Intro: The Law vs. Love.

Jesus speaking to Judas on His LEFT (The Law) vs Peter on His RIGHT (God’s Love). We are The 490.

In Matthew chapter 18, starting justly at verse 21(with both numbers 18 & 21 being key reminders in our society as mile markers for maturity.)

Now after Peter asks Jesus how often he should forgive someone who sins against him (i.e. 490), Jesus tells the story of a servant whose massive debt is forgiven by the king, but who then refuses to forgive a smaller debt owed to him and is tortured for it.

The core message of this story is that God will forgive all sins, and we should too.

Now notice also that this story was told gently to disciple and to instruct Peter who is the only one who holds the keys to “unlock” the Kingdom of God.

Now we all heard this story, and COINCIDENTALLY at VERSE 33, which is also a number of MATURITY, Jesus ends this story with this in Matthew 18,

“33Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ 34Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.

35“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”

Two “KEY” Elements Here!

  1. Notice Jesus’ reference to “my Father” as to A FATHERS LOVE. Jesus is like, “I wouldn’t do that, but my Father would!”. Once again, the mystery of the TRINITY is about God’s love with 3 different “intimacies” with man. (The love of a Father, the love of a Friend and finally the love of a Husband as a symbol of marriage as the two becoming one via the Holy Spirit.) It’s God above us, with us and now, in us.
  2. Second, it is a simple story of The Law vs. God’s Love. If we live by the “Levitical” SWORD we are at EXTREME RISK of DYING BY IT!

Yes, the sword is God’s Word, but like the Holy Trinity, it too has three uses or purposes! And it is HOW we individually choose to use God’s Word from our HEARTS(Mark 4:24 & Matthew 7:2), is what Jesus was speaking of. Are we stuck on former things and have neglected the more important latter purpose?

He again reminding us, “beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and saduccees,” as trying to achieve change from the outside first before a change of heart. Are we making the same mistakes as they did by seeking perfection on the outside and neglecting the perfection and maturity that is sown from love, forgiveness and mercy? (Hosea 6:6 NLT)

Once again, if we CANNOT ACCEPT GOD’S GRACE fully, then The LAW REMAINS.

And The Law is NOT PRETTY. Its a Father’s Love! The “fear” of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom! Proverbs 9:10 (Notice that “10” is there as a reminder of The Law)

I said once, that if we find ourselves unappreciative or dis-content of our NEW and IMPROVED home, we may need to GO BACK and spend some time and reflect a bit where our OLD home was! And many of us are there right now, INVOLUNTARILY!

Likewise, if we cannot appreciate or understand fully the NEW testament, we may need to read up on the OLD testament a bit.

And that pretty much sums up mankind. It is healthy to know where our hearts are from time to time. The knowledge of good and evil required this MATURITY prior to us desiring to eat of it. Like the Yin/Yang, its embracing both, BUT its one or the other!

There are NO gray areas! Gray and lukewarm are NOT signs of balance and of being content, but signs of complacency and CONFUSION!

It’s not one foot in the Law and one foot in God’s love, or one foot in Egypt and one foot in the Promised Land, or one foot in slavery and another in freedom! that’s being “lukewarm“, those are signs of being in the WILDERNESS and the WILDERNESS was God’s people being in a state of confusion!

If we cause others to STUMBLE because of our gray or lukewarm state, Jesus said we might as well have placed a stone around their neck and had thrown them into the sea!

Notice The “HINT” Jesus gives us about our “bodies” being in a state of confusion or as a stumbling block to others about The Law vs. Love. That if one hand or one eye or foot causes us to be in conflict of any part of God’s love or grace, that we should CUT IF OFF!

This was a practice under the law at one time and a clear sign of this confusion. Those body parts maybe parts of us that still cannot let go of “The Law”. Parts of our past that we fully have not “let go” or forgiven. Parts of our minds and hearts that still struggle with works and desiring to earn God’s grace versus us simply receiving it freely as a gift.

A heart that still looks at peoples “sins” versus their “sin” singular. There is something about being separated from God that leads us to a life of confusion that is then manifested in our life as the sins we know via adultery, homosexuality, gambling, alcoholism, abuse, lying, stealing, etc. Those are all just the attributes of “sin”, however it is NOT the “sin” that Jesus chose to FIX first!

