Saturday, October 16, 2010

If I Left The Lord Today Where Would I Go

The bible says that in the last days that there would be a "falling away" meaning many would leave the faith and I am seeing this to a point where it is scary.  Many people that I know that had a relationship with the Lord have left him and for what NOTHING.  I began to ask myself if I was to backslide what would I do.  Church and worship is such an intricate part of my life that I would be totally lost without my Savior.  I'm not going back to the bars or the clubs.  I'm not going to embrace some other faith AND I JUST CANT PRETEND LIKE I NEVER KNEW HIM.  I have heard do many backsliders say that they still pray and they still love God but that is hard to believe since Jesus declares "If you love me then keep my commandments".  So I can drink, drug, fornicate and abuse his grace and still be in love with him?  I don't think so.  Many backsliders are angry at the church like the church did something to him but it's not the church that left, YOU DID.  I walked away from God and it was the loneliest place in the world.  I center my whole world on God AND HIS PEOPLE.  I love the people of God and if I leave God I also leave His people.  That is why when people backslide it destroys relationships that people have had for years.  I remember watching the movie "An Officer and a Gentleman" and Richard Gere was playing an officer candidate that was going through flight school and he messed up and was punished and his commanding officer did everything to try to get him to quit and he finally screamed "Why don't you just give up" and The candidate said "because I have no place else to go" and that's how I feel.  If I give up I have no where else to go.  This is all I know and all I care to know.  We all go through trials and tests but I didn't sign up to quit.  I am going all the way until I make it home.  Leaving God, leaving church, leaving the saints is not an option.  these things make my life what it is.

Many that will read this blog might have left God, left his church, or left his people but the fact is that they all still love you.  When you were at your lowest it's not the world that is praying for you its the saints.  I have pastored people that have walked out of my life like I was the cashier at Walmart not realizing that I pray for them constantly and making intercession for them at the throne of God.  GO BACK HOME BECAUSE THERE IS NO WHERE ELSE TO GO

Thursday, October 14, 2010

SOUL TIES (The Silent KIller)

Some years ago I was introduced to a term that changed the way I viewed relationships.  When I was single and on the dating scene I was not very knowledgeable about the effect that relationships can have on your walk with God.  I was wondering why I could never commit to a person.  I had dated several people but could never seem to be satisfied or content.  Even though I was saved I was still seduced into disobeying God's word and entering into a world of fornication.  I also knew that it was wrong but i convinced myself (what is the big deal) I'm not hurting anyone and I'm not forcing anyone to do something that did not want to but I failed to realize the damage that was going on that I could not immediately see.  When people engage in sex outside of marriage it seems to be fulfilling enjoyable and the natural course of a relationship but their is an ugly demonic side of it that draws you into a world of depression, misery, and further rebellion against the things of God.  The Bible states "and the two shall become one".  This is not just true in marriage but it is also true in fornication.  Every time you sleep with a person that is not your spouse a demonic marriage takes place.  Satan has joined you two together in a destructive, perverted union that can only be broken by the power of God.  I look at married couples who have been together for a while and they start to look alike, talk alike, and sometimes even think alike and the reason is that their souls have been knitted together by their commitment and more so by the fact that they are sexually intimate with each other. This is called a soul tie.
Not all soul ties are bad their are some very healthy soul ties.  The bible states that "David loved Jonathan like his own soul".  This type of soul tie brings peace and spiritual enrichment but a sexual soul tie can either bring peace or mass destruction.  Married couples should never underestimate the power of their sexual intimacy.  One of the big causes of divorce in this country is over sexual confusion in the marriage.  Either it is adultery, sexual starvation, or lack of intimacy meaning "the fire has gone out".  that is why it is important that couples keep a healthy intimate lifestyle.  the soul tie between husband and wife keeps others out.
On the other hand, when single people engage in fornication it breeds shame, guilt condemnation, insecurity, manipulation, abuse, and spiritual neglect. 
Ladies have you ever  noticed that when a man commits fornication he never wants to stay and hold you or he is quick to leave?  It's because he has no investment and you have no other purpose than to meet his needs.
Men have you ever noticed that when a woman commits fornication it leaves her in a place of confusion and she begins to ask questions about your intentions because she does not trust you know.

