One day Jacob was cooking a stew. Esau came in from the field and said to Jacob, “Give me some of that red stew–I’m starved!” Jacob said, “Make me a trade: my stew for your rights as the firstborn.” On oath Esau traded away his rights. Jacob gave him bread and the stew of lentils. Esau ate and drank, got up and left. (Genesis 25:29-34, The Message Bible)
We have a wonderful birthright from God in Christ. We are God’s children and heirs, temples in which His Spirit dwells, priests and kings who reign with Christ. Sadly, we are more like Esau than many of us care to admit because we have traded our birthright for even less than a bowl of stew.
Evidence that we have traded away our birthright can be heard in what we say. For example, how often do Christians refer to church buildings as the “house of God” even though the Bible teaches us that we are His temples and “God does not live in houses made by men” (Acts 7:48 and Acts 17:24)? Continue reading
When the Lord prompted my wife and I to move to the mid-west from the Seattle area back in 1999, He gave me a dream which I did not understand until after we had left the institutional church the Lord sent us too.
I was driving a white 1965 Mercury Monterey convertible with light blue interior. Ahead were the gates of what looked like an old west log fort. The gates swung open and I drove in. The church the Lord sent me to was near the back of the compound. After parking in front of the church, I exited the car and went around to the trunk to collect the gifts I’d brought for the church. From everywhere it seemed, child-like dwarfs emerged and surrounded me. As I began to show the gifts I’d brought, they began snatching them from my hands, treating them with disrespect, grabbing gifts from the trunk and throwing them back after handling them carelessly. Several were letting the air out of the tires and kicking the side panels, while others were jumping up and down on the seats.
Frantically I was trying to take back the gifts and put them away, while chasing them out of the trunk and car, Continue reading
BIBLE TRUTH: God does NOT live in temples (houses) made by hands (men) (Isaiah 66:1-2, Acts 7:48, Acts 17:24, Matthew 23:38).
BUT! Come worship God in our man-made temple every Sunday morning!
BIBLE TRUTH: We are temples (houses) of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16, 6:19, 1 Peter 2:5, Ephesians 2:22).
BUT! Our church building is the house of God!
BIBLE TRUTH: We are Sons of God (John 1:12-13, Romans 8:14, Galatians 3:26, 1 John 3:1, Revelation 1:7) and the Sons are FREE (Matthew 17:26) from paying taxes to build and maintain a man-made temple (Matthew 17:24-25).
BUT! Give to our church building and maintenance fund through your tithes and offerings!
BIBLE TRUTH: Jesus is our high priest (Hebrews 4:14, 1 Timothy 2:5) and we are priests before God in Christ Jesus (1 Peter 2:5 and :9, Revelation 1:6).
BUT! Our pastor is the priest! We are the laity. Continue reading
For 18 months I applied myself to various church jobs, hoping to spark something, anything, that resembled revival. Yet it seemed the harder I worked, the worse the situation became. Finally the Lord said to me:
Get out of the way and let it fail.
His words blew me away. In fact, I questioned whether or not it was the Lord speaking to me since I felt it was blasphemous to suggest that the church should fail. But the Lord showed me the church was not a building, nor the religious institution with all its programs most people identify as the church, but simply the children of God coming together as family to live in community with God and one another. The Lord went on to speak to me about building on sand and that He is doing as He has always done: sending wind, rain and waves to test our houses for whether or not we’ve built on the Rock. Continue reading