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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “Satan

The Curse of Blindness

Julije Klovi? - Elymas Struck Blind by St Paul...

Julije Klovi? – Elymas Struck Blind by St Paul before the Proconsul Sergius Paulus – WGA05091 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many times we wonder how someone can not see the reality of a situation. We wonder how they miss the obvious and twist reality into something totally different. In this world of craziness it is as if a fellow blogger said the other day, we are living in an upside down world. As if the Mad Hatter is in charge of the world and whatever we view is in their eyes something totally different.

According to wiki.answers.com In the King James version

  • the word – blind – appears 82 times
  • the word – blinded – appears 5 times
  • the word – blindeth – appears once
  • the word – blindfolded – appears once
  • the word – blindness – appears 7 times

There is a physical blindness, a mental blindness, and a spiritual blindness. We see Jesus use blindness in ways to get His message across, whether it is healing, as in:

Matthew 15:30

And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:
Or as an allegory:

Matthew 15:14

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
It was used as a curse by Paul:

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

But one way that it is used is the way God uses a type of blindness in the days preceding the Day of the Lord:

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

King James Version (KJV)

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

God is not allowing some to see the truth and nothing we say or do will remove their blindness. At some point they made a deliberate decision to be unrighteous. To these whom the seed of faith and truth will never grow, they will only find the truth when it hits them in the face.

It is  an object lesson to all of us to choose righteousness, if we willfully choose to do wrong, we will not be able to see the truth. My friends consider your actions carefully, understand that when you see someone who will not see the truth and takes reality and turns it into something totally different, that it is sometimes God’s will that they do not see. Prophecy has to be fulfilled in order for the Lord to return. What it shows us is that God’s word is true and that His will is being done!

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On Celebrating Christmas 2

If we take each day that someone celebrates to evil and Satan and declare that we can not celebrate God or Christ on that day for that reason, we are ceding that day to those that celebrate evil over good. R.C. Sproul said:

 “That He has given us 52 holidays a year does not mean that we cannot rejoice over His grace on Monday, and Tuesday, or any day- even December 25. That others before us celebrated the same day as us, for wicked reasons cannot mean that we cannot do what we will do in eternity for godly reasons- rejoice over the coming of the Messiah. That others tell their children stories about Santa is no reason for us to not tell truth stories to our children about Jesus, and to laugh with joy as we do so.”

If we take a day and set it aside and state that that day has been used for a pagan celebration, we say that God has given that day aside for evil. We are never to give to Satan a sacrifice and that is exactly what it would be. What a reward that would be wouldn’t it? All He would have to do to have every day of the year set aside, would be to make sure that man found a reason to celebrate that day in idol worship and have those of us who are Christians give it up because of that. And it wouldn’t be that hard in the current generation either. Consider how many people give up church on Sunday for a ball game, or shopping because that is often a good day.

1 Corinthians 10

King James Version (KJV)

26 For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.

27 If any of them that believe not bid you to a feast, and ye be disposed to go; whatsoever is set before you, eat, asking no question for conscience sake.

28 But if any man say unto you, this is offered in sacrifice unto idols, eat not for his sake that shewed it, and for conscience sake: for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof:

29 Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience?

30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks?

31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

So for those who would rather not celebrate Christmas and consider it a pagan holiday, choose how you decide to consider that day wisely. If you choose not to celebrate the birth of Christ, that is fine and well. God makes no requirement that you do so. But if you tell others that they should not have a day set aside to celebrate His birth, are you telling them that that day belongs to Satan? If you are, are you standing for God and saying all the days belong to Him, or are you ceding that day? If you are ceding that day, even in your own mind, you may be giving evil a victory!

2 Corinthians 9

King James Version (KJV)

6 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

9 (As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad; he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

10 Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

11 Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

12 For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

13 Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

How glorious it would be to see all those who follow Christ to set aside even more days to celebrate the glory of God! How wonderful it would be to have such joy in the world! Glory to God in the highest and remember that we are God’s children, we celebrate Him and His glory, His birth, His death, and His resurrection. And especially His future coming. Everything belongs to God. We are His, what we do and the joy we show at all aspects of His life, reflect on His. Stand fast in that glory and cede nothing to the ones who would turn it to evil. Loopyloo

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Thought for the Day

Some of you know something of that which has been called “the dark night of the soul.” Some of you have spiritual desire and deep longing for victory but it seems to you that your efforts to go on with God have only brought you more bumps and more testings and more discouragement. You are tempted to ask, “How long can this go on?”…

Yes, there is a dark night of the soul. There are few Christians willing to go into this dark night and that is why there are so few who enter into the light. It is impossible for them ever to know the morning because they will not endure the night. I Talk Back to the Devil, 80-81. A.W. Tozer

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A.W. Pink : Access to God (Part 1)

Part 1
The matter of our approach into the presence of God is one of vital importance, yet it is one (like so many others these days) upon which much confusion and misconception exists. We will not now attempt to canvass the principal errors pertaining thereto, for there would be little profit for either writer or reader in prosecuting such a task. Rather do we wish to call attention unto the various aspects of the subject, for it is failure to perceive these and hold their due balance which has resulted in the fostering of false impressions in quarters which some regard as being the most orthodox sections of Christendom. If one essential aspect of this subject be ignored, or if another one be emphasized to the virtual exclusion of everything else, then the most misleading and dangerous ideas must result therefrom.
Let us begin by asking the question, Is it possible for a depraved and defiled creature to obtain access unto the thrice Holy One? If there is one thing taught more plainly in the Scriptures than another it is that sin separates the sinner and God. This fearful fact is impressively set forth in Genesis 3:24: that flaming sword was the symbol of a sin-hating God, barring approach unto the emblem of His presence. When Jehovah appeared on Sinai, amid the most solemn manifestations of His awful presence, even the favoured Hebrews were commanded under pain of death to keep their distance from Him. An Israelite who became ceremonially unclean was rigidly excluded from the Camp. Even when the tabernacle and the temple were erected, the common people were not allowed to enter the holy places. In how many different ways did God make it evident that sin obstructed any access to Himself!

But not only does God debar the sinner from access, the sinner himself has no desire to approach unto Him—rather does he wish to flee as far as possible from His presence. A sense of sin and the guilt of it upon the conscience drives the sinner from the Lord. This fact was also solemnly exemplified at the dawn of human history—just as long as our first parents remained in dutiful subjection to their Maker, walking in obedience to His commandments, they enjoyed blissful communion with Him; but as soon as they became self-willed and rebellious, all was radically altered. After they had eaten of the forbidden fruit and they heard the voice of the Lord God in the Garden, they fled in terror, seeking to hide from Him. And thus it has been ever since.

Is there, then, no access to God for the fallen creature? If there were not we should not be engaged in writing this article. Access to God is possible—possible for the chief of sinners—but only via the appointed Mediator. As the Lord Jesus so emphatically declared, “No man cometh unto the Father but by Me” (John 14:6). It is through the Lord Jesus Christ, and by Him alone—not through priest or pope, Mary or the angels, good works or tears—that we may obtain access to God. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access” (Rom. 5:1, 2). In pointing this out we are covering ground which is thoroughly familiar to all our readers, truth which is still proclaimed in many places. Yet it is by no means the whole of the truth on this subject, though it is all that is presented thereon in certain quarters. It is those neglected aspects which we now desire to particularly stress.

Once again we would point out that unless we differentiate between things that differ there is bound to be confusion and error. So here. We must distinguish between the way of access which Christ has opened for sinners into the presence of God, the qualifications which are required from those entering that way, and the exercise of those qualifications so that the way is actually used. But the moment we mention “qualification” and the necessity for “exercising” the same, some will demur, insisting that we are thereby sounding a legalistic note and destroying the simplicity of the Gospel. Then let us ask- such objectors, Are hypocrites entitled to use that way of access which Christ has opened? Do “Christians” who exercise no faith, but simply offer cold and mechanical prayers, enter into God’s presence? If the objector answers No—as honesty compels him to do—then he has granted our contention, whether or not he agrees with us in detail.