Transfer of Spirits
Soul ties also allow spirits to be transferred into people.  When people engage in fornication they leave a demonic gateway open and anything that person has you are likely to pick it up too.  I have talked to many women who either are or have been drug addicts and many admit that they were turned on to drugs by someone that they were sleeping with.  Woman who sleep with abusive men often end up abusing themselves.  I remember when I was an HIV educator and we always use to tell young people that when you sleep with someone you also sleep with everyone they have slept with.  If it's true in the natural it is also true in the spiritual.

Soul ties and your spiritual life
Sexual soul ties will simply destroy your relationship with God because you are not doing it behind his back you are doing it in his face.  It's like a man commiting adultery and asking his wife to watch.  A soul tie will silence your prayer life because your sins have formed a wall between yourself and God and the only thing that will bring it down is an act of true repentance.  I look at prominent people in ministry who have fallen over the years and it always seems that there is an element of sexual misconduct somewhere.  That is why people who have soul ties will try to hide it at first because of the guilt and the shame but the deeper they get into it their develops a spirit of arrogance and pride that says "YOU CANT JUDGE ME".  Their hearts become hardened and they slip deeper and deeper into the tie

What do I do now?
If you really want to be delivered you need to brace yourself for what I am about to tell you.
  1. You must repent to God for your sins with godly repentance and ask God for his forgiveness for placing an idol in your life.  If you are not sorry then you have not repented.  If you are not convinced that it is wrong you must search the scriptures so that the Holy Spirit may open your heart to your sins
  2. You must renounce the relationship and the person and remove them from your life.  It is not good enough to say that we will stop because the damage has already been done.  Keeping a platonic relationship with them just breeds more confusion especially if they have not repented or sought God either.
  3. Do not accept gifts, favors, money or anything else in the relationship
  4. You can not visit or be alone with this person because they are a drug to you
  5. You must find a spiritual counselor whether it be a pastor, or a spiritual mentor that you can confess this to in order to keep you accountable and start the intercession on your behalf
  6. I recommend a period of prayer and fasting in order to start the healing and restoration process
  7. You must also repent to the other person for the damage that you have done to them.  I recommend you do this with your spiritual counsellor
  8. Give it time because this will not be fixed over night.  Repentance fixed the issue with God but the deliverance process is to work on the issue with yourself 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Importance of Fellowship in a New Testament Church

