimportant, because your future will be so successful.”

Christmas, among many other things, is about God coming in the flesh to model the lifestyle of a “producer”, lifting mankind out of the mindset of an ‘excuser’.

The excuser’s reality is – “I can’t do it”, “It won’t work”. To them “all things are impossible” therefore they are afraid to start anything or pay a price to work hard at something.

The ‘producer’s’ reality is “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me [gives me His ability]”, and “This will work” or “I will work until it works”. To the producer “Nothing is impossible” so he or she is not afraid to go for it.

Here are 2 true statements that are worthy of your consideration:

Our beginning does not have to determine our end! If you don’t begin you are already at your end.

What we do between our beginning [born] and our end is determined not by where we began, but by what we do on the road to being given!

Why were you born?

Have you grown up to the point that you can now be given for a purpose bigger than yourself? Or are your still stuck on yourself?

If you are not growing up why are you not growing up?

What is stunting your growth?

Is the Christian culture you are in allowing you to grow beyond your wildest dreams?

Are your dreams being drowned out by those who want you to stay a child?

Do you want to stay a child? If so, why?

If you need help Donna and I are available to mentor you. Let us know if or how we can assist you.

If you would like to financially support Bethel Church we have a Paypal link on our website at http://www.bethelbythesea.org.

If you feel led to support our itinerate ministry you can send your financial gift to Hisstorymakers Ministries, Inc. at 164 Cypress Run Drive, Brunswick, GA 31520

Merry Christmas!

For HIS Glory!

Dr. Kevin M.Drury

A Hisstorymaker

FYI, my first book is near completion. I am waiting on the graphic artwork for the cover to be completed. It is called CHRISTIANITY THE WAY JESUS LIVED IT, Releasing The Christ Within You.

Worship Is An Act Of Love And War #8 – Overcoming Our Personal Goliath

“Blessed be the LORD my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle.” Psalm 144:1

David worshiped God for many reasons but in this verse he stated he worshiped because God had enabled him to effectively use his hands in warfare.

David was a mighty worshiping warrior!
He was a mighty worshiping intercessor!
He was a mighty prophetic worshiper!
He was a mighty worshiping protector of God’s purposes on the earth!

David was skilled with his hands in warfare. He seized a lion and a bear with his bare hands and killed them so that his father’s sheep would be protected.

He used a sling to launch a rock into the forehead of Goliath.

Do you know Goliath? He was the giant that stood at a distance and taunted God and His people. Please notice Goliath never attacked by approaching the army of Israel. He simply launched words of accusation from a distance.

Goliath is a contradiction. Usually things look bigger the closer you get to them. In his case, Goliath was in reality only a giant at a distance.

David is the one who attacked. He ran toward Goliath. And before he launched the rock from his sling he launched his confidence through his words. As David approached Goliath he found him to be weak and vulnerable to God’s truth.

Once he killed Goliath he then took Goliath’s sword and cut off Goliath’s head. Swords in Scripture speak of words. The Sword of the Spirit is the Word of God. When our enemy speaks to us he is attempting to cut us down with his sword.

Instead of empowering your Goliath’s by viewing them at a distance run toward them declaring the truth of who you are in Christ and watch them fall to the ground and die. Then cut off their head with their own sword, as David did.

David continued to use Goliath’s sword in battle to defeat the enemies of His Lord.

I do not believe that is why David praised God in this instance.

I believe David praised God because when David worshiped the powers of darkness were neutralized and even retreated. I believe David learned this valuable bit of intel when he was a servant in King Saul’s house, and in those far fields of isolated faithful service for his father.

“So it came about whenever the evil spirit from God came to Saul, David would take the harp and play it with his hand; and Saul would be refreshed and be well, and the evil spirit would depart from him.” 1 Sam 16:23

The Bible does not say what I am about to write but I believe it is very possible that David’s private worship in the far fields of his father’s property, and his public worship in the courts of the King, created an atmosphere where the giant was not able to cross into the personal space of God’s people. It also created a great confidence in David’s heart that God was in control, not the enemy.

Worship is an act of love and war and when we worship we connect with the heart of God and God’s heart is displayed through us in great courage to face our personal giants.

