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Something New by Jeremy Lopez

Something New by Jeremy Lopez
By Jeremy Lopez

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Today I am reminded of how I need to write some things that have been on my heart for some time. Everyone today is talking about how there is a “shift” that is taking place in the earth today. I truly believe it with all of my heart but I really think we are so wrapped up in the drama and theatrics of church and conferences that we don’t take a deeper look at the heart of God to see exactly what He wants in the earth today.

I see so much in the prophetic move that disappoints me only because it seems to be we are more about fighting for God, standing up for God and displaying justice that we forget all about Christ and what He did and DID NOT DO. I love the prophetic because it runs in my blood deep but I hear so much today in the prophetic move about us being a militant army for God and how we have to fight and stand up for justice and on and on. But let’s look at the heart of Christ found in the New Testament. Did you know that the word “army” is only in the New Testament twice while the word “son” and “Sonship” is in there a multitude of times. It seems we love the theatrics of the Old Testament and want to bring it into the New Testament because in reality, it gets boring just doing what Christ really did. Subconsciously this is how many really feel. It breaks my heart when Christ never even spoke of us being an army and so many people would rather fight than love and walk in humility. Have we forgotten that the MEEK shall INHERIT THE EARTH? Don’t get me wrong, I believe we are the army of the Lord but more importantly according to Christ, we are called to walk in Sonship.

Relationship, Family and Intimacy

Sonship speaks of relationship, family and intimacy. Now it sounds great to war, march in the streets, come against the president by constantly bashing him to others, coming against gay people, rallying against abortionist, etc. All of this makes us feel empowered doesn’t it? I have learned to stay away from certain “prophetic” voices today because they have become so hostile against people in general because they feel God is against those people too. You don’t have to agree with people (sinner or saint) that are different than you but you are commanded to love (Agape) them. Agape means, unconditional, without boundaries, etc. In fact, that is the second highest law or commandment that Jesus gave. The New Testament speaks of fighting the good fight of faith (not people), it speaks of loving your neighbor like yourself instead of “taking a stand” by marching in the streets in a militant way. I can tell you right now, some of you are getting mad at this very moment because it angers you since you have been trained so much and taught to be militant and not loving. Most people feel that if they don’t “do something for God” by marching, standing, warring, etc., that God won’t really like them or be happy with them.

In fact, the word says to give your shirt to others if they ask for it. Turn the other cheek if someone strikes you. To be honest with you, the church has become a scary place to be! It’s not a place of refuge anymore for the broken hearted, sinners (even those living in sin) but it has become a place of militant strong soldiers who, if they fall, we shoot them. Everyone knows the church shoots their wounded.

Loving Everybody

What would truly happen if we loved people…regardless and allowed anyone and everyone in the house of God to worship? Since the bible says, “How will you know if they are My disciples, by the love they have one for another? The church is called, a house of prayer for ALL NATIONS. HAVE WE FORGOTTEN THAT SCRIPTURE?

You can pray, preach, prophesy, shake, quake and have gold dust all over the place and to be honest with you, none of that impresses me at all. What causes me to take a second glance at people is the love they show everyone. Think about everything Christ did. He went to a woman who was caught in the act of adultery and told her “I don’t accuse you.” He looked at the thief on the cross, who did not even know or fully believe He was the son of God because he said IF you are the son of God remember me when you come into your kingdom. So Christ gave life to a thief who only said “IF.” WOW! Look at the woman at the well, He could have called her a whore but never even disrespected her at all but simply “read her mail” and said “I can give you water that will cause you to never thirst again.”