Clean the cup in the inside first, then the outside will eventually become clean! Fix our separation from God FIRST by addressing our ORIGINAL sin caused in Eden, and then we will see a genuine transformation in each other’s hearts and lives.

The “parts of the body” that Jesus speaks of could also be parts of The Church. It also could be those in our inner circle, like a Judas. People in our homes, community, work and those whom we socialize regularly. It could also be our cell phone, TV, or our home computer.

But whomever these “parts” represent, may we have the faith to remove them from our lives temporarily until we can have the maturity and compassion to have them as a part of our lives without causing any confusion in us and in others.

There are no accidents in God’s plan. If our hearts still live in the Law, Satan is like a lion waiting to devour us! Hurry up and crossover to God’s grace and love where we can now intentionally and willingly visit The Law anytime as a “visitor” or guest of honor so to speak, protected by Gods PERFECT/MATURE love where there is NO MORE FEAR of punishment, amen?

Confusion needs a Fathers love, then soon after, God via Jesus comes as a friend and now we are less confused, but then He leaves us with one more task, to draw even nearer as to DESIRE the Holy Spirit dwelling in us and to not be simply content with it being above us or simply with us.

And this latter love is God’s unconditional love which symbolizes Christ’s marriage to The Church. It’s a mature and perfect love, it gives us this “peace” Jesus spoke of in John 14:26-28. Now this “peace” may not always change our circumstances but it will definitely change our heart and this is God’s will and divine order.

Forgiveness no more lives above us or with us, it now lives in us! From confused, to less confused to now having peace in Christ Jesus our Lord. A peace that comes from a desire to try to understand it all or simply not to.

Praise God.

Freedom! Click here 🙂

Your brother in our war against sin,

Ray Evangelista.

What Comes First: Love or obedience? 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: In a relationship what comes first? 

Love then the obedience, or is it obedience then comes the love? 

Regretfully, we all know the answer to this simple yet often forgotton wise. 

By God’s grace, many times like today, the Holy Spirit reminds me of these “fun” damentals of our faith.  

Obedience without “love” is religion. 

Hosea 6:6 NLT

“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.”

In other words, the legalistic motions will get old fast.

Love in general has given us the faith to do a lot of crazy things good and evil.  

John 3:19 NLT

“And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.”

But know that “love” must always come first prior to obedience. Even when our love is misdirected, God is still the author of love even though we loved darkness over the light.

If we get the order repeatedly wrong, we send the wrong message to the world and to the ones we love.  

God is love and when we place the love of God first, then we have crossed over from death to life. 

“The Word of God must first be a love letter before it can become a rule book.” – MMA

John 14:23 NIV

“Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”

Good night and rest well knowing that God revealed Himself to us more intimately via the Holy Spirit because we are His Bride. 

In the name of Jesus Christ,

Brotherly love, 

Ray Evangelista

Being Pushed vs. Pulled by God. 

Pastor Furtick said last week that God doesn’t “PUSH” us but “PULLS” us, or “draws” us with His drawing power as it is written, “Come follow me”. 

Matthew 4:19* NIV

“Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”

I can simply relate this to us being led or drawn to church and fellowship/Life Groups. We can only “push” people so much however, God has to DRAW us or lead us to obedience.   We cannot push a fish to bite, but we can draw or lure them in, amen? 

To the Bible buffs out there, at one time striking the rock was appropriate, but now God prefers for us to speak to it. 

And if people feel the love, they will come back.   But they have to experience the maturity, comfort and inspiration that comes with God’s love. 

John 6:44* NIV

“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day.”


*Matthew 4:19 (4+1+9=14)
*John 6:44 (6+4+4=14) Where “14” means “passover”, synonymous with Calvary where the Passover lamb was given for our sins. This “14” justly placed in reference to the verse “and I will raise them up at the LAST DAY.”

This “Last day” was Calvary. Jesus said “It is finished” on this day. And those of us that were “drawn” to carry our cross and followed Him to Calvary also left behind our sins and stepped into eternity and received His Spirit which He surrendered to us by His resurrection.

The Bible Meaning of Number 14. 

For me, this “push vs. pull” contrast is best explained as what we talked about before, on what resides in our hearts that is our true catalyst for drawing us to God and each other.  Is it Love or Sacrifice? 

