Wednesday, December 22, 2010

About My Last Post....

Let's just call it, shall we?  No more of this stuff.  If it isn't directly dealing with Jesus, let's not even worry about it.  Can we do that please?  I apologize.  My curiosity got the best of me there.

Why the heck should I be concerned with angelic things and what the heavens were, are and will be like?  I live on earth.  I don't live in the heavens.....YET!  There will be a time when all that stuff will probably become more important to us, but as it is now, all we should be focused on is Jesus and how to be more like Him.

It is that simple.  The gospel is all we need.  Everything else is extra.  Jesus is the key to everything.  Without Him, nothing makes sense.  Without Him, we are doomed.

I feel as if I was following the path of Adam and Eve when they decided to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  They just wanted to know everything.  That same curiosity bubbles up inside of me.  As far as I can tell, it is both a blessing and a curse.  I desperately am seeking truth.  Jesus is the Truth though, and I already know Him.  I am completely satisfied, and even overwhelmed, with Jesus.  The mysteries of God are so deep that there are many that He intentionally hides from us and will not let us know.  Men have stumbled because they wanted to know those forbidden things.  I have firmly decided that I will not be one of those men.  I have decided to be a slave of Christ Jesus my King.

I don't want to know the names of all the archangels.  I don't want to know the names of all the fallen angels.  I want to know Jesus' voice through His Spirit.  I want to know the POWER of His name.  I want to sit in my room for hours laying on my little yoga mat thing that I have and just listen to worship music and talk to Jesus, my King, my Lord, my Savior, my friend, my guide, my mentor, my teacher, my hope, my protector, my everything.

Jesus, as you watch me post this blog, please turn my heart FULLY to you and no one else.  I don't care about Satan.  I don't care about demons.  I don't care about angels.  I don't care about Michael and Gabriel.  I don't care about Paul or Peter or David or John or Moses.  Which of these saved me from sin?  I don't care about heaven or hell.  I don't care about the Occult.  I don't care about my career.  I don't care about my happiness.  If it pleases you, as hard as this is for me to say, take away my friends.....take away my wealth......take away my gifts......take away my blessings.  I want to please no one but you.  I could care less if the President of the United States honored me.  I could care less about garnering the praises of the masses.  I ONLY want to receive honor from YOU.  Lead me to act in ways that grant me only more favor with you.  My deepest desire.....deeper than my desire for a wife, deeper than my desire to be famous, deeper than my desire to have to please you and to walk in your will.  Please let me speak nothing but truth.  Please let me know you better so that I can love you more.  Please severely punish all those evil spirits that oppose you and that deceive your people and that pull us away from you.  Please deal with them swiftly so that we don't have to deal with that garbage anymore.

Tell the Father I said what's up and that I love Him.

Moral of the story.....Jesus is the key to everything.  He is all that matters.  He is the hero of humanity.  Blessed be His name above all other names forever.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEEEEEEASE be glorified in this world in this generation.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Nephilim and the Book of Enoch

So, the first couple verses of Genesis chapter 6 intrigue me.  Basically, they talk about how angels came down from heaven and slept with women and had children who were half-demon, half-human giants.  They were called the Nephilim.  "They were the heroes of old, men of renown."

I don't know about you, but that is pretty freakin' nuts.  I don't claim to know all the ins and outs of this whole situation, but it seems to me that it is one of those things that we have just decided to cover up and not talk about as Christians.

