The devil has a collection of well-used tools in his toolbox. He knows what works to accomplish his goals to bring every kind of wickedness into action. The verses below describe them:
The character of earthly wisdom.
But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.
This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. James 3:14-16
But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
a. Bitter envy and self-seeking: These are the opposite of the meekness of wisdom mentioned in Jas_3:13.
b. Do not boast and lie against the truth: Anyone who shows bitter envy and self-seeking should not deceive anyone - especially themselves - about how “wise” they are. They show a wisdom that is earthly, sensual, and demonic. Their “wisdom” is more characteristic of the world, the flesh, and the devil than of God.
c. The fruit of this “wisdom” is plain: confusion and every evil thing. The wisdom of the world, the flesh, and the devil may be able to accomplish things, but always with the ultimate fruit of confusion and every evil thing.
Where envy and strife is brewing, there is disturbances, uneasiness, disquiet, slander, gossip and contention. It can continue to escalate into intimidation, and harassment.
Mobs form from these fires being stoked, such as Moses (Exo 17:4,Num 11:11) , and David (1Sa 30:6) had to contend with at various times. It was envy and strife that drove Saul to madness chasing David for years, trying to kill him. Rebellion is an underlying factor in this taking place, along with boasting, and lying. Those who keep these contentions going-will keep the strife and stories going in a town/village, and won't stop. They will do this without the person they are attacking being present-the agenda isn't to resolve a problem, but to keep it going, and making sure only their side of it is told to the mob.
When troublemakers are gathered together, and outnumber the one being attacked-there's no end of tactics that will be used to get their own way.
Jealousy and envy are many times intertwined-and the bible tells us it is more dangerous than anything else.
Pro 27:4 Wrath is cruel, and anger is outrageous; but who is able to stand before envy?
The definition of envy is: a feeling of unhappiness over another's good fortune together with a desire to have the same good fortune: He was filled with envy on seeing her success. 2 : a person or a thing that is envied. envy. verb. envied; envying.
What are the characteristics of envy?
Signs of Envy
Jealousy means-a feeling of unhappiness caused by wanting what someone else has, or has accomplished. Jealousy is also exhibited by anger, resentment, comparing people against each other, competitive in all aspects of a relationship, control. Being overly suspicious, false accusations that paint the person in a bad light to other's-for their own benefit. Probing into other's private life-without their consent, or knowledge-stalking.
The reason this sin is so evil-is it is linked to the tenth commandment-Thou shalt not covet:
Exo 20:17 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.
This sums up mans turmoil of spirit-we are not secretly to desire what is someone else's, and wish they were in our possession; since it discovers uneasiness and dissatisfaction with our own lot and portion, and is coveting another man's property, or achievements. When covetousness consumes a person-it can cause obsessions to develop to the point of consistently slandering the one who is envied-destroying them in society, and murdering them with the tongue. This is one of the devils most well used tools.
Definition of strife:
1a : bitter sometimes violent conflict or dissension political strife. b : an act of contention : fight, struggle. 2 : exertion or contention for superiority. 3 archaic : earnest endeavor.
What is an example of a strife?
Strife is defined as the act of conflict or something that is difficult to do. An example of strife is the bad relationship between a brother and sister. The act of striving or vying with another; contention or competition.
Envy and strife is not from heaven. It is earthly, of the passions of the flesh, of the devil, not of God. Where these exist in the heart, every evil work will follow.
The main goal of someone consumed with strife-is to take away your peace, any way they can do it.
Who is a wise man? Discreet and well informed? It must be shown in conversation, that is, in life, both words and deeds, meekness of wisdom. True wisdom will not speak boastfully. If there is bitterness in the heart, let there be no boasting of your goodness. That would be to lie against the truth.
What is the answer to this? Galations ch. 5 gives the direction we need to go, to overcome and avoid the devils attacks.
Keep in Step with the Spirit
Gal 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
Gal 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
Gal 5:18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
Gal 5:19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
Gal 5:20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
Gal 5:21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
Gal 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
Gal 5:24 And they that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
Gal 5:25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Gal 5:26 Let us not be desirous of vain glory, provoking one another, envying one another.
