Tuesday, August 2, 2011

What Christians Need to Know About Hip Hop and Chrisitan Rap

First we must check the origin!

According to Wikipedia, Hip hop music is a musical genre that developed as part of hip hop culture, and is defined by four key stylistic elements: rapping, DJing/scratching, sampling (or synthesis), and beatboxing. Hip hop began in the South Bronx of New York City in the 1970s. The term rap is often used synonymously with hip hop, but hip hop also denotes the practices of an entire subculture.

Rapping, also referred to as MCing or emceeing, is a vocal style in which the artist speaks lyrically,in rhyme and verse,generally to an instrumental or synthesized beat. Beats, almost always in 4/4 time signature, can be created by sampling and/or sequencing portions of other songs by a producer. They also incorporate synthesizers, drum machines, and live bands. Rappers may write, memorize, or improvise their lyrics and perform their works a cappella or to a beat.

Further research will show that Rap evolved from African people in general and black people born in the U.S. in particular. Its origins can be traced to West Africa where tribesmen held "men of words" in high regard. Later when slaves were brought to the New World, the captives mixed American music with the beats they remembered from Africa.

Another origin of rap is a form of Jamaican folk stories called "toasts." These are narrative poems that tell stories in rhyme. Over a hundred years later, rapping was a street art. Just as doo-wop in the 1950's, rap began in inner-city schoolyards and street corners in the 1970's. Early raps were boastful tales, and put-downs directed at other rappers. This music style was slowly growing in popularity among black teens in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia. As early as 1974 neighborhood block parties in New York featured early forms of rapping.

But it wasn't until the commercial success of "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979 that major record labels took notice of this explosive new sound. Rap's audience started to grow tremendously and gain notoriety with acts like Public Enemy, N.W.A., and Ice-T. More than 20 years have now passed and rap still has a huge following among people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds.

In the 80's many ra s were commentaries on the hardships of ghetto life, warnings about drugs and about teenage love or lust. Those topics led some parents to fear that rap encouraged youths to turn to violence, and illegal substance use. Organizations such as the Parents' Music Resource Center had fits over lyrics in rap and hip-hop which contained explicit references to sex, drugs and racism. The performers don't deny that rap music speaks openly about harsh topics. But they argue that audiences should be able to distinguish between fantasy and reality, right and wrong.

Presently, rap and its close relative hip-hop are enjoying its largest popularity ever as a result of its mainstream acceptance. And thanks to artists like Kid Rock and Eminem, African-Americans are not the only ones listening anymore. Also, the female audience has grown steadily with the emergence of ladies behind the microphone like Salt-n-Pepa, Queen Latifah, and Li'l Kim.

So let us speak about both Hip Hop and Rap

Because of its origin and what Hip Hop and Rap originally represented in its earlier stages, we cannot embrace it as Christians. There can be no Holy Hip Hoppers or no Christian Rap because the culture and their roots do not lend itself to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

Please understand that Hip Hop and Rap, is a way of governing your life. Therefore, it cannot be exploited as a Christian way of living. We understand that KRS-ONE and Afrika Bambaata have used the term Hip Hop to describe emceeing, deejaying, rapping, breakdancing, and other forms of entertainment, but Hip Hop is also, to them, a religion and a way of worshipping ourselves instead of the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we as believers hold on to this culture when its origin is rooted in witchcraft and voodoo?

How can we call ourselves Holy Hip Hoppers or Christian Rappers, when this move of the enemy is influential enough to persuade Christians to protect it and defend it as a culture that should be embraced by the church even though their founders don't embrace Jesus Christ? God forbid. My people, search the word of God for yourself. 2 Cor 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

Therefore, being a Holy Hip Hopper or Christian Rapper is just like saying I am a Holy Pimp or a Gospel Gangsta or a Thug for Christ! God forbid. The old man is dead! As true Christians, we should stop loving the things of the world and what the world has taught us. God wants to come and totally wipe away the old man, the old thought process and the old carnal identity that we obtained through poverty, sin, abandonment, fatherlessness, hurt, anger, and prejudice. Sure, we struggled, but once we are set free, we must walk in the newness of live in Jesus Christ. (Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22, Colossians 3:9 )

What did the original pioneers teach?

The founders and original pioneers of this culture teach that it is a religion. They teach that it is a tool to point people to their god. Not the God of the Holy Bible. KRS-ONE teaches that the bible is irrelevant to the knowledge of his god. Hip-hop and Rap are very effective tools for the degradation of our nation’s youth. KRS-ONE and the Temple of Hip Hop teaches that this culture was designed to give knowledge to self, or to show the Black man himself as god! He also teaches that we should accept Hip Hop as an organized religion and accept Hip Hop's drug of choice, marijuana!

What is its purpose? 2Tim 3:1

To set the stage for the coming of the antichrist and teach his doctrine of self-worship and knowledge of self.

To blur the existence and reality of the true and living God of the Holy Bible. To lead youth into rebellion against the righteousness of God’s word. To steal the true “meaning” or “purpose” of existence from our youth and lead them to early death before they can fulfill their God given destiny.

Where did it come from? Dan 11:37-39

The true origin of Hip Hop can be traced back as far as Africa. The Zulu Nation, a group of rebels under the leadership of Afrika Bambaata, started the music and religious aspects of hip hop in the late 70’s. Out of Hip Hop came what we know today as Rap, although many of those who classify themselves a Rapper have distance themselves from the Hip Hop movement declaring that they are a group that is more about self expression and not followers of the originalfounders. Over the years, well known rappers themselves have proudly proved that they operate in the same spirit of rebellion.

What does it produce? Gal 5:19

1. Youth with no fear

2. Youth with no purpose

3. Youth with no respect for authority

4. Youth with no parental guidance

5. Youth who are rebels

6. Youth with no regards for their bodies, appearance, self-respect or futures.

For young people who are into Hip Hop and Rap, it seems to drive every aspect of their lives, they live it, breathe it, wear it and die for it.

Hip-hop and Rap Music has done what no other tool of the devil has been able to do at this level.

It has influenced all races, all ages, and all income areas in America. Hip-hop and Rap can be compared to a very weak demon that has gone unattested for so long, that it has a major following.

How do you know when youth are under the influence of Hip Hop or Rap Music?

Isaiah 5:20 Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

1.The music - This is the number one source of influence. This is the evangelical tool for spreading the spirit of hip-hop or rap abroad. You can easily tell when youth are into gangsta rap and explicit lyrical content. They show it in the behavior and the choices they make in life.

2.The clothing – Sagging jeans, tight fitted tops and bottoms, gang related outfits, prison attire. These are the clothes that hip hop or rap influences our teens to wear freely. What was once considered appropriate only for prostitutes and hardened criminals is now acceptable attire for our youth!

