Sunday, January 8, 2023

Over Spiritualizing Faith

 Over Spiritualizing Faith 

Well, praise Jesus today everyone. I wanted to talk about this topic because a lot of people especially as they're starting their faith with Jesus, they are very confused what it means to follow the Lord to receive His Holy Spirit. And in many different ways, they can over spiritualize their faith. It happens when you start thinking you just have to be in a dark room praying all day long to fulfill what Jesus said about praying to your father in the secret place. And some people think that's what it means to be a Christian, that you lock yourself in a dark closet and all day long and all night, you pray. You don't sleep at all. You don't have any enjoyment in life, and all you do is you just pray and rock back and forth in the dark. And they think that's very spiritual.

And people tend to grab onto things that appear to be spiritual. Spiritual men, men that dressed differently, do things differently, eat special they have special diets. And they tend to grab onto that and think that there is something extraordinary about that. But the plain things that Jesus said to do, they leave those things undone because it seems too mundane to them. And so we have a generation of people that love being spiritual, but they don't love or obey Jesus. I want to read to you what Jesus said, for those of us that do want to obey Him, found in Matthew chapter 16. I'm going to start in Verse 24. Then Jesus said to His disciples, “if anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for My sake, will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give an exchange for his soul? For the son of man will come in the glory of His father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.”

 See, Christians don't like that passage very much, because Jesus was very blunt to say that you will be judged according to what you say and what you do. We have an example of this also in the Old Testament, where Cain kills Abel, and before Cain is going to kill Abel, God has a personal word with Cain, and He tells Cain that he has the choice to choose good or evil, and he will be rewarded for doing what is good. But if he does what is bad, sin lies at the door, and its desire is to kill him, to destroy him. And the same is for each of us. Each of us have been given a conscience. And Jesus stands at our door, and He knocks and He says, will we listen to our conscience? Will we learn to hear Him? Will we receive the words that He puts on our conscience? Will we receive Him into our heart and life, and choose to make a distinction between good and evil, right and wrong? Or will we be like the religious crowd who tries to over spiritualize everything to look good to people or to make ourselves feel good?

 I think what another title for the same message could be would be something like instead of over Spiritualizing Faith, it could read rather Sensationalizing God, because what a lot of people are really looking for isn't so much, they wouldn't see it as if they're over spiritualizing, because a lot of people love to be spiritual. But what they are really looking for is an experience. But a lot of people, they put this feeling of experience over righteousness. They put that the feeling of receiving in experience when they get baptized, or in experience of of feeling love. And they put that feeling, or that emotion, over the reality of obedience and discipline before Jesus Christ. So you have a group of people that love to talk about the spiritual realm. They love to talk about God, prayer, supernatural activity, prayers being answered, all these miraculous signs and wonders. But at the end of the day, what they're elevating is sensationalism. They love the way it feels when you can pray in tongues. They love the way feels when they hear other people worshipping in church, it makes them feel good. But what we have to remember is, these sorts of feelings are of the flesh. The flesh has feelings. We can feel hurt, we can feel down, we can feel depressed. And just because you have feelings does not mean that you are abiding in Jesus Christ in growing in your faith. In fact, it could be the exact opposite. That is why a lot of Christians are falling away from the faith and thinking that they're very spiritual. Because they find the spiritual men of God who are working signs and wonders and have wonderful words from God. And they think that they're being fed and nourished because they're chasing after this this spiritualist. And it becomes just like a Hollywood movie for them. They love seeing what the guy is going to do next or see what miracles going to happen. And instead of it being about righteousness and self-discipline in them hearing from the Lord for themselves, it becomes all about entertainment. It becomes about, what is the guy going to say next? And will it come true? Will it come to pass? It's like a show to them, maybe equal to the Chosen. People are addicted to that kind of stuff, because it doesn't really convict them to the core and cause them to change. It just makes them feel good about themselves or feel entertained. So what I'm talking about is far as spiritualizing or over spiritualizing our faith is the element of trying to make everything sensational, feel good. And these Christians apply to every part of their faith, prayer becomes something that they're just making sensational So they don't want to pray unless they have immediate results the way they want. They can't wait on God in prayer. They expect it to be like in a movie. Hollywood has totally warped people's minds. They can't tell the difference between what a Christian is in reality versus what Hollywood has portrayed it to be.

