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Friday, December 12, 2008

Treason

The general and his armies of darkness gazed upon the City on a hill with a burning hatred. The citadel had not fallen, the walls had not been breached, and it was not for lack of trying.
The siege had been extensive, his armies had used every weapon in their arsenal, but somehow every attack had been anticipated and beat back. The King was wise, the city built upon the Rock, and the fact that the city was able to repel his attacks only served to fuel the general’s anger.
“It’s not working my general, the city is too well fortified. Maybe we should wait and starve them out”, one of his lieutenants said gazing malevolently at the city.
“They have the Word, they will not starve, they are nourished and well taken care of; the King loves his people. But perhaps there is another way. If we can’t starve them out, then we poison the food supply.”
“But that would mean finding someone to commit treason, to betray the King, to sell their birthright. And even if you find such a soul, it will take years for the plan to come to fruition.”
“Years I’ve got”, the general answered, “and as far as finding one who is willing to betray his Master, well it’s been done before. Appeal to their vanity, offer them treasure, and you’ll have plenty to choose from. Yes, I see now, the city must be breached from within. All we need is a way into the city, after that we will do the rest. Make it happen.”
“But who do we approach my general?”
“Why, those who have been assigned to guard the storehouses and granaries of course. Those who have been assigned to feed the people.”
And so the enemy made haste and sent in the well-concealed spies, who began to whisper into the ears of those whose responsibility it was to feed the people within the City on a hill. Many refused outright, sounding the alarm, for death would have been better than to betray the King. There were a handful however, who lent their ears to the enemy’s whisper, and once the enemy had their ear, it was all but over.
What they said made sense in a way. They were performing an important task after all, and no one seemed to appreciate it. They were feeding the people, and the people acted as though they were entitled. The pay was meager, the job was thankless, but still, treason?
The spies spewed their well rehearsed lines: “We wouldn’t expect you to do it for free of course, we take are of our own. Plus most of the people will never even know that the food has been tainted. They’ll thank you for making it taste better. You won’t regret this; just think of it, fame, fortune, and the adoration of your fellow man for being brave enough to step of the mold, to think outside the box, to be a revolutionary, a free thinker! Even our side will applaud you, embrace you, you’ll be able to reach more people, plus what’s the harm in focusing on social issues, prosperity, self esteem, global warming, rather than on Christ and the cross for a little while? Maybe it is time for a change; maybe it is time for a revolution of thought, a revolution of the mind. Doesn’t a global ministry sound good to you?”
And so the food supply in the great city was tainted, only a little at first, so as not to arouse too much suspicion, and to the surprise of all who had thrown their lot in with the enemy, and had betrayed the King, the people loved it. Sure it was less filling, but it tasted great.
Their great dining halls began to grow, and grow, and as soon as they would finish building one, they were forced to get started on another. Yes, bigger, more seats, brighter lights, more shekels in the coffers, while those who still chose to serve untainted food saw their crowds shrink and dwindle.
Some came upon the discovery that the more poison they added to the King’s food, the more the people loved it. Some began to increase the percentage of tainted food to such levels that the king’s food was almost nonexistent in their recipes.
Even among the traitors some began to feel uneasy about it, guilt eating away at them for having poisoned the King’s subjects, but they had to go along. What could they do? Expose themselves for what they were? Stand before the people in their great dining halls and confess to the fact that they were being poisoned? No, they would do no such thing. It was the people’s fault for preferring their food to the King’s food anyway wasn’t it? They weren’t to blame; they were just facilitating a need.
I could go on with this story, but I think everyone gets the point. As children of God, as those who still cling to the King and find His word nourishing and sufficient, we must face certain harsh realities. First, in many a church truth can now be quantified in parts per million. The necessary gospel has been replaced with an irrelevant gospel, for all that pertains to the physical, to this earth, and to the material is vanity, irrelevant banalities that keep people distracted from the truth that they are dead in their sins and going to hell.
Just in today’s news headlines I read that fifteen year old kids are contracting their own father’s murder, pre-teens are having sex in school, teenagers are cutting, and drinking each other’s blood, but no, the clear and present danger is global warming. Hey, it’s snowing in Houston! The climate could be put on the back burner just tad dear pastors and Christian leaders, let’s for the sake of our very existence focus on the relevant and necessary for a change. Let’s go back to the cross, to the Christ, and stop poisoning the sheep of God’s house because the enemy is getting ready for his final assault, and now the walls are weak enough, there are enough cracks in the defenses where he will breach the city.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Basic Instinct

Although this article should have been entitled the 'the basic instinct of the unregenerate man' it seemed a little too wordy to be a title. I've been trying to get this story out of my mind for over a week now to no avail. It has had a very disturbing effect on me for reasons I don't fully comprehend. Maybe it's all the talk of how evolved and forward thinking our modern day generation has become, how we have grown in love and kindness as a civilization, and then seeing something like this.
For those of you who haven't heard about it, let me fill you in. On what has been coined as black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, where people wake up before the crack of dawn and stand in the often freezing weather to be the first ones into the store, a young man was trampled to death by a mob of shoppers. The young man was doing his job, tending the door, and in their hearty quest to save ten dollars on a back massager, men and women of all ages and races, actually trampled this man to death. What struck me as even more brutal and telling was the fact that once his co-workers saw this young man laying on the ground breathing what would be his last breaths, they attempted to drag him out of the way of the rushing mob only to have the mob scream expletives at them for being in the way. Yes, we've come a long way, this is the pinnacle of civility and civilization.
Most people today like to think that as a whole, we are beyond such things, we have evolved into a climate of understanding and tolerance, one of peace and joy. Why to many it's surprising that most people aren't skipping down the street, with flowers in their hair humming the tune of their favorite song. The truth of the matter is that every unregenerate man, every unregenerate woman has the aptitude and often the compulsion to be unfeeling, uncaring, self centered and self obsessed. Keep in mind it was not hardened criminals that trampled a man to death, it was not murderers and gang members, it was housewives, and average every day folk. And for what? It wasn't like they were there to get the last of some miracle drug that would heal their terminal disease, they were there for trinkets and worthless things, for material trivialities that lose their luster as soon as one gets them home.
Civilized as we would all like to believe ourselves to be, what do you think would happen if let's say there was a real and tangible reason for being in front of a store at five a.m. like a shortage of food? If a group of people were willing to trample a man to death for a discounted sound system, what would they be willing to do for the last can of tuna?
I realize to some of you this might seem like a purely hypothetical situation, but the dark days of which so many have warned for so long are finally here. There are no limits to the depravity of the unregenerate man, there is no low he is unwilling to sink to, or action he deems too horrid to undertake. I think that's why this story impacted me so.
If you believe that such things are beyond the scope of possibility due to the fact that we've grown and matured as a race, well I submit to you that absent of the transforming love and grace of Christ Jesus man's basic nature has remained the same throughout the ages.
The time has come to watch and pray, the time has come to trust our heavenly Father in a measure never before experienced by many modern day Christians.
Some of you will wave the following comment off thinking I am making a mountain out of a molehill, taking one isolated incident and extrapolating it, but if we are to believe the Word of God, if we are to believe the messengers of God then we must prepare now rather than later, strengthen our faith and stand on the rock of God's promises.
Whatever you think or imagine the future holds, not only for this nation but the world as a whole, is nothing compared to the reality that will be evident. I do not say this to stir fear in the heart of any man, I say it because I must.
The children of God, those who have been born again and have learned to trust the heavenly Father at peace under the shadow of His wing have no reason to fear for they know that He is able. If there is still fear at the edges of your heart, if you still harbor trepidation concerning the future, then my dear brother, my dear sister, it is time to stand before the cross and lay your burdens down. It is time to look into the perfect law of liberty, and the love of Christ, for perfect love casts out fear. These are exciting times.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Truth In A Nutshell Videos

Yes, I am terrible at providing URLS. I must confess I know little to nothing of links and the such. Since it was requested, this is the link where one can find all the truth in a nutshell videos. I had a fun time filming them, and we'll be filming more sometime next week. God bless.

http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=HandOFHelpWarnings&view=videos

