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Saturday, March 30, 2013

If They Hated Jesus...

If the way the church attempts to garner the world’s validation were not so utterly tragic, it would be outright humorous. Each time, I can’t help but think back to my own school days and how the nerdy kids would try to get close to the cool kids, and get their approval or be accepted into their inner circle.

No, I wasn’t one of the cool kids, but I had enough presence of mind and self-awareness to not care about the approval of my peers, be they football players or cheerleaders.

We’re batting our eyes and ‘doing the world’s homework’ just hoping they invite us to their next party, or walk down the hall with us during recess. The fact that the world has abused, belittled, mocked, denigrated, bullied, and marginalized the household of faith for as far back as one can remember doesn’t seem to be computing, and with each passing day we are trying to find reasons as to why we should still support worldly corporations, worldly athletes, or worldly movie stars with our hard earned money, even though we know better.

Either we are blatant sadists, screaming ‘thank you sir, may I have another’ as the world punches us in the throat repeatedly, or we are so afraid of being hated, we are willing to do absolutely anything just to keep the peace.

For some unexplained reason, I believe, today’s average believer has an aversion to being hated, and they will do almost anything to avoid being singled out and disliked by the world.

Other groups seem to have no qualms with being hated, and though their cause is less than honorable, and their behavior less than civil, they revel in the notion that they’ve successfully pushed someone’s buttons and they’ve reacted in a certain way.

It is elementary knowledge that Jesus forewarned us we would be hated by the world. He even went so far as to tell us why we would be hated, and implied that if the world hated us they did so because they saw Him in in us, which is a glorious, glorious thing.

To try and sidestep being hated, is in effect trying to minimize the light of Christ in you, or at least camouflage it to such an extent wherein the world will think you are one of their own.

As is the case with many words in our modern age, we’ve diluted the true meaning of the word hate, and in having done so, whenever we contemplate the reality of what Jesus said in regards to the world and their reaction toward us, we don’t fully understand what will soon transpire.

When Jesus spoke of the world hating Him, He did not mean that they stopped inviting Him to the family barbecues, unfriended Him on Facebook, or walked away mid-conversation because of something He’d said.

When Jesus spoke of hate, it was with the full knowledge that men were actively plotting His murder, bribing one closest to Him to betray Him, and spreading lies regarding His character and person.

The world will hate you with the selfsame illogical, maniacal, single-minded hatred with which they hated Jesus, and knowing this beforehand keeps us from being shocked or stunned when this does come to pass.

It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when. Jesus did not exaggerate; He did not embellish or otherwise inflate what we would have to contend with for the sake of making it seem exciting. Jesus spoke truth even when the truth He spoke was difficult to receive or accept.

In love, Christ forewarned those who would follow after Him that they would be hated because He was hated, by a world growing increasingly averse to the light of Jesus with each passing day.

1 Peter 4:112-13, “Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy. If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.”

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The god of Their Delusions

Recently one of the America’s most beloved, and simultaneously most blasphemous and heretical spiritual authorities came out with a video comparing the God of the Bible with a beat up Oldsmobile from his youth, a car which at the time served its purpose but was now good for nothing more than the trash heap.

He drew this comparison to highlight how the God of the Bible, the One True God, the God to which all creation will one day inevitably bow, was acceptable to a less enlightened version of humanity, but we who have blazed the trail of the internet and all its many wonders must upgrade the God of the Bible and give him a makeover.

Being the generous chap that he is, this man graciously offered to introduce us to his god, a god who is nothing more than a manmade apparition, a god of his own delusion and debased mind.

For the sake of argument, let’s say the God of the Bible is like an Oldsmobile. Frankly, I’d rather be in an Oldsmobile during a collision than in a Smart Car. You might have a bump on your head, and a few bruises to show off to your coworkers the next day, but the Oldsmobile is built solid, and chances are better than good that you are more likely to survive in the Oldsmobile than in the Smart Car in case of an accident.

God isn’t broken. Stop trying to fix Him!

God’s Word is not past its prime, antiquated, or no longer viable for our enlightened and overly stimulated generation.

It is man who has turned his back on God, and with the aid of such wolves as the individual to whom I am referring – whose name happens to rhyme with hell for anyone interested – the hearts of many are growing cold, and the one true God is being ignored, mocked, and maligned.

Look, mister horn rimmed fancy pants, original as you may think yourself to be, unprecedented and fresh as you might believe your ideas and ruminations, there have been countless others before you who having gone down the path of heresy had their conscience seared and their spiritual lives shipwrecked.

Remember the Gnostics? Yeah, those guys a long time ago who thought they had it all figured out, who thought they’d outgrown the God of the Bible, and no longer had need of Jesus as Lord, King, and Savior.

Guess what? All the Gnostics of that time are dead and gone, no more than ash, if that, yet the Word of God remains, the Christ is still worshiped and praised and men still seek Him for the salvation of their souls.

So the next time another wannabe original wants to pass off esoteric mysticism as a new way of seeing the one true God, just remember: not only are they unoriginal, in case of an accident the Smart Car god they’re trying to sell you on will do nothing to protect you.

Worshiping the gods of our own delusions might seem fun for a while but only insofar as the sun is shining, the road is clear, and there are no hurdles along the path.

When the storm clouds roll in and the weather turns and the only hope left is in something other than yourself, that’s when you know if you are serving the one true God, or a god of your own invention. Though you may call out, though you may plead, if you are serving an idol of your own making, your god will not answer, because he does not exist.

In order to know, and fellowship with the one true God, we must foremost submit to His will, His authority, and His purpose for our lives. We must subjugate our pride, and come to terms with the reality that we are not the top of the food chain, we cannot will God into doing what we want Him to do, and though we might like to change Him in some way or another, He is the God who changes not.

We have sacrificed righteousness, holiness, and sanctification on the altar of cultural relevance, and in so doing we have abandoned truth and light and wisdom.

Sorry. No, I don’t want to be culturally relevant, I just want to be Kingdom relevant, and if that makes me a hater, a Neanderthal, a relic, or whatever else men such as this will call those who continue to cling to the Old Path, so be it.

As Elijah once said to the prophets of Baal, ‘you call on the name of your god, I will call on the name of the Lord, and the God who answers by fire – he is God.’

