We are reminded in Colossians 3, If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God – Colossians 3:1-3. As one who knows many perils in this world, it is easy to become distracted by the world around us; with work, family, appointments, the economy, and stress. Did I mention stress? There is one thing that the LORD does for us when we are founded upon the ROCK that is Christ. We are given His peace. Take some time this month and consider your role in the body.
And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ – Colossians 3:23-24.
Lift Up A Banner is proud to announce the upcoming release of a new featurette, Into The Fire: The Burning Bush – Where The Spirit Speaks. The short film is set to be released soon and I hope that you will be submersed into the Word of God as never before. While many of us consider all of the events and uncertainty in the world, le us jump out of the frying pan and into the fire.
As this may sound confusing, let us consider Daniel 3. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego while operating in great faith, trusted the LORD to deliver them from Nebuchadnezzar because they chose not to bow themselves down to worship other gods or idols. As they were thrown into the exceedingly hot furnace, we read the following, ‘Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonied, and rose up in haste, and spake, and said unto his counsellors, Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? They answered and said unto the king, True, O king. He answered and said, Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
The following is the first three minutes of Into The Fire: The Burning Bush – Where The Spirit Speaks. I pray that as you are watching, listening, and following along, you absorb all the visuals, music, and spoken Word. May you be blessed!
And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. – John 9:1-7.
Jesus tells us in Luke chapter 4, reaffirming Isaiah 61, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,” Would you like to receive your sight? Would you like to know what the Messiah meant from those verses of the Bible? Go, walk in the way, wash, and come seeing.
Simply believe that the Word is speaking directly to you. Understand that what is being said, is exactly what it means. And, Jesus, is saying all of it to you personally. It truly is that simple. You may want to buckle up. Click the link above.
He is risen from the grave! Look, He is alive! This excellent news is much more welcome and reassuring than ever before after a year defined by so much agony and suffering. The tale of Passover begins with a subject that has recently affected many of us: death. And dying by crucifixion at Calvary, where Jesus compassionately made penance for our transgressions, allowing us to experience a new and genuinely abundant life in Christ.
Jesus shocked his followers by returning from the dead 3 days following his mortality, defeating death and spreading the great news of salvation to the entire world. The gospel has become the good news of this passion, burial, and resurrection, which we honor and proclaim throughout the world. We have indeed been freed from the bonds of sin, therefore we eagerly and joyfully join Jesus Christ in his mission of creating disciples of all nations.
And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him. – Matthew 28:5-9.
Within the simplicity of a single moment, our eyes can be opened. “For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land. Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:24-27.
Let us take a moment to consider, if the LORD is the one true God, who are all of the other gods? Are they all of the things that we physically make with our hands? Is it our televisions, computers, and the stuff that many of us “worship?” Or, is it something far more simple, something easier to comprehend? Yet, in a way, it is the hardest thing to believe. The Bible tells us in Hebrews 10:38, “Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
What does it mean to draw back from something or someone? Is it a refusal to believe or do what we are seeing or hearing? Could it be being told an idea with truth to back it up, yet, we still refuse to accept it? How about knowing to do something and just not doing it? In my own Christian walk of faith, I have stalled out many times in my own spiritual growth. I have fell over in disbelief, pain, and agony. Yet, I never fled from the truth. In the Book of Zechariah, we are told about the coming calamity that the world is facing in chapter 13. Let us look at a few of these verses. “And it shall come to pass, that in all the land, saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” What does it mean to be brought through the fire? Consider the words of Paul once again, “But if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.”
What is it about fire that can make it somewhat unpleasant? Well, it burns, quite literally. Most of us know of the story of Jacob and how he wrestled with the LORD, the one true God. At the end of it all, he came out with a limp. He is one, who pushed into the fire and didn’t draw back. In this world of around 8 billion people, picture the suffering of those in a third world country. Picture the suffering of those in Ukraine. Consider those in Russia who have no part or interest in what the government is doing. All of these levels of suffering are common to every man. Our gas prices have risen, the cost of most things have significantly increased these last couple of years. Is any of this similar to wrestling with GOD? It appears to me that it is not.
The problems that we see in this world leaves us with a choice to make. We can begin to get angry, bitter, or discontent over it all. Or, we can begin to ask questions such as, “None of this is making any sense?” “Why is all of this even happening?” “Why is GOD allowing this to take place?” In order for the LORD to receive us, we need to become as a little child. We need to seek Him, intimately. We need to know Him. And, it comes at a cost. We, as Jacob, will end up coming out even similar. As we push into the truth, many things that we may see or hear may be hard to believe. At those moments our response should not be such as, “no it couldn’t be.” It needs to be similar to, “Father, I trust you, lead me through this.” A little child is humble and they are ready to learn and listen. They typically don’t get angry when being taught or disciplined by their parents.
When being instructed, a child may at times stand there in fear, trembling. Why do you think that the Bible says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom?” At this point in time, seeing all that is happening, I don’t want to be a part of the two thirds that gets cut off and dies, I would rather be a part of the one third that continues to be tried and purified in the furnace of affliction. I will now backtrack to Zachariah:1-3. “In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness. And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the LORD of hosts, that I will cut off the names of the idols out of the land, and they shall no more be remembered: and also I will cause the prophets and the unclean spirit to pass out of the land.”
What are the idols and why do they have names? “But they are altogether brutish and foolish: the stock is a doctrine of vanities. Silver spread into plates is brought from Tarshish, and gold from Uphaz, the work of the workman, and of the hands of the founder: blue and purple is their clothing: they are all the work of cunning men. But the LORD is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation. Thus shall ye say unto them, The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, even they shall perish from the earth, and from under these heavens.” – Jeremiah 10:8-11.