3.The markings – Tattoos, piercing, strange hairstyles, gold teeth, vicious jewelry (dragons, dogs, snakes, etc) and the crucifix are all
products of the hip hop and rap culture. The devil wants our children marked like Cain, to show their pledge of allegiance to rebellion and self-gratification. These marking follow our youth and make it very hard to onvert them back to their original identity.

4.The mentality -Hip-hop or rap causes youth to be rebellious. To use foul language in public. To commit very strong sexual acts with other youth. To feel they have nothing to lose. To give up on their “good” values and take on the negativity of the hip hop or rap culture.

In seculaar hip hop or rap music:

a. Prison is a good place. To be arrested and beat the rap makes you a hero.

b. Teen pregnancy is accepted as the norm.

c. Sex is good. Getting VD is not even frowned upon. Having multiple partners okay.

d. Homosexuality and Bi- Sexuality is normal and accepted.

e. Serving God and sin together is the norm.

f. God forgives sin, so it’s okay.

g. Foul language and physical abuse is accepted.

h. Bad grades in school are okay.

i. Using drugs and drinking is accepted.

j. Murder is good thing, if you deserve it.

k. Choosing a god other than Jesus Christ is okay.

l. Love is just a word.

m. Being a thug is cool. Looking like you just robbed a bank is the norm.
n. The white man is not fair and holds the black man down.

o. Church, the bible, preachers, etc. are not needed. We can learn on our own.

p. XXX behavior is accepted and preached lyrically in the music.

q. Anything goes, as long as you are feeling it.

Now for those who call themselves Holy Hip Hoppers, Christian Rappers, Gospel

Many times when one has become Christian, they bring their preferences and "style" of music, and in an effort to keep their “style”, they we call themselves Holy Hip Hoppers, Christian Rappers, Gospel Ganstas…

They replace the lyrics and their language of hip hop with wholesome righteous words, but still act the same, dance the same, talk the same, rap the same and walk the same as the secular artist, in an effort to be "relevant".

With this in mind, and in an honest effort that none of us be deceived, we must consider these thoughts:

1. How could a Holy God desire to reveal His holiness through music whose origins werebirth out of the rebellion of the world?

2. How could a Holy God use something that feeds the appetite of the flesh and call it holy or righteous.

Changing the words to Hip Hop or Rap music to biblical words does not make it Christian any mor then standing in McDonalds makes you a hamburger Music is Powerful… as we know the devil himself was a master of music in heaven before he was kicked out of heaven and became the god of this world.

Now, in these “last days”, he is deceiving many with “seducing spirits and doctrines of demons” and Music has become one of the powerful seductions and deception.

What we call “Christian” Hip Hop or Rap Music is a deceptive road to compromise. Many Christians today who have had a past history of Hip Hop or Rap and others are drawn to this type of music, believe that because they are now rapping about Jesus that somehow this makes this type of music “holy”.

They are willing to give up the bad lyrics, sex, alcohol, or other worldly behavior that goes along with the Hip Hop or Rap scene, but they don’t want to give the music itself up. They want to serve God and do something great for him but on their own terms, the want their music for it has become part of their identity and lifestyle.

The deception is that they have not put off the old man, they just gave him a bath.

If you were to watch a video of some of these Holy Hip Hoppers or Christian Rappers perform, it is just that a performance.

Their message means nothing when you can turn down the volume and as you watch them, one cannot tell whether you are watching a Christian program or a secular preformance.

Let me say: Entertainment is meant to entertain for gain, entertainment a poor substitute for Preaching the Gospel of salvation.

The way that the Holy Hip Hoppers or Christian Rappers are performing, dancing, acting… looks just like the secular artist of today. It is the Spirit of the World full of the “…lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life”. Bottom line, they still look like the “old man" that Christ tells us to put off.

So now, as Christians, we are sending a message that you can come to Jesus and you don’t have to change, you don’t have to come out from among them and be ye separate, you don’t have to put off the old man… you just have to give him a bath.

In these Christian Rap Concerts, many people will run to the altar, saying a twenty second pray, believing that they are now saved, cleaning up there lifestyle, turning in their secular uniform for a Christian uniform, but never giving up the Spirit of the World. Never really putting of the “old man”, not knowing that one day this will cause them to stand with the crowd on that day saying… “But Lord, Lord, did I not prophecy in thy name…” (Did I not operate in the your spirit, do something great for you) “… and He will say depart from me, I never knew you, ye workers of iniquity.

Anything that centers around fulfilling the appetite of the flesh is not from the Spirit of God, but rather the Spirit of the World.

Both Hip Hop and Rap Music has a way of appealing to the flesh, causing a person to want to move to the beat and express oneself by the motion we call dance or through the way that we walk, talk, dress and carry oneself. This ultimately becomes a lifestyle and this rhythm and beat of the music begins to possess us as it feeds and quenches the thirst of the flesh.

In that moment, it matters not that ever lyric of the song comes straight from the bible, we are satisfying our flesh, which is the spirit of the world.

Here is a thought:

Let’s just say that the devil way back in time, saw the African people and how they were a strong race, a unified people that would overcome bondage and slavery. So the devil decided develop a few new demonic sounds and he called them hip hop and rap.

These sounds would carry a rhythm and rhyme that would be mesmerizing and hypnotizing. It would appeal to the flesh of man is such a way that the music itself would be additive.

With it would carry the philosophy that evil is good. Such as:

Being a thug is cool, murder is a good thing if they deserve it, prison is a good place, love is just a word, sex is good, getting VD is not even frowned upon, having multiple partners okay, teen pregnancy is accepted as the norm, homosexuality and bi sexuality is normal and accepted, serving God and sin together is the norm, using drugs

and drinking is acceptable, foul language and physical abuse should be the norm, anything goes as long as you are feeling it …IT’S YOUR LIFE, DON’T LET ANYONE TELL YOU WHAT TO DO…YOU KNOW WHATS BEST FOR YOU!

Because music is powerful, soon this rhythm and rhyme will influence all races, all ages, and all income areas (low, middle and high income families) both in America and abroad. Most of all this music will find its way into the Christian Church and influence the followers of God.

The devil will send a lying spirit that will whisper in the ears of Christians and say:

I do not have to give up everything to follow Christ, God wants me to have a good time after all, it is “my life”. I just need to clean myself up a little, I know what’s good for me, I am old enough to pick and choose what I really want out of this life God gave me.

So, I will stop cursing or cussing after every other sentence and I will just curse or cuss when I am really mad. I won’t have sexual relationships with all these different girls anymore, I will wait till I find me a good Christian girl and I will have sex with only her, for God understands, he created me with needs.

The lie continues: The thought that when it comes to music, God is so cool and understanding, He has given us :Alternative Music” Rap with righteous lyrics, I don’t have to give up my rhythm an rhyme.