So in regards to prayer, guys, we should have a quiet place to pray, but also, when we pray to God, we're just praying with our mind and with our heart, how you would just talk to a friend, but remember,  Jesus is also our King and our Lord. Some people are over spiritualizing it to the point that they cannot function in life and take care of their own children, e.g. because they think, their children are physical. So how can I take care of my children and be praying to God so that so they're neglecting their children because they're having so much prayer time in the closet. And Jesus has asked them to take care of these children. So things like this happen all the time. Often when I go to pray about something, the Lord just tells me, ‘go, go speak what I've told you to say. Don't waste any more time.” Not that any time is wasted in prayer. But a lot of people are trying to hear something from God that they already know. They know what they should be doing, yet they're trying to have a different word from God that sounds better to them because they're addicted to this form of just feeling spiritual. So unless they have some kind of physical word or revelation or dream, they don't feel like they've heard from God. But Jesus speaks to us in a way that is so natural, that is very easy to push it off as it was just my own thought. It couldn't be that natural. It needs to be more sensational. It needs to be more epic. It needs to be more bold. And they just neglect the things that the Holy Spirit is telling them. And they don't recognize Jesus because their senses have become so dull from watching movies, from sensational music, from the whole Christian realm. They have totally over spiritualized their faith to the extent that they have a very dull senses to the Holy Spirit. It sounds counter-intuitive that if you would try to be so sensitive to the spirit, that you would be totally desensitized, but that is what's happening. We need to pay a lot more attention to the reality of the truth of Jesus, the things that Jesus actually said. So He says, “whoever desires to save his life will lose it. “Well, are we losing our life for the Gospel? Are you pursuing Jesus with all your heart, or every day when you wake up is it all about you, you, you? Are you praying to God to just have more money, have a bigger house, have a bigger business? Those are the things that we have to watch out for. The Lord can bless us with those things. You know, if you're single, He can bless you with with marriage and a spouse and a family.

But everything has to be submitted to the Lord first. And often we have our own desires first. And then we treat Jesus as if he's a genie to do our work for us. And then we say, Lord, I pray in your name for this, that and the other. And we try to get more and more spiritual and say prayers in a certain way that we will be heard. And none of that pleases God. If we just do the things that we know, seeking first the Lord's Kingdom, His righteousness, listening to our conscience, doing what we know is right, then the Lord will bless us, and we will grow in our faith.

A lot of us need to do really simple things, like work out our relationship with our spouse. We need to repent of certain things. We need to confess certain things to a brother or a sister and get animosity off of her chest. We need to get out of debt, things we need to confess or detox of. It's the very basic things in life that you know that you know is right, that you know that you have to do, but you're refusing to do that because you're looking for something more spiritual than that. So that's what I mean when I'm talking about over spiritualizing your faith.

A lot of Christians are just trying to live a spiritual life that is sensational and that they think is epic. But the very basic, mundane things that Jesus has called them to do, they're neglecting that. But the more we just carry out the commands of Jesus in our life, that is love, patience, loving others as ourselves, loving God with all of our heart. The basic, the basic things that we know, then the more we will grow in our faith, the more He will teach us, and the more spiritual power He will give us the more power to overcome, the more spiritual authority, the more boldness to share our faith. the more spiritual power to be able to to lead our family in righteousness, all of those things. 

Verse 27 in Matthew chapter 16 says, for the Son of man will come in the glory of His father with His angels, and then He will render each according to his works.

The things that you do are very important. Christians have downplayed this for ages, saying that your works are not important. It's not by works that we're saved so no one can boast. And they twist what Jesus said for their ideas of what the Apostle Paul said to their own demise. You know, there are the works of the flesh. Many Christians think they will be saved for how much money they gave to the church. They think that they will be saved by their work of going on mission trips, or their work on feeding the homeless, or their work of how many sermons they've presented, or whatever the case may be. But those are all works that the flesh can achieve and do. But the kind of works Jesus is speaking about in Mathew chapter 16 verse 27, is the works that are given to us through the Holy Spirit, that are righteous works that are holy, those things we need to have in order to follow Jesus into life. You can't say, I'm saved without those things. That is why Brother James, he says in The Book of James, that faith without works is dead. It doesn't matter how spiritual you are. It doesn't matter how how long you have been supposedly saved. If faith is not accompanying your works, then you have dead faith. Don't listen to Christians that tell you, “it's all about faith, Brother. You don't have to have works. You don't have to repent. God loves you as you are.”

