Do Not Fear Those Who Judge Us Before The Appointed Time.

1 Corinthians 4:5 NIV

Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait until the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.

If you ever been selected for jury duty, you would know that not just anyone gets selected for a trial.

In fact, many go through a selection process where the attorneys ask these potential jurors a few questions.

Basically, what they are looking for initially, are candidates who can think clear, remain unbiased about an issue and exhibit a form of maturity without any obvious signs of confusion.

They should also be living a life that remotely represents what they believe and is not easily offended.

People that are NOT swayed simply by emotions, or superficial factors like money and popularity.

So the main reason that I brought this topic up is because the Holy Spirit reminded me this morning of this simple wisdom.

He reminded me that if our natural Court systems DO NOT ALLOW these confused people to judge others, THEN WHY DO WE allow these same confused people judge us as if their opinions matter?

Sadly, it is those who are confused the most who judge others the most.

Because if they truly understood what was the issue, they would be led by compassion to NOT cast judgement, but to show mercy.

“Confused people are not fit to judge others in a court of law, let alone judge the body of Christ.” – MMA

1 Corinthians 2
“14The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments,”

Brothers and sisters,

In the name of Jesus Christ, be freed from the fear of our external critics.

We have only one critic in Christ, Jesus and He is our judge, jury and advocate/attorney.

So let us remember that the evident signs of confused individuals are those who are quick to judge.

John 8 NIV

9At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11“No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,”Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

Freedom!

Your brother in our war against sin.

Amen.

Ray Evangelista

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.

The Martial Arts Comes Back to the MMA.

Good Morning Church Body,

The above pics was from our first class at Midtown on a weekly MMA class instructed by brother Cliff Hanoch from the Britton & Broadway Life Church Campus.

Every Tuesday, 5:30pm. If you are interested, please email me at:

mmaokc@reborn.com

Now let us open the Word of God as we step into His presence.

Isaiah 40 ESV (Where 40 means a period of trials or testing)
“28Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.”

The word “wait” in verse 31 has been translated interchangeably in other Bible versions as “hope” and “trust”.

I say this, because this is a clear indictment to us believers of who we “wait, trust and hope” in.

If you were to wait on me, you will wait forever.

If we wait on people or creation, we may never get the validation or encouragement from them to do anything.

But those who “wait” on the Lord, WILL renew their strength, mount up with wings like eagles, etc. etc.

Don’t even wait on your home, or the local church!

Wait on God.

And where your love language is, is where He will speak to you intimately, loud and clear.

If your spouse is truly one with you, then he or she will patiently wait with you.

The fault or the deception that Satan has on mankind is that he will intercept God’s glory everytime if we allow him to.

For once, let us give honor where honor and credit is due. To focus on the Creator and author vs creation and His writings alone.

Satan’s heart defined.

Isaiah 14 NIV
“12How you have fallen from heaven,

morning star, son of the dawn!

You have been cast down to the earth,

you who once laid low the nations!

13You said in your heart,

“I will ascend to the heavens;

I will raise my throne

above the stars of God;

I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly,

on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon.

14I will ascend above the tops of the clouds;

I will make myself like the Most High.”

15But you are brought down to the realm of the dead,

to the depths of the pit.”

Once again, don’t allow Satan to sell us what God has already paid for in full on Calvary.

In His most Holy name, Jesus Christ.

Your brother in our war against sin.

Amen.

Ray Evangelista.

My Mother’s Day Reminder 2018.

A Rightful reminder that this Mother’s day is on this blessed 13th day because biblically, 13 is synonymous with God’s love.

My Mother’s day reminder is simple and that we honor them as God asked us to do so. And the way we honor them maybe different to each, however biblically we honor them like we honor spiritual elders and that we do our best to NOT make the same mistakes they made.

Do not allow their burdens and sorrows be in vain. Whether it be spiritual or health issues, relationship, financial burdens, etc. Just take to heart what demons they struggled with.

Give them the blessing and peace that you have learned from their labors.

John 9:2
“His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”

We all know the story, but Jesus answers gracefully and says “neither”, because there is power in God’s love because God’s love is about forgiveness and forgiveness keeps no records of wrong nor does it place blame on no one. God’s love takes accountability and stands firm on the Word.

So gifts are awesome and it has it’s place in a relationship, however living by faith is not a matter of right or wrong but of order. May we always be reminded to place God first and to embrace what is freely given and unseen of greater value than what is seen, bought or sold.

So for all the mom’s and dad’s and to all the future moms and dads, I freely confess to you one of my many sins in obedience to God’s word that I may be healed.

Over a period of 30 years, my intimacy with my wife diminished. From the strong intimacy of a very loving girlfriend when I was 16, whom I can talk for hours to about almost everything, to defaulting to treating her like my mother or like my daughter than being my wife of one flesh.

Because of this, she then defaulted to treat me like a son or like a father, where there is still lots of love, however a parental love is not only conditional, but lacks the initimacy that a marriage requires.

“Your wife needs a husband not a father, if she wanted a father, she would have stayed home.” – Holy Spirit.