How many professing Christians do really obtain personal access to and enjoy conscious communion with the Holy One? What percentage of real Christians are actually accustomed to do so? Alas, what multitudes have been deceived by Satan into supposing that all they have to do is get down on their knees, plead the name of Christ, and automatically they obtain audience with the Most High. Not so. It still holds good that, “Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened that it cannot save, neither His ear heavy that it cannot hear; but your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear” (Isa. 59:1, 2). The principles of the Divine government know no alteration, and allowed and unconfessed sins act as an impassable barrier between the soul and God as truly today as they did under the Old Testament economy. No change of dispensation modifies the requirements of God’s holiness or reduces the enormity of sin.

Three things are absolutely necessary if any is to have access to God. First, he must have the legal right or title to do so. Second, he must possess the necessary moral fitness. Third, he must be spiritually and experimentally empowered. Our legal right to approach unto God is found alone in the merits of Christ: His sacrificial work and the present exercise of His Priesthood give me title to draw near unto the Throne of Grace. But does that cover the whole matter? Is nothing more than a legal title required? Ah, the real saint knows otherwise from painful experience. How often has he entered his closet, sought audience with the Divine Majesty, pleaded the blood of Christ, yet without any conscious access. So far from any conscious approach to Him, God seems far off, and all is darkness and deadness in the soul. Like the Spouse in the Canticles, he seeks his Beloved, but finds Him not.

“Behold I go forward, but He is not there: and backward, but I cannot perceive Him. On the left hand, where He doth work, but I cannot behold Him: He hideth Himself on the right hand, that I cannot see Him” (Job 23:8, 9). Has that painful experience of Job’s never been duplicated in your own? Was his case altogether exceptional? Far from it, as the recorded lamentations of others of God’s children clearly show. “Why standest Thou afar off, O LORD? why hidest Thou Thyself in times of trouble?” (Psa. 10:1). Yes, even the sweet Psalmist of Israel knew what it was to feel God’s distance from him and to be denied conscious access to Him. “How long wilt Thou forget me, O LORD, forever? how long wilt Thou hide Thy face from me?” (Psa. 13:1). Again and again this was his agonizing experience. And there are seasons in the history of all believers when such language is just as suitable to express their experience as Psalm 46 or Psalm 150 is suited to their cases on other occasions.

“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father” (Eph. 2:18). The words we have placed in italics present another vital aspect of our subject, showing as they do the Christian’s dependence upon the agency of the Holy Spirit. Herein each person of the blessed Trinity is accorded His own distinctive place in the economy of re- demption: access is unto the Father, it is through Christ, but it is by the Spirit. The sinful believer can no more approach unto the Father without the gracious operations of the Spirit than he could without the mediation of the Lord Jesus. One has procured for us the legal right; the Other supplies the experimental enablement. The exercise of faith, as we shall yet see, is another essential prerequisite for drawing near to God, but the actings of faith lie not within our own unaided power—He who first imparted this heavenly gift must quicken and energize it if it is to function properly.

“For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.” What place is given to this part of the Truth in most sections of Christendom today? None at all. And even where the third Person of the Godhead is duly owned and honoured, how feebly do the saints apprehend their imperative need of the Spirit’s daily working within them. His operations are essential if our leaden hearts are to be raised above the things of time and sense, if our affections are to flow forth unto their rightful Object, if faith is to be duly acted upon Him, if a sense of His presence is to be communicated unto the soul. But will the Spirit perform these gracious operations if we are indifferent as to whether or not our conduct grieves Him? If a Christian has spent his evening at the card-table or the theatre, and before retiring to rest bows his knees, will the Holy Spirit, at that time, draw out the heart of such an one and grant him conscious access to the Father?

What has just been raised brings us to still another aspect of our subject—there must be a moral fitness if the suppliant is to obtain access to God. Alas, that so little is heard about this in the ministry of the day. Yet the reason for this omission is not far to seek: where the dominant object is the pleasing of the hearer, little will be said in condemnation of a carnal walk, and still less of the serious consequences thereof. But though the pulpit has become so unfaithful, God abides faithful, and He will not wink at evil doing. No, not in His own children, nor will He allow the sacred name of Christ to be used as a passport into His presence by the workers of iniquity. Is it not written, “With the pure Thou wilt show Thyself pure; and with the obstinate Thou wilt show Thyself obstinate” (Psa. 18:26); that means what it says, and says what it means.

Loose walking severs communion with God, and then will He act distantly toward us. An earthly parent (who is prudent) will not conduct himself with the same familiarity and cordiality toward a disobedient child as he will unto a dutiful one. Our folly must be repented of and humbly acknowledged before fellowship can be restored with God. Yea, even if our fault be only against a fellow-creature it must be righted before God will accept our worship: “If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath aught against thee; leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift” (Matt. 5:23, 24)—how many are unable to obtain conscious access to God through failure at this very point! “Turn ye unto Me, saith the LORD of hosts, and I will turn unto you” (Zech. 1:3): if we would have God turn unto us in mercy we must turn unto Him in obedience.

“Therefore being justified by faith we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace” (Rom. 5:1, 2). This brings before us still another aspect of our subject: the necessity for the exercise of faith in order to approach God. The same truth is presented again in, “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him” (Eph. 3:12). Faith is the appointed means of access, for it is the hand which receives every blessing from God. Faith in God’s willingness to grant us an audience, faith in the sufficiency of Christ’s atoning sacrifice to provide us with the title of approach: faith in the Divine promises that if we contritely confess our sins He will cleanse us therefrom. At first a small degree of faith enables the Christian to approach unto God, but as he advances in the knowledge of his own heart and of God’s hatred of sin, stronger faith needs to be exercised if we are to draw near the heavenly Throne with confidence. Yet we must be very careful not to mistake blatant presumption for holy assurance.

“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the Holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which He hath consecrated for us through the veil (that is to say, His flesh); and having a High Priest over the house of God; Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water” (Heb. 10:19-22). This is what may be termed the classic passage on our present theme, gathering up as it does into one comprehensive statement the essential features thereof. But what a solemn example it affords of the lack of proportion which now so generally prevails: we are probably safe in saying that for every once verse 22 is quoted, verse 19 is cited 20 times. It is this disproportion which has distorted the Truth and led to the error mentioned by us in the earlier paragraphs. Let us now carefully examine these verses.

The passage opens by announcing that Christians have “liberty” (margin) or a “freedom with confidence” to approach unto God, this language presenting a designed contrast from the case of national Israel under the old economy. This liberty to draw near unto the heavenly Mercy-seat is “by the blood of Jesus.” The foundation of all confidence in our access to God and the title to approach unto Him lies in the infinitely meritorious sacrifice which Christ offered unto God on our behalf, and this we must ever plead before Him. Our encouragement so to do lies in the office which our Saviour now exercises on behalf of His people, namely, “High Priest over the house of God.” This is most blessedly brought before us in, “for we have not a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin: let us therefore come boldly (freely) unto the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Heb. 4:15, 16).

In what next follows in our passage we are shown the way or manner in which we are to make use of the unspeakable privilege described in verses 19-21. In other words, we are required to meet the terms of verse 22 if we are to enjoy conscious access unto the thrice holy God. First, let us draw near with “a true heart.” This is the principal qualification. A “true heart” is one that beats true unto God. It denotes sincerity in contrast from hypocrisy. It is not the reverent posture of the body or the language of the lips with which God is chiefly concerned, but rather with the heart—the seat of our affections. They who worship Him, “must worship Him in spirit and in truth,” or their performance is utterly futile. The mere outward performance of religious duties, no matter how scrupulously undertaken, is not sufficient—it is with the sincerity of our hearts God has chief regard to in all our approaches unto Him. God will bear with infirmities, but not with hypocrisy.

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Let Him Hear

Revelation 2

King James Version (KJV)

2 Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;

2 I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

3 And hast borne, and hast patience, and for my name’s sake hast laboured, and hast not fainted.

4 Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.

5 Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.

6 But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate.

7 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God.

8 And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;

9 I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan.

10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.

11 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; He that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death.

12 And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges;

13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.

14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.

15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate.

16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.

17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.

18 And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write; These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass;

19 I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.

20 Notwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and to seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.

