Paul tells us not to be conformed to this world, but sadly we are or maybe it is just me.  I often find areas in my life (that the Holy Spirit reveals to me) I think are insignificant, but in reality they are not.  Do you know God is very concerned about the small areas in our lives?  The Bible says it is, “the little foxes that spoil the vine” not the big foxes.  Now we are concerned about the big areas, but not so with God, He is concerned about the little areas.  And as a matter of fact the smaller the areas the more God is concerned about them in our lives.  God ever watches us and He watches us in these little areas (not the big ones) how we operate in them; He closely scrutinizes us to see how we do things, our motives, and what the intent of our heart condition is.  I seem to be so plugged into this world (maybe it is just me but I do not think so) in so many areas it just scares me.  Verse after verse in the Bible warns me of this critical danger in our lives, yet I seem to ignore (maybe it is just me) them as I often hunger and thirst after the meager scraps of what the world offers as compared to what God offers. And why,  because I have not sold out to God.  God has really impressed upon me that I will need to totally sell out in 2011, if I am going to be able to walk with Him in the things He has for me and my family.  Please pray for me in this area.      

I always remember the words of (my teacher’s teacher) Walter Beuttler, “If you build God a tabernacle He will build you a ministry.”  He shared these words with many Bible School students for years and time and choices bore out whether they built God a tabernacle by the extent of their effectiveness to minister God to the world.  In Mark we read the very sad, but true story of one such student that could not totally sell out. Today we call him the rich young ruler, but I will not because the Bible does not call him that.  But, he was young and he was rich.  We read, “And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?”  (Mark 10:17)  Please notice this student of Christ, came running, was respectful “kneeled to him” honored Christ by calling him “Good Master” he did all of the religious things, but that was not enough to answer his question, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Please notice he did not say, “what must I do to go to heaven?”  Did you know Jesus is not so concerned about us all going to heaven (we are) as much as He is concerned about us allowing the life of God to operate in our lives?  I have learned words are cheap, but actions speak volumes to hurting and lonely hearts.  And those who raise their hands in song services, pray the loudest, and speak in tongues the longest usually have little to no relationship with the LORD unlike those Christians who have allowed God to work in their lives out from experiences in God and through His dealings and judgments.  Selling out to God will require hard times and persecution.  God promises us that, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”  (2 Timothy 3:12) Selling out will even cause offense because the message of the Gospel does not make people happy.  Paul tells us, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:18) and I believe it because I have seen, handled, and tasted of it.  For those who understand the message of the cross it will offend them and they will get angry with us, but if we endure their anger and childish ways we will come to see the power and effectiveness of God’s salvation.  “And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God. 19Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother. 20And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.” (Mark 10:18-20)  This young fellow should have figured out by now something was up, but his presumption and arrogance blinded the truth from his eyes and heart like many Christians today.  This lad went to church every time the doors were open and kept the commandants since his youth and even confirmed Jesus’ words to this, “all these have I observed from my youth.”  He did all of the right church activities, but this still was not enough to have his question answered.  He had to do more. “Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me. 22And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.”  (Mark 10:21-22) When this lad kneeled down he thought there was nothing he had to do, he had done it all for God, but Jesus said not so fast young man (if we walk with God long enough He will knock the zealousness out of us) “One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.” Now if Jesus would have said give the rich (or even the poor) a good deal on your goods or go sell all you have and give the money to the church he may have been able to do this, but that is not what Jesus said to do Jesus said go, sell, and give.  Jesus was after (what Jesus is after in our lives too) his heart.  Notice Jesus said if he sells and give to the poor he would have “treasure in heaven,” now he may have gone for this, but I believe he was so shell-shocked and stunned by Jesus’ words he missed this point.  Sadly he could not sell out and missed out on eternal life and treasure in heaven, all because he could not “take up the cross” (die to his selfish desires and hungers) and follow (come after or become like) Jesus.  Sadly this is the last time we read of this young lad in the Bible.  He could not sell out to God and missed out on all that God had for him.  My friend this is not just some true story in the Bible make no mistake Jesus today is giving us the same choice and we will either sell out to the world or to God.  God’s intention is for us to sell out to Him, but the choice is ours. I know in my life my answer must be selling out to God because I have gone too far now and have too much to lose.  How about you?               