Poor communication has been the plague of mankind ever since the tower of Babel. Such statements as the following reveal that we face problems when trying to communicate to one another: “I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”
We can sometimes be misunderstood because of mispronunciations as when Howard Hendrick’s child told a friend that his father taught in a “cemetery.” Sometimes sound-alike phrases are misunderstood as with the child in a Christian school who was asked to draw a picture depicting the hymn “Gladly the Cross I’d Bear” and instead drew a picture of Gladly, the cross-eyed bear. But if we have problems understanding the concepts of each other, that is nothing compared to the problems we encounter understanding the concepts of God, for His thoughts are not our thoughts, they are foreign to us.
Now, God has given us His thoughts in the Bible and explained them carefully, but as time has passed, they have become “greek to us” and we have warped His thoughts and reverted to our own practices concerning His word. One such concept that has been especially warped in its biblical meaning is the concept of Christian fellowship. Today, churches have fellowship halls, fellowship dinners, and fellowship retreats, but very few have real fellowship. Yet for a church that seeks to be guided in principle and practice by the New Testament, fellowship is very important.
This morning, I hope each of you will learn that biblical fellowship is God’s method for the outworking of His will through the church. In order for you to understand this, we will have to discover first, what true fellowship really is, second, why fellowship is important in a New Testament church, and finally, how each one of us can practice fellowship here at Community Bible Chapel.
The Biblical Meaning of Fellowship
As we go back into history and dig deep into the original languages of the Bible, we will discover seven significant facts that help us to understand God’s intended meaning of the word, fellowship.
The first fact concerns the meaning of the Greek root. Our English word, “fellowship” is the translation of the Greek word, “koinonia.” This Greek word is derived from the root, “koinos,” which was a prefix in ancient Greek. If you were to add this prefix to words meaning “living,” “owning a purse,” “a dispute,” and “mother,” you would get words meaning “living in community together,” “owning a purse in common,” “a public dispute,” and “having a mother in common.” So we see that the root of the word, “fellowship,” means “to hold something in common.”
Our second fact relates to the usage of the word, “fellowship.” The Greek word, “koinonia,” was used to describe corporations, labor guilds, partners in a law firm, and the most intimate of marriage relationships. From the usage of the word, we can conclude that fellowship is a word denoting a relationship that is dependent on more than one individual. It is an interdependent relationship.
A third fact is that “fellowship” was never used to describe man’s relationship to God before the coming of the Holy Spirit to indwell the church. It is an exclusively post-pentecost relationship.
A fourth fact about the meaning of “fellowship” can be gleaned by comparing it to its New Testament synonyms. These are words which have overlapping but not the identical meaning of koinonia. The four synonyms of koinonia in the New Testament are philos, which means “related by love for outward characteristics”; hetairos, meaning a sharer in a common enterprise; sunergos, meaning a fellow-worker; and metochos, a participant. Each of these words denotes a unity which is expressed outwardly. This is true of fellowship but by contrast, fellowship is also an inner unity. This inner aspect of fellowship may be seen in verses such as 1 Corinthians 1:9:
God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Here, fellowship primarily focuses on our spiritual unity with Christ, an inner relationship. I suspect that Philemon.6, 2 Corinthians 13:14 and Philippians 2:1 also emphasize the inner relationship which is at the root of fellowship.
Fifth, however, we must note that fellowship does not stop with being an inner unity for it is primarily an action word! Koinonia is used nineteen times in the New Testament and in addition to being translated as “fellowship” it is also translated by the words, “contribution,” “sharing,” and “participation.” A close study of the usage of this word shows that action is always included in its meaning. Fellowship, you see, is not just being together, it is doing together! This is a point almost universally ignored by Christian groups today.
Our sixth observation concerning the meaning of “fellowship” is that it is a unique relationship with Christ. We have a relationship of being “in Christ.” We also have a relationship of being “a part of Christ’s body.” Fellowship is neither. It is not “being in” or “being part” but it is “doing with” Christ. It is our partnership with Christ in fulfilling God’s will.
Our final observation may be gleaned from the last and it is this: that fellowship is not just doing anything together. It is only doing God’s will together. Quite obviously, our fellowship with others is only as good as our fellowship with Christ, our unity. And we can only participate with Him in doing God’s will, for that is all He ever does! For this reason we must quit thinking of Christian fellowship as primarily doing things such as having pot luck dinners or watching football or playing basketball with other believers. These have their place but they are only fellowship to the extent that rest, exercise, and eating are doing the work of the Lord. Fellowship involves actively doing God’s will. The things we usually think of as fellowship are certainly not the primary meaning of the word!
The Biblical Definition of Fellowship
Now, with these seven observations, we should be able to give a biblical definition to the word, “fellowship.” We can say that: “Fellowship is a relationship of inner unity among believers that expresses itself in outer co-participation with Christ and one another in accomplishing God’s will on earth.”
So, we have seen that fellowship in its New Testament sense is an inner unity expressed outwardly. It is not just being together but doing together. It is not just doing anything together but it is working together to accomplish God’s will. Now we must ask, “Why is it so important to the church?” I think we shall see as we continue that:
Fellowship Is God’s Way of
Accomplishing His Plan of Glorifying Christ
1. The importance of fellowship to the church can be seen first in the fact that fellowship occurred naturally as a result of the establishment of the church.
Nobody had to come to the disciples and other new believers on the day of Pentecost and say, “You need to practice fellowship.” The Holy Spirit had come upon these people and formed an inner unity and their natural inclination was to exercise it outwardly. Acts 2:44-47 says this.
And all those who had believed were together, and had all things in common; 45 and they began selling their property and possessions, and were sharing them with all, as anyone might have need. 46 And day by day continuing with one mind in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they were taking their meals together with gladness and sincerity of heart, 47 praising God, and having favor with all the people. And the Lord was adding to their number day by day those who were being saved.
This working together to accomplish God’s will continued in the church with the practice of a multiplicity of leadership, diversification of activities, giving to the needy, exercise of different spiritual gifts, support of missionaries, calls to different mission fields, corporate prayer, group worship, and in other ways.
But the importance of fellowship to the church does not rest solely upon the fact that it was the natural result of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Rather, its primary importance stems from the fact that:
2. Fellowship is the indispensable means of accomplishing the God-given purpose of the church.
Let’s read together Ephesians 3:8-11.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, 9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God, who created all things; 10 in order that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, …
We see in this passage that God has an eternal plan. The church has a part in accomplishing that plan. The phrase “through the church” in vs. 10 shows that the church is to be God’s instrument in accomplishing His plan. The purpose of the church as stated in vs. 10 is to show to the world the manifold or in Greek, the many-faceted wisdom of God. So then, the purpose of the church is to hold God up to the world and display every glorious aspect of His being for all to see.
What is important to see here is that no individual working alone could ever fulfill this plan of showing every perfection of God for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So you see, the very nature of God’s plan necessitates the Godly capacities of many individuals added together to show His perfections to the world. You might say that God’s plan must be compared not to a solo but to a symphony. Its beauty is impossible to capture in one note no matter how loud. Only by a full orchestra playing together can the beautiful harmony be fully captured. And this is what the Church is, God’s orchestra! In order to fully manifest God, each person must not only play his part but must play it together. So in God’s symphony—His plan, the score is the Bible which reveals His Son, Jesus Christ. The instruments are our spiritual gifts and natural abilities. And the indispensable means we use to perform is fellowship, our co-participation in accomplishing His purpose. It is only as we work together in this way that it is possible to accomplish God’s plan. This is why fellowship is indispensable to the church.
Of course, some people try to do it all themselves. The movie, “Beau Gueste” is an example of the way some churches function. In the movie, the Arabs are attacking a foreign legion outpost. There are only four legionnaires left alive in the post. But they want the enemy to think they have lots of strength so they propped up the dead bodies of their comrades in the turrets and the four men ran around the walls shooting the dead men’s guns for them. This is the plan of many churches today. They hire a large staff of clergy to prop up the spiritually dead and fire their guns for them. But this will never accomplish God’s plan.
There is another group of people who are church-hoppers and non-participants. They think the church can make it without them. However, 1 Corinthians 12 makes it clear that every single member of the body is necessary for its proper functioning. Because of the importance of fellowship, no one has the right to amputate themselves from the functioning body of Christ, the local church.
So, then, we see that the practice of fellowship, the outward exercise of our inner unity in doing God’s will, is not only natural but indispensable in accomplishing God’s purpose for the church. How, then, can we practice fellowship?
Practicing Fellowship
You can practice Fellowship by recognizing our goal and taking an active part where you can best help.
People must recognize our goal. People often do not take part in a church because they see no clear purpose. As previously discussed, our purpose is to show God’s glory to the world in all the many ways He has instructed us in the Bible. We participate together seven days a week to glorify God, to do it His way, and to do it together.
You can practice fellowship by taking an active part where you can best help with this goal. You can discover where you can best help by recognizing your spiritual gifts and natural abilities and by knowing the needs of our church. Then help where you can make not just yourself, but the church as a whole, to be the most fruitful. If you do not know your spiritual gift, pitch in where you have a natural ability. As you work with others, your gifts will surface and you’ll find places you might function in our church according to your gifts and abilities.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Value of Friends

