“I have testimony weightier than that of John. For the very work that the Father has given me to finish, and which I am doing, testifies that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has Himself testified concerning me. You have never heard His voice nor seen His form, nor does His word dwell in you, for you do not believe the one He sent. You diligently study the Scriptures because you think that by them you possess eternal life. These are the Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.” John : 5: 36-40
The simple fact is that knowing and studying the scriptures and being able to quote and use them in sermons, discussions, or arguments proves absolutely nothing. You can know the whole entire bible from cover to cover and still not know or recognize Jesus for who He really is. Knowledge of the book does not automatically equate that you will know the truth in love either.
Jesus also said:
“I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears, and He will tell you what is yet to come.” John 16: 12-13
Do you want to know the Truth in Love? If you do you will need to yield and submit to the Holy Spirit and follow His leading and teaching. The bible is not our teacher, the Spirit is! This is why I continually say that the Body of Christ is to be Spirit led, NOT bible led. I have known a lot of people who thought they knew the bible, but had not Christ. However, in reality they did not really know what the scriptures actually meant because they did not have the Spirit to guide them through the text. They knew every letter on every page, but there was no life in it; no Truth, no Love.
I have also known others who could barely read, but still knew more about the Lord and His truth in love than all the scholars did. They knew because they surrendered to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Knowing God has nothing to do with intellect and the amount one reads or studies. If you love Him, you will obey Him and what He has told us to do according to the Spirit and the Word..is to follow the leading and teaching of His Spirit; in every single area of our lives.
The Spirit is superior to the bible in every way. The voice of the Spirit is greater than the printed words contained in the bible. If you desire life you will allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit and then listen to His voice over and above all that is written about Him in the book. In fact it is best not to even pick up the book unless He is leading you to it. Without the anointing of the Spirit the pages of the book are just dead letter……And the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.
To be totally honest I read the bible a lot; more than about anyone else that I know. I wear them out from cover to cover. However, I only read when and where He leads me. I am not anti-bible in any sense, but I refuse to elevate the bible to a place equal to, or greater than the Father, Son, or Spirit. And when someone says that the bible is the Sole Authority in matters of faith and practice, I cringe because that means they have demoted and stripped God Himself of that role and given it to a mere book. To take the created thing, the bible, and make it as great or greater than the Creator is nothing short of idolatry. I love to read the bible, but I realize it is only Christ that gives us eternal life, Truth and Love.
Kirk Out !
This blog post is about three years old, but it felt right to post it here again today. It represents my last visit behind Spiritual bars and walls.
“……to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness.” Isaiah 42:7
Sunday morning I visited Babylon (the traditional/institutional “church” system) again. The woman I have been seeing for over a month wanted me to meet some of her friends. She came to home fellowship here last week. So it was only fair that I went with her this week.
I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. It was a non-denominational “Bible” “Church” of about 200 members. Turns out that one of their associate pastors was a professor at the “Christian” college I graduated from 26 years ago. We attended the 9 am service and the adult Sunday School class at 10:30 am. True to their name they handled the bible very well and I could not find any gross errors in the sermon or the class.
The Pastor shared about Jesus walking on the water and calming the storm. His main point was that we all must face storms in our lives, but the storms serve the purpose of drawing us closer to the Lord if we choose to endure. The Sunday school teacher shared about different kings in the book of Isaiah. Sunday school was somewhat interactive, allowing for comments and questions; but still tightly scripted and controlled. The sermon was a typical monologue, but was casually delivered with a touch of humor.
So overall I had a pleasant time there and the people were extremely friendly and welcoming. However, it still did not sit right in my Spirit and I left there feeling sorry for all who attend there regularly. Like I said it was pleasant and nice, but it still was not total freedom in Christ. It just wasn’t real, it was a stage show. Even with all the positive attributes it was still a prison and HIS people were being held in captivity.