"Yo, I don’t have to give up my talk or my walk, it’s how I roll, with my bling and all my rings, material things that help me bring some sounds that are clean, ain’t nothing but a thing, going to sing it clean, hear the sound ring as I do my thing…. Going to be great for my God… get me a girl like Elrod… blessings going to fall wherever my foot trod… because God called me to holy hip hop… I say it is all about God… but you know it got to be about me… that’s why He sent his Son you know… so I don’t have to give up to grow … one day I’ll get me my record deal, have it sealed, it will become my meal… get my big house on the hill… it’s all going to be mine… just a matter of time… I’ll keep my rhythm and rhyme… I’ll be just fine… that’s the deception that is mine, and I won’t know till it is too late that I will not enter those pearly gates… but for now, don’t spoil my fun… I am having a good run… for this music is tight and it feels right… after all this is my life!?"

Yes, the devil developed a sound, a rhythm and rhyme that would infiltrate the Church of the Living God and captivate souls into an addiction of compromise.

This lifestyle of compromise will lead them into deception that they are truly converted, truly transformed, when the only thing that was transformed was the lyrics of a song.

It makes no difference how many baths you give the “old man”, you cannot be truly converted, saved until you put off the old man and put on the new man. No matter how much you clean up the “Ways of the World”, the ways of the world will always lead to destruction.

When you understand the origins of Hip Hop and Rap Music, to clean the lyrics up and now say that there is such a thing as Holy Hip Hop or Christian Rap can be compared to giving the devil a bath and now say that he is a good devil that will not face judgment but go to heaven… isn’t that absurd.

It may rub the flesh the wrong way... but the Truth is:

There is No Such Thing as “Christian” Rap or Hip Hop.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Is it Biblical to pay tithe to those providing Spiritual Covering in Ministry or is this a man made tradition?

First let me say that whenever anyone has become a part of the SOGI family, under the spiritual covering, it has been under the direction of God, for he has joined us together and we have always stressed covenant relationships. This is one thing that makes SOGI different than other Coverings, the development of relationships which cause use to stand together through the good, bad and ugly, for life. We hold to the principle of Covenant, Order and Establishment as we operate in covenant, bringing things into order, God will establish and bless.

As far as financial responsibilities, we have instructed those under SOGI to send a 10% tithe to the SOGI. We have always explained that this tithe is as unto the Lord, for as we preach to the body of Christ the principle of tithing, we ourselves operate under the same principle.

It has always been explained that the one does not pay the tithe for what SOGI will do or for spiritual covering, but rather out of obedience to the principle of tithing. As many other biblical principles that we bring to order in our life, it gives birth to blessings not bondage.

The doctrine of tithing is sound, but the question is how it is applied in the New Testament concerning leadership, such as: Mother Organizations and Spiritual Covering.

We know the principle of tithing refers to the Church and many will say that those who functioned in an office where provided through offerings and not the tithe which gives reason to believe, that those providing spiritual covering should be supported by offerings.

So this defines our question to be: Is it biblical to pay a tithe to those providing a spiritual covering in ministry or is this a man made tradition?

It is SOGI's position that a tithe given to those providing Spiritual Covering is biblical in origins, therefore we practice this biblical principle as brought forth in the following biblical support.

We begin with this biblical origin:

It is important when attempting to derive spiritual principles from the Bible on a particular subject to go back to the time it was first mentioned. When "the tithe" was first mentioned?

Tithing began before the law was introduced. The Law simply regulated the tithe. Abraham tithed to Melchizedek, 400 years before the time of Moses and the Law, and according to Romans 4:12 we are to walk in the footsteps of the faith of Abraham. If tithing was good for him, it should be good for us, too.

We should give tithes like Abraham gave tithe—not by the Law, but by faith. In addition, consider this, if the people of God paid ten percent before the Law, and ten percent under the Law, shouldn't we, who live by grace, be doing anything less when we have a better covenant (Heb 7:22).

Further, as preachers use the scriptures in Malachi 3 to teach the principle of tithing in the Church, most often begin with verse eight:

Mal 3:8 Will a man rob God? yet ye rob me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Mal 3:9 Ye are cursed with the curse; for ye rob me, even this whole nation.

Mal 3:10 Bring ye the whole tithe into the store-house, that there may be food in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith Jehovah of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Mal 3:11 And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast its fruit before the time in the field, saith Jehovah of hosts.

Mal 3:12 And all nations shall call you happy; for ye shall be a delightsome land, saith Jehovah of hosts.

By not including the chapter or verses before verse eight, the whole context of the scriptures is quickly lost.

So, let us begin with Malachi chapter two and we see the unfaithfulness of Israel is revealed and in the beginning of chapter three, it speaks of a messenger that will come to prepare the way of the Lord, purifying the sons of Levi and bringing righteousness and judgment.

Then we get to one of the verses that is most often left out, which is verse seven:

Mal 3:7 From the days of your fathers ye have turned aside from mine ordinances, and have not kept them. Return unto me, and I will return unto you, saith Jehovah of hosts. But ye say, Wherein shall we return?

Here the scripture tells us that "From the days of your fathers ye have turned aside from mine ordinances and have not kept them". By not keeping God's ordinances they have turned away from God himself. God calls them back to his ordinance, back to himself and if they do this, he would return to His people.

Then the question comes "...Wherein shall we return" or what ordinance have we walked away from?

It is Malachi 3:8-12, which make it very clear that the "ordinance" they must return too is the "ordinance of the tithe".

This ordinance of the tithe can be found in the book of Numbers, the eighteenth chapter, particularly in verses twenty-one through twenty-eight:

Num 18:21 And unto the children of Levi, behold, I have given all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, in return for their service which they serve, even the service of the tent of meeting.

Num 18:22 And henceforth the children of Israel shall not come nigh the tent of meeting, lest they bear sin, and die.

Num 18:23 But the Levites shall do the service of the tent of meeting, and they shall bear their iniquity: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations; and among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

Num 18:24 For the tithe of the children of Israel, which they offer as a heave-offering unto Jehovah, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance: therefore I have said unto them, Among the children of Israel they shall have no inheritance.

Num 18:25 And Jehovah spake unto Moses, saying,

Num 18:26 Moreover thou shalt speak unto the Levites, and say unto them, When ye take of the children of Israel the tithe which I have given you from them for your inheritance, then ye shall offer up a heave-offering of it for Jehovah, a tithe of the tithe.

Num 18:27 And your heave-offering shall be reckoned unto you, as though it were the grain of the threshing-floor, and as the fullness of the winepress.

Num 18:28 Thus ye also shall offer a heave-offering unto Jehovah of all your tithes, which ye receive of the children of Israel; and thereof ye shall give Jehovah's heave-offering to Aaron the priest.

It is clearly seen here the "ordinance of the tithe", was where the tithe from the children of Israel went to the Levites. As part of this ordinance it is also very clear in verses 26-28, that as the Levites receive a tithe from the people, they are commanded to give a tithe of the tithe to Aaron the Chief Priest, who was over all the Levites who did service in the tabernacle.