Walking With God

I often meet brothers and sisters of a certain age while traveling throughout the churches of America who seem to be quite nostalgic of a time a few decades ago. A time when morality still had a say in the lives of average folk, when virtue was still something to aspire to and not look down upon, and when “Leave It To Beaver” was considered the raciest thing on television.
The times have changed, simplicity having become a memory of times past, and more often then ever I am asked whether or not I believe a man can still walk with God in times such as these. There is a difference between difficult and impossible, and although for some it might have become more difficult to stay focused on the destination, to walk the narrow path of faith without being distracted by all that goes on around them, it is by no means impossible. When a man truly desires to walk with God, he is able to do so even when the world around him is evil and corrupt.
Enoch lived in a time when passing on at the age of eighty was considered dying young. The air was cleaner, the world less populated, yet even though he lived toward the genesis of creation, those of his generation were by no means righteous men.
Enoch was sixty-five before he decided to walk with God, not a spring chicken by any stretch of the imagination. The Bible doesn’t speak much about this man, but small as his appearance might have been in comparison to others, he left behind a lesson that all of us could learn from. Having decided to walk with God at the age of sixty-five, Enoch then walked with Him for three hundred more years.
Enoch didn’t have luxury of going down to the corner parish, or the newest mega church in town, he didn’t have the luxury of getting on the internett and downloading teachings on how to walk with God, and if anyone thinks that those of his generation helped him in his quest for a relationship with God, then they are sorely mistaken.
The Word tells us in Genesis, that the earth was corrupt before God, the wickedness of man was great in the earth, the earth was filled with violence, and the intent of the thoughts of men’s hearts were only evil continually. It goes on to say that God looked upon the earth and indeed all flesh had corrupted their way on the earth. This was the time in which Enoch lived; by no means a time conducive to spiritual growth, or a deeper understanding of God, yet somehow he managed not only to find God but also walk with Him for three hundred years. Keep in mind Enoch did not have the benefit of the Word, he did not have a handful of churches on every block of his town, he didn’t have televangelists, or sermons on tape, he was a man amidst evil men, corrupt men, and men prone to violence, who decided to walk with God. If it was possible for Enoch to walk with God, having had all the same setbacks, difficulties and stumbling blocks as we in the modern age, yet without any of the benefits, such as the Word or abundant teaching, then it is possible for anyone who truly desires to walk with God to do just that.
So what made Enoch special? What did Enoch do that made it possible for him to walk with God?
The first thing that we can glean from the short story of Enoch, is the fact that he desired to walk with God, therefore he became the person God desired him to be. Every one of us is careful when choosing our company. Although I’ve met people who make friends quite readily, the general rule is that only after some time of getting to know a person can you call them your friend. Only after seeing if you are compatible, by way of likes and dislikes, values, morals, even hobbies, can one become more than a passing acquaintance and graduate to the position of friend. God is ever more cautious whom He acquaints Himself with, and walks with, making certain the person is pure of heart and of a right spirit before He walks with them and calls them friend.
Unlike many today who seem to make up doctrine as they go along, following the path they have drawn out for themselves, like some makeshift amateur explorer absent of a compass or bearings, Enoch only desired to follow the path on which God walked. He didn’t care to talk God into walking his path; he readily and gladly gave up his own path in order to walk the path God laid out for him. One of the most common causes of backsliding in one’s spiritual walk is that after following a certain distance, after gladly walking with God a considerable way, we remove our hand from the hand of God, and choose our own path thinking or believing that we know better.
Enoch was content to let God lead, and follow after him. He was content with simply walking with God, not desiring title or position, fame or fortune. When our desire is nothing more than to walk with God, when we surrender ourselves and stand before Him with pure hearts, and clean intentions God will take us by the hand and walk with us.
Another aspect of Enoch’s walk with God we cannot overlook is the length of it. For three hundred years, Enoch walked with God, all day every day, without rest or respite. There was no giant kangaroo leap into the presence of God, but rather the steady natural progression of a relationship and a friendship. Enoch did not run, he did not fly into the presence of God, he did what any of us could do; he walked with God. Enoch never grew tired of walking with God, of being intimate with Him.
By all accounts Enoch was a simple man, not a duke or a count, not a king or a prince, just Enoch. He did not have the benefit of the Word; those around him were as evil as this present generation, yet Enoch managed to walk with God. If he did it, surely we can too.
God dos not look at what we are, He does not check our pedigree before He reveals Himself to us, all He desires is a pure heart willing to receive Him. Just put your hand in his, and walk. You can do it.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

No Excuses

This is not an excuse, but I have been busy. I realize I haven't posted in about a week, but there is a perfectly reasonable and exonerating explanation, I have been busy. We just got done filming another batch of the truth in a nutshell videos, and if you haven't seen them yet, I urge you to take a few minutes and check them out, I'm putting the finishing touches on a couple books, and yes, I'm almost done with another lengthy post which will be up sometime this week answering once and for all the question that I've been asked more often recently, 'is it possible to walk with God in a generation such as this?'
The short answer is yes, but the long answer has allot more wisdom peppered in ever so subtly.
Our main example and the man from which we will glean wisdom will be Enoch, that's right, we're going really old school, and hopefully we'll grow in the Lord just a little more than we would have otherwise.
Yes, I know that some of you are excited about current events, and would love it if I started talking about the Russian President visiting such nations as Cuba, Venezuela, and pretty much ratcheting up the rhetoric to cold war era levels, but what would be the point? God said it would happen, it is happening, buckle up and keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times. It's going to be a bumpy, bumpy ride.
I realize to some of you this may sound dismissive, or even sarcastic, but twenty five years is plenty of time for a nation to repent, to mend its ways, to turn to God, and to seek righteousness. How much longer did we expect God to terry? How much longer did we think God would delay His plans?
Yes, what has been foretold is coming to pass before our very eyes, and if you think it's bad now, you haven't seen anything yet. Throw some persecution into the mix, some internal uprisings, an ever spiraling economy, our enemies getting bolder with each passing day, and you've pretty much seen the future.
Some may interpret this post as callous or uncaring. Before you pass judgment please keep in mind that I dedicated over twenty years of my life, I forfeited my youth, I endangered my health, I missed out on a normal childhood, all so I could travel this country and preach a message of repentance and judgment that was scoffed at and dismissed. No, I'm not uncaring, I'm not callous, love compelled me to do what I did, and continues to compel me to do what I do. It's a little late for sugar coating however, a bit late to break out the honey just because the pill is bitter. We are living the end times, and for those that still doubt it, or don't believe it, I urge you to open your eyes.
For those who reason that these cannot be the end times because you're still here, and the church isn't supposed to be here for those times, wipe the dust off the Holy Book, I beg of you, and read it with an open mind, realizing that we're in it for the long haul.
Alright, I've rambled on enough, plus I have a radio program to do in five minutes or so. As promised, a longer more substantial post later this week. Until then, God bless, and happy thanksgiving.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Complicity Part 2