21 And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

22 Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

24 But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

25 But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

26 And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:

27 And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.

28 And I will give him the morning star.

29 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

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Thought for the Day

“Now I do not think that Satan much cares to destroy us Christians physically. The soldier dead in battle who died performing some deed of heroism is not a great loss to the army but may rather be an object of pride to his country. On the other hand the soldier who cannot or will not fight but runs away at the sound of the first enemy gun is a shame to his family and a disgrace to his nation. So a Christian who dies in the faith represents no irreparable loss to the forces of righteousness on earth and certainly no victory for the devil. But when whole regiments of professed believers are too timid to fight and too smug to be ashamed, surely it must bring an astringent smile to the face of the enemy;

The devil’s master strategy for us Christians then is not to kill us physically (though there may be some special situations where physical death fits into his plan better), but to destroy our power to wage spiritual warfare. And how well he has succeeded. ” A.W.Tozer

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The Man of Lawlessness

2 Thessalonians 2

New International Version (NIV)

 

The Man of Lawlessness

2 Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christand our being gathered to him, we ask you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to become easily unsettled or alarmed by the teaching allegedly from us—whether by a prophecy or by word of mouth or by letter—asserting that the day of the Lord has already come. 3 Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness[a]is revealed, the man doomed to destruction. 4 He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.

5 Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things? 6 And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. 7 For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, 10 and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie12 and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.

Stand Firm

13 But we ought always to thank God for you,brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[b] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings[c] we passed on to you,whether by word of mouth or by letter.

16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.

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Who Am I

Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Je...

Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in the former Mosque (Cathedral) of Cordoba, Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Matthew 16:13-23
King James Version (KJV)
13 When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?

14 And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.

15 He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am?

16 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.

17 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.

18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

19 And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

20 Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

21 From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples, how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day.

22 Then Peter took him, and began to rebuke him, saying, Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee.

23 But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

Do you let Satan get in sometimes? Even when it is the furtherest thing from your mind? Don’t give up when you slip up, everyone does! We are only human after all! It is only because Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice that we have the reward! That doesn’t mean that we should not try not to sin, how could we possibly love God is we didn’t try to please Him. It just means that we are a work in progress and when Satan get’s in the way, remember that God gave us the right to say “get behind me Satan! So don’t forget who Jesus is, and don’t forget that it is His power and His might that set us free!

PTG

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Resisting the Devil via Days of Praise

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9)

The devil is far more powerful and intelligent (as well as subtle and seductive in his malignant purposes) than any combination of human enemies we could ever face, and we would be utterly unable to defeat him with our own human resources. Yet God’s Word makes it plain that we are neither to yield to him nor flee from him. Instead, the admonition is: “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you” (James 4:7).

But how can we resist such a mighty foe? As in our text, we must constantly maintain sobriety and vigilance against his enticements, and be careful to remain “steadfast in the faith.” Otherwise, the pseudo-intellectualism and social peer pressure to which we are subjected daily could quickly persuade us to compromise the faith, or even to depart from the faith.

We are commanded not to yield and not to compromise. Instead we must “put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” We have “the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the |wicked one|,” and also “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:11, 16-17).

This mighty sword with which we can make Satan flee from us is literally “the saying of God”—that is, an appropriate individual word from the complete Word of God. This was the instrument with which the Lord Jesus Himself resisted the devil, parrying each temptation with an incisive thrust of Scripture. The result then—as it will be now with us also—was that the devil “departed from him for a season” (Luke 4:13). HMM

The Institute for Creation Research

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Why Does Satan Hate the Black Man?

Do you think that I am crazy asking this question? Consider the situation throughout history of people of African descent. No other race has endured the genocide, slavery and degradation more that blacks, except for those of Jewish descent! Is it simply coincidence?

In Africa itself the black race has been subjected to more violence than any other people in the other continents. They have suffered drought, infestations, starvation, almost constant war, enslavement by all the other races and now being converted whether they wish or not into the radical Islamic religion. Their historic cities destroyed by war or deliberately by those who want their destruction.

In all other countries of the world they are often thought of as less than human or considered second class citizens. Even here in the United States they have suffered both slavery and denigration.

But what is currently happening to the black people here in the United States is a genocide that they themselves appear to be ignorant of in most cases, and even willing partners to in others. They have allowed themselves to be suppressed by those who really want to have power over them and yet really care nothing for them.

Look at who is being aborted, jailed, unemployed, and killed in this country. Most of it is people of African descent. Those in power do not want them to really prosper, they would much rather see them continually dependent on them and yet are rarely called out by the people that they are supposed to be representing.

While many would like to blame it on those who are conservative, if you look at it objectively, you find that most of the policies that are put in place to control people happen when liberals are in power. It is amazing how even many churches are blind to the real enemy of the black man!

Can anyone of faith fail to recognize the face of evil when they see it? It is usually the one with the most beautiful face with the hand out saying let me do that for you. Then once you accept, you are tied to them and they frequently remind you of how much you owe them. The prince of lies has had eons to perfect his ploy and is extremely good at it.

But why the special emphasis on those of African descent? Am I wrong is thinking that there is a pattern here? This is not the will of God, He loves all and sacrificed His Son for all those who choose Him. If it is not the will of God, that just leaves Satan. We have the story of Job as an example, and yet Job knew that he did do anything wrong.

At the same time, it would be hard to accept that people of African descent did something so horrific that they would deserve what they have. In point of fact it is impossible, Jesus did not say that any race would be ineligible. Therefore that just leaves Satan. And I say again, why is Satan so bent on the subjection and eradication of the black man? Because that is the direction that they are headed in many parts of the world. Even here in the United States, the black on black violence is increasing every day. The failure of the schools is leading to increasing ignorance in the communities of all people. Drug use is tearing families apart and yet it is being encouraged by many of those in power. Far from our current leaders trying to help those who are unemployed find jobs, they are instead regulating the jobs out of existence and bringing in even more low skilled and unskilled to take jobs away from those most vulnerable. They are pushing for the abortion of babies at any stage of development, making healthcare substandard and less available that it was previously. They are perverting our faith and abusing our beliefs. They are even encouraging us to kill the lesser and needy in order to profit those they consider better.

Why does Satan hate the Black man?

Jesus Christ – The ONLY TRUE Friend of the Black Man!

A 13th century book illustration produced in B...

A 13th century book illustration produced in Baghdad by al-Wasiti showing a slave-market in the town of Zabid in Yemen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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Smith Wigglesworth : Deliverance to the Captives

Read Luke 4:1-20.

Our precious Lord Jesus has everything for everybody. Forgiveness of sin, healing of diseases and the fullness of the Spirit all come from one sourcefrom the Lord Jesus Christ. Hear Him who is the same yesterday, today and forever as He announces the purpose for which He came: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he bath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor, he bath sent me to heal the broken-hearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, to preach the acceptable year of the Lord.”

Jesus had been baptized by John in Jordan, and the Holy Spirit had descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon Him. Being full of the Holy Ghost., He had been led by the Spirit into the wilderness, there to come off more than conqueror over the arch enemy. Then He returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee and preached in the synagogues, and at last He came to His old home town-Nazareth, where He announced His mission in the words I have just quoted. For a brief while He ministered on the earth, and then gave His life a ransom for all. But God raised Him from the dead. And before He went to the glory He told His disciples that they too should receive the power of the Holy Ghost upon them. Thus, through them, His gracious ministry would continue. This power of the Holy Ghost was not only for a few apostles. but even for them that are afar off. even as many as our God should call (Acts 2:39) even for us in this twentieth century. Some ask “But was not this power just for the privileged few in the first century?” No. Read the Master’s great commission as recorded by Mark, and you will see it is for them that believe.
After I had received the Baptism of the Holy Ghost (and I know that I received; for the Lord gave me the Spirit in just the same way as He gave Him to the disciples at Jerusalem), I sought the mind of the Lord as to why I was baptized. One day I came home from work and went into the house and my wife asked me, “Which way did you come in?” I told her that I had come in at the back door. She said, “There is a woman upstairs and she has brought an old man of eighty to be prayed for. He is raving up there and a great crowd is outside the front door, ringing the door-bell and wanting to know what is going on in the house.” The Lord quietly whispered, “This is what I baptized you for.”
I carefully opened the door of the room where the man was, desiring to be obedient to what my Lord would say to me. The man was crying and shouting in distress, “I am lost! I am lost! I have committed the unpardonable sin. I am lost! I am lost!” My wife said, “Dad, what shall we do?” The Spirit of the Lord moved me to cry out, “Come out, thou lying spirit.” In a moment the evil spirit went, and the man was free. Deliverance to the captives! And the Lord said to me, “This is what I baptized you for.”