Matthew 12:7 NASB

“But if you had known what this means, ‘I DESIRE COMPASSION, AND NOT A SACRIFICE,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.”

And why is “Sacrifice” so taboo?  Well, living as a sacrifice is not evil, but how we interpreted the word “sacrifice” in our hearts is what got us in trouble. 

True meaning of Sacrifice.  This link provides the TRUE meaning of Sacrifice according to the Jews who may know a thing or two about sacrifices. 

So for us, post Calvary, our hearts should have changed on how we desire to draw nearer to God.  It should not feel like a court appointed anger management class, but instead like visiting a precious loved one.  

Remember, traditional “sacrificial” behavior should have ended on Calvary.  Jesus Christ PAID IT ALL.  All Sacrifices and all our debts, and everything in the Old Testament that was by works failed. 

Romans 13:8 NIV

“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”

But if we feel that we “owe” God or if we feel that we owe anyone anything, the only “debt” that should remain in our hearts is the simple debt to love one another. 

And what is love? 

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV

“4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”

Now these are not my words, but by faith it is God’s.  I have just been broken down enough in my life that I learned to be still and reverend long enough where The Holy Spirit can speak to me and use my hands, knowledge, possessions and gifts for His glory. 

I am learning with you all.  I may never attain the things that God gives me via revelation, however it is okay, because I am very hungry and pray that He will never stop speaking to me or I stop being hungry.  

In the name that is synonymous with the splendor of Creation, Jesus Christ. 


Crossing Over From Sacrifice to Love. 

Acts 19 NIV“11God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, 12so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.”

A simple reminder that we should never underestimate what little we do out of true unselfish love.

Mark 12 NLT

41Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.

43Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

Now on a side note, on verse 44, I would like to point out what the KJV and other versions like the YLT translate that was lost in other translations. 

“44for all, out of their abundance, put in, but she, out of her want, all that she had put in — all her living.” YLT/KJV

“But she, out of her want,” Out of her want, not out of sacrifice, not out of compulsion, or reluctancy, not out of tradition or what was lawful, not out of vanity, not out of fear that she was stealing from God, not out of any promise of good fortune, but simply out of her want.  


And also, the bible says she gave “two mites” which is the smallest of all Roman coins so we can say our equivalent was maybe two pennies.   

So ask yourself, would it be harder to give two pennies or two hundred dollars to someone? 

For me, because I worry what people think, it would be more difficult for me to give two pennies because my logical mind says this is foolish.   Really, two pennies? 

Now two-hundred dollars or more however is more logical, whether a “tithe” or an “offering”, this amount is more logical because more can be done with this amount. But that is where we are deceived. 

And to help us not get into the numbers game, God simply was looking at the hearts of those who gave and not the amount.  Because there are some who do give lavashly out of want and love and to them I say amen. 

This is why everything that is done in word or deed must be done in the name of Jesus Christ because His name is a reminder to us of this kind of “giving” via a heart of thanksgiving and love. 

Remember, “For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE His only Son”.  Out of love, not out of compulsion, reluctancy, or doubt, but out of love.  God did not have to, but wanted to.  There is no logical explanation for love, like there is no logical explanation for God and forgiveness. 

What is given freely should always be freely given.  Now this world has a way to sell us something that God has given us freely and to make us feel the sacrifices of life and what we have in this world is solely about what we earn and work for, however this “feeling” of having to “work for it” was a part of our curse in Eden.  

“It is only hard work if you lost your love and joy for it!” 

Genesis 3:17 NIV

“To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life.

From what we eat, to things we “buy” or what is given will carry a “curse” unless we have the faith to address it spiritually.  

Any “exchange” even with the air we breath, should always be received in love with a thankful heart.


Because of our fall in Eden, God had placed a curse on all things, physical and spiritual. And this curse is only broken if we can have the faith on what Calvary accomplished.  And Calvary addressed ALL spiritual and physical debts, with only one debt unpaid and that was the debt to love one another.  

Colossians 2:13-15 NIV

“13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

Other translations of Verse 14:


“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”


“He did this by erasing the charges that were brought against us by the written laws God had established. He took the charges away by nailing them to the cross.”

Galatians 3:13 NLT

“But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

Now back to Acts 19, in the case of Paul where these items simply touched by him left a spiritual “fingerprint” so to speak, was powerful enough that demons recognized that these items now represented something different and no longer was in a sacrificial CURSED” state, but instead, a reminder of God’s love and grace.

