Wednesday, August 8, 2018

They feared the Lord, but served other gods

Part I  Why there should be no Yoga for Christians

Take care that you be not ensnared to follow them, after they have been destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire about their gods, saying, ‘How did these nations serve their gods? —that I also may do the same.’ Deuteronomy 12:30

It is not common for me to print anything controversial, I would rather get the attention of individuals with Christian content, over flash and drama. So please understand that this is not typical of the message that I normally give. However, I am constantly seeing the growth of the acceptance of many Christians to the practices of Yoga without any understanding of the spiritual significance.

Because this is so deep a subject I will need to extend it over three or maybe even four blogs. That being so this blog serves only to show that Yoga as innocent as it seems is more than jus stretching and exercise in fact Yoga is  a full flagged religion and should be treated as one not as some exercise in stretching. But as an exercise in paganism.

How the Yogi define Yoga
In order that I address Yoga in the best light I will not define Yoga, nor anything else I will get all my information about yoga from a yoga site and provide the links so that you may read it in dept yourself.

When trying to define Yoga I used a number of sites to see how they defined themselves however when it came to Yoga I noticed that some sited did not have a way of defining themselves and other had removed the definition page.  This immediately put me on guard on about the very meaning of the world Yoga.

The Yoga Lunchbox defines “Asana” (physical postures or stretching) are the tools of Yoga. And Yoga is where self-realization ( enlightenment) is the place where the fluctuation of the mind have mostly stilled and you no longer identify with any remaining fluctuations or thoughts.

This is not spiritual mumble jumble I we take out time it will make clear the points that Yoga is a religion. And God does not  share his glory.

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Can We Practice Yogic Posture and Not be Worshiping Pagan gods?

When I bring to their attention that Yoga is a religion, the most common retort is “I’m not using it for spiritual reasons” The implication is “because I love Jesus I can do Asana ( the posture’s of Yoga) and not be tripped up by it.
But      2 Kings 17:33 says “they feared the Lord, but also served other gods

Or they will retort “Even when I do these things “I’m not serving other gods
But.     1 Corinthians 10:12 (ISV) “Therefore, whoever thinks he is standing securely should watch out so he doesn't fall. 

But more importantly just because you can do it is not enough, it is the esample you provide for the new Christian that will make him strong or cause him to fall.
But..    1 Corinthians 8:13 “therefore, if food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, least I make my brother stumble”

Is Yoga Simply Exercise?
In a response to an interview with the New York Times called “Hindu Group Stirs a Debate Over Yoga’s Soul” Hindu American Foundation (HAF) identified what it views as two serious misconceptions about yoga that are widespread in the West.

1.     The first misconception is that Yoga is about physical exercise and stretching only. This is the view that his held by 99% of the Christians the practice Yoga. However, a group based in the understanding of what Yoga is says that Yoga is not about physical exercise and stretching. If this is so what else is yoga about?

2.     The second misconception is that Yoga can be dissociated from Hinduism.  What this means is Yoga is absolutely a religion since Hinduism is a religion if we believe what HAF says. However, their concern was retorted by New Age author Deepak Chopra who defended that Yoga from his perspective is more on the realm of consciousness, or spirituality then Hinduism.

I think two important points that we need to address is this, neither HAF or Chopra disagree that Yoga is more than physical exercise and stretching. How much more seems to be the main issue they have. Is Yoga directly associated with Hinduism or is it simply an application of our own spirituality?

·       If it is directly associated with Hinduism than the Christian is saying, either the Bible is wrong in dissuading us against practicing other religions (Deuteronomy 12:30, 1 Corinthians 10:20) or the bible is correct and Christ is not Lord over his life, because he openly chooses not to give up what the scripture say we should abstain from.

·       If as New Age author Deepak Chopra says, Yoga is not associated with Hinduism, but is more about the realm of consciousness and spirituality the we must ask ourselves what kind of spirit is it?  The bible clearly teaches that every spirit is not of God. So my question is how could Jesus give us a statement of exclusivity, “no man come unto the father but through me” John 14:6 that we can reach a spiritual place with God without him? Just because it seems innocent does not mean it is of God.

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. 2 By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, 3 and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already.1 John 4:1-3

The second thing we need to address is that Yoga is by it own definition a religion and God does not  share his glory. On these two points alone, I rest my argument against Christians practicing Yoga, but there are many more forthcoming this blog was only to establish Yoga as a religion.

6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— 7 not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ.8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed. 10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[a] of Christ Galatians 1:6-10

What we have to remember is while we are doing the downward dog on the physical, that because of our spiritual ignorance we aren’t giving ourselves the shaft down there in the spiritual.

