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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Always Check The Contents

When we first arrived in America, life was difficult. My mother would work cleaning homes, my father got a job in a factory, but even two paychecks don't go far when there are seven mouths to feed, rent to pay, and clothes to buy. Besides the five of us, my two brothers, my mother and my father, my grandparents had also taken what in hindsight was a fateful journey to America.
Needless to say my mother tried to find new and inventive ways to save a dollar here, a few cents there, and one way she discovered she could save some money, was to make our clothes rather than buy them. (FYI going to school wearing home made clothes didn't make me the most popular guy in my class.)
One day a Romanian neighbor who had been in country a few months longer than ourselves told my mother of a place in downtown Los Angeles where she could find cheap fabric, and so every other week we would take the bus, three transfers later arriving at our destination.
Since I spoke better English than my mother, she always dragged me along, and since I enjoyed seeing something other than what amounted two the two bedroom cardboard box we were living in at the time, I went without complaint. (Even after starting the hand of help ministries, publishing my grandfather's books, and being what in the eyes of the world would be considered successful, we lived in that apartment for thirteen years.)
On one of our trips, I know i was in late January, because my father's birthday was a few days away we came across a street merchant who was selling 'designer men's cologne' at fire sale prices.
After haggling for a few minutes we finally agreed on $10 for a bottle of Polo cologne. my mother paid the man, never thinking to look inside that green box to see if the bottle was in there. She didn't take the time to check the contents, and see if she was really getting what she had paid for, or if she'd just dropped ten dollars on an empty box. If you can't trust a guy selling cologne out of a cardboard box on a street corner, who can you trust?
A few days later, my mother gave my father his birthday present, a smile on her face knowing she'd saved a bundle on his gift. He opened the box enthusiastically, only to find an empty glass bottle, with a 'tester' sticker on it.
Ever since that experience, I have learned to check the contents. Truth in advertising notwithstanding, I want to know that I'm getting what I paid for.
The same lesson can be applied to men and the titles they assign themselves. There are many street merchants roaming about, trying to sell you an empty box at a discounted rate.
This is why every time I hear a man's office before I hear his first name, when shaking his hand, my warning bells start jingling, and I become very weary. For instance, if I hear the words, 'I am prophet, or apostle', before I hear Bob or Larry, my thoughts instantly go back to that street merchant. When someone is trying just a little too hard to sell you, you should resist buying all the more.
When my grandfather passed away, there was a line of men and women, salivating at the thought of receiving his mantle, claiming it, or otherwise planning to take it by force.
When God called me to continue the work, to be honest I did not see it as a reason to rejoice, but rather felt the crushing weight of accountability and responsibility upon my shoulders.
This is why I have never claimed either a mantle or a title, and consider myself nothing more than a fellow soldier in God's army, a servant of Christ, who like the rest of you wakes up every morning, picks up his cross, and continues his journey. I know from whence I came, I know where I grew up, and I realize that there is anything noteworthy, or special in me, it is God, and I have no right to take upon myself the glory due Him.
I have had the humbling privilege of working with true men of God, men whose gifting eclipsed mine on my best day, and to the last they walked in humility and brokenness before God.
Since I've gotten some comments as to whom we should trust in these uncertain times, I've found an article on another site that gives an original description of a man of God. Though it should be established policy that we trust no man, it is sometimes beneficial to our spiritual growth to heed their advice, and their warnings as long as they are Biblical.
I urge you to cut and paste, I thin that's the right term, the following web address, and read the article if you are still in a quandary as to which of the many prophetic voices you should lend your ear to in this season of confusion: http://watchman.net/articles/savant.html

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

16 comments:

Marcel said...

Great message Michael
"He does not think of himself as special, as anything other than a regular person, but often wonders aloud why others cannot see what he has seen when it is all so self-evident and plain. To him, maybe; but the rest of us are blinded by the Light he exudes without knowing it."
I'm reminded of how many hate the light and are offended by the words not watered down by compromise with this present world
and I'm talking about the Church.
The only way to get on much of Christian T.V. or the inner circle is to water down the message.
The Church has truly become apostate to be loved and accepted by the world,one foot in the world the other playing church.
Serving two masters, won't even get us an empty perfume box.
It's the biggest rip off of all,we decieve ourselves and lose our soul.
http://www.chuckbaldwinlive.com/c2007/cbarchive_20071016.html

Anonymous said...

Hmm, yes the whole thing of title is deeply suspect and dangerous to our souls. Better it is that we listen to the message than put the messenger on the throne.

a seed sower said...

And that quite simply is why we all love you Brother Michael, there is not a pretensious bone in your body. You is what you is...a young man with a heart after God who is only interested in The Truth!

a seed sower said...

Thank you so much for the link Bro Michael it is a really insiteful article, very encouraging.

Anonymous said...

Bravo young brother,
I've felt tempted in the past to start a school for prophets (especially in America). First class would be "Stoning 101". Then see how many want to continue the curriculum!!!!!
Everyone wants the title, but no one wants to pay the cost.