(Also Note: This ordinance was to be continued throughout the generations, verse 23)

Understanding these scriptures, there are questions that arise:

How can we preach to the Church body the ordinance of tithing but as ministers of the gospel, not fulfill our part of the ordinances?

How can preachers preach tithing in the Church today, telling people, according to the Word of God, if they do not "tithe" they bring a curse upon themselves, yet they themselves are NOT fulfilling the whole ordinance of the tithe and think that their church or ministry is exempt from that same curse?

It is no wonder that we have so many Churches that the actually tithe payers are less than 20% of the congregation, for how can a Pastor or Ministry lead God's people somewhere that they are not going themselves.

There is a great temptation for Churches and Ministries to not submit themselves under a "Spiritual Covering" or to hold to a teaching that the principle of the tithe is only for the Church and does not apply to "Spiritual Covering", because that is money that could be used somewhere else in the ministry. It could go toward a new van, bus, equipment, salaries, or many other things that we can justify in our mind, especially if we are operating on very little finances and barely surviving, month to month.

As they preach "tithing" to the people of God, they teach them that even if they do not have the finances to pay tithe and pay their bills both, they should, by faith, pay their tithe first and believe God to supply any lack or need and God will open the windows of heaven, rebuking the devour.

Yet when it comes to giving a tithe of the tithe to the Spiritual Covering or Mother Organization, the Church will not operate in the same faith they preach.

We live in a time where the people of God do not really know what it is to live by faith and one evidence of this is the lack of faithful tithe payers. Many church folk can find many other things to spend their money on, big screen TV's, boats, selfish wants, desires, rather than paying tithe to the Church. It is all done in the spirit of providing a better life for their family and self.

Leadership flows downward, people are this way because leadership is this way. Many pastors, ministers and leadership do not operate by the faith they preach, for they too can find many things to spend money on, vans, busses, equipment, better salaries, church programs, etc., rather than tithing to their "Spiritual Covering". Like the Church member, it too is done in a "spirit of excellence", providing for a better Church or accomplishing the "Vision" God has given.

It takes faith to operate in the whole ordinance of the tithe, there are no short cuts, but sadly most Churches and Ministries are expecting the people under them to operate in faith and become faithful tithe payers, but they themselves are not operating in faith to keep the ordinance of the tithe.

Again, how can we lead people somewhere we are not going ourselves?

Well meaning Pastor's and Ministries have become so consumed with seeing fruit and accomplishing the "Vision" that God has given them, that instead of operating in faith, allowing God to establish the work, they justify their compromise of the principles, statues and ordinances that God has set forth in His word.

They quickly give into the deception of believing that they are free of the responsibility of giving a tithe of the tithe because there are so many other things that money could be used for, so the whole context of the scriptures in Malachi, especially verse seven is left out. When this happens they could be guilty of building their own kingdom rather than the kingdom of God, "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it... ".

Some people think this is a new issue. It is as old as the second century when more and more Gentiles were being converted. The early Jewish believers had no problem with tithing since they had done it under the Law and gave it to the priests. They simply gave their tithe to the elders of the church and did by love. However, as the church became less Jewish this issue came up to the church fathers. They answered the question of tithing with Matthew 23:23:

"Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former."

Notice Jesus said, "You should have practiced the latter (justice, mercy and faithfulness), without neglecting the former (tithing)." Jesus word ends the discussion. Since Jesus said not to neglect the former—being tithing—then no believer should neglect tithing.

At this point some would still agree that the principle of tithing is biblical but would hold that this is for the Church and not the "Spiritual Covering".

We must then ask ourselves again: What was the "former" (tithing principle) and where did it come from? The "tithing principle" is taken from the Old Testament and defines that the tithe is a tenth and is separate from offerings and alms. Further, the tithing principle is defined through the Law of Moses that the priesthood would receive a tithe and the chief priest would also receive a tithe. Again the ordinance of the tithe, from the book of Numbers.

The function of the Chief Priest (Aaron and his sons) was to provide leadership, instruction, direction, correction, development and order to the priesthood and their responsibilities to God, the temple and the people of God.

In like fashion the Apostles provided leadership, instruction, direction, correction, development and order to the New Testament Church which was not a building made with hands but a people, followers of Christ.

Today, biblical "Spiritual Covering" is to provide leadership, instruction, direction, correction, development and order to the Church of our day.

The problem today is that many ministries or churches have perverted biblical principles for selfish motives, to build their own "kingdoms", rather than the Kingdom of God. As a result two things have happened:

1. Many have been abused and want nothing to do with being under Spiritual Covering

2. Those under Spiritual Covering pick and choose their involvement. Neither one of these situations are biblical.

For those who have been abused, they often become an island unto themselves and their ministry efforts become inward and, disconnected to a kingdom mindset. In the long term they find themselves with no accountability or responsibility to the body of Christ as a whole. God did not intend for His people to be disconnected or doing their own thing.

The New Testament Church was One Church, many locations, operating under the leadership of the Apostles.

The second result of those who have been under a covering that has been out of order is that; although they believe and submit themselves to covering, they begin to "pick and choose" their degree of submission or involvement. This is manifested when they look to covering to only be involved in their ministry affairs when they are asked or given permission to be involved.

In the New Testament Church we find that the Apostolic Leadership was very involved in the issues of the Church. When involved in covenant relationships, one does not have the choice to "pick and choose" how involved we are together, for we are family, through the good, bad, and ugly, having all things in common.

Many times debates, problems and issues were brought to the Apostolic council for decision or ruling, but in addition, many of Paul's letters were addressing issues of the Church were a pastor was already operating in leadership. We also find Paul traveling in person to the Churches in an effort to encourage, correct or give direction.

Proper biblical covering would include the body of Christ to submit to one another in their respectful offices or functions. It is not the place of the Overseer to Pastor the Church for the Pastor, nor is it the place of the Pastor to Oversee for the Overseer. Being under authority, the Pastor cannot "pick and choose" what they allow the Overseer to be involved in, but on this same note, the Overseer is not to micro manage, be overbearing or lording over those in his charge.

They should submit to one another as unto the Lord, understanding that the Church does not belong to the Pastor and the Ministry of Covering does not belong to the Overseer, for it all belongs to God, it is His Church, His Government and we are serving a holy office.

Back to Mathew 23, Some argue that Jesus words are not applicable to us today, because Jesus was under the Law and spoke to those under the Law.

Their theory goes something like this:

Jesus was giving an instruction to the Jews so His words are not binding to us.

The problem with this interpretation is that these teachers are bringing Christ down to the level of a Jewish prophet or Teacher of the Law. Jesus is the Word of God made flesh, so this means every word that comes out of His mouth is eternal. He cannot say anything without it being "spiritual law" and everlasting.