As I view the prophetic move today, it concerns me because I see a people who live only for a manifestation no matter what it is. Have we forgotten about character, integrity, loving people, having mercy on people, etc.? I see blood thirsty people who would rather have another prophetic word on top of their 40 other prophetic words than simply love a gay man or woman and show them compassion. I see those who have become so spooky spiritual who think the world is persecuting them when in reality the world (and most of the rest of the church) look at them as being a nut case. Why do we thrive so much on being so goofy and have to see strange manifestations than walk with integrity, excellence and love? Do I believe in miracles? ABSOLUTELY! BUT NOT MORE THAN THE GREATEST COMMANDMENT IN THE NEW TESTAMENT THAT DEALS WITH LOVING GOD AND PEOPLE. Isn’t it time to be like Jesus and show compassion, grace, love and mercy to all? The bible says “the greatest of all of these is love.” The greatest thing you can ever do in life is simply love like Jesus.

Don’t Live by Signs and Wonders

Even on the subject of signs and wonders. Jesus said that many will not even believe unless they see signs and wonders. This is digressing in Sonship since we are called to not walk by what we see or feel. I know so many people that signs and wonders have become a drug rush for them instead of walking by faith and not by sight. I have heard people say, “I did not like that conference because there weren’t any signs, wonders, gold dust, feathers, etc.” That concerns me a lot. I want to say, “was the word preached not good enough for you?” Now the word does say that signs and wonders follow the preaching of the word but that is if you have unbelievers there. Most of all these conferences have a small group of the same people because it never really grows. Why? Because we cannot live off of signs and wonders. ESPECIALLY if we are Christians. Signs and wonders were for the doubters and unbelievers according to scripture. We must examine our hearts to see if we are really doing what Jesus did or have we created what we want to see. Some charismatics, prophetic people love the drama and theatrics of it all. Please don’t get me wrong, I get excited too but I don’t live or worship it. I worship a God that IS LOVE. A God who is compassionate, loving, kind, gentle, strong, bold and who has mercy that endures forever. In fact, His mercies endure forever and also they are new EVERY morning. Praise God!

Jeremy Lopez
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Do I have to prove to the world that I’m cool? by Jacqueline Erasmus

Today I want to draw attention to two concepts that we as Christians have a hard time to understand . We fear religion and we fear becoming religious ourselves. Our fear of being religious and our fear of being accused of being religious have caused us to become very “worldly”. I think it is important to understand why Jesus despised the type of religion which the Pharisees and Sadducees “practised”. I also think it is important to understand that God does not want us to resemble the world system.Many people’s fear of being accused of being religious have caused them to conform to this world. The result is that some of us have become so “worldly” in the process, that even the people in the world must sometimes wonder why we think we are so “different” from them. I am sharing this with you because the Lord has brought loving conviction to my own life. I, of course called my conformity to this world something else….I called my “conformity to this world “… hmm …hmm….”non-religiousity”. I,of course did not realize my confusion at the time, but I am so grateful to God that He is always willing to provide us with clarity and revelation!

I am of the persuasion that we often think that “to be different” means that we are boring and dull or that we will become boring and dull for that matter! This is however a misconception that I think deserves some discussion.Perhaps I can share with you my point of view, which I hope will be helpful to some of you.

Paul writes the following in Romans 12:2 :

“Don’t copy the behaviour and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”

I am going to take you in all kind of different directions now, but please keep up with me!

Let me start by stating a fact first:

We are different because we believe in Jesus Christ and we are citizens of heaven . We live in this world but in reality we are no longer from this world. We are citizens of heaven (please see Philippians 3:20). We are also temporary residents on earth (please see 1 Peter 2:11).

As a citizen of heaven you live by heavenly standards because heaven is your home even though you live here on the earth. If you don’t realise this, you need to really come to grips with this fact. A revelation on your citizenship will help you in terms of how you view your life here on the earth. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal to you what it means to be a citizen of heaven. Philippians 3:20 and 1 Peter 2:11 are very good scriptures to meditate on.

Being a citizen of heaven is the best citizenship that one can have and a deep revelation of this fact will liberate you!

Religion is boring,suffocating and dull but not a relationship with the Triune God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit).

Now let me comment once again on the issue of RELIGION …….