(Jas_3:17-18) The character of heavenly wisdom.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.
a. But the wisdom that is from above: God’s wisdom also has fruit. James here is defining exactly what he meant by the meekness of wisdom in Jas_3:13.
b. First pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy: The character of this wisdom is wonderful. It is full of love and a giving heart, consistent with the holiness of God.
Jesus Teaches How to Avoid Strife
Luk 14:7 And he put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when he marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
Luk 14:8 When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him;
Luk 14:9 And he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room.
Luk 14:10 But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, Friend, go up higher: then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.
Luk 14:11 For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
See also- Luk_1:51, Luk_18:14; 1Sa_15:17; Job_22:29, Job_40:10-12; Psa_18:27, Psa_138:6; Pro_15:33, Pro_18:12, Pro_29:23; Isa_2:11, Isa_2:17, Isa_57:15; Mat_23:12; Jas_4:6; 1Pe_5:5
Pro 15:33 The fear of the LORD is the instruction of wisdom; and before honour is humility.
Parable of the Ten Virgins
Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish — Mat_25:1-2
The Tradition of a Jewish Wedding
The ceremonies at a marriage in the East were very different from those we are accustomed to, and the more clearly we can picture one of these Eastern weddings, the better we shall understand this parable. There was no religious service, as with us; no priest or minister was present. The essential thing was that the bridegroom should lead his bride from her father's house to his own. Hence the old phrase, "to take a wife," was literally true in Eastern countries, and we know that to this day, among the Arabs, the bride is taken as if she were an enemy—captured after some show of violence, and removed as a prisoner to her husband's home. Among the Jews, the bridegroom, with his friends (Joh_3:23), went to the home of his bride in the late evening. It was dark, and lights were needed for the procession—such lights among the Greeks and Romans (as the boys who are reading Latin poetry know) were generally torches; but among the Jews were more commonly lamps. The bride was waiting for the bridegroom there, in a white dress, decked out in all her jewels; and John would recall many a village scene when he wrote that the wife of the Lamb was arrayed in fine linen, clean and white (Rev_19:8), and that the New Jerusalem came down from heaven prepared as a bride adorned for her husband (Rev_21:2). Then the bridegroom led his bride into the street, with her maiden friends bearing her company, amid music and a score of flashing lights. And as the procession made its way back to the bridegroom's home, through the crowds who had poured out to see the bridal party, a little group of maidens at this corner, and a few more who had been waiting in the court, joined the happy company, and went with it to share in the marriage feast.
Five Were Not Prepared for a Delay
This, then, was the scene that Jesus transfigured in this exquisite parable, and the ten virgins, who take the chief place in it, may either (as many have thought) have been attending the bride in her own home that evening, or they may have formed one of those little bands that waited for the return of the procession. Will the reader please observe that number ten ? It is a favourite number in the Bible. When Abraham's servant went on his great journey, he took ten of the camels of his master (Gen_24:10). When the kinsman of Ruth desired to deal with Boaz, he took ten men of the elders of the city (Rth_4:2). The dragon in Revelation had ten horns (Rev_12:3).There were ten lepers who were cleansed by Jesus (Luk_17:12). The commandments were ten, and the talents and pounds were ten, and here our Lord says there were ten virgins. Now we are not told that these ten were good and bad; but we are told that five were wise and five were foolish, and we recall another parable where we read of a wise and of a foolish builder (Mat_7:24-27). The strange thing is that the foolish as well as the wise, here, each had her lamp, and it was burning merrily. The sad thing is that the foolish were not prepared for a quite possible, and indeed quite common, delay. The night deepened, and still there was no bridegroom. The wisest of them nodded off into sleep. Then at midnight there rang the cry, "Behold the bridegroom!" and in a twinkling every eye was open. No lamp was out, but all were going out (read verse 8 in the Revised Version). The wick even of the wise was sputtering. But then the wise had little flasks of oil with them; it was the work of a moment to trim their lamps. But the foolish had no oil, and there was none to borrow, and when they hurried out to buy it at the merchant's—can you not hear the jesting of the crows? And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage, and the door was shut.