 Jesus has called us to overcome and He gives us faith to overcome sin in temptation, to overcome demons, to cast out evil thoughts and things that are demonic from our lives. If we start to learn to take every thought captive and pray in the spirit and just do what we know is right, just the simple truth, then we will start overcoming, and our faith will become more and more genuine. But if you try to over spiritualize your faith by believing your spiritual because I prayed for one whole hour today, I fasted this week two different times. You know, the Pharisees were rebuked by Jesus for that sort of thing. Jesus gives that parable about the guy who says “I fast three days a week”, or whatever the case was. And when he's praying, he's looking up with his nose in the air, and then the other guy is beating his chest, saying, “Lord, I'm a sinner. Forgive me. Let me repent.” At the end of the day, who is justified the man that feels he is spiritual and that he fasted and that he was able to pray for an hour a day? Or is it the man that just prayed from the bottom of his heart a plain prayer “Lord, I know that I'm a sinner. Forgive me. Make me pure”? At the end of the day, we all know it's the man that prayed and said, “Lord, forgive me.” We know it's the prayer that was honest from the bottom of this man's heart that prayed with humility, with his face to the floor.

So if we also want to find peace with God, we have to come with a humble heart, and we have to come with a right minded heart, not thinking that it's all about being over spiritual, just hearing really nice songs. Some people literally think that they're going to get closer to God by listening to Christian radio and Christian songs every time they get in their car. All that's doing is pumping more and more garbage into your mind. Most Christian music is is not glorifying to God. There is some, but most Christian music is It's just like this catchy, upbeat music that sounds good to your ear, but doesn't put any truth into your heart whatsoever. And people listen to this kind of music, and they literally think they're getting closer to God, because they're listening to Christian music. they're reading Christian books, they're going to church once a week, or whatever the case is. And they're wondering why they're still depressed, why they still can't get their feet on the ground. It's because they're not working out their relationship with Jesus and doing the things that they know.

If we live each day according to the conscience Jesus is given us,  we'll do good. If we just say, “Lord, speak to my conscience today. Help me to do what is right quickly. However, I can obey the fastest way. Let me do that.” And then go about your day. The Lord will bless you If you seek first His kingdom and your diligent to speak out what is the truth and speak against error, the Lord is going to bless you.

After all, faith is not about just being in a dark closet all the time. Jesus didn't do that. Jesus was out preaching. He was speaking to His disciples. He was doing the work of the Kingdom of God. And each of us have to find what Jesus wants for us. We have to just pray and say, “Lord, where is my mission field? What do you want me doing?” See, not everyone is called to preach on the Internet. Not everyone is called to be a missionary overseas. Not all of us are called to be like a pastor or a preacher. Some of us are called just to raise children. Some of us are called just to whatever the task is that is throughout our day. But the devil would have you feel very guilty for not being spiritual enough, “you didn't pray as much as brother so and so, you didn't go out street evangelizing like a sister or brother so and so.” It's not about that, guys. It's not about comparing yourself to other members of the body of Christ. But rather, it's about asking Jesus what your ministry is. Because, as the Apostle Paul says, some are like hands or feet or eyes or ears. All of us make up the body of Christ. And one can't say to the other, you are useless, you're worthless, unless you're like me. So each of us would do a lot better not to be comparing ourselves in our supposed spiritualism to others, but rather just going before the Lord and humility and say, “make me Lord who you want me to be. And let me be an encouragement to the body of Christ. Let me be uplifting to others, not a gossip, not a busy body, not tearing down others, not not doing evil to others or causing others problems. Let me just be a light for you. Let me shine brightly and be an encouragement to your body.” And if we stay humble before the Lord, He will use us for His holy purpose. We will be as a vessel of honor used for His purpose. But you can't be a vessel of honor if you yourself think you're high and mighty or over spiritual.

I wanted just to talk about a few ways that people over sensationalized their faith just briefly here, because we've discussed some of them already, but one of them is in regards to Baptism. Baptism is pretty simple. You just get dumped in water by a brother or sister who loves the Lord. That is it. And you do it to fulfill all righteousness as Jesus had said. Remember, when Jesus was baptized by John, He said, let us do this to fulfill all righteousness. Even though Jesus was perfect and sinless. He did it as an example for us also to follow. The water represents the grave. It's nothing holy. So if you're baptized in some mud puddle, it doesn't matter, because it represents death. When you go under the water, that represents that you leave your flesh in the grave, and when you come out, that represents coming into the newness of life. So a lot of people here, expect something very sensational to happen. They think that if all the stars have aligned correctly, and if the right guy baptizes them, and they are feeling emotional enough and have prayed up enough that they will come out automatically speaking in a new tongue, or they expect something to happen, but because their hearts are set on this sensational kind of spiritualism, and instead of on true repentance, the Holy Spirit, they just don't feel anything. They come up and they're upset, and they think, what did I do wrong? I didn't speak in tongues, I don't feel like I'm forgiven. And then they're upset, maybe they're upset at God or themselves. They think, did the person that baptize me, did he lack faith? Did I lack faith? And they just don't know. But I'll tell you what the reason is. The reason is they're focusing on this kind of spiritualism, rather than obeying the words of Jesus, and just doing what they know is right. They are not being baptized for true repentance, but for sensationalism. A lot of the Pentecostals do this. The Pentecostal faith thinks that as soon as you're baptized, you'll be speaking in tongues. And they have all the verses to prove it to you from Acts. 

