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NOT SO FAST, GOLIATH, NOT SO FAST!
by Carter Conlon

“Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle…And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together…And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass…He stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? Am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? Choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together” (1 Samuel 17: 1–5, 8–10).

Our present moment in history is very similar to the time in which the Israelites were living when they faced this situation. Remember, they were the people of God, called to represent Him in the world. The miraculous didn’t belong to the Philistines, it belonged to Israel, who had personally witnessed God’s power and deliverance. Earlier in 1 Samuel, we read of some of the previous victories they had, even under King Saul: “So Saul took the kingdom over Israel, and fought against all his enemies on every side, against Moab, and against the children of Ammon, and against Edom, and against the kings of Zobah, and against the Philistines: and whithersoever he turned himself, he vexed them” (1 Samuel 14:47).

Yet now as they faced Goliath, the Scripture tells us that “When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid” (1 Samuel 17:11). Isn’t that amazing? After a record of incredible victories and of God’s faithfulness, the Israelites now stood trembling under one voice that cried, “I defy you!” Threatened by a challenge that would make them servants to godlessness, they had no spirit or will to fight back. It was as if they had forgotten why God had left them in the earth in the first place—to be a testimony and a blessing; a visible display of the power of God.

HOW WE END UP POWERLESS
How is it that God’s people end up powerless before the taunts of the enemy? We find a clue when David, who became king after Saul, said, “And let us bring again the ark of our God to us: for we inquired not at it in the days of Saul” (1 Chronicles 13:3).

In Saul’s victory days, when it seemed as if nobody could stand against the Israelites, the people of God put away the prayer meeting. The Ark was the presence of God, representing His forgiveness, mercy, power and provision. Yet they put it away and began to walk in their own strength, only to find themselves facing a giant that they could not contend with. We might rightfully say that God’s order was breaking down, and another order was threatening to take its place.

Similarly, the Church of Jesus Christ in this country has had her share of past victories, yet today we see God’s order rapidly breaking down as another order comes to take its place. If you don’t realize how ominous this is, very shortly you will. It is time for the Church of Jesus Christ to get back to the Ark of God! We must drop all the foolishness that is masquerading as the presence of God and get back into the prayer meeting again.

REJECTING THE FULL IMAGE OF GOD
The Scriptures point to another reason why the people of God end up powerless. Paul explains it in his letter to the Romans: “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them…When they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…” (Romans 1:18–19, 21–23).

The problem is not that people don’t have truth—they just don’t value it. It is not that people do not study it, they refuse to wholeheartedly embrace it. They do not want what truly represents the glory and full image of God to be made manifest, so they change the image of God into the image of man. In other words, they fashion a more palatable Jesus and ultimately discernment is lost.

What happens to a nation when the Church is backslidden to this degree—when she has lost her voice and is virtually cast out as a nonplayer while society marches farther and farther away from godliness?

“Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another…And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient” (Romans 1:24–28).

Consider how accurately Paul’s description seems to fit of the society in which we currently live: “Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant-breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them” (Romans 1:29–32).

Not only do they do these things while claiming to possess some measure of the truth, they take pleasure in those who do them, as well. In other words, they settle for a vicarious enjoyment of sin through other people’s lives. They watch television and movies, content to be entertained by fornicators, liars, murderers and thieves. According to one commentator, the final step of reprobation in a nation is when we will not do it ourselves, but we will be entertained by others who do.

As the people of God have seemingly retreated into a place of powerlessness today, the voice of godlessness is rising once again. Remember that in his taunts, Goliath said to the armies of Israel, “If you cannot put somebody forward to fight this battle and win, then you will be our servants.” That means that unless we get back to the prayer meeting—unless we embrace truth once again and allow ourselves to be empowered by the Spirit of God—we will become servants to godlessness, and the freedoms in the house of God ultimately will be lost. Sharing the burden to see people set free from sin, from homosexuality, and other lifestyles that are a robbery of what God intended them to be, will soon be considered hate speech. I feel we are not very far from the day that it will be against the law.

And so, in a time when it might cost somebody something to stand up and face the giant, we must ask ourselves: Who will have the courage to fight?

THE SECRET BATTLES
There is only one solution: God must have a people who are fearless because they have personally experienced His supernatural power in unseen places. That was the case with a young man named David.

The Bible tells us that David went to Saul and said, “…Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine” (1 Samuel 17:32). “I will fight! You all have the training and the armor, yet you have lost touch with God! You are no longer gripped with a passion to see the glory of God revealed in the earth again, to see captivated souls set free.”

“And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33). It was as if the devil was now using Saul to try to discourage faith from coming into the battle again. “Look how small you are, you are only a kid. How are you ever going to stand up against this giant?”

David essentially replied, “While I was keeping my father’s sheep, along came a lion and a bear. They took a lamb out of my flock—a lamb I was given by my father to keep. So I went after them, smote them and delivered the lamb. And when the lion rose up against me, I grabbed hold of its mane. The Spirit of God came upon me, and I killed this lion! I won the victory over the lion and the bear, and now this godless Philistine who is standing up and challenging the honor of God will be just like one of them, for he has defied the armies of the living God” (see 1 Samuel 17:34–37).

David had already witnessed the miraculous; he had already won battles in secret places. That is why I implore you—do not play games; do not pretend to be free if you are not! Go into that secret closet of prayer, lay hold of the victory of Christ and say, “Devil, you are not having my mind! You are not getting my heart or my home! I don’t care how big you are or how small I am in your sight. I have the Spirit of God upon me, and in the name of Jesus, I take authority over you!”

VICTORY BY FAITH ALONE
Finally consenting to let David fight, Saul then tried to fit David with his armor. Now Saul’s armor probably had some marks on it to which he could point and say, “Here is where I once won the victory.” In a similar manner, there are pastors who might say to me today, “Aren’t you a little extreme? After all, we tried these methodologies, and they worked. Our church grew from two hundred to four hundred!” I can agree, just as David could agree with Saul, that yes, there are nicks on your armor from some past victories.

Nevertheless, we now have come to a season when this armor will no longer suffice. It is faith alone that will win the battle. Imagine if David had approached the Philistine with a survey, saying, “Goliath, I’m sorry you are enraged against us, but what will it take to get you to come to our church? A nine-foot bed? A twenty-five foot swimming pool?” No! David had seen the miraculous power of God. He had won victories that were supernatural, partaking of strength that could come only from the Lord. He had found some other weaponry.