Want of Forethought Is True Foolishness
Now I trust that no one will spoil this matchless story by arguing what the lamp or what the oil must be. I do not think that Jesus built up His parables laboriously. It is better to keep to the broad lessons of a parable, and there are three here which anyone may grasp. The first is, want of forethought is true foolishness. Can you tell me why the one builder was a foolish man (Mat_7:26)? It was just because he never foresaw the storm. He built in May when the birds were singing, and the sand was firm enough for summer weather; but he forgot November and its gales, when nothing could stand but a house upon a rock. So here the foolish virgins had their lamps, and their lamps were burning merrily enough. But they forgot to reckon with a tardy bridegroom, and it was just that want of forethought that spoiled all. Now none of us is to be anxious for tomorrow. But we have a strange and difficult life to live, and we have a death to die and a God to meet, and it is high time to make provision for all that. Have you done it? You know perfectly what the provision is. "Evil is wrought by want of thought, as well as want of heart."
Times When We Cannot Help Each Other
And the second lesson of the story is this: in the great hours we cannot help each other. I have no doubt the ten were all good friends; they had done many a kindly turn one to another. But now, that friendship was of no avail; there was no oil to borrow or to spare. It was not because the wise disdained the foolish, or were eager to see them ousted from the marriage, that they were deaf to this request for oil. They refused it for a far better reason—they needed every drop of oil they had. That means, that in every hour of judgment, there is no shining with a borrowed light. The help of others is priceless in many things, but in the hours of spiritual crisis it is vain. Another's faith can never aid us then, even though that other be a friend or father. It is our own faith and holiness and love that will determine matters when the Bridegroom comes.
The Highest Wisdom Is to Be Watchful
This is the great lesson of the parable, it is the highest wisdom to be watchful. The bridegroom came when no one looked for him, and Jesus will come in an hour we think not. The one day has been hidden, said Augustine, that every day might be regarded. How little did Pompeii think, in the bright morning, of the desolation the evening was to bring! With what awful suddenness in 1666, did the great fire devastate London! And like a Bridegroom in the night, Jesus will come. God grant He find us vigilant.
Watch! 'tis your Lord's command,
And while we speak, He's near;
Mark the first signal of His hand,
And ready all appear.
BE READY FOR THE BRIDEGROOM
Three remarkable parables occupy this chapter and follow a marked sequence of thought. First, we are called upon to look to ourselves, and be sure that we are prepared to enter the wedding feast; that is, to enter into the holiest and closest union with our Lord. Many are called into that union of thought, and prayer and service, but, alas, how few there are who approve themselves as chosen for that inner intimacy! We must see to it that our hearts are pure with virginal purity, and that the light is ever burning in our hearts, through the continual inpouring of the oil of the Holy Spirit.
How marvelous the power which, from the noisy night procession of an oriental wedding, could bring this exquisite parable! The short, warm Eastern night, the ten girls, the cry, the peace of the prepared, the anguish of the unready, the inside and outside of the door! O blessed Comforter, may we not fail thee, as thou wilt not fail those who in their weakness seek thy help. F.B. Meyer
CHARACTERISTICS OF THE WISE AND FOOLISH
God’s children are wise; the rest are foolish.
(1) They see things as they truly are.
(2) They do not rest in knowledge.
(3) They live for eternity.
(4) They are like God.
The wise and foolish are alike in many things.
(1) They enjoy the same ordinances.
(2) They use the same speech.
(3) They utter the same prayers.
(4) They have the same outward behaviour.
There is a difference.
(1) They are not taught by the Holy Spirit.
(2) They are not dwelt in by the Holy Spirit.
(3) The conditions of the heart become clear-in times of crisis. Pretenders true state is revealed.
THE ETERNAL FATE OF THE FOOLISH
Every hour of the day and night there are souls going into eternity unprepared. Oh, what excitement it must be about the death-bed, crying out for a lamp, and for the oil, and for the light; throwing; hands out, throwing them up, throwing them around, until the nurse asks, “What do you want, water?” He says, shaking his head: “No.” “Bathing of the temples?” He shakes his head: “No.” What does he want? Oh, he cannot get his light burning. He must start; he is started; he comes up to the gate of heaven; he knocks; he cries: “Let me in!”
