Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Whenever someone mentions the word, "church," the majority of people will immediately think of a building with a cross on the roof. I think that is one of the biggest deceptions we have in the world today... that a church is a building. It might even lead to a false sense of security that when we go to this building, that we are IN a church, and a member of a church.

The ironic things we may find are..

That someone may attend a church their entire lives, but have never actually been a part of the true church.

That many will judge others for not attending a "church" regularly, but are only judging them for being outside of a building made of bricks and stone. Perhaps the people they are judging are a part of the true church, and that those who attend a "church" are not even in the real one.

I know some places that teach that Christ died for the church.. but that the building is a capital "C" and that the people are a lowercase "c." If you're in a place that teaches that.. run.

But for whoever is reading this, please first make sure that you are IN the real church before you start worrying about which building you're a part of. Going to a church building does not mean that you are in a church.

What does church mean though? In it's Greek translation, the word is ekklesia which means a calling out.

God calls out his elect (eklektos) which are the chosen ones, and He calls them OUT of the world to be gathered IN HIM. This is a church, and it is a very Spiritual thing. It has nothing to do with the commercialism we see today.

To say this in the most utmost frankness.. if you are not IN HIM, then you are not in a church. I don't care what building you go to every Saturday or Sunday, or that you're a notable member. You need to be IN HIM. That is all that matters.

Remember when Jesus announced that He was going to destroy the temple and raise it in three days? He said, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." John 2:19

Have any of you ever wondered what happened to that? Didn't Jesus ever follow through with this? Seems like it was overlooked. Well, actually this was a fulfilled prophecy. Look closely..

When Jesus said that, it was absolutely absurd to everyone else. They said, "Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? " v20 


"But he spake of the temple of his body."v21

 This actually came true. Three days was Jesus in the tomb, and on the third day, He rose and established a new, Spiritual temple within the believers. This is a fulfilled prophecy, and His Words were true.

(also a side note: why do we seek after the physical things when has been made Spiritual? Millions of eyes are on the rebuilding of Israel's temple, and on physical buildings of churches.. but don't you know that the temple of God is not made with hands?)

"We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. " Mark 14:58

David: "Who found favour before God, and desired to find a tabernacle for the God of Jacob. But Solomon built him an house. Howbeit the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands; as saith the prophet, Heaven is my throne, and earth is my footstool: what house will ye build me? saith the Lord: or what is the place of my rest? Hath not my hand made all these things? Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye." Acts 7:46-51

"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands" Acts 17:24 

Are you in the temple that is not made with hands? It is an important question that we should all ask ourselves.. But let's look at more verses explaining what the Spiritual temple is.

The Spiritual temple is not a what, but a WHO.

"To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed indeed of men, but chosen of God, and precious, 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. " 1 Peter 2:4,5

"But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. " 1 Peter 2:9,10

Well.. if I am a Spiritual temple for God, then how does it work?

"Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. " John 14:23

"At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. " John 14:20

"Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are. " 1 Cor 3:16,17

"What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. " 1 Cor 6:19,20

"And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. " 2 Cor 6:16-18

So.. if Christ is in the Father, and you are in Christ, then you all are joined together and they will make their abode and dwelling place in you! That is how it works.

And this is a continual thing. God's Spirit lives in you, and is guiding you. He is in you always now. You don't have to wait until Sunday to be in the church. He is in you right now and you can take this anywhere you go.

There is no building for God, and like the Bible says, where can He reside? The earth is his footstool! But God can live in you and be present with you every step of the way.. always and forever.

And if you are the temple of God and He lives in you, then who is in charge of this temple? Who is the head? Don't fall for the new age lie that you are your own god, can make your own rules of right and wrong, and lead your life your way. The temple of God is in you.. but Christ Jesus alone is the head of it. He has the preeminence.

"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner. " Psalm 118:22

"Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. " Acts 4:10-12

"Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God; And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit. " Eph 2:19-22

Now you know what the Bible tells us.. do not be deceived by what the world tells you. Do not be afraid of judgment made by other men if they judge you for not being in a physical temple, because they cannot see when you are in the Spiritual temple. That is the only one that matters.

Do not worry about church memberships. When you are IN Christ, you are a member of the body of Christ. That is the only membership that counts.

I pray that our readers will find Christ and be in Him, and that they will experience church in a way that they never have before.

A Voice in the Wilderness

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Love of Truth

Hello to our readers,

Thank you for following our blog and studying with us as we learn more things from the Bible. It is a journey that never ends which no one will ever "arrive".. but the fact that we're on this road together, and traveling on this journey means a lot. I do not know everything, and from all our findings, we've only scratched a nick on the immeasurable depths of God and His truth. I believe that a desire to grow and a love of truth is so important because it reveals the presence of His Spirit working in us. Let our hearts be like the good soil to receive whatever God chooses to reveal to us by His Spirit and His Word.