There is a place where God, through the power of the Holy Ghost, reigns supreme in our lives. The Spirit reveals, unfolds, takes of the things of Christ and shows them to us, and prepares us to be more than a match for Satanic forces.
When Nicodemus came to Jesus he said, “We know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” Jesus said to him, “Verily, verily I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus was impressed by the miracles wrought; and Jesus pointed out the necessity of a miracle being wrought with every man who would see the kingdom. When a man is born of God, is brought from darkness to light, a mighty miracle is wrought. Jesus saw every touch by God as a miracle, and so we may expect to see miracles wrought today. It is wonderful to have the Spirit of the Lord upon us. I would rather have the Spirit of God on me for five minutes than to receive a million dollars.
Do you see how Jesus mastered the devil in the wilderness? He knew He was the Son of God and Satan came along with an “if.” How many times has Satan come along to you this way? He says, “After all, you may be deceived. You know you really are not a child of God.” If the devil comes along and says that you are not saved, it is a pretty sure sign that you are. When he comes and tells you that you are not healed, it may be taken as good evidence that the Lord has sent His word and healed you. The devil knows that if he can capture your thought life, he has won a mighty victory over you. His great business is injecting thoughts, but if you are pure and holy you will instantly shrink from them. God wants us to let the mind that was in Christ Jesus, that pure, holy, humble mind of Christ, be in us.
I come across people everywhere I go who are held bound by deceptive conditions, and these conditions have come about simply because they have allowed the devil to make their minds the place of his stronghold. How are we to guard against this? The Lord has provided us with weapons that are mighty through God to the pulling down of these strongholds of the enemy, and by means of which every thought shall be brought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ and His mighty name are an antidote to all the subtle seeds of unbelief that Satan would sow in your minds.
In the first chapter of Acts, we see that Jesus gave commandment to the disciples that they should wait for the promise of the Father, and He told them that not many days hence they would be baptized with the Holy Ghost. Luke tells us that he had written his former treatise concerning all that Jesus began both to do and teach. The ministry of Christ did not end at the cross, but the Acts and the epistles give us accounts of what He continued to do and teach through those whom He indwelt. And our blessed Lord Jesus is still alive, and continues His ministry through those who are filled with His Spirit. He is still healing the broken-hearted and delivering the captives through those on whom He places His Spirit.
I was traveling one day in a railway train in Sweden. At one station there boarded the train an old lady with her daughter. The old lady’s expression was so troubled that I enquired what was the matter with her. I heard that she was going to the hospital to have her leg taken off. She began to weep as she told that the doctors had said there was no hope for her except through having her leg amputated. She was seventy years old. I said to my interpreter, “Tell her that Jesus can heal her.” The instant this was said to her, it was as though a veil was taken off her face, it became so light. We stopped at another station and the carriage filled tip with people. There was a rush of men to board that train and the devil said, “You’re done.” But I knew I had the best proposition, for hard things are always opportunities to get to the Lord more glory when He manifests His power. Every trial is a blessing. There have been times when I have been pressed through circumstances and it seemed as if a dozen road engines were going over me, but I have found that the hardest things are just lifting places into the grace of God. We have such a lovely Jesus. He always proves Himself to be such a mighty Deliverer. He never fails to plan the best things for us.
The train began moving and I crouched down, and in the name of Jesus commanded the disease to leave. The old lady cried, “I’m healed. I know I’m healed.” She stamped her leg and said, “I’m going to prove it.” So when we stopped at another station she marched up and down, and shouted, “I’m not going to the hospital.” Once again our wonderful Jesus had proven Himself a Healer of the broken-hearted, a Deliverer of one that was bound.
At one time I was so bound that no human power could help me. My wife was looking for me to pass away. There was no help. At that time I had just had a faint glimpse of Jesus as the Healer. For six months I had been suffering from appendicitis, occasionally getting temporary relief. I went to the mission of which I was pastor, but I was brought to the floor in awful agony, and they brought me home to my bed. All night I was praying, pleading for deliverance, but none came. My wife was sure it was my home call and sent for a physician. He said that there was no possible chance for me-my body was too weak.

Having had the appendicitis for six months, my whole system was drained, and, because of that, he thought that it was too late for an operation. He left my wife in a state of broken-heartedness.
After he left, there came to our door a young man and an old lady. I knew that she was a woman of real prayer. They came upstairs to my room. This young man jumped on the bed and commanded the evil spirit to come out of me. He shouted, “Come out, you devil; I command you to come out in the name of Jesus!” There was no chance for an argument, or for me to tell him that I would never believe that there was a devil inside of me. The thing had to go in the name of Jesus, and it went, and I was instantly healed.

I arose and dressed and went downstairs. I was still in the plumbing business, and I asked my wife, “Is there any work in? I am all right now, and I am going to work.” I found there was a certain job to be done and I picked up my tools and went off to do it. Just after I left, the doctor came in, put his plug hat down in the hall, and walked up to the bedroom. But the invalid was not there. “Where is Mr. Wigglesworth ?” he asked. “Oh, doctor, he’s gone out to work,” said my wife. “You’ll never see him alive again,” said the doctor; “they’ll bring him back a corpse.”
Well, I’m the corpse.
Since that time, in many parts of the world, the Lord has given me the privilege of praying for people with appendicitis; and I have seen a great many people up and dressed within a quarter of an hour from the time I prayed for them. We have a living Christ who is willing to meet people on every line.

A number of years ago I met Brother D. W. Kerr and he gave me a letter of introduction to a brother in Zion City named Cook. I took his letter to Brother Cook, and he said, “God has sent you here.” He gave me the addresses of six people and asked me to go and pray for them and meet him again at 12 o’clock. I got back at about 12:30 and he told me about a young man who was to be married the following Monday. His sweetheart was in Zion City dying of appendicitis. I went to the house and found that the physician had just been there and had pronounced that there was no hope. The mother was nearly distracted and was pulling her hair, and saying, “Is there no deliverance!” I said to her, “Woman, believe God and your daughter will be healed and be up and dressed in fifteen minutes.” But the mother went on screaming.
They took me into the bedroom, and I prayed for the girl and commanded the evil spirit to depart in the name of Jesus. She cried, “I am healed.” I said to her, “Do you want me to believe that you are healed? If you are healed, get up.” She said, “You get out of the room, and I’ll get up.” In less than ten minutes the doctor came in. He wanted to know what had happened. She said, “A man came in and prayed for me, and I’m healed.” The doctor pressed his finger right in the place that had been so sore, and the girl neither moaned nor cried. He said, “This is God.” It made no difference whether he acknowledged it or not, I knew that God had worked. Our God is real in saving and healing power today. Our Jesus is just the same, yesterday, and today, and forever. He saves and heals today just as of old, and He wants to be your Saviour and your Healer.
Oh, if you would only believe God! What would happen? The greatest things. Some have never tasted the grace of God, have never had the peace of God. Unbelief robs them of these blessings. It is possible to hear and yet not conceive the truth. It is possible to read the Word and not share in the life it brings. It is necessary for us to have the Holy Ghost to unfold the Word and bring to us the life that is Christ. We can never fully understand the wonders of this redemption until we are full of the Holy Ghost.
I was once at an afternoon meeting. The Lord had been graciously with us and many had been healed by the power of God. Most of the people had gone home and I was left alone, when I saw a young man who was evidently hanging back to have a word. I asked, “What do you want?” He said, “I wonder if I could ask you to pray for me.” I said, “What’s the trouble?” He said, “Can’t you smell?” The young fellow had gone into sin and was suffering the consequences. He said, “I have been turned out of two hospitals. I am broken out all over. I have abscesses all over me.” And I could see that he had a bad breaking out at the nose. He said, “I heard you preach, and could not understand about this healing business, and was wondering if there was any hope for me.”
I said to him, “Do you know Jesus?” He did not know the first thing about salvation, but I said to him, “Stand still.” I placed my hands on his head and then on his loins and cursed that terrible disease in the name of Jesus. He cried out, “I know I’m healed. I can feel a warmth and a glow all over me.” I said, “Who did it?” He said, “Your prayers.” I said, “No, it was Jesus!” He said, “Was it He? Oh, Jesus! Jesus! Jesus, save me.” And that young man went away healed and saved. Oh, what a merciful God we have! What a wonderful Jesus is ours!
Are you oppressed? Cry out to God. It is always good for people to cry out. You may have to cry out. The Holy Ghost and the Word of God will bring to light every hidden, unclean thing that must be revealed. There is always a place of deliverance when you let God search out that which is spoiling and marring your life. That evil spirit that was in the man in the synagogue cried out, “Let us alone!” It was a singular thing that the evil spirit had never cried out like that until Jesus walked into the place where he was. Jesus rebuked the thing, saying, “Hold thy peace and come out of him,” and the man was delivered. He is just the same Jesus, exposing the powers of evil, delivering the captives and letting the oppressed go free, purifying them and cleansing their hearts. Those evil spirits that inhabited the man who had the legion did not want to be sent to the pit to be tormented before their time, and so they cried out to be sent into the swine. Hell is such an awful place that even the demons hate the thought of going there. How much more should men seek to be saved from the pit?
God is compassionate and says, “Seek ye the Lord while He may be found.” And He has further stated, “Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” Seek Him now, call on His name right now, and there is forgiveness, healing, redemption, deliverance, and everything you need for you right here and now, and that which will satisfy you throughout eternity.
BLESSINGS IN AUSTRALIA