Now, from what I have seen, walking with the Holy Spirit, He hardly ever, if ever does the same exact thing twice. You know, some people come to the Lord, and then they're baptized with water, and then they receive the Holy Spirit. Some people receive the Holy Spirit and a new language, and then later they find water Baptism. It's not a formula. You can't go through the scriptures in Acts enough time to make a formula that will work for you. Because we are not guided by the book of Acts, were guided by the Holy Spirit. So rather than trying to to formulate the perfect formula and steps for yourself to follow, you would do better just to pray and say, “Lord, I want to be baptized to follow you. I love you. I care for your commandments. And I want to be baptized to follow you. And whatever happens, I place into your hands. But I am doing my part before you, Lord, to obey you and to do what you have asked. And I know you'll hold up your end because, because you are true and you always do what is right. So Lord, if you want to give me a gift at this time, give it to me. but let me wait upon you, Lord, for your perfect timing.” That is how we have to be. But we can't be demanding that God give us the gift of prophecy or the gift of tongues, or some other gift that you just think is sensational because you just were baptized.

So people, they're over spiritualizing Baptism. They're over spiritualizing music, E.g.. Music is a wonderful thing in the body of Christ. We can glorify God with music. But church has made music just a sensational thing to get people all hyped up. And in church, they say, “it’s the Holy Spirit, it is the Holy Ghost. All of these kids are all wanting to repent.” And everyones all hyped up at camp or in church. And, the hype only is temporary. It's very plastic. Because after they leave there, they're back to looking at porn, back to sleeping around. They're falling back into all sorts of idolatry and adultery. They're messing around with the world. So obviously it was not the Holy Spirit, but it was a sensational feeling that they elevated in church.

If you really want to do something for the Lord, and He's given you the gift of music, then use it for the Lord. If you are a musician, then play whatever music you have, or sing to please Jesus, not to please men. That is the big problem with music, is it gratifies the flesh. And a lot of Christians are making a lot of money off of music. God has given them the ability and the talent for His kingdom, yet they're turning around and using it for their own glory, to make themselves look good and to make just a lot of money. So we need to be careful that we don't over spiritualize music as well, like the Christian church as.

 So, Another thing is love. People over spiritualized love. They think love is a feeling. They've turned it just into a feeling of their flesh. And this is a really big problem, guys, because people fall in love with their girlfriend, then they end up getting married, and then after they're married, the devil tells them, well, your girlfriend wasn't the prettiest girl, and you don't really have those feelings of love for her anymore, therefore you should get divorced. And because, love to them only is a feeling and a sensation. They believe Satan. And they get divorced because they no longer are in love with their spouse. Love is not a feeling, but obviously it is an action. You choose to love someone, or you choose to hate them. And if you choose to love Jesus, you will obey Him. It's not just a feeling, but it is an action. The same with your spouse, your husband or your wife. You marry, and those initial feelings that you once had, of the butterfly kind of love, those eventually leave you, and then you grow into a deeper sort of love and a passion for each other, and you have to cultivate that sort of love, and it comes through dedication. It comes through working out your relationship daily and choosing as an action to love, not just a butterfly feeling in your heart when you first meet a boy or a girl that you like.

So in regards to end times, this is another one that I see especially on the Internet right now. We know that Jesus talks about end times. We know He talks about the end of the age, and all those things are true. But people are also over spiritualizing these end times things, and they're making it very sensational, instead of asking Jesus about it and trusting Him and just walking with Him in faith and growing in their faith. Now they are just into what all these prophets are saying, because it's very entertaining, like a Hollywood movie.

So another one would be in regards to church and mission trips. people will feel like they are very spiritual and they're doing very good for God if they're keeping up their church attendants, paying their tithes, going on mission trips, praying, going to prayer meetings, that is not what makes us right with God, or in the truth. If you want to be in the truth, it's not about feeling spiritual because you're going to church and mission trips and all of that.