So if we look at things touched by sacrificial hearts and things done for selfish reasons, then these same demons, this legion of evil also leave there spiritual fingerprint in our lives and piggyback, disease, illness, and misfortune. 

Now I am not an anti-tither or giver.  But I do believe in everyone examining there heart before they give because so many give with an expectation and when our expectation of giving are not met, then guess what this produces?  

And true love gives without any expectations or an exchange, it is what defines grace.  

Our only expectations in life should be the promises from God and not of men.

And personally, the promises of Calvary far exceeded the promises of the “flood gates” via tithing in Malachi 3:10.   

Many Pastors will say, “Those who do not tithe is stealing from God.” Well, you cannot steal what God has given to you freely by grace.  But let us just all simply understand what Calvary was suppose to produce, and that was a change in our heart before a change in our circumstances.  

The Pharisees and Saduccees were very obedient in the Old Testament, even more so than us, however it was Not about simply obedience, but obedience in love.  

It was not enough to provide for my wife and kids physically, but also spiritually.  

“Seek FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and everything else will be added unto you.” 

And if you remain pessimistic on what the Tithe was suppose to produce, you need to read Matthew 17:24:27 and The Rev. Billy Graham’s position on the Tithe

Jude 1 GWT

“22Show mercy to those who have doubts. 23Save others by snatching them from the fire [of hell]. Show mercy to others, even though you are afraid that you might be stained by their sinful lives.24God can guard you so that you don’t fall and so that you can be full of joy as you stand in his glorious presence without fault. 25Before time began, now, and for eternity glory, majesty, power, and authority belong to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

And on those scriptures I close and also say, amen. 

Brotherly love,


Love and Sacrifice Continued. 

Matthew 16:6 NLT, notice “6” as a reminder of spiritual death, comes a simple and short story of how anything that we use to do out of love can easily TURN into “work” or sacrifice IF we are NOT on guard or concerned about the condition of our hearts as Jesus warned His disciples about this same “yeast” among the Pharisees and Sadducees.

“6“Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

If you have time to read the whole story, verses 5-12, it is really a lot of wisdom in such a short story.

First, I see a lesson on love and sacrifice. The disciples forgot bread, which I guess was something they would normally be led to remember out of love and forgot.

Second, comes a lesson on how LEFT BRAIN we are.

And lastly, how all this links to a deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

In simplicity, their teachings were about sacrifice and exchange. Where we had placed so many rules in our lives that our relationships and intimacy suffered. 

“What man led to complicate via knowledge, Jesus came to simplify via faith.”

Now to their defense, the Pharisees and Sadducees were only producing what the Levitical law intended. But Jesus had to call them out so He may open the eyes of the disciples and us.

He had to show us what He came to fix. And like I said, they were Levites, ordered by Moses to yield their swords on their own people(Exodus 32:25-29), but what is our excuse?

Well post Calvary, we don’t have one, and let us not take for granted the lessons learned in the “Old” and may it serve us as a reminder of what Jesus came to fix.

Remember Jesus said that He would send the Counselor to “remind” us of everything He had taught the disciples. 

Matthew 16 NLT

Yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees

“5Later, after they crossed to the other side of the lake, the disciples discovered they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6“Watch out!” Jesus warned them. “Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”7At this they began to argue with each other because they hadn’t brought any bread. 8Jesus knew what they were saying, so he said, “You have so little faith! Why are you arguing with each other about having no bread? 9Don’t you understand even yet? Don’t you remember the 5,000 I fed with five loaves, and the baskets of leftovers you picked up? 10Or the 4,000 I fed with seven loaves, and the large baskets of leftovers you picked up? 11Why can’t you understand that I’m not talking about bread? So again I say, ‘Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’”12Then at last they understood that he wasn’t speaking about the yeast in bread, but about the deceptive teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”

Exodus 32 NIV

“25Moses saw that the people were running wild and that Aaron had let them get out of control and so become a laughingstock to their enemies. 26So he stood at the entrance to the camp and said, “Whoever is for the Lord, come to me.” And all the Levites rallied to him. 27Then he said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘Each man strap a sword to his side. Go back and forth through the camp from one end to the other, each killing his brother and friend and neighbor.’ ” 28The Levites did as Moses commanded, and that day about three thousand of the people died. 29Then Moses said, “You have been set apart to the Lord today, for you were against your own sons and brothers, and he has blessed you this day.”