Sister Winnie Andrews, N. Melbourne, Australia, writes: “Our Brother Wigglesworth landed here February 16th, and had a meeting that very night. The dear Lord was present and that to heal. A little girl of six, having never walked, after she had been prayed for, walked out of the front door with her mother, who was full of joy for what the Lord had done for her little one. Another man who had been suffering with bad feet for years and walked only with the aid of a stick was instantly healed and has been along several times to testify to what the Lord has done for him. Many deaf people have been delivered in answer to the prayer of faith. One night a dear man and his wife whom he brought to the meeting in a wheel chair, were both healed. He had been suffering from deafness for 20 years and she had not walked for over 6Y2 years. After prayer she got out of her chair and walked to the station, with her husband pushing the empty chair. He, too, was rejoicing in that he was now able to hear perfectly. O what a wonderful God we have. Blessed be His holy Name!
“At the Sunday afternoon service, a dear young woman who had been suffering with tuberculosis for 13 years and who was in the last stages, came leaning on the arm of a friend and was prayed for. At once she received new life and was perfectly delivered. The terrible burning sores which were eating their way into her bones have dried up and are peeling off, and she is looking so well and happy and is as strong as can be. Glory to God! Last night a young man suffering from consumption was prayed for and was instantly made whole. O, our hearts overflow at the glorious things God is doing in our midst!

“Many have been healed of neuritis, heart and lung trouble and stiff joints. One woman who had not walked for 22 years and could not as much as turn her head-after prayer-got out of bed and walked, Praise God!” ––Pentecostal Evangel, April 15, 1922

For those who wonder if I believe in the power of healing the answer is quite simply yes, I do. Have I seen it? Yes, I have even experienced it. 

Last year I had a bad fall, down my back steps and landed on my back. I was hurting so bad I thought my back was broken. My first thought was to call my Pastor and be put on the prayer line. I called him and he began praying for me over the phone. Before he hung up, most of the pain was gone, and I, a sufferer of Degenerative Joint Disease, was almost totally pain free. Since that time, almost nine months, I have been more pain free than I have in the last twenty years. I was in pain so bad at the time of the fall that I could think of nothing except the pain and listening to my Pastor pray.

This is not the only intercession that I have been part of and I would recommend prayer for anyone and anything. There is scientific evidence that prayer changes your DNA, and there is scientific evidence that prayer heals. Why would anyone turn down the opportunity? 

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The Curse of Blindness

Julije Klovi? - Elymas Struck Blind by St Paul...

Julije Klovi? – Elymas Struck Blind by St Paul before the Proconsul Sergius Paulus – WGA05091 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So many times we wonder how someone can not see the reality of a situation. We wonder how they miss the obvious and twist reality into something totally different. In this world of craziness it is as if a fellow blogger said the other day, we are living in an upside down world. As if the Mad Hatter is in charge of the world and whatever we view is in their eyes something totally different.

According to wiki.answers.com In the King James version

  • the word – blind – appears 82 times
  • the word – blinded – appears 5 times
  • the word – blindeth – appears once
  • the word – blindfolded – appears once
  • the word – blindness – appears 7 times

There is a physical blindness, a mental blindness, and a spiritual blindness. We see Jesus use blindness in ways to get His message across, whether it is healing, as in:

Matthew 15:30

And great multitudes came unto him, having with them those that were lame, blind, dumb, maimed, and many others, and cast them down at Jesus’ feet; and he healed them:
Or as an allegory:
Matthew 15:14

Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.
It was used as a curse by Paul:

And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus:

Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.

Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.

10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?

11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.

12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.

But one way that it is used is the way God uses a type of blindness in the days preceding the Day of the Lord:

2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

King James Version (KJV)

Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,

10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:

12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

God is not allowing some to see the truth and nothing we say or do will remove their blindness. At some point they made a deliberate decision to be unrighteous. To these whom the seed of faith and truth will never grow, they will only find the truth when it hits them in the face.

It is  an object lesson to all of us to choose righteousness, if we willfully choose to do wrong, we will not be able to see the truth. My friends consider your actions carefully, understand that when you see someone who will not see the truth and takes reality and turns it into something totally different, that it is sometimes God’s will that they do not see. Prophecy has to be fulfilled in order for the Lord to return. What it shows us is that God’s word is true and that His will is being done!

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Tozer on Christian Leadership

jesus-with-crown-of-thorns

The Holy Spirit: Wild-eyed Fanatics

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.—1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

This is a crude illustration, but let me tell you what we did after planting a field of corn when I was a young fellow in Pennsylvania. To save the field of corn from the crows, we would shoot an old crow and hang him by his heels in the middle of the field. This was supposed to scare off all of the crows for miles around. The crows would hold a conference and say, “Look, there is a field of corn but don’t go near it. I saw a dead crow over there!”

That’s the kind of conference that Satan calls, and that is exactly what he has done. He has taken some fanatical, weird, wild-eyed Christians who do things that they shouldn’t, and he has stationed them in the middle of God‘s cornfield, and warns, “Now, don’t you go near that doctrine about the Holy Spirit because if you do, you will act just like these wild-eyed fanatics.” The Counselor, 63.

“Keep us, Lord, from shying away from such valuable truth and experience as the ministry of the Holy Spirit because of the excesses of a few fanatics. We lose too much, and we can’t afford the loss. Amen.”

Bible Gateway


Watchman Nee : Lights in the World

Without fear of challenge Jesus could say: “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). His claim does not surprise us in the least. What is surprising, however, is that he should then say to his disciples, and so by implication to us: “Ye are the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14). For he does not exhort us to be that light; he plainly says that we are the world’s light, whether we bring our illumination out into places where men can see it, or hide it away from them. The divine life planted in us, which itself is so utterly foreign to the world all around it, is a light source designed to illumine to mankind the world’s true character by emphasizing through contrast its inherent darkness. Accordingly Jesus goes on: “Even so let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” From this it is clear that to separate ourselves from the world today, and thus deprive it of its only light, in no way glorifies God. It merely thwarts his purpose in us and in mankind.

It is true that, as we saw earlier, the career of John the Baptist was rather different. He did in fact withdraw from the world to live austerely in desert places apart, subsisting, we are told, on locusts and wild honey. Men went out there to seek him, for even there he was a burning and a shining light. Yet we are reminded that “he was not that Light.” He came only to bear witness to it. His testimony was the last and greatest of an old prophetic order, but it was so because it pointed forward to Jesus. Jesus alone was “the true Light which lighteth every man, coming into the world”; and he certainly “was in the world,” not outside of it (John 1:9, 10). Christianity derives from him. God can use a John crying in the wilderness, but he never intended his Church to be a select company living by the principle of abstinence.

Earlier we saw how abstinence-”handle not, nor taste, nor touch”-was merely one more element in the world system, and as such was itself suspect (Col. 2:21). But we must go a stage further than this, and once again the apostle Paul comes to our help. In Romans 14:17 he shows how the Christian life is something removed al. together from controversy about what we do and what we don’t do. “The kingdom of God is not eating.and drinking”-not, that is to say, to be conceived in those terms at all-”but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost,” which are in a realm wholly different. The Christian lives, and is guided, not by rules specifying just how far he may mix with men, but by these inward qualities which are mediated to him by God’s Holy Spirit.

Righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost: It may be good for a moment to direct our attention to the second of these. For peace, we find, is a potent element in God’s answer to his Son’s prayer that he would keep us from the evil one (John 17:15).

In God himself there is a peace, a profound undisturbedness of spirit, which keeps him untroubled and undistressed in the face of unspeakable conflict and contradiction. “In the world ye have tribulation,” Jesus says, but “in me ye may have peace” (John 16:33). How easily we get troubled as soon as something goes wrong! But do we ever pause to consider what went wrong with the great purpose upon which God had set his heart? God, who is light, had an eternal plan. Causing light to shine out of darkness he designed this world to be the arena of that plan. Then Satan, as we know, stepped in to thwart God, so that men came to love darkness rather than light. Yet in spite of that setback, the implications of which we appreciate all too little, God preserves in himself a quite undisturbed peace. It is that peace of God which, Paul tells us, is to garrison our hearts and thoughts in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:7).

What does “garrison” really mean? It means that my foe has to fight through the armed guard at the gates before he can reach me. Before I can be touched, the garrison itself has first to be overcome. So I dare to be as peaceful as God, for the peace that is keeping God is keeping me. This is something that the world knows nothing about. “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I untoyou” (John 14:27).

How utterly men failed to understand Jesus! Whatever he did was wrong in their eyes, for the light that was in them was darkness. They even dared to identify the Spirit that was in him with Beelzebub the prince of devils. Yet when they accused him of gluttony and drunkenness, what was his response? “Father, I thank thee!” (Matt. 11:19,25). He was unmoved, because in Spirit he abode in the peace of God.

Or recall that last night before his passion. Everything seemed to be going wrong: a friend going out into the night to betray him, another drawing a sword in anger, people going into hiding, or running away naked in their eagerness to escape. In the midst of it all Jesus said to those who had come to take him, “I am he,” so peacefully and so quietly that instead of him being nervous it was they who trembled and fell backwards. This was an experience that has been repeated in the martyrs of every age. They could be tortured or burned, but because they possessed his peace, the onlookers could only wonder at their dignity and composure. It is no surprise to us therefore that Paul describes this peace as beyond understanding.

How striking is the contrast Jesus draws between “in the world” where we are to have tribulation, and “in me” where we may have peace. If God has placed us in the one, to be thronged by its pressures and claims and needs, he has placed us also in the Other, to be held by him undisturbed amid it all. Jesus himself once asked, “Who touched me?” The believing touch of one in that Capernaum multitude registered with him. It matched his own heart of compassion, whereas the pressure of the rest crowding upon him had no such effect. All their impatient jostling did not touch him in the least, for there was little in common between them and him. “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you.” If our life is the life of men, we are swayed by the world. If it is the life of the Spirit it is unmoved by worldly pressures.

“Righteousness and peace and joy”: with such things is the kingdom of God concerned. Never let us be drawn away, therefore, into the old realm of “eating and drinking,” for it is neither the prescription of these things nor their prohibition that concerns us, but another world altogether. So we who are of the kingdom need not abstain. We overcome the world not by giving up the world’s things but by being otherworldly in a positive way: by possessing, that is, a love and a joy and a peace that the world cannot give andthat men sorely need.

Far from seeking to avoid the world we need to see how privileged we are to have been placed there by God. “As thou didst send me into the world, even so send I them into the world.” What a statement! The Church is Jesus’ successor, a divine settlement planted here right in the midst of Satan’s territory. It is something that Satan cannot abide, any more than he could abide Jesus himself, and yet it is something that he cannot by any means rid himself of. It is a colony of heaven, an alien intrusion on his territory, and one against which he is utterly powerless. “Children of God,” Paul calls us, “in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15). God has deliberately placed us in the cosmos to show it up for what it is. We are to expose to the divine light, for all men to see them, its God-defying rebelliousness on the one hand and its hollowness and emptiness on the other.

And our task does not stop there. We are to proclaim to men the good news that, if they will turn to it, that light of God in the face of Jesus Christ will set them free from the world’s vain emptiness into the fullness that is his. It is this twofold mission of the Church that accounts for Satan’s hatred. There is nothing that goads him so much as the Church’s presence in the world. Nothing would please him more than to see its telltale light removed. The Church is a thorn in the side of God’s adversary, a constant source of irritation and annoyance to him. We make a heap of trouble for Satan simply by being in the world. So why leave it?

“Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel” (Mark 16:15). This is the Christian’s privilege. It is also his duty. Those who try to opt out of the world only demonstrate that they are still in some degree in bondage to its ways of thinking. We who are “not of it” have no reason at all to try to leave it, for it is where we should be.

So there is no need for us to give up our secular employments. Far from it, for they are our mission field. In this matter there are no secular considerations, only spiritual ones. We do not live our lives in separate compartments, as Christians in the Church and as secular beings the rest of the time. There is not a thing in our profession or in our employment that God intends should be dissociated from our life as his children. Everything we do, be it in field or highway, in shop, factory, kitchen, hospital or school, has spiritual value in terms of the kingdom of Christ. Everything is to be claimed for him. Satan would much prefer to have no Christians in any of these places, for they are decidedly in his way there. He tries therefore to frighten us out of the world, and if he cannot do that, to get us involved in his world system, thinking in its terms, regulating our behavior by its standards. Either would be a triumph for him. But for us to be in the world, yet with all our hopes, all our interests and all our prospects out of the world, that is Satan’s defeat and God’s glory.

Of Jesus’ presence in the world it is written that “the darkness overcame it not” (John 1:5 margin). Nowhere in Scripture does it tell us of sin that we are to “overcome” it, but it distinctly says we are to overcome the world. In relation to sin God’s word speaks only of deliverance; it is in relation to the world that it speaks of victory.

We need deliverance from sin, because God never intended we should have any touch with it; but we do not need, nor should we seek, deliverance from the world, for it is in the purpose of God that we touch it. We are not delivered out of the world, but being born from above, we have victory over it. And we have that victory in the same sense, and with the same unfailing certainty, that light overcame darkness.

“This is the victory that hath overcome the world, even our faith. And who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5:4, 5). The key to victory is always our faith relationship with the victorious Son. “Be of good cheer,” he said. “I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). Only Jesus could make such a claim; and he could do so because he could earlier affirm: “The prince of the world … hath nothing in me” (John 14:30). It was the first time that anyone on earth had said such a thing. He said it, and he overcame. And through his overcoming the prince of the world was cast out and Jesus began to draw men to himself.

And because he said it, we now dare say it too. Because of my new birth, because “whatsoever is begotten of God overcometh the world,” I can be in the same world as my Lord was in, and in the same sense as he was I can be utterly apart from it, a lamp set on a lampstand, giving light to all who enter the house. “As he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17). The Church glorifies God, not by getting out of the world but by radiating his light in it. Heaven is not the place to glorify God; it will be the place to praise him. The place to glorify him is here.

Many more wonderful sermons and writings, as well as audio and video at Sermonindex, it both a great resource and an amazing opportunity to read and hear the words of so many amazing pastors and even laypeople. God bless you!


The Tricks of the Magician

SATAN SAYS

SATAN SAYS (Photo credit: rafaelm)

“1 Corinthians 14:20

King James Version (KJV)

 20 Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men.

Ephesians 4:27

King James Version (KJV)

 27 Neither give place to the devil.”\

Have you ever watched a magician? It is amazing at how fast their hands are and at how good they are at the art of distraction! While we watch one hand they are doing something totally different with their other hand. As children we think that they are really performing magic, as adults most of us realize what they are doing and yet still admire their skill and ability, even if we are not sure how they do it. That is the thing, we recognize that it is not real, that it is simply illusion. And yet it seems that more and more people are not recognizing the illusions of this world and are simply accepting them as fact.