If you want to be in the truth, that all starts with with walking with Jesus for real, and that happens through your prayer life. But then obeying the very simple, basic, mundane things that you know you ought to do. And when you do something that you've been putting on the back burner for a while, when you do that in faith, no matter how simple or hard it is, after you do it you know, you just know that you stepped 1 foot forward in faith. And Jesus blesses you for that, and you grow in your faith. And then He gives you more knowledge of the truth, then He gives you more understanding and more discipline. That is how you will grow your faith. But this whole deception is huge in regards to church and how they've over spiritualized it in mission trips and all that stuff.

The last one that I wanted to speak of briefly here, talk about a few of the questions that you guys have emailed me about, is in regards to visions and dreams. Now, in regards to visions and dreams, we know that we're not to despise prophecies the Apostle Paul talks about that. We know that we shouldn't just disregard dreams and visions and say that they are not of the Lord. However, we are not led by dreams and visions and by prophets. We are led by the Holy Spirit. I know some people that every time they have a dream, or every time their wife has a dream, they think, oh, she must have heard from God. What did you dream? What did you hear? And they're suddenly, they're over spiritualizing a dream. And dreams often come from the flesh. They come from your own imagination. Sometimes they come from demons. One such dream that men have is this compelling feeling, that you have love for some other woman when you're married. This happens to many men, probably every man, and this feeling that is demonic, but Satan makes it feel so real you actually loved this woman that you were in high school with or college, or whatever the case was, you should have married her and not your wife. And then Satan really wants you to think that this is a true, a vision. This this is where you should have went. And it's totally 100% satanic. But that should tell you just how seducive Satan's power is to not only distraction to pull you to hell. He can literally make those grips of feel like it's true love and passion, and you should pursue it. Its Satanic, guys. Dreams and visions can come from your own mind. They can come from Satan or a demon. They can come from someone, what someone said during the day, a book you read, or it could come from the Holy Spirit, and you will not know unless you're being guided by the Holy Spirit first.

 I have many different dreams and visions, and many of them come from Satan, and I know immediately, and I can rebuke it and cast it out, even if it sounds like it's good. So we are not led by those things. We can't over spiritualize dreams as if they're the ones that lead us, or visions are the ones that lead us. Who leads us is the Holy Spirit, and He is the Spirit that comes from Jesus Christ. The early disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, and it came as tongues of fire, and they spoke each in a new tongue, and they encouraged other people that spoke many different languages. It was very convincing people came into the faith. But that was the first century. How will Jesus work in your life? How will He work in my life? What spiritual gifts will He give us that truly come from Him?

How will we know that we have received Him? The only way you're gonna know is if you work that relationship out with Jesus, and you say, “Lord, please become my teacher. I don't want anybody else to be my teacher. I don't want anyone else to spiritually move me. I don't want to be thrown off course by a dream or a vision or a prophecy, whether it is a world prophecy or a personal prophecy. I don't want to be thrown off by a father in law or a brother or a mother. I don't want to be thrown off by what people think. I only want to be guided by your Spirit. I want to place myself before you, Lord, and be guided by you.” And if you can put yourself at the feet of Jesus and He sees your heart, then he's going to give you the better gift of the Holy Spirit, to teach you, to lead you, to guide you, to bring to your memory things that you already know, and tell you of things to come.

 So that is what I encourage you to do. Wait upon the Lord and receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. It all starts with listening to your conscience, asking the Lord to convict your conscience, and then doing 100% what you know is right and 100% rejecting what you know is wrong, as simple as that. It's the basics of the Gospel are not complicated. It simply follow Jesus, do what you know is right, reject what you know is wrong. If you do that, you'll be sure to go the right direction. At this point, I'm gonna go over a few questions that I received from emails.

I first wanted just to give everyone a bit of encouragement.The other day, the Lord was just showing me how much He loved each of us or His children, the body of Christ. And if you have children yourself, you know how much you love your children. You would do anything for them. And you would rather die than see your children suffer. You'd rather die than see your children die. And if we have that kind of love for our children and we're evil, then how much more does Jesus love and care for each of us? A lot of people get the impression that God just hates the world. He hates them, and He's just going to kill them, and they can't ever make it to the Lord. But Jesus does not want to see anybody end in hell, He wants all people to come into the truth. And the early disciples also wanted this. They had the heart of Christ, and they wanted people to come into a relationship with God.

