1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
I would like to take you back some 42 years ago when the Lord first saved me, and share with you my experiences as a babe in Christ, and how the Lord taught me what is acceptable in His sight, and what is not.
It all took place in the early morning hours on a cold and blustery February in 1978, when the Lord invaded my life and granted me the Gift of Grace to see and the Gift of repentance sealing me with His Holy Spirit to begin my New Life in Him.
Later on the same day I decided I needed to purchase a Bible, due to the fact I did not have one. Still filled with the Joy of my new birth, I decided I had to look for a church, because now that I was a true Christian I need to seek other’s out also. I had predetermined I would not seek out a Baptist church since they never showed me the way to Salvation. So I went out to discover, and that led me to a Pentecost Church which I happen to be walking by and heard the most joyous music and singing coming from within, it was alive, and added more joy to my overflowing soul! This was it! I called it my home church for the next couple of months!
Later in the evening I had to go to work, because I was expected, so I could not leave them in the lurch,(in a vulnerable, or unsupported position), I thought that would not be very Christian of me. So I went off to work, filled with the Joy of my salvation and the Love of Christ within me. As I worked waiting on tables, retrieving the alcoholic beverages that were ordered. I went around delivering the customers drinks all the while proclaiming that homosexuality was a lie, and a sin, and that the Lord forgave me my sin, and I was set free! Well needless to say I received some very strange looks, some expressed their happiness at my testimony, and other’s I am sure thought I truly lost my mind. This continued for a couple of hours, when on my way to the bar to order more drinks, I suddenly stopped in my tracks and a sudden thought came, OH my….. I can’t work here any longer! So without further adieu, I went to the manager and told him my story, and that I was sorry to leave them so wanting, but I had to quit my position right there at that moment! So I put on my coat without a care in the world, walked out into the cold blistery winter night, crossed the street to the park, and rejoiced! I was filled with such JOY, and did not care or take a thought on how I was to provide for my needs! Who knows what person in that bar would come to know the Grace of God due to my testimony, but there it was, only the Lord knows!
After that I just asked the Lord to help provide for my needs, rent, food etc., and I regularly started to attend all the meetings and social gatherings at “Evangel Temple”. Within a week or two, I approached the Pastor and informed him of what the Lord had done, he was so excited for me, and saw the JOY I had within my soul. Shortly after within a week or two, I was baptized in front of the whole congregation and gave my testimony on how the Lord met me and saved me, there was such an explosive response from the congregation giving Glory to the Lord, that I felt I was in heaven! During this time I had become instant friends with two young ladies around my age, Dorthy & Kathy and Kathy led me to start speaking in Tongues, and with practice I had my tongues, of course I did not understand what that all meant, but if it was what the Lord desired, then I wanted it! Little did I realize what that all meant.
So much was taking place in my life at that time, it was like a whirlwind! All during the month of February so many changes were taking place, I was attending church at every function, Christian movies, Christian concerts which were popular at that time in the late 70’s such as: “Keith Green”, “The 2nd Chapter of Acts”, and listened to recordings of “Evie”, which I purchased, I was flying so high in my emotions that I was surrounding myself with everything “Christian”! At that time I was selling flowers on the city street corners in the city center, putting tracts in each bouquet praying the Lord would save whomever He desired, I was not making enough money, and I kept sensing I could no longer live at the house owned by two older gay gentlemen, with whom I proclaimed Christ. So through the assistance of Evangel Temple (Pentecostal) I was accepted at “Teen Challenge” who’s founder was the famous “David Willkerson” of the Pentecostal Organization. It was a miracle to be accepted there due to my age of being 26 years, it was basically set up for “teenagers”, but the Lord caused them to accept me. So I gave most of my personal belongings up, and just took my clothes that were acceptable, which were not many since my clothes were very promiscuous in style. And Teen Challenge became my home for almost two months. I was fed, living in a “hostel” type environment surrounded by teenagers, attended their worship and Bible meetings along with my attendance at Evangel, and also found a job going door to door giving out “coupon flyers” in plastic bags. So my needs were being met.
Now while living at Teen Challenge and attending Evangel, I started sensing all was not quite right in the manner certain situations were being handled at the Church and Teen Challenge. And I was also sensing there was a “deeper” way in following the Lord. Psa_42:7 Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me. During a morning worship meeting at Teen Challenge, a barber who gave free hair cuts to the residence took note of my singing during the service, and approached me, he seemed to think I had a deeper “spiritual” understanding of the Lord. Hardly, I was just starting out, but was sensing something more. So he invited me to come to a “Home Fellowship” group called “His Rest Christian Fellowship”.