Your brother in Christ
TCharves FireSpeaks

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Lost in the Temple of God

And Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the house of the Lord.” 2 Kings 22:8

At 18 years old king Josiah being zealous for the Lord recognizes that the temple of the Lord had become run down and had not been taken care of many years. There had been 34 kings in Israel and Judah since the Day that King Solomon erected the Temple to the Lord but all but four put the things of God on the back burner. These kings had taken on the ways of the world, full of greed and self-promotion, egotistic behaviors, seeking after perversions and idol worshipers, rather than worshipping God.  And even though they lived in the midst of God’s kingdom on earth, they all miserably failed to walk in the ways of God.  the scripture tells us they did “evil in the sight of the Lord

King “Josiah” because of his love for the Lord had the most difficult time of fixing what had been the failure of many kings and over 470 years of neglect to the temple.So he said to the scribe tell the high priest Hilkiah (whose name means near to God,) that God house is not looking like the house worthy of God, We need to clean it up, you get some contractors in there, and sweep it down, build and  repair, and get it in a way that looks acceptable to God.

And while they were cleaning, and fixing, and building and shining Hilkiah found a book, but not just any book, it was the book of God’s covenant with Israel. Then Hilkiah read it to the scribe,  Shaphan, and told him to take it back and read it to the King, and the words of the book so moved Josiah that revival broke out in all of Judah. 

But the question we should ponder is how did they lose the book of God’s covenant in the temple of God?  But more Importantly, have we lost the book of God covenant in our temple.
The scripture tells us in 1 Corinthians 6:19 that our body is the temple in which God dwells. The scripture says that God has written his law in our hearts, and minds. And it is there that we must find them. However, many of us just like the people of Judah have misplaced the word of God in our lives, we have gotten overwhelmed with the things of this world to the point where we don’t even know where the word of God is.  

Even Christians today have become so preoccupied with the things of this world, so motivated by greed and self-promotion, and egotistic behaviors, passionately seeking after perversions and worshiping our new car, or new house, or anything that we can attain, rather than worshipping God, that we are no longer a peculiar people, that God requires us to be. In fact, if seen by the outside world, we would look more like the evil kings, than the good kings. For though we claim to have Jesus as Lord we still do that which seemed right in our own eyes

Even though everyone claims to want a revival in this world, it seems like there is no revival forthcoming. And the main reason is that we are seeking a revival of the outside world when we must first have a revival in our own temple; before there will be a restoration o FireSpeaksf God’s kingdom we have got to find the lost book of our own temple.

Your Brother in Christ
TCharves FireSpeaks

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Giving the Gospel as it was Intended”.

The goal of Jesus’ first coming on earth was not to set up His kingdom of Peace, but to bring in the gospel, which would lead to strife and division. We should question our integrity concerning how we give the Word of God. Now this does not mean we give the gospel with an attitude. It means we give it and let God sort out the details. Psalm 19:7 tells us the law of the Lord is perfect for converting the soul. As much as I would like to I can’t get better than God’s perfection.
Image result for romans 1:16This post was originally written as Castrating the Gospel, It is re-added to the weekly devotional as simply “Giving the Gospel as it was Intended”. The highlighted point of this devotional is not so much how we give the gospel today but rather how much we have departed from the way the gospel has through history ben given. And why this new gospel is ineffective at converting the hearts of men. It postulated that if we return to the original way the gospel was given, we would recognize the same success as our church fathers, but we would also assume the same persecution as they. The question we as people of the book is is our commitment to God greater than our fear of man?  Is fear so overpowering that we began to castrate the gospel of Jesu Christ.
What do I mean when I say castrate? I'm not talking about making it unable to produce children, though metaphorically that could very well be the outcome. What I'm talking about when I say castrate is to deprive it of the strength that God intended it to have. The Scripture teaches that the gospel is “the power of God onto salvationRomans 1:16
When I say castrate the Gospel I mean to render impotent, literally, or metaphorically, or psychologically by means of threatening a person’s masculinity or femininity. When we say to castrate the Gospel we mean to deprive it of its strength, it’s power, it efficacy.
1.     Psychology . to render impotent, literally or metaphorically, by psychological means, especially by threatening a person's masculinity or femininity.
2.     to deprive of strength, power, or efficacy; to weaken:”
If there is one thing that makes impotent the gospel of Jesus Christ is the modern day Christian's desire to give it in what he thinks is God’s love. “Jesus Loves you and so do Iis a poor representation of the gospel, especially when compared to how it was taught in the days of the Church of Acts. This modern-day gospel is given with the intent of making the lost feel good, but the original intent of the gospel was to bring the truth of the person Jesus Christ and make know the need for salvation which comes only though Him. 
The devil delights in the “Jesus Loves you and so do I” gospel that we give today because its full of everything but truth. Like a 21st century harem guard (eunuch) we castrate the gospel, robbing it of all its power, and we make it ineffective because we desire not to see the division it was created to cause. Adopting a world view of "why can’t we all just get alone,?" we seek after earthly peace not godly salvation.
 In Matthew 10:34-36 Jesus says;
“Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. Matthew 10:34-36
The point I trying to make clear is that watering down the Gospel, predigesting it, making it
more palatable to the hearer will not better ensure the accepting of the Gospel nor will it prepare their hears to receive it, that is God’s job, our job is to simple give it.
We should be questioning our faith, “do we really believe what the bible says,” if we are trying to muster up a new way to reach the lost without conflict. God does not need our help with the gospel, and it was not created by mistake; it doesn't have to be fixed, because its not broken; It doesn't have to be updated, because it has never run out of style; and it doesn't have to be modernized, because the wages of sin are still death.
Those of us that think we have a new and better way to give the gospel, are completely wrong. Stuck in our egocentric stupor we act as though we have something that can be added to God. I bet most of us when we witness, we tell our families and friends that we are soul winning, completely forgetting that only God can save. ( pause)