Paul speaks of this weaponry in 2 Corinthians 10:4–5: “(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strog holds;) casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”

What was the imagination in this case? Goliath imagined that because of his size and xperience, he would be victorious. Yet he failed to realize that he had exalted himself against the knowledge of God, and that all God required was somebody of faith to rise up again—somebody who was not playing carnal games in the house of God; somebody who had won battles that nobody else knew of.

David pressed past the threats and the scorn, just as we must not be hindered by the ridicule of the godless in this hour. “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied” (1 Samuel 17:45). In other words, “You have defied God! You stand here with your boasts and your weaponry, claiming that you can make us servants to godlessness. But I want you to know that you are not standing against us, you are standing against God!”

“This day will the Lord deliver thee into mine hand; and I will smite thee…and all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give you into our hands” (1 Samuel 17:46–47). The battle is the Lord’s! We are not going to match you force for force, and we are not going to win this in the political arena. We are going into the prayer closet, and we will come out strengthened by the Spirit of God!

“And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone…” (1 Samuel 17:49–50). In other words, David was not fighting with human strategy or effort. The only thing he had was complete dependence on God. He took off Saul’s armor and instead went to a brook and picked up five smooth stones. I don’t know how long those stones had been there before they were made smooth, but in a sense they were weapons that had been fashioned by the hand of God—just as we have been given the weapon of prayer, the weapon of being set apart, the weapon of embracing the Word to the point that it takes precedence over everything that this world is trying to tell us.

David went into the battle with only what had been given by the hand of God. We see this repeated over and over throughout the Scriptures—the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men. God uses the Esthers and the Gideons; the barren wombs of Elisabeth and Hannah. The armies of Israel knew this truth, but they didn’t believe it. They instead resorted to human reasoning and natural strategies. This, too, has been the great folly of the church in America today.

IT IS TIME TO FIGHT
God help us now, for these dark and ominous days require men and women of faith. I challenge you to win those secret battles now. Don’t hold on to areas of unsurrendered defeat in your own life. Learn to live for the honor of God rather than the preservation of self. Go into the prayer closet and fight it out in the strength of God. Do not let the devil have even an inch, concluding, “All right, he took one lamb. I have ninety-nine left—big deal! Who is going to notice?” No! Go after it, for this is essential in the school of faith. We must learn to say, “We give absolutely no ground to the devil!”

The time has come to stand anddeclare the Word of God unashamedly; to fight for those who are lost, for unborn children, for our families, for our marriages, for the future of this nation! It is time to fight for what God has entrusted to us in this generation. Be aware that as you and I rise up to face the challenges of our day, everything we naturally fear will start moving toward us to convince us that our faith in God is useless. But that is when we must continue to press forward in the power of God, looking these man-made giants straight in the eye, declaring, “Not so fast, Goliath! Not so fast!”

Carter Conlon
©2013 Times Square Church

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PRESSING INTO FEARFUL PLACES
by Carter Conlon

The book of Second Kings speaks of a time when the Syrian army surrounded Samaria in the northern part of Israel and cut off the city’s food supply. This resulted in an intense famine in the land, bringing people to a point of such desperation that they resorted to cannibalism.

Have you ever noticed that when things go wrong, people tend to blame God and His people? That is exactly what happened in this case. The king of Israel became infuriated at the prophet Elisha, threatening to take off his head because of the unspeakable hardship that had come upon the city. By the time the king appeared before Elisha, he was so weak that he had to lean on the messenger who was with him.

The word of God then came to them through Elisha: “Thus saith the Lord, Tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria” (2 Kings 7:1). In other words, within twenty-four hours, provision would be available at such a cheap price that everybody would be able to afford it. There would be a supply beyond their wildest imagination! Yet, what was the servant’s response to this incredible news? “Then a lord on whose hand the king leaned answered the man of God, and said, Behold, if the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing be? And he said, Behold, thou shalt see it with thine eyes, but shalt not eat thereof” (2 Kings 7:2).

What a tragedy! Can you think of a more pitiful spiritual condition than seeing the provision of God right before your eyes but not being able to partake of it? That is exactly what unbelief does. It locks us out of the incredible provision of God.

Imagine, for example, that you were given a free ticket to one of the finest restaurants in town. You have the privilege of going in and ordering anything on the menu that you would like. The food is delicious beyond belief and will surely satisfy your deepest hunger. So you go down to the restaurant and stand on the street corner, peering through the window. You see all the people eating inside, and indeed the food looks good. But you are still on the other side of the window.

Somehow it is a strange affliction of humanity that we just cannot bring ourselves to go into unfamiliar places. Instead, we begin to think of all the reasons why we cannot go in and claim what was freely put into our hands. Will I be embarrassed when it becomes obvious that I have never been in a place like this before? What if I get inside and nobody serves me? What if I find out my ticket is not valid? How will I pay? And so we remain on the outside, looking in.

OUTSIDE OF THE PROMISED LAND
Sadly, that is how many people approach the Scriptures. They see what God says in His Word, they can quote His promises, they can sing about His faithfulness—but the question is, do they truly believe what He spoke? Oftentimes a deep, embedded fear remains in their heart, so they come up with a myriad reasons as to why they cannot claim the inheritance of God.

We find a similar response in the book of Numbers when Moses commissioned twelve men to spy out the Promised Land. “And they came unto the brook of Eshcol, and cut down from thence a branch with one cluster of grapes, and they bare it between two upon a staff; and they brought of the pomegranates, and of the figs…And they returned from searching of the land after forty days. And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel…and brought back word unto them…and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this is the fruit of it. Nevertheless the people be strong that dwell in the land, and the cities are walled, and very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there” (Numbers 13:23–28).

The spies came back and essentially said, “What God said is true. We saw the provision, and indeed it is a land that flows with milk and honey!” However, not only did they see this incredible provision, they also saw the walled cities, the weaponry, the sons of the giants. As a result, ten of the spies focused on all the reasons why this Promised Land could not be theirs.

Now I want you to draw a parallel to the way we read the Word of God. You and I are always faced with a choice. We can see God’s provision and say, “Yes, it is there. It is true, and it is mine. I am going in to get my full inheritance!” Or we can stand there and say, “I see it; God’s promises are clear. But my parents told me I was useless. My teacher said I would never amount to anything. I don’t have much of an education. God, You know I am facing the giants. I see Your promises, but can’t I just admire them from afar? Surely You understand how limited my strength is and how big the obstacles are. Are You really offended if I choose to stay on the street and just look in the window?”

IT HAS ALREADY BEEN PAID FOR
Years ago, I received a complimentary dinner for four to one of the finest restaurants in the city. I saved it and took my father and mother there for their fiftieth anniversary. The maitre d’ sat us in one of the best booths, and we were presented with a menu offering an extensive array of dishes, listed at incredible prices.

