Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Building His Church

Who is man that he can build for our Lord a church?

Christ is the Master builder of His Church (Matthew 16:18)! Placing our Lord’s name over the doors of buildings that are replicas of Babylonian temples and establishing a religious order does not constitute His Church.

Men of a religious order tried to build a tower into the heavens, but God came down and confused their language, thus they could not continue and their efforts failed and they became scattered or divided (Genesis 11:1-9). Men of today who are trying to build a church are as the men who tried to build the tower; their efforts are destined to fail also. These men are preaching from a different spirit and/or their own intellect many different interpretations of the gospel; as result there are many different beliefs, thus there is many different denominations; much division or scattering.

On the Day of Pentecost, when men stood up to preach, they were filled with the Holy Spirit of God and all were preaching one gospel, one truth in many languages, and this same Spirit gave understanding to men of many tongues or languages, bringing the penitent into a oneness of faith (Romans 10:17), united as one in the love of Christ.

Men who have taken to the pulpit of the congregations that have gathered in our Lord’s name must, by the Holy Scriptures, with the Holy Spirit as their guide, examine themselves to see if they are preaching the truth by the Spirit given on day of Pentecost. If they find that they are speaking by a different spirit or by their own intellect, then they will know their speech is confused and divisive. Only the pure truth that is taught by the Spirit of Truth and unites men’s hearts in faith and the love of Christ is the acceptable message of the Church of our Lord.

Men’s efforts apart from the direction of the Holy Spirit is poor and miserable and without the power to preach the gospel of Christ. Any person or group of people that substitutes a mere man for the Teacher that Christ gave to teach and guide His people into all truth will find themselves in gross error and will miss the kingdom of God. Further, men who establish their own religion and twist the Scriptures to agree with their doctrines will never enter the true Church.

The heart of the gospel message is---You must be born again (John 3:2 & 5)!! Being born again is not an option; it is mandatory if one is to become a member of the true Church. One must be called of God by His Holy Spirit and enter His Church with a broken and contrite heart (Acts 2:38) completely emptied of fleshly acts and thoughts and become as a little child (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17). Then Christ will feed and nourish His children with His word. Through the ever abiding presents of the Holy Spirit He will teach and guide His disciples into all truth, thus He is building His Church.

The summary is this---The true Church is the Church that Christ established on the day of Pentecost. His Church began with great power through the giving of the Holy Spirit; and by the power and boldness of the same Spirit, men appointed by Christ, preached His truths and three thousand souls were added to His Church that day (Acts 2). This same Spirit, working in men appointed of Christ who are preaching His gospel (Romans 1:16), is the power of His Church in the earth today. Hence the Church of our Lord is the converted souls of men, converted by the word and Spirit (John 3:5) and not of the intellect of man.

When one enters the Church of our Lord Jesus he does not become the builder and he is not allowed to take things from or add to, for Christ remains, to this present day, the builder; ---and His Church--- the gates of hell cannot prevail against it.

James C Sanford

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

It Won’t Be Water But Fire Next Time

We have been praying for the residents of Southern California as raging fires have destroyed thousands of homes and resulted in the greatest evacuation since the Civil War. News reporters have used the word “hell” to describe the conditions as hot windstorms whipped the fire across thousands of acres... at one point creating what looked like a tornado made of fire.

A colleage asked a poignant question. Could this be judgement? Could God be telling us something?

Earlier, I was enjoying a sermon by Pastor Mike Macintosh in which he mentioned a disturbing law recently passed by the governor of California.

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently signed a bill into law that defines gender as “sex, [including] a person's gender identity and gender-related appearance and behavior whether or not stereotypically associated with the person's assigned sex at birth.” This means that terms such as “mom” or “dad” are practically outlawed in California schools.

This also suggests that a boy who considers himself transgendered can go into the girls’ showers... and vice versa.

Could this be judgement, or simply coindicence?

Type rest of the post here

Monday, October 22, 2007


We have our latest “Seven Minutes of Wisdom” about a man who left an uncomfortable position and moved to a place that wound up killing him. Click the link below to give a listen:

Click Here to Listen

1IN THE days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehem of Judah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, his wife, and his two sons.