Shalom

Elm Street Chapel said...

I'm not so sure that any Spirit filled brother, sister or minister of any type should be much different than a savant Christian.

What we as a body have become in the last 2000 years is the summarized in what we see today. We know Jewish custom, we know how most of the prophets acted and reacted. We also know what Paul said about what should happen when we come together. How often do we see that? Lets have church and see what God does!

Today if we were to trust the body a commitee would say, you bring a psalm, you bring a scripture, a prepared song is always good, and oh lets read a prophecy. The early churches all seemed to understand and flow (they were told enough) in that there was only ONE SPIRIT. Everything came from Him. All things were proven by Him. Men who were Spiritual over saw the gathering to make sure everything was decent and in order, and confirmed that it was God.

The practice of prepared sermon preaching became necessary because the leading of the Spirit was "improved" by man. My guess would be that when men quenched the Spirit it became necessary to "prepare" a sermon. Man tries to sound so spiritual apart from the Holy Spirit it is a perversion of truth and sad. Most preachers lack the confidence to preach with out notes or a prepared sermon because they lack the prompting of the Holy Spirit. It's like saying Jesus, Peter, Jame, John, Jude, Stephen or any of the fathers could do nothing without notes. Many people cannot tell the difference between the Holy Spirit and pep rally cheerleaders, double clutching their way to be approved of.

When man has to say this is a prophet it's a sad day. The calling and election should be obvious to the hearers. The Holy Spirit should bear witness, not some jump-up, Jack-in-the-box, waive your handkerchief, blind leading the blind control freak.

Just like the Apostles those who are truly called always seem to be last. Many takes a cheap shot at them to make themselves look good apart from the fear of God. It seems that a true prophet is not received of men, but those who do know the difference will love and appreciate him as a brother, Brother Michael.

Dave

Anonymous said...

I feel compelled to write.

The topic seems to be prophets. A few posts back, people were talking about those that call themselves prophets and such, and about how you have to be careful.
I don't want to sound sexist or anything, but it does seem to me that most people, when talking of prophets speak of men. It seems most people I know think of the biblical man of the household, and of male teachers, and therefore most excepted prophets seem to be men. Please be on guard of the female persuasion also.
I think women tend to be intuitive and emotionally based, we often trust our instincts when there is no other information to be had. I think it is God's gift to us, and one of the major things that set us apart from men. However, if not watched, it can also be a downfall.

I would like to tell of a personal experience:
I had the joy (I thought) of being very close friends with someone who I called a prophet. She spoke words of truth, studied her bible in depth, and prayed like no one else I knew. She told of events she had seen in visions, and they came to pass. She had been a friend for a long time, I knew her to be an honest person. It seemed perfectly normal that God would gift her in this way. She was very easy to believe and following her advice seemed very natural. But as time went on, (how familiar does that sound!)what she taught became slightly off base. The words were all correct, but they were delivered with anger and hatred. Pettiness, malice, finger pointing became the norm. Sometimes discontent seemed to just ooze out of her.
I tell you this, not to point fingers, but to warn. Even as obvious as her behavior was becoming, I did not leave the friendship as soon as I should have. I thought, "She is my friend. She is a sister in Christ. I don't want to abandon her", even as I cringed at the vehement malicious tone of her voice.
I truly believe the event that severed contact, at once and permanently, was a God give occurrence.
Only in hindsight and from a distance, could I see that the tree was not bearing good fruit. I can also see where it was starting to influence me.
Sisters in Christ, I beg you to be careful, the choice of who we listen to is ours. This person did not claim to be a prophet, she was quite meek (in the beginning). The televised preachers and celebrities are not the only ones corruptible. It can happen on an personal level also.
Always be on guard. Never be afraid to look at someone and tell them they are not preaching biblically sound words, even if you have know them for years. Even if, especially if, they were speaking God's truth to start with. It is sad to see a friend led astray. I is more sad to trundle along with them.
This may seem like infants food to many of you. A trap that you would never be led into, I thought so too. I am not an infant. I was raised in a Christian home. I have known God all my life, and I knew better. Yet I still stumbled. And if truth be told, I knew I was stumbling for some time before I even took notice. I am still thanking God for removing me from the situation.

Thank you God Almighty for the protection you continue to show me. Mrs. Pugh

Bonny said...

So true, Marcel. Many people I know attend Hillsong here in Sydney (as an example), and the terrible tragedy is that these people do not actually know what the Gospel is. They are offended by it, in fact. There is no understanding that grace is not license to sin, or 'realise your full potential', but rather His wonderful, saving act which keeps us from hell. What grieves my heart with the apostate church and these mega preachers who prey on the hurting and vulnerable, is that they are taking so many thousands of people to hell with them.
Michael, that was a great link. An apt description! John Wesley once said "I can find no man in the whole of England with whom I can have fellowship" and at times, to be single minded for Christ is a lonely walk. There are not many who are willing to die to self and walk that road of suffering. Thank your again for your encouragement and wise words.