He is not admitted. He says: “I want to see the bridegroom.” The voices within say: “You can’t see the bridegroom; he is busy with the guests now.” Says the man: “I must come in; my children are in there. I must come in.”
A voice within says: “You refused the grace that would have brought you where they are.” “But,” says the man, “I must come in; all my friends and kindred are in. Hark! now! hear the sound of their voices, and the bounding of their feet. Let me in.”
And a voice from within says: “You are too late!” It says to one man: “You are twenty years too late;” to another, “you are over five years too late;” to another, “you are a month too late;” to another, “you are a minute too late; “ and the mob of destroyed ones outside the door take up the chorus, and cry: “Too late!” And the hot wind of the desert sighs: “Too late!” and the bell in the tower of eternal midnight tolls and tolls: “Too late! too late!”
And the torches of the silly virgins begin to flicker and hiss in the storm, and one by one they go out, until in the suffocating darkness they cry: “Our lamps have gone out!” And they go wandering through eternity, ages after ages, feeling out for the light, for comfort, for peace, for hope, but finding none, and crying: “Our lamps have gone out!” and then, turning in another direction, and wandering on, age after age, age after age, feeling for hope, and comfort, and light, and Heaven, but finding none, and crying: “Our lamps have gone out!” (Dr. Talmage.)
Treasury of David
Charles Hayden Spurgeon
19 Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God, depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.
20 For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
21 Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
22 I hate them with perfect hatred, I count them mine enemies.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts.
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
“Surely thou wilt slay the wicked, O God.” There can be no doubt upon that head, for thou hast seen all their transgressions, which indeed have been done in thy presence; and thou hast long enough endured their provocations, which have been so openly manifest before thee. Crimes committed before the face of the Judge are not likely to go unpunished. If the eye of God is grieved with the presence of evil, it is but natural to expect that he will remove the offending object. God who sees all evil will slay all evil. With earthly sovereigns sin may go unpunished for lack of evidence, or the law may be left without execution from lack of vigour in the judge; but this cannot happen in the case of God, the living God. He beareth not the sword in vain. Such is his love of holiness and hatred of wrong that he will carry on war to the death with those whose hearts and lives are wicked. God will not always suffer his lovely creation to be defaced and defiled by the presence of wickedness: if anything is sure, this is sure, that he will ease him of his adversaries. “Depart from me therefore, ye bloody men.” Men who delight in cruelty and war are not fit companions for those who walk with God. David chases the men of blood from his court, for he is weary of those of whom God is weary. He seems to say - If God will not let you live with him I will not have you live with me. You would destroy others, and therefore I want you not in my society. You will be destroyed yourselves, I desire you not in my service. Depart from me, for you depart from God. As we delight to have the holy God always near us, so would we eagerly desire to have wicked men removed as far as possible from us. We tremble in the society of the ungodly lest their doom should fall upon them suddenly, and we should see them lie dead at our feet. We do not wish to have our place of intercourse turned into gallows of execution, therefore let the condemned be removed out of our company.
“For they speak against thee wickedly.” Why should I bear their company when their talk sickens me? They vent their treasons and blasphemies as often as they please, doing so without the slighest excuse or provocation; let them therefore begone, where they may find a more congenial associate than I can be. When men speak against God they will be sure to speak against us, if they find it serve their turn; hence godless men are not the stuff out of which true friends can ever be made. God gave these men their tongues, and they turn against their Benefactor, wickedly, from sheer malice, and with great perverseness. “And thine enemies take thy name in vain.” This is their sport: to insult Jehovah's glorious name is their amusement. To blaspheme the name of the Lord is a gratuitous wickedness in which there can be no pleasure, and from which there can be no profit. This is a sure mark of the “enemies” of the Lord, that they have the impudence to assail his honour, and treat his glory with irreverence. How can God do other than slay them? How can we do other than withdraw from every sort of association with them? What a wonder of sin it is that men should rail against so good a Being as the Lord our God! The impudence of those who talk wickedly is a singular fact, and it is the more singular when we reflect that the Lord against whom they speak is all around them, and lays to heart every dishonour which they render to his holy name. We ought not to wonder that men slander and deride us, for they do the same with the Most High God.
“Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee?” He was a good hater, for he hated only those who hated good. Of this hatred he is not ashamed, but he sets it forth as a virtue to which he would have the Lord bear testimony. To love all men with benevolence is our duty; but to love any wicked man with complacency would be a crime. To hate a man for his own sake, or for any evil done to us, would be wrong; but to hate a man because he is the foe of all goodness and the enemy of all righteousness, is nothing more nor less than an obligation. The more we love God the more indignant shall we grow with those who refuse him their affection. “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ let him be Anathema Maranatha.” Truly, “jealousy is cruel as the grave.” The loyal subject must not be friendly to the traitor. “And am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?” He appeals to heaven that he took no pleasure in those who rebelled against the Lord; but, on the contrary, he was made to mourn by a sight of their ill behaviour. Since God is everywhere, he knows our feelings towards the profane and ungodly, and he knows that so far from approving such characters the very sight of them is grievous to our eyes.
“I hate them with perfect hatred.” He does not leave it a matter of question. He does not occupy a neutral position. His hatred to bad, vicious, blasphemous men is intense, complete, energetic. He is as whole-hearted in his hate of wickedness as in his love of goodness. “I count them mine enemies.” He makes a personal matter of it. They may have done him no ill, but if they are doing despite to God, to his laws, and to the great principles of truth and righteousness, David proclaims war against them. Wickedness passes men into favour with unrighteous spirits; but it excludes them from the communion of the just. We pull up the drawbridge and man the walls when a man of Belial goes by our castle. His character is a casus belli; we cannot do otherwise than contend with those who contend with God.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart.” David is no accomplice with traitors. He has disowned them in set form, and now he appeals to God that he does not harbour a trace of fellowship with them. He will have God himself search him, and search him thoroughly, till every point of his being is known, and read, and understood; for he is sure that even by such an investigation there will be found in him no complicity with wicked men. He challenges the fullest investigation, the innermost search: he had need be a true man who can put himself deliberately into such a crucible. Yet we may each one desire such searching; for it would be a terrible calamity to us for sin to remain in our hearts unknown and undiscovered. “Try me, and know my thoughts.” Exercise any and every test upon me. By fire and by water let me be examined. Read not alone the desires of my heart, but the fugitive thoughts of my head. Know with all-penetrating knowledge all that is or has been in the chambers of my mind. What a mercy that there is one being who can know us to perfection! He is intimately at home with us. He is graciously inclined towards us, and is willing to bend his omniscience to serve the end of our sanctification. Let us pray as David did, and let us be as honest as he. We cannot hide our sin: salvation lies the other way, in a plain discovery of evil, and an effectual severance from it.
“And see if there be any wicked way in me.” See whether there be in my heart, or in my life, any evil habit unknown to myself. If there be such an evil way, take me from it, take it from me. No matter how dear the wrong may have become, nor how deeply prejudiced I may have been in its favour, be pleased to deliver me there from altogether, effectually, and at once, that I may tolerate nothing which is contrary to thy mind. As I hate the wicked in their way, so would I hate every wicked way in myself. “And lead me in the way everlasting.” If thou hast introduced me already to the good old way, be pleased to keep me in it, and conduct me further and further along it. It is a way which thou hast set up of old, it is based upon everlasting principles, and it is the way in which immortal spirits will gladly run for ever and ever. There will be no end to it world without end. It lasts for ever, and they who are in it last for ever. Conduct me into it, O Lord, and conduct me throughout the whole length of it. By thy providence, by thy word, by thy grace, and by thy Spirit, lead me evermore.
Comment: The two messages below speak directly to what God is doing today-and what is happening throughout this country. They are being posted here because the Holy Spirit has directed to be so-they go perfectly with this devotion, and speaks prophetically to this nation. The one difference I have with this is-I believe we are at the end of days, and do not believe this nation will come together and repent and return to God, I believe it will continue to harden it's neck, and it will collapse. But I understand this mans heart; he is a faithful man of God.
