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Archive for March, 2023

A son of God or not?

Posted by appolus on March 19, 2023

Heb 12:5-6  My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by him: For whom the Lord loves he chastens, and scourges every son whom he receives.

It is interesting that these scriptures come in the context of the race of faith. Discipline and obedience are part and parcel of what it means to be sons and how God treats us. How we react to such scourging seems to be the difference between those who are sons and those who are illegitimate. Gods sons and daughters see all things in the light of Calvary. We know we have not suffered like the Lord in the garden, we have not sweated great drops of blood under extreme pressure. Neither have we had to suffer for the sins of a guilty world. We have not been rejected like Jesus nor have we suffered as He did physically. In all these things Jesus was obedient to His Father’s voice.

The peaceable fruit of righteousness is produced in those who have been disciplined and chastened. When a piece of land is purchased, first the trees and the shrubs must be cut down. Then the back-breaking work of removing the stumps takes place. Stones are removed one by one and the clods of the ground are broken down into soil. Then the ground is ready to be tilled. We are the purchased ground. If we do not yield to the process then we produce no fruit and God only deals with potential fruitfulness. As we know, vines that do not produce fruit are cut down and burned in the fire. It is a similar concept here in chapter 12.  There are two kinds of sons, one is good, the other is illegitimate. One honors is father no matter what, the other rebels against His discipline and disqualifies himself.

The son of God pursues peace, the other pursues war. The son of God lives in holiness, the other lives defiled by sin. The son lives in the grace of God, in the full knowledge that his favor is unmerited, the other believes himself to have position and has an entitled attitude. The son lives without bitterness, the other allows bitterness to take root in his unkempt field. The son stands upon an unshakable foundation that is Christ Himself, the other stands upon a foundation of his own making so that when the shaking comes everything that he has falls. The son knows and understands that His God is a consuming fire and that everything of this world shall be burned up, therefore he lives for the next world. They await their place in the city to come, the city of the living God. He knows that he is registered in heaven to God and that his company shall be that of innumerable angels and the general assembly of the Church. This is his reward.





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A great cloud of witnesses.

Posted by appolus on March 15, 2023

Heb 12:1  Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 

Having heard all the magnificent stories of the faithful saints down through the ages, the author then turns to us and says, “what about you?” Are you not part of this precious group of faith? And if you are then shall you not lay aside “every weight.” What is this weight? Every burden, every hindrance, everything external that would keep you from your reasonable service to God and your reasonable service to God is everything. Your life is not your own, it was bought with a price. It is no longer you that live but rather it is Christ that lives in you. You are a special person, a called out one, a royal priest. You have a duty that is higher than any other duty, that is to serve the King. This you must pursue no matter the cost.

 Internally you have the sin that so easily captures you. It might be your temperament, crucify it. It might be your politics, leave that to the world. It might be the personal bias that you grew up with, kill it by the cross upon your back.You would train night and day if you were an Olympic athlete. While others slept, you would be up before the sun. When others were eating anyway they pleased, you would be following a strict diet. You would not be smoking or drinking and in some cases just prior to your race you would refrain from lying with your spouse.The sacrifices we are willing to make in order to get a gold medal, to get fame and fortune in this world are without limit. Isn’t your calling to God so much higher than any athlete?

Are you not running the race of eternal life for a crown that will not perish? A crown that you will cast down before the Lord’s feet because He deserves all the glory!How can we do all of this brothers and sisters? How can we be sold out to God in our lives? “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith.” His testimony was that for the joy of serving His Father and fulfilling His will, He willingly endured the cross, despising the shame and then sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Are we willing to endure? Are we willing to accept the discipline of the Lord? Jesus shall be our strength, the Holy Spirit shall be our guide. He shall be the lifter of our heads. He shall convict us and He shall give us the strength to follow Him, if it is our heart to follow Him. If it is our heart to run the race. If it is our heart to endure. If it is our heart to overcome. If these are our desires, He shall give them to us.