Now, I realize that it is not that dire of an issue, but it is very interesting.  The Nephilim (race of half-demon half-human giants) are mentioned later on in the Bible also in Numbers and in 1st and 2nd Samuel.  One of those times is when the Israelite spies who were spying on the inhabitants of the promised land went in to scout out the land to see if the Israelites should move in and take it (after leaving Egypt).  The men came back with a report about how the Nephilim were in the land and they (the spies) were "like grasshoppers" compared to them.  They were all afraid with the exception of Joshua and Caleb (who later went in with the next generation and pwned the giants). Also, Goliath, the giant whom anointed king-to-be David rocked in the face with a stone from a sling was a descendant of the Nephilim.  He was a descendent of Anak (who was a Nephilite).  Later on in 2nd Samuel 21 it talks about David and his mighty men fighting the Philistines again and defeating a string of giants (Ishbi-Benob, Saph, the brother of Goliath for whom no name is mentioned, and another giant with 6 fingers and 6 toes on each hand and foot).  It also strongly alludes to the fact that there were many "descendents of the giants (or Nephilim)" in Gath, the city from where Goliath hailed from.

Anyway, I was thinking about my God.  My God is gracious, loving, kind, merciful, and the list goes on.  I know this to be true from personal experience.  It is how He treats me.  Therefore, it has been difficult for me to understand why He would flood the entire earth and wipe out almost everything on it.  I see how bad our world is today, and He still puts up with us and lets his unending grace abound.  It just makes me think......"man, the world must have REALLY REALLY sucked just before Noah's flood."

Therefore, I dug deeper into all this stuff about there being Nephilim on the earth and how God was disgusted with it and such, and I came across the Book of Enoch.

The Book of Enoch is a collection of writings attributed to the seventh from the line of Adam (as in 7 generations below Adam).  He was one of two people mentioned in the Bible who never had to face death but was so favored by God that he was simply taken into heaven (the other was Elijah).  The Book of Enoch was apparently once revered as Scripture but was refused canonicity at the Council of Nicea.  The council of Nicea was when church leaders got together and decided to come to agreement and make one "canonized" Bible for all of Christianity.  It is my belief that this council was guided by the Holy Spirit and put together the Bible as it was supposed to be.  With that said, I still do also believe that there are other writings that were omitted from the Bible that were the inspired words of God as well (just as God is still speaking new things through new prophets today).  I haven't looked into it TOO much, and I know these things can be dangerous, so I am being very careful with it.....but I definitely am leaning towards the Book of Enoch being true testimony from the highly-favored Enoch himself.

The Bible quotes the Book of Enoch more than once.  This goes to show that the writer's of the Bible believed the Book of Enoch to be scriptural and true.  Jude, the brother of Jesus, uses a direct quote from the Book of Enoch.  It's a really short book so you can read it for yourself if you don't believe me (it is right before Revelation near the very end of the Bible).  Also, the Book of Enoch was found with the Dead Sea Scrolls, which many of us use to reaffirm the integrity of our Bible.  Also, as far as I have read from it, the book does not contradict anything in the Bible at all.

What is the Book of Enoch all about you might ask?  Well, I am no expert and have not read the whole thing, but it goes into detail about many heavenly things that take place during the early years of the earth.  I think of it as an account of the heavens during the time of Genesis as opposed to an account of the earth.  It goes into detail about the battle in heaven (when Lucipher rebels and is cast out).  It also goes into detail into what is talked about briefly in Genesis 6 concerning angels leaving heaven to go sleep with women.  It is actually very, very interesting.  It is my guess that it was left out of the canon because it was not absolutely necessary for us to know, nor was it easy to take in.  Admittedly, it's some pretty freaky stuff.

I don't like to speak too much about things that I don't know.  So I'm not going to divulge much further into it.  I will say this though.  I think we severely underestimate just HOW TERRIBLE the world must have been for God to decide to destroy everything on it but Noah and his fam.  My belief is that there were Nephilim roaming the earth, a TOTAL abomination to what God intended mankind and the whole earth in general to be.  God was SO disgusted by the world, he destroyed most of it and started over.  Think about how awful our world is now and has been in the past, and yet it can't compare to what it was just before the flood.  That means it was worse than the holocaust, a massacre of millions of people, God's CHOSEN people no less.  Demons, or fallen angels, sleeping with women is a big no-no in God's eyes.