2The man’s name was Elimelech and his wife’s name was Naomi and his two sons were named Mahlon [invalid] and Chilion [pining]; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. They went to the country of Moab and continued there.

3But Elimelech, who Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons.

4And they took wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. They dwelt there about ten years;

5And Mahlon and Chilion died also, both of them, so the woman was bereft of her two sons and her husband.

6Then she arose with her daughters-in-law to return from the country of Moab, for she had heard in Moab how the Lord had visited His people in giving them food.

7So she left the place where she was, her two daughters-in-law with her, and they started on the way back to Judah.

(Ruth 1:1-7 AMP)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

The Bell


I am God's child (John 1:12)
I am Christ's friend (John 15:15)
I am united with the Lord(1 Cor. 6:17)
I am bought with a price(1 Cor. 6:19-20)
I am a saint (set apart for God). (Eph. 1:1)
I am a personal witness of Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am the salt & light of the earth (Matt.5:13-14)
I am a member of the body of Christ(1 Cor 12:27)
I am free forever from condemnation ( Rom. 8: 1-2)
I am a citizen of Heaven. I am significant (Phil.3:20)
I am free from any charge against me (Rom. 8:31-34)
I am a minister of reconciliation for God(2 Cor.5:17-21)
I have access to God through the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Eph. 2:6)
I cannot be separated from the love of God(Rom.8:35-39)
I am established, anointed, sealed by God (2 Cor.1:21-22)
I am assured all things work together for good (Rom. 8: 28)
I have been chosen and appointed to bear fruit (John 15:16)
I may approach God with freedom and confidence (Eph. 3: 12)
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil. 4:13)
I am the branch of the true vine, a channel of His life (John 15: 1-5)
I am God's temple (1 Cor. 3: 16). I am complete in Christ (Col. 2: 10)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3). I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am God's co-worker (1 Cor. 3:9; 2 Cor 6:1). I am God's workmanship(Eph. 2:10)
I am confident that the good works God has begun in me will be perfected (Phil 1: 5)
I have been redeemed and forgiven (Col. 1:14). I have been adopted as God's child(Eph 1:5)
I belong to God
Do you know
who you are!?

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make His face shine upon you
and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn His face toward you
and give you peace."
Numbers 6:24-26

Live simply, love generously, care deeply, speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.
p.s. Don't ask the Lord to guide your footsteps if you're not willing to move your feet.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Thank you Marilyn for sharing this with us

Saturday, October 20, 2007

More Signs of the Times

I was contemplating the news about Israel considering giving half of Jerusalem to the Palestinians may have slipped under the radar. Israel is considering this as a means for bringing peace. But, according to the Bible, this move signals the soon return of our Lord.

1BEHOLD, A day of the Lord is coming when the spoil [taken from you] shall be divided [among the victors] in the midst of you.
2For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses rifled and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
Zechariah 14:1-2

This news is exciting (for some), for it lets us know that the things that are happening in the world are signs of the return of Jesus Christ. It is not time for the church to be sleeping. Rather, the church needs to get busy doing the work of the kingdom.

I hope you have made and secured your travel arrangements!

Get right... or get left!

A Babe Born of Christ

Material things are all temporal; and most are mere shadows of the spiritual things, things that are eternal. As we look deeply into the material, the things that are natural, we can see into the spiritual, the things that are the eternal supernatural. Doing so gives us a better understanding of the things that the Holy Scriptures is teaching; but we most do so by the guidance of the Holy Spirit or we will fall into error.

With the Holy Spirit as our teacher we look at the natural birth of a child to better understand the new birth of a child of the spirit, a child born of the Spirit and of the imperishable seed of God (1st Peter 1:23).

When a baby has reached five months from conception in the mother’s womb, the baby begins to hear. When the baby reaches six months, the eyes have developed to the point of opening and closing and can detect light; while the baby is being birthed the eyes are closed because of the fluids; until the nurse cleans the eyes they are still closed; even when the eyes of the baby are first opened, because of the bright light, they see poorly.