Jesus emphasizes this point by saying, "Heaven and earth may pass away, but my words will never pass away" (Matt 24:35). These supposed Bible teachers are making the words of Jesus pass away, obsolete and out of date. Besides, these same teachers pick and choose which teachings of Christ in the gospels they believe is applicable to us. I notice that even these teachers agree that most of Christ's teachings are for us; however, because they are predisposed against tithing, they have had to come up with an excuse for not obeying the clear word of Christ in Mathew 23:23.

As a believer, you have to show who your Lord is! Is it the teachers who tell you tithing is not New Testament and who tell you that Jesus word on the subject is out of date; or is it Jesus who clearly told us not to neglect tithing?

No modern teacher has the right to tell you to disobey Jesus instruction on tithing. Period!

Even if the only passages in the New Testament was Jesus word, then that would be sufficient, however, I want to present other New Testament passages on the subject. Let's look at Paul's teaching on giving.

Paul also uses the pattern of tithing under the law in 1 Corinthians 9:13-14 and says:

Don't you know that those who work in the temple get their food from the temple, and those who serve at the altar share in what is offered on the altar? In the same way, the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.

Paul argues that just as the priests got their food from the tithes of the people, so the preachers should live the same way. This passage clearly shows the mentality of the apostle and his understanding of carrying over the concept of tithing into the church.

The passage often used to contradict this is 2 Corinthians 9:7:

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

The argument goes something like this: "Each believer has a right to decide for himself what to give and should not be told what percentage he should contribute."

The problem with this argument is that the above passage is not dealing with giving to support the church, but rather giving to the poor. Under the Law, giving to the poor was a freewill offering.

The Law commanded freewill offerings as well as tithes:

But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks. (Deut. 12:5-6)

It is quite inconsistent for people to appeal to freewill offerings yet claim that tithing has been abolished. Both tithing and freewill offerings were incorporated in the Law as the above passage shows, but they preceded the Law, thus they both should be practiced.

The burden of proof is placed on those who teach that tithing has been abolished or that the "principle of tithing" only applies to the Church but not to Spiritual Covering. If so, where in the New Testament does it clearly say that the "principle of tithing" has been abolished or that tithing does not apply to those providing Spiritual Covering?

One last thing, notice the resemblance of the language Paul uses in the first passage in Galatians and compare it with the Old Testament passage about tithing:

Anyone who receives instruction in the word must share all good things with his instructor. (Gal 6:6)

And you and the Levites and the aliens among you shall rejoice in all the good things the LORD your God has given to you and your household. When you have finished setting aside a tenth of all your produce in the third year, the year of the tithe, you shall give it to the Levite, the alien, the fatherless and the widow, so that they may eat in your towns and be satisfied. (Deut 26:11-12)

Galatians 6 is dealing with giving to the teacher of the gospel and he uses the same language about the Levites receiving the tithe of the people and he calls it "all good things." This is pretty good internal evidence that the early church tithed to the ministers of the gospel.

In Summary:

The Question: Is it biblical to pay a tithe to those providing a Spiritual Covering in Ministry or is this a man made tradition?

As we are seeds of Abraham, it is biblical to pay tithe to those providing a Spiritual Covering in Ministry for the "principle of tithing" is biblical, regulated by the Word of God and not "man made".

The "principle of tithing" is a principle that SOGI believes to be biblical and is incorporated as one of many principles that we practice in SOGI.

1. Understand the origins of the tithe: We give tithes like Abraham gave them—not by the Law but by faith. If the people of God paid ten percent before the Law, and ten percent under the Law, shouldn't we, who live by grace, be doing any less when we have a better covenant.

2. In understanding the principle of tithing and taking the whole context of the scriptures in the book of Malachi we must understand the "ordinance of the tithe". When we understand this ordinance in scripture, it becomes very clear that a tithe of the tithe is biblical and was intended to be throughout the generations.

3. Jesus said: "...not to neglect the former (tithing principle) The "tithing principle" is taken from the Old Testament and defines that the tithe is a tenth and is separate from offerings and alms. Further, the tithing principle is defined through the law of Moses that the priesthood would receive a tithe and the chief priest would also receive a tithe.

4. Both tithing and freewill offerings were incorporated in the Law as the above passage shows, but they preceded the Law, thus they both should be practiced. The burden of proof is placed on those who teach that tithing has been abolished or that the "principle of tithing" only applies to the Church but not to Spiritual Covering. If so, where in the New Testament does it clearly say that the "principle of tithing" has been abolished or that tithing does not apply to those providing Spiritual Covering.

5. The principles covenant, authority and submission. People do not pay for covering, but submit themselves to the principles and practices set forth by leadership. Just as a member of the church who believes in the "principle of tithing" does not "pay to be a part of the church", those who are in covenant and under the spiritual covering, do not "pay to be covered". As we bring ourselves in "order", submission to authority, God establishes and blesses.

We do not claim to have all truth about the scriptures and teachings concerning the tithe and spiritual covering, but we believe we have rightly divided the word of God concerning this issue.

Our heart is pure, we are not here to abuse this principle as so many others have, but rather follow this biblical principle of tithing, knowing that as we bring our life in order according to the Word, God will establish our way.

Those who are a part of SOGI are called of God to "submit and serve", many of us have made this commitment to each other and before God. We understand and hold to a conviction that we do not do what we do for money, our own reputation or any other selfish reason, we live to keep the ministry pure.

Although there are many things in life that we examine or "re-evaluate", some things like "covenant" do not change and should remain steadfast through any storm of life or disagreement.

So when God brings people together and we are in covenant relationship, this is a covenant that needs no "re-evaluation", much like marriage, what God has put together, let no man put asunder.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Last Day Leadership - What are we developing?

One of our failures of leadership today is to adopt the world's method of making the person the center of knowledge. We teach leadership classes, go to conferences, seminars, workshops and because we have attended such things we now call ourselves “leader”

We cram all the knowledge we can get, stuff it into our brains and in a few years after this process we hang a tag around our necks and we are convince that we are now “leaders”, mature in God. After all, we graduate from the class and we have the certificates and some have even been ordained to ministry.

From then on we are supposed to be qualified for ministry. We carry ourselves as if we know all the answers concerning God and ministry, yet we have never truly been developed or become an imitator of Christ in all areas of his life.

It is as if serving in enough church positions, reading enough Christian books, attending enough leadership seminars, with spending enough time in prayer and having been a Christian for more than 3 years… you now become miraculously qualified for a ministry of your own.

Most churches when looking for a pastor look for these tags; someone who has been in ministry for a long time, as if maturity comes with tenure, but just because one has been in ministry for years does not mean that person is mature.

Truth be told, most Christians, Pastor’s, or Leadership have never truly become disciples nor understand the principle of fatherhood, for we live in a fatherless generation. In the Old Testament, the household was centered around the father. If the father was a carpenter the son would be a carpenter. If the father was a priest, the son was trained for the priesthood. If the father worshiped Jehovah the whole family worshiped Jehovah.

The father was the greatest influence. How one would worship, pray, align yourself with others or learn to defend themselves was taught by the father.