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Importance of Foundation

One of the many things I will be eternally grateful for in this life is the discipleship I went through in my younger years while serving as my grandfather’s translator. It was not with the intent of pursuing ministry on my own, nor was it for any vested interest, but for the pure desire to grow in God and be evermore rooted and grounded in Him.

It seems to me in recent years we’ve lost sight of the importance of having a stable and solid foundation. We’ve lost sight of the importance of being disciples, and insist on being viewed as spiritual authorities the moment we get our name printed on the bottom right corner or our Bibles in gold leaf.

I fear one of the reasons for so much foolishness, deception, and outright heresy in our day and age is the absence of discipleship when it comes to new converts, and those called to repentance. We’re so enamored with the numbers, we so want to have more converts today than we did yesterday and more tomorrow than we did today, that even if someone twitched involuntarily, or happened to scratch their nose while we were giving the altar call, we count them among the saved and eternally secure.

Granted, some do respond honestly and desire to give their hearts to Christ, but even they are told once they raised their hand and said a short prayer nothing more need be done, ever, and all they really need to do now is direct deposit a tenth of their earnings into the church’s account.

Discipleship is necessary for a true and stable foundation. We must know what we believe, why we believe it, that what we believe is in harmony with the Word, and make certain we will not be swayed once these things have been established in our hearts and minds.

Because so few have a true foundation in Christ, the ‘hath God said’ deception is in full swing, clouding the conscience of many and causing a disturbing number of souls to go off into the desert thinking they’ve spotted an oasis. There is no oasis in the desert. It is only a mirage beckoning the gullible to walk further and further away from truth until exhaustion finally claims them.

The notion of being as a house built upon the rock doesn’t appeal to many folks nowadays, because they would much rather have a home on wheels which they can maneuver whenever and however often they deem fit. Whenever what they hear is not pleasing to their flesh, whenever they are challenged or called to repentance, they just fire up the old motor coach and puddle on to the next destination where the preacher is more welcoming and tolerant, and his theology is less stringent.

The only problem is that since a body in motion tends to stay in motion, such individuals go from one place to another, one congregation to another, never finding their place, perpetually bouncing back and forth, consumed with finding the ideal comfort rather than growing and pursuing God.

Ask any disciple and they will tell you their singular concern, desire, and purpose is to be more like the Master. It is not to be at ease, it is not to be comfortable, it is not to be pampered, coddled, or praised, it is to be rooted in Jesus, grounded and founded in Him, perpetually transformed by the connection of our roots taking their nourishment from Him and His nature.

The storm is here. It is no longer afar off, it is no longer on the horizon, the storm is here and if our foundation is not sure, if we are not firmly affixed to the Rock having Him as our foundation, we will be swept away like all the others who never took the time to fortify and sanctify themselves in Christ.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

When Ye Pray...the Kindle Version

For those of you who were waiting with bated breath for the Kindle version of 'When Ye Pray', you wait is over. The book is now available in the Kindle format for $4.99, the price of a swanky cup of coffee at any overpriced chain. I will include the link below, and if you haven't read the series on this blog, and didn't feel like shelling out the clams for the paperback version, now there's a third, and more inexpensive option.

If you've ordered the paperback, read it, and it has blessed you, I would also ask you take a second to rate the book on Amazon, and leave your impressions concerning this first of three volumes about prayer.

As always, thanks for your prayers, thanks for reading, and may God keep you close to Him.

                                  'When Ye Pray' Kindle Version

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, March 22, 2013

The Ever Changing World of Men

If the Christians of old were as spineless, compromising, mealy mouthed, and wavering as most of today’s professing Christians, I submit to you that there would have been no martyrs, and the persecution which marked the primary church would have never occurred.

If compromise were an option for those of the primary church, surely they would have chosen it, since no one likes to be imprisoned, beaten, tortured or killed if they can avoid it.

If giving in to the demands of the governing body of the age were a viable option, why would anyone choose to be devoured by lions, crucified, or burned alive just out of stubbornness?

If there is one visible constant in this present generation, it’s that we are full of ourselves.

The claims we make are more audacious with each passing day, and the conclusions we come to are staggering in their implications if one takes the time to logically reason them out.

Apparently ‘the faith once delivered to the saints’ has only just been discovered, and for two thousand plus years men who bled and suffered and died for the sake of Christ their Lord completely missed the boat and perished in vain.

True worship, true faithfulness, true transformation of mind and heart no longer consists in loving what God loves and hating what God hates, but in disregarding God’s word and will altogether, and telling Him what He must love, and what He cannot hate.

The voices of the famed, the loved, and the embraced within Christendom are telling us to adapt or die. We must embrace sin for our own good, we must call darkness light for our own self-preservation, because wouldn’t you know it the world is-a-changing and if we don’t change right along with it, we run the risk of dying the death of a thousand cuts.

The only way to reach the world today is to wink at their sin, and embrace their perversions, reminding them that God is love, but forgetting to likewise mention that love without justice is a lie, a misshaped, deformed thing, bearing only the appearance of love.

The world of men is ever changing, but the God who created this world does not change. He is forever and always the same, whether yesterday, today, or a thousand years from now.

Try as we might to circumvent this truth, try as we might to pretend as though we can will God into being more broad-minded and accepting of sin, His Word stands as testament to the contrary.

The world will continue to praise and embrace those who would wink at sin, while marginalizing and demonizing those who speak against it, because the world’s intent is to dilute the household of faith to the point of irrelevancy.

When once we compromise on a thing, the enemy will return the next day and demand we compromise on two. When once we compromise on two things, the enemy will return the day after and demand we compromise on four. It is a never ending cycle wherein the believer, the congregation, or the church in general is worn down bit by bit, until righteousness is thoroughly silenced and what was to be the light on a hill is but a dying ember.

We can go with the flow or stand against the tide. We can be the yes men of the world, or the bondservants of Christ Jesus. We can choose to compromise and be embraced by the godless, or stand on truth, rooted in the Word, and be thoroughly hated and maligned.

One thing is certain: the coward is readily forgotten, while the valiant and true are remembered evermore.

Temporary acceptance or eternal reward; this is the choice we are faced with today, and when one thinks it through, it really isn’t a choice. As for me and my house we will serve the Lord!