When it came time to order, the poor waiter almost choked when my father said, “I would like a hamburger patty, mashed potatoes and gravy, and no vegetables.” My father was a miner, so he was accustomed to eating that way and was somewhat fearful of change. I remember how flustered he got when the waiter broke the news to him that they didn’t serve hamburger patties there.

How many of us do the very same thing, despite the fact that the Lord has set an incredible “menu” before us? “I’ll have a hamburger patty, please,” we say, when God says we can be an evangelist. God offers us the privilege of daily partaking of His very own life; of being led to places that are beyond the familiar; of experiencing something that is deeper than anything we have ever known. It is all available as part of our inheritance in Christ.

Jesus once told His disciples, “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall show it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall show it unto you” (John 16:12–15).

Jesus was saying, “The Holy Spirit is going to come to you; He will take what is Mine and show it to you because it is yours!” We now know that Jesus was referring to all that was purchased on the cross of Calvary. In other words, “I am giving you a ticket to everything that I have bought for you on the cross. I am giving you entrance into the victory that I won; every promise in the Bible is yours. The freedom, the vision, the healing, the supernatural empowerment of God to do the impossible—it is all yours!” However, although this is freely available to us as the children of God, we still must press in to lay hold of it.

LAYING HOLD OF GOD’S PROVISION
Continuing from our opening text in Second Kings, we see that the day did come when God made provision available, thus fulfilling the word He had spoken through the prophet Elisha. How exactly did He do it?

It all began with four lepers sitting outside the city gate finally coming to the conclusion, “Well, there’s no point in staying here! We are going to starve. We might as well go into the camp of the Syrians” (see 2 Kings 7:3–4). As the four of them headed down toward the enemy’s camp, the Lord made their footsteps sound like an approaching army, striking such fear into the Syrian army that they immediately fled. When the lepers arrived at the camp, they could barely believe what they saw—food everywhere, campfires still burning, horses still tied to their posts. Everything their hearts desired was right there before them!

Moved with compassion, the lepers gave word to the city’s gatekeepers about their discovery, and provision was eventually unlocked to the entire city. “And the people went out, and spoiled the tents of the Syrians. So a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord. And the king appointed the lord on whose hand he leaned to have the charge of the gate: and the people trode upon him in the gate, and he died, as the man of God had said, who spake when the king came down to him” (2 Kings 7:16–17). The king’s servant, the one who hesitated and refused to believe the word of the Lord, was run over and trampled to death. May that never become the story of any of the King’s servants today!

On the other hand, we see that a group of people pressed through to this promise of provision—just as multitudes have done over the years. Think about all who have pressed in and found the power of God—the weak who have been made strong; those who couldn’t put two words together who went on to become great preachers of the gospel; those who were once despairing and ended up bringing hope to others!

Even the early church, as frail and feeble as you and I, walked into the camp of Jesus’ victory and found incredible provision. Those 120 disciples must have been aware that stepping out of that Upper Room could have meant death for some of them. Nevertheless, they were willing to press in to that fearful place. They knew that something had been purchased for them on the cross, and they were determined to get it. The words that Jesus had spoken to them must have come back to their mind—that the Comforter was going to come to them, take the victory that Christ won, and show it to them because it was theirs for the asking.

I can picture these men and women rising up to possess what was theirs, as if they were walking straight into the Promised Land. They went in to lay hold of the resources of God that they needed—boldness, love, a willingness to lay down their lives, if necessary, for the sake of His glory. And when they came out of that Upper Room, the disciples were clothed in righteousness and the power of God. They had new minds, courage in place of fear, vision where they once saw only their own frailty. As they stepped out into the public sphere, the 120, gripped by the power of God, overthrew the whole known world of their time. Even Peter, who had previously denied Jesus out of fear, preached a sermon that moved at least three thousand people to give their lives to Christ. This early church had clearly taken possession of their inheritance of the incredible provision of God!

GET UP AND GO IN
The good news that I have for you today is: Nothing has changed! The provision of God is still available; the Promised Land in Christ is still ours. The strength and ability of God to take us into His life is still there. The only thing that we have to face is fear—the fear of change, the fear of rejection, the fear of God calling us to an arena that we are not familiar with. But that is what faith is all about. Faith does not take us to where we are comfortable or can manage in our own strength. No! Faith takes us to places where only faith can sustain us.

You and I must have a willingness to press in to these fearful places. Perhaps the fearful place for you means getting out of a cocoon of security or out of a relationship that you know is wrong. It may simply begin by getting out of where you shouldn’t be so that you can get to where you should be. Whatever the case, we must get to the point in our lives where we say, “Enough staring in the window, I am going in the door. I don’t care what people think. I have a paid ticket to the provision of God, so I am going in. I am going to sit at the finest table, and I am going to order everything on the menu!”

That is who we are in Christ, and we must not settle for less in this hour! This generation deserves to have a glorious Church; this generation deserves to have a witness and a testimony—a people who have pressed in to fearful places and laid hold of the strength of God in Jesus Christ. It is time we rise up and say, “I am not settling for mediocrity when God has called me to glorify the Name of Jesus Christ on the earth. I am not going to let the devil destroy my family when God said that if I believe, not only I but my household would be saved; that if I fear the Lord and walk in His commandments, my seed would be mighty on the earth. I am not settling for less than my inheritance. I am going to press in by faith and prayer, knowing that everything in this Bible is mine!”

As you make the choice to press in to these fearful places, people’s futures will be changed. There will be people at the throne of God who will put their arms around your neck and say, “Thank you for standing up in the workplace. I would not have known Christ if you hadn’t. Thank you for coming to me in my poverty. Thank you for being a visible demonstration of God to me!”

So get up and go in—that was the message of Elisha, and that is the word of the Lord to you today. Get up and go in, for there is a miraculous life available to all who are willing to claim it. Hallelujah!

Carter Conlon
©2013 Times Square Church

The first usage of the term Evangelical in recent church history was in Germany at the time of the Reformation. In 1517 Luther nailed his thesis to the church door at Wittenberg. Two years later his followers were called Lutheran’s by their enemies but Luther preferred the term Evangelical.

When Luther finally broke from Rome and established churches free from Rome’s jurisdiction he called the new movement the Evangelische Kirche (evangelical church). It was a church built upon the true Gospel of Jesus Christ as opposed to a church built upon tradition, heresy and man-made regulations as that at Rome most certainly was.