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Absalom- and the remnant saints leaving the church.

Posted by appolus on March 14, 2023

Over many many years Absalom stole the hearts of the people of Israel. You see, Absalom wanted what his father had. He wanted the exalted place among the people. He would rise up early and stand beside the gate and those who came looking for the king, he intercepted them and spoke to them. They were not his people, they were his fathers people but Absalom, falling foul to that most ancient of sins that caused Lucifer to fall down from the heavens, desired to have what was not his to have. And so he wooed the hearts of the people away from their King.

Is that not the very essence of religion? There is one mediator between man and God and His name is Jesus. How many men and religious institutions have sought to replace Jesus over all the centuries? One pretender after another, rising early in the morning, slowly and deceptively seeking to displace God and stealing the hearts of the people away from their rightful King. And all the worse is the fact that so many of these men and institutions knew something of the mercy of God, had been blessed in many ways by His goodness and His forgiveness. They had been touched by His love and by His word which only serves to make their deception and their desire to have what He alone has all the more treacherous.

And so finally David hears of this rebellion against him. Oh what a dagger must have penetrated his heart, to know that his very own had turned on him. One that he loved and had forgiven and had showed mercy too, and he repaid all of that with hatred and animosity and a heart bent on taking what was not his. It is hard to imagine the anguish of David, now no longer a young man, having suffered so much in his life and so much of it undeserved, now as an older man, having to flee from everything that had been his. The city of David, the tabernacle, the ark of the covenant would all be left behind and he and a remnant few would flee the jealous forces that were arraigned against him. They would flee into the wilderness.

Today there is a remnant few who have fled into the wilderness. They have left the city behind with all of its religious trappings. No walls, no tabernacle, no ark of the covenant. Stripped of all the religious trappings, they have something that David had. He had the presence of God with Him. Not that which represents the presence, but the actual presence of God. While religious men hung onto the trappings and rituals and icons, for that is all they have, David goes into the wilderness, the remnant go into the wilderness with God Himself. And as he ascended Gods holy hill he wept, he and the people with him wept. With tears the seed is sown brothers and sisters, tears of sorrow for what has become of something that should have been so beautiful and brought glory to God, but has been so thoroughly corrupted by men who desire to steal the glory of God and steal the hearts of the people.

Do not despair in the wilderness brothers and sisters. In God we have peace no matter what men think about us. In God we can rejoice despite the fact that the forces of Absalom are arrayed against the remnant few. Listen to some of the things that David says in this time and be comforted…… Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice…… because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee……….I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches……….From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I……………………. For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy.

There is an inevitable end to the forces of Absalom, those who would attempt steal the glory of God and from His King. David speaks to this very thing and to those very forces in psalm 63……But those that seek my soul, to destroy it, shall go into the lower parts of the earth. They shall fall by the sword: they shall be a portion for foxes. But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by him shall glory: but the mouth of them that speak lies shall be stopped. Glory to God saints! Is the end we shall come out of the wilderness by the power of God. The soul that weeps, the soul that thirsts after God in the wilderness shall find joy and inexhaustible waters of life even in the driest deserts and when He comes again into His rightful place then all of God saints will rise up and cry Holy.

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When the invisible becomes visible.

Posted by appolus on March 12, 2023

Heb 11:3  Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made by things which are visible.

The world was made, this visible world, by that which cannot be seen! Now this drives men mad. They demand an explanation. They must know. They have to be able to explain their situation. It strikes at the very roots of science and all things natural, explaining our surroundings and how we came to be and what will become of us. And the Lord laughs. The wisest man who ever walked the earth is as a fool to God. Even that which they had was given to them. Yet before we as Christians smugly scorn the men of science who by their desire to understand and explain their natural surroundings and throw off God in the process, how do we operate? Do we trust in the invisible God for our lives? In verse 27 of this chapter we see that Moses endured, not fearing the wrath of the King , by having faith in “Him who is invisible.”