Sure it was a low security prison with free designer coffee, fresh doughnuts, and comfortable cushioned seats: but it was still a prison none the less. The people there were not free to use their priesthood and God-given gifts to bless Christ and the other members of the Body. It was still a one man show, even though the man was gifted, friendly and entertaining. The Lord showed me that this “church” was like a zoo. All the animals there were well fed and cared for, but at what cost? They were still being denied their best natural/supernatural habitat because they were not allowed to be totally free and open. There were no locks on the doors, but this place was still a cage.
People have told me in the past to be happy for those who are happy in their current “church” situation. However, I am not happy…in fact I wept greatly and was filled with much sorrow when I got back home. Even though they had a nice and gifted Clergyman, the Clergy/Laity division was still solidly in place. There was no true freedom in worship there. The gifts of the many were held down while the gift of the one was elevated and given total preeminence. Some will still say to me …look at how happy the animals are? I say blindman it’s a cage!
Kirk Out !
P.s. I really don’t believe that I am meant to be single the rest of my life, but it is very difficult to find a Godly woman without Babylonian baggage or ties. I would deeply appreciate your prayers in this matter? Better yet, just send me contact info for your single, Spirit led, female friends? LOL!
“So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” Galatians 5: 16
It is all so very,very, simple. Yet so many people still fail to grasp this one simple truth… We are to live by the Spirit. Many folks think and preach that we are supposed to live by the bible, but that is not really true is it? The bible is an important tool in the life of a follower of Jesus, but without the illumination of the Spirit it is all just dead letter. The Letter kills, but the Spirit gives life!
If we truly live by the Spirit we will then be able to grasp and understand the truths and concepts found in the bible. It is only then that we can apply those truths to everyday life. If the Spirit is not first and foremost in our lives, we will only misuse and misapply the written word. Many end up using the bible as a weapon and as a means to attempt to control others. Then if you don’t toe their party line you are rebuked and written off as some sort of heretic.
The Spirit gives freedom while the bible on its own brings only control, judgment and manipulation. However, if you surrender and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you through the bible..the written words will then come alive to you and you can use them as a blessing to everyone you encounter in this life. When you hold a bible in your hands you hold the potential of both life and death in your very grasp. If you are led by the Spirit you will bring life and blessing to others via the Living Word. However, if you are instead led by your mere reason or intellect..you will ultimately bring only death and destruction to those in your path.
There is a huge difference between being led by the Spirit and being led by the bible. This is why I will not back down or recant when I say……. that we should all be Spirit led and NOT bible led. Because the Letter kills, but the Spirit gives life! Using the bible while you are walking in the Spirit is awesome and totally life giving. However, using the bible void of the Spirit’s leading brings only death and negativity. Please don’t misunderstand me? In the Spirit the bible is the greatest book ever. However, without the Spirit it is just another dead letter book. In dead letter form the book has been used to dominate and enslave many throughout the ages. When the book is elevated to a status equal to or better than the Spirit everyone loses. In those places where doctrine reigns supreme and relationship is secondary the Church is severely crippled. Because relationship with Christ and one another is the way we best reflect Jesus to others in and outside of the Church. We should be known for our love for one another and not our knowledge of the scriptures. Many voices today say live by the book, but even the Book itself says… LIVE BY THE SPIRIT! So that is exactly what I am going to do and I will encourage others to do exactly the same.
Kirk Out !
“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.” 2 Corinthians 13: 14
Wow! The grace of Jesus, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Spirit; It is extremely important to have all three of these actively at work in your life. I think that most followers of Jesus know somewhat about grace and love, but just how many of us really have true, deep, fellowship with the Holy Spirit?
“Fellowship” implies a deep connection and intimate love relationship, and I think that many Christians fall way short where it comes to having this type of vital bond with the Holy Spirit. Most Christians cling tightly to their bibles, but tend to know very little about relating in the Spirit. Most spend more time reading and studying the book, than they do praying and spending close and intimate time with the Holy Spirit. This is sad because it is the Holy Spirit that really makes the bible come alive to us. In fact unless the Spirit breathes on us and opens our hearts and minds to the ancient text….the bible can be dead and useless. The letter of the Law kills, but the Spirit gives life!