What do I mean by this? When someone in this country commits an evil act such as murder, whether it is the murder of innocents as in the shootings at Sandy Hook, or the case of Jovan Belcher, killing
himself and his girlfriend. Those who have an agenda use distraction and a willingness of their audience to promote the prohibition of what they think is bad for the rest of us. Or look to Mayor Bloomberg of New York City, who decides that he knows what is best for the residents of his city and therefore he has the right and responsibility to prevent the people from obtaining those things, such large sweet drinks. Or the case of the small town in my state of Arkansas, Paragould, where the local mayor and sheriff have decided that the increase of crime in the area gives them the right to patrol the streets with guns over their shoulders and stop every citizen. And if these citizens can not give them a reason to be out of their homes for a walk, they are subject to arrest. This is a process that is unconstitutional and yet the mayor and the sheriff are using the illusion of security in order to force the citizens of this town to obey their will.
Satan does the same thing!!!!! He puts on the face of goodness and rightness in order to delude us. He pretends to offer us security and safety in order to lull us into accepting him instead of our God and His loving Son Jesus! He does this in ways that seem so reasonable, gay lifestyle for instance. He tells us that we must accept people living this way because this is what the world says is acceptable now. We have to be current. The Bible is old, written by men who know nothing of how the world is today. Never mind that we have evidence in the Book itself that they were perfectly aware of homosexual lifestyle, see Sodom and Gomorrah. Or abortion, or any number of things that he uses to soften people up to his ways and not the Lord’s ways. 
Satan uses things of this world to insert his evil into the world. He uses violence and desentisizes us and our children to it by way of movies, videos, games, and even war. We are constantly surrounded by it. Whether it is here in the US or in other parts of the world. Here with video games that get people so used to pulling trigger to kill the opponents on the screen, knowing that if they are killed in the game, they will be reborn at the start of a new game. Did you ever stop to wonder how that infulences the mind of the vulnerable? They start so early and this idea of being reborn to start the game over is imprinted in their minds from the very beginning. This is a wonderful tool for Satan to use don’t you think? How many of these people that kill in cold blood think that they are going to face judgment from a righteous God for their actions? Jesus tell us that if we even think about murder that we have sinned, and yet we allow our children to do this! Does not this make our sin even greater? That by our action or inaction we allow our children to be corrupted and Satan to have foot in the door.
That my friends, is one of the great illusions that Satan is putting over this world! And he is doing so because we are letting him. We let false prophets teach that we should adjust to the world, and rewrite to Bible to fit the times. We ignore the things of this world as if they are not important.  There is a reason that we have been told not to be part of this world.  We are falling for the illusions of Satan. We are allowing our children to be used in ways that we don’t even recognize and then wonder at their actions when they are older.
We are falling for the ploy of those promoting the evil of the Father of lies by concentrating on what others are doing, objects that they object to, language that they don’t like, faith that they abhor, and on whether or not we insult or hurt someones feelings by what we preach and what we teach. We are falling for Satan’s lies by allowing others to decide what is best for our children to learn, to do, to eat, to play and so many other things.
Satan is the great magician, the father of lies, the first illusionist! We had better wake up and recognize the illusions and teach our children what God wants them to learn instead of what the world thinks is right for them. If we do not, we are giving them over to Satan and damning them for eternity. Objects will always be available to be used. It is evil that pushes people to commit horrific acts. We need to change the focus to the reason and not let the illusion  continue. 

Update from Missionary Pastor Kerry Mauldin

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-centur...

Christ the Saviour (Pantokrator), a 6th-century encaustic icon from Saint Catherine’s Monastery, Mount Sinai. NB – slightly cut down – for full size see here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Fw: Huge Cobra in the Path

Today was an awesome day!!

We dedicated two churches and gave for another!!
At the end of the day, it is dark and we finish our last village.  I am on crutches and in the dark we make our way to the road and start to Nandyal.  Suddenly the guys started hollering to come see.  On edge of road was a huge cobra coiled several times!  It was probably 6 or more feet long easily.  Many gather to look in lights at this guy that did not run, just set there boldly.  No one would kill it.   People finished looking and two young guys came up on a scooter and stopped, putting their feet almost on top of the coiled snake.  Everyone started yelling at the boys…
Satan boldly comes and plants in our path and we so easily unsuspectingly step into the trouble!!
But today we saw victory…. Two stories…
Vadlaramapuram Village we visited 3 colonies:  Of 1000 families in village, 200 are Christian.  We set in the street with  many Christians who had finished the field work.  They said, since birth they were Christian.  But they do not share Christ.  We gave salvation bracelets and encouraged them to begin to share.  Some said, in the fields we meet muslims and now we will share…PTL!
One man Satyam, “Truth”, committed his heart to Christ and led us acroo the large village to some hindu carpenters.  We shared Christ with a group of hindus sitting under a big shady tree, where Durga Swami worked to make yokes for oxen.  He and his wife and several others prayed the prayer of salvation with total sincerity and agreed they need to serve only Christ and pull all other gods…
We had lunch at pastors house where a 45b year old widow with 9 year old son, Prasad., came, in need.  Her husband died of sickness 8 years ago and she struggles as she is not allowed to remarry per the culture… We gave 3000rs to buy a pair of goats and challenged Prasad to always take care of his Mommas.  He was so wide eyed as he and Momma, Mariamma laid hands on the rupees to  be used by pastor to buy the goats.  That boy will never forget today.  Prayerfully, it will change his life and his Momma’s life for God‘s glory!
At Krishnan Nagar, where there is no church. We met a muslim family where the father of 50 years, heard intently the Gospel and gathered his family.  They all prayed the prayer of salvation and he agreed to give land, “as much as you need I will sign over” to build a church.  He shared he had 10 yoke oxen and goats etc…  It was a joy to see the sincerity.
The next lane over, a Banjara tribal family, Moukit, accepts Christ and sincerely want to follow.  By end of the evening, 20 families were counted that want to follow Christ and we gave to build a prayer shed on the land given!!  Praise God for being able to strengthen a pastors hands in a village that he is trying to plant a church where there is no church…
Satan will try to decieve, but we must press toward the mark and make a point to share Christs love with as many as possible while we make sure we don’t miss taking or making opportunity!!!
God has blessed with a great team, Melody and Jonathon and Tammy Hooker are right in the middle of winning souls….
Internet is challenging, so Randy Brown is forwarding for me and I am so thankful…
With much love, thanks and prayers,
Kerry and Melody

Prayer Request

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a prayer request from a dear friend! Her husband is under severe demonic attack! He is a dear man and a good friend as well as being a compassionate example to others. He has suffered terribly in the past and yet with God‘s help, has been able to help and minister to many others, including me. Please add him to your prayers and ask for God’s divine intervention!

Dear Lord, you have told us that we will be tested and my friend is being tested to his limits Lord! The evil one is attacking him in a time of weakness. Please make him aware that he is not alone Lord! Remind him that You are there, that You will hold him up Lord. That no matter what Satan throws at him, that you have given him the power to defeat him. Add Your strength to his Lord, for without You we are nothing. In Your wonderful Son, Jesus name, we ask this Lord God and Father! Amen and amen!

Ephesians 6:10-17

King James Version (KJV)

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Psalm 39

King James Version (KJV)

39 I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me.

I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good; and my sorrow was stirred.

My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue,

Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is: that I may know how frail I am.

Behold, thou hast made my days as an handbreadth; and mine age is as nothing before thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. Selah.

Surely every man walketh in a vain shew: surely they are disquieted in vain: he heapeth up riches, and knoweth not who shall gather them.

And now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee.

Deliver me from all my transgressions: make me not the reproach of the foolish.

I was dumb, I opened not my mouth; because thou didst it.

10 Remove thy stroke away from me: I am consumed by the blow of thine hand.

11 When thou with rebukes dost correct man for iniquity, thou makest his beauty to consume away like a moth: surely every man is vanity. Selah.

12 Hear my prayer, O Lord, and give ear unto my cry; hold not thy peace at my tears: for I am a stranger with thee, and a sojourner, as all my fathers were.

13 O spare me, that I may recover strength, before I go hence, and be no more.


Strength in Weakness

King James Version of the Bible

King James Version of the Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

New King James Version (NKJV)

The Thorn in the Flesh

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


Avoid Those Who Cause Divisions

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic

Jesus from the Deesis Mosaic (Photo credit: jakebouma)

Avoid Divisive Persons

17 Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.18 For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus[a] Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. 19 For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.