I was recently asked by more than one person if I would have written the same article if the other political party had won the race for the white house. My answer is an unequivocal yes, because my angst, and my frustration is with the churches, not with the world. If the men that claimed to be the children of God lived as though the were the children of God, the world would be a very different place. Before we can hope to reach the world, we must clean up the churches, we must reinstate the principles and standards that proved necessary in the history of God's house, principles and standards that are plainly outlined in the Word of God.
Knowing that judgment begins in the house of God first and foremost, may we rightly judge ourselves, before we are judged.
Yes, God saw it as an insult, God saw it as His people rejecting Him and not Samuel, but even so, love compelled Him to warn them one last time, to open their eyes to the reality of what a king would mean for them. Perhaps the people didn’t fully understand what it meant to have a king, perhaps they were only duped into seeing the positive aspects of it, and so God spoke to Samuel and said, ‘solemnly forewarn them, and show them the behavior of the king who will reign over them.’
Before I get into all that God informed Israel would happen if they went ahead with their desire and demand to have a king, I need to point something out about change. The people wanted change; that much was obvious from their approach of Samuel. However there is always a price to be paid for wanting a non-specific change. They really didn’t care whether the change would be positive or negative, it was a non-specific linear train of thought that did nothing to incorporate the information they were about to receive from Samuel. Blinded by the need for change, Israel would be either indifferent, or deaf to the warnings of God.
Whether we like to acknowledge this fact or not, change isn’t always positive. Some things change, in fact except for God all things change, but it is for the negative as often as it is for the positive. We get older, thereby hopefully getting wiser, but at the same time our bodies begin to break down at a basic level, the joints start to ache, and the hair starts to gray. Change comes about, but unlike man’s often linear perspective it is a fluid occurrence, not necessarily headed in the same direction in which it started out.
If I thought about it I’m sure I could come up with a better example, but I was in a coffee shop not long ago enjoying a scone and a hot cup of tea (I was just wondering what the English saw in them) when I couldn’t help but overhear a conversation that was taking place at the next table. One of the ladies had just gotten divorced and remarried, and she was pouring her heart out to her friend, that the reality of this new beau didn’t quite match up to the fantasy she had created for herself. Apparently her ex husband had not been abusive, he was a good provider, a loving father, but she had just gotten bored, the relationship had gotten stale, and she needed something new, she needed change. Since ‘til death do us part is something you say simply to get a preacher to marry you nowadays, and not something you really mean, it seems the lady went and filed for divorce, and shortly thereafter met the new man that would replace her old man. It seems the new man, is not as caring, loving, supportive or sensitive as the old man, he likes his liquor a little too much, and has a tendency to use his hands and fists when he’s angry, and not merely to gesticulate. I guess the point I’m trying to make, is that the grass isn’t always greener, that change isn’t always positive, and sometimes man’s desire for something new blinds him to the reality of the information he already possesses.
God might have been disappointed, but He was not bitter. The thing about being created with the freedom to choose, is that more often than we would like to admit, we choose the lesser rather than the greater, the easy rather than the right. God made one last attempt to turn the hearts of the people, He wanted them to have all the information they would need to make their choice, and then He would leave them to the desire of their heart.
I’m sorry to break the news to those who insist upon the idea or sovereign appointment regardless of what the individual does, but the word of God tell us that life and death has been placed before us, blessing and cursing laid out at our feet, and we have the power to choose which avenue we pursue and which path we follow.
It’s easy to breathe a sigh, wave a hand, roll our eyes and say ‘it’s in God’s hands’ but the truth of the matter is that God’s desire is that none perish, that all have everlasting life, yet the population of hell is growing by leaps and abounds. Why? Because we choose whom we serve, we choose who we surrender our hearts to, we choose what path we follow, and in the end suffer the consequences thereof.
The warning of God was solemn, sobering, and severe. I will not go into great detail, because the length of this post keeps getting longer and longer, but if one is so inclined they can find the entire passage in 1 Samuel Chapter 8. Among the highlights of God’s warning to the people of Israel, of what would occur if they chose a king over Him, is the fact that they would be servants, they would give a tenth of their grain and vintage to the king’s officer’s and servants, their sons would be sent to war, and their daughters taken to be servants. The direst warning however, was the consequence they would have to suffer if they rejected God in lieu of a king:
1 Samuel 8:18, “And you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you in that day.”
The most tragic consequence of rejecting God is not the absence of blessing, or the absence of prosperity over a nation, it is God no longer hearing when the nation calls out to Him. If history has taught us anything it is the fact that leaders, kings, generals and presidents have a tendency to fall woefully short of the people’s expectations. It is inevitable that they disappoint some of their constituency, if not all of it, and perhaps by now we should have learned that promises made on stump speeches, regardless of the political party that regurgitates them, are empty and without substance. If we look to any one man as the savior of a nation, if we put out trust in any one man to legislate morality or to change the moral course of a people, it is inevitable that we will be disappointed and disillusioned.
God’s message to Israel was clear and absent of double speak, duplicity or vagueness. You will eventually open your eyes, all that I have spoken will come to pass, you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, and the Lord will not hear you. Even so, Israel simply said, ‘we want a king.’
What remains for a nation that rejects the leadership and guidance of God? We cannot reject the standard of God and live with the expectation of His blessing. We cannot deny the will of God, distance ourselves from Him, and reject His very nature, and still feel entitled to all the benefits of being called a child of God.
Those that rejected God were not the gentiles of old; it was not the Philistines or the Egyptians, it was the people of God. No I do not expect the world to become more moral, to stand up for virtue and righteousness, but I do expect the church, the house of God, those who call themselves His to do it. Morality is not a virtue that must be legislated among the children of God, it is a state of being that comes naturally to them. This nation, and in fact the world is what it is because the children of God today, the churches in large part, just as Israel did some three thousand years ago, rejected God. We found Him stifling, legalistic, intolerant, unwilling to see the bigger picture, unwilling to sign off on money making schemes and the dissemination of false hopes and empty promises. No, if we were to continue embracing God’s vision, we would still be just a handful of folk praying in homes, and reading the Bible, striving to live righteous lives, and keeping ourselves spotless and without wrinkle in anticipation of Christ’s return. If we would have continued seeking first the Kingdom of God, we would still have no political voice, we would still have no influence, the world wouldn’t embrace us like some long lost kin, and our leaders couldn’t boast of their achievements.
We have chosen that much is certain. The only question that remains to be answered, and with the passage of time the answer will become painfully obvious is: Was the tradeoff worth it? Was it worth surrendering intimacy with God for the allure of the mainstream? Was it worth forfeiting God hearing us for the world loving us? Was it worth rejecting God to be accepted by the world? The day will come when this nation will cry out as Israel of old. They will weep and mourn and no answer from heaven will be forthcoming. No matter how heartfelt the pleas, no matter how sincere the tears, He will not hear, and it will not be because God is asleep, it will not be because He is on a sabbatical, it will be because even though we have free will, we must, everyone, suffer the consequences of our choices.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Complicity Part 1

The balloons are gone, the confetti has been swept up by the cleaning crews all too glad to earn a little overtime, and the booming monosyllabic chants have dwindled to less than a whisper. It is over, yet it is just beginning. The people have spoken, the world has heard, history has been made, and now the nation must live with its choice. Whatever the future might hold, make no mistake, the American Church is complicit and culpable. Come what may, the Christian Church will have had a hand in it, and we will have to deal with it, accept it, and own up to it for better or worse.
So what caused the exodus? What was it that caused so many self proclaimed Christians feel so disaffected, so marginalized that they felt the need to make a statement, to substitute the reality of the situation for the illusion that was being presented to them? Just as it was in the time of kings, in fact immediately before the time of the first king of Israel, the people have gotten disillusioned with the spiritual leadership of their day.
You see, I believe the American Church, especially the leaders of the American Church must bear the burden more heavily than any other, for long before the first vote was cast, their actions and their choices caused the sheep to count them as nothing more than jesters, farceurs, men of no moral compass, who would align themselves with anyone they thought would profit them in the long term.
The son of King David, the man who was arguably the smartest man to ever live once wrote that there is nothing new under the sun. Although we might think as a nation we’ve done something unprecedented, new, never before seen, and historic, the reality is that upon closer inspection nothing is as original as it appears.
The prophet Samuel was getting old, his strength was fading. Samuel had served the God of Israel faithfully for many a year, he had fulfilled that which God had commanded, but now the time had come to pass the mantle, to make way for the next generation of judges over Israel. Samuel chose his sons, perhaps in hindsight not the most appropriate replacements as judges over Israel, hoping that the apple wouldn’t fall too far from the paternal tree, that they would maintain a standard of righteousness as their father had.
If Samuel’s love for his sons blinded him to what they had become, greedy, immoral men who turned aside after dishonest gain, took bribes, and perverted justice, the people were all too keen on what was happening. The people were not blinded by love, or a sense of loyalty, they saw the truth, uncomfortable as it might have been, and decided to approach Samuel on the matter.
To parallel the days of old to today is an easy task. We remember fondly the men of God who came before us, those who seem as giants to us even to this day, and wonder even if only in those private times of thought and introspection where such men are today. Gone are the days of a shepherd knowing every one of his sheep by name, gone are the days of pastors dropping in to visit with a parishioner and break bread with him or her, gone are the days of a shepherd being ready to sacrifice of himself for the sake of his sheep. Yes, at least in large part those days are gone. They have however been replaced with bodyguards, bullet proof cars, mansions, vacation homes, a demand for blind loyalty to the man and not to God, and ever larger monolithic temples of indifference where every song, every prayer, every humor filled and anecdotal sermon is geared toward separating the sheep from their wool.
At first it may have been a bit off-putting, all the attention, all the lights, but when they start offering you a mint for some self-esteem drivel you penned one rainy afternoon for lack of something better to do, you just go along with it. What of the people? What of the sheep? Well the sheep should have known better, they should have been a bit more self-sufficient.
The sheep have spoken, and it was a message directed specifically to the leadership of the American Church, but I wonder if the leadership understands it, or even cares anymore. Just as it was in the time of Samuel and his sons, the leaders are not doing their job anymore, they have strayed from the path of truth, they have strayed from righteousness and the word of God, corrupting and being corrupted in such an obvious manner that the people finally said, if you will not be what you pretend to be, what you’re supposed to be, then we want a king.
In our never ending quest to become more like the world, a large majority of the American Church finally realized a simple truth: Why strive to be more like the world, when we can simply be of the world? No matter how good, a forgery is still a forgery. Why not embrace the real thing? It’s what the preachers have been preaching from the pulpits the past couple decades anyway. Why not take that final step? When you strip the word of God of its virtue, when you bury the truth for fear of offense, when for a piece of the political influence pie, you are willing to part with your values and your morals, how much longer before you reject God altogether?
“Make for us a king to judge us like all the nations” the people cried to Samuel, for your sons are corrupt, they pervert justice, and they do not walk before God in the same manner you once did. It mattered not if the king was good, it mattered not if he was noble or godly, righteous or merciful, they just wanted a king. Make for us a king, create him, make the illusion real enough that for a season we will cheer and we will revel.
‘Yes, a king, like all the nations, because anything is better than the hypocrisy we see in your sons Samuel. Anything is better than seeking after the truth and not finding it, going to the house of God and discovering he has been banished. A king, yes, a king that will solve everything.”
I could only imagine the heartbreak Samuel felt, not only at the request of the people, but also at the failure of his sons. I wonder what the past generation, those that have already gone to their reward, would think of the men that have risen to the leadership positions in today’s church. I often wonder at their reaction if they were to hear just one sermon that these men preached on any given Sunday. There are few tragedies more pronounced within the church, than when the Bible becomes nothing more than just another prop piece, when it remains on a pulpit, shiny black leather with gold embossed lettering, unopened, unquoted, dismissed and marginalized. How can Christians be so misled? How can Christians make choices contrary, and in direct opposition to the Word? They have been so far removed from the Word for so long, and they have been so distant from the truth for such an extended period of time that they confuse the desires of their own hearts, and their own imaginings with the voice of God. God will not contradict His word, nor will He encourage you to do something outside the boundaries of the Bible.
Samuel went before the Lord, grieved in his heart that the people wanted a king, and the Lord said the Samuel, ‘heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you but they have rejected Me that I should not reign over them.’
Even though the sons of Samuel did not walk in his ways, even though they had turned aside to dishonest gain, God still saw the fact that the people wanted a king to rule over them, a personal insult, and His people rejecting Him.
Rather than forego the surrogates, rather than forego the straw men who have assigned themselves more power and authority than Biblically allowed, and seek the face of God directly, the people choose to do away with God altogether, to reject Him based on what a handful of wolves in sheep’s clothing have done. Just as the people of Israel rejected God due to the sins of the sons of Samuel, so is a large portion of the American Church rejecting God due to the sins of unscrupulous and unscriptural shepherds.
Israel found an excuse to come out from under God’s laws in the sons of Samuel, just as much of the church found an excuse in the spineless and duplicitous leaders they have chosen to lead them. No more of this unyielding God, no more of this God of standards and immovable steadfastness, now we have a king, a king who understands us, who can be persuaded. We are now become like all the nations we are now become what we always wanted to be, no longer blessed, protected or sheltered of God, no longer bound by the Word, no longer accountable. We wanted a king, and now we have a king, consequences notwithstanding. It matters not what comes tomorrow, if we have a king today.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Home At Last