You know when we do not understand what the Bible is saying we must allow the words in God’s word to speak the truth to our spirit.  Sadly most Christians go ask a pastor or friend what this or that verse means, well God wants to show us some things in His word by us cracking open the Bible and spending some time with Him.  The truth of the word of God is in the words and for us to really understand what the Bible is saying we must understand the words as they were written from the oldest version you can find.  And of course the best version of the Bible today, to do what Paul instructed Timothy to do, “to study the word of God” is the 1611 King James Version (KJV). Almost all of the recognized study references are based on and patterned after the KJV.  The newer versions (NIV, ASV, NLT, NCV, NRSV, etc. what a vegetable soup) maybe be hipper and easier to read (in today’s language), but the words have been changed which changes the intent and meaning to what is being said.  Newer versions make good sense now in 2011, they are easy to read, but the Bible says, “There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 14:12) The KJV is easily tracked backward the direction we must go to understand what the Old Testament Prophets and in the New Testament what the disciples, Paul, Peter, even Jesus were saying. And yes even further back to the Greek and Hebrew where the real meaning of God’s word is found. Now you do not have to be able to speak or read Greek or Hebrew, but to understand God’s word you will need to know what the words mean, for there is the heart of truth. The truth of the Bible is contained in the words as the Holy Spirit gives us revelation – the sign of our spiritual authority.  Thus if we do not understand what the individual words mean in the Bible we will not have any authority in God to speak and do for Him.  They say in the world understanding is power well that may be true in the world, but my friend in God understanding is authority and there is a huge difference between power and authority.  I would rather have a smidgen of God’s authority then all of man’s power.  To understand what I am saying in this article you will have to open up your spirit and brush up on your study skills to hear with the Spirit of God. Wise advice that will carry you all the days of your life. 

Now many people think the 18 Chapter of Revelation is talking about the City of Rome well I am not so sure about that.  Here John is talking about something in the future he saw in the Spirit (he could not explain) Rome was his present day world which he could easily explain. The mighty city of Rome, built on seven hills, fell from within from her idolatry, a promiscuous lifestyle, and just plain old open rebellion to God by not selling out to God.  This selling out extends into so many areas of our lives and our culture.  In the Book of Revelation we read about how the nations were deceived by the merchants of the earth. “And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold (of the place where captives are kept, a prison) of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication (Strong’s #4204: to permit one’s self to be drawn away by another into idolatry) with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.” (Revelation 18:1-3) How could this happen with mighty churches on every corner?  How could this happen with the so called end-time revival that some say is to happen?  Be not deceived by the liars on TBN and other Christians TV stations. All they want is your money (they are the merchants), just listen to their message: money, money, and money it is what moves their hearts.  Please do not be caught up in this greed and deception of sowing seed.  How could all of this happen that is easy the people did not sell out to God. How could the merchants of the world wax (grow) rich, that is easy the Christians spent their money on the things of the world instead of the things of God.  Do you see that moving here?  My friend either we will sell out to God or we will sell out to the world.  We will either put on darkness or we will put on light.  Paul lets us know these are our only two choices in life, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. 12The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. 13Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.  14But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”  (Romans 13:11-14)  We try so hard to be good and put on the light, but it is not really about being good and putting on light, oh no my friend it is about casting off darkness.  If we cast off darkness we will put on the light of the glorious gospel. Notice casting off darkness happens first before we can put on the light. Order matters in the Bible. If we sell out to God He will make sure those things we need in our lives, to conform us into His precious Son’s image, will come our way.  Let us not be like the young lad who did all of the right things, but in the end lost his soul and why?  He could not sell out to God and was never heard of again, the choice is ours.