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

The Blessed and the Cursed Part 3

Psalm 1:4-6, “The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

While the first part of this psalm was no less than a benediction, a list of blessings God would bestow upon the godly and those who found their delight in Him, the second part of this psalm speaks of the ungodly and what will become of them.

First, the psalmist compares the ungodly with chaff which the wind drives away.

The ungodly have no foundation to speak of. Where the godly are like trees planted by rivers of water, whose roots are deep and true, the ungodly are blown about by the wind, driven away by every gust, because they have no foundation, they are not tethered to anything, and as such are easily moved, swayed, and convinced.

The godly have access to the storehouse of God’s blessings, the storehouse of God’s gifts, while the ungodly do not, because they cannot stand in the congregation of the righteous.

We’ve been trying to blend the godly and ungodly and make them into one inert mass for so long, that we’ve decided to do away with what the Bible says about light and darkness not being able to coexist. Because it was better for the bottom line, we’ve decided to ignore what the Word has to say about the ungodly and the godly having two distinct paths that they follow.

In the hopes of attracting more of the ungodly to the house of God, we’ve even twisted scripture to the point of insisting that sinners can stand in the congregation of the righteous, and though God might disapprove of certain practices, no way would He send anyone to destruction or allow anyone to perish.

This first psalm leaves nothing to chance, nor does it leave any room for ambiguity. There are the godly, then there are the ungodly. There are those who do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly then there are those who play games with God, thinking they can wear Him down if they keep at their foolishness long enough.

If the Bible says something is sin, yet you are trying to find the one preacher that says it isn’t, you’re just fooling yourself. You are playing a dangerous game with an omnipotent God because to you, your sin, your habit, your addiction or your perversion is more important than surrendering your heart to God, and obeying Him in spirit and in truth.

If you look long enough, if you look hard enough, you will always find someone who will condone and validate your lifestyle, your sin, or your proclivity. There are preachers out there who don’t care whether you’ve ever repented of your sins or not, who don’t care whether you are presently living in active and open rebellion toward God, who don’t care if you continue in sin, as long as you send in a check, or put a few bucks in the offering plate.

The world loves those kinds of preachers.

‘Just don’t talk to me about repentance, holiness, righteousness, abstaining from sin and striving for godliness, and we can be friends, and I’ll support your ministry, and even tell others about it.’

Preach as Jesus commanded we preach, tell those who would hear that they must repent and that no matter how much they give to a certain cause or a certain ministry they cannot buy their way into heaven, and you’ll be labeled a fundamentalist, a zealot, a fanatic, an extremist, and these are just the names I include in this teaching without getting three dozen e-mails about the use of profanity in my writings.

Men don’t like being challenged about their sin. Men don’t like being told they must repent, and men really don’t like being reminded that God Himself differentiates between the godly and the ungodly, the saved and the unsaved.

If the Bible would say something different, I’d be preaching something different. But since the Bible speaks of repentance, and Jesus, and John, and Peter and Paul and every New Testament author spoke of repentance, or turning away from our sinful past that we might embrace a glorious future in Christ, we are obliged to speak the same truth, and call men to repentance as ardently as they did two thousand years ago.

The godly, the righteous, the saved, the redeemed, are blessed…the ungodly are not so.

There are only two paths. There are only two avenues we can walk upon, and whether it’s the narrow path of faith, or the wide path which leads to destruction is entirely up to us.

God has made it abundantly clear in His word what becomes of the ungodly, of those who choose the wide path of the world, and this first psalm concludes with the stern warning that the way of the ungodly shall perish.

It doesn’t matter how good the way looks, how safe the way looks, how easy the way looks, the word of God tells us that the way of the ungodly perishes as do all who walk upon it.

For some as yet unexplained reason, many in the church look upon those of the world and desire to be more like them rather than more like Jesus. We have been told the end of those whose hearts have not surrendered to Christ is destruction, we have been told that they will perish if they do not repent, yet we look upon them and decide in our hearts that the answer to drawing more people into the house of God, is to become more like the world we’re hoping to pluck them from.

Does that make sense to you? To be honest it makes absolutely no sense to me.

You don’t try to pull someone out of the mud just to offer them a less rancid version of the selfsame mud. You don’t try to pry someone from the grips of spiritual death just to offer them a more comfortable state of sedation wherein they are in a vegetative state, very close to death, but not quite dead enough to bury six feet under.

It is because we’ve diluted the message of the gospel to the point that it has become of no effect that so few are truly turning their hearts to the Lord, and choosing the narrow path of faith. How can one walk the narrow path if they were never told a narrow path exists? How can one choose and differentiate between the path of the godly and the ungodly if those in spiritual authority over them never took the time to disciple them and show them the difference between these two paths, and that they exist?

Two paths stand before every man. We choose either the path of the godly or the ungodly; the path of the blessed or the path of the cursed; the path of light or the path of darkness. Depending on which of these two paths we choose, we will either be blessed of the Lord, or perish in our own hedonism and self-flattery.

One day we will stand before the creator of all that is. One day we will stand before the God of the universe, and all our self-importance all our vainglory, all our vanity will be stripped away and all that will remain will be the reality of who we truly are, and what path we chose in this life.

It’s not complicated, it’s simple really. We choose life or death, we choose to live with the godly, or perish with the ungodly, and the choice is exclusively ours as individuals.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Blessed and the Cursed Part 2

As we continue to search out this benediction, we see the three stages of a man’s downward descent. First the man walks, then the man stands, and finally the man sits. One who begins to walk in the counsel of the ungodly will likely stand in the path of sinners, and finally sit in the seat of the scornful.

We are obliged by the word of God to flee from the counsel of the ungodly and thus end the cycle before it begins.

As the Psalm continues, we also come to see that it’s not enough to keep from evil, but our heart must be given over to good.

There are men in this world who are not necessarily evil. These are men who don’t murder, who don’t cheat, who don’t do any of the things we associate with evil men, but their delight is not in the law of the Lord, and they do not meditate in His law day and night.

It is not enough for us to consider ourselves good people, moral people, spiritual people; we must delight in the Lord, and desire more of Him in our lives, and perpetually so.

If we delight in the selfsame things after coming to Christ than we did before coming to Him, we must diligently search our hearts because something just isn’t right.

When we come to the saving knowledge of truth, when we come to the saving knowledge of Christ, we begin to delight in Him rather than the things we once delighted in.