Now some of you have had to break free from religious environments because these types of environments have had a negative and damaging effect on you. Anyone who had been exposed to a religious type of environment has in some form or the other been brainwashed with the following: To follow a bunch of rules and regulations will really make you a “good Christian” . Your salvation depends on your performance. God is after all really mad at us so it is now up to you and me to make Him happy and to also keep Him happy.

A pharisaical religious message never leads people into freedom. If anything, a harsh and rule-following religion which is void of the true message of the Cross of Jesus Christ , usually sets people up to fail. We cannot attain righteousness through our own efforts and our own works. We were saved by His grace and salvation is God’s gift to us. This is what Jesus said with regards to the Pharisees: “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them” (Matthew 23:3).

Now people who have broken free from a pharisaical religiosity (which usually involves control and fear) have usually experienced a lot of judgement in their lifetime.In a lot of instances people who have broken free from pharisaical religiosity, are very committed not to be judgemental towards other people. Who can blame them? They know after all what constant judgement feels like. God was after all not really happy with them even though they tried very hard to follow and please Him.

Now let me share a bit on something which I have noticed amongst ourselves, the Body of Christ.

Many believers will conform to the ways of the world in an attempt to prove to unbelievers that they are not boring , dull ,judgemental or religious. Or perhaps we want to prove this to ourselves to be more precise?

God has not called us to be judgemental (please see Matthew 7:1-5). God has however asked us to represent Him here on the earth. This means that we do not conform to this world. We now represent God and His Kingdom here on the earth. We are therefore different from this world system and our values and conduct reflects God’s Kingdom.

“Being different” from the world does not mean that you and I condemn and judge other people who do not believe in Jesus Christ. A pharisaical religiosity condemns and judges unbelievers . A true and real relationship with Jesus Christ fills one’s heart with compassion and mercy towards those who do not know Jesus.

We don’t have to “prove” to non-Christians that we are “cool” by acting the way they do or talking the way they do. We are here to represent God and we are here to present Christ to people who do not know Him. We have been commissioned by God to represent Him here on the earth.

Some of us think that by acting like the world we will somehow position ourselves better to “reach out to them”.In our attempts to relate with people and in our attempts to remain contemporary, we in essence become diluted and deceived ourselves. Being a “cool” Christian to the world is a very cunning way of the devil to deceive us and it is time for us to become aware of this deception.

The world is hungry for the TRUTH. Whether you realize it or not …people out there wants to know why you call yourself a Christian? Do people out there experience you as “being different” to them? I ask myself this question as well. Could it perhaps be true that the people in your world are perhaps thinking something like this: “Why should I be like you if you act like me?” “What really makes you different from me?” These are insightful questions that all of us need to ask ourselves. Being a watered-down Christian who desperately tries to prove that he/she is not religious to the point of resembling worldly values, unfortunately does not speak to people’s hunger for the TRUTH . If we think we are being effective by acting exactly like the world in order to “reach people”, we have indeed missed the point altogether.

“Being different” (i.e not conforming to the customs and behaviour of this world) does not make you a stuffy, judgemental and “religious” person.

The world wants to know the TRUTH. The TRUTH is Jesus Christ. The world wants to meet the real Jesus through you – not a religious pharisee or a watered-down Christian who acts and behaves like them.

I want to conclude today’s blog message with one of the most thought-provoking and most challenging scriptures in the Bible.

Romans 8:19

“The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.”

The world is waiting for YOU. The world is waiting for the sons and daughters of the Most High to arise and shine. Do not rise and shine with a religious mindset and approach. Do not rise and shine riddled with worldliness . Let all of us rise and shine as true ambassadors of Jesus Christ!

Jacqueline Erasmus

soakandsaturate.wordpress.com


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God did not want robots by Jacqueline Erasmus

I always say to people that if God really wanted to control us, He would have created robots and not human beings. If God wanted to control us ,we would have been robots. Each one of us would have had an individual remote control with different buttons which God would press at any time. Imagine this ….there would be buttons like: “Do this” and “Don’t do this”; “Keep quiet” and “Speak”.