So I want to say that to encourage anyone out there right now who is feeling down in their faith, feeling like they can't get to God, that maybe God doesn't love them, or they can't really repent. Maybe you have intrusive thoughts that you think keep you from truly repenting. Jesus loves you, and He will make the way for you to go with them, because, He loves and cares for your soul. But you do have to just work your relationship out with Him. Jesus is love, but He is also stern. And so in humility, just go before Him and work out your relationship with Him, and He will bear with you. He will lift you up, and He will help you.

So, moving on to speaking about a few questions here, one that's a pretty good question that I want to address that is also in connection with this topic of sensationalizing God, or or spiritual walk. The question I received was, it's that passage that says that God reveals things to babes, but hides them from the wise and prudent.A child can understand the gospel. Yet Peter said that the words of Paul are hard to understand. How is it most seem to understand the words of Paul, yet few understand the words of the Lord Jesus Christ? And Okay. So the question here is, how is it that the gospel is simple and it should be plain and easy to understand, but Paul over complicates the gospel, or, rather, people over complicate what Paul is saying. I have seen this a lot, and this is a multi-faceted question. The first thing I want to address here is that, I've seen on the Internet over some time, the Apostle Paul and his writing under attack. People will say that The Apostle Paul was a false Apostle, because, He said things like, “not many of not many of you should be considered fathers, or you don't have many fathers. I am your father.” And the Apostle Paul said things that opposed Jesus. And so they say The Apostle Paul was false, you shouldn't read his gospel, he stole the gospel. Guys. I've heard this about the Apostle Paul from when I was in college. I went to Fresno Pacific University. And during the time I was there, there was a great number of college students and I suppose faculty who were very opposed to Paul. And what I found was all of them were opposed to Paul for unrighteous reasons. At Fresno Pacific my college, a lot of of women were offended by the Apostle Paul because of the things he said in regards to women and keeping silent in the church, and because they wanted to lord their authority over men and to be pastors and all of that, they were very offended at Paul. Other people didn't like how Paul taught repentance, or many different things that Paul taught, they disagreed with, and so they would just like to to hate on Paul and say he's false. The Apostle Paul if you read about his testimony, how he saw the light, how Jesus revealed Himself to him, it was very supernatural. The early Apostles confirmed that a Paul truly did hear from God. Otherwise we wouldn't have that story about the three men, the man who basically was told to go and take away the scales from Paul's eyes that's what I'm remembering. Anyway, guys the early Apostles confirm that the Apostle Paul was a true believer.

Does that mean everything that the Apostle Paul said was a 100% accurate? Of course not. We also know that Peter receiving the Holy Spirit and being a man of God, also stumbled. And at one point, Paul rebukes Peter for falling back into hypocrisy. So, they grew in their faith. They grew in the knowledge of the truth, and they tried the best they could encourage others to come into the faith. But that doesn't mean that the things they wrote were 100% flawless. We know that a lot of things at the Apostle Paul said, E.G. he says, in my opinion. So if it's in this man's opinion, it could be the opinion of God very likely, but it also may not be. And that is why the Apostle Paul writes, “I think that I have the heart of Christ. I believe that I do. But this is my opinion.” So are all the opinions of the Apostle Paul the truth? Of course not. We know that Jesus Himself is the truth. We know that He called the Apostle Paul, and the Apostle Paul did many signs and wonders, and he did lead many people to the Lord. But at the end of the day, we follow Jesus and His gospel. We don't follow the Apostle Paul and the Apostle Paul's ideas. But that doesn't mean the Apostle Paul was false or leading people to hell. 

And Just because Paul's gospel or the things he wrote was hard to understand, does not mean it's not true. And I'll give you some a proof of that. If you think the Apostle Pauls writings are hard to understand, and many of them are, consider how hard is to understand the book of Daniel and his revelations, or the book of Ezekiel and his revelations. Consider how difficult it is to understand some of the old Testament prophecies. Another words, guys, the Gospel is easy enough for a child to swim in and to understand and for a child to repent and to understand the basics of the Gospel. But the depths of God and the depths of the Gospel, and the specifics of a lot of it are so deep, it is deep enough for a theologian to completely drown in and to get lost and to to make a whole new doctrine that's false.