Marcel said...

The Lord takes us thru many twists and turns on our journey and the valley is a place we should not avoid on the way to the mountain.
We can't unless we are members of the Church of making the flesh feel good.
It seem that this is what it has all becoome about.
I see something in the early church which is completely lacking today due to fasle teaching.
Cotton Candy Christianity has robbed us of many things of God ,but I think that is going to change as the Lord prepares His bride.
Here's what is missing today and why we are not seeing verse 12 happening but just alot of charlatans getting rich.
God will clean up His church again.

And great fear came upon the whole church,and upon all who heard these things. Acts 5:11


"The Loneliness of the Christian"

The loneliness of the Christian results from his walk with God in an ungodly world, a walk that must often take him away from the fellowship of good Christians as well as from that of the unregenerate world. His God-given instincts cry out for companionship with others of his kind, others who can understand his longings, his aspirations, his absorption in the love of Christ; and because within his circle of friends there are so few who share his inner experiences he is forced to walk alone.
The unsatisfied longings of the prophets for human understanding caused them to cry out in their complaint, and even our Lord Himself suffered in the same way.

The man [or woman] who has passed on into the divine Presence in actual inner experience will not find many who understand him. He finds few who care to talk about that which is the supreme object of his interest, so he is often silent and preoccupied in the midst of noisy religious shoptalk. For this he earns the reputation of being dull and over-serious, so he is avoided and the gulf between him and society widens.
He searches for friends upon whose garments he can detect the smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia out of the ivory palaces, and finding few or none he, like Mary of old, keeps these things in his heart.
It is this very loneliness that throws him back upon God. His inability to find human companionship drives him to seek in God what he can find nowhere else."
A.W.Tozer from :
http://www.crossroad.to/Bible_studies/sermons/devotions/loneliness.htm

a seed sower said...

Wow Mrs Pugh, Bonnie, very good exhortations sisters. We sheep need to heed the warnings and always keep in mind where God has brougth us from, at least that's what the Lord brings to my mind often. We were nothing before Him and are nothing without Him. Any Gifts we have been given are for His Glory not our own. But as sheep tend to be, sometimes that is forgotten, and man takes the glory and runs with it and it gets out of hand.
Appreciate what young Bro Dave has to say also. God Bless and keep you all, your all such a blessing to me, such an encouragement.
Helen B.

Anonymous said...

This blog is like my first drink of water every morning. I thank you all so much for your faith, love and insight into the heart of God. I can't even begin to say how the wisdom and truths that many of you have brought out have nourshished my Spirit.

I relate to the lonlinest, and lack of fellowship. There are many good people, around me, but they mostly lack an inner hunger for the Truth of God, that I am grieved. Worldlinest abounds. Not so much outward sin, but love of this world and the things in it.

But as we all know when, we ask God to search us, and cleanse us, we are all made so aware of those things that still cling to us, and we feel small, and unworthy in our " set apartness ", for lack of a better word.

Sometimes I think, who am I to not want stained garments to touch me, when God continually shows me the things that are lacking, or need to be cleansed in my life.

My only difference, is that I am constantly at war with these little foxes. And my hope and strongest desire is to be pleasing to my Lord and Deliverer.

I would ask you all on this forum to pray for me, that I would be delivered from any thing, and everything, that would not please The Father of us all. That I would continue, and never stray from the path, that he has set before me , and that I would be strengthened in body, soul, and spirit to endure to the end.

This same prayer, I would pray for all of God's elect, and precious children. Those on this forum, those that are not, and also the love ones who they continually put before the Father and believe him to protect and bring into the kingdom.

With Love to all the saints, in Jesus our Lord.


Mrs. Southern US

a seed sower said...

Mrs Southern Us, Welcome to our wee Tribe of believers.
God surely ordained for Bro Michael to set this up for us all.
God Bless you, I for one will surely pray for you, and would appreciate your prayers for me. We share many a same thought.
Helen B.

Anonymous said...

Oh Amen Mrs. Southern US! I will pray whole heartedly, and like Helen said, I would appreciate those same prayers coming back. I can echo everything you wrote, but I could not have said it better.
Mrs. Pugh

cpoint said...

marcel:

I to believe that Yahweh will once again purge His church...."fan [is] in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor"..Matt3:12 and the zeal of Yahweh will do this.

Thanks also for sharing the piece on "The loneliness of the Christian" Praise Yahweh for that writing.

Shalom in Messiah
Hisloveabides

Anonymous said...

Thanks Michael for the article about the prophetic persons fruits.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thank you for the warm welcome, Mrs. Pugh and Helen. Sent it a couple of days ago, but must have got lost somewhere in cyberspace. You will be in my prayers, and thank you also for your prayers.

Blessings to all,

Mrs. Southern US