The Word of the Lord and the law of the Lord become our delight, and we meditate upon them because we know they are the only path to true joy, true fulfillment, and true peace.

What do you delight in? That is a question only you can answer. If you delight in the word of the Lord, then you delight in righteousness and truth. If you delight in the fleeting, passing pleasures of the world, then you delight in the temporal.

We cannot belong to God and delight in the things of the world, just as those of the world do not delight in the law of the Lord.

What you delight in today will set the course for your tomorrow.

What are the benefits of one who is blessed? What are the benefits of one who not only keeps himself from evil but delights in the law of the Lord?

The first benefit is that he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season.

So what’s so great about being like a tree planted by the rivers of water?

The number one reason a tree becomes fruitless, withers, and dies is lack of water. When the roots of a tree have no water source, when the roots of a tree go deep into the ground but find no water there, the tree itself begins to wither and eventually, inevitably die.

Even though the root of a tree is invisible, it is the most important aspect of the tree itself. It is the root of a tree that allows nutrients to flow to the branches, and if the roots are deep and planted by the rivers of water, the fruit the tree produces will be plentiful indeed.

The roots determine the strength of a tree. If a branch withers there is still a chance that the tree itself will survive. If the root withers there is no chance of survival for the tree is essentially dead.

When we flee the appearance of evil and delight in the Lord, we never run the risk of withering and dying. God promises to plant us by the rivers of water wherein we will always have an abundance of the living waters of life which cause us to grow and be fruitful.

Not only does God promise that we will be like trees planted by the water, we will also bring forth fruit in due season. Being fruitful is a necessity for every child of God. Because our roots are deeply tethered in truth, because the living waters nourish us, we are fruitful in the things of God, and our fruit is readily visible by all who would look upon us.

Even though some refuse to acknowledge it, there is an underlying reciprocity throughout the word of God, and we see God Himself using the word ‘if’ often. Since we know God to be meticulous in the wording He chooses, since we know that nothing superfluous with God, since we know that He means what He says and He says what He means, when God says He will plant us by rivers of water if we do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, we realize we have a role to play in this. It is incumbent upon us to choose light over darkness, truth over deception, the God of heaven over the god of this world, and in so doing we will be blessed of Him, and kept by Him, and victorious through Him.

One last blessing for those who guard their hearts, flee from evil, and delight in the law of the Lord is that they will prosper in whatever they do.

So many things we attribute to our own ingenuity, our own abilities and our own intellect really have nothing to do with us. Sure, we might endeavor and try and strive, but if God is not in it and if God doesn’t bless it, we are essentially tilting at windmills and trying to push a boulder up a hill all at the same time.

When God blesses the work of our hands, when God blesses what we do, even the most difficult tasks become easy and trouble free. When God’s hand of blessing is not upon our labors, we will work ten times as hard and have half the reward, because when God isn’t in it, we earn our daily bread by the sweat of our brow, and do so the hard way.

The promises of God are as valid today as they were when the psalmist penned this psalm. God has not changed, therefore His promises for His children have not changed either.

The benefits of turning our back on evil and finding our delight in the Lord are incalculable. Not only will we know that God stands with us, protects us, and blesses the works of our hands, we will likewise know that we are fruitful in the things of God because we are planted by the living waters of the gospel.

The Word of God is clear, and there is no room for doubt or interpretation as to whether or not we should break ties with sin and with the things of this world, which do nothing to mature us and grow us in the Lord. Anyone who still questions whether or not God demands repentance, righteousness, and holiness does so either because they haven’t read the Bible, or because they are willfully ignorant and are pretending as though they did not understand or perceive even though the truth was made evident to them.

Whether we are as a tree planted by rivers of living water, or a tree planted in the desert is something dependent upon whether or not we heed the warnings of God, and guard our hearts against evil in its many forms.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Blessed and the Cursed Part 1

Psalm 1:1-3, “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in is season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper.”

The entire theme of the first psalm is the blessing and joy of the righteous and godly, juxtaposed with the curse and judgment of the ungodly. The purpose and desire of the psalmist is to show us and teach us the way to joy, the way to blessing, and the way to peace everlasting, which is not found in the things of this earth or the practices of the ungodly.

In our modern age and our modern culture we have a tendency to blur the lines when it comes to the godly and the ungodly. We find excuses for certain practices, certain vices, certain dare-we-say sins – yes, I know it’s not popular to call sin, sin anymore but here we are – not taking into account that for every act of rebellion, for every act of disobedience, there is a consequence.

As we begin to go beyond the surface layer of this first Psalm and dig a little deeper, we come to realize that this first Psalm, and as consequence the entire book of Psalms begins with a benediction.

Although most benedictions are spoken at the end of a religious service, we see the book of Psalms beginning with one.

‘Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful.’

God’s first intent, God’s first desire was to bless man. When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in the garden, it was to bless them, and give them all that they would ever need. God does not judge, nor does He punish because it brings Him pleasure, but because His justice demands it.

As we read this benediction, we can’t help but notice that it doesn’t say those who do not walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, nor sit in the seat of the scornful, will be blessed at a later date, but that they are presently blessed.

If you are not walking in the counsel of the ungodly, and are instead walking in the counsel of the godly, you are already blessed for the counsel in which you are walking is righteous and true.

If you are not standing in the path of sinners and are instead standing in the path of the righteous you are already blessed for the path of righteousness leads to an eternity with Jesus.

If you are not sitting in the seat of the scornful and are instead sitting in the seat of the gracious you are already blessed because the love of God is shining through you.

When we know the godly from the ungodly, when we know the sinner from the saint, when we know the scornful from the humble and the meek, it means we possess discernment, and one cannot have a blessed life without discernment.

When we can rightly discern good from evil, and choose the way of good despising the way of evil, we are delighting in the Lord and are under the shadow of His wing.

We choose the company we keep. We choose the path we walk, we choose the things we say, we choose the actions we undertake, we choose the things we watch, we choose the things we listen to, and when our choices are in harmony with the word of God, when they are in harmony with the will of God, we are already blessed.

‘Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly!’

The man is not ignorant of the counsel of the ungodly, he doesn’t pretend as though said counsel does not exist, he knows it is there, he has heard it, and he chooses not to walk in it. We make conscious choices whether to follow after Christ, or after the words of men, whether to follow after the word of God, or the things men interpret the word of God to be.