Yes, I am alive and still retaining all my limbs. I got a few e-mails from some of you who had read I was going to be in Mexico warning me about the the violence against preachers and pastors there, but as always the Lord protected and we had an amazing time with the brothers and sisters there. It reminded me of the post revolutionary times in Romania where the hunger for the word was as such that men waited for hours just to hear the word of God being preached. It was a time of refreshing for me, and a time of being re-energized.
It seems allot can change in ten days, and I will be posting an article entitled 'Complicity' sometime this week to let you know how I feel about what is going on in America. Yes, these are interesting times, and as such we must put on the whole armor of God now while daylight still remains.
For those of you who do not know about our mini sermons called 'truth in a nutshell' I urge you to go to www.handofhelp.com click on the October e-newsletter, scroll down, and you will be able to find a few programs that we've already done. Thursday we will be filming again, and we will be posting new programs as early as next Tuesday.
We are still at work, we still labor tirelessly to preach the truth to all who would hear, and as always I thank you for your prayers and your patience. If the article will be done tomorrow, I will post it then, if not Thursday at the latest.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Speaking in Houston

Well, after receiving a couple dozen phone calls from the Houston area as to where I will be speaking, a meeting has been put together at
The Living Waters Assemblies of God
622 Commerce Street.
Magnolia Texas 77355 Tel. 832049207812
I had not planned any speaking engagements in the US since we are driving to Mexico from here and having some meetings across the border, but we are here, and the location has been made available.
The meeting will take place Next Friday, November, 7th at 7 p.m.
Hope to see everyone who called and asked there. May God bless you. Today we begin our journey to Monterey Mexico, where we will be holding a few meetings, as well as meetings with area pastors. Looking forward to speaking with a translator. Now I'll finally know what my grandpa had to go through.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Updates

Between preparing to film on Thursday, what will be the next few installments of truth in a nutshell, for those not aware of them, they are ten minute sermons if you will dealing with various topics, to packing for a week long trip to Houston for some meetings south of the border, to finishing up another prophetic times magazine, I haven't had much time to sit down and fill you in on what's been going on.
The new installment of the E-Newsletter is out and if you are not a subscriber you can find it at: www.handofhelp.com/enewsletter_200810.html
I believe it speaks to the heart of why the churches in America are in the condition they are in today.
I will be away for a week, we're returning from Houston on the 8th of November, four days after the elections. I pray all will be well, and that my concerns over what will transpire are just my own personal imaginings. God bless you all, and thank you for your prayers.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Changing Seasons

Today I woke up to the sight of snowflakes gently falling to the ground outside my window. It should have been a happy moment, but rather than feel any sense of joy, I just pulled the blanket closer to my chin and started thinking about the long winter ahead. I used to live in California, Southern California to be exact, and didn't ever have to worry about changing seasons. It was always sunny in California, and the worst it ever got, at least for the thirteen years I lived there was somewhere in the high fifties.
Having moved to Wisconsin after my wedding, I realized I had to keep track of the seasons a bit closer than I did while living on the West Coast. Yesterday, it was a bit breezy, but there were no outward signs that it would snow today, yet here the snow was falling to the ground this morning. Seasons change suddenly and without warning. What we took for granted today, (for me it was the ability to walk outside in a t-shirt without freezing), we realize the importance of, and feel the loss of tomorrow.
For a long time this nation didn't have to worry about changing seasons. We were the only superpower in the world, the big boy, with the big stick that all the other kids were scared of, we had a booming economy, an excellent housing market, and the only way someone didn't work in America was if they didn't want a job. Well, even though it's highly doubtful that I need to point it out to anyone, the seasons they are a-changing.
An empire can rise or fall, and economic system can fail and collapse irreparably so, as quickly as the seasons seem to change here in Wisconsin. If we have placed our trust in anything other than the heavenly Father, if we believe our security is in the color of our passport, our bank account, or our retirement portfolios, we will be shaken and uprooted, tossed asunder and trampled underfoot as readily as the rest of the world.
For over twenty years our ministry and others of like mind have been warning about the things that are beginning to take shape in this country. Some mocked, some laughed, some rejected, but some received and drew closer to God, growing in grace and faith and in their ability to trust God even for the smallest of things.
Yes, the warnings have ended. I believe the warnings ended some years ago, since a warning is basically a message informing of danger, far enough in advance wherein the danger can be avoided if the necessary steps are taken. We have gone past the point of no return, merrily gorging ourselves on the delicacies of prosperity, never once stopping to think that God Himself said the earth and everything in it shall pass away. Every time judgment was mentioned, we always assumed it was for a future generation, our children's children, or their children, but alas we see that all those messages all those warnings were for us, today.
I take no pleasure in saying that things will get significantly worse very soon, and that which has been foretold is being fulfilled. I realize I'm rambling, but for good reason. The hour is late!
If anyone was waiting to see the signs, if anyone was skeptical and wanted to see further proof before they committed themselves to God, before they took the call to repentance seriously, well perhaps the time has come to choose. Tomorrow is an uncertain time, and today may be all you have to surrender your heart to the heavenly Father.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Way of The Humble Hearted Part 3

To be perfectly honest, this study is turning out to be allot longer than previously thought. I was only able to realize its length after getting into the meat of the next few verses speaking of Christ's example of humility. Since the times seem to be getting more exciting with each passing day, I will reserve the rest of the teaching on humility, and the way of the humble hearted for one of the prophetic times magazines. This will be the last installment on the way of the humble hearted, and tomorrow we continue with something new. Lord knows there are enough burners going at this point in time wherein there will be no lack of topics we can discuss.
Philippians 2:4, “Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Within the span of a few simple words we discover the true meaning of selfishness, and selflessness, and by the definition thereof are able to judge our own hearts and actions. It is disturbing and off-putting that those who ought to be the most selfless among us, those who were called to serve, to give of themselves, to sacrifice and labor have chosen the way of utter and all encompassing selfishness, a selfishness which manifesting the greed that fuels it seems to know no bounds or limits. Their singular agenda well established, and the means by which they achieve said agenda being irrelevant as long as the objective is reached, men and women stand before you on a daily basis, fake smiles plastered on their immaculately groomed faces, lying through their teeth, making unrealistic promises, indifferent to how many souls they’ve hurt and wounded on their way to success and affluence.
Why is it that so many tend to forget as the years pass and they begin to consider themselves seasoned and mature believers that the most beautiful facets of one’s character as they embrace Christ and begin to grow in Him, are humility and selflessness? Every good work is received, and is appropriated the right value only when it springs forth from a selfless and humble heart. Countless wolves prowl the land today, looking out exclusively for their own self-interests, unconcerned with anyone, or anything else around them.
If selfishness and greed are looked down upon in the world, it is doubly offensive within the house of God, seeming all the more vile and reprobate. The gifts that God has bestowed upon us, the life we have from Him, the liberty we have in Him, all these things must be placed in His service, and toward the interests of others. If any member of the body, if any organ no matter how important lived only for itself, it would wither and dry up.
The natural environment or a follower of Christ is that of living and looking out for the interests of others, just as the members of the body function best by serving each other. Any selfishness, and the entire body suffers, and impedes it from functioning at its optimum level. The tragedy of it all is that a few members, a few organs are draining the entire body of hope, energy, strength, and even the willingness to press on. Why? Because they are looking out only for their own interests, unencumbered by the knowledge that they are destroying the body to which they belong.
May we be wise and use that which God has entrusted us with, whether it be an ability to speak, to sing, to write, to encourage, to pray, or to empathize all the while looking out for the interests of others. By being of use and beneficial to others, we are of use to ourselves. The member that helps the body helps itself, for if the body dies, the member dies along with the body.
As we look at this verse closer still we begin to discover the wisdom of God contained therein. God never said, ‘let each of you not look out for his own interests, but rather for the interests of others’, but said, ‘let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.’
It would be an exaggeration to say that what is required of us is to give away everything we have, and not keep anything, even that which is necessary for our survival. No, God does not ask us to do this. He is just, and does not treat His children unjustly. Whether it is material things of spiritual ones, it is not a sin to make use of them, it is not a sin to survive, but when we have more than enough and are indifferent toward others who are in need, whether spiritual or physical, it becomes selfishness, a state of mind and attitude that is detestable in His sight.
We read this passage in the Word and can’t help but acknowledge its beauty, but by the same token we must acknowledge and realize the fact that these are not just beautiful words, an empty theory or a topic of intellectual discussion. Apostle Paul writes to the heart of every man. He addresses the unseen things as though they were seen. It would be wise to receive the council of one such as Paul, for in this writing as in all his writings his primary concern is for those whom he is addressing to have an upright and righteous walk before God, a humble demeanor and a right spirit. Every member of the body in Philippi was compelled by Paul’s address to them, just as we are compelled by reading this epistle to search our own hearts, and see whether or not we are looking out not only for our own self interests but also for the interests of others. God’s plan for us is that we grow to the level wherein we have the mind of Christ. He came from heaven to earth, that we might have access to heaven. He left behind the glory, and took on the form of man, suffering such atrocities as to be beyond human understanding, all so that we might be with Him in eternity. The thoughts of the body must be in unison with the thoughts of the head. Only then will the glory of the head, which is Christ, begin to radiate throughout the members of the body. If the mind of Christ is in us, then our desire will always be to sacrifice of ourselves that others might be blessed.
The constant quest for vanity, the selfish pursuits, the pride, the arrogance and the selfishness are all ugly and deformed endeavors of the flesh, moral poisons that are at the root of sin and evil. When one surrenders to such things, he or she is quickly and suddenly thrust into a spiritual misery and mire that act as a vortex dragging others along, perhaps even those closest to us, into the depths of despair. When our ego disappears, when the self, the flesh, the old nature of us all is done away with, and Christ shines in us, that is the moment when we not only esteem others better than ourselves, but also look out for their interests as well.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Way of The Humble Hearted Part 2