All this brings me to this crucial question…..Do you have a relationship with God or are you only dating? Seriously? Do you walk continuously with God or do you just go visit Him several times a week at a “church” building? Daily, moment by moment, surrender, fellowship and interaction with the Holy Spirit is the only true way to really know and serve Him best. “….because those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” Romans 8: 14
This is why it is so critical to be Spirit led and not just bible led. Unless you allow the Spirit to guide you in the use of the scriptures…the time you spend in them will be for naught. It is impossible to have a relationship with a book, even the best book. However, when we read as led by the Holy Spirit the words will come alive to us and are totally excellent, praiseworthy, beneficial and profitable to us and others.
So I strongly encourage everyone to take precious time to develop their partnership, fellowship, relationship and intimacy with the Holy Spirit. Because in Him we have the mind of Christ available to us at all times and He will lead us into ALL truth. He actually improves our time in the bible. May we all surrender fully to Him and allow Him to fill us to the full measure of Christ overflowing.
Love and …..
Kirk Out !
“After six days Jesus took with Him Peter, James and John the brother of James. and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus. Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters – one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, a bright cloud enveloped them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased. Listen to Him !” Matthew 17: 1-5
Poor Peter, he is just so chronically human. He finds himself in God’s glorious presence and all he wants to do is build tabernacles or monuments to preserve the moment. I find that so much like the traditional/institutional “church”. Whenever there is a move of the Spirit they want to capture it so that they will be able to recreate it, and then market it. Instead all we should do is accept the moment for what it is in Christ and totally take it in and enjoy it. Just because The Lord moved in a certain way for us in one moment does not mean we should try to make that moment last beyond its given time.
Sadly however, this is the way most “churches” operate these days. Something Spiritual worked for them at one time so they try to repeat what they did over and over and over again. They all seem to have their own time tested order of worship or liturgy that they repeat Sunday after Sunday with very little Spiritual progress or reward. Instead of allowing the Wind of the Spirit to “blow wherever it wants to” on any given day they stay stuck in the same rut never realizing that their current “worship” style has become just another dead tradition. Their musical styles may vary greatly, but very seldom does their rut ever allow for anything much different than a prayer, three songs, an offering and a sermon. And normally it is pretty much the same people, week after week, that supply the prayers, songs, offerings and sermons. Dead rituals such as this produce very little life and being so set in their ways…when the Holy Spirit does want to move in a new and different manner they most always deny Him because His freedom does not fit into their pre-fabricated schedules.
Folks, we should not put God or His children in a box like that. When the church gathers for fellowship the Spirit should be allowed to flow freely and equip every member with something to share that day. Everyone should have the opportunity to share a song or a word from the Lord. Instead of being stuck in structure or a certain order….. the Holy Spirit and God’s children should be totally free to share exactly when and how the Lord desires them to. Totally free and open, Spirit led fellowship is what the Body of Christ should be all about. Being constricted and confined to any certain pattern of “worship” is not what Jesus desires of His Church.
Also, I find it very interesting that when Jesus, Moses and Elijah were all there; God The Father spoke and said very clearly that we should follow and listen to Jesus. It is no longer all about The Law or The Prophets and they should no longer be our focus. Sure they have their place, but we should always be listening to Jesus first and foremost.
Kirk Out !
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade-kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” 1 Peter 1: 3-7
Wow, those are very encouraging words. Just to know we are shielded by God’s power as we walk through this life is amazing. We need to rejoice in that fact, but even though we are shielded we still will suffer grief in all kinds of trials. There is no free pass in this life, even if we are serving Jesus we will be tested and tried.