It all sounds very crazy, but I personally believe it to be true.  I don't care if it makes me seem crazy along with it.  I just gotta be real about it, it's what I believe.  In case you were wondering, I also believe that the illuminati and other secret societies are real and very, very powerful and ultimately controlled by Satan himself.  I believe in the power of my God and His sovereignty above these things as well though.  And I KNOW Jesus to be the only answer to the terrible condition of our world.

I'm either crazy, a liar, or I'm right.  There are only 3 options.  Pick one.

I have way more to say on these subjects, but I'm pretty freakin' tired right now.  So I'm gonna go to sleep, if you want to talk about this stuff with me, or even if you're concerned with me because this stuff is really weird or you think it is"un-Biblical," just holler at me.  I'd love to explain myself.  So until next time.....PEACE!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I am the Greatest of Sinners

I really am up there with the greatest of sinners.  I don't drink.  I don't smoke.  I don't have sex.  I don't do a lot of things that are bad, but SO WHAT!?  The sins I commit are much greater than any of those.

I am not writing this post out of humility, because I have none.  The Lord has given me the grace to become aware of my life-destroying pride.  I have more knowledge of scriptures than most people that I know and it does nothing for me but destroy me and destroy others that I try to disciple and teach.  It doesn't matter what I know or what I've been given, not to God at least.  To Him, it matters how I use those things, what my motives are with those things, and if I use them out of love and humility.

I don't.

I teach people to follow ME instead of following God.  It only feeds my pride even more.  I am sorry to all the people that I have done this to.  My regret is truly deep and the only way those wounds have been and will be healed is by Jesus' blood and His grace.

It is true, I know and have taught many deep truths about God to many people.  They are true.  They are real.  I have never lied.  Yet, I shared you truth WITHOUT grace.  Truth without grace is exactly the ingredients of Satan himself when he "masquerades as an angel of light."  I have been unknowingly doing the works of the devil, the Accuser of the Brethren himself.

I have desired to sit in the throne room of Christ in heaven.  I don't even know what I'm saying.  I have NO IDEA what that even requires of me.  I am fallen and my pride consumes me even when I am fully aware of it.

I get jealous of other people when they have an anointing from God that even comes close to my own.  It is pathetic.  I become jealous when a ministry that I have nothing to do with succeeds in something or when they bring glory to God.  Too often I am more concerned about making more of a name for myself than making a name for the NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES (Jesus).

I have been getting rocked by Satan when I thought that I was actually doing the work of God.  I am starting to understand Solomon's great wisdom of Ecclesiastes now when he says that everything is meaningless.  Knowledge is meaningless.  Authority is meaningless.  One's calling is meaningless.  All of these things can be used for evil just as well as good.

I asked the Lord for more authority and to do great things on this earth.  He responded by telling me that "to whom much is given, much is required.  Are you sure you want this?"  It took me aback and made me second-guess.  I now know that with great authority, there is also a greater potential to promote evil just as well as good.  I don't want the authority if I will use it for myself, because I know it will destroy me and many others that I influence.

My pride destroys me.  I am not just trying to paint a picture here to warn you guys.  I am honestly just venting/repenting/apologizing.

I am aware that the Lord has given me great potential.  Up to this point, I have been failing miserably and have been upheld ONLY by His grace.  I deserve hell.  I truly, truly do.  If anyone reading this looks up to me....stop.  I'm not kidding.  I may look good on the outside, but too often my motives are impure.  I am done with seeking the approval of men and women.  I can't do it anymore.  I need humility.

If I don't acquire true humility, I will rise high only to fall even further.  I'm living a dangerous life.  If I don't change, I will be the reason for thousands, if not millions, of souls being separated from God for eternity.  I may save some, but not NEARLY as many as I was supposed to.

I always wanted to be remembered for all of history.  Now I FINALLY realize that I instead want to be known for all eternity.  History doesn't matter.  Eternity does.

The Lord is already turning my heart because He loves me more than any of you will ever know on this earth. My hope and my determination is to wear a mantle of true humility.  Without it, I am doomed.