I am not a spammer! I have a vague idea of what a spammer is, apparently those guys that send out millions of useless e-mails for hair growth, hair removal, and bright shiny teeth among other things. Well, I am not one of them, but apparently somebody with the power to shut off my account seemed to think so yet again. If I were of a more conspiratorial nature in my thinking, I would surmise that someone didn't really like what I have to say, or like me as a person. Either way, we were offline for over a week until the powers that be got it squared away, again.
For those that completely forgot what the first part of this multi-part mini series was all about, I would encourage you to go back and read the first installment. I think by the end it will be a blessing to most of you. Circumstances beyond my control sort of sums up the 'why' of why I haven't posted in almost two weeks. I hope everyone understands.
Going back to the two things Paul mentioned specifically, one is able to discern the point that he was trying to drive home. The two things Paul mentioned with specificity, and warned against were selfish ambition, and conceit.
In order to understand what Paul was warning against, one must first understand what the words mean. Once we understand what the words mean, we quickly realize that Paul is warning against what is essentially the epidemic of our time, namely a belief structure, a lifestyle and a doctrine all firmly rooted in the self.
Selfish: Too much concerned with one’s own welfare or interests, and having little or no concern for others; self-centered.
Ambition: A strong desire to gain a particular objective.
Conceit: A favorable and especially unduly high opinion of one’s own abilities or worth. Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance; vain; proud; egotistical; self-important.
(I did not make up these definitions, they are not figments of my imagination, they were made ) possible by www.dictionary.com) (No I'm not trying to plug them, nor am I receiving any monetary compensation for mentioning their name. Just in case someone was wondering, there it be!)
Let me begin by saying that there is nothing wrong with having ambition. If your ambition is to know more of God, to get deeper into the Word, to help the poor, to preach the gospel, all these are noble endeavors, and desires. The minute that ambition is coupled with selfishness or conceit however, it is transformed into a monster, willing to step on anyone’s dying corpse, betray and otherwise cast aside the closest of friends, because there is only one objective for the selfish and the conceited, and that is the end result, and if the end result is attained, well the means by which they were attained is no longer of any consequence is it?
Is it any wonder that the spiritual condition of this nation is as it is given that most pulpits are teaching the opposite of what the Word of God teaches? Although Christ and all the Apostles continually focus upon selflessness, lowliness, meekness, and humility, a great majority of today’s self anointed spiritual leaders are preaching an unapologetic form of self-centered humanism that goes far beyond what those of the world dared to teach when the self help movement was at its peak.
Selfish ambition, and conceit lead men to desiring praise for their endeavors, it leads them to desiring recognition and prominence, and such men have no qualms about being their own best spokesperson, constantly bringing themselves to the forefront, inflating their accomplishments, packaging themselves in such a way as to seem better than their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, in whatever their chosen field of ministry might be. When someone insists that they are a better preacher than their brother, that they pray with more fervor than their sister, that they sing better than others standing beside them on the platform, or that they contribute more to the work of God than fellow bond servants in Christ, they do this out of conceit, and a desperate desire to be acknowledged. Such men do nothing for the cause of Christ, they are not in ministry to further the kingdom of God or the gospel of Christ, they are in ministry simply to promote themselves, to amass followers and to achieve prominence. To them the sheep of God’s house are there simply for the fleecing, and there is no proven method that has worked better over time to keep the sheep coming back for more, than to tell them what they want to hear, rather than what they need to hear.
The beautiful thing about the Word of God is that when it gives a specific instruction, it also provides the means by which we can accomplish that which has been required of us. If the verse would simply have been ‘let nothing be done through selfish ambition of conceit’ one might have readily asked, but how? How can we make certain that nothing we do is done through selfish ambition or conceit? In His goodness God reveals to us the means by which we can ensure that nothing we do is done through these two soul crippling and sinful states.
We keep ourselves free of the snare of selfish ambition and conceit, by perpetually walking in lowliness and humility, regarding, respecting and prizing our brothers and sisters, better than we do ourselves.
But how you Romanian simpleton how do I regard and respect my brothers and sisters, how do I see them better than myself when they are not? I am better educated, have a better paying job, I stand up straighter, chew with my mouth closed, have better genes, am more eloquent, don’t speak with a lisp, and have better hair. How can I esteem others better than myself when I am clearly their superior?
Such thoughts arise in the hearts and minds of men when they contemplate this verse and attempt to go beyond the theory, beyond the mere reading of it, to actually applying it to their lives. Herein dear friends, we discover the wondrous mystery that is true unity within the body of Christ, the mystery of self-denial, and the mystery of being ever transformed into the image of Jesus. All the misunderstandings, all the divisions, all the differences, all the things that keep the children of God apart would melt away if we would only fulfill this verse, if we would only implement it every day of our lives.
So back to the original question: how do we esteem others better than ourselves, when our flesh, our hearts, our minds, even basic reason are screaming at us that we are their superiors? Find that one thing! Every person in the world is superior to every other person in the world at one thing. Emerson once said, that every man he meets is superior to him in some way. My dear friend it is an undeniable truth. Every person you meet is superior to you in some way, and esteeming them better than you do yourself only goes to show the world that you are a work of God’s grace, and a new creature in Christ. When we actively acknowledge and esteem those around us better than ourselves, the nature of Christ is visible from afar.
The conceited man will not acknowledge another’s superiority even though he is obviously inferior to the person. In his mind, he is so diluted and deceived that he is unwilling to consider the notion that some one is greater than them.
The truth is that talent, culture, book smarts, social standing, or estimated worth are irrelevant as far as the Gospel is concerned. The work of God’s grace is not contingent on how much money you have, how many years of high school or college you have under your belt, or what sort of people you know. The grace of God enters every heart that is open, and does a work in every person that submits and surrenders himself or herself to the Father’s will. Contrary to popular belief, God does not love the rich more, and the poor less, He does not have greater affinity for the gifted, whether it be in sports, the arts or some other chosen field, and is indifferent toward the average. The only thing God acknowledges, prizes, and rewards is obedience. So the next time the talking head on television chastises for not having enough faith to believe for the new boat, the new house, the better job, or the nicer car, turn it off, kneel before the heavenly Father, and thank Him for all the wonderful gifts He has bestowed upon you.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Intermission

