GOD’S MEASRING ROD – PART III – PLUG IN

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GOD’S MEASRING ROD

PART III – PLUG IN

So now that we have dealt with that, maybe now the question is… what church should I plug in to? How do you know where you should go? How do I find a church? What do I look for in a church or where should I be linked to? Again the measuring key is the rod. Where are the fruits and the blossoms and the almonds?

The book of Mark 11:12 – 14, 20 provides a real key because again is talk about FRUIT. In the passage we see that this is the only destructive miracle that Jesus ever performed. Jesus was hungry and wanted to be fed and satisfied. He comes to this fig tree that has leaves but no fruit since it wasn’t the time of harvest yet. When leaves appear on a fig tree in the Middle East, the first figs are also visible and appear with the leaves. The figs are smaller and not quite as juicy and fruity, as the figs would come three months later. But the small figs are edible and they will nourish a man.

Note that Jesus didn’t curse this tree out of anger and frustration, but He did it as a powerful lesson in many matters including this particular one. Jesus is implying that if He was not going to be satisfied by that tree then it will satisfy nobody. If you cannot satisfy Jesus then there is nobody you can satisfy. Jesus is saying this to you, me and the church that He is hungry for fruit. What kind of fruit?

Hebrews 13:15 – Let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the FRUIT OF LIPS that openly profess His name. Churches MUST NOT PRIMARILY EXIST to have youth activities, to have Marriage seminars or tips on parenting. As valuable as these may be, that is not why churches exist. Churches exist for one reason primarily – for Jesus. The bible says that – All things were created by Him and for Him. Revelation 4:11 – Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

The Church therefore exists to pleasure the Lord. How is the Lord pleasured? You may ask. By the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to his name. You should be asking this question constantly – Is the Lord pleasured by the fellowship you attend? When you gather in the Lords name, is there fruit that He enjoys? Do you bring a smile to His face? The Primary purpose of the church is to give Him pleasure and everything else is secondary.

When you look for a church, then you should look if Jesus is being pleasured there. Look if Jesus being loved on, extolled, lifted up and sung to. Not just a few songs, but is it really a passion in that place? Then that’s the place that you want to be.

In conclusion, a word of caution is we are not to be judging to condemnation as Matthew 7 says, but rather judge to sort through weather a thing, a person or a ministry is valid. Again do not condemn but look for information and evaluate. Jesus says that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, there is all kinds of things going on, so keep your eyes open. Bottom line is to look for fruit.

GOD’S MEASURING ROD – PART II – PLEASING CHRIST

GOD’S MEASURING ROD

PART II – PLEASING CHRISTImage

SO what about things that we hear on the radio? Or books that we read from the Christian book store? What about the conversations that we have? What about things we hear that are being taught at a bible study? How can we know that these things are truly right in the sight of God? How do we know what we should believe when someone comes to us and says – “The Lord told me to tell you…?” When a book says – “This is the key to spirituality…?” or a message is preached on a Sunday or shared at a bible study… how do we know that what is being said is true and right in God’s sight?

Blossoms, buds and almonds appear in one other place in the bible in Exodus 25. When the tabernacle was being built, they placed in the holy place a lamp stand. This was a big menorah that had seven lamps that was burning to light up and illuminate the holy place. Exodus 25:34 says that on the branches of the lamp stand were to be almonds, and blossoms and buds. This is the same thing that we saw on Aaron’s and Moses’ rods. What then does the lamp stand speak of?

Psalm 119:105 – “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my Path”. The point is, does it match up to the scriptures? Isaiah 8:19 – 20 clearly says be careful what you hear from people. Go to the scripture and if what is being said is not coinciding with scripture then there is no light in them. In Acts 17, Paul was at Berea and the people there were called Noble because they would verify with the scriptures what Paul was saying. This is how you know weather a sermon, a book you’re reading, the teachings in a bible study is right – by going back to the Lamp stand.

Something else that also deals with Fruit in knowing what we should believe. It’s not only found in the scripture but is also found in the spirit. Some people can take scripture and use it for their own agenda. They can twist and turn it unintentionally or intentionally to suit their own end. Just because somebody says a verse doesn’t necessarily mean that verse is being used in the proper way. So how do we know? Read James 3:14 – 16.

If what you are hearing even if somebody is using scripture, if it is causing you to feel strife, and envy, if it is dividing and causing confusion then the conclusion has to be that the wisdom is not from above. There is a misusing of the scripture or of a principle and if indeed it is causing strife and tension and envy and confusion… but James 3:17 – 18 goes on to say that wisdom from above is first of all PURE, then PEACE-LOVING, COSIDERATE, SUBMISSIVE, FULL OF MERCY and GOOD FRUIT, IMPATIAL and SINCERE. Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of Righteousness.

In other words, is there peace? Is what you are saying producing peace in my soul? Does it cause me to be in peace with God and my brothers and neighbors or is it causing me to be in strife, envy, and confusion? Is there a dark cloud over my head? Is there a sad depression in my heart because of what is being shared or is there peace because it is pure and gentle, full of mercy, without hypocrisy and easy to be enacted? This is the lens we need to look through when trying to understand what somebody is sharing is valid, true and right in God’s sight.