I believed that one of the most undervalued relationships are friends.  There are many that say that they don't need friends and if you are one of those people you are probably dysfunctional.  I simply love my true friends.  There is nothing like having a burden or a problem and you can speak to a true friend.  I am amazed that people will throw away years of friendship over silly stuff.  My best friend (and he will remain nameless) I would not sell him out for anything.  It is a dangerous thing to be close to a person who does not value you.  You don't abuse your friends, you don't put them in uncomfortable situations, you don't talk about them to others, and you don't exploit their weaknesses.  Even Jesus understood the value of friends when he said "I no longer call you servants but I call you friend".  Friendship is the highest level of human relationship.  I know that many would say that marriage is but I disagree.  The divorce rate is over 50 % because people don't marry their friends.  My wife is my friend.  She was my friend before married and she is my best friend now.  Friends don't judge, they just listen.  The bible says that if a man wants friends he must show himself friendly.  Showing yourself friendly is not just smiling and being polite.  It's also about showing oneself to be faithful, discreet, compassionate, a good listener, interested in you and your family's well-being.  I watch how people treat other people and that is how I determine if they will make me a quality friend.  For instance if you have a friends that like to talk about people, they are probably talking about you too.  A snake is a snake at all times.  Even when a snake is sleeping he is still a snake.  YOU SHALL KNOW THEM BY THEIR FRUIT.  Beware of people who stay in mess because if you hang long enough you will smell like them.  If you have a good friend and you really love them, give them a call and let them know

Friday, October 8, 2010

A Message to those that are Dating!