The term Protestant was not used until 1529. The meaning of the Word is ‘to protest or to proclaim.’ Luther and many others were protesting against the error of Rome but were also proclaiming the truth of the simple Gospel of Christ. Philip Schaff the great church historian stated that the term Protestant must be supplemented by the term Evangelical for this reason: “The gospel of Christ, as laid down in the New Testament, and proclaimed again in its primitive purity and power by the Reformation, is the basis of historical Protestantism, and gives it vitality and permanancy.”

Writing in 1520 Luther said “We were all Hussites without knowing it.” By this he meant they had discovered the same truths of the Gospel and were holding to them in the same way John Huss (1373-1415) of Bohemia had done 100 years previously and for which he was martyred. His ministry and martyrdom gave rise to a spiritual movement called the Hussite’s which spread to other lands and later resulted in the Moravian revival. Huss had previously been impacted by the writings of John Wycliffe (1329-84) of England who through preaching the simple Gospel of the Bible had birthed a spiritual movement called the Lollards. These poor but profound preachers spread everywhere preaching the simplicity of the Gospel.

This reveals something of the unbroken line of leaders and spiritual movements which ran from the days of the apostles down to the days of the Reformation and onwards who held to the clear truths of the Bible.

In the mind of the Reformers to be Evangelical meant having a true grasp and understanding of the Gospel as a result of a conversion through justification by faith. That’s why they stood for Sola Scriptura – the Scripture alone. To be Evangelical meant that they believed the written Word of God was absolutely authoritive over every doctrine, tradition and practise in the church, in ministry and in life. Because of Sola Scriptura many spiritual leaders and movements were birthed in the following centuries that were Christ-centred. Evangelicalism has always been Bible-based and as a result of that has been Christ-centred.

The Reformation in Europe spread quickly from Germany to every corner of Europe raising up national reformers. They were not dealing with just a veneer of church order, structure or government; they were dealing with the foundation, the most vital issues of the Gospel, of justification by faith alone and the place of God’s Word in the Church. It was the beginning of a fresh return to the church of the Bible. To be evangelical meant conformity to the written Scriptures. Those who make light of the Reformation just show that they know little or nothing about it.

A return to the Gospel as presented in the Scriptures literally shook Europe from top to bottom and inside out, socially, politically and spiritually. Countries like Switzerland renamed individual counties ‘Evangelick Cantons.’ Through forty days of Gospel preaching John Knox saw Scotland set free from darkness, superstition, religious tradition and bondage. This return to an Evangelical Gospel led to great multitudes of genuine believers being martyred across Europe over the next 100 years. This was a spiritual revival.

William Tyndale

One of the greatest English Reformers was William Tyndale (1494-1536). The Lord used him in translating the Bible into the language of the English people. He was eventually martyred for his zeal in proclaiming the true Gospel. The first recorded usage of the term ‘Evangelical’ in the English language was made by Tyndale in his writings in the year 1531. Within his writings he spoke freely of the true Gospel as “evangelical truth.” In the following year Thomas More wrote a six-volume response to him in which he talks of Tyndale and his ‘evangelical friends.’ So from its first usage in English it not only defined the Gospel message but those who believed it as well.

The term Evangelical was then brought into the English language and used widely by those who held fast to the same fundamental doctrines of the Gospel which Tyndale held to, defended and died for.

In the 17th century men like Samuel Rutherford in Scotland and John Owen in England freely used the term Evangelical not for a party-name but for true Bible-believing Christians of whatever denomination. The Covenanter’s and Puritan’s of both nations continued their pursuit of a full reformation of the Church by the Word of God. The Reformation was a beginning not an end. During this era the Lord blessed the preaching of the Gospel by pouring out His Spirit a number of times to speed the work forward.

The breadth of Evangelicalism has been its recondition of all those who uncompromisingly hold to the foundational truths of the Gospel which makes Christ preeminent and central in all things.

Evangelical has always been broader than finer points of teaching concerning church structure, the Lord’s Table or baptism. Men have stood on either side of such arguments yet been solidly Evangelical. But let a man weaken on the foundational truths of the Gospel and he has departed from being Evangelical. A church group, denomination or movement is only Evangelical while it remains faithful to the truth of the Gospel.

John & Charles Wesley

In May 1738 almost 200 years after the Reformation young Charles Wesley (1707-88) while reading Luther’s commentary on Galatians was convinced, converted and found peace in Christ Jesus. Just three days later John Wesley (1703-91) was converted as his heart was strangely warmed at a meeting of Moravians where Luther’s commentary on Roman’s was being read. These two brothers as well as a great host of other preachers were to be used in God’s hand to proclaim the Evangelical Gospel with great power during what was called the Evangelical Revival (Awakening). But this was only another stage in the Lord’s progressive work; not the beginning of Evangelicalism. Through their preaching, their writings and their hymns the truth of the Evangelical Gospel spread to the ends of the earth.

To be continued…

Phil 4:6-9 (AMP)
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything…

DO NOT FRET… do is to have action and do something. Do not means to stop doing something. This means we are doing something that we should not do.

STOP IT!!!

That means you have been doing it & now it is time to stop it.

The KJ bible word book explanation of FRET is:

The word “fret” makes us think of worry & discontent. In the KJV, however it occurs 4 times in the obsolete sense of “Eat into”, “gnaw”, Corrode,”, or be “eaten away”, “become corroded”, “decay”, “a fretting leprosy” Lev 13:51-52 “it is fret inward” Lev 13:55; 14:44. “a leprous malignancy. a spreading leprous disease. “it is Fret inward, weather it be bare within or without. “it continues eating away, weather the damage is outside or inside.

WOW, just by fretting we eat away at our insides. We can even see the results of worry in people’s faces. It does have an outward appearance when people worry and fret. The inward fretting is like leprosy eating away at us.

The bible talks a lot about not fretting or letting our cares dragging us down.

He wants us to cast our cares on Him.

Matt 6:32-34 …your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all(daily needs) He knows what you need. vs 27 who of you by worrying & being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature on to the span of his life.

vs 26 what about the birds? Are they better than you? Are you not worth much more that they? He takes care of them, why would you be any less?

But see (aim at & strive after) for all His kingdom & His righteousness (His way of doing & being right, & then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries & anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

Heb 13:5-6 …For [God] himself said I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support, [I WILL] not, [I WILL] not, [I WILL] not, in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake you nor let you down (relax my hold on you!) [assuredly no!]

So we take comfort and are encouraged & confidently and boldly say, the Lord is my helper; I will not be seized with alarm [ I will no fear or dread or be terrified]

We can look to him and not worry about what each day holds!!!