Can we walk as the great men of the Bible walked? Noah built a boat when there never had been a boat nor any rain had fallen from the sky. What he was doing was ludicrous and he was mocked constantly by the world. Could you do that? Abraham, the father of faith, got up and left everything to go …….where? He did not know. Could you do that? Moses, when he became a man, refused to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin and all the world could offer him,. Rather he chose “the reproach of Christ,” as opposed to all the treasures of Egypt. Shall we do that brothers and sisters. In the end faith is about following the invisible God and not knowing what is around the next corner. Faith is about choosing God over the riches of this world. Faith is about praising God whether we live or whether we die, in sickness or in health, in riches or in poverty. The one constant thing in the seeming madness of this world is the invisible God in whom we trust. 

The word of faith folk need to be healed. They need to see their healing. They need to be wealthy, they need to be able to see their wealth and count their wealth. They need favorable circumstances, they need to be assured by them. And when they see all these things or desire all these things for themselves they call it faith but of course it is the exact opposite of faith. Faith is the evidence of things not seen. Trusting in God is the evidence of our invisible God. And it enrages the enemy of our soul. For two thousand years he has sought out saints and in the tearing away of all the things that can be seen, he hoped to tear away the thing that could not be seen. The cry of faith and the heavenly song from amidst the flames of the martyr being burned at the stake is the trumpet call of victory and the death knell in the ears of the enemy of our soul. The final victory will come when all the saints are gathered to a place where God, by His own hand has built. It lies at the end of the narrow path that cannot be seen. Where the invisible cross upon our backs are removed and we see the invisible God in all His manifest glory and we know as we are known.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, Jesus, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »

The violent storm that is Jesus.

Posted by appolus on March 9, 2023

Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

This scripture is where two worlds collide. You have heard of the many paradoxes that are found in the New Testament. One has to die to live. One has to be a servant to lead. The heart has to be hungry or it can never be full. The paradoxes are many and it is because the Kingdom of God operates in an entirely different way than this world does. We as saints walk physically through this world but we already exist in the world that was and is and is to come. The Kingdom clashes with this world where flesh meets spirit. I live in Kansas and the jet stream is often right above us. The warm air from the south clashes with the cold air from the north. Canadian cold air verses warm gulf air. It creates violence. Dramatic storm systems that produce tornadoes that have such destructive power that literally no structure can stand against a direct hit.

The substance and the evidence of faith only exists in the Kingdom of God but it supernaturally manifests itself in our world. And when it does, all hell can break loose. Whether it is in the mind, as the flesh battles against the spirit, or whether it is actions we take directed by our faith, they are violently opposed by those who know nothing of it. Our blessed hope in Christ is only substance to those who have been born again. Only we can see it. The unsaved cannot see it and it cannot be explained to them, only demonstrated, and even then it is beyond them. It may draw them into the Kingdom and they can see it for themselves or it may cause them to violently follow after their flesh and everything they know to be real. We have faith in Jesus. He is our blessed hope. We cannot see Him with our human eyes but we can see the substance of Him through the eyes of our faith. We can come before the throne of God and see God high and lifted up and the Lord Jesus sitting at the right hand of glory.

And so, what is most real to us, the saints, and what we would die for because it is so real is the substance and the evidence of our faith. It is directly contradicted by a world ruled by what they can see with their physical eyes, what they can observe, measure and replicate. The evidence of things seen. The substances that can be observed. We saints are entirely different and should never be ashamed of that or make apology for it.  Men of science are very much limited by what they can see. We see what they see but we also see beyond what they see. And so by believing we see Gods Kingdom. And by seeing we are convinced. Convinced of the invisible God who frequently violates the natural order of this world by the supernatural order of the Kingdom.

We are not of this world but we must be in it. And while we are in it the storm shall rage. It must rage for two entirely different forces are at work and something must give. Any man made structure, whether its an invention of his mind or a physical invention will fall when it meets it meets the supernatural. We who walk with God cannot be overcome even by the worse excesses of this word for we walk in the Kingdom reality. The most violent storm, the most violent clash of two elements the world has ever seen was when Christ Jesus stepped down into it. The vain imagination of their big bang theory pales in comparison to the collision of the seen and unseen world. Everything changed.