Light afflictions, momentary troubles and worse, sometimes come to everyone in this world. However, these difficulties are used to work within us a great eternal glory. The key is in how we choose to walk when confronted with adversity. It is best when we choose to walk THROUGH problems, flood and fire, etc, instead of trying to avoid negative things by going around them. If God is with us, shielding us, it does not matter what we are up against. I am certain that the Lord wants us to keep moving forward and to never look back while in the midst of struggles and trials.
The Lord uses these trials to prove our faith and determine whether or not we are genuine and true in all things that we may face. It is a privilege to be tried in such a manner and it proves once again that we are His sons and daughters. This builds our faith and trust because we know He will never leave or forsake us. No trial is too difficult…. No mountain too high…. No river too wide…. No conflict too great…. If we walk in the Spirit He will always be with us, every step of the way, and in Jesus we will always be more than conquerors. I have learned this lesson well first hand over the last 16 years of struggling with PTSD and related flashbacks of childhood rapes and sexual, emotional, physical and verbal abuse. I have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and with the Lord’s help I have fought my way clear to freedom on the other side of my affliction, problems and difficulties. Plus, I have been gifted with remarkable friends who I share intimate, relational, totally free & open, Spirit led fellowship with both in person and online. Their prayers and support have been invaluable to me.
So the next time you find yourself up against a problem…remember it is not about the size of the obstacle… it is about Christ in you being able to overcome any trial or test. When I am confronted with a problem in my life, I no longer try to avoid it. Now I just lift up my head and pray “Let’s go for it Jesus!” Sometimes I have disappointed myself, but I have NEVER been disappointed by the Lord. When I surrender and allow Him to carry me through amazing things happen, but when I try to go for it on my own nothing good happens. When I am weak, HE is strong. Today I choose His strength over and above any of my own personal attributes. Because of that today is going to be a good day.
Kirk Out !
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5: 11
Someone recently commented here that we should not tell others when they are on the wrong path to Jesus and true Spiritual enlightenment. Well, I disagree with that for the most part. I think we should definitely warn folks when they are heading in bad directions. This is much of what evangelism is…sharing the good news so that they can avoid where their bad news will eventually take them.
However, I also feel that everyone should be allowed their own personal journey to the truth in love. Healthy Spirit led interactions along the way are also a part of that journey. When we are Spirit led to interact and share the truth in love with others along the way it will bear much fruit. This is not accomplished by setting up overbearing roadblocks, but rather by being an oasis or rest area that folks can visit and be refreshed by. Some people call these divine appointments and I have no problem with using that terminology.
When we cross paths with one another along the way we should always interact and share conversation as the Lord leads. Most often we are called to encourage others in their walk with the Lord Jesus, but sometimes we must also be willing to give healthy correction and rebuke….motivated by nothing else but sincere love. We shouldn’t shout people down, but rather engage in life-giving conversations. After all we are nothing more than fellow seekers and travelers on the same journey, but perhaps different pathways.
I don’t know about you, but when I am wrong I crave correction and I want to be pointed back in the right direction. Then if I finally get to a God appointed rest stop along the way I want others to join me there. Then to help them out will I not tell them about the potholes and detours to avoid on their journey? To me rebuke is like telling other seekers where not to go, because we already made the mistake of going there once and found out that it was a very bad scene with negative consequences. If I am off the God given trail I want others to call out to me and tell me I am going off track. Is this not love? Is this not Christ?
Yes we are all on a Spiritual journey, but if you see me wandering off in a bad direction please tell me so? I feel we are all called as mutual sibling peers in Christ to encourage and rebuke one another along the way. We should warn one another about faulty paths, mudslides and road blocks. Not in a demeaning, better than you style; but with love and forthrightness.
This is why I warn people about the dangers of the Institutional/Traditional “church” system. Go down that road and you will be denied your full priesthood and be told to follow and honor “men” in false positions of so called authority. It will take your money and your hope. The system can suck the very life out of you and leave you on a spiritual dung heap. That is why I am not shy about denouncing that beast and offering the simple way of Christ as the grand alternative.
Love and ….
Kirk Out !