God did not want robots. God obviously wanted people who would choose Him out of their own free will. God has given us a wonderful gift. God has given us the gift called free will.

How wonderful is that ! We get to choose every day what we are going to do, how we are going to respond and what we are going to think. A lot of the time we think that we don’t have a choice in most matters but this is not true. Realize today that you and I do have a choice. We can choose because we have been given this gift called free will. Joshua was a very decisive man. In the face of an unbelieving, idol-worshipping and indecisive people, Joshua made a bold choice and said:

Joshua 24:15

15 But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”

Jacqueline Erasmus

soakandsaturate.wordpress.com


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Let God out of your box by Jacqueline Erasmus

I am so glad that a lot of Christians and churches have moved away from practising and preaching RELIGION. It is so very true that the letter kills and that the Spirit of God brings freedom. I love freedom and if there is one thing the Spirit of God does, it is this : God brings FREEDOM to people’s lives! I shrink away from domineering and controlling personalities who try to convince me that God works only in ONE WAY. I shrink away from domineering and controlling personalities who are more concerned about their own Kingdom rather than practising and proclaiming the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. The Spirit of God brings freedom to the hearts and minds of people and trying to control people with a bunch of ” do’s and don’ts” will not lead anyone into the freedom that is available through the Life Giver, Jesus Christ. Some people get so bent out of shape in terms of practising ” their religion” that they indeed become spotless on the outside but really rotten on the inside. I just wonder out loud if wearing make up makes me less spiritual? This is of course one of the things that some people would suggest to us: “Don’t wear make up ladies because you don’t want to appear obsessed with your appearance and you don’t want to draw attention to yourself”. The list goes on when it comes to this suffocating and oppressing thing called RELIGION! RELIGION has left many people not free but fearful. Many who have been set free from religious spirits and who have moved away from controlling and oppressing church environments boldly testify how awful religion is. The reason why religion is awful is because it usually goes hand-in-hand with fear and control. Religion in essence becomes more about the man made rules of people and less about the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Religion produces whitewashed tombs and dead bones. (please see Matthew 23:27)

Oh let us all be set free from all religious spirits that oppress and suffocate us in Jesus Name!

Religious entrapments usually involves deception. These folks are the ones who remind us that the Lord “used to” work in certain ways but that He does not work like this “today”. Some people will try to persuade us that the gifts of the Holy Spirit ceased the minute Jesus ascended to heaven. We must basically now just obey Jesus and altogether forget about the gifts of the Spirit . I call this proposal a rather dull and boring proposal and one that I frankly disagree with. Jesus healed the sick and He also drove out demons and He wanted His disciples to heal the sick in His Name and drive out demons in His Name after His ascension. (please see Mark 16:17-20) If Jesus asked His first disciples to heal the sick and to drive out demons then surely this still applies today because we are now His disciples. Religion will turn Jesus into a historical figure… i.e .a good man who needs to be admired and studied in a likewise manner people study Napoleon Bonaparte and Gandhi. Jesus is more than just a historical figure. He is the Son of God and His life and His power flows through His people today!

Then there are folks who get very nervous when the Spirit of God starts moving in “outrageous ways” that challenges their rational minds. This especially applies to church congregations who are very hungry to see God’s hand move in their church services. When the Spirit of God does move, it can of course make even the most enthusiastic people nervous. God often moves in ways that can challenge our rational thought processes. I do believe that we need to test the spirits and if anything is not from God then we need to reject it, especially in a corporate meeting. I do however think that lots of people have judged and dismissed things that had been from the Holy Spirit simply because how the Holy Spirit chose to move, challenged their logical thinking and reasonings. When we are challenged, we often become critical, judgemental and dismissive. It is easier to be critical of something, especially if it does not make sense to us. It is more of an effort for us as believers to go to the Lord and ask Him whether something is from Him or not. It is easier for us to put God in a box, is it not?

God is bigger than our minds and our thoughts.