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Stand up and fight.

Posted by appolus on March 7, 2023

(Heb 10:19-20) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

Jesus is our new and living way. He made a way for us to enter into the actual holy of holies. Now we all know that, we have read it a thousand times, but I want to ask you this. When was the last time you entered the holy of holies? Have you ever? The veil in the temple was ripped from top to bottom thus revealing the shadow, the room within the temple. Jesus flesh was ripped and torn and sacrificed for us on the cross, outside of the temple, outside of the city, outside of the walls and by His death and resurrection He made a way for you and me to come before the throne of the Living God and cry our “Abba Father.’ So therefore, since the cost was so great, it is not an impertinent question to ask the question “have you come before the throne?” Have you entered the holiest? Have you drawn near to God with a true heart and in full assurance of faith?

In coming into this place, this place of glory and of majesty and of holiness we are reminded just who we are in comparison to who God is. Outside of the Blood of Jesus we could never come into this place. Outside of His sacrifice we could never come and fall upon our face. And cry holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty! Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering. We here on earth are the Church militant and in heaven we see the Church triumphant. Yet I am afraid that much of the Church has lost its militancy. Our boldness. Our unwavering faith in the face of increasing hostility seems to be wavering. There is a reason we come before the throne, first and foremost Jesus made the way there and secondly we are emboldened in the presence of God, of His glory and His majesty and that translates directly in how we walk our walk. The Church used to talk in military terms all the time, they knew they were in a battle, and yet just as the greatest battle is looming, we waver. We do not want to offend the world. Some old hymns…………….

Stand up , stand up for Jesus, ye soldiers of the cross, lift high His royal banner it must not suffer loss. From victory unto victory His army He shall lead, till every foe is vanquished and Christ is Lord indeed. Onward Christians soldiers marching as to war, with the cross of Jesus going on before. Christ the Royal Master leads against the foe, forward into battle see His banners go. Soldiers of the cross arise and put your armor on. A mighty fortress is our God, the battle belongs to the Lord. There is power, power wonder working power in the Blood of the Lamb and the Blood will never lose its power for it reaches to the highest mountains and it flows to the lowest valley, this Blood , this precious Blood of Christ gives me strength for each new day. Like a mighty army, moves the Church of God, brothers we are treading where the saints have trod. We are not divided, all one Body be, one in hope and doctrine, one in charity. So I’ll sing of the cross, that old rugged cross where I first saw the light, where the burden of my heart rolled away, it was there, right there, where Christ died for us it was there that He made the way.

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The law written upon our heart, not upon stone.

Posted by appolus on March 5, 2023

Heb 8:13  In that he says, “A new covenant.” He has made the first old. Now that which is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away. 

A new covenant! And in this new covenant He puts His laws in our minds and writes them on our hearts. We are infused by His desires for us and His commandments for our lives, the Word made flesh. We are now taught by the Holy Spirit for we know Him. We do not need an earthly priest to know Him. We do not need a teacher in order to know Him, we know Him because He knows us. We are known by God and in the knowing we walk in the beauty of His Holiness by the guidance and the direction of the Holy Spirit. Our hearts and our minds are illuminated by the power of God. Our knowing does not reside within the realms of our heads, rather we know Him in the innermost depths of our heart. In our unrighteous state we found mercy and our sins and unrighteous deeds? He forgave us of them all, praise Jesus.