As the eyes adjust to the light, sight improves daily and is fully developed after two to five months. But upon birth, of the five senses, only the hearing, feeling (sense of touch), smelling and tasting are fully functioning. Thus the learning process begins without the benefit of fullness of sight. As the infant begins to hear the sweet voice of the parents even while still in the mother’s womb, and also, after birth begins to feel their tender touch, smell the fragrance of their loving presence and taste the warm milk from the mother’s breast the character of the child begins to form. Thus the nature of the parents is the foundation of the child’s life. The child has no part in the conception, birth or the beginning of his character; this is all the work of the parents.

“Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all.” (Mark 10:15; Luke 18:17 NASU)

The analogy is this: One must be born into the kingdom of God in the same manner as the conception and birth of a little child or he does not enter at all (John 3:2&5); a babe born of the Word of God (John 1:1-2), born of Christ (John 1:14), hearing the voice of his Lord (Romans 10:17; John 10:27), feeling the tender touch of His spirit, smelling the fragrance of His loving presence and tasting the sweetness of His word---living by faith (Rom. 1:17)---spiritual eyesight improving from “faith to faith”---being created in the likeness of his Father (Ephesians 2:10); these are the children of the kingdom of God.

James C Sanford

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Repentance and Prayer

Prayer is not a religious abstract theoretical recitation of empty chatter that only derives some sort of temporary physiological relief or benefits for the mind of man. Also prayer should not be thought of as a mystical experience in which people lose their identity in the infinite reality. Neither does prayer involve a ritual of bowing the head, closing the eyes, falling to the knees, pounding of the chest and etceteera. Prayer is not propelling oneself into an imaginary realm of dreams, false hope and wishful thinking.

Prayer is simply speaking with God in a reverent conversational manner as a child speaking to a loving, compassionate Father who understands the immaturities and weaknesses of His children. Understood in this conversation is the fact that the one who is praying is both humble and expectant; absent of mere wishing or being demanding. Any outward physical acts such as closing of the eyes, bowing of the head and kneeling should be a spontaneous sincere expression of humbleness and reverence from the inner man before his God. Further, prayer is also an exchange of confidence: the one who prays assumes the posture of a trusting child and prays with faith that is made complete by obedience; God remembers his frailty, loves him as His child, hears and answers his prayers.

God speaks to His children by His Holy Spirit and His children in turn speak to Him, spirit to Spirit (1st Corinthians 2:10-13). Assured by the Holy Spirit through the revelation of Scripture that God is a personal, living, active, all-knowing, all-wise, all-powerful and caring Father; as a result of the work of His Spirit we know that He does hear and help us in our time of need.

Before entering into conversation with man’s righteous Creator one must be in right standing with his heavenly Father. Therefore prayer is a time of confession and repentance. Awareness of God’s holiness leads to consciousness of our own sin nature (Isaiah 6:5). Also, by learning of the vicious nature of sin we realize it not only destroys the sinner but also hurts those closest to him and destroys his relationship with God (Genesis 4:1-16); sin is violation of God’s laws which has been given to govern our relationships with Him and one another (Psalm 51:4).

The great prophet Isaiah wrote:

“Behold, the LORD’S hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He does not hear.” (Isaiah 59:1-2)

Fellowship with God requires a heart that is empty of sin and worldliness. A heart filled with disobedience, earthly projects, carnal interests, ambition, thoughts of becoming rich in worldly goods, and with the love of the luxuries and pleasures of life is a candidate for repentance.

In order to repent one must recognize his sinful condition and turn his back on sin and turn with faith toward his Savior, Jesus Christ, for forgiveness. This is accomplished only through convictions brought about by the leading of the Holy Spirit; resulting in a deep sorrow and remorsefulness for crimes committed against God.

Thus repentance is the empting of one’s soul of sin through the merit of the shed blood of Jesus and preparing the heart for fellowship with a holy and righteous God. We must confess our sins to God and repent to get right with Him. He, in turn, forgives us of all unrighteousness (1st John 1:9).