We are now talking about our God who opened the mouth of a donkey in order to communicate with Balaam (Numbers 22:28). I am of the persuasion that God cannot be contained in terms of how He reveals Himself to us or how He displays His power and His might. I personally think it is kind of great that God cannot be contained even if people often feel such a need to put Him in their nice and neat boxes. The Bible is full of evidence of God and His “outrageous ways”. We read these spectacular and outrageous accounts of God’s power in the Bible without thinking much of these accounts. Yet, when God moves in “spectacular” and “outrageous” ways today, many believers dismiss God’s ways.

Perhaps it is time that we let God be God. Perhaps it is time for us to confront our religious mindsets. Perhaps it is time for us to let God out of our religious boxes.

Jacqueline Erasmus

soakandsaturate.wordpress.com


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“Clique…me?!” by Jacqueline Erasmus

I think all of us can draw great encouragement from the example of Jesus who embraced all kinds of people with different cultural backgrounds, rich people, poor people,educated people, prostitues etc. etc. Jesus embraced All kinds of people, not from the throne room of heaven, but in the flesh, in the body of a man. Today we are His Body here on the earth, the full expression of Christ Himself. God is LOVE and since we are made in His image, let us love the world as well and be open to embrace all people. We must be mindful not to only embrace groups of people who fit into our frame of reference. For example: “I only really mingle with professional people, I only really mingle with single people, I only mingle with married people, I only really mingle with South Africans or I really only mingle with people from my church denomination or I am only really open and friendly with those who are in important positions or I only associate with those who have an image or an appearance of popularity.” We don’t necessarily think these type of thoughts which I have just mentioned but often our actions somehow reflect our comfort zones and “tribes”.

We never conciously think that we are exclusive but sometimes we can be , whether we want to admit it or not. I think we don’t notice our own “cliqueness” a lot of the time because we dont regard ourselves as being” clique”. Perhaps it is time that we all take a good look at ourselves .. dont you think? (not in a self- condemning manner by the way – an honest appraisal of self is very healthy for spriritual growth and development).

Have you ever considered whether you can only in reality associate, reach out and mingle with only one particular “tribe”? We are quite quick to see other people’s “cliqueness” but before you point a finger …have you ever considered that you may be “clique” and “exclusive” as well? I think at various points in our journeys ALL of us fall into a comfort zone as it relates to people and our ” little groups”. Perhaps it is time that WE move beyond our comfort zones when it comes to people. We may be missing out on a lot of colours and flavours which God wants us to appreciate and enjoy … I am putting these thoughts out to you to ponder..

Jacqueline Erasmus

soakandsaturate.wordpress.com


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Labelling and Judgement by Jacqueline Erasmus

It’s so important not to label and judge people. Each one of us are unique and we are all called and annointed by God.Now this is good is it not? Each one of us also have unique life experiences that have shaped us in a certain way. This is a fact. God often allows us to go through certain experiences on a very deep level because He wants to use us in a certain way. God for example allowed me to go through certain things on a very deep level (i submitted myself to the process of course and i am still submitting myself to this process) because it formed part of my training ground in terms of the call on my life. This is true for you too, even if you dont realize that this is happening in your life – you just may already be in training for what God wants you to do for Him or the way He wants to use you. Why am I mentioning all of this? I’m mentioning this because I have witnessed something that sometimes occurs in the Body of Christ and it’s something that we need to be very careful of. Sometimes people label/ judge other brothers and sisters in Christ from their own vantage point. What do I mean with “own vantage point”? The vantage point that I am referring to is your own life experiences, your calling, your annointing, your way of thinking, your church background, your spiritual expereinces,your cultural background, your journey, your things that causes you to “buzz” etc .