Today, we have not had the inheritance of fatherhood to teach us how to worship, pray, make covenant, or go to war.

With this absence in Christian Leadership today, Who have be become? What is the focus of our purpose and calling? How fruitful have we become in the eyes of our Lord and Savior?

Let us look in our past, for there is much we can learn about leadership from those who went before us, our forefathers, a few of their past failures and what lessons of leadership that can be learned today.

Some leadership failures of our forefathers:

Abraham – Lied
Isaac – Lied
Jacob – Deceiver
Moses – Murderer
Aaron – Had no backbone, provided Idols for worship while in the Ministry…
His son’s Nadab and Abihu offered strange fire… and were consumed

Generation Passed away in the wilderness… that included all the leaders except Caleb and Joshua

Saul – 1Ch 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to inquire of it;

David – lustful, crazy, perverted, a murderer, adulterer, liar, thief, deceiver, one not to be trusted.

Being a “Man after God’s own heart” did not exempt him from the consequences of his sin.
- He numbered the people and many died because of his sin
- He could not build the temple because he was a man of war

Eli – He restrained not his sons, he allowed them to walk in wicked leadership and the blood was on his hands. The Word of the Lord was Rare and there was no open vision… He could not restrain his sons because he himself was out of order. He could prophesy correctly (Hannah would have a son), but at the end of his days… he would not make it… he would be under judgment.

Eli’s Sons – prove to us that the ministry can be corrupt, wicked and self serving.

What’s does this mean today?

You can be in ministry, Chosen of God, Anointed, gift of Prophecy, Dream Dreams, have Visions and even talk to God face to face… yet….

- Fine yourself in the middle of a Lie
- Operate in Deception
- Guilty of Murdering someone’s Character
- Offer up “strange worship”
- Lustful
- Committing Adultery
- Becoming a People Pleaser, No Backbone in Leadership
- Corrupt… Wicked… Self-serving

You may have not started out that way… but you could finish that way… Many, Many, have started out with a heart after God… yet miss the mark and not finish well.

You heard it said… “If you don’t stand for anything… you will fall for everything”

I suggest to you, as ministers, that we spend too much time on the outward matters of life then the inward matters of life…

How we look… how we appear to others… having something clever to say… doing everything to make people like us… respect us… or consider us as “spiritual”, “spiritually mature”, “anointed”…

We spend more time gaining the “symbols of Success” that we have no true Godly success!

Minister, Preacher, Prophet, Teacher, Leader… Who are you… really?

Most Ministers will quickly want to jump to all the good the Word of God tells us about ourselves… We are created in His image… chosen… son’s of God… head not tail… and all that is true in its proper place… but the Word also tells us that the Heart is deceitfully wicked, no man knoweth there of… You may have woke up this morning the “righteousness of God”, but you still had to make the choice to think righteous, walk righteous, speak righteous and live righties.

Every day we are still one decision away from sin and one decision away from righteousness. There is a war going on between the flesh and the spirit.

We are not “untouchable” because of the position of Leadership that we hold or how spiritual we have become. After all the Preaching, Prophesying, Evangelizing, Teaching and operation in the “Anointing”… But for the Grace of God, we can still miss the mark.

If you think that this could not happen to you… then pride has blinded you and you may already be in a path that misses the mark. In the day in which we live, everyone one to teach but no one wants to be taught.

Although God’s Minister’s are suppose to be humble, teachable and servants, in this time in which we live, most ministers have the biggest ego, there un-teachable having an “I know” spirit, and are wanting to be served rather then served.

The more blessings you have, cars you drive, people waiting on you, the more armor bears, seats of honor and the more others serve us… has become our symbols of success, respect and anointing in ministry. After all, these are the “purks” of the ministry.

And in all are doing, we have raised up a generation of people with “messed up motives”… We “say” it is all about God, His Ministry, His Glory…. And we have been doing this kind of ministry so long that we believe our own lie.

We cannot even see that it is really about ourselves… our ministry, our kingdom, our anointing… our success. We never consider ourselves to be prideful, for we are too busy trying to succeed with the vision we know God gave us. We have found our identity, importance, our destiny, and seeing the success of the vision has become more important than the God of the vision.

So we never examine ourselves or consider the pride that operates within us. It is as if we justify ourselves by thinking that we are to spiritual, to close to God to operate in pride. Others may be prideful, but not us, for we are operating in the anointing.

In turn we call our striving for ministry success… a “Spirit of Excellence” rather than a spirit of pride, yet all the while, our eyes are on being bigger… bigger ministries, bigger churches, bigger reputations, greater anointing, bigger altar calls, bigger crowds, they want to “go to the next level” and have all the symbols of spiritual success.

Let me reminded you that Satan himself, was an Angel among Angels… Gifted, talented in his position of leadership, yet his fall, his sin of pride became the root of all sin. He was an Angel in

leadership in Heaven… he knows about leadership… and he knows about ministry… he knows how present himself as an angel of light… he knows how to have influence… he took one third of the angels with him when he was cast out… he knows how to be very persuasive, seductive and deceiving.

To keep the ministry pure, you must love God more then you love ministry.

One can fall in love with ministry, what it does for me, how it makes me feel, the power one feels when he is under the “anointing”, the honor and respect of others that the ministry brings and the need to be needed.
Then we deceive ourselves saying we love God and do the ministry for the Glory of God… when really we love what God does for us, how he makes us feel, what the ministry does for us and the blessings we receive.

At this point, we cannot tell the difference between what is holy and what is common. We believe with all our heart that we are “walking in the Spirit”, but reality is that we are operating in the flesh.

Rom 8:8 … they that are of the flesh cannot please God…

Paul said…

1Co 9:27 But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

Paul learned how to walk in humbleness and brokenness.

What is your purpose, what you are called to be?

According to the New Testament, we are called to be:

- Matt 4:19 Fisher’s of Men, …follow me and I will make you fisher’s of men…
- Matt 9:37-38 Laborers …harvest is plenty, laborers are few…
- Matt 24 Faithful Servant …blessed is the servant who his Lord when he cometh…
- Acts 1: 8 Be a Witness, …be my witness both in Jerusalem, Judea…
- 1 Cor 6:17 Separate, …come out from among them and be ye separate
- Eph 1:4 Be Holy, …according as he has chosen us… be holy, without blame…
- 1 Peter 2:9 Chosen Generation, Royal Priesthood, Holy Nation, Peculiar People

These are things we are called to be for the purpose of fulfilling the “Great Commission”, to seek and save the lost.

Yet statics tell us that only 2% of the churches are evangelizing, this means that 98% of the churches are not fulfilling their purpose, and we wonder why the church today is in a mess.

The church has lost its focus. We have become more concerned about what God can do for us than what we can do for God.

In our church services, seminars, conferences and gatherings both big and small... everyone seems to be running after their "blessing", "breakthrough", or a prophetic word promising their prosperity...

