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– God is a Spirit, and they that worship Him must worship Him in Spirit and truth. – John 4:24

There has been a TV ad running here in Gainesville for about six or seven months now, promoting various aspects of an area Christian school.  Near the end of it, an voice from off-screen says, “I believe God has a spiritual home for everybody.”  Yes, it’s true He does. However, this house is a habitation in our heart.

Our soul is where all true worship of our Father starts, and then finishes upon our final breath.  Not within the confines of any physical building or dwelling man designates as a “house of worship” – or a “house of faith.”  It does not mean people cannot go to these places, but they’re not where worship is centered.  

Why?  Well, God says the following words to us in the book of Acts: “However, the most High does not dwell in temples made with hands.  Heaven is My throne and earth is My footstool.  What house will you build for Me?  Or, what is the place of My rest?  Has My hand not made all of these things (Acts 7:48-50)?”

In a similar vein, when the apostle Paul was in Berea, he penned these words about Him: “God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth – doesn’t dwell in temples made with hands.  Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as if He needed anything (Acts 17:24-25).”

This is why true worship can only be within us.  It begins, continues, and finishes with our last day on earth.  It is why we must be “born again” of the Spirit at some point before we die (John 3:5).  This is the only church plant mattering to Him – for a seed of salvation is sown in the heart when it takes place.

It begins growing, and starts producing spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23).  An inner church is birthed, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Jesus Christ as the chief cornerstone.  In whom all the building is fitly framed together – so it grows into a holy temple of God in our soul (Ephesians 2:20-22).

All other forms of external worship are wrong and fraudulent.  They create a feigned, often forced faith, complete with fake smiles.  It can fool many for a long time, but not God (Hebrews 4:12-13).  Being born again is the only way we can be guided into all truth without being lied to (John 16:13, 1 John 2:27).

Otherwise, we can be deceived by a lot of likeable lies disguised as His truth.  We can then be dangerously misled.  With Satan having his own seat in Sunday pews (Revelation 2:13) spewing forth such falsehoods (John 8:44).  Or, preaching these fallacies and errors standing in the pulpit (Ephesians 6:12, James 1:16).

 

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KJV and NKJV Scripture

– Who did hinder you, that you should not obey the truth?  This persuasion does not come from Him who called you. – Galatians 5:7-8

– Wherefore we would have come unto you – even I, Paul, once and again – but Satan hindered us. – 1 Thessalonians 2:18

We can never blame any disobedience to God – on God.  Our Father’s commands aren’t meant to grieve us (1 John 5:3), but to grow us up in grace (2 Peter 3:18).  To stop us from serving sin (Romans 6:6) by serving Him, and to keep us humbly obedient until death like Jesus (Philippians 2:8).  Thus, He’ll never hinder our obedience (lead verse); never tempting us to commit any sinful, disobedient act (James 1:13).

If we are ever persuaded to disobey God; then do – it is from sinful lust still in us.  It hasn’t been confessed for forgiveness (1 John 1:9), then corrected with His chastisement (Hebrews 12:5-11).  If God punishes to right us, then we go out and disobey the same way, we offend Him again with sin.  We did not learn our lesson (Job 34:31).  It means we’re still conformed to this world in some fashion or form (Romans 12:2).

Satan hinders us from many things (2 Corinthians 12:7, second lead verse) such as obeying God.  If we’re drawn away from Him by lust, we have been enticed by the devil and erred from God’s way.  Lust conceived brings forth sin.  Sin when finished brings forth death (James 1:14-16).  Succumbing to worldly temptation means we’ve yielded to tools Satan uses to swerve us away from His truth (1 Timothy 1:5-6).

The devil gets advantage of us if we become ignorant of such devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).  Failing to obey God means we have failed to resist Satan so he will flee (James 4:7).  We have failed to put on our whole armor of God each day.  We have not done everything our Father commands to withstand the devil, and his fiery darts of disobedience during our evil days upon this earth (Ephesians 6:13-18, Matthew 6:34).