It is so important that we perceive each other through the eyes of Christ and that we ask God to give us His wisdom and His discernment before we fall into the sin of judging or labelling fellow brother and sisters in the Lord. You may flow in a certain way because of the specific call that God has on you life and also because of your own uniqueness. Another person will flow differently for the very same reason- different calling, different type of annointing and a unique personality. What happens when we judge people and label people from our own vantage point ? Basically we fall into the error of calling that which is good “evil” or “not so good.”…… And subsequently through the act of judgement, we diminish another person’s personality or calling etc based on what is familiar to us – our own vantage point.

I want to encourage you not to judge things that you don’t understand. I want to encourage you not to judge people whom you “don’t get”.Make a habit of asking the Lord first before you stick a label on someone or something. During times of revival , a lot of people called that which was pure and from God as “evil” and “not from God”. Many brothers and sisters in Christ are being labelled and judged by fellow brothers and sisters when in fact these brothers and sisters in Christ are simply flowing in the way God had designed them to flow. We are all gifted in different ways and we don’t all look the same. We are all DESIGNED by our Maker because each one of us have a unique purpose to fulfil.

Spiritual discernment is very important and is a spiritual gift that is very much needed in our walk with God and in our churches. We however need to be careful not to confuse judgement and spiritual discernment with each other. We can actually learn a lot from each other if we set aside the labelling and judgement . The very person that you class as this, that or the other, could be the very person that God wants to use to bless your life. It could be the very person that God wants you to learn a few things from. I’m not encouraging you to lay aside spiritual discernment because you fear falling into the sin of judgement. I am encouraging you to pray and wreslte with God regarding the things that you dont understand or the people who ” puzzles you.” God may surprise you with His view and His answers when you make a few inquiries of Him.

Labelling and judgement are both very destructive forces and it causes mighty men and woman of God to become casualties. We are all on the same side and we are all one nation under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. All kinds of people are needed in the Army of Jesus Christ. Let us value and esteem each other and let us not destroy each other from within our own camp. Let’s repent from judgement and labelling our fellow soldiers. Let us be known for our love and acceptance of each other and let’s resolve our conflicts and differences with each other in love and in truth. Amen !

Jacqueline Erasmus

soakandsaturate.wordpress.com


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Working out your own salvation by Jacqueline Erasmus

It is important that each person takes responsibility for their own relationship with the Lord. If we want to grow in our relationship with God the Father through His Son Jesus Christ , we need to invest time and effort in such a relationship. This means that we need to pray, read our bibles, go to church and have fellowship with fellow believers. God’s love is unconditional but spiritual growth is optional. I believe that nobody can take responsibility for your walk with the Lord but you. You need to make every effort to grow in your relationship with Jesus. It is a bit like this: You may have a car but unless you wash your car or take your car to the car wash, your car will remain dirty and will eventually look rather unattractive. The same principle applies to spiritual growth. You may be saved because you have accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour . You have to however do certain things to grow in your new found relationship with the Lord in order to mature as a child of God. I want to give you another example: Let’s say you are married and you don’t spend quality time with your wife or husband. What would happen if you don’t spend quality time with your spouse? Well, eventually you will become estranged from your wife or husband even if your marriage contract still reads that you are married to each other. You may be married for all intent and purposes but your connection with your wife or husband will slowly deteriorate. No relationship can survive or be sustained without both parties making time for each other. This principle also applies in our relationship with the Lord. We need to make time for God in our lives.The quality of our human relationships rest on our shoulders and the quality of our relationship with the Lord also rest on our shoulders. Yes , you may have accepted Jesus as your Lord and Saviour but we all know that Jesus wants more than a “yes, Lord I accept you” from us. The Lord wants our hearts and He wants to have a relationship with us. Healthy and solid relationships require several ingredients to grow and mature and this same principle applies to our relationship with the Lord.

If marriage only requires a “yes, I do” on the wedding day and nothing else afterwards, who would want to get married! Marriage is so much more than a “yes,I do” and starting a relationship with Jesus Christ is so much more than a “yes , I accept you as Lord and Saviour of my life”.

The Lord wants a relationship with us, His people and a relationship involves more than just being saved by grace.

Jacqueline Erasmus

soakandsaturate.wordpress.com