Monday, December 19, 2005

Wisdom for Youth Series

This is a series of teachings focused towards young men and women who live in an age of increasing godlessness and confusion. The Lord laid upon my heart these words: "Wisdom for Youth", and from that this work has come about. Drawn from the wisdom of King Solomon and his writings, these four teachings will deal with four serious issues found in the lives of 21st century young people, calling youth to live a life more like Jesus and less like the world.

Part One: Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother

The first of four messages, Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother deals with the pursuit of wisdom and the very first proverb of the wise King Solomon. Download below:

Eli Brayley - Honor Thy Father and Thy Mother
(Click the link above, then click Download, Save, then rename and place the file)

Part Two: A Highway to the Grave

Taken from Proverbs chapter 7, A Highway to the Grave covers man's battle against sin, lust and the devil. Especially directed towards young men and the sin of sexual immorality. Download the second teaching of the series below:

Eli Brayley - A Highway to the Grave
(Click the link above, then click Download, Save, then rename and place the file)

Part Three: What is Beautiful
(Coming soon)

Part Four: Bear the Yoke
(Coming soon)

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Fire on the Altar

"Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship." - Romans 12:1

That we would breath this in and let it become a part of us... that we would seize the meaning of this Scripture and let it change us forever. Read it again, meditate on it for a moment. This is the urging of Paul, the calling of the Word, the bidding of the Spirit, the footsteps of Jesus. This is the will of God for you and I: a complete sacrifice of ourselves to God, which is acceptable, which is reasonable, which is spiritual, which is true worship!

We know that what was done long ago was done as signs to us of what was to come, that the service of the Old Covenant was but a shadow of the service to come (Hebrews 8:5).

"John answered them all, saying, "I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire." - Luke 3:16

"And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit..." - Acts 2:3-4

Now where was this fire found in days of old? Where was this fire found in the desert tabernacle? How did God foretell this fire through Moses upon Mount Sinai? Can we learn anything from the Scriptures about this fire, as Paul admonished Timothy to do so (2 Timothy 3:16)?

Remember Isaac asked his father: "Behold the fire and the wood: but where is the lamb for a burnt offering?" (Genesis 22:7) How did they know to offer a burnt offering before Moses received the Law? Did you notice this?
Even earlier than this, observe what Noah does: "And Noah built an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar." (Genesis 8:20) He too knew to offer a burnt offering! I suspect Abel's offering was also burned in the fire.

So it is here we find the fire: upon the altar.

"And the sons of Aaron the priest shall put fire upon the altar..." - Leviticus 1:7
"Fire shall ever be burning upon the altar; it shall never go out." - Leviticus 6:13

And it is for this reason why the Church today is so lacking the fire of the Holy Spirit. We don't do Romans 12:1; we don't offer ourselves as sacrifices, let alone holy and pleasing. We may sing "I Surrender All" but the truth is we don't. Thus we are not baptized by the fire of God.

Don't let anybody deceive you. You will never be filled with the Holy Spirit until you offer your body a living and holy sacrifice upon the altar of death. The altar is a place of death, where an offering is slain and cut up into pieces and burnt until it is ashes. Nothing remains. The problem with Christians today is they remain to live another day! Do you think Paul was dead one day and alive the next? "By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?" (Romans 6:2) I believe we are taught this lie in Church because those who teach it have to justify their own existence. What this world desperately needs is men and women who are dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus, full of resurrection power and have obtained the victory the flesh! Do we claim to have resurrection power even though we have not died? One must die first to be resurrected.

I want to be burnt in the fire of God! I don't want anything of myself to remain. I want to return to the dust of the ground that God may create a new man out of me (Genesis 2:7), in the likeness of His Son and with the power of the Holy Spirit!

"I urge you, brethren..." The altar is still there, waiting... waiting for someone to jump onto it and plunge the knife into their flesh and be done with it once and for all. The fire is still burning... eager to send up to the Lord that sweet smelling savor of a soul abandoned to God.
This is why Christ died; not simply to redeem an obstinate people who remain carnal and get to go to heaven in the end, but to raise up a people for His heavenly Father, holy and pleasing to God, who worship Him in Spirit and in truth, loving not their lives unto death.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Final Exam

At the end of all this will be the final evaluation of your life. You will stand before the Lord of Heaven and of Earth, who made them and everything in them, and who gave breath to all things, and you will give an account of your life, all you did, all you thought, all you said, and so all will be exposed. The books will be opened and you will be graded, but by whom? By Jesus Christ the risen Lord: "For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad." 2 Corinthians 5:10

A+ = You lived your life wholly for the glory of God, loving not your life unto death, and produced an increase of 100 times what God gave you. You are welcomed richly into the Kingdom of God, awarded the crown of life and are blessed before all the Father and His angels.

A = You produce a crop worth 60 times what was sown. You live your life mostly for God while holding on to bits of the world. You are welcomed with joy into the gates of heaven.

B = Your crop produced a 30 times increase in the world. You live your life partially for God and accomplish a number of feats for Christ, but the other half of your life is spent in the pursuit of treasure that rusts and rots. You enter heaven happy to be home.

C = You have faith in the Son of God yet do not consecrate your life to His service. You live for your own pursuits, go to church, meanfully sing and pray and take sermon notes, but during the rest of the week you are content to run your own life. You enter heaven happy to have made it, but regret wasting your life in that which does not last.

D = You enter heaven as one who escapes through the flames. You built your life on all the world has to offer and now realize you have no treasure in heaven. While some are crowned with great splendor before the Father, you are among the great masses who watch and wish you had another chance with your life.