We give plenty of place to Satan when we disobey God (Ephesians 4:27), because we’ve chosen to serve and worship him more than God, changing His truth into a lie (Romans 1:25).  If so, God has power to make us sin so many other ways (Romans 1:26-31). Despite knowing His judgement of death against such; we do them.  Taking pleasure because we still prefer worldly lust over godly love (Romans 1:32).

Each time we willfully sin as Christians, we turn aside after Satan again (1 Timothy 5:15).  This, after we had been released from his power (Acts 26:18) upon being born again (John 3:5).  When we disobey this way, we have departed from our Father in unbelief (Hebrews 3:12-19) – counting the blood of the new covenant as unholy (Hebrews 10:27-29).  There’ll never be another final sin sacrifice (Hebrews 10:10).

Hinder means to create difficulties for something or someone, causing delays or obstructions.  Tragically, there’ll always be Christians who think God’s promise of sending Jesus back is still far off – or never going to happen (Ezekiel 12:27-28, 2 Peter 3:4).  They say in heart, “The Lord delays His coming (Luke 12:45)” – so they delve into disobedience without delay, as if there’s no more hell to pay (2 Thessalonians 1:8).

God will never create difficulties for us, causing us grief or affliction, without reason (Lamentations 3:32-33).  If there is anything hindering us in bringing forth all the spiritual fruits He commands us to produce – meet for our repentance unto salvation, we cannot point fingers at Him (Galatians 5:22-23, Acts 17:30, 2 Corinthians 7:10, Matthew 3:8).  We can’t say “What are You doing (Job 9:12)?” – as if He is at fault.

Why?  Because the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptation, and reserve the unjust unto the day of judgement … but chiefly those who walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness (2 Peter 2:9).  There is condemnation to Christians who live as such – and it still leads to death if unconfessed and uncorrected.  Only mortifying the deeds of the body through the Spirit leads to life (Romans 8:1,12-13).

If there is any hindrance to this, it is only because we still want to keep on living in the world like we always have.  Loving its things (1 John 2:15-16) and filled with our own ways.  This is why believers backslide – often perpetually (Proverbs 14:14, Jeremiah 8:5). Leaving little in Satan’s way to hinder him and lead worldly Christians away in err (2 Peter 3:17); and making a shipwreck of their faith (1 Timothy 1:19).

 

 

 

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– Neither let Hezekiah make you trust in the Lord, saying “The Lord will surely deliver us; this city shall not be delivered into the hand of the king of Assyria.” – Isaiah 36:15

– Faith all grown up is trust. – Adam LiVecchi

Trust in life – or in the Lord – cannot be earned and learned by talking about it.  We can’t “make” other people develop trust in us just by the movement of our mouths.  We can’t “make” other people trust in the Lord – by telling them they must – no matter how much may we have learned to do so.  Some may have to go through tough trials before they learn to trust in God as their constant refuge (Psalm 62:8).

However, there are vast differences between putting our trust in people and placing trust in God.  If we attempt to cross the lines of understanding between the two, it can be the catalyst for much confusion.   Distrust with people can develop when someone we thought we were going to trust a long time, does one questionable thing – then another; making us slowly start to doubt their overall reliability.

This makes it hard to fully trust such a person again. The more it happens, the more we learn how to distrust.  The more we learn distrust, the more we learn how to become cynical.  The more cynical we become, the more disbelieving we become.  The more any negativity enters a Christian mind – the more it feeds unbelief – and endangers salvation (Romans 11:20-21, Hebrews 3:12-19, Hebrews 4:6,11).

Cynicism and distrust give birth to mockery.  Mockery can arise from disbelieving anything good is ever going to happen – because one has pretty much lived a life of bad luck and tough breaks.  They may have believed many worldly truths – only to be burnt by as many lies.  It all creates a “Yeah, right – like any good is ever going to happen” mind.  It is not a good one to have with God (Galatians 6:7)

Trust between at least two humans is almost always two-sided and mutual.  It is an “I’ll trust you, if you trust me” outlook.  It is an “I’ll always be there for a person – but they’d better be there for me exactly when I need them” attitude.  It can take years sometimes to develop solid trust – and a single lie told in two seconds to destroy.  However, this trust is often based on our prior desires of being served

If we put initial stock in any program, person, or product – isn’t it because we want them to produce results, perform, or satisfy the way we want ahead of time?  Would we sink money into an investment program, if we had little faith our finances would improve as we might expect them to beforehand?  If we sense anything is going to fail us in advance, why would we proceed any further with trust?