We like to play games with the Bible; we like to play games with God, as though our eternity didn’t hang in the balance. I am often befuddled by the laisser-faire attitude so many professing Christians have toward sin, toward the counsel of the ungodly, or the things they talk themselves into doing because even though it presses right up against the line, it isn’t really crossing the line.

We want to know how close we can get to the fire before it burns us, but we will only know this when it starts to burn.

We must be wise enough to be content with knowing that fire burns, and not stick our hand in it to see if it’s true. Likewise, sin kills. The Bible says sin kills. Stay away from it and don’t try to disprove the Bible because you’re going to be on the losing side of this particular equation.

The Bible clearly tells us we are to flee the appearance of evil. You might not know its evil for sure, but if it even appears to be evil, it’s your duty to flee from it, to distance yourself, back away swiftly, and have nothing to do with it.

When we’ve started to dialogue with the devil, when we’ve decided to stand in the path of sinners and get their side of the story, we’ve already lost. There are certain things we as believers cannot make concessions with, and sin is one of those things.

We start out by walking, then standing, then getting comfortable enough to sit in the presence of sin, and when we get comfortable with sin, when our conscience no longer calls out for us to repent and to return to God, we have become the ungodly, those who no longer serve God, or submit to His authority.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The State of Affairs

If I write one more article on the state of the world or the state of the church for that matter, I think I may need a cup of hot cocoa and a quiet chair to sit in for a few hours. The alternative to that would be clawing at my own head and mumbling to no one in particular, ‘why don’t they get it? Why can’t they see?’

Even to my own ears the words of warning seem to ring hollow because try as the few might to stir the hearts and open the eyes of the many, the pull toward compromise, indifference and a feigned imitation of true worship are just too strong.

It has come to the point that men are openly mocking the one true God while claiming to be His servants and followers. We try to justify their actions, we try to find the good in their endeavors, but all we’re really doing is finding excuses to put off confrontation or heaven forbid stand for truth.

It hasn’t come to blows, it hasn’t come to prison terms or the threats of violence, and the church is already caving in, and averting its gaze from the monstrosity it is becoming. We can pretend all we want. Reality is stubborn and unmoving, and eventually we will have to face it.

Maybe I’m missing it. Tell me if I am, but the way I see it, the church has actively been silenced by a handful of entitled, obnoxious, overly loud and in-your-face proponents of sin, and not much else.

As yet, we’ve not seen the legislation that is soon to come making it a crime to speak out against sin, as yet we’ve not seen pastors imprisoned, churches shut down, and militant activists turn violent, and we’ve already given up the battle, acquiesced to the enemy, all the while telling ourselves we just need to pick a better spot, bide our time and find a better opportunity to stand our ground.

With everything that’s happening and the speed with which it is happening, the church is alarmingly indifferent, sedated by the promise of wealth transfers, and pre-tribulation rapture. The household of faith seems too busy packing their bags to raise their voice, and too busy counting their money to see the darkness spilling into their homes, and churches, and communities.

How many times and in how many ways do you try to wake someone up before you write them off for dead and move on to the next individual?

Yes, I know, Jesus left the 99 and went back for the one sheep, but what if the sheep keeps kicking you in the face while you’re trying to pull it out of the muck, as though it enjoyed its present existence and you were nothing more than a nuisance and inconvenience?

At least when judgment descends we will have no moral ground to ask ‘why’ of God, knowing full well why judgment had to come, and clean and purge and upturn the temple, and the inner courts.

I will be guilty of no man’s blood upon my hands when that day comes, and that is why I continue to do my utmost to stir men to repentance.

For a while there, the name calling didn’t bother me anymore, but once supposed Christians started calling me what those of the world have always been calling me, well, that stings a little.

I know I’m not the only one feeling this frustration. I know I’m not the only one feeling as though he is tilting at windmills, and although I could try to placate you with some inane platitude that seems to work wonders for Joel Osteen fans, I’m not to the point of selling out quite yet.

Having known these days would come doesn’t make it any easier, but at least those of us who heeded, are spiritually prepared, having fasted and prayed up as we knew we ought to have done.

No one ever said it wouldn’t get difficult, painful, tragic, and heartbreaking. God just promised He would get us through it all if we clung to Him. I fear the days are soon upon us, wherein brother will betray brother, and father will betray son, and that, I believe, will be the true test of our faithfulness and steadfastness.

May we stand and never waiver in Christ.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An Audio Message

I preached this sermon near the tail end of 2012, and I believe it is worth a listen. And so, although it's on YouTube, it's just the audio from that morning.

Wisdom dictates that we be aware of the times we are living in, and believe truth even if truth is far more difficult a thing to accept than the fallacy of hyper-optimistic scenarios so many choose to embrace as the days grow darker.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Old Lion

The old lion roamed his territory with the ease and authority of one who had never known anything other than being the king of the jungle. Sure, he was getting old, his joints were aching, and his roar was far worse than his bite, but as long as the younger lions didn’t get a hint of this, as long as he could still project authority and supremacy, the old lion knew the inertia of his reputation alone would carry him for years to come.

The young lions were getting brazen. With far more frequency than in his younger years the old lion realized his resolve was being tested, and the testing of his mettle had become a commonplace thing.

Although far from his intellectual peak, the old lion still had enough sense to realize that the instant one of the young lions bloodied him, the instant his vulnerability was established, it was done. The game was over.

Even his roars seemed hollow in the old lion’s ears. He knew there was very little he could back them up with, and if push came to shove, and a worthy opponent stepped up to challenge him, he would have to back down and retreat.

It is a pitiable thing to live off one’s former glories, to live in the nostalgia of when one was on top of the world, long ago, and a generation away. Every story they tell is of the past, and every achievement and triumph is tethered to what they once were, not what they’ve become.

From the night janitor at the local grocer who will tell anyone willing to hear how they scored the winning touchdown during the final minute of the state championship finals, to the graveyard shift waitress who is quick to remind her co-workers she was once prom queen of her high school, some people just get trapped in the past and are never able to excel past that moment when they perceived they reached the height of their accomplishments.

It’s sort of sad when an individual does it. It’s downright dangerous when an entire nation does it.