GOD’S MEASURING ROD – PART I – THE FRUIT

GOD’S MEASURING RODImage – 

PART I – THE FRUIT

In the recent past there has been a lot of talk going on about churches in a negative light… not just in this country but even elsewhere in the world. Sometime back you might have seen on social media about the church that had its members eat grass in South Africa.  Another story shortly emerged about a nudist church where the members claim that they are going back to the roots. Again in the recent past there has been a lot of talk on Mavuno Church about the poster they had that didn’t go well with a large number of people while some defended why they were not wrong in doing so.

All this has made me ask a lot of questions within myself about churches. We have so many churches today that teach and believe all manner of things and one would wonder, what is the right church to go to? How do you know and Judge (Not to condemn) the right church to be part of? What do you look for to decide that this is the right place to go? This has been nagging me because I am at a stage in my life that am about to have a family and where I go for spiritual nourishment is not just for me but as a priest in the home consequently flows to the rest of my family. I have done some research and come up with some pointers toward this.

This is based on Numbers 17:1 – 11.  Please read it as you refer to what I am going to write.

The story in Numbers 17 is a continuation of what happened in chapter 16 and in a nutshell there was a rebellion against Moses and Aaron in the land caused by three individuals namely Korah, Dathan and Abiram. They consolidated 250 leaders behind them to rally against Moses telling him that he is too busy and has ruled for too long and therefore challenging his authority. Without going into details, the ground opened up and swallowed these three, fire came from the heavens and consumed the 250 leaders and then a plague breaks out and 14,700 people who supported the rebellion were consumed by the plague. This is really scary to say the least.

I ask myself “How then can I keep from getting sucked in to such rebellion or cultic activity? How can I be protected? This is where Chapter 17 gets in and this is why this is titled – God’s Measuring Rod. God didn’t want his people to be deceived again, so Aarons Rod came to life while the rest stayed as dead wood. This would be a sign to the people that Moses and Aaron were the ones in authority. So the question is – Who does the Rod ultimately speak of, or point to?

Isaiah 11 – the Rod speaks of and points to Jesus Christ. There is going to come a rod, a symbol of authority from the stem of Jesse – David’s father. The Rod that is going to come is going to have counsel, wisdom and Knowledge and fear of YHWH… He will be right in all that He says and does and then it continues to say how this rod is going to come will rule and reign on the earth and ultimately make things right.

But this rod – Jesus Christ was cut down when the people in that day said – We will not have this man rule over us! It was a rebellion just like Korah, Dathan and Abiram and the 250 leaders. They didn’t want his authority and they wanted him crucified. But Isaiah 53 says this is exactly what would happen. This rod, this root coming out of dry ground will be smitten and bruised and wounded… He will be slaughtered for our transgressions. They put him in the tomb BUT on the third day he budded, he blossomed, he bloomed just like he said.

How do we know that Jesus should be the one we should be following after? Linked to? Giving our lives to? What about Budha? Allah? Whoever it might be? Jesus one time was asked for a sign but he replied that a wicked and an adulterous generation seek for signs but one sign I will give to you the sign of Jonah. As Jonah was in the whale for three days and three nights, so shall the son of man be in the grave and the center of the earth for three days and three nights.

The one sign that proves that Jesus has all the authority, that we listen to, that we submit to, that we link our lives to is the resurrection of him from the dead. All the others died but only Jesus Budded, blossomed and came to life and gave out fruit. This is why we are committed to Jesus Christ. All the others are liars and thieves. After rising from the dead he gathered all the disciples and asked them to go to the ends of the earth to make disciples of all men. Paul even goes ahead to say – Follow me as I follow Christ.

You see most of us have no problem with what Jesus said and who he is, but have problems with these other people going around claiming to be teachers or claiming to speak for God or whatever it might be. How can we know? Just like Jesus proved to be who he claimed, by the fruit, the almonds that budded and the blossoms that were there and the life that was seen. That is how you know.  Jesus asked us in Matthew 7:15 – 20 to be careful of false prophets and wolfs in sheep’s clothing. He goes on to say that you shall know them by their fruit. There is a way to know if someone is really from Jesus or is anointed by Him, just check out their Fruit, just like the rod that blossomed, there was almonds, buds and blossoms.

SO what is fruit? Galatians 5:22 – 23. The fruit of the spirit is LOVE. The others are aspects of Love. Jesus Says that – All men will really know that you are my disciples by your Love for one another. 1 Corinthians 13 describes what Love is, and Jesus says – By their FRUIT you will know them. The fruit being spoken of here is LOVE. Does the person have a passion for God and a Love for people? If that’s there then that is a key indicator that this is a person that truly is Jesus’ disciple because AGAPE LOVE cannot be faked. This kind of Love can only be produced by the spirit. So my decision on this is – I don’t care how much one knows, I don’t care how much faith they have that could move mountains, I don’t care how many good works they do, I don’t care how well they speak… with the tongues of angels, the fact of the matter is Paul here says if there is no Love then it DOESN’T MATTER ABIT.

So the key is to see – is the Rod Budding with fruit, with Almonds?