If we were to hire a new baby-sitter, and they showed up late the first night – well, we might give them a second chance.  However, what if they arrived late that second night, and kept us from important dates with people?  What if we found out they did not put the kids to bed on time?  What if they asked for more money than advertised?  Would we say we trusted the baby-sitter or recommend them to others?

Would we keep buying a food product with a bitter taste – hoping it would somehow taste better – but only if we keep pulling out our wallets ?  Would we keep buying and driving a certain make of car always seeming to break down?  These are all examples of how easily we can stop trusting people and things – simply because they’re not serving our wants and desires; especially when money is involved.

Isn’t it easy to say we trust in God when He seems to show up exactly on time, every time – performing dutifully like a rugged old car or truck we have had for years.  Or, nothing about Him leaves a bad or bitter taste in our mouths?  Becoming bitter with God can happen when our Christian lives don’t seem to be getting any better for trusting Him.  It is a dangerous spiritual state to be in (Hebrews 12:15).

So, what is the big difference between human and heavenly trust?   We can say we trust other people – but as soon as they let us down a couple of times – we can often run off to find someone else to trust in. Someone new who will do what we want them to – and when.  God is not our servant – He does not exist to perform and deliver like this (Revelation 4:11). We can still say we trust Him – but for what?

We can say “In God we trust” – but He says “I trust no one but Myself  (Job 4:18).”  It is impossible for is Him to lie (Hebrews 6:18).  If He does or declares anything, it is complete truth (Deuteronomy 32:4). Even if we have the Spirit in us – flesh and Spirit lust against each other – so we can’t do the things we would (Galatians 5:17).  Therefore, we are not to trust ourselves; only Him (2 Corinthians 1:9).

Trusting God means we stop trusting man completely – for our hearts have departed from Him if we do (Jeremiah 17:5).  It means we do not stagger in unbelief because our lives are just not going the way we may have thought – by just trusting in God.  It means we’re fully persuaded He will always perform as promised.  Per His purpose and timing; not ours (Romans 4:20-21, 2 Peter 3:8, Isaiah 46:10).

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(KJV and NKJV Scripture)

– No lie is of the truth. – 1 John 2:21

– My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue – but in deed and truth. – 1 John 3:18

We can all publicly praise God – and pray to Him the same way.  We can make all the open proclamations of faith we care to (Romans 14:22).  We can all raise our hands sky-high to heaven and honor God in this manner.  We can all speak great swelling words of our worship of the Word – and of our Father in heaven. Others may long to have our same love of the Lord – based on what leaves our lips.

However, how can we say we love or honor God like this if we hate any brother, acting against them at any time, for any reason?  Even if we harbor such feelings in our hearts – is not hidden to the Lord (1 Samuel 16:7, Hebrews 4:12-13).  Whether openly or privately, we make God a liar – and His truth is not in us.  We are hypocrites like the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 6:5-7, Matthew 23:14).

For we are saying we love God whom we have not seen … but somehow cannot love a brother whom we have seen (1 John 4:20).  Our deeds and works are deceiving and wrong – for we are not receiving and loving another with the truthful type of love He commands (1 Peter 1:22).  It is contrary to sound doctrine, for we are not keeping this commandment (1 Timothy 1:10).  It is sin (1 John 1:10, 1 John 2:4).

We may have a pleasing voice, with persuasive lips as smooth as butter – and might sound like a person who can play a well-tuned and well-oiled instrument (Ezekiel 33:32, Psalm 55:21).  However, if we hate others for any reason as Christians – all we have become is nothing more than sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.  It all must be a very confused noise to unbelievers (Isaiah 9:5, 1 Corinthians 13:1).

