Today I want to ask you some questions pertaining to your own belief. Your first response to these questions will be; I believe in Jesus Christ and his word. But let me ask you; what do you believe about Jesus Christ and His word and how did you formulate your viewpoint.” All of us are affected by a doctrinal spin. If you were raised a certain way you will have a certain perspective that has been ingrained in you. I believe that if each of us would return to the word of God, the church would no longer be as divided as it is. Will there still be division, of course because there are people gifted in division, as that is what they do. We will just handle it differently. Paul said, 1 Corinthians 11:17 “In the following directives I have no praise for you, for your meetings do more harm than good. 18 In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. 19 No doubt there have to be differences among you to show which of you have God’s approval.”
                I would say that most Christians today do not know what they believe. Here is an example. We see Baptists going to Pentecostal churches and Pentecostals going to Baptist churches, Methodists going to Brethren and on and on the list could go. Each of these groups believes something totally different. This is why I say that most don’t know what they believe. You end up with calmeanian dispensationalists. That means a Calvinist, Armenian Dispensational belief, which is predominately man made. There will also be those who will not veer from one of these viewpoints till the day they die. All their reading is done under one of those lights.
                The lampstand from which they study under is also a problem. Revelation 2:4 “Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken the love you had at first. 5 Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place.” I am amazed at how often I hear men and women’s names as who they follow instead of Jesus Christ. You must remember that everything they teach is in light of what they believe. Yes all will say it is biblically sound but is it. When you have man’s agenda intertwined throughout scripture, scripture changes and becomes another gospel. The Bereans were people we should emulate. Acts 17:11 “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Most have stopped checking. When we read or hear something, test the spirits to makes sure it is true. If it is man made change what you believe. How do you know? Easy the word of God verifies it. Transformation will often involve translocation (movement from one location to another). Many will say they attend bible-believing churches yet these churches deny parts of scripture to maintain their doctrinal stances.
                So when I ask about your belief, I also ask are you willing to change your belief for truth? The truth is the word of God. The church and its doctrines have complicated the word. I have changed my view several times now on major items. I was raised with an anti- Pentecostal view. There was a fear of this movement. The church had a built in protection against anything that might be charismatic. Rightfully so I might add but it was wrong to toss everything charismatic out the window. Get back to the word of God and you will see the power once again. When I say power I mean biblical power not satanic. I have talked about being slain in the spirit backwards as satanic. Stay away from anywhere that has this as part of their service. Now my prayer is the fulfilment of Mark 16:15 “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” in my lifetime. I also changed my perspective on entire sanctification. It made no sense and no one seemed to be able to explain it. I just read an article telling me why I should not believe this. (Written by a cessationist) No thanks I will stick with scripture. As I read about Pentecost and the power of the Holy Spirit I realized what I was looking for was missing in the church. This man made doctrine has left us empty. I then understood that I wanted what happened to Peter to happen once again. That is easy to explain but I also realized because we have grieved the Holy Spirit God has turned his face from us, thus removing the available power for all who believe. That meant waiting once again to be clothed with power just like the first Pentecost. Many disagree with me on this not based on the word of God but because they have been indoctrinated by man not the Holy Spirit. Another massive issue that I have not changed on is the end times. Jesus is going to return and judge so be ready and blameless. There are too many man made views about this that are literally going to send people to hell because they were not ready. They were not ready because they are waiting for Jesus to return to set up his kingdom. Salvation is another. We must live for Jesus daily and turn from him and live our own lives. If you prayed a pray when you were five or baptized and you live a life apart from scripture you have been deceived in your security. The Old Testament shows us, as does the new that we cannot go our own way and be blessed for it.