Most services center around how saints become financially better, how to receive a greater anointing, how to go "next level", living above and not beneath, taking their right full place of authority, to be the "head and not the tail".

Although the Bible speaks of blessings and anointing, the church has become more "self-centered" rather than God Centered. Christianity in America has become all about having a better life, a "I'm going to get my blessing" spirit.

We want a high energy, hopping, shouting, dancing, emotionally moving service... that tells us that we are blessed, prosperous, overcomers, kings kids and our breakthrough is on the way... as we are taught that all Christians were born into royalty and we must declare and decree that "money cometh unto me".

The saints of God are not entirely to blame, for is it any wonder that they act such way... for there are no bad students, just bad teachers. Preachers have been preaching, teaching, prophelying these things for the last 30+ years.

Preachers take scripture and use it for their own gain, with the purpose of growing their "own" kingdom.

Their preaching centers only around seed time and harvest, breakthrough, getting your blessings, going to the next level, taking up your authority to get what you want, becoming wealthy, being the head and not the tail... they want to make people "feel good".

Their Prophecies are centered around the same, giving hope of a better future, financial status or better life. People in our day and age are in such need... they need a new car.. or financial blessing so they in turn chase a prophetic word that will speak of the prosperity that they desire and need to hear.

These so called men and women of God will hold a meeting, preach breakthrough or that your blessing will come when you plant a $1000 seed into their ministry. give testimonies, twist scripture and give time limit, as if you do not move now and give, you will miss the will of God and the Blessings of God.

Preachers have not taught people to live by faith, they have taught them to buy a blessing.

We have $200 dollar lines, $500 dollar lines, and for a blessing that God will pay attention to, $1000 lines.

Sadly, people give... because, they live in a time of real needs, they have many needs and desires, so they give in a hope to receive a bigger blessing in return. It has become nothing more than "buying a Blessing" for their motive in giving is to receive a bigger return.

All the while, the preacher is the one being blessed. It has become the next big multi-level scam. Selling a dream... of financial freedom, become a millionaire, travel, be financially secure, self sufficient, able to bless others.

Preachers have taking this so far that now they have begun to "network" drawing big crowds together, taking up masses amount of money, and lifting each other up as if giving to them financially is like giving to god directly.
They trade pulpits and the visiting pastor/prophet will lift up the church pastor before his people. Say things like "you cannot out shine your pastor, you must by him cloths, rings, cars, houses, pay for vacations, trips and in doing so there will be a double reward for you" They will collect money for everything... meetings, trips, television, radio... under the thought that your pastor will reach the nations, have a television ministry, radio ministry, travel abroad...

The purpose hides behind spreading the gospel, for they say that the purpose they need to do all these things is to "spread the gospel", but they spend more time, energy and resources on becoming bigger, better, richer, more well known... and rarely do you hear the true gospel message... or sermons on surrender, true sacrifice, servanthood, sin or hell.
The only time you hear words like surrender is when they want you to surrender savings or tax return... words of sacrifice when they call on you to sacrifice your rent money or credit card to give large financial gifts... or words of servanthood when they call you to serve their every need, food, clothes, transportation, etc. They end up preaching more about the “blessings” and less about being reconciled to God.

More tragic or the up and coming preachers who see all this and aspire to achieve the same type ministry, as if having material things is the measuring stick of ministry success.

Because of this self-centered philosophy of ministry many preachers, prophets, shepherds are abusing the sheep, sheering them for all they have and justifying their actions under the vision of having a mega ministry.

Spending more money on clothes, cars, houses, planes, buildings, offices and anything else that will give them the appearance of success. Justifying their actions with words like "you need money to operate the kingdom", "We live in the Blessings", "Where my plane lands, the blessing fall", "God wants us to prosper as our soul prospers", "Christ was not poor, so we are not to be poor" or "God wants us all to be rich and the poverty spirit to be broken"

A minister friend of mine was asked to teach a evangelism class. The pastor picked the text book and gave my minister friend liberty to teach. One of the chapters of the text book spoke
about how we should live what we preach. If we are going to witness to others, we must live a holy life and not engage in fornication, drunkenness and sin.
After the session the Pastor pulled the teacher aside and told him not to preach or show people there sin. The teacher, puzzled by this said to the Pastor, "but the bible teaches us not to fornicate", but the Pastor said, "I know, but do not show people there sin". The teacher again supported his view by reminding the pastor that he was teaching out of the book that the pastor himself had chosen. The Pastor then forcefully stated that "...as long as your under this ministry, you will not show people there sin".

AMAZING… How can a Pastor instruct his leadership not to teach about sin.

It was later discovered that this particular pastor had someone in his congregation that was living in sin, but was a financial supporter of the church. The pastor did not want to lose the finances, so he instructed the evangelism teacher not to teach in a way that would show anyone their sin.

This has become a common compromise in the church today. Pastor's have people in his church who give financially to the ministry, but are living fornication, adultery, drunkenness or some other sin. In order to keep the money flowing, the pastor is careful not to preach against sin or anything that will upset these people.

BUT Jesus is coming back for the Church! SO there has to be a group of people, a remnant, who will not accept these "seducing Spirits and Doctrines of Demons”.
Where is the type of leadership that will equip a remnant of God’s people who will not compromise.

We must get back to our purpose and calling. As fishermen, laborers and witnesses, we are also called to be His “servant”.

As Ministers, we know the Word of God tells us that the “…greatest among us is a servant of all” and that “…He came not to be served but to serve”. Yet we raise up leadership who become self serving. With 5 armor bearers waiting on us hand and foot, fulfilling our every whim from wiping our brow to bringing our food.

We have place more emphasis on serving the leader rather than service to God. We do this all in the name of mentoring and training, but the real lesson learned is that we have taught others to seek leadership position, seek the good life and that the symbols of successful ministry is material things, how many we have serving us and waiting on us. We have developed leadership with wrong motives who become arrogant, prideful, demanding, self-rightoues and who never examine themselves or consider there motive to be out of order.

Paul called himself a bond servant, a slave to Christ. He said “…I’ve been bought with a price, I am not my own”.

A servant means that you no longer have any rights, for someone else owns you. You are submitted to the masters every whim.

Let us take a moment and look at the word submit, or submission. Most of the time when we hear a preacher minister on “submit” it is in direct relation to the scripture “…wives, submit to your husband…” meaning she is to yield to or surrender her rights to her husband.

There is a greater meaning then yield or surrender when defining the word “submit”. A word study of the word “submit” goes deeper to mean, “without opinion or discussion”, as if one was in a court of law and the judge has rendered his verdict, no more debating, discussion or opinion, but now comes the time to follow the judgment rendered. The definition of “submit” goes further, it also means “without murmuring or complaining”.

One of the biggest problems today is submission to authority. If only we could get leadership to submit to authority according to the word study, to yield, surrender, without opinion and without murmuring or complaining.