I didn’t want to believe it either, but it is true. But it also gave me rest, compassion and forgiveness for what they did to Jesus and the disciples. They truly did not know what they were doing. 

 It wasn’t their fault, they were only carrying out the orders of which they were given and the fear of the Lord is truly the beginning of ALL wisdom.

John the Baptist, as the last Levite to have the anointing of the Holy Spirit declared, “I must decrease so that He must increase.”, was a statement about the Levitical law and heart.  The Levite reign was over and justice was about to meet grace.   And what transpired here, may it also transpire in the believer’s heart. 

Gotta go, but please remember my kids in prayer, we got the stomach bug running around. 

In the name of our King Jesus Christ, amen. 

Brotherly love, 


My “Christmiss” Message. 

Mankind has been studying the written Word since it was given. What was “perfect” found a way to be expressed in man’s futile imperfect symbols, letters and language.  

Prior to Creation, there was only one language or tongue that was spoken. The only thing needed to be written was already expressed perfectly in the heavens, and creation.

There was no need for man’s understanding or translation because our purpose was to believe in God and not to become a God.

To follow His precepts and not to create our own. 

Creation had no business in creating anything, not even in child bearing if it was outside God’s will.  But because we fell from God’s will, everything that man had created since then has created more death than life.

We were made in the image of God but WE WERE NOT GOD nor did we have the maturity to take on more than what God provided and advised. 

And if we studied the Tower of Babel, we can now understand why God was angered.

Because nothing will ever replace God’s original language or line of communication via our intimacy with the Holy Spirit. 

But if there is a lesson to be learned by the religious people during Jesus’s time and throughout history, and even here in 2016, it is that there is a difference between what is “written” and what is prophesied.  

Many knew, studied and recited the written “Word” but missed the “Word” when it became flesh in Jesus Christ, go figure? 

John 5:46 NIV

“If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me.”

The same goes with the prophecy of Moses, and all of the martyrs of the gospel before and after Christ.

Our faulty hearts want knowledge, but we really want faith, we think we want gifts, but we want the giver of the gifts, we want healing but we truly want the healer.

We think we need “counseling” but we really want The Counselor. We have been deceived that it is all about sacrifice, when it is love that we truly desire.

I can go on forever on these examples, but let us go to a book that is heavy on prophecy, the book of ISAIAH and may the Holy Spirit speak to you intimately as it has spoken to me. 

◄ Isaiah 65 ►

New Living Translation
Judgment and Final Salvation

1The LORD says,
“I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help.

I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me.

I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’

to a nation that did not call on my name.

2All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people.

But they follow their own evil paths

and their own crooked schemes.

3All day long they insult me to my face

by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens.

They burn incense on pagan altars.

4At night they go out among the graves,

worshiping the dead.

They eat the flesh of pigs

and make stews with other forbidden foods.

5Yet they say to each other,

‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me!

I am holier than you!’

These people are a stench in my nostrils,

an acrid smell that never goes away.

6“Look, my decree is written out in front of me:

I will not stand silent;”

May this chapter humble your hearts as it has humbled mine.  

My Lord, I come before you voluntarily to be humbled. No longer do I desire a Father’s scorn or discipline from you to be moved into the right direction.

My humility and pride I surrendered this year and now for 2017.

I desire a ministry like yours, a ministry that many do not desire. A ministry that builds faith and love vs. pride and sacrifice. 

I desire a more intimate relationship with you in 2017 my Lord. A relationship that is more than a father is to his son and more than that of a friend, I desire a love and bond that is sacred between a husband and his bride. 

Your people the Jews, and your Word also prophesy that the number “17” is about “complete victory and overcoming our enemies” and that is what I ask for the new year.

In accordance to your will of faith, hope and love in your name, Jesus Christ, amen.  

“In the book of 1Corinthians the thirteenth chapter, the seventeenth mention of the word ‘love’ comes when the apostle Paul states that it is the GREATEST gift of all (1Corinthians 13:13).”

The Meaning of 17 in the Bible

Brotherly love,

Ray Evangelista