It has to be an uncertain sound (1 Corinthians 14:8). They may hear about Christian love – but don’t see much of it.   This can make lost people unsure of what Christianity is supposed to be.  Because, even though we may we seem to be hearing all the words of Christ – we are not doing them (Luke 6:46).  They don’t see us loving and esteeming others in lowliness of mind like Jesus (Philippians 2:3-5).

We have been given the mind of Christ as true born-again believers of the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-7, 1 Corinthians 2:16).  However, we are neither minding or learning Jesus very well – if we would just prefer a lot of people we may not like very well – would just leave us alone much of the time (Ephesians 4:20-32). Although this can be a lot easier than loving people as we are commanded – it is not the truth.

We may be preaching and teaching the truth, but we’re living a lie if we hate anyone as Christians.  It is not in accordance, agreement, or alignment with the Word (Proverbs 10:12).  We are still alienated from His light and love – when we are not supposed to be anymore (Ephesians 2:12-13).  We are blind guides talking about one thing – but living another (Romans 2:19-23, 1 Corinthians 9:14).

If we hate others regardless of reason – we have sinned against God and wronged our souls.  We hate Him – and love death (Proverbs 8:36).  God made us of one blood, to live among all the nations (Acts 17:26).  We all only have one Father.  We trample on His truth if we deal treacherously (a betrayal of trust) with His covenant of love with us from the start (Malachi 2:10, John 3:16, John 14:6, Titus 1:2)

The first commandment is we love Him with all of our hearts, minds, souls, and strength.  The second commandment is to love our neighbor as ourselves (Mark 12:30-31).  So, if we say we know and love God, and do not keep His commandments because we hate someone  – we are liars without truth (1 John 2:4).  It’s not something I’d like to discuss with God on that day – would you (Romans 14:12)?

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(NKJV and KJV Scripture)

– And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. – John 8:32

– Pilate said unto him (Jesus), “What is truth?” – John 18:38

A man is on trial for murder.  Under oath, many witnesses come forth to give complete and truthful testimony.  The jury then goes to deliberate.  A unanimous guilty verdict is reached.  When the sentence is handed down by the judge – it’s death. A pardon is out of the question.  There is no escape.

Truth has not freed him  So how can God’s truth set us free?  From what?  This man was going to die because of it.  Outside of prison before his crime, he wasn’t in bondage to anyone – now he was bound to die by truth.  By our understanding, knowing truth this way doesn’t make much sense (Proverbs 3:5-6).

The Jews who Jesus was speaking to (lead verse), also could not figure out what Christ was talking about in regards to truth.  How could it free them if they had never been in bondage to any man?  They could not believe anything Jesus was telling them about truth (John 8:33,45-46).

Truth can set us free – or sentence us to die.  How can it possibly be both?  Because truth is a judgment – a verdict.  It’s saying something is or isn’t – without any room for doubt.  Isn’t that what we really want from truth?  Isn’t it why we want people to tell the whole truth and nothing but it in court?

The word verdict comes from the old Anglo-French “verdit” – meaning “to say a truth”.  Christ often prefaced parables and teachings with the word “verily”, or “truly”.  It is impossible for God to lie (Hebrews 6:18), so Jesus could only say what was true – or wasn’t – without error.

We are all appointed once to die (Hebrews 9:27).  It’s God’s verdict against us from our very first day on earth.  Although He has not appointed us to wrath, Scripture has concluded all are under sin – carrying with it the sentence of death (1 Thessalonians 5:9, Galatians 3:22, 2 Corinthians 1:9).

Our Father hung the only truth on the Cross.  So we would no longer trust in ourselves, nor in our desperately wicked and deceitful heats any more – but in the One who raises the dead (2 Corinthians 1:9, Jeremiah 17:9, Proverbs 28:26).  We can’t deliver ourselves from the grave.

By God’s grace Christ tasted death for all men (Hebrews 2:9).  Jesus took the place of sin on the Cross.  Christ became our pardon from death, becoming the propitiation (atoning sacrifice) for the sins of the world – while we were all yet sinners (1 John 2:2, Romans 5:8).