Greetings to all on a rainy afternoon. I will continue with the study on humility tomorrow, but for now I just wanted to vent a little frustration, and I could think of no better place to do it. I was in the hand of help office, waiting patiently for the four o'clock radio program, when I received a call from an old friend. I will not name this friend, but it is one who ought to have known better than to ask me the following question: 'How long do you think God will keep punishing the financial system?'
Let's get one thing straight dear friends, this was not God, this was greed. Yes, God allowed it, but it was greed that led to the ultimate failure of the financial system, and the crisis we are about to be thrust into, like it or not. It was greed. God hasn't gotten started yet. Keep that in mind over the next few months, God hasn't even gotten started yet.
When the wrath of God is poured out upon a nation, it is nothing so insignificant as a handful of stockbrokers needing to up their heart medication, or people no longer being able to buy that newest and latest toy or gadget. We've not seen hardship in this country for eighty some odd years, but hardship is coming, and we will look back on yesterday and today and think of them fondly.
So if there's anyone out there that's still clinging to the sinking prosperity ship, looking for a life raft, I humbly present the Christ to you, that maligned, dismissed, rejected, relegated to the shadows Christ, whose love is so grand that He is still willing to embrace you and give you peace, comfort, joy and security in times of chaos and uncertainty.
I could go on, but the radio program is starting in no less than three minutes.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Way of the Humble Hearted Part 1

Proverbs 14:12, “There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”
James 4:10, “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up.”
Of all the things I could be writing about at this juncture, with everything that’s been going on in the world for the past few days, one might rightly wonder why I would choose to write about humility and pride. Well, if simply stating that I don’t like to be obvious and predictable isn’t enough of an answer to some, I will add that it is a topic that God put on my heart for the past couple days. Two days ago while I was doing a radio program, about halfway through I started talking about pride, especially within Christian circles and among evangelists and preachers, and as I continued to ponder the topic I realized that it deserved true exploration, and more than just a passing glance.
The truth of the matter is that all of us have, at one time or another felt the twinge of pride in our hearts. Those who know the dangers of pride, and the benefits of humility quickly squelch the feeling of pride, reminding themselves that that are but dust and bones, that anything worthy of praise within them is God and not themselves, but there are others, who feed the fires of pride, giving themselves over wholly and unrepentantly to this most dangerous of sins. Pride makes the flesh feel good, it allows men to see themselves in a better light than they truly are, feeding the old man while starving the spiritual one.
J.C. Ryle once wrote of pride, ‘It is a dreadful fact that pride is one of the commonest sins which beset human nature. We are all born Pharisees. We all naturally think far better of ourselves than we ought. WE all naturally imagine that we deserve something better than we have. Pride is an old sin. It began in the Garden of Eden when Adam and Eve thought they did not have everything that their merits deserved. Pride is a subtle sin. It rules and reigns in many a heart without being detected, and can even wear the garb of humility. Pride is a most soul ruining sin. It prevents repentance; keeps men back from Christ; checks brotherly love; and nips in the bud spiritual desires. Let us watch against it, and be on our guard. Of all garments, none is so graceful, none wears so well and none is so rare, as true humility.’
Today however, I did not want to write so much about pride, as I did about humility. A proud man is easy to spot if you know what to look for, if you possess the necessary discernment to see beyond the image they are projecting and weigh the heart of the individual. Just to cover all the bases, I will simply say that if a man promotes himself, talks about himself, elevates himself, honors himself, draws praise for himself while minimizing Christ, the role of Christ, the life of Christ, the character of Christ, and the need for Christ, that man has already been given over to pride, and unless he repents his end will be the way of death. We are no longer our own, we no longer have aspirations, we no longer desire positions we no longer hope that people identify us with a certain area of ministry once we’ve surrendered our all to Christ, once we have died with Him, but our sole purpose, desire and aspiration is to further the gospel and present Jesus to all who are ears to hear.
Philippians 2:3, “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.”
If one pays close attention to the writings of Paul, they will soon come to realize that the epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Philippians is perhaps the most intimate, personal and heartfelt of all his writings. It may be a reciprocation of the love the Philippians showed Paul time and time again, from Lydia opening up her home for her fellow brothers and sisters, to the entire body of believers in Philippi sending aid to Paul first in Thessalonica then in Corinth. Whatever the reason, the ways and means by which Paul instructs the church in Philippi is rare for a man of his character. As were most of the churches he wrote to, Paul established the church in Philippi, and on the particular occasion when he traveled there, Silas and Timothy and Luke were also present.
As is the case with any good work, Paul realized the enemy’s opposition to it. He also realized led by the spirit of God that the easiest way for the enemy to make headway, to cause division among the brethren and chaos with in the body of Christ was to fuel the fires of selfish ambition and conceit among them.
What some fail to understand is that it isn’t the truth you speak, or the good deed you perform, but the spirit that drives you to do them; that is what matters before God, and only He knows the heart of man and the intent with which the heart acted. Some people perform the work of God for the wrong reasons, and selfish ambition or conceit are just two of a myriad of reasons. When you throw greed, vainglory, and pride into the mix you begin to see a picture forming, one that is not at all pleasing to the eye. In his ever present wisdom Paul warns against those of the house of God from doing anything through selfish ambition or conceit, knowing that no good fruit can come from a bad tree, no worthwhile work can spring forth from a heart filled with selfishness and greed. Whether it is a spirit of division, one of pride, hidden agendas or greed, these things infect and pollute whatever good and noble act one might have performed, or whatever eloquent words one might have spoken.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Rhythm

One of the many downsides of traveling allot, is losing your rhythm. No, I don't mean one's ability to bob their head up and down to the beat of any particular song, but the loss of one's daily routine. When I first started this web long I was in the States, and every morning upon waking up, I would sit down and write something, anything, just to know that it got done. Once I started traveling back and forth to Europe again, I find myself being unable to find the time to get something down, and post it with any regularity.
In my defense, I've also been looking after my brother Daniel for the past couple weeks, and since he only has the use of one leg and is forced to use either a walker or crutches, I am as over protective of my little brother, as a mother hen would be of her chicks. Tomorrow I take him to the airport, since he is going back to Romania, and starting Thursday I will do my best to get back into the groove, the rhythm, the ritual, the routine, and post something on a daily basis.
If it does anything to aleviate some of your frustration in regards to my not posting anything, I did have a wonderful time with my little brother these past couple weeks.
I know allot has been happening in this country and in the world, I know some of you check every day to see if I've written anything concerning what's going on, but the fact of the matter is that nothing really needs to be written concerning current events. These events have been foretold, and now they are coming to pass. It's as simple as that. I am not one of those people who acting like an over caffeinated toddler starts screaming and banging on pots and pans to get every one's attention so I can tell them we were right. I can take credit for nothing in regards to fulfillment of prophecy, for they were God's revelations to begin with. What I can say, and what I will say, is that the worst is not over by a long shot, and any temporary relief they might be able to conjure up in regards to this nation's economy, will be just that, temporary.
Again, my apologies for being away so long, and with the Lord's help, you'll get fed up with all my posts soon enough.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Watching And Waiting

It has been about a week since I arrived back on American soil, and since that time I've been trying to get over the jet lag, catch up on some correspondence that has piled up, be a good host to my little brother Daniel who flew in five days after I arrived, and absorb all the information that has been pouring in on the current climate of this nation.
The day I arrived Ike hit Texas, and awestruck as everyone else I watched the devastation unfold. A couple days later the news of bank failures started making headlines and it has been a rollercoaster ride of misery for most people ever since.
It's one thing to talk about these things coming, these events unfolding in the abstract, as merely passing on a message that was received from God and faithfully transmitting it, and another to see that which has been foretold coming to pass before your very eyes. It is surreal, and even I, who have been hearing this message of judgment for the better part of twenty years am taken aback by the suddenness of it all.
As I stated some months ago, whether on this blog, in a sermon or in our newsletter, we are no longer living the season of warning, we have entered into the season of fulfillment. Now all we can do is watch and wait for the other proverbial shoe to drop. If anyone thinks the worst is behind is, they are sorely mistaken. Something far worse is in the wings, and I suspect that by year's end we will see turmoil in this country as has not been seen in many a decade.
Those who have been faithfullly building up their relationship with the heavenly Father, those who have been growing and maturing drawing ever closer to Him, look upon these events from a position of peace and shelter, for they are in His embrace where nothing can harm them.
It is those who have believed a false gospel and embraced a false christ that are now scrambling to make sense of it all, for all the promises that less then reputable men made them over the years of riches and prosperity are slipping through their fingers like so much sand. If you happen to be reading this post, and are such a soul, who believed that if they couldn't buy the favor of God, perhaps they could rent it for a couple hours, there is still time to know the one true God, to surrender yourself to the Christ who waits patiently for you to lay down your life, to die to self, that you may have life.
The dark days will only grow darker, but the children of God will find shelter in the light of His Word and promises. I will post something more substantial as I am able. My prayers are with all of you, especially those that had to deal with, and are still dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane. Even when we cannot see far enough into the future to understand the plan of God, we must be ever certain that He does have a plan.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