We are the old lion. Our best days are behind us morally, economically, and militarily. We are not the nation we once were, and everyone can see it. Yet, we’re still living in the nostalgia of past glories and off the hard won reputation of a generation largely returned to the dust.

I’ve said the following often, and to many people because I believe in the veracity of the statement. If it was the generation of the 1940s confronting what is currently happening in the world and not this present generation, I would hold out hope that we could right the ship, and rediscover the strength of humility and power of repentance.

Anyone who has studied history will tell you people were just different back then. They were more willing to help their neighbor, they were more willing to lend a hand, they were less self-involved, less self-obsessed and more willing to recognize God’s hand in the wellbeing of their nation and government.

We are no longer the young lion of yesteryear, but a grizzled, and in many respects feeble lion whose constant hope is that another lion won’t want to pick a fight. Sure, we’re still a match for the lesser beasts of the jungle, we can still take on a zebra, a hyena, perhaps an antelope even, but a pack of young, hungry, fit, and bloodthirsty lions we are no match for, and we know it.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Conviction versus Condemnation

One of my least favorite things ever, is having someone quote a scripture passage to me in the hopes of defending the status quo of their existence. It is not because they desire to search out the Scriptures and see what they say, it is because they’ve already made up their mind, concluded that they are unwilling to part with their sin, and as a straw man argument they quote a random verse meant to justify their lifestyle. Most of the time they don’t even quote the whole verse because it would nullify their argument, so they choose a handful of words and run with them as though they were being chased by a rabid dog.

By far, the most often quoted scripture I have to contend with whenever the topic of holiness, righteousness or sanctification comes about and someone just doesn’t want to pursue them is Romans 8:1. Mind you, it’s not the whole verse they quote, just the first half, because it’s that first half that justifies their lukewarm lifestyle.

‘There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,’ and that’s as far as they get, because to go further would be to undo their own argument.

First, the entirety of the verse says this:

Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

There are certain truths we must extract from this verse if we are to understand it correctly, apply it to our lives, and understand the difference between conviction, condemnation, and why we cannot view the two as interchangeable.

First off, to quote the first half of this verse without acknowledging the existence of the second half is disingenuous and pharisaical. Paul spells out what it means to be in Christ Jesus, and what it means to be in Christ Jesus is to no longer walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

If we walk according to the Spirit, then we are walking in righteousness and holiness, because the Spirit of God will never lead us to sin, compromise, or the things of the world.

Anyone who insists that the Spirit gave them freedom to pursue worldly lusts, to return to the mire from which they were plucked, or to embrace those things which God calls sin, is not being led by the Spirit of God, but by the spirit of this world.

Throughout my years of ministry and of preaching the truth of God’s Word I have caused a considerable amount of anger among believers because they interpreted the conviction of the Lord as my condemning them.

Once again, there is a difference between conviction, and condemnation. It is when we confuse the two that we grow angry with those whom God has brought in our path in order to correct us.

When one is convicted they are declared guilty of a certain thing. When one is condemned they are sentenced to a particular punishment for what they have been convicted of.

When God convicts us of something, it is so we might repent, and turn away from it.

When God condemns men of something, He has already passed sentence, the punishment has been established, and there is no room for recourse, repentance, or appeals.

God convicts us so He won’t have to condemn us.

When we are in Christ there is no condemnation. When we know we have erred, when God convicts us, we can repent, and upon repenting we are forgiven.

This, however, does not mean there is never conviction when we are in Christ.

As God chisels and molds us, as we continue to mature and grow ever more in His likeness, there are new things He convicts us of. Things we must lay aside and do away with. God does not convict us so that He might later condemn us; He convicts us out of love and a desire to see us grow in Him, and in His likeness.

No, there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ, because they are no longer walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. There is however conviction and it is when God stops convicting us that we should start to worry and show concern.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Living in the Land of Irony

Surrounded by an ocean of absurdity, here we sit, living in the land of irony. Yes, I find it ironic that a once Communist nation such as the nation I was born in is freer than America, the self-titled ‘Land of the Free.’

Although we can dispute whether or not it is true bravery to kill someone from a thousand miles away via a drone using a joystick, there is no disputing the fact that once a nation begins killing its own citizens within its own borders the word freedom is now a dead thing, stillborn, and no longer viable.

Perhaps we’re all too busy worshiping the false idol of self, concerned who’s going to win the next Dancing with the Stars, or scrounging under the sofa cushions trying to make our next mortgage payment, to ask some relevant and poignant questions in regards to this latest tear in the already tattered fabric of freedom America enjoyed until recently.

For me, at least, the most important question of all is who decides? Who decides what the criterion is for an American citizen to be targeted for termination on American soil? What are the parameters? Can they be changed, and if so by whom?

One day we’re only targeting terrorists, and the next we’ll be targeting obese people because they’re too much of a drag on healthcare. Or religious people because they’re just too inflexible, and have the tendency to cling to their Bibles instead of giving in and allowing the stream of progress to carry them along into oblivion.

Yes, I know, I can hear the chorus of ‘that can never happen here,’ from the ostrich choir welling up in the ether, but if history has anything to teach us, it’s that man’s worst fears are realized when the majority remains silent in the face of tyranny.

Some of the most damnable lies are being regurgitated once again, and yet another generation is taking the bait, hook, line and sinker.

We all know them. We are hearing the lies being spoken to us every day. From ‘it’s for the greater good,’ to ‘it’s for your own protection,’ to ‘give us absolute power and we promise we won’t abuse it,’ the lies being perpetrated upon us are not new, but they seem to be working just as well as they did in the past.

It’s amazing how readily men surrender their freedoms, how inclined they are to be ruled over, and how willing they are to abandon the notion of liberty just to keep the peace.

Who watches the watchers? Who keeps tabs on the deciders, and does anyone honestly believe, even for an instant that once absolute power is attained it will be relinquished if enough people demand it be so?

If you believe that anyone would relinquish absolute power once they’ve attained it, once they’ve bled, and plotted, and compromised for it, then I’ve got some beachfront property to sell you in Arizona, and I’ll even throw in a lead surfboard as a signing bonus.

Men are susceptible, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The notion that these government sanctioned murders of American citizens on American soil will not be abused, or used in some nefarious ways to reach some nefarious end, is infantile and childish.