is there anyone out there….?

It is the correct working of the gospel to cause one brother to convert and another brother to hate the gospel. This is because the gospel, when it is presented in its correct format uncovers the corruption of the heart of those hearing it, and there are only three things a person can do when this sin is uncovered and naked before him. 
1.     He can accept the gospel and seek truth; 
2.     Deny the gospel and get angry  
3.     Have no response at all (which is the worst of all possibilities)
This is hard to get this through to people, yet it is absolutely seen in the Bible. If men/women are not getting converted to Christ when you give the gospel, then they should be getting angry about Christ when you give the gospel. This is the correct order of things and the purpose for Jesus teaching the gospel the way he did. Listen to our savior understating of his responsibilities;
For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law Matthew 10:35
The Gospel of Jesus Christ causes trouble, yet we advertise it as if it were a super elixir from a traveling circus that would fix whatever ills you. The gospel when given correctly, and biblically is both enlightening to the hearer and dangerous to the giver and will cause division even between two brothers, expect that!
But the people of the city were divided; some sided with the Jews and some with the apostles.  When an attempt was made by both Gentiles and Jews, with their rulers, to mistreat them and to stone them,  they learned of it and fled to Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and to the surrounding country, Acts 14:4-7
Honest people, I did not make this up. As we go through the New Testament we see this scenario play itself out over and over again. Here are just a few examples of the acts against the disciple because of the Gospel.

  1.  James the son of Zebedee older brother of John was killed by Herod Agrippa because of the gospel (Acts 12: 1-2) 
  2. Paul was Stoned almost to death (Acts 14:4-7) 
  3. Stoned again in Lystra and left for dead (Acts 14:19-20 ) 
  4. Paul’s clothes are ripped off him and he is beaten with many stripes and put in prison in Philippi (Acts 16:16-24) 
  5. Jews attack Jason’s house, drag everyone from the house (Acts 17:5-9) 
  6. There were riots in Ephesus (Act 19:29-41)  
  7. Riot in the Temple in Jerusalem (Act 21-26-36) 
  8. The Jews plot to kill Paul (Acts 23:11-22) 
  9. Paul was shipwrecked in ( Acts 27-28:10
The number one reason that the gospel is so poorly given is the fear of man, what he would say about us, or what he would do to us. But Jesus tells us that what man has done to Him we should expect the same to be done to us. (John 13:16, John 15:20) So then as we give the gospel, we give expecting to be persecuted.
 Don’t be fooled, if we are really sold out for Jesus Christ there will come a time when men will want to hurt us, but we can’t fear man greater then God (Matthew 10:28, Luke 12:3-5) Avoiding conflict was not the way of those before us, they did not run away from conflict by trying to water down the gospel they ran toward conflict by giving the gospel in its purest form. We don’t read about Andrew, or Barnabas or Bartholomew, telling the Jews “Jesus can fix your finances, your perversion, addiction, or your marriage”. And neither should we. 
Nowhere in the entire Bible does one apostle tell someone “Jesus Loves You and so do I” not James the brother of John, nor James the brother of Jesus, not Thaddeus neither Jude, Luke, Mark, or Matthews not one of them and they gave their life for the gospel. 
Fear never crossed the mind of Matthias, Paul, Peter, Phillip, or Thomas. All publicly beaten and killed for the purity of the gospel. Scripture tells of these men for our benefit, so that we might know the truth about the gospel and sound expectations of men.
So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known.  What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell” Matthew 10:26-28

Your brother in Christ
TCharves FireSpeaks

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