HE IS OUR HELPER!!!

Charging 2012 Part 1 by Len Paxton

The Bible says that everything that can be shaken; will be shaken. Everything that can’t be shaken will remain. Let’s read from the book of Hebrews chapter 12, verses 26 through 29. “Whose voice that shook the earth; but now He has promised saying, “yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” Now this, “yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. For our God is a consuming fire.”

I believe with all my heart we have reached a time where some of the behavior and attitudes exhibited by Christians, God can no longer tolerate. As we enter the year 2012 the whole world has been focusing on the Mayan calendar, anticipating a great cosmic shaking. Man is fearful of total destruction. My concern as a Christian is not the Mayan calendar, nor the shaking of the earth, neither the total destruction of mankind; my concern are those areas in my life which are not pleasing to the Lord. The Bible clearly tells us the events that will take place in the end times. So I do not look for mystical answers. But my heart is what God wants to deal with as a Christian.

So while there are many things, terrible things, that will indeed take place upon planet Earth in the last days, God is looking for a people that will wholeheartedly follow after Him; seeking His face and allowing Him to change their hearts and lives.

Recently I heard an awesome message by Sis. Teresa Conlon. It was called “small things are big things”. One tremendous point she brought out in this message is found in the book of Ecclesiastes chapter 10 verse 1. The Scripture tells us this “dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so does a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor.” The ointment here represents our Christian testimony and the message of the cross. The dead flies that are in the ointment represents hidden sins and sinful attitudes that so many hold onto, even while preaching a good message; the truth; and testify of their faith to others. There are many today in the body of Christ that have excellent reputations as men and women of wisdom and honor but attitudes and conduct that are sinful, even where no one can see it, cause the sweet smell of their message and their testimony to stink in the nostrils of a hurting world. When the world in its lost condition observes the church arguing and fighting, bickering over who is the best, they are hard-pressed to want to accept the message even though it is the message that will change their lives and save their souls. These sins; these attitudes, that are not pleasing to the Lord in the life of a Christian must be exposed and the believer challenged to repentance. The trouble is that most who are showing forth the attitudes of exclusiveness, spiritual pride, an elitist mindset, so on and so forth; are so convinced that they are right it is very difficult to reach them. We must pray for them because the Holy Spirit can bring them to their knees. It is these “little foxes” that will spoil the harvest that God intends to come forth from the message of the cross. ( Song of Solomon 2:15)

In Matthew 24 verse 6 we read “and ye shall hear of wars and rumors of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” Among all the other problems of the last days Jesus seems to be saying here that the misuse of the mouth are real problems to watch out for. Notice he said you shall hear of and there will be rumors. There seems to be among ministers of the cross a large emphasis placed on rumor and hearsay. Dear friends, do not base your walk with God on rumors and hearsay. Please I beg of you, do not join the rank’s of those who major on slandering other ministers. It is very difficult today to do anything in the ministry for Jesus–without somebody speaking against it. Gossip and sinning with the mouth are very popular today. In many Christians lives, tale bearing and rumormongering are common everyday experiences. This type of activity causes the sweet smelling ointment to stink. It is a rank and disgusting odor. I personally believe this behavior stinks so bad that it makes God sick especially when it comes from the lives of his children. The infighting and the bickering and the wars between Christians such as we have been witnessing God will not long tolerate. We are living in a time where people have no fear to openly gossip and slander each other as well as the ministry gifts. Among many, it will get worse as the day approaches. But among God’s remnant, those who are serious about serving Him and giving Him their lives, we must allow the Holy Spirit to shake these behaviors and attitudes completely and totally out of us.

As we prepare to charge the year 2012 in order to take the gospel of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world, we must understand that God is not the author of the competitive spirit. It is not God that is causing or promoting men and women to stand up and say “I am the only one with the word of the hour” or “God is using us and us alone.” Friends, do not get caught up with those who claim themselves to be great leaders or to have important anointings. Beware especially of those who always put others down. Beware of those who isolate themselves from the rest of the body of Christ. Beware of individual ministers, believers, churches, and ministerial groups that politic and woo you to uproot your base, demanding that you support only them. These things are not of God. Lawlessness is not of God. Preaching one thing while living another is one of the surest ways to bring the judgment of God.

In 2012 as the shaking continues, you and I dear friends must decide whether to be sheep or to be goats. This could in fact be the greatest time of harvest the world has ever known in all of its history. The message of the cross is right. The message of the cross is the Bible. The message of the cross will set captives free. So it is imperative that we do not allow the dead flies of stinking sin and arrogant attitudes to cause others to recoil from the foul odor of sin in our lives as we try to give our testimony of this life-changing message. As we charge the year 2012 do not forget the biblical principle that we do not wrestle with people ( Ephesians 6:12–13) we need to learn now that it is not permissible to live an argumentative life. It is a violation of holy Scriptures for you and I to continually be in strife with others. If you live in strife, you will begin to invite in every evil work.See James 3:14–17. The last thing that we need is every evil work manifesting itself in our lives, our marriages, our homes, and our ministries. We must seek to never allow any dark spirit to infest itself within our souls; robbing us of the beauty and the powerful impact of our testimony to the grace of God through the message of the cross.

I firmly believe with all my heart that in the year 2012 God is going to do some miraculous things. Many prayers once thought impossible will be answered because of the mercy of our great God. Because of the blood of Jesus we will see things take place that will be so mind-boggling that we may not even believe it as we see it. A harvest of souls will be gathered in to the kingdom of God. Let’s you and I allow the Holy Spirit to work within our hearts. Let the Holy Spirit accomplish anything and everything that he desires within us. Together, you and I can rend our hearts before him and allow the sweet smelling savour of the message of the cross from a pure heart to penetrate all who come in contact with us in 2012.

This is part 1 of this message that God is given me. Stay tuned for part 2 coming in a few days. God bless you my friends. Remember, we are going to charge the year 2012 and win souls to Jesus.

Part 2 of this message will deal with the dangers associated with marginalizing the poor and needy and the false “revelation” that all we need to do is preach to them….


I am so thankful for friends and fellowship in the body of Jesus Christ. It is wonderful to be able  to encourage one another, to spur each other on to continue in the faith, to have a word that might  help lift another’s burden. The  Bible clearly exhorts us not to forsake assembling together— in even greater measure as we  see the Lord’s return drawing  nearer (see Hebrews 10:25). Yes, I have enjoyed many marvelous moments of friendship over the years. Nevertheless, I also have found that God often calls me to  a place where I must journey alone.