A Refresher Course

1 Corinthians 15:1-2, “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you – unless you believed in vain.”
This morning I spent a good ten minutes looking for my keys. It had only been a few hours since I had laid them down somewhere, after spending the evening with a couple brothers visiting from Wisconsin, but for the life of me I could not remember where I had placed them.
I have long believed man is a forgetful creature, and as I hunted desperately for my keys this morning, it became all the more apparent. There are certain things in this life that are worth keeping fresh and at the forefront of our mind on a daily basis. All of us vaguely remember having known certain things, that have somehow slipped from our mind, a certain passage from the Word, a certain lyric of a song, whatever it may be there is not a person alive on this earth that has perfect recall of everything they ever heard throughout their lives. There are even things we might have known very well once upon a time, over which the cobwebs of every day life have slowly grown until they are but a faint memory.
I know it might sound morbid to some, but I enjoy spending time in cemeteries, especially really old ones. I like reading headstones, seeing a life that once was encapsulated in a few words, whether they be loving husband, beloved mother, or adoring son. The older the grave markers, the harder they are to read, often shrouded in grass, weeds, and flowers. I think our memories can sometimes get that way, overgrown with the passage of time with the grass weeds and flowers of yet another season that has come and gone.
Whether we are just beginning our journey on this earth, or nearing its end, there are certain things that must be kept ever fresh in our mind’s eye. There are certain truths that can never be forgotten, over which the worries, fears, and uncertainties of this life can never be allowed to grow and consume. Even the most seasoned of Christians sometimes need a refresher course in the basics; they need to be brought back to the simplicity of the gospel and the pillars that hold up the entire weight of the Christian experience.
The Christians in Corinth were no different than many of us, and they needed a refresher course on the Gospel that the apostle Paul had preached to them. They had started to forget what was most essential and important in the scripture, that Jesus was crucified, that Jesus died, and that He rose again. It is in the cross and the resurrection that we must always dwell, it is these two essentials that can never be forgotten or allowed to lose their relevance. The Corinthians, like many Christians today had started chasing after miracles, after signs and wonders, and had forgotten the cross and the resurrection.
Theoretically the Christians of Corinth were in the Gospel, but practically they were far removed from it. We must continually and ceaselessly be refreshed and renewed in the gospel of the cross and the resurrection, for only in this way are we able to live a life in Christ.
Unfortunate as it might be, the practice of the church of Corinth is alive and well in the modern day church. Many who call themselves Christians, and children of God no longer believe in the resurrection, because they no longer live the Gospel of the cross in a practical manner. Yes, they perform certain religious formalities with great precision, but they no longer believe the promises of God’s Word, nor do they live within the shelter of the Holy Lamb’s blood, which is the cross. They have become separated from these truths, and strangers to them.
Salvation is a present work of God’s sovereign grace in the hearts of those who truly believe. When Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, he did not say that the gospel that he preached to them would one day save them, but rather the gospel had saved them. We are saved by the gospel presently, and the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of righteousness, the nature of Christ must be visible in us.
A perverted gospel, a gospel absent of Christ, the cross, and the resurrection, does not save, but merely soothes the burdened conscience. When men preach salvation by any other means but by Christ and the cross, they are preaching a perverted gospel that does nothing to unshackle the imprisoned soul, which does nothing to bring freedom and peace to the hearts of their hearers. I liken such experiences to a man who suffering from leprosy goes to the doctor, and after being consulted, the doctor tells his patient that he is healed. Awestruck by the doctor’s remarks, the man looks at his broken body, and tattered flesh, and says, ‘but there is no evidence of my healing, my flesh is still as it was, my disease is still present.’
Only through the gospel of Christ, only by way of the cross, by way of repentance and obedience to God’s Holy Word are we able to see the evidence of our being renewed, transformed, and brought from death unto life.
Galatians 1:6-8, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A Sovereign Encouragement

If one is a reader of the Word with any diligence and devotion eventually they will come to the realization that God’s means of encouraging and strengthening His beloved differ greatly from the means employed by many of today’s wildly popular preachers.
Today I was reading a passage in the book of Isaiah, and I couldn’t help but think how different God’s way of speaking encouragement into our lives is than that of mere men.
Isaiah 54:11, “O you afflicted one, tossed with tempest, and not comforted. Behold I will lay your stones with colorful gems, and lay your foundations with sapphires.”
Here is a word spoken by God that promises nothing in the way of the escapism we have come to be so comforted by. Although God acknowledges that His servant is afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, He does not proceed to promise that the affliction will end, that he will no longer be tossed about with tempest, or that he will finally find the much sought after comfort. God’s means of encouraging His child is the promise of a priceless reward for the faithfulness he exemplified while being tossed about with tempest, afflicted, and not comforted.
When we get sick, the first thing we do, is attempt to find a cure. Whether it is merely a common cold or something far worse, we want that pill, that shot, that treatment that will take away the pain, and make us feel better. In our walk with God, whenever we race affliction, whenever we are tossed with tempest, many of us run to God for comfort, for the remedy. We run to God not attempting to see His perfect plan for us in our affliction, not attempting to understand His thoughts rather than impose our thoughts upon Him, but to demand that the affliction cease, the tempest pass, and that we find our comfort.
What some of us, and I have been guilty of this a time or two throughout my walk, fail to understand, is that God sees beyond today, into tomorrow, into next week, next month and next year, and the affliction He allows to befall us today may be the means by which we are spared far greater affliction tomorrow. Often times we are as little children who get angry with our parents for slapping our hand away when attempting to touch a hot stove, and even when the parent takes the time to explain why it would have hurt much worse if they would have let us touch the stove than merely slapping our hand away, we fail to understand and appreciate the gesture.
I don’t know who this is for but it is something I felt I needed to write and post, even if you get angry with God for allowing affliction, even if you are unable to find your comfort, know that God will not apologize for what He has allowed in your life, because the alternative would have been much, much worse.
In every affliction, our foundation is strengthened, through every tempest we come out that much stronger, and as reward for our faithfulness God begins lay colorful gems and sapphires within the stones of our foundations. A proven faith is able to reach greater heights in God, and partake of a greater glory. A proven faith sees the afflictions and the hardships for what they are and glories in them for it knows the outcome of all trials, a closer and more intimate fellowship with the Father.
There is yet another thing God promises to those who remain faithful in the midst of the storm, those who are not discouraged or disheartened by their afflictions but press ever forward toward the eternity that awaits.
Isaiah 54:14, “In righteousness you shall be established, you shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear; And from terror, for it shall not come near you.”
God promises that He will establish us in His righteousness. When men are established in anything other than the righteousness of God, whether it is prosperity, strange doctrine, false manifestations or outright deception, their end will be likened to the end of those in the world who will suffer both oppression and terror. To His beloved children, those whom He has established in His righteousness God promises that they shall not only be far from oppression and terror, but that they shall not fear.
There is a distinct difference between affliction and oppression, between being tossed with tempest and outright terror and fear. The former things are allowed of God for our purification, maturity and testing, while the latter are reserved for those who reject Him, who mock Him, and deny Him.
The season is upon us wherein we must stand on the promises of God, our heavenly Father, and not be swayed by what the physical eyes see. We cannot be as those who stumble in the darkness, for we are children of the light and our path is clear before us, our destination preordained from the creation of the world. If perfect love casts out fear, then trust in our heavenly Father keeps it at bay, not allowing it to worm its way back into our hearts even when everything in the physical would suggest otherwise. God will never forget His servants, He will not abandon His children, and though it might seem that we endure affliction without end, seeking comfort and respite from our trials and not finding it, soon we will know the true measure of our Father’s protection and favor.
Isaiah 65:13-14, “Therefore thus says the Lord God: ‘Behold My servants shall eat, but you shall be hungry; behold My servants shall drink, but you shall be thirsty; behold, My servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed; Behold My servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of heart, and wail for grief of spirit.”