May the LORD, the only true GOD, bless you and keep you as one tried and purified through the furnace of affliction. “Will a man leave the snow of Lebanon which cometh from the rock of the field? or shall the cold flowing waters that come from another place be forsaken? Because my people hath forgotten me, they have burned incense to vanity, and they have caused them to stumble in their ways from the ancient paths, to walk in paths, in a way not cast up; To make their land desolate, and a perpetual hissing; every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head. I will scatter them as with an east wind before the enemy; I will shew them the back, and not the face, in the day of their calamity.”
There are numbers of Scriptures on Lift Up A Banner that tie the way, the truth, and the life, together in an easy to follow format. Please take a moment to go over each lesson one by one. Return to the first post by going all the way back, to the beginning. Speaking on complete abstinence, there are more teachings on this site than any other. And the Scriptures back up this claim, if you only take the time to seek it out with a prayerful heart. Become as a child. Literally. Look over the homepage’s lessons and go through the Bible study. It starts with the truth as a foundation and afterwards, moves on to the way and the life. Take a look at the ten free Christian eBooks available. Take the time to study every one of the videos. Take a look at the other videos on the YouTube channel that aren’t available on this website. Your faith will grow, your eyes will be opened, and your hearing will be restored.
As much as I want you to believe everything you see and hear, we must each do our part with the Lord and the Spirit. You will see that what I have been saying is correct if you do so. The entirety of the Church is constructed on the words of Jesus Christ. We may not ever find everlasting life if we do not comprehend Jesus’ teachings, even all of them. How can we claim to know Him if we don’t abide in them?
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have sufficient to finish it? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish it, all that behold it begin to mock him, Saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.” – Luke 14:28-30.
“Whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.” “For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.” Are you able to receive it, brothers and sisters? The Spirit is speaking to you. “It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63.
The Bible tells us in 1 John, “But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.” The Bible is a genuinely extraordinary book. It’s breathtaking. It completely changes you from within. Years ago, when I first began my quest to grasp God’s Word, I felt like I was continually falling short. I visited a number of different churches, as well as teachers and ministers. One thing, though, kept resonating throughout my soul, to the core of my being. “This is not the way.” As a result, I was continuously falling short. I was constantly let down. I never had the inner peace that the Bible speaks about. Was there something I was overlooking? What exactly could it be that I wasn’t getting right? What blunders did I make? I ended up putting my confidence and belief in people rather than the Lord and His truths.
I had a brother, whom I still love, explain a lot of realities about the Bible to me. Even so, the Spirit continued to prompt me and left things to question. So here I was, with more Biblical insight and spiritual understanding than I could have ever imagined. Yet, I never stopped listening to that still small voice within. “The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” – Psalm 23:1-5
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” – Psalm 119:105. Here is the continuation of my testimony from August 2021, with more internal links for better understanding. Read more here, Lie Down In Green Pasture. Ye need not any man teach you, my friends.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God. – John 3. What are your deeds, my friends?
In the Gospel Of Matthew, we learn of the 40 day fast and temptations of Jesus Christ. Were you aware of the spiritual significance behind these verses and how they apply to us? Let’s begin with Chapter 4:1. “Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”
We will begin with the foundation, the only One, the Chief Cornerstone. The Messiah came preaching, “He is the way, the truth and the life. And no man comes to the Father but by Him.” The first word that we can gain an understanding of is “life.” While Jesus was being tempted by the devil, He was told to turn the stones into bread. We learn in 1 Peter 2, “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ. Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded.” Here, we have gained the understanding that our bodies represent living stones. Let us now apply it, with simplicity, to the first temptation of Christ during His 40 day fast.
We, as a believer in Jesus Christ, aren’t able to gain eternal life without knowing and understanding the Word. It’s not possible to base all of our faith in a single verse. We need every word of the LORD God to live. Otherwise, we fall short in our understanding. One verse can be misinterpreted and, without reading our Bibles and comparing what we see with other teachings, we cannot understand what is being said. We cannot understand the Epistles without knowing what Jesus was telling us. As living stones, being built up, Christ is the cornerstone of our faith. Everything needs to be built off of His Words.
During His 40 day fast, Christ is once again tempted by Satan. “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me. Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” We are told in Deuteronomy 6, “Thou shalt fear the LORD thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name. Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you; (For the LORD thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.”
What if we have all already done this? Why did Jesus tell us our father here is the devil? Why did he call Peter Satan in Matthew 16:22-24? What if, just by being here, we are worshipping Satan? Have you looked around you or looked at the world today? Nearly everyone is focused on self, other than the LORD God. Also, during the time of His temptation, the Bible says, “Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him on a pinnacle of the temple, And saith unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.”
We will now look at the original in Deuteronomy, “Ye shall not tempt the LORD your God, as ye tempted him in Massah. Ye shall diligently keep the commandments of the LORD your God, and his testimonies, and his statutes, which he hath commanded thee. And thou shalt do that which is right and good in the sight of the LORD: that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest go in and possess the good land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, To cast out all thine enemies from before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.”
Jesus tells us He is the way, the truth, and the life. What we just looked at were these biblical principles in reverse. The life comes by knowing and understanding the Word. The truth is who we are, what we are guilty of, repentance, and conversion. To understand the way is to keep the commandments of the LORD God, and to walk in all His ways. What is the way? This is the way, walk in it.