“And as they were eating, Jesus  took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives” (Matthew 26:26–30).

Here we see fellowship around  a table, with Jesus openly declaring His intent to obey the calling of His Father, regardless of the personal cost. He was essentially telling them, “As you see this bread broken, I am going to be broken  for you. Not only for you, but for  all people who will turn to God through Me. Just as you see this juice being poured out, My blood is going to be spilled upon the ground for the redemption of all humanity.”

I am sure many of us have openly declared our desire to obey God  to the fullest. We have gone to an altar and prayed, “Oh, God, take  me the full journey; use my life  for Your glory. Make me into  what You want me to be!”
Six months after praying a prayer  like that, you may have found yourself screaming, “Lord, what  are you doing to me?” And the  Lord answers, “Well, I am just answering your prayer. You said  you wanted to take up your cross  and follow Me, so that is what you are doing!” It is not merely a theological cross that you take up, of course. There must be a practical inward and outward working of it.

Unfulfilled Promises


“Then saith Jesus unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me thisnight: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after  I am risen again, I will go before you into Galilee. Peter answered and said unto him, Though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended…Likewise also said all the disciples” (Matthew 26:31–35).

We have all had friends say,  “I am in this with you; we are  going over the finish line together!” I cannot help but wonder if, in this context, Jesus was tempted to lean on His friends for this final and most pivotal part of His earthly journey. Hebrews 4:15 tells us Jesus fully understands and feels our struggles and weaknesses, for He “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.” The God side of Jesus Christ could not be tempted, but  the man side of Him could be.

“Then cometh Jesus with them  unto a place called Gethsemane,  and saith unto the disciples, Sit  ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and  the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy” (Matthew 26:36–37). Jesus was approaching that final moment  when He would give His life for  all the sins of humanity. Into this place of prayer He chose to take Peter, James and John—His closest friends on earth, His inner circle. They had seen His transformation; they had been with Him when  He raised the dead—they knew  who He was.

As Jesus took them into the garden of Gethsemane with Him, He shared with them the agony of His heart. “…My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me” (Matthew 26:38). In other words, “I am going into a time of intense agony, and I am asking you to be with Me. I am asking for your support, your prayer, your help. You promised Me that you would not deny Me. You promised Me that you would stand with Me, even unto death. You promised Me that no matter how difficult it got, you would not walk away from Me. Now I am asking you to stay here with Me.”

Jesus went a little farther beyond them into the garden and began to pray, His sweat dripping as blood because of the agony that lay  ahead. I find it very interesting because He then got up and went back to His inner circle. Although Jesus was seeking strength from  His Father—the only source of  true strength—He also went back  to His disciples. When He found them asleep, He said to Peter, “…What, could ye not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40). Do you think Jesus could have been tempted to be disillusioned, perhaps even bitter, with His friends? He could have been tempted to question Peter, James and John, “After pouring My heart and life into you for over three years, could you not have given Me one hour when I needed you most?”

During our journey, there will be places where God calls us to go individually. However, it is during those times that we will often be faced with the temptation to lean on our friends. While we theologically know that our only source of strength is God, we all have the human tendency to come back and lean on people. You and I run into a crisis and go into the prayer closet—yet we are not even halfway through our prayers when suddenly we are on the telephone calling somebody seeking counsel. We are looking for strength from God, but we also are looking to people for what only God can give. And there is a temptation in the  heart to get bitter when we are looking in a dual place.

Remember that the Bible says, “…Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm…” (Jeremiah 17:5). Flesh will always fail. As wonderful as fellowship is,  as wonderful as the promises that  we have made to each other are,  we simply are not capable of keeping those promises, for we are all built of the same frail cloth. The disciples were not at a place in their spiritual journey where they could share  in or understand what Jesus was asking them to do.

“He went away again the second  time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass  away from me, except I drink it,  thy will be done. And he came  and found them asleep again:  for their eyes were heavy” (Matthew 26:42–43). I see this as a last backward glance for the help  of man. After all, why did Jesus  come back a second time instead of just staying there to pray? It is as if  He simply was looking for help, for companionship, for strength—only  to find His disciples asleep.

It is only my opinion, but I believe that the Father in His mercy put them to sleep, for it was the strength of God alone that could take Jesus  on this last and final step of His journey. There are times in our  lives when God calls each child  of His into his or her own Gethsemane, and nobody else  can understand it; nobody else  can help them there. People may offer words of encouragement and promise, but ultimately they will  end up asleep because it is not  their moment.

Necessary Wounds

A specific tree in Israel normally yields large amounts of fruit, yet sometimes it starts bearing less than it should. In our natural compassion we would start reading manuals about how to encourage this tree, how to go around the root system, how to give it certain types of fertilizer to help it grow and bear more fruit. Yet the true keeper of the vineyard comes with a huge machete in his hand and literally hacks the tree full swing on the side, causing the sap within to bleed out. At that point the tree has only two choices—it either goes down deep to find water or it dies. Most of the trees go down deep and eventually the wound heals because it finds itself in a root system drawing water from depths that ordinary trees cannot reach.

Similarly, if you desire to walk as Jesus did, you will not escape the classroom of being wounded. People you trusted will fall short. Proverbs 27:6 says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” Faithful. Did you know that God will even assign people to wound you—to fail you, to fall short of what you think friendship should be—in order to get your roots to go down deeper? Are you convinced that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose? (See Romans 8:28.) We tend to spend so much time rehearsing wounds of the past that we fail to understand that God is the author of these things in order that we might bear much fruit in His kingdom.
“And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words” (Matthew 26:44). Jesus left them! There simply comes a point when you have to leave your friends. You must leave this reliance on flesh and move into that place where the Holy Spirit is calling you—a place deeper and farther than natural man can go. It might even  be a small journey from where you are today—just a small step. It  does not mean that you leave your friends behind. It means that you come back and are more committed to them than ever.

Returning In Power

The last part of the journey is  where you and I are called to be  fully given for all people in spite  of their response to us. Nobody but  God can give us the strength to go  to that place—to the place where  we come back. The Scripture says that Jesus left the disciples, and when He later returned, He said  to them, “…Sleep on now…” (Matthew 26:45). Jesus was not looking for strength from them, but instead He returned with the strength of God in Himself for them.

Note that when Jesus came back  this third time, He was not bitter  or indifferent. In fact, the fellowship was about to become sweeter. Genuinely sweet fellowship in  the church of Jesus Christ is when I am not looking for anything from you, nor are you looking for anything from me. Instead, we are both given for each other. That is the sweetest fellowship there is.