There have always been those who sought to advance their own agenda at the expense of others – even if it meant the lives of others – and though we might think ourselves evolved, enlightened, and civilized, deep down, in the dark recesses of the heart, man has not changed one iota over the centuries.

All we’ve really done with the passing of time is become more efficient at taking lives as a species, and learned to delegate the responsibility of bloodshed to third parties who don’t mind it so much if they pay is good enough.

I guess you can’t make a new utopia without cracking a few skulls or killing a few folk after all.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Housekeeping

As some of you may have noticed, I haven’t posted a teaching in the prayer series in a while. The primary reason for this is because the entire series is a three part book project, and as one might gather, any book project requires continuity.

Because for the past couple weeks I’ve been traveling with my brother, and my father to the more out of the way places of our region, passing out food, clothing, and other means of aid, I haven’t had time to sit, and pray, and meditate on the series as is necessary for me to do, in order to be able to continue in the flow of it.

Couple that with a new series outline entitled What God Hates for our ‘Truth in a Nutshell’ teachings, recording new radio programs, and some other projects I’m also juggling at the moment, one can understand how time is a precious resource indeed.

As such, I will continue to post standalone articles for a couple more weeks, at least until I return to the United States, and then resume the teaching on prayer where we left off.

I’m thinking April 1st is the latest I will start posting new teachings on prayer, and chances are good it will happen about a week before that.

To those who have been asking, yes, you may repost my essays, articles, and teachings.

Thank you all for your understanding, your prayers, and your continued encouragements.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

And There Will Be Signs...

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me. But when the earth literally starts to open up and swallow people whole, maybe it’s worth a moment’s worth of introspection, self-analysis, and objective critique of the wisdom of our inclinations.

Perhaps we are too far gone in our rebellion to acknowledge or even realize what is happening. Perhaps we’ve just decided to grit our teeth, set our jaws, and in spite of all God’s warnings still follow our own path and do as we please.

Strange things are happening in the world. Signs are manifesting themselves with eerie regularity, and they have befuddled even supposed men of science. Although science might have a difficult time explaining these signs, they are things spoken of in the Bible as warnings and judgments against rebellion.

It was at the height of Korah’s rebellion that the earth opened up and swallowed him and his family. Not meaning to disparage Charlton Heston’s acting chops in any way, but the earth swallowing up Korah and his family, and the fire which devoured two hundred and fifty others, were two separate events which occurred almost simultaneously.

Why I mention this, is because there is bound to be someone who will shrug off sinkholes opening up and swallowing men whole because there was no fire accompanying them.

Lest one think these signs are confined only to North America, Egypt has been seeing an unprecedented invasion of locusts, likewise reminiscent of the days of Moses, which only begs the question, what’s next on the horizon?

When we couple the signs in the earth with the signs in the heavens, throw in the earthquakes, the wars, the rumors of war, and what will soon be the mother of famines upon many a nation for good measure, we get a pretty clear idea of where we are and where we are headed.

Whenever I start to write about the end times, what the Bible says about the end times, or about prophecies concerning the end times, there are always e-mails and comments accusing me of being a fear monger, a fatalist, or a doomsday prognosticator. I do not write concerning these things to frighten anyone, but to make you aware of the times you are living in, and hopefully encourage you to draw closer to He who is able to safeguard you and yours from the trying days ahead.

I do not revel in pointing out the signs that are all around us, but by the same token I cannot bury my head in the sand and pretend as though they are not manifesting.

Those with eyes to see, see what is happening all around them and as such shore up what is lacking in their spiritual lives, and learn to grow increasingly dependent upon God.

Those with no eyes to see, or worse yet, those who see but talk themselves into believing that their ingenuity and self-reliance will carry them through, will continue their lukewarm existence, content with a form of godliness, and a shadow of the reality they ought to be living.

The days will wait for no man, and whether we are found ready, prepared, fully armored and ready for battle or we are found sleeping the blissful – yet ultimately fatal – sleep of the ignorant and nominal, will be entirely up to us as individuals.

Save for chariots of fire perhaps, the signs could not be any clearer, and they ought to serve as a final wakeup call for those still inclined to slumber just a while longer.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Witness to the Dying

After much soul searching and a constant, inexplicable pull to get his affairs in order, a certain man in a certain town settled upon the idea that he needed fire insurance. Try as he might to shrug off the idea, try as he might to bury it somewhere deep and dark and afar off, every day, without fail, these thoughts kept returning, and getting progressively more stringent and all consuming.

Seeing as he had no other alternative, the man began searching out companies offering insurance, comparison shopping, and seeing which offered the most benefits for the least amount of money.

Although he had run across a reputable company, one with a track record and centuries of experience, he’d also run into a newly formed outfit that offered the same coverage for a tenth of the cost.

Wondering how this could be possible, allowing for the possibility that it seemed too good to be true, the man made an appointment with a representative of the discount insurance company. Their offices were impressive to say the least. All glass and steel and modern design, with a giant chandelier in the lobby, and a complimentary espresso bar replete with its own personal barista. It seemed odd that the name of the company itself was nowhere to be found, and that the opulence of their offices seemed contrary to the frugal image they were trying to project, but the man had made an appointment, he was here to talk to somebody, and once they met he asked the obvious question:

‘How is it you can offer the same insurance as your competitor at a tenth of the cost?’

With a broad smile and impeccable inflection the representative began to explain how the other guys had gotten it wrong all these many centuries, how they were working off an antiquated formulae that inhibited the client with excessive clauses, and how they had simplified and mainstreamed the entire process to make it more suitable for the modern individual.

‘I mean, let’s face it’ the representative said, ‘what are the chances you’ll ever have a fire? With the new detection systems and smoke detectors and whatnot, the chance that you will experience a real fire for which you will have to file a claim are almost nonexistent.’

Although the man still had questions, and he still had his doubts, the cost savings was just too good to pass up, and he signed a contract that very same day.

Years went by, and with the convenience of automatic pay, the man had almost forgotten about the insurance policy. The representative had been right. It was quick, easy, pain free, and once you did it, once you signed the contract and started making your payments, you could just put it out of your mind altogether. Sure, insurance was something good to have ‘just in case,’ but it wasn’t really anything that changed one’s life in any significant sort of way.

Then, one day, due to what would later be determined as faulty wiring, the man’s house burned to the ground, and all that remained was lots of ash and a few roof shingles.