If we cannot face and conquer our personal giants then we will never be effective in defeating the giants that have paralyzed and are destroying our society.

David never let his personal giant, the need and hunt for personal and physical intimacy, get in the way of his personal and spiritual hunt for intimacy with God.

David spent time with God and because he spent time with God even during his personal struggles he was able to overcome them. From his place of personal victory he was able to carry his victory into the greater battle for the souls of people, the soul of a region and the soul of the world.

From his loins, the place of his greatest personal battle, came the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind. While not every person will receive salvation they have been provided that wonderful gift.

Do not allow your personal struggles to keep you from the presence of the only Person that can give you victory.

Winning your personal victories will create confidence and courage so you can bring victory to a multitude of other people.

Personal obedience releases corporate blessing! Exponential effect is one way to see greater results in advancing God’s kingdom in the earth.

Staying Hungry And Thirsty For God!

Dr. Kevin M. Drury, DMin
A Hisstorymaker

Just Do It!

“Just do it” was a slogan used in Nike, Inc.’s commercial’s beginning in 1988. The ad agency who coined the phrase revealed it came from the last known statement of Gary Gilmore before he was executed for murders he committed in Utah. His statement – “Let’s do it!” It seems he was intimating he wanted the execution over with. “Let’s do it” could have meant “get it over with”.

Sometimes the hardest step to take is the very first one. We know this is true for those who commit heinous crimes. Once they get over the shock of their insidiousness things get easier each time they act out. Murderers usually don’t start out killing people. They start with something smaller and less significant.

The same can be said for walking in the miraculous. Christian’s are born again for the miraculous. “You are created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for you to do.” Those good works are the miraculous. We know this because Jesus said, “The things [the miraculous things] I do you shall do and greater things than these shall you do, because I go to the Father.”

This was in reference to the Holy Spirit being poured out after His death, burial, resurrection and ascension into the third heaven. “You shall receive power after the Holy Spirit comes upon you.” Jesus did not say, “You shall be nicer after the Holy Spirit comes upon you.”

Nice = benign!

Jesus said, “You shall be more powerful!”

Just do it! Go for it! Can’t never could until it tried! What do you have to lose? Your reputation? Your friends, family, position, or promotion? I promise – your first step or steps will be the hardest but once you get some momentum it will get easier.

Peter went for it when he stepped out of the boat. He succeeded in the midst of his failure. He went from a problem to a pillar. He went from a follower to a leader.

Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ said this to the servants at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. “Whatever He says to you, [just] do it.” Oh and by the way, this was Jesus’s first miracle that revealed His glory.

It was His first miracle and that miracle revealed His glory. Jesus is coming back for a glorious Church which I believe means a Church operating in the miraculous.

Did you see that? So simple isn’t it? WHATEVER He SAYS To YOU, DO IT! Do it does not mean think about it, talk about it or debate it. It means DO IT!

We complicate Christianity don’t we? Can you imagine those servants debating Jesus’ instructions? Have you ever debated in your mind or with others something you know Jesus said to you? I have!

Faith operates in the now. “Now faith is”! Waiting can diminish our faith. Faith and faithfulness come from the same Greek word.

Here is the simple lesson in that story of the wine at the wedding. Just do it!

Those servants at that wedding did not try to figure out how or when the water would turn into wine. They obeyed! Right then!

Simple obedience releases heaven’s great resources!

“Get it over with”! Stop the torture! Debating can be torture. Being benign is torture! Those who need a miracle are being tortured waiting for someone who not only believes IN God but BELIEVES God.

Just do it!

Go for it!

Get it over with!

What do you have to lose?

“These [miraculous] signs will accompany those who believe [not just IN God but what God says].”

“In My name” is your power of attorney.

“They shall” is the guarantee from the One who issued the power of attorney.

“Lay hands on the sick, etc is the proof you believed what Jesus said.

The lost, the sick, the depressed, the hungry, the hurting, the cyring, and the dying are waiting to see if those of us who say we believe IN God actually believe God.

Just do it!

For HIS Glory!

 

Dr. Kevin M. Drury

Positioned For Purpose, Promotion and Prosperity

And A Hisstorymaker