If I was only reminded early in my life to treat my wife more like a true wife, as Christ loved the Church as His Bride, as “one body”, as one whom reveals all his secrets to, to share my weaknesses as much as my strengths, more faithful, hopeful and most of all an UN-conditional love, I would have drew her closer to me rather than pushing her away.

James 5:16 NLT
“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

In honor of the name of Jesus Christ and my mother and father. May it reach many hearts and draw husbands, wives and families closer in Spirit and His love.

Amen.

Ray Evangelista.

Why Are We Spiritually Starving?

When we are starving, our palate begins to broaden and things that we would normally not eat, we now consider because survival becomes our priority.

It is in these humble beginnings where we re-learn on how we should live by faith and to live beyond the labels of what is good or bad “food” simply to quiet these hunger pains.

But once “food” has become a blessing daily and routine, we tend to become more “selective” or “biased” on what we choose to feed our bodies and souls.

So as stewards of God’s blessed reminders, may we not become “narrow-minded” when it comes to how or where God may feed us.

John 6:35 NIV

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

“Narrow-mindedness” biblically is simply about ignorance. Ignorance is just a lack of diversity in one’s life.

Sadly, racial discrimination/racism has this same foundation of narrow-mindedness and ignorance.

Because if we ever allowed other “races” in our inner circle, we would had learned early in life that “color” had nothing to do with how we trust individuals. It is about faith and things that are not logical that builds relationships, like forgiveness and love.

So as gentle as I can say it, we should never be spiritually hungry.

The only reason why we are spiritual dying and starving these days is because of our narrow-mindedness or our lack of variety and diversity in how God may feed us.

The Non-denominational and Protestant movement was all about this simple fundamental truth. “The Just shall live by faith.”

It was all about LIBERATION and not LIMITATION. It was about freedom internally before the external and about achieving the highest level of order in our hearts vs an external order of laws and legalism. Preaching Self-discipline over disciplinary measures.

Like I tell my kids, sooner or later we need to eat more than just chicken nuggets and pizza.

In the name of Jesus Christ, your brother in our war against sin. Amen.

Ray Evangelista

Literal Symbolism.

There was a time when a Pastor would tell me in regards to scripture, “Don’t read into it”. Meaning that I should not venture off the literal meaning of scripture. However, what message are we sending as elders of the spiritual church of God?

What is “literal” is good, and it is not a matter of right or wrong, but of order.

We, mankind, have been deceived on what we classify of what is “literal” and “figurative” because it is all figurative.

Because what we deem as literal; words, letters, characters, and numbers are really just “symbols” of something true and what is true is that all of creation points to the Creator. When we lose this connection, we lose vital meaning and intimacy between our relationship between God and mankind.

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

These words are just a basic symbolic expression of what is real and in no way should be taken as truth alone.

The word coffee is not really coffee and the word apple, is not an actual apple.

For example, the word “faith” is not faith. The word “hope” is not hope and the word “love” does not even express a fraction of what love truly is.

In fact, scientifically, when we “see” the word love, it is our right brain that will interpret these characters to us and produce a conclusion by linking our personal experiences of love (good or bad) which creates our own personal definition of what “love” truly is.

So what does this all amount to?

Well, the “Word” became flesh for a reason. The “Word” or what was written had to become an actual being and an expression of flesh because we got the wrong interpretation of what was written in the scriptures.

So if this note will teach us anything, it would teach us that even what we perceive as literal in life and scripture, still has a very symbolic and deeper meaning if we can believe.

A life of literal meanings is what we are trying to escape in this world.

Now if we are still children, yes we need literal boundaries, but when do we push maturity? At what age?

And who around us will we allow intimately to push or encourage our maturity?

These are valid questions that the “church” are obligated to address and yet they do not. Because unless we are preaching about receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit, then we remain in a immature spiritual state and require discipline over having the power of self-discipline via the Holy Spirit.

Look around us, we are grown adults that are still fighting childhood demons of envy, lust, addiction, gluttony, and abuse.

Everything in our lives speak that we have a lack of self discipline.

I have been a poor steward of God’s blessings. It was never a question of God providing, but a question of my management.

“Our problem in this country is NOT our ability to make money, but our ability to manage it.”

Let us learn from great men like King David. Sadly, he was more mature as a young man intimate with God then as an adult separated from God with so many distractions. Apart from God we truly cannot do anything.

John 15:5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”

Maturity is about living by faith, by hope and most of all living by love. Maturity is about living beyond what is literal and what is “seen” or by what we perceive as good or evil. There is more to it than just “bad luck” or this is what we deserve.

Philippians 4:7 “Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”

Life is about many personal messages and experiences that God sends to us in one of three ways, aka the “Trinity”. And in this “Trinity” comes three intimate messengers of love with the latter being the most intimate;

First, the love of a Father, second, the love of a best Friend via His Son and finally, the love of a Husband to His Bride via the Holy Spirit.

All are in harmony to remind us that there is something greater than what is literal.

I have much more to write, but I trust that by faith, the true Counselor will guide you unto all truth and the mysteries of this blessed subject. May this serve simply as a “Theatrical trailer” to a greater full length feature film.

Now if you still remain a very literal person about scripture, I close with this scripture:

Acts 2:38

“Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”

In the name of Jesus Christ, your brother in our war against sin.

Ray Evangelista