I am sorry.....and I am changing.

I don't hate myself, so don't worry about me.  I hate who I've been and who I was in danger of becoming.

Jesus is the ONLY one worthy of honor or praise.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Galatians 5 (continued)

Now this next part is important, because I feel like way too many times people make excuses for themselves and then start blaming God for stuff.  People feel like God is distant or they get jealous of other people when God is working on their behalf and blah blah blah blah.  What I mean is that people start convincing themselves that certain things are OK to do and they aren't REALLY sinful.  For instance, the issue of drinking (as in alcoholic beverages).....Christians say that it is OK to get drunk because it's not a sin to GET DRUNK, it just makes you more vulnerable to other sins WHILE you're drunk.  So as long as you don't do anything stupid when you're drunk, then it's not a sin.  Well......that is wrong, and as the famous rapper Nas once said, it ain't hard to tell.  Paul says this DIRECTLY after talking about living by the Spirit as opposed to living by the flesh/sinful nature: Galatians 5:19-21 - 

"The acts of the flesh are OBVIOUS: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; DRUNKENESS, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, THOSE WHO LIVE LIKE THIS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD."

As you can see, I emphasized a few words in there for you guys.  Paul claims it as obvious, like it isn't even a question.  It's simple.  Duh.  He states being drunk as one of those OBVIOUS sinful acts.  He also (and everyone reading this, this is the most important part) says that anyone that lives this way WILL NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.  This is what I'm talking about when I say people make excuses and then wonder why they are not partaking in God's Kingdom or in God's power.  9 times out of 10, it is because of this right here.  Living in sin like this, taking advantage of God's grace, using your freedom to satisfy the sinful cuts you off from inheriting God's Kingdom.  Living this way, you may experience God every once in a while when you really need it, fully out of His grace, but not nearly as much as He would like you to be.  This makes people believe that God only shows up when you REALLY NEED Him.  I can tell you firsthand though, even when I don't NEED Him, when I am just chillin', God shows up and does extremely tight things for me and for people that I'm praying for.  I am not saying that I am perfect, because this stuff that I'm talking about right here is the same reason that I, myself, am limited in my inheritance of God's Kingdom (a combo of my sin and my lack of faith, but mostly my sin).  I sin WAY too frequently.  I admit that, but I can take solace in the fact that I at least KNOW WHY I am not seeing miracles done every day.  It is MY fault.  I am not making excuses as if it is GOD being distant from me, or GOD not caring enough about me, or GOD not following through on His promises, or GOD not being real, or GOD this GOD it's His fault instead of mine.

If we live in this sinful garbage, we should not expect to see the kingdom of heaven.  We should not expect to live a life of miracles, signs, and wonders.  We should not expect to be used by God in the mighty ways that we hope for.

I will now give you my personal translation of Galatians 6:7.....(BTdub, my man Jason called me out that I was going to write this after only knowing that I was going to be blogging about Galatians) it goes anyway.

"Don't get it twisted, God's not a chump.  If you do bad stuff, bad stuff will happen to you.  If you do good stuff, good stuff will happen to you."  (The actual verse says...) "Don't be misled, you cannot mock the justice of God.  You will always harvest what you plant."

In a nutshell, if you keep sinning, God's grace isn't going to magically cover over it and  make it all like it never happened.  You will reap the consequences.  Likewise, if you do good deeds on God's behalf, out of love and NOT self-promotion, God will reward the crap out of you and bless you beyond what you can even contain.

How many of you knew that you can fall from grace?!?  The whole idea that "once saved, always saved" is a lie.  I will just be blunt about it.  It is not true.  You can definitely have your name "blotted from the book of life."  I am not just guessing on this either.  It is in the Bible.  God talks about how people that take advantage of His grace and think they are still saved are going to have a rude awakening when the day of their judgment comes like a thief in the night.

