Extortion and Excess

2 Words in 1

 Extortion and Excess
The inside of the Cup

 

Extortion and Excess

Extortion and excess In the Father’s house.  You learn some things, as you go along; many things remain hidden, until such a time, as the Spirit deems that it might be revealed to you.

One of the most challenging things that can occur with a person seeking depth in the Spirit, is when you have been given a message; but it’s for another time.  This glass, that we only see through darkly, does not always reveal every aspect of the plan.  There are many times we must proceed by faith; more will be revealed later.

It must be the hour we are in now, because I feel, that Jesus Christ is leading many of us back, to the things, HE taught.  With the little bit of understanding I have, it appears, that the things He foretold, are of more importance, than ever before.

Perhaps, beyond our knowledge or our own wisdom, the things He taught and confronted then, apply to us today.  It was only now, that I saw something in Matthew 23 that catches my attention, as it never did before.

Did you know, that in this one chapter, He made this comment, “Woe, unto ye scribes, Pharisees and hypocrites,”  7 times?  I never dreamed, He might be talking about some of us.  Even some of the world; recognize Him as a prophet.  Many of us don’t.

Jesus said, that among many things, these people were full of extortion and excess.  I looked up the word extortion: it means, securing (money or favors) by intimidation, violence, or the misuse of influence or authority.  I hesitate to even say this, but I believe we are seeing this in the church world today, on a scale of epic proportion.

The thing that makes me want to weep, is the comment, “the misuse of influence, or authority.”   And that awful term, intimidation.  Let’s don’t talk about excess.  Living a high kind of lifestyle on the money people have given to what they thought was the work of the Lord.  It’s not all about this prosperity kind of gospel.  Some have been living high above the people in their congregation, for many years.  I cringe to say it, but many, are those who look so good; on the outside.

To our own loss, many of us were somehow led to believe that these things that Jesus taught, were likely only relative to that time.  This is why the suppression of prophets and our instruction to seek to prophesy, has led us into spiritual weakness in many places.

Someone should have told us that Jesus was talking to many among us.  Some tried, but they truly were silenced.  What has resulted, is that these kind of behaviors, have grown and gone unchallenged.  This one chapter, describes how so many of us have made our works, more important than our love for God, or for one another.  Blind guides, straining at gnats and whited on the outside.

I can feel and hear some saying,  “Who, does he think he is?  What gives him the right to say these things?  What has he done for God?  He’s a nobody, a failure and an outcast!” And they’re right.  I am a nobody, a misfit, one who has failed and I am truly an outcast.

I don’t claim anything, but one.  And that is, that He is Everything.  He is the Alpha, the Omega, the beginning, and the end.  The First, the Last, that which Was, which Is, and that which Is to come, the Almighty.  Jesus Christ, the head of the Church said that He was coming back for a Bride, without spot, or without wrinkle.  He is going to use whomever; those who will yet yield themselves to Him, in this hour.  Our wicked ways.  We cannot turn, if we do not know what they are.

May I say one more thing?  Perhaps, God is going to use some of us, one more time, in this hour.  As Samson arose one final time, even in his lowly condition, may the Lord anoint our vessels again; for His glory and honor!


The inside of the Cup

What happens when what you see, is not what you get?  It’s only recently, that I’ve realized something I never truly knew before.  We say here, that God has “chosen vessels” which have been designated for use in these final closing hours.  I do believe that; we are seeing that unfold, every day, even right here on Facebook.  I will only speak for myself.  God, could never have used me the way He wants today, without doing a complete overhaul, on my mind and spirit.  I was too harsh.

Some of us, were brought up in certain religious circles.  There were things that were ingrained into us; things that we had been told as children and it was reinforced over much of our adulthood.  Drilled; over and over.  For us humans, if something is instilled in us for a long period of time, we can come to believe it is true; whether it really is or not.

You trust those who raise you; you trust those in leadership, and especially those in the church you perhaps grow up in.  When you see others who do not comply with all of the things you were taught, you learn to do what you saw others before you do.  You shun people; you push out those who don’t follow the rules.

I wonder sometimes, why those who taught us, did not caution us more, about what Jesus said to the religious folk of His day.  It seems mundane to say that we wanted to follow more of what we thought the apostles taught, than what Jesus Christ taught.

The apostles followed Jesus; we need to never forget that.  Some things you couldn’t even talk about.  The subject of dressing up the outside, more than the inside, can still get you a lot of criticism and sharp remarks.  Have we grown enough today, that we can be honest about how some folks,are not at all what they look like?  It was so confusing as a child coming up, to be with those who looked the part, but were nothing like what they looked like.  We saw it too much.

Many of us can dress up the outside.  We can put on such a face and act in just the right way so that no one knows the difference.  We can appear to have it all together; appear to be super spiritual and oh so pleasant, and be full of insecurity and malice.

Just because we call ourselves or other folk call us men and women of God, does not mean we are.  The truth is, if we are wearing and presenting a façade; it will wear thin, sooner or later.

I want to stop and say, that some people could see through phoniness.  They could see things in the Spirit and it made things difficult for them.  It may sound a bit strange to say, but people who are not real, can usually tell, those who are.  Not because they can see in the Spirit, but because they can’t.  They fully recognize that other people have something they don’t.

We won’t see our faults if we don’t want to.  Some of us have learned, that we have to ask the Holy Ghost to search us every day.  If we truly want to know what the Spirit sees in us, He will show us.

Those who don’t really want to know, don’t ask; or if they do, they don’t truly mean it.  And the real Spirit of God, knows that.  Making your insides match your outside, can be a real task for insecure people.

Judging people by what we see on the outside, is a human fault; especially, if they don’t look like we were told they ought to look.  It’s a hard habit to break; I still have to wrestle with it sometimes.  On the outside, I won’t appear honest, sincere and loving to some people; they have already decided.

If we genuinely please God, we don’t need a face . The fruit of the Spirit, will manifest itself, outwardly.

 


Robert Blackburn Robert Blackburn

 

 

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