Jesus took part of flesh and blood like us, so through death he might destroy him who had the power of death – the devil.  To deliver us all from our fear of death, which we are in bondage to all our lives.  To free us from death’s finality, through God’s truth (Hebrews 2:14-15).

We’ve been turned from the power of darkness, and the father of all lies (John 8:44, Acts 26:18), unto the promise of deliverance through our Father’s truth.  But, death will be the last enemy to be destroyed (1 Corinthians 15:26).  We’re not free from the devil yet (1 Peter 5:8-9).

We will be freed from the grave by God’s grace – and through our faith in Jesus.  However, this grace will brought to us at the revelation of Christ (1 Peter 1:13).  We are not free in the meantime to grieve God by sinning more as believers – so His grace can abound more (Romans 6:1).

Whenever there is new-found freedom in life, there is the very real potential of it being abused and misused.  The meaning of liberty can be lost through misinterpretation.  Between what the grantor or giver of it intended – and what the recipient decides for themselves it means.

Discipline gets degraded this way.  Teenagers who first get their license to drive may often feel like they can go anywhere – and do anything they want, because their travels are no longer under direct parental oversight.  It is a similar scene when kids leave home for college.

We have the Holy Spirit dwelling in us by faith as believers (Ephesians 3:17).  Jesus Christ is that Spirit – and where the Spirit is, there is liberty (2 Corinthians 3:17).  We are to stand fast – not becoming entangled again in a yoke of bondage to this world (Galatians 5:1, 2 Corinthians 7:10).

We have been freed from the pollution of this world – by the Word of truth.  This is by knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ – who overcame the world (John 16:33).  If we become entangled in it again and overcome – our end is worse than the beginning (2 Peter 2:20-21).

The Lord’s liberty is not a license to turn us loose, and turn His grace into lasciviousness (Jude 4).  God tells us to take heed, lest our freedom become a stumbling block to those who are weak (1 Corinthians 8:9).  It is not to be used as a covering for evil either (2 Peter 2:16).

We are to use this liberty to be God’s servants. Serving Him by serving one another in love (2 Peter 2:16, Galatians 5:13).  If we look into this perfect law of liberty and continue in it – not being forgetful hearers, but doers of the work – we shall be blessed in our deeds (James 1:25).

Once creatures, we’ve been delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of becoming God’s children (Romans 8:21).  If we use free will to sin willfully after receiving the knowledge of His truth – we’re not wise.  There is no more sacrifice for sin (Hebrews 10:26).

God brings His judgement to light every morning (Zephaniah 3:5).  A verdict is reached as to whether His mercy will keep us waking each day – or if we are cut off without remedy (Zephaniah 3:5, Lamentations 3:22-23, Proverbs 29:1).  It is His truth which continually preserves us (Psalm 40:11).

If the Son has set us free, we are free indeed (John 8:36).  However, we have to remain steadfast in our faith until the end to be made partakers of Christ (Hebrews 3:6,14).  If we ever hold God’s truth in unrighteousness, we can become subject to His wrath (Romans 1:18).

We can start serving the creature again – more than the Creator – turning His truth back to a lie (Romans 1:25).  Having been enlightened, and having tasted of the heavenly gift, we can still fall away to where it’s impossible for God to renew us again to repentance (Hebrews 6:4-6).

This is like hanging Christ back on the Cross and subjecting God to open shame (Hebrews 6:6).  For things such as these, He has the power to turn us over to reprobate minds – and do things we might think we could never do  – and long to be free of once again (Romans 1:28-32).

Witnesses came forth in the first paragraph above – their truthful testimony meant a mortal man would be killed for his crime.  Though Christ gave truthful testimony about mortal man, some wanted to kill him, for committing nothing worthy of death (John 8:40, Luke 23:15).

Man’s testimony in a human court can send a man to die.  God’s testimony from His heavenly court; the crucifixion and resurrection of His only Son – sets us free from death.  It doesn’t set us free to do whatever we want in the world – or with the Word – as Christians.

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