In addition, how many of you know that the blessings of God, while ultimately under the grace of God, are actually determined by our actions and our heart towards God?!?  God gives more blessings to those who are more worthy of them.  Hold on Braeden.....wait!......are you saying that the blessings of God are deed-based!?!?!?

YES!  Yes I am.  And I'm not afraid to say it because it is the truth.  It is all over the Bible.  One example is the parable of the talents (spoken out of Jesus own mouth in the gospels).

I'm not trying to scare anyone into doing good deeds to prove yourself to God, because He actually hates that.  In fact, that is what the book of Galatians is all about.  We do not have a set of rules to obey to please God.  We are made righteous by faith in Jesus.  We are set free by faith in Jesus.  But I say we stop making excuses for ourself and start being responsible for this incredible gift we've been given.  Let's not use our freedom to remain slaves to sin.  Let's use our freedom to go out and set others free.  Can I get an amen on that?!

Until next time, PEACE!

Galatians 5

Man...God just had me read Galatians and I of course started reading.  The first few chapters were just kinda "whatever" to me and I wasn't really THAT into it.  The Word is always good, but it's not like the Holy Spirit was making it jump off the page to me.  I kept reading though......and I got to chapter 5 (verse 13 to be exact).....and it was like it instantly hit me: "This is what He's having me read Galatians for."  

Galatians 5:13 reads (from the NLT translation) - "For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love."

I really just love that.  And I understand it means more to me at this very moment because the Holy Spirit specifically quickened it to me, but still, it's amazing.  It is SUCH an important command.  Don't use your freedom to satisfy the sinful nature...instead, use it to freely love each other.

God really does give us freedom to do whatever we want.  It's a great thing, but it can also be a bad thing depending on what we choose to do with that freedom.  My bro dog Jason (commonly reffered to as J-Bone) pointed this verse out to me in Jeremiah a long time ago and I love it.  I am actually asking him exactly where it is right now because I always hold on one second......OK!  Here it is.....

Jeremiah 40:4 - (words being spoken to Israelite prisoners back when Babylon was a primetime evil power of the world) "But I am going to take off your chains and let you go.  If you want to come with me to Babylon, you are welcome.  I will see that you are well cared for.  But if you don't want to come, you may stay here.  The whole land is before you--go wherever you like."

At this time, God was sending His people to Babylon and was going to take care of them there, even in the midst of all the evil that took place there.  Yet it is like God is speaking to His people saying (in my own words), "I am going to set you free, I am going to Babylon and I would love it if you followed me there....because I promise to care for you and protect you.  If you DON'T want to be with me though, that's fine too.  You can go wherever you want."  God is giving His people the ultimate option to abide with Him and enjoy His protection and care, but He is also giving the option for people to do their own thang.

We can choose to use our freedom to do whatever we want to do.  Basically it boils down to two choices though: follow God or don't follow God.  The consequences of the decision you make in this regard are absolutely dire.  Just as Paul said in Galatians, you are free to do whatever you want, but don't use that freedom to satisfy sin, use it to love each other.

Later on in Galatians 5, Paul breaks the two choices up like this: follow the Spirit or follow the flesh (sinful nature).  As humans we are born into sin and therefore slaves to our sinful nature....or at least WERE slaves to our sinful nature.  Christ set us free from that.  Now we have that freedom to choose to live by the Spirit (of God) or to live by the flesh.

Here is an illustration that might help you understand.  Using our freedom to satisfy the sinful nature is like being a slave and working for a really mean, evil, nasty master your whole life.  Then, finally, out of nowhere, a heroic champion comes and saves you and sets you free and is like, "I've set you free, now come follow me and let's get the heck out of here."  But you, with your newfound freedom, decide to stay there and not follow your rescuer out.  You instead decide to stay where you are, in slavery to your master (sin), and not leave with the hero (Jesus) that came and saved you.  Does that makes sense?

I realize I am writing a ton, so I'm going to break this into two separate posts.  So without further be continued.....