                So evaluate your beliefs based on the word of God. If you go to a church make sure they are teaching the true gospel. Take the time to read the beliefs page. Ask for information. Don’t be afraid to ask further questions about them. Ask lots of questions. I have noticed lately that churches are leaving out much of what they really believe. Now this will be the hard part. If it is not biblically sound then leave and go somewhere else. Another hard part of this transformation is to stop listening to a wide variety of speakers. Stop doing that, as it is dangerous. It only confuses your own beliefs. Return to the word of God. Let the Holy Spirit teach you. Some people are all over the map as far as their theology goes. Some speaker’s lips are moving but are not teaching truth while others are so convincing in their belief that they spread false doctrines while everyone is praising God. If you are part of a church or listening to those that believe in cessationism, get out as fast as you can. That simply means that the power of the early church is not available for us today. You will be surprised at how many churches you will find a form of this teaching in. Also at the other extreme are the ultra-charismatics where you see the demonic taking place in the name of Jesus. This is just as bad, so run! The first is just more subtle but just as deadly. Check the bible. Remember the b-i-b-l-e, yes that the book for me, I stand alone on the word of God, the B-i-b-l-e. Stop reading this blog if it will mean you reading your bible.
                The whole idea here is to turn you to towards the word of God not to a man or a woman. Our mission is “to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature and to know the hope and riches of His glorious inheritance to which He has called us as His holy people, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. God is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, His incomparably great power for us who believe, the same power as the mighty strength He exerted when he raised Christ from the dead. To Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” My purpose is not to have you follow me but I hope by reading this you will grab hold of the word of God and be transformed then you will not need to read this. You will then help other people and so on and so on. For some of you this will be easy transition as you are new believers and have not been indoctrinated by the church yet. For others you will need the direction of the Holy Sprit as your mind has been clouded by years of doctrines that have become foundational in your belief system and you are unaware how strongly this has veiled your eyesight. Too many Christians are standing strong on the doctrines of their churches but not necessarily on the word of God.
                I will leave you with a few verses from the Apostle Paul. He said in 1 Corinthians 1:10 “I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. 11 My brothers and sisters, some from Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. 12 What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.” 13 Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Were you baptized in the name of Paul? 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 so no one can say that you were baptized in my name. 16 (Yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas; beyond that, I don’t remember if I baptized anyone else.) 17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel—not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. 1 Corinthians 3:3 “Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? 4 For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere human beings?” 1 Corinthians 3:5 “What, after all, is Apollos? And what is Paul? Only servants, through whom you came to believe—as the Lord has assigned to each his task. 6 I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. 7 So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. 8 The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. 9 For we are co-workers in God’s service; you are God’s field, God’s building. 21 So then, no more boasting about human leaders! All things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God. 1 Corinthians 4:6 “Now, brothers and sisters, I have applied these things to myself and Apollos for your benefit, so that you may learn from us the meaning of the saying, “Do not go beyond what is written.” Then you will not be puffed up in being a follower of one of us over against the other.”
                If we would stick with the word of God the church would change and return to being like the New Testament church. We have become very similar to most of the churches listed in Revelations but pointedly like the Laodecian church. Revelation 2:14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see. 19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. 21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”
                So do you know what Jesus did for you according to scripture? Do you know what it means to be a Christian? Have you really been saved or do you just go to church? Have you been transformed? Have you repented? Have you made amends? What are you saved from and why? Can you explain this to others? Do you understand the eternal magnitude of heaven and hell? Do you fear God? Do you know what it means to sin against God? Do understand what Jesus meant about the Kingdom of God. Do you grasp the power that is available to all who believe right now? If you do you would be calling out to God to hear our cry because it is missing. Are you ready to meet Jesus in the twinkling of an eye? 1 Corinthians 15:52 “in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.” Do you fear death? I could go on but lets start with these. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain.
                Take the time to answer these questions. Remember the answers are in the word of God. This could be the time in your life where you have come to a “Y” in the road. Wherever you find yourself start asking why. Make sure the answers you receive come from scripture not man’s ideas about them. By asking why you may have to go in a different direction. There are only two paths in this life. One leads to life and the other to death. Take the time and choose carefully. Philippians 2:12 “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfil his good purpose.”
    Read Philippians 2:1-18