If we're not bringing each thing to the Lord, then we're bound to get wrapped up in some false doctrine that we find somewhere in the Bible. For years, people have tried to understand the Book of Revelation. John who wrote Revelation, was having visions from Jesus, and he truly was a brother in the Lord. Yet the Book of Revelation is very difficult to understand. Theologians have been debating sections and entire chapters in the entire Book of Revelation for years and years, and still they haven't come to conclusions. But that doesn't mean that the Book of Revelation is false. It just shows the depth of revelation. Jesus has revealed to me bits and parts of revelation. I'm talking specifically the Book of Revelation, but He has not revealed everything. There's a lot of it that I read, and I have no idea what to make of it. I just have no idea. I have no clarity on that. But that doesn't mean that it's not true. That doesn't mean that it's not a noble word or a true vision. It just means that I don't understand it. And a lot of the scriptures are like that. If you've ever read through the Old Testament and the prophecies of the prophets, there are some pretty weird things that happen, some pretty crazy stuff with Elijah and Elisha. The prophets of old, the visions they have, it just makes you scratch your head. And just because we don't understand all of that doesn't mean that, the basics of the gospel have to be complicated. And we certainly don't have to make any doctrines off of things that we don't understand or don't know. There are some people that take bits and parts of the Apostle Paul's Gospel, and they make entire churches off of those doctrines as if they are doctrines straight from God and then they're very quick to accuse others for not being biblical, like they are, because they don't follow the Apostle Paul’s Gospel, such things as a head covering for the angels. You've probably heard of that one, how the Apostle Paul talks about wearing this head covering for the angels. And people scratch their head and they think, what is he talking about? A head covering for the angels? And there's many other things that the Apostle Paul says that Christians start an entire different gospel with that just complicates the basics of the Gospel, which is to repent, to be baptized, to put your faith in Jesus, not the Apostle Paul, and then to be led by His Holy Spirit.

 So all of this to say, if you do want to know the truth, you first have to go to Jesus and receive His Gospel. And then He can show you other things in His time when He deems it necessary for you to know. But a lot of things are not necessary for us to know. We're on a need to know basis with the Holy Spirit. And so you could ask all day long about a certain scripture and not hear anything from the Lord, just because you don't need to know that. It's pretty easy for us to get sidetracked on a certain little doctrine that we think is important, while neglecting a really important thing in our own personal life.

 So what I'd encourage anyone to do is to first just go to the Lord, get yourself right with Him. Make sure that you're listening to His gospel, because no one else has the unadulterated truth other than Jesus. And then once you know you've received the Holy Spirit, then just be led by Him and say, “Lord, teach me the things that you want me to know. Help me to understand the things that are beneficial to my walk. But let me not get distracted by things that the Apostle Paul wrote, or some other some other disciples. Help me really to hear your words first, so that I may not be distracted by anything else, not a Bible verse, not a brother, a sister, or a preacher, or a prophet or a church or a revelation or a dream, a list goes on and on. But I just want to make sure, Lord, that I hear from you.”

 So, I hope that gives some clarity to the difference between Peter and Paul and why some people think His Gospel is hard to understand. The truth is, the gospel's very simple, but, also, things are very complicated. The Bible is easy enough for a child to understand, but it's complicated and deep enough for theologian to die in. So we have to just make sure that we are before the feet of Jesus and learning from Him. And if we do that, we'll be going the right direction.

So next question here. Someone asked, if you are coming out of sin and see the same sin in others, that is in yourself, is it a sin or hypocrisy to point it out? I think that's a good question, because a lot of us, as we're coming out of the world, we still have certain sins in our life, but we can see those sins in others. So should we not say anything about it? Because we'd be a hypocrite if we did? And should we not say anything about Jesus until we're sinless? Satan can really twist your mind on this, but, it comes down to where your heart is. If you're coming to other people in pride and saying, “you got to quit smoking, but you haven't quit smoking”, they're going to know you're a hypocrite. But let's say it was smoking marijuana, and you're trying to give up drugs in alcohol and smoking pot, but you're still doing that. The right way would be to say something like, “man, I know this is wrong. I do it myself. I'm trying to give it up, but I also know you're in the wrong for doing it, because I know we're against God by doing these things.” So when you give someone your rebuke, you always put yourself under your same word. Because at the end of the day, none of us are above the Gospel we preach. If we preach don't look at pornography, we are also condemned if we are looking at pornography. If we preach don't murder or don't commit adultery, yet we have murderous thoughts and adulterous thoughts and hatred against our brother, we're also condemned by our words. So however you go out to preach the Gospel or share with others, make sure that your audience also knows that you are under the same gospel that you preach, that you're not above your own words. And, any anyone who is truly with the Lord knows this. I know in good conscience that I cannot preach the Gospel of righteousness and repentance if I am sinning. And so every day I have to make sure I'm right with my wife, that everything is right with my children and right with my family and my neighbor, and as much as possible, that I am in right standing with others. Otherwise, I have no business coming on YouTube or telling anyone about the Gospel when they know I'm a hypocrite. So it's all about how you approach it. And of course, you can tell others about Jesus and about repentance, even if you are still coming out of sin. But you just need to make sure that you are including yourself in that saying I I'm gonna choose to walk the righteous road. I am working my heart is overcoming these sins, and I know that anyone who doesn't overcome sin will also find their place in hell. So we just have to be straightforward with where we are and straightforward with what the truth is. But a good question to address. And also, on that same note, guys, it's much, much better to appear to be a hypocrite to the world and at peace with God. I'd much rather everyone say, Andrew is a hypocrite, but actually be right with God than for God to think I'm a hypocrite and for everyone else to think that I'm a really good person.