The Way

The Way

Do you know it? There is only one way! Jesus is that way.
John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
Not Buddah, not Mohammad, not by any false idol dreamed up by foolish men. Satan tempts man, giving what he desires. The wide gate, not the narrow.
But it is the wrong way!
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. NIV Matthew 7:13
It is so tempting to listen to those who promise God freely. Those who tell you all you have to do is say a word. Half truths that lead astray those who think that He is their true desire. It is only the first step on your journey to accept Him. And only through Him will you find what you are looking for. He is the “narrow gate,” and you have to be willing to give up everything to go through.
“Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who will find it.” Matthew 7:14 NKJV
Mark 8:34-35
King James Version (KJV)
34 And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

35 For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.

Saved from what? Judgment and condemnation! Saved for what? God’s Kingdom!
Dear Reader, take that first step and accept Him into your heart and into your life, but do not be like Lot’s wife. Do not look back to your old life, for surely if you do, you have indicated that Jesus sacrifice was in vain.God knows that you are not perfect. He will forgive you if you falter. But for those who think that they can continue with their old lives just because they accepted Him in one fleeting moment, they are denying Him if they continue on their way thinking that they can do anything that they want. And denying Him is saying that the sacrifice was unworthy. Woe to those who deny Him, they will have their name removed from the Book of Life.
The Dead Church

Revelation 3 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write,

‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God.[a] 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You[b] have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.

6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

The Faithful Church

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write,

‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”:[c] “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it;[d] for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold,[e]I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.

13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

The Lukewarm Church

14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans[f] write,

‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot,[g] I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked—18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’”

If you truly love Him, keep your eyes on the prize and look to heaven for that is where your treasure is, not here on this earth.

Matthew 6:19-21
New International Version (NIV)
Treasures in Heaven

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

There is only one way, and that way is through Jesus, the Anointed One, our Savior and our Lord. Do not be fooled into following the easy way. Do not let Satan convince you that all you have to do is accept and nothing more. He said, pick up your cross and follow me. Luke 9:23
New International Version (NIV)
23 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.

Paul tells us in his letter to the Ephesians:
Ephesians 3:9-11
New King James Version (NKJV)
9 and to make all see what is the fellowship[a] of the mystery, which from the beginning of the ages has been hidden in God who created all things through Jesus Christ;[b] 10 to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places, 11 according to the eternal purpose which He accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord,

He is the way but He warns us that the way will not be easy, but instead hard, so why are you falling for the lies that tell you it is easy, just say the word? Is it because you just want to appear to follow Him? Because if you truly do, you must make the effort to do what He asks of you.
Don’t pile up treasure here on the earth and expect it to make a bit of difference when you stand before that Throne of Judgment! Don’t expect to have the Lord open the door just because you believe in Him. Even the demons do that!
James 2:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that —and shudder.

What price are you willing to pay? He paid the ultimate price. He made the sacrifice so that you would have the chance. But it is a chance, not a surety. You have an obligation once you accept, and that is to follow Him. Not through the wide gate, that just leads to destruction.He is the way, the only way, He will not give you more that you can bear, but He does expect something from you in return.
Be warned, it will not be easy, you will suffer for His name. But the rewards are great and the peace that you will recieve is wonderful.

Psalm 34
New King James Version (NKJV)
The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

A Psalm of David when he pretended madness before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he departed.

34 I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul shall make its boast in the Lord;
The humble shall hear of it and be glad.
3 Oh, magnify the Lord with me,
And let us exalt His name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and He heard me,
And delivered me from all my fears.
5 They looked to Him and were radiant,
And their faces were not ashamed.
6 This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him,
And saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel[a] of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him,
And delivers them.
8 Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good;
Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!
9 Oh, fear the Lord, you His saints!
There is no want to those who fear Him.
10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger;
But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing.
11 Come, you children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
12 Who is the man who desires life,
And loves many days, that he may see good?
13 Keep your tongue from evil,
And your lips from speaking deceit.
14 Depart from evil and do good;
Seek peace and pursue it.
15 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their cry.
16 The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
To cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears,
And delivers them out of all their troubles.
18 The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart,
And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
20 He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.
21 Evil shall slay the wicked,
And those who hate the righteous shall be condemned.
22 The Lord redeems the soul of His servants,
And none of those who trust in Him shall be condemned.


Keep Your Integrity

Plate 22 of 22 for the Macklin Bible after Lou...

Plate 22 of 22 for the Macklin Bible after Loutherbourg. Bowyer Bible. Satan Bound (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Job 2:1-10

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”

So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.

“But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, Do you still hold to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

But he said to here, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.


The Second Assault of Satan (On Job)

Satan before the Lord

Satan before the Lord (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Job 2:1-9

Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan came also among them to present himself before the LORD.

And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.”

Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil? And still he holds fast to his integrity, although you incited Me against him, to destroy him without cause.”

So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life.

“But stretch out Your hand now, and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will surely curse You to Your face!”

So the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, he is in your hand, but spare his life.”

Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD, and struck Job with painful boils from the sole of his foot to the crown of his head.

And he took for himself a potsherd with which to scrape himself while he sat in the midst of the ashes.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold to your integrity? Curse God and die!”

But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.


Justifying Our Way to Hell

Stained glass at St John the Baptist's Anglica...

Stained glass at St John the Baptist’s Anglican Church http://www.stjohnsashfield.org.au, Ashfield, New South Wales. Illustrates Jesus’ description of himself “I am the Good Shepherd” (from the Gospel of John, chapter 10, verse 11). This version of the image shows the detail of his face. The memorial window is also captioned: “To the Glory of God and in Loving Memory of William Wright. Died 6th November, 1932. Aged 70 Yrs.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Justifying Our Way to Hell

Everyday we make choices, some small, some large, that we know before we choose them that they are wrong. And yet, we choose to do them anyway. We justify them by saying “Oh, this is just a little sin, God won’t condemn me on just a little sin.”

What fools we are! There is no difference between a little sin and a big sin. We cannot justify it away! Jesus died for all our sins, but when we continue to choose sin, deliberately, we make a mockery of Him.

Do we truly believe that when we stand before God on judgment day that He will simply overlook our transgressions? We are justified by grace, forgiven by the blood that Jesus shed, but if we ourselves have turned our back on that, do we honestly believe that we are still under that grace?

2 Thessalonians 1:8 tells us that when Jesus returns from heaven “in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” that 1:9 “These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power,” 1:10 “when He comes, in that Day, to be glorifed in His saints and to be admired among all those who believe, because our testimony among you was believed.”

So, how much do you believe if you choose to disobey? And if we choose to disobey a Word given by our Lord and Savior, are we still under His grace? If we choose to turn our backs on Christ‘s example and live according to Him, are we deliberately saying that the Holy Spirit did not enter us? How far will we go in denying Christ? And how far can we go and still recieve His mercy

2Thessalonians 2:8-12 “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming. The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Do we have the “love of the truth,” that we might be saved? Or are we wilfully and blindly choosing deception in order that we may take “pleasure in unrighteousness”?

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17 “But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which you were taught, whether by word or our epistle. Now may our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting consolation and good hope by grace, comfort your hearts and establish you in every good word and work.”

If we know the Word is the truth, we have an obligation to follow the Word, to “stand fast and hold the traditions” that we are taught. We always retain that choice, in following God, if we have been saved by the Grace which came down through the Holy Spirit, we are changed and we become new. We know because we are told that we will be tempted, Jesus Himself faced that temptation. Sometimes we falter, we are only human, but we are also told that we have a way out, if we let Him, God will help and He will not allow us to be tempted more that we can bear.

So, when we deliberately choose to give in to temptation and justify it by saying that it is “no big deal,” who are we fooling? Not, God! “But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Consider your actions, my friends! Consider your future! Consider those who watch you and make their own decisions on whether to follow Christ based on what they see in you. If you are willingly choosing sin, what are you telling the world? Above all, what are you telling God and His Son?

This is not a condemnation of any who follow Christ, this is an exhortation to you and to me, to remember. 2 Thessalonians 3:13 “But as for you brethren, do not grow weary of doing good.”


The Source of Temptation

The Temptation of Christ, 1854

The Temptation of Christ, 1854 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Source of Temptation

James 1:13-18

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God“; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone.

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desire and enticed.

Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren.

Every good gift and perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.

Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.


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