Jesus became our mediator of a better covenant. The old covenant was fatally flawed and we were the flaw. The old covenant could never bring a man or woman righteousness, it could only show us how helpless we really were and how we were in desperate need of a Savior. And Jesus became our High Priest. He offered up Himself once, and for all time. His perfection became our salvation. We are saved by the perfect Son of God and by the Blood He willingly spilled for us. He is seated at the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. The true tabernacle.  And so brothers and sisters we became a Royal priesthood and Jesus is our High Priest. We are His special people. A called out people. A chosen generation. We have no clergy/laity divide, that is purely a religious construct. It stands in defiance of the Word of God and the reality of our High Priest, Jesus. It is but a vestige of an old religious system that was swept away 2000 years ago. Let us fulfill our priestly roles as we minister to one another.

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The anchor of our soul.

Posted by appolus on March 2, 2023

(Heb 6:19-20) Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the presence within the veil; where the forerunner has for us entered for us, even Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec.

Hebrews chapter six is so dramatic and the contrast it presents could not be more stark. In the end, there is really only two kinds of people. Those who endure to the end and those who walk away. There are promises made by God and these promises are the blessings of God. As saints, we have this promise, we know that Jesus Christ our Lord is the anchor of our soul. Does the anchor hold? Yes He does! Now brothers and sisters, how many know that waiting upon the Lord in the midst of a storm can be very very difficult? We have our hope, we have our faith, we trust in Jesus. Then the wind blows from a category one hurricane to a category three. Then it intensifies again and now its blowing a category five. Anything not anchored down is getting ripped from its moorings and carried away by mountainous waves. Are we still with Him? Do we still trust? Where is our faith? Abraham was promised a son, and this would lead to the blessing of all the nations. There’s a blessing coming. There’s a blessing coming. Twenty years in, how is Abraham doing? Only after twenty five years did the fulfilment come. How about Jospeh and his dreams? Was he still enraptured by his dream at the bottom of the pit? How about when he is falsely accused of rape? How about when he was languishing in prison? Twelve years later comes the fulfilment.

Its easy to love God in the moment, in the first flushes of our relationships. When all is new and we have hopes and dreams and visions for our lives. Then life begins to play out. We have pressures at work, putting a roof over our heads. We have hard times in our relationship with our spouses. Children come along and we have hopes and dreams for them that often do not come to fruition. We suffer losses, disappointments, illnesses, and deaths come knocking at our door. Have we stuck close to Jesus the whole time brothers and sisters? Just in the world and by reason of my gray hair I have lived long enough to see two groups of folks in the world, whether Christian or not. I observed them go through really tough times and one group, by far the larger, begin to crack and to fracture under the pressure. They drink more, they smoke, they take anti-depressants, they begin to isolate themselves, they grow apart from their spouses and they eventually get divorced. It’s sad enough to see it in the world, its tragic when you see it in professing Christians. There is the second group. The ones who pull together. The trial brings them closer to God, it brings them closer to their spouses. Their love grows deeper as they face the battles together, back to back. They become seasoned like fine wine. They grow wise and mature and they empathize greatly with others and they are kind and patient, loving and forgiving.

The fact is, that in every storm, the saint has an anchor and His name is Jesus. We are out there in the roiling seas and He is the forerunner. He goes before us into the harbor and draws us in. In ancient times when the sea was too stormy to enter the harbor and giant waves would crash against the harbor walls and the ships would drag their anchors and be in danger of overturning and being swamped, they would lower a skiff, a forerunner. The anchor would be placed on the small boat and the boat would make its way into the harbor and the anchor would be dropped in calmer waters ,then the boat would be pulled into the harbor. Jesus is our forerunner, Jesus is our anchor and He has went before us and prepared a place for us. A place of peace and stillness, His very presence speaks to the storms, be still! When you flee to Jesus He shall be our Rock, our strong high tower. Come to Me, He says, and I will give your weary souls rest. God and His Word are immutable, that is to say unchanging over time, any time, eternity even. God is unchanging and the Words that He speaks are unchanging. He never lies and this immutability, the Word says, is so that we “might have strong consolation who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.” There it is, its right there, take a hold of it, grab onto to it, never let it go, let it take you into the still calm harbor of His presence so that you might survive the storm. Take hold of this brothers and sisters, and you shall not drown.


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