The reason many people in church today do not submit to authority is because growing up, their ministers and leadership never learned to submit to God in this fashion, full surrender, without opinion, murmuring or complaining.

Our submission to God will always be reflected to the degree we submit to one another and our submission to others will be directly related to the degree we have truly submitted to God.

The world teaches that no one should have that type of control over you without some benefit to yourself. As a result, most people, including Christians, pick and chose what, who and how much they will submit to, usually based on what they will receive in return.

This produces submission with a motive. As long as there is a benefit, some perk, position, favor, reward, recognition or as long as we agree, I will submit and serve, but as soon the benefit, recognition, or be a strong disagreement, the person is now led by God to go to another church down the street. This is not the heart of a true servant of God, for a true servant of God is submitted to God without condition, for he is a slave and has not rights to be held back.

Submission with a motive is submission with conditions
which is not true submission at all

How is it that we as Ministers, Teachers and Leaders know the Word of God calls us to submit and serve, yet it is one of the biggest problems of leadership today. Let me suggest to you that we ourselves may have knowledge of what true submission is, able to preach it and teach it, but we ourselves operate in “submission with a motive”.

The evidence of this is seen in ministry and the type of leadership we are developing today.

It has been said, “Where the head goes, the body follows”, may God convict us of our own lack of true submission and service to God.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Lesser Eagle vs. Greater Eagle

From a National Geographic Study done in 1890 comes the following information:

1. There are two different kinds of American Eagles. The mentality of the eagle is what causes this difference. One eagle is known as the LESSER EAGLE and one eagle is known as a GREATER EAGLE.

2. 70% of all eagles become the lesser eagle. Only 30% of all eagles go on to become the greater eagle.

3. The lesser eagle has a life span of 20 - 40 years, while the greater eagles lives much longer.

With this information comes the question... What is the real difference between the two eagles?

The difference between the two comes at a point in the life of the eagle where it literally decides to dispel mediocrity and to flourish in greatness.

Consider the mentalities of the A Lesser Eagle and A The Greater Eagle in regard to the following categories: Enemies, Storms and Diseases


1. Enemy - The nest is built in a tree, however it is hidden. It is also often built in a cave or cavern where it remains hidden form the enemy.

2. Storms - This eagle seeks shelter from the storm3. Diseases - When diseases come (to its talons or claws), this eagle does not withstand the pain and accepts death, therefore his life span is shortened.


1. Enemy - This eagle builds its nest in open sight as high up as possible. This eagle wants the enemy to know exactly where he is.

2. Storms - This eagle will perch facing the storm until it is physically impossible to stand it any longer. At this point, it spreads its wings and soars above the storm.

3. Diseases - When diseases comes, usually between 20 - 40 years of age, this eagle will pull out its talons and even its beak in the cracks of the rocks. It will bleed, starve, and fast. But, the beak grows back new as do the talons. This eagle is willing to withstand the pain in order to be made anew.

As the eagle comes to a place where it realizes that it must make a choice to become great, so it is in the life of the Christian. God is calling us to Maturity.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Word to Pastor's

Serving in ministry thirty plus years, traveling both here and abroad, we have seen Pastors face the universal problem of Developing Church Leadership.

Most Pastor, have ministers and leaders in their church that come from a variety of inadequate church training and experience. Many times it is “leadership” or the lack of leadership that becomes our biggest trouble. The lack of biblical submission to authority, the “I know more than you” or “we never did it that way where I come from” attitude and the "let me tell you what to do" spirit. They will say that they are in covenant relationship with you and have a loyalty to you and the ministry until things don’t go their way, then they leave and go to the Church down the street.

Pastor, do you have leaders who have a heart to serve, but only do so when they are instructed? They take no initiative by themselves.

Do you have leaders who don’t understand leadership? They show up late, but come early when it is their time to shine… want pulpit time, but don’t want to work… they are there to eat at our fellowship dinners, but leave before clean up time.

We need more leaders who understand what it means to serve, who will have a heart after God, loyalty to the pastor and the vision of the church, hungry for more and who walk in a teachable spirit.

This is why we are making ourselves available to train your ministers and leaders.

The program we bring equips emerging leaders with an understanding of biblical leadership principles and helps them develop practical application, causing them to be more effective in ministering to their communities.

“Effective and fruitful ministry depends on effective and fruitful leadership”

Let us train and equip your leaders to be effective Last Day Ministers, who will impact your church, your community and the world. For more information, (803) 617-9571

We Thank God for You,

Bishop John

Cross-Cultural Ministry

Equipping the Church and the Saints with
Cross Cultural Ministry Training

Have you ever noticed that in any given city we have a Church for everybody... a Church for the rich... and the other for the poor... one full of traditions and one that is more "user friendly"... "white Churches" and "black Churches", "Hispanic Churches" and "Asian Churches"...

But where is "His" Church... the Church with the "Great Commission", the book of Acts Church...

In Acts 10:28, God teaches us that we should not call any man impure or unclean.
And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath showed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Acts 10:34-35, God does not show favoritism. He accepts people from every nation when they fear Him and do what is right.

(34) Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: (35) But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.

God has but one message for both Jews and Gentiles... the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ (Acts 10:36)

There is no doubt, the Book of Acts Church was a Cross-Cultural Church

Shepherds Of Grace International has a Vision to launch a Cross Cultural Movement in the Churches of our cities in America. Understand, when we use the term "movement", we do not mean "our own ministry"... but rather a partnership of people who keep there own ministry indenity, but connect with other Churches and Ministries to develop a Cross Cultural approach. First in their Church, then in Churches accross their city.

Our model is God’s design for biblical diversity described in Revelation 7:9, which reveals God’s desire for cultural and racial inclusions:

"After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb."

The Cross Cultural approach to ministry is becoming a necessity
for the survival and revival of the local congregations.

According to Scripture, God’s intention has always been that the Church be a cross cultural international community... a church of all languages, ethnicities, nationalities and peoples.

God has called us to love our neighbors, not just the neighbors who are like us. Becoming involved in racial reconciliation is part of obeying the Great Commandment and fulfilling the Great Commission. It is not an option for believers. It seems there is no stronger bond then the bond we have in Jesus Christ.

If we can labor together in the workplace, learn together in education, play together in sports, we should be able to worship together and celebrate our unity in Christ.

How Can You Participate?

By partnering for the purpose of Cross Cultural Evangelism and Development.

A partnership is a complementary relationship driven by a common purpose and sustained by a willingness to learn and grow together in obedience to God.

People who share a common vision can get there more quickly.

We invite you to partner with us and others in launching a Cross Cultural Movement in your city, by laboring with us in the Great Commission and becoming a Cross Cultural Church.

If your Church desires to become apart of this Cross Cultural Movement and/or is in need of Cross-Cultural Training, please contact our office today and let us begin to work together to take our city for the Glory of God.

Shepherds Of Grace International (803) 617-9571