Someone once told me that you should never go grocery shopping when you are hungry because you end up picking up things you didn't need. So it is when going into a relationship. If you are a needy, hungry person you will pick up things and tolerate things that you would never normally tolerate. A person must be complete before they go into a serious relationship or they will stay needy. Needy people become heavy after a while and people will not want to carry you. I really don't believe that there is one person that can make you happy but you must be happy first and let them add to your existing happiness. Many couples when they can not find true contentment resort to sex which just complicates matters. Not only is sex before marriage a sin but it is also a destructive force in the course of a relationship. I know this sounds old-fashion to some but i speak from experience that sex never made me love someone more. Sex can drive someone from your life because a trust has been broken. God talked about fornication throughout the bible and it never ended well. Sex is a smokescreen for the dating and a source of pure joy for the married. Anyone who is married can tell you that there is a big difference between marital love and single sex. Dating is an opportunity to investigate yourself and the person you are dating. I'm not talking about hiring an investigator but searching your own heart and mind. Over 50% of marriages are ending in divorce because people did not do their homework. Do you know about their family background, their finances, their friends, their habits, their emotional state, their credit history, their past relationships. All of these can be factors in your future. Never let a person tell you that their past doesn't matter. I say tell me your past and let me judge for my self. Ladies if your are dating a man and you are the only person that thinks he is a good man then HE IS NOT A GOOD MAN. A man's reputation follows him even his ex's should have something good to say about him. Men, if she is sloppy and irresponsible while she is single she will be that way married. Do the homework people. Are they spiritual and do they have a relationship with God. Just because they say they are saved the conversation should not end there. There is a live that goes with the confession. Are they faithful in ministry are they faithful to prayer and study, does their pastor speak well of them. When your investigation is over then you need to pray your guts out and give the Holy Spirit permission to reveal anything that your eyes don't want to see.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Don't lose your Song

Don’t Lose Your Song!
Pastor Mark K. Sanders

Psalms 137
This book of the Psalms was written by an anonymous author. This author happened to be one of the captives that were take from Jerusalem to Babylon under the siege of Nebachchadezzar. 

In 605 B.C. Neb. Became king of Babylon and in September of that year he swept through Palestine and surrounded Jerusalem.  To demonstrate his dominance, he took the vessels from the temple; he took the wisest men and the most beautiful women to Babylon as captives.  Nebuchchadnezzar. Was feared throughout the world and systematically pulled downed nations.

Zedekiah, King of Judah was taken captive.  His sons were beheaded before his eyes and his eyes were plucked out and he was carried into Babylon where he was left to rot in prison until is death.

Neb’s system was to
  • Destroy the religions
  • Seize the intellectuals, the mighty and those that were skillful in areas of science, business, and mystics
  • Harvest the best people of that nation
  • To change their name’s in order for them to assimilate to Babylonian culture

The captives endured a grueling 500 mile trek from Jerusalem to Babylon and they were encamped on the Euphrates River.

The Edomites were related to the Israelites; both nations were descendents of Isaac.  There was a bitter hatred between the two nations.  The Edomites did not come to help them when they were besieged by the Babylonian army.  In fact they rejoiced when Jerusalem was destroyed.

What do you do when the people you love make allegiances with your enemies?

By The Willow Tree
They sat and wept when they remembered Zion.
Zion is the place where they met God. 
  • The presence of God is a place that we must fight to stay in.  Zion typifies the place where worship is conducted.

Their captors wanted to see what was going to come out of their mouths in the time of trouble.

The problem was that they were so distant from God at the time of their captivity that they forgot how to sing the Lord’s song.

What makes a person hang up their harp?
  • Doubt
  • Despair
  • Discouragement
  • Fear
  • Anger
  • Loss

The Fuel of praise is when you begin to remember and making a decision to never forget what God had done, to never forget what God is doing, and to never forget what He shall do.