I've received several emails from people that ask me how I know which one is truth and which one isn't. That is a hard question to answer but I will try to explain it the best that I possibly can. I'll show what has been true for me, personally.

First, truth is of God. No man can arrive to truth without Him. We can all read the same book in English but truth will not be revealed to us unless it was given to us first by Him. One example is when Peter recognized Christ as the Messiah. He realized the truth about Jesus, and then Jesus turned to Him and said,  

"Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven." Matthew 16:17

The key in this verse above was that the truth was revealed to Peter; not by any man, not by flesh and blood, but by God.

This also reminds me of Paul's conversion. He was a very educated Pharisee and much devoted to His religion until Christ appeared unto Him on the road to Damascus and struck him with blindness. I believe that the physical blindness was to show him how blind he really was.. like the song, "I was blind, but now I see." It was then that Paul received the revelation of Jesus Christ and went forth with His truth,

"But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ." Gal 1:11,12

"But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus. " Gal 1:15-17

These men relied on God completely for truth.

Any man can claim to have truth. Look at the world today, and look at how different and divided those "truths" have been. Who can you trust? There is not many truths, but only one truth. You can believe in something, but that doesn't make it truth. What is truth? God is truth. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth and the life. If you want truth, you will find it in Him. You won't find it by any man, any self-claimed prophet, any televangelist, any pastor standing on the pulpit, or even any article online. Yes, even this one too.

I'll share a personal story but I won't use any names.

I started this journey with several people that were very close to me. We started together at the same place, but now, every single one of us has gone the completely opposite way. We have nothing in common of what we believe in anymore. Sometimes, it startles me. It also grieves me deeply too because they were my very good friends.

One friend became a Torah follower and follows Judaism. She uprooted her whole family and moved them to Israel. The other friend went the polar opposite way and follows universalism and new age beliefs. It is very hard to see good friends go to the extreme, polar opposite ways and it also makes me question myself whether I am on the right track. I have those moments too.

Pray every step of the way. Stay IN Him. Acknowledge Him in everything, and He will direct your path. Be open for God to reveal something to you, stay teachable, and verify everything by the Word that He has given you. Question everything, and find the answer for it. If it is truth, then ask God to prove it and strengthen it for you. If it is not, then ask God to show you that it isn't.

The Bible is a giant jigsaw puzzle, and truth is the pieces. Truth is a door that opens to more things. You'll know it when truth isn't a road block or a dead end, but it leads you even deeper and farther.

Another key is that the Bible never contradicts itself. People do. There is one truth which is one thread that unites the entire Bible. Keep working through the tangled ball of threads until it comes apart more and more. You'll know that you're on the right road the more it unravels, and if you find that you've made a mistake, learn from it, and keep going!

Anyone can see one part of the picture and think it is something, but when you compare it to the other part, you may realize that it was never that one thing, but actually something else because you see how it fits. A friend of mine (thanks K!) used this example: When you look at something that looks like an elephant's ear, and you've accepted it that way for so long.. but when you start comparing it and putting the pieces together, you'll realize that it was the elephant's leg the whole time!

The Bible is amazing. It is brilliant. It is a treasure map and we're supposed to dig for it like buried gold. One truth unlocks another, and so on. There will be questions.. THOUSANDS of them! But you're going deeper than you've ever imaged and because it is truth that applies to God, to ourselves, our world, and our whole lives.. it's the most amazing thing to find.

Don't forget that the enemy roams around like a roaring lion. His demons are trying to pluck the truth out of your heart and confuse you with lies. Be sober and vigilant. Keep your eyes open, be awake, and keep your eyes on God! Keep going, and don't give up. Stay humble and stay little for God resists the proud.

Ask God with an open heart for His truth (and be ready to accept the price for truth). Ask Him to give you a discerning spirit and wisdom. Ask Him for a hunger and a desire for His Word. Ask Him to teach YOU!

Truth is very important, and when we seek truth.. we are seeking HIM. Seek Him with all your heart, and you will find Him.

Here are some verses. Some are about what we need to do to abide in truth. Some tell us where we can find the truth. Some tell us about those who have no love of the truth.

"In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:6

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

"Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day." Psalm 25:5

"Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name." Psalm 86:11

"For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." John 1:17

"But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth. " John 4:23,24

"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31,32

"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. " John 14:6

"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you." John 14:17

"Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come." John 16:13

"Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." John 17:17

"And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." 2 Thess 2:10-12

"Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." 2 Timothy 3:7

"And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables." 2 Tim 4:4

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." 2 Tim 2:15

"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." 1 John 2:27

With much love to our brethren in Christ,

A Voice in the Wilderness

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Revelation 14:11

"And the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever: and they have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image, and whosoever receiveth the mark of his name." Rev 14:11

First, we'd love for you to check out our studies on HELL, starting here. We covered in-depth the countless of times that the Bible speaks of the wicked being devoured, consumed, burnt UP, melted away, perished, etc. I hope this study helps strengthens the one we just did.