So keep that in mind also, it doesn't matter what people think or how hypocritical people think you are, if you are in right standing with Jesus Christ. And that is where we want to be. Okay, so two more questions, and I'm going to try to end this at about an hour. So, another good question I received was, how does one wait for the Lord? That's a really good question. I have a couple of playlists, if you go through my playlists on receiving the Holy Spirit and the topic of waiting on the Lord and listening for Him in prayer. If you haven't got a chance to see that yet, I really did my best to explain that in those playlists. But, as far as those who are listening right now waiting on the Lord, it's through our prayer life. And when I first started just learning to pray, it was something that was difficult, because the first thing about waiting on the Lord is choosing not to go to your pastor for answers. So I just knew if I want to hear from God, I'm going to mess this whole thing up if I just run to my pastor and say, “what do you think about this?” If you do that, you immediately trump God, and you put Him on a lower shelf.

So the very first thing about waiting on the Lord is making sure that you are not asking a pastor or or someone else in your life the truth Waiting on the Lord is about waiting on Him, not going to other people for answers. And the way you do that is just by simply praying and saying, “Lord Jesus, please help me to hear from you. I have a question about and then fill in the blank to what your question is. And I please pray that you help me to understand this. Please give me guidance in my life and help me to understand what your will is for me in this.” And then you wait on the Lord to answer that for you, instead of running to the Internet or a book or someone else for answers. So it's all about bringing things to Jesus and setting Him as your King and your Lord, not someone else. And that's the sure way to wait on the Lord. Most people here get impatient, and then they go run to someone else's literature and they think they've got the answer. But if you want to wait on the Lord, you have to wait on Him and not someone else. That's the key.

One last question here that I receive, that I can address is, let's see this here, if I may have already addressed this one. But let me see. The one last question I actually, I believe I already addressed it. It was the same one about preaching. Should we preach the Gospel if we're not yet personally right with Jesus? As far as preaching the Gospel, I mean, if you have big sins in your life, and you know it, your number one goal is to get right with Jesus yourself. So it would be pretty useless to try to go out and save the world if you yourself are not in right standing with the Lord yet and in His salvation. So before you are concerned about getting on the Internet and preaching Jesus or going out on the street, or whatever the Lord has led you to preach, get your own life in order first. And that is very important because, we do want to be lights and ambassadors. We want to be ones that are shining for Jesus. And if your own life is a huge mess and you're trying to go out and preach, you're neglecting your first task. The most spiritual authority you have, of course, is over your own your own soul. Self-control is only given to you for yourself, not someone else. So it would be quite impossible to preach to others and to put others into an area of self-control when you yourself are out of control. So if you're still in sin and in bondage, figure the first thing out first, which is to get your own life in order. And when your own life is in order, and if and when and how the Lord has called you to preach the Gospel, then then spread the gospel the way the Lord has you. I hope that makes sense.

I'm going to end this live stream here, but I just want to pray for anyone that wants prayer. “Lord Jesus, I thank you that you bless us, that you protect us from evil when we call on your name. You are our ever present help in the time of trouble. And we want to really put ourselves at your feet. We want to be humbled before you. We want you to be our one and only teacher, and that only you would have permission to move us one way or the other. I pray that those who are listening would have their ears open to the truth and their eyes opened to your truth, that they would see your grace in your mercy, not your judgment. I pray that they would truly be connected to your Spirit and come into a living relationship with you. I pray for those that are oppressed or possessed by demons, that their demons would be cast out, and that they would learn to take every thought captive, that they could walk in your truth and in the newness of life. Bless those who hear this message that want repentance, grant repentance to them, granted that their shackles may be broken, to overcome, that they may be able to throw off addiction or whatever sin they have in their life, to be able to be free from the world, and the bondage of Satan. I pray that your children may be truly set free to do your work and to live for you with all of their hearts. Lord Jesus, in your name we pray, amen. “