I digress, At Evangel I started taking note on how they were starting to treat certain “native peoples” who were hanging around the neighbour hood, which was a poor area of the city. When they came asking for money during services, the “ushers” would treat these poor souls so rudely and bullying them in such a manner, I started to sense that they were not following the Lord’s word in how to treat sinners who were poor and needy. Also, at Teen Challenge, there were certain “Councillors” who lived there, were treating some of the residents with the same type of bullying tactics which were not quite showing the patience and Love of Christ towards those “weak in the faith”, or new born Christians in Christ (if they truly were saved). They had a method, which follows the “Set Standards” set out by the boards of the Teen Challenge organization. Well as soon as I started to question the various leaders of the Church and Teen Challenge regarding the attitudes being shown, I was being considered as a “trouble maker”, which I was not in my eyes, I was questioning their attitudes towards those that are without and pointing out that it was not compatible with the Lord’s Word. Well you can imagine what happened shortly after…….I was eventually asked to leave Teen Challenge, and eventually I did leave Evangel.
Before I departed Evangel, I started to visit “His Rest” at the invitation of the barber, who’s name I can not recall at this very moment. And I was introduced to the woman pastor/teacher/prophetess, Deen and the families that lived at this country house outside of the city. I was taken in immediately, by the “love” I felt, the sincere warmth at being welcomed, the meeting, the teaching, the singing without all the “traditions” of Evangel. It was so “down to earth”. Deen also requested to have a private meeting with me to get to know me, she asked me various questions, I told her my testimony, I also informed her of what I was starting to sense at Evangel and Teen Challenge, and my confusion of it all. That is where I started to understand that the way Church and it’s organizations were being conducted was not the way the Lord desired for His children. It was not built upon the foundations as taught by the Lord and His Apostles. It was copying the way of the worldly flesh after the rudiments and traditions of men and not the narrow way.
I need to state that “His Rest Christian Fellowship” was in essence a very dangerous cult, who’s major teachings were NOT based upon the foundations of the Lord. However, it did reveal some truth’s which has been good, and was yet another stepping stone in teaching me what is and what is not accepted by the Lord, and how babes in Christ, can be so easily deceived due to the Lack of Biblical knowledge, and how our emotions can not be trusted as a babe. It was not until the mid to late 90’s, that the Lord slowly but surely gave me understanding.
I have learned that it is not of the Lord to have Christianity as a “social club”, to have Christian music stars, or Christian Music Record companies, nor are movies with Christian themes acceptable. Where is it that Christian’s singers, musicians, Rock groups who win Dove Awards, Grammies and all their concerts, are representing anything that is truly Christ like? How is it possible that so-called “Christian Entertainers” can appear on the Johnny Carson show? What about those “Christian theme Parks”? How about the marketing of Music DVD’s, Books, T-Shirt’s, or any other type of “Christian novelties as; mugs, paintings etc. Paying for books that are supposedly helping believers to grow in their faith in Christ, endless “Conferences” which you must pay for further understanding the times in which we live? Does not our Lord’s Word state that His Gospel is to be FREELY given as we have received?
Rom_3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom_8:32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
1Co_2:12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Christian TV Networks, which are nothing short of selling their Doctrine of Demons and promoting some of the worse heretics and false teachers out there! Christians getting involved with Politics and supporting non-believers to further their Christian cause?! How about the famous Christian teachers, pastors, authors who are tied in with the CFR (Council of Foreign Affairs) through the CNP (Council for National Policy) Where is the separation of Church and State?
There are multitudes of Mega Churches with their “Starbuck cafe franchises” ( Starbuck’s founder is anti-Semitic by the way and also hates Christianity, and supports the New World Order) ! Do you not realize that our dear Lord warned that their were those who were making merchandise of you?
Joh_2:16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
2Pe_2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
All this is adopting “worldly ways” with the name of Jesus Christ over it, this is the Culturalization of Christianity……this is copying the pattern of the”Jewish Culture”, and look where that got them!
We need to learn from God’s Word what He says about His Ways, for it is truly Narrow, His Ways are NOT our ways. Our fleshly desires are not His ways. We need to allow the Lord to reveal how deep our “natural” devices make us to chose wrong things because it satisfies our emotions, but faith is not built upon emotions or feelings, because these senses will most of the time deceive us.
2Sa_22:31 As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him.
Psa_5:8 Lead me, O LORD, in thy righteousness because of mine enemies; make thy way straight before my face.
Psa_25:12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.
Psa_32:8 I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.Psa_139:24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Pro_1:15 My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path:
Pro_3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.Pro_4:14 Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men.
Pro_4:19 The way of the wicked is as darkness: they know not at what they stumble.Pro 19:21 There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
So let us remember what our dear Sweet Lord, the Lover of our souls has stated:
Mat 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
Mat 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
Eph_4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:
Eph_5:17 Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
Php_4:7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Col_1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
The Lord bless each and everyone of you, and may all desire a deeper walk with the Lord, so that He may separate us from ALL that is NOT of Him. So that HE is the TREASURE of our hearts and Spirit in ALL things, which shall Glorify His name amongst all the earth.
In His Eternal Love……