Now looking at this passage in Rev 14:11, nowhere does it say that the wicked will burn forever and ever. Sometimes after hearing what others say a verse means after so long, we forget to really read it carefully for what it says exactly.

The first keyword is SMOKE. After we blow out a candle, the fire is gone, and what is there? Smoke. After we put out a camp fire, what is there? Smoke. The fact that the Bible uses "smoke" reveals that God has completed His judgment, and the fire has done its work. Smoke is the after part of a fire.

The second key word is TORMENT. The dictionary defines this as: to be afflicted, distressed, agony, misery, suffering and great sorrow. The Bible tells us in the OT that the wicked will either wail and mourn when they see the Lord, or they will be angry and gnash their teeth at Him. This is a strong, emotional response.

The third key word is FOREVER. Forever does not mean for all eternity. This word is translated from Greek as aion/aionios, which means "age." This is a time, and a duration but has an ending. One example is Jonah. When he described his experience in the whale's belly, he said, "The earth with her bars was about me forever" in Jonah 2:6, BUT this "forever" was only three days and three nights long! I recommend studying this word.

Some scripture that matches the verse above:

"But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away." Psalm 37:20

After a fire, nothing is left. Everything has been consumed. All we see is the smoke signifying that the burning is complete, the fire has gone and everything has perished.

"As smoke is driven away, so drive them away: as wax melteth before the fire, so let the wicked perish at the presence of God." Psalm 68:2

Smoke also shows that they are gone forever. The wicked will perish, and be no more. All that is left is the residue of God's final judgment.. the smoke.

I hope this shows that this verse in Rev 14:11 is not saying that "the wicked will be burned and tortured forever and ever" but that the smoke of their torment ascendeds up forever. There's a very important difference.

A Voice in the Wilderness

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Desiring the Preeminence

For those who are familiar with the Pharisees in the New Testament, we are told about their behavior. We know that the majority of them (aside from a very few) rejected Christ and hated Him. Have you ever wondered that maybe if they knew for SURE that Jesus was the Christ, then they would have acted differently towards Him? Or perhaps you know, like I do, that regardless of whether they knew that Jesus was the promised Messiah, they still perceived Him as a threat to what they had.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 23 that the Pharisees had power over the people. They got to tell them what to do, what to say, what to observe and what not to do. The Bible shows us that the Pharisees got plenty of honor and praise. They were seated in the highest rooms of every feast, and in the synagogues. Men would follow after them calling them master! They received a lot of riches from the people, and are always a spectacle of admiration.

Well, we can say they had it pretty good, right? Now, whenever there was someone that rose up, someone that preached the truth, and that the multitude would travel to come and listen to... did the Pharisees rejoice over a prophet like John the Baptist? Or did they want to destroy him? Did they rejoice when the promised Messiah finally came? Or did they want to kill him?

Power,glory, and riches is not meant for man to have. This belongs to God alone. If God intended for man to have these things, then surely the disciples of Christ would have been the richest men in the world! Instead, these things turn a person rotten to the core.

Now, we are bringing the focus on the key word: "Preeminence." 

According to the dictionary, this is a title given to the most important one. A superior person. He is Sovereign. He is the authority. This is a distinguished title.

God, the Father, gave Jesus Christ the preeminence.

"And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence." Colossians 1:18

Paul also wrote that he spoke to a church in Diotrephes, but they received him not. Now, why on earth not?? Check this out:

"I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not." 3 John 1:9

 They wanted the preeminence for themselves! They didn't want Paul. They didn't want anybody. As far as they were concerned, they had all the answers, and the power and authority they thought was entitled to them.

Unfortunately, this is so common. We see this everywhere on so many levels.

Perhaps, you may recognize it in a religious leader. You might recognize it in the papacy. You might even recognize it in a baptist preacher. The signs are that they are exalted, proud, and rich. They might find it a threat if you went somewhere else or to someone else besides them. They give more of their own opinions and judgments than they do to the Word of God. They might be known to belittle those who are not fully under their control. Those are just a few to name..

And well, sometimes we may find it in ourselves. Do we desire the preeminence for ourselves? Do we want to judge for ourselves what is right and wrong? Do we want to be our own God? We're seeing a rapid rise in the new age movement where man is his own god.

Let the preeminence be Christ's alone. Watch out for whoever else wants to keep it for themselves. Recognize them and flee. Let us evaluate our own lives and look into our hearts- Do we have the preeminence, or does Christ in us?

A Voice in the Wilderness

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