F = You are the lukewarm, the unbelieving, the blasphemers, the workers of iniquity... you are of the children of the devil. You have no love in your heart for God, and no desire for the things of the light. You are the church-goer who is first to leave and first to get back to the garbage you were watching on television. Though you believed in God, you chose not to put your faith in Him or repent of your wickedness. The most important person in the world to you was yourself. You will forever be alone in the Lake of Fire, spending that time with the object of your affection.

Dear reader, only those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and put their faith and hope in that promise will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. If you want to become a child of God then follow these 3 steps:

1. Agree with God that you are a sinner and are disobedient against all His commands, and that you deserve eternal punishment for the retribution of your sins.
2. Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, that God so loved you and made His Son to be the substitute punishment for your sins, and that by the blood that was shed by Jesus Christ on the cross is the only way for your sins to be forgiven.
3. Put your faith into action by repenting of your sins, meaning, turning around from the road that leads to death and walking in the other direction on the road that leads to life. Live always to walk the path of light, and repent again if you slip and fall backward.

If you did these things then you are now a child of God! Believe this, when the Bible says "If any man is in Christ Jesus he is a new creation. The old is gone, the new has come!" and live your life for the glory of God, to receive the best evaluation that you can on that great day ahead!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Will You Fight?

I was just wanting to let you know that the Lord's army is recruiting right now, and we need some strong young lads with a tough disfigure and the courage to take on the main brunt of the devil's forces.
I've sent in my recommendations, so you can expect a call to service any time now. Of course, the decision to enlist is absolutely up to you, but I can't encourage you more highly to join. The training is tough, but the wages are superb... life and peace and ultimately in the end there is a fantastic retirement plan... plus the enjoyment of wielding a sword and dealing a death blow to demons on their own festering turf. We have the greatest of commanders, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the greatest of weapons, the power of the Holy Spirit, that no foe either in heaven or on earth can stand up against, for we've seen even the most terrifying of giants fall, and many more will follow.

I can't pretend that the work isn't dangerous, for it will ultimately cost you your life, but at the end of it all our marching song still sings:

"Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and honor and power belongs to our God, for now and forever. Amen!"

So what'll it be?

Monday, December 05, 2005

God's Word to Overcome

"Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth forever." - Psalm 119:160

I want us just to focus in on the Word of God and dwell on the gravity of this book. First of all, imagine if the Bible did not exist... if right now, there was no such thing as the Bible, you don't know about it, you do not know any verses in your memory, you cannot just pull it off the desk and read it... it does not exist. What would that mean?

If the Bible did not exist:
-you would not be a Christian right now
-you would not have known about Jesus Christ
-you would be condemned by your conscience
-you would have NO hope of salvation
-you would not know of Heaven or Hell and would be living a completely self-centered life
-yours would be a restless life, searching for meaning
-there would be no comforting verses in time of desperation
-there would be no alternative to death
-there would be no satisfaction for the soul forever

No hope, no life, no love, no joy, no peace, no Word = no Jesus.

This book, which we so often neglect, contains all our hope in a darkened world. The Bible is the foundation of our faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 10:17).

I want us to understand the importance of the Bible, and what it means to the believer, but I also want us to understand exactly what this book says, and what we believe in when we say we are Christians.

When we say we believe the Bible is the Word of God, we are saying that the Bible is the infallible Word of the Creator of the world, the one true and living God. We are saying it is perfect, inerrant, and contains all the things that God wants us to know. We are saying that every phrase in the Bible is invaluable, perfect for the teaching of the soul (2 Timothy 3:16), cannot be discarded (Proverbs 3-:5-6) and must be obeyed in every respect (Deuteronomy 13:4).

If you agree with this so far, then we enter the next stage: If the Bible is God's Word to man, what exactly does it say? But this is the scary part, because knowing what it says, we then must adhere to the truth. The Bible says clearly that this world is corrupt, evil, absent of all good, and under judgment from God:

"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually." - Genesis 6:5 (before the flood)

And Jesus said, "And as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man." - Luke 17:26

The Bible tells us that the world is wicked, with no fear of God, no love for the truth, and will be destroyed. It repeatedly warns us to escape the corruption of the world (this is New Testament doctrine), more specifically, to overcome the world. When we side with the Word of God, we declare:
-the world is corrupt and will pass away (1 John 2:17)
-the world and Christ are in enmity with one another (James 4:4)
-the world and it's ways are contrary to the Christian (1 John 2:15)
-Christians must overcome the world (Romans 12:21)

"To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne." Revelation 3:21

This is what we believe when we say we believe the Bible. This is good news, not bad news! Because Jesus overcame the world, we too will overcome the world (John 16:33). I pray this comes as good news to the believer! If it comes as bad news, why are you saddened that the Bible says you can overcome the world? Do you not want to overcome? Love not the world!

However, many people are dishearted because they are not overcoming the world. For people like these, the Bible challenges us and pulls us and stretches us, and says "Don't stay as you are!" "Come up, go on!" "Onward!" "You can make it!" I pray we are being challenged and not sitting comfortably in the world! Never rest in a defeated position. A Christian is not called to defeat but victory.

This is the book we believe in. It is our hope, our life, our challenge. Believe it for what it is, not for what it is not. The devil will lie and cheat and bribe and steal to make us confused as to what God is saying. Stay focused, stay clear minded, and establish your hope in the Word of God.

"Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all thy commandments." Psalm 119:6

Friday, December 02, 2005

New England Primer

I wanted to post this; segments from the New England Primer. First printed in Boston 1690, the Primer was used as a textbook to teach children how to read and write, and was reprinted in the 18th and 19th century as early public school literature. I wanted to post this to show the terrible contrast between education then and now, to show us how far our generation has fallen from godliness and righteousness:

This gives a taste of how young people were raised about 200 years ago. No wonder our generation is so ungodly. We are being taught nothing of heaven, nothing of God. This little book is precious. Find the whole Primer here.