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

True Revival

Yesterday I got a chance to catch up on what’s been happening in the Christian world as of late. Apparently a whole lot can happen in the span of a few weeks, and as I read accounts of what was to be the most glorious revival of the past century, one that was to sweep the world and change men’s perception of God, my heart grew heavy, and I grew increasingly grieved.
To those of you who wrote me encouraging and admonishing me to go get soaked, catch the fire, absorb the anointing and dozens of other platitudes, well now you know why I did not go. No apologies needed. I understand.
The thing about revival is that when it is man centered, its inevitable end is obvious. Sooner or later all that is built upon sand, upon the character, charisma, or quirkiness of a man fizzles and dies out because there was no Sovereign substance to be had.
The reason I am grieved in my heart is not because sin was exposed, but because once again the faith of many was bruised, and in the end it is the sheep that end up suffering, shipwrecked and uncertain of where to turn. I know that some of you will roll your eyes and think to yourselves, ‘if they believed it, then they deserve everything that’s coming to them, all the hollowness, emptiness, disillusionment and hopelessness’, but lest we judge too harshly, remember that you were once a babe in Christ yourself. For those with no spiritual foundation, for those with no practical knowledge of the truth of God’s Word, it is easy to get caught up, and swept away. Again, the need for truth in this hour of great deception is obvious to all.
One would think we would have learned our lesson by now, and we would turn to God rather than seek out the anointing of men, but some souls just refuse to accept the simplicity of having a true and unshakable relationship with God. There has to be something that entertains, something that shocks the system, and something that is tangible and visible to the naked eye. Well, dear friend, true revival begins and manifests in the inward heart of a man. True revival begins not with a bang, a bam, a cacophony of noise and uncontrollable shaking, but with repentance and broken heartedness, with humility and meekness. True revival is not a means of entertainment, or a vehicle by which we exalt an individual, but the experience of realizing our own impotence, sinfulness, and depraved state, and surrendering ourselves to the grace and love of Christ Jesus.
Men with titles such as ‘Apostle’ and ‘Prophet’ are now scrambling to see what went wrong, how it was that such a movement was derailed in such an explosive and shameful fashion. If we look in the Word, the answer is obvious, even to one such as myself, who bears no title other than a servant of Christ.
When the messenger rather than the message is the center of attention, when man rather than Christ is lauded and lifted up, it is no longer a question of if something will go horribly awry, it is simply a question of when.
I have always been a firm believer that the messenger should remain faceless. When one recalls a meeting or a sermon, it should not be in the context or recalling the man’s appearance, or his face, but the message itself. When you can’t seem to recall what the messenger looked like, but remember every word of the sermon, when the message burns in your heart long after the face was forgotten, then the servant of God has done his duty, and presented Christ and Christ alone.
Unfortunately this will not be the last such ‘revival’ and soon enough I will start receiving correspondence once more encouraging me to go, and feel and experience something out of the ordinary. As I stated in a post some time ago, Christ is sufficient, and I desire nothing more than to be in His presence every morning and every evening, having fellowship and intimacy with Him.
Lest we return to the simplicity of the Gospel, lest we embrace the love of Christ, and desire nothing more than His presence in our lives, the faith of many more souls will be shaken, bruised, and otherwise brought low, because they will continue to go from one place to another, from one event to the next, seeking to find what can only be found in repentance and righteousness.
There are no shortcuts dear friends, no magic impartations, no means by which one can bypass the cross, by which one can do away with a time of seasoning and maturity. God established an order for a reason, and that reason is becoming ever more obvious with each passing day.
As Philpot so aptly put it, ‘Man’s religion is to build up the creature. God’s religion is to throw the creature down in the dust of self-abasement, and to glorify Christ.’

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fear Nothing

I am not a stone. I have heard men claim that they never need encouragement, that they can go throughout their life, chin up, head held high, wading through whatever difficulty may come with the greatest of ease. I don’t know if I really believe such claims, since even the Son of God needed encouragement, even the Christ needed to be strengthened, but if the claims prove to be true, I envy such men.
I woke up this morning less than enthusiastic about facing the day’s many challenges, and as I often do, turned to the Word for some solace and comfort. Often times God chooses to speak to us through His Word in such a way that a few verses can ease even the greatest of distress. Yes, it would be more interesting and it would make for a better post if I had heard an audible voice, or had a supernatural experience, but just going to God’s Word was sufficient for me on this particular day.
God knows what we need when we need it. Vitamin C is all well and good, but you can take it by the truckloads and still not get rid of a toothache. The beauty of our heavenly Father’s comforting is that it comes not only at the right time, but also in such a way that it has the intended effect.
I opened my Bible this morning to Psalm 46, a well-known passage in the Word, but one that I was able to see in a new light due to the way I was feeling.
Psalm 46:1-11, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacle of the Most High. God is in the mist of her, and she shall not be moved; God shall help her, just at the break of dawn. The nations raged, the kingdoms were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah
Come, behold the works of the Lord, who has made desolations in the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow and cuts the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!
The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah”

Seeing the world as it is, and not as we envision it to be is enough of a reason to spark fears into the hearts of many a soul. The fears are all encompassing, ranging from fear of being unable to provide for one’s family in the coming years, to fear of persecution, to fear of yet another global nightmare called a world war. We know dark days are coming, we have been forewarned and some have even been called to sound the trumpet of impending judgment, yet seeing it so close, witnessing the fulfillment of prophecy, it makes one’s heart skip a beat if not two.
Although the world has every right to fear, the children of God must be fearless in these days. We have found the cure for the fear that is plaguing mankind, and the only place this cure is found is in God. A true child of God knows that he has a refuge and strength in the Father even during the darkest of times. A Christian must know beyond doubt that even in the eye of the storm, God is there. He is ever present, and His promises to His children are not mere empty words, but guarantees that come what may, He is with us. We have provision not by earthly means, but by way of God’s miraculous ability to provide.
Yes, nations may rage, kingdoms might be moved, but in the midst of all these things God will help His beloved. We are about to behold the works of the Lord, and witness as He makes desolations in the earth. It must be so, for He is a just God, and His is a righteous judgment. In the midst of these things, we as His beloved children must fear nothing. If only for a second we would be still, if for an instant we would learn to hear His voice, we would know that He is God, and He is able.
I share this with you, because it strengthened me this morning, and I pray that it will be a comfort and strength to some of you.
I wish I can say, as some are saying that the worst is behind us, it was just a glitch in the machine, that the failsafe system has kicked in and we are back on track to a glorious future, but even those who are saying such things are only saying them halfheartedly because the storm clouds grow denser and darker with each passing minute.
Our earnest desire now more than ever must be fellowship with God, and nothing more. When we seek fellowship with Him, and by repentance, righteousness and humble petition achieve it, our place of refuge, our provision, our peace and our joy become a byproduct of that fellowship. If however we seek the provision, and the refuge while bypassing the fellowship we will discover the vanity of what we pursued only when it is too late. Every fulfillment of God’s promises to His children flows through intimacy with Him. The best way I can describe it, is that intimacy with God is the river that carries the fulfillment of His promises to us.
I stress this point because it is inevitable that voices once more rise up urging you to go to one place or another, promising safety and refuge, convincing in both their zeal and determination. I cannot tell you what to do, or where to go, nor can any other man. Only God can speak to you in such a way that you will know He has sent you. We must however remember the words of Christ who said, “therefore if they say to you, ‘look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or, ‘Look He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.”
It is this intimacy and fellowship with God, which we have been stressing lately, that keeps us from being deceived, for if we know the true voice of God, we will readily be able to discern the counterfeit.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bear Prodding

I have been unable to get a connection for some time. It seems everyone's discovered it is better to put a lock on your wireless network than let tourists use their internet connection. Finally got one that works a little and here is the article I promised. God bless.
There are few activities that are more dangerous than bear prodding, or as it is known in our part of the world, poking bears with a stick. Jumping out of an airplane without a parachute springs to mind, as does playing chicken with a bridge or a concrete wall.
In recent das there have been a rash of bear attacks in Romania, all but one involving overly eager and less than brilliant tourists who decided to get just a little too close, and try just a little too hard to get a reaction for that perfect, once in a lifetime photo opportunity reminiscent of a National Geographic cover. It was not enough to snap a shot as the bear was minding its business, going about its daily activities, no, they needed to see it reared up on two hind legs, to see the fangs bared, and hear the rumbling roar.
Needless to say, the got more than they bargained for when they discovered that bears, cuddly and furry as they might seem, really don’t like being pocked with sticks, heckled, pelted with rocks, or disrupted from going about their business.
In recent days, it seems we got bored with a failing economy, a housing crisis with no end in sight, a banking system on the verge of collapse, inner tensions and turmoil of an unprecedented nature, and decided it would be a distraction if not outright fun to start poking the bear with a stick.
What we’ve failed to understand yet again, is that the bear is smarter than we give it credit for, and although its movements might seem like random lumbering, cumbersome, ungraceful, reactionary and even accidental, it is in fact an agile highly intelligent killing machine that plans and executes its attacks with cunning brilliance and a violent finesse.
What is currently happening in Georgia is no fluke, it is no coincidence or happenstance; it is in fact quite deliberate and purposeful.
Soon we will discover the might of what we might have once believed to be a vanquished foe, and inconsequential enemy, and realize they are not the subservient obedient lemmings we’ve fashioned them to be. This bear has been neither caged nor domesticated, it does not fear the stick, or the electric prod, and no amount of idle threats will deter it from its purpose.
The tensions have only just begun, and in due season they will escalate exponentially because it has been written, we have been warned, and now it must come to pass. All we can do is wait patiently prayerfully upon the Lord and watch as the next chapter unfolds.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Labors Untold

I have not been sitting idle. I realize I've not posted something of substance in some time, but there are things that must take precedent, and being a hand of help to those in need is one of those things.
While on summer vacation visiting relatives two of the children in the orphanage were involved in a car accident, and we've been trying to get them as good a medical care as possible. Please keep them in your prayers, since one of them is in intensive care.
In between long drives during record breaking heat, I have been working on an article that I would have liked to entitle, 'bear poking and other ill advised and dangerous passtimes', but since this is a mouthful and a few words too long to be a title, I will simply call it 'Bear Prodding', having to do with the recent tensions between mother Russia and her offspring Georgia, as well as our self destructive need to meddle. It is in the finishing stages, and barring any unforseen circumstances, as well as having an internet connection, I will post it sometime tomorrow.
God bless you all for your patience, I know at least my friend Jim is frustrated at the lack of posts. Yes, Jim, I read your e-mails.

With love in Christ,

Michael Boldea Jr.