“God is love.” (1st John 4:8)

To the “born again” prayer is a response to the love of God. This great love was expressed by our heavenly Father in the giving of His Son for the atonement of man’s sin at the cross of Calvary; and in His resurrection in victory over death, as well as His continuing abiding presence and fellowship through the Holy Spirit. Thus we understand that the love that is from God conditions the heart of the believer for prayer. And so it is that the very cornerstone of the prayer of faith is the love of God expressed in His living and abiding Word, Jesus Christ.

God’s greatest desire is that we love Him with our total being (Matthew 22:37). Our love should be expressed, as His has been expressed, in both deeds and words. Each time love is expressed, in words or deeds, it grows stronger. People sometimes find it difficult to say to others and to God, “I love you.” But when love for God fills our lives, we will express our love for God by loving one another and in prayer to the one who is ultimately responsible for all that we are or ever hope to be.

Prayer is not only a response to God’s grace as brought to us in the life and work of Jesus and the teaching of Scripture; it is also a tool to supply the needs of others. The prayer of faith can reconcile marriages, move mountains, change lives, heal the sick, raise the dead, cause the lame to walk, the blind to see and etc.; hence proper prayer releases and directs God’s divine love, authority and power into any given situation and circumstance.

What hinders answers to prayer? Several hindrances to prayer are mentioned in the Holy Scripture:

  • Iniquity in the heart (Psalm 66:18)
  • Refusal to hear and obey God’s law (Proverbs 28:9)
  • An alienated or estranged heart (Isaiah 29:13)
  • Sinful separation from God (Isaiah 59:1-2)
  • Waywardness (Jeremiah 14:10-12)
  • Praying to be seen of men (Matthew 6:5-6)
  • Pride in fasting and tithing (Luke 18:11-14)
  • Lack of faith (Hebrews 11:6)
  • For those of us who are married, relationship with one’s spouse (1st Peter 3:1-7)
  • And then there is also double-mindedness (James 1:5-8)
5But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord,
being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
(James 1:5-8 NASU)

Our heavenly Father desires that we have a loving, compassionate relationship with one another. Therefore, He has promised to answer our requests when we:

  • Start helping the hungry and afflicted (Isaiah 58:9-10)
  • Forgive others (Mark 11:25-26).
  • Trust Him; thus He answers when we believe that we will receive what we ask (Mark 11:22-24)
  • Honor our Savior and ask in Christ’s name (John 14:13-14)
  • Abide in Christ and His words abide in us (John 15:7).

Also, God is Spirit, thus we must pray in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:8) and obey the Lord’s commandments (1st John 3:22); and lastly, ask according to His will (1st John 5:14-15). The Apostle James writes,

“Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praises. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord; and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him. Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:13-16 NAS)

Thus, prayer can be seen as a practical and powerful tool granted to the penitent, humble believer by a loving and responsive, living, infinite and Almighty God.

Finally, repentance and the prayer of faith bring peace and rest to the soul and assurance that he has been heard by a loving and responsive Holy Father. Selah.

James C Sanford

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Faith Working by Love

For change to take place in ones life it is necessary to change what he believes. Most people just don’t want to change or they do not feel that change is necessary.

A person’s acts, deeds and the words he speaks---his character, define him; that is who he is. If you are not what you say you believe then you don’t really believe it and you deceive yourself.

If you believe the world you will become like the world.

If you are religious and believe false doctrines then you are a living religious false doctrine.

If you believe the word of God as revealed by the Holy Spirit, then you will become the word of God (Galatians 4:19).

Faith is expressed through love.

If you have not the love of God it is impossible to have a saving faith (1st Corinthians 13:1-3).

Love is the reality of faith---further, acts of faith (obedience to the word of God) are expressions of love toward God.

Biblically defined faith is hearing God, believing Him and obeying from a heart of love (Rom. 10:17).

Thus, these three:

  1. Divine love as the foundation
  2. The word of God as the corner stone, and
  3. Obedience, is divine faith working in the true believers life.