Seeing all he had worked toward burn to the ground was not easy for the man, but remembering he had once gotten an insurance policy for just such a contingency, he did not fret or despair.

The man drove to the offices of his insurer, and nothing seemed amiss until he walked through the giant doors and realized it was no longer what it had been. From the outside it all looked the same, but where once there had been offices, the man now saw a tattoo parlor, a cupcake store, and a juice bar. To his surprise, the espresso bar was still there, as was the barista.

As he walked about dazed and confused the man spotted a familiar face, that of his insurer, behind the counter of the juice bar.

‘What happened here?’ the man asked in a state of disbelief.

‘Went bust,’ the salesman answered not willing to meet the other’s gaze.

‘We’ve been out of business for three years now. Turns out we couldn’t honor our promises to our clients after all. Guess that’s how it goes.’

‘But you’re still charging me every month.’

‘It’s the client’s responsibility to cancel their payment schedule. You don’t expect anyone to turn down free money nowadays do you?’

So what’s the point of this hypothetical, entirely made up story, the details of which I’ve probably gotten horribly wrong because I’ve never had to file a claim with an insurance company?

The point is this:

Many a soul today are looking for ‘insurance’ hoping they’ll never have to file a claim, and believing they’ll likely never have to file one. They are looking for someone to tell them they’re saved just because they raised a hand or said a prayer, even though it seems off even to them.

Men choose to deaden their instincts when it comes to foundationless promises slick, grinning men make to them, because they are unwilling to sacrifice or do away with those things they instinctually know are against the will and Word of God.

All we are is a bunch of clap happy infants who have come to believe the height of spirituality is pretending to toke the Holy Spirit while lip-synching a Hillsong album, hoping against hope that hell really isn’t real, that Jesus was just joshing about that whole eternal judgment stuff, and that He’ll have to make due with us or run the risk of having an empty heaven.

We have cheapened salvation, grace, and the sacrifice of Christ to such an extent that if someone isn’t offering us a game console to come to church, we’d rather just go to the park and feed the ducks.

We have taken the words of Jesus and by-and-large done away with them, and those few which still remain in our lexicon have been perverted and twisted to the point of being unrecognizable. Grace is no longer freedom from sin, it is freedom to sin. Everything meant to bring us closer to God, such as prayer, fasting, reading the Word, are labeled works now, and we all know we’re not saved by works, so if we do any of these things we’re just legalistic Pharisees.

What of repentance? Don’t even get me started about that antiquated, moralistic, knuckle dragging expression of brokenness and humility before God.

We don’t do that anymore!

It’s all about freedom, baby, it’s about being able to do what the flesh wants when the flesh wants and still be fully insured against hell because we pay our tithe. It comes out of our check every month like clockwork, even though we haven’t seen the inside of a sanctuary in years.

We keep telling ourselves we’re happy. We keep telling ourselves this is what freedom is all about. We keep telling ourselves the forerunners of the faith got it wrong somehow, that their experiences with God, the power they saw, the gifts they possessed, and the impact they made was just an anomaly, no more connected to the righteousness they lived than a fig is to a sparkplug.

We manufacture feelings of ecstasy, rolling our eyes back into our heads, and shaking like someone in the throes of an epileptic seizure thinking this is what it means to be filled with the Spirit, not realizing the first sign of being filled is being cut to the heart and stirred to repentance and righteousness unto God.

We are a people astray, far from God, far from His grace, far from the knowledge of Him, and with each passing day I can’t help but wonder when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Discerning Believer

To those who have not ears to hear or eyes to see, the following might seem petty and even trite. I assure you I am not trying to pick at specks or magnify something irrelevant for the sake of making a point. What I am hoping to do is warn the household of faith early enough so when they see what I am about to say coming to pass, they will guard their hearts and steer away from those who would do them harm.

As history has a way of confirming, the closer we get to the tipping point in our civilization, the closer we get to the fulfillment of the prophetic, more and more individuals will jump on the bandwagon seeing as they have no choice. With each passing day you will hear of more and more learned men within Christendom who have had a change of heart, and where once they taught prosperity, and blessing, and an easy ride to the other side, they have redressed and are now teaching doctrines closer to Biblical truth.

They are not doing this because their position on any given topic has changed, but because the reality we are all living reveals their current beliefs and teachings for the lies and heresies they are.

If it’s snowing outside, and I am standing on the street corner screaming at the top of my lungs that ‘summer is upon us,’ then people won’t have to dig too deep to see I’m off my rocker.

My hope and my prayer for those of you who read what I write, or listen to what I preach is that you be discerning believers.

I have never claimed, nor will I ever claim to have a monopoly on truth, nor will you ever hear me say that there is no other place where you will find the word of God being preached than in my sermons. Just when we think we alone are left to speak the truth, God shows us the futility of our own vanity by telling us there are seven thousand others who have not bowed, who have not compromised, and who have not defiled themselves.

By the same token, those who have been aware of our ministry for some time, realize we’ve spoken the truth when the truth was not popular, and warned of things to come when even brothers and sisters in Christ were calling us fools and madmen. Those called to speak truth cannot do so only when it’s convenient, easy, or popular. When one is called to speak truth, and preach the whole counsel of God, they do so even at the risk of being mocked, hated, ridiculed, and ostracized.

There has never been a time in human history when discernment was more of a commodity and necessity. I come to this conclusion not on my own, but because of what the Word of God tells us concerning the times and seasons we are living in. The perilous times of which the Bible warns have come, and with them the false prophets, teachers, and christs the Scriptures also warn us of.

Be discerning enough to know when someone has truly had a change of heart, and when they are just going wherever the wind blows, and saying whatever they think will garner them the biggest audience.

Above all else, whomever the individual happens to be, whether someone you highly respect in the field of theology, or myself, make sure you search the Scriptures to see if what they are saying and what the Bible says are in harmony with each other.

Nobody gets a pass. This should be the first rule when it comes to teaching, doctrine, prophecy, theology, pneumatology, or eschatology. Everyone goes through the filter, everyone gets tested, and everyone’s words must be proven out by Scripture.

Knowing that the enemy will attempt to deceive, if possible, even the elect, we must be vigilant, on guard, and committed to standing on the Word, regardless of how appealing a certain doctrine might be to our flesh.

With love in Christ,
Michael Boldea Jr.