We must remember that God will avenge His children

Isaiah 49:13-16


Binding the Strongman:  His Name & His Game
Pastor Mark K. Sanders Sr.

Luke 11:21-22
 21When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace:
 22But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.

Matthew 12:29
29Or else how can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.
 30He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.

Who is this strongman?
Satan the God of this world is the strongman that Jesus is referring to.  Satan also has an intricate system or government of Angels and other evil spirits that move under his direction.  The scripture does mention that the only way to overcome him is that one who is stronger comes and overtakes him.

It is inaccurate to believe that we have the power of ourselves when it comes to binding the enemy.  Jesus has given us power and authority through His Spirit and his name.
The one with the binding or arresting assignment is Jesus, not us, his disciples. He is the one that is stronger than the strong man. Unless we begin to assume that we’re stronger than him. That’s not what the bible says. “Bold and arrogant, these men are not afraid to slander celestial beings; yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not bring slanderous accusations against such beings in the presence of the Lord. But these men blaspheme in matters they do not understand,” 2 Peter 2:10-12.

The one who does the binding is therefore Jesus. His work on the cross did the binding by taking away Satan’s authority over the earth, which became his house after Adam fell. He destroyed the legal grounds that Satan gained authority over us who had become his goods in his house. The legal claim came through sin.

Power & Authority
In our cities and municipalities all over the world we use the police to keep order in our communities.  Police has been given two things in order to do their duties:
Power-(Gk.Dunamis) "power", "capability", "strength", or "force".  They receive their power through training, weapons, and tactics

Authority-(Exousia) the power of authority (influence) and of right (privilege)
the power of rule or government (the power of him whose will and commands must be submitted to by others and obeyed).  The police receive their authority through the government or kingdom through an act of law or the declaration of a monarch.

Spiritual Warfare in the Church
I John 3:8 
8He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
Jesus came to set the captives free and to free all that were oppressed by the devil.  In order to understand spiritual warfare, one must understand the mission and the assignment that was on the life of Jesus Christ.  Jesus did not come to earth so we could build our churches, makes us shout and dance, make our pockets fatter, or work our ministries.  Jesus came to take back the earth and humanity for God.  Jesus came to redeem man from the hands of Satan and to establish His kingdom in the earth.

Spiritual Principle #1-One must understand the order, purpose, and principle for the kingdom.
(thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven)

Spiritual Principle #2-Satan is a defeated foe.  Satan terrorizes the saints with fear and illusions.  Satan is a terrorist and terrorism is a tool of an enemy that is losing a fight.  Jesus seized power at calvary.
(Matthew 28:18 -And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.)
Spiritual Principle #3-Satan has been stripped of authority but he still has access into the lives of people (Yes, even the saints)
Colossians 1:10-13
10That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;
 11Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;
 12Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
 13Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

I John 1:4-6
 4And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
 5This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.
 6If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:

·         Satan does not live in hell but he lives in a realm called darkness.  Anytime there is darkness, Satan has a legal right to be there.  Those things that we hide for god can become a habitation for the enemy
·         We must grasp the notion that Satan can traffic in any area of Darkness, even the darkness that exists in a Christians’ heart

Spiritual Principle #4-Close all open doors.  (Neither give place to the devil Eph 4:27).  Don’t make room for him through:
·         Lineage (Ex.20:5)
·         Crisis
·         Ignorance

Spiritual Principle #5-without the whole armor of God defeat is almost sure.
Eph. 6:10
God has armor but so does Satan.

God’s Armor
Satan’s Armor
 Belt of Truth
Belt of Doctrinal Error and Satanic lies
Breastplate of Righteousness
Breastplate of Pride
Shoes of the gospel of Peace
Shoes of Mischief
Shield of Faith
Shield of doubt and disbelief
Helmet of Salvation
Helmet of Fear
Sword of the Spirit

The Vision Statement for Refuge Temple of Christ

The Pastor’s Vision

Deuteronomy 10:8-9
 8At that time the LORD separated the tribe of Levi, to bear the ark of the covenant of the LORD, to stand before the LORD to minister unto him, and to bless in his name, unto this day.
 9Wherefore Levi hath no part nor inheritance with his brethren; the LORD is his inheritance, according as the LORD thy God promised him.