Jesus Himself said, “No one that the Father has given me is going to perish except the son of perdition” (see John 17:12). Chosen to wound Him; chosen to betray Him—that was all part of the plan of God. Yet how many people fail at this point? How many get saved, walk with God, attend Bible studies, embrace the Scriptures, sing the hymns of Zion, but fail right at the finish line because they cannot accept that this kingdom is all about being given for other people? It is all about a God who is good to the unthankful and  the unholy; who sends rain on the just and on the unjust. We are  called to represent Him in the  earth, yet how can we do so if  we do not carry the heart of God within us? How will we ever make a difference unless we have been empowered by God Himself to come back and, whether or not it is ever reciprocated, be given for all people? 

Remember that Jesus had to  endure the betrayal of all His disciples, who fled in fearfulness.  Yet God ultimately brought Him  to a point where He could come  back and enter an upper room full of those who had denied Him and simply say, “…Peace be unto you” (John 20:19). Jesus then breathed  on His disciples, saying, “…Receive ye the Holy Ghost” (John 20:22), and sent them out as the Father  had sent Him. 

And what do they end up doing? They go back to their fishing! Nevertheless, Jesus returned to  them and was on the shore baking bread and cooking fish—calling  them in, talking about love. He  had come to a place where He  was fully given for His friends.

Letting Go Of Grievances

It is time for us to leave behind  those moments when we were failed by the people we needed. Perhaps  for you it was parents in your youth,  a marriage partner who walked out,  or church leaders who disappointed you. Whatever the circumstance, you must get beyond the grievances of man—beyond harboring and nurturing in your mind the failures  of humanity.

Over the years I have seen that many people never get beyond that point. They sit in church, but when you dig down deep, it becomes apparent that they still have an inner grievance against people, particularly those they once considered to be their friends in church. They can still sing the songs, still clap their hands and say, “Praise the Lord”—as long as the one who betrayed them stays about five feet away. Their fellowship becomes selective, and they start seeking out people they believe will not hurt them again. Unfortunately, they do not realize how far short of the glory of God they have fallen. 

When we choose to press in to find the strength that only God can give, we will no longer have our list of grievances. Instead, we will have a heart that says, “Slap my face if you will, but by the power of God I shall be given for all people. Put me in jail, laugh me out of the workplace, but God has given me the strength  to be given for others.” 

There is a time when we must leave our friends for just a moment and find strength that can come only from God. God forbid that in this hour you and I should stop just near the end of the journey—that short distance of going from leaning on people to coming back in the power of God.

When we return in the power of  God, we do not come back aloof  or with resentment toward others.  We come back ready to be given  for all men, even our enemies.  We are no longer looking to draw from others, and therefore we return to experience a fellowship that is much deeper and sweeter—the  true fellowship of Christ! 





Carter Conlon
©2011 Times Square Church


Today many people are letting their feelings guide them instead of the Spirit of God. We see things going on around us and are moved by them. We hear things and are moved by them. We are tossed back and forth.

You cannot let your feelings guide you. If you do you will be like a yo-yo. You are up and you are down. Feelings are unpredictable. Like the weather they can change in a minute. You are so easily influenced and go up and down. They are so undependable.

You have to bring your feelings into subjection to the word of God. To His leading and His guiding. Apply faith to your feelings.

Doing what you want to do, doing what you feel like doing is not being led by the Spirit and will led you into places that you really do not want to go.

Feeling will not direct you, they can hurt you if they are led by the flesh. Many times our feeling run away with us because we dwell on the circumstances or the situation.

Your feelings can deceive you. Feelings can lead you into depression & fear. If unchecked feelings can stop you from receiving & from giving. People who follow their feelings can become hopeless.

You can not see tomorrow, but God can. He will led you into the right place, true peace, true joy, true love, etc…

You can have the peace of God as you allow Him to led you.

He has a plan for you. He knows you. He knows what you care about. He knows what hurts your heart. God loves you.

Our feelings can cause us to be double minded and that makes us unstable.

James 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

James 1:8
Amplified Bible (AMP)
[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].
Feelings that are not under the control of our Heavenly Father make us unstable, unreliable, and uncertain about everything.
We must be stable in His will, in His ways, in His direction, and in His leading.
Psalm 31:3
For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.
Psalm 32:8
I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.
Psalm 23
 1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.
 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
We must bring every thought to the obedience of Christ…
2 Corinthians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…

As we continue to look to what He did at Cross daily, we will continue to feel the right feelings. When we look to our own thoughts about the situation we will not have the peace of God.

But when you place your faith about all you experience, you will have true peace, true joy, true love. Only when you place your life into the hands of the Shepherd and not in your feelings will this come to past. Let Him led you and guide you today…Praise God

First let’s begin with the proper definition:

doc·trine

 /ˈdɒktrɪn/ Show Spelled[dok-trin]–noun
1.
a particular principle, position, or policy taught or advocated, as of a religion or government .
2.
something that is taught; teachings collectively: religious doctrine.
3.
a body or system of teachings relating to a particular subject: .
According to my count the word doctrine is used over 40 times in the Bible.It can mean fair speech, teaching,speech,talk,report,utterance. Therefore over all we see or can come to the conclusion that it is a speaking forth of a teaching.
Now Jesus taught doctrine:Matt. 7:28,22:33/ Mark 1:27, 4:2, 11:18,12:38,Luke 4:32/ John 7:16,17,19
In verse 16 of John 7 Jesus said His doctrine ( instruction) was not His own but from the Father. Hence doctrine was birthed of God.
The Apostles taught doctrine: Acts 2:42,5:28.13:12,17:19, / Romans 6:17, 16:17/ I Cor.14:6,26 – So we see the Apostles ( who were men by the way) taught, instructed, spoke doctrine.