When our Lord was here on earth He was the embodiment of the word of God, He was God’s truth, the word of God in the flesh (John 1:14).

The true church is the body of Christ in the earth today (Ephesians 1:22-23).

A member of the church that our Lord is building must become like his Teacher (Luke 6:40).

This can only happen through faith working by love (Galatians 5:6 ff).

If we will only love, believe and obey God He will create us to be Christ body (Eph. 2:10), a church that is a “pillow and support of the truth.” (1st Timothy 3:15)

James C Sanford

Friday, October 12, 2007

Consider the Works And the Gifts

Consider the works that Jesus did, and then consider the works that we who say that we believe should be doing.

12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do , he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father (John 14:13 NASU).”

James is writing to the church here.

13 “Is anyone among you suffering? Then he must pray. Is anyone cheerful? He is to sing praises.

14 Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord;

15 and the prayer offered in faith will restore the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up, and if he has committed sins, they will be forgiven him.

16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much (James 5:13-16 NASU).

17 “Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the earth for three years and six months.

18 Then he prayed again, and the sky poured rain and the earth produced its fruit.”

(James 5:17-18 NASU)

Do we really believe? Then why do we still suffer? Does our unbelief hinder us? Is there a body of believers practicing these truths today? Or do we just have a “form of Godliness but deny the power thereof.”

Then James points to the prayers of Elijah as an example, a man of like nature as our own:

Where are the Elijah’s of today?

Now consider the gifts of the Spirit:

The gifts of the Spirit are for the edifying of the body of Christ, the church. Tell me, where are the gifts truly working in the church of today? We are not speaking of emotional demonstrations with no lasting results, but true gifts working with life changing results.

6 “There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons.

7 But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.

8 For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit;

9 to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,

10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.

11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills.

12 For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.

13 For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.”

(1st Corinthians 12:6-13 NASU)

If we were baptized into one body and all made to drink of one Spirit then why are there divisions among us?Could it be because of carnal mindedness (1st Corinthians 3:1-4) or unbelief (Matthew 13:58)?

Consider the works and the gifts---can we now say we believe?

Lord, I do believe; help my unbelief.

James C Sanford

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Children Shooting Up Their Schools

But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in fierce anger (fury), because he knows that he has [only] a short time [left]!
(Revelation 12:12b AMP)

Columbine was a horrible event in American history. Yet, it paled in comparison to the Virginia Tech killings. We all cried about that and wondered how things could get so bad.

There was one thing we did not suspect, however. We did not suspect that it would happen again.

And, again...

There was a rampage in an Ohio school when a young man named Asa Coon. This troubled young 14-year-old killed himself after a shooting rampage at his school.

A potentially worse tragedy was averted in Philadelphia when a young student was caught with high-powered weapons and plans to “Columbine” his school.

People are asking about warning signs... but Revelation 12 tells us the greatest warning sign. Satan realizes that his time is short and is doing his best to kill, steal and destroy (John 10:10).

These are the last days. Jesus is coming soon. Get ready.

Repentance is...

Repentance is the empting of one’s soul of sin and preparing the heart for the sowing of the good seed, the word of God. This is accomplished only through convictions brought about by the Holy Spirit; resulting in a deep sorrow and remorsefulness for crimes committed against God. Just as the farmer tills the soil and prepares it for the sowing of the seed, like so is the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of man.

The word of God requires a heart which is empty. A heart filled with earthly projects, carnal interests, ambition, thoughts of becoming rich in worldly goods, and with the love of the superfluities and pleasures of life is not fit to receive the seed of the kingdom. (John 8:37)

James C Sanford

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Thanks to DD2 for this...

One Sunday morning a usually long-winded pastor preached gave his shortest, but one of his most effective sermons ever. He said, “My sermon this morning has only three points.”

“First, over three million people in the world today are homeless and many are starving.”

“Second, most of you don't give a damn.”

“And third, it is a shame that more of you are upset by the fact that I said the word, ‘damn,’ than by the fact that over three-million people are homeless and starving.”