The bible declares that we are a “royal priesthood and a holy nation”.  As the royal priesthood of God we are required to bear the ark of the covenant of the Lord.  It was the tribe of Levi that carried the ark from place to place.  I see the ministry of Refuge Temple of Christ holding up the four corners of the ark.  The ark contained three items:  (1)The table of stone the God wrote His commandments on (God’s Word) (2) Aaron’s rod that budded (God’s direction and protection) (3) a pot of manna (God’s provision and sustaining power).  Refuge Temple of Christ is a church that is ordained by God himself.  He is the one that has led us through all of the peaks and valleys and has promised us great success if we completely submit to His will.  Just as it took four priests to carry the ark, we have four areas of priestly ministry that we have been assigned to in this region.  This approach to ministry will address the needs of the “whole man”.
I no longer choose to limit this ministry to being called “Refuge Temple Lockport” because God has a greater vision for us than the city of Lockport. 
Joshua 18:3 (King James Version)
 3And Joshua said unto the children of Israel, How long are ye slack to go to possess the land, which the LORD God of your fathers hath given you?

The Four Corners of the Ministry
The Priesthood of Worship
A church’s worship ought to be God-centered and gospel-fueled.  We ought to come to worship expecting first and foremost to see God. We come to encounter his glory, to be awe struck by his majesty. A worship service isn’t the place to showcase human talent but the place for God to showcase his divine treasure. We gather not to be impressed by one another—how we sound, what we wear, who we are—but to be impressed by God and his mighty acts of salvation. We come to sing of who he is and what he’s done. We come to hear his voice resounding in and through his Word. We come to feel the grief of our sin so that we can taste the glory of his salvation. We gather to be magnificently defeated, flattened, and shrunk by the power and might of the living God.  We are expected to approach praise and worship with excellence and reverence for our God.

The Priesthood of Fellowship
“Fellowship is a relationship of inner unity among believers that expresses itself in outer co-participation with Christ and one another in accomplishing God’s will on earth.”  Refuge Temple of Christ is a church that is built on believers that have fellowship with the Holy Spirit and with each other.  Fellowship is just not being together but it is “doing” together.  There is a place for everyone in the ministry and it is the goal of leadership to help all those that have a mind to work to find their purpose.
You can practice fellowship by taking an active part where you can best help with this goal. You can discover where you can best help by recognizing your spiritual gifts and natural abilities and by knowing the needs of our church. Then help where you can make not just yourself, but the church as a whole, to be the most fruitful. If you do not know your spiritual gift, pitch in where you have a natural ability. As you work with others, your gifts will surface and you’ll find places you might function in our church according to your gifts and abilities.
The Priesthood ofTeaching and Training
But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.  (II Peter 3:18).

Refuge Temple of Christ is committed to the teachings of the oracles of God by effective teaching and training.  The continual study of God’s Word is a cornerstone of our ministry.  Weekly bible studies and personal studies is how this shall be achieved.  We are not just focused on the teaching behind the walls of the church but also the teaching of God’s Word to the entire community.  The teaching and training will go from the “cradle to the grave”.  We are committed to teaching or children from the minute that they can communicate.  It is through the knowledge of God’s Word that we will grow and flourish.

The Priesthood of Evangelism and Outreach
We cannot be the church of our Lord Jesus Christ if we do not adhere to the final directives that were given by our Lord when he departed this earth.
Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:19-20)
Refuge Temple of Christ is committed to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout this entire region and abroad.  We will establish outreach ministries, local and regional evangelistic strategies.  We will also pursue church planting in areas where the gospel may be shallow or non-existent.  Witnessing will be the staple of our church growth.  The church is also here to establish components to serve in the greater Lockport area.  We look to minister to the entire man.  SPIRIT SOUL AND BODY

Prayerfully submitted
Pastor Mark K. Sanders, Sr.


Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I am a first time blogger so I thought I would start with an introduction of myself.  I am Mark K. Sanders and I simply love the Lord.  I am a husband, a father, a brother, and the SON OF A PREACHER MAN.  I serve as senior pastor of the Refuge temple of Christ church in Lockport, NY where i have been serving for the past 12 years.  The Lord has been so gracious to me and he has given me much to share with the body of Christ.  So I am looking forward to my new experience in Blogging