Doctrine can be good : They referred to it as “sound doctrine” – that word meaning whole,safe,wholesome.I Tim.1:10,4:6,13,16/ 5:17/ 6:3 II Tim.3:16, 4:2,3 / Titus 1:9
Doctrine can be bad :II Tim.4:3/ II John 1:10 / Rev.2:14,15,/ I Tim.4:1, Heb.13:9 – So we can see that some doctrines, teachings, ideas are not in line with God’s Word and some have a demonic influence behind them. (II John 1:10)
Whats my point? Doctrine is not a bad word that needs to be expunged from our vocabulary as Believers. Doctrines are foundational in beliefs as Christians. I get so amused at some of the psuedo, enlightened,self scholars,( especially on FB) who espouse their “doctrine” of no doctrine. Yes if they are teaching it, speaking it, whatever they are speaking forth a doctrine. Ironic isn’t it?
I’m sorry but we need doctrine in the Body of Christ. Granted some of what has been taught is wrong – why because man is involved.Here is a revelation for you – no one- no one has it all right. We all are growing, learning, moving from precept to precept. The key is to find a good, sound, place that teaches the founding truths ( doctrines), the fundamental, foundational truths of God’s Word without apology or compromise.
So please- quit attacking the idea of Doctrine. Your wrong! Guess what – being saved by the blood of Jesus is a doctrine in the Christian faith.( Sorry to burst your psuedo enlightenment bubble)

2 John 1:9-11 (AMP)
9 Anyone who runs on ahead [of God] and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ [who is not content with what He taught] does not have God; but he who continues to live in the doctrine (teaching) of Christ [does have God], he has both the Father and the Son.
10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine [is disloyal to what Jesus Christ taught], do not receive him [do not accept him, do not welcome or admit him] into [your] house or bid him Godspeed or give him any encouragement.
11 For he who wishes him success [who encourages him, wishing him Godspeed] is a partaker in his evil doings.
Galatians 1:8-9 (AMP)
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to and different from that which we preached to you, let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!
9 As we said before, so I now say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from or contrary to that which you received [from us], let him be accursed (anathema, devoted to destruction, doomed to eternal punishment)!
In Revelation God went so far as to say he hated ( detested ) the doctrine of the Nicolatians – interpreted it means He was not pleased.
Revelation 2:6 (AMP)
6 Yet you have this [in your favor and to your credit]: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans [what they are doing as corrupters of the people], which I Myself also detest.

Revelation 2:14-15 (AMP)
14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: you have some people there who are clinging to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to set a trap and a stumbling block before the sons of Israel, [to entice them] to eat food that had been sacrificed to idols and to practice lewdness [giving themselves up to sexual vice].
15 You also have some who in a similar way are clinging to the teaching of the Nicolaitans [those corrupters of the people] which thing I hate.

Revelation 2:20-23 (AMP)
20 But I have this against you: that you tolerate the woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess [claiming to be inspired], and who is teaching and leading astray my servants and beguiling them into practicing sexual vice and eating food sacrificed to idols.
21 I gave her time to repent, but she has no desire to repent of her immorality [symbolic of idolatry] and refuses to do so.
22 Take note: I will throw her on a bed [of anguish], and those who commit adultery with her [her paramours] I will bring down to pressing distress and severe affliction, unless they turn away their minds from conduct [such as] hers and repent of their doings.
23 And I will strike her children (her proper followers) dead [thoroughly exterminating them]. And all the assemblies (churches) shall recognize and understand that I am He Who searches minds (the thoughts, feelings, and purposes) and the [inmost] hearts, and I will give to each of you [the reward for what you have done] as your work deserves.

God my friend does NOT TOLERATE false doctrine,teaching,instruction. Take heed to who and what you listen to.Let him that hath ears to hear – let him hear.

So my friend be not afraid of the word doctrine —– it is not a dirty word. One of the problems today is people going around spouting unsound doctrine and ideas that DO NOT line up the Truth of God’s Word.
So let us strive to have sound doctrine in our lives!

My friends it has been awhile since I wrote a note but I have been thinking so I thought I would share some of my thoughts. Lets look at a scripture :


” Thus says the Lord: Stand by the roads and look; and ask eternal paths, where the good, old way is;then walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But they said , We will not walk in it!” Jer. 6:16 amp.

Now I certainly don’t want to miss anything that God is doing in this hour. I certainly don’t think things should stagnate.Certainly there are shiftings and changing that will occur in the Body of Christ and I try to stay sensitive to the Spirit of God. My greatest fear ( yes I said it ) is missing God in any area of my life. Notice however the people responded by saying > ” we will not walk in it” .

However there are some ” old fashioned ” things I miss :

Like services where the power of the Holy Spirit would move and people would weep their way to the altar and let the Spirit do a deep work in their lives. Transforming their natures more into the image of Jesus.

Services where the Word was preached without compromise and it would penetrate into the hearts of people causing them to look at their lives and see the need of change instead of watered down, make me feel good messages. The intent being to soothe the ears of people and not offend them. To help them stay so self centered. Goodness we might make somebody upset.

Revivals that were rooted in a deep move of God. Why they could last for days and the clock wasn’t the controlling factor and schedules were interrupted. Now people are upset if the service last longer than they think it should cause they are ” busy”.

The times when people wanted to be grounded in good solid biblical foundations. They wanted to know the foundational principles that would cause them to be solid in their beliefs instead of trying to always hear ” the latest thing” yet by their very actions they prove they do not understand basic things. Doctrine and theology are not bad words.

Remember when Ministers cared for the needs of people? They were driven with a passion to see the needs of their flock being met. They weren’t there to be served but to serve. They weren’t motivated with the idea of ” just what can they do for me and my church to put me on the map? ” There concern was ” How can they feed my people – and bless the people?”

Or we didn’t have so blatant hirelings who expect to be treated like ” movie stars ” with all their petty self-serving needs and their entourage to follow them. Those who seek to just fill their pockets and justify it .

Remember when sin was sin? Not ” issues” or just ” problems” . Remember how when you realized your sin broke the heart of the Father it broke your heart? Now days it is justified in some form or fashion.

Remember when people ” feared ” the Lord? Now days we see a total lack of this in the Body. It shall return though!

I still think Sanctification is still a process we must go through. Holiness wasn’t considered a bad thing or bondage in any way. There was a time when people sought it with fervency.

Remember when worship was about exalting Jesus? Excuse me but I don’t understand the need of throwing away hymns of the past. They had some strong content and theology in them. Yes some were not but Amazing Grace or How Firm a Foundation or Blessed Assurance still move me. I enjoy some of the ” new ” worship but I find some of it cold and lifeless and lacking in exalting Jesus.

Remember when Truth was not relevant? It was founded on biblical principles and adhered to. It wasn’t twisted to fit a certain viewpoint.

These are just a few things I have thought on. My children used to laugh at me when we would be driving and I would see a 57 Chevy or 63 Thunderbird and say ( before I could say it ) they would say , We know its a classic! Well I think these things I said above are some classic things we should still appreciate.

Yes let’s be swift to follow God and yet let’s not leave everything behind. Yes the Lord is doing ” a new thing” but notice both of these were written by Jeremiah . I am thoroughly convinced these are matters of the heart.

Thanks for listening to this “old guy ” Be Blessed!

http://www.youtube.com/p/68E03EAE3C0E4F4B?version=3&hl=en_US&fs=1