How Do We Know God is Judging America? - Joe Morecraft III Sermon
Some People Need To Leave - August 14, 2023 DD
Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. John 19:10-11
THE REJECTION OF THE KING
Pilate’s pride was touched by that silence. In His reply our Lord refers to the relative responsibility of those who shared in His condemnation. It was as if He said, “Great as your sin is, in forfeiting your position, it is less than the sin of those who have put Me into your power.” Pilate then became aware of the coil of evil in which he was caught. He was dealing with a matter that touched the unseen and eternal, but the threat to report him to Caesar suddenly brought him back to the earthly and human aspects of the case. With ill-concealed irritation he adopted the phraseology of the priests and cried, Behold your King! The Jews touched the lowest depth of degradation when, trampling under foot their national pride, they cried, We have no king but Caesar! Pilate signed the necessary documents and retired to his palace as having been himself sentenced. F.B. Meyer
1. Pilate had marveled greatly at his prisoner’s taciturnity when the mob first gnashed their teeth at Him (Mat_27:14); but was not he the embodiment of imperial authority, “To me dost Thou not speak?” putting ruffled pride and mortified vanity into his tones. Men whose causes and arguments are weak generally take shelter behind their self importance. Men commonly stand on their dignity when they have nothing else to stand on.
2. Mean intimidation. The vicegerent of Rome could not resist telling his prisoner that His life and death were in his hands! It was the speech of a small dignitary who was a great coward.
3. Mistaken assumption. Unjust judges and persecutors have often since supposed that they held the life of Christ’s followers and Christ’s cause: but they have erred as Pilate did.
The cowardice of guilt
Men who have lost their innocence cannot preserve their courage. (Lord Clarendon.)
All power from God
Men are inclined to think that they have power for good or power for evil because of their wealth, station, or influence. They fail to consider that all their power is a simple trust from God; and that not only are they responsible for the use they make of it, but the power itself is liable to be taken away from them, or held in check at the command of God at any instant. Men are free agents in the use of all their faculties and all their possessions; but their free agency is a gift of God; and God has not surrendered His watch or His control of every free agent in His service or among His opponents. No man has power for good or for evil except as God consents to that man’s temporary exercise of power. There is a warning in this thought to those who may have fancied that they could either serve or resist God of their own strength. There is comfort and cheer in this thought to those who are threatened, or who are imperiled, by the hostility of others. A man can, in a sense, help God’s cause by generous giving, or by earnest doing—if God permits man to give help in that way. A man can, in a sense, harm God’s cause by opposing the right, or by withholding the aid that he ought to render—if God permits the man to do harm in that way. But, in the truest sense, no man can render a service to the devil, or harm a hair of a believer’s head, unless God consents to this exercise of the man’s power. But in either case the man is responsible for what he would like to do. By God’s permission he is a free agent there.
(H. C.Trumbull, D. D.)
God's Word to the Self Righteous
There is no shortage of people who feel they are going to be able to walk right up to God when they die and stand before Him-and give a list of their righteousness and good deeds, and this will give them a place in heaven. There's many who have bloated opinions of themselves, and feel the more money they give, and the more they work for charitable causes, that this will add leverage for them when it comes time to give an account of their lives, and God will smile, and give a wave of His hand, and tell an angel to guide them right through the gates of heaven, and they'll be greeted with praise and accolades for their accomplishments, and their great contributions while on earth will earn them a special place in heaven, and they'll enjoy the acclaim of the hosts of heaven, for all they achieved. They have it in their minds that the applause of the world they may have enjoyed, will follow them, and will be multiplied in heaven. These people don't know the scriptures, nor ever ask God what He really thinks-and I can only imagine the surprise and horror, when they stand before a holy God, and are faced with the Truth, and how wrong they are.
People have their ideas, and dreams, but, what does God's word say about this. What does the Bible say about God's thoughts towards human nature, and men of the earth-both Jew and Gentile?
Let's take a look.
Hundred's of years before Christ came, Isaiah spoke of God's thoughts of man's righteousness, and it gives a clear picture of man's condition:
Isa 64:6 But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
Isa 64:7 And there is none that calleth upon thy name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee: for thou hast hid thy face from us, and hast consumed us, because of our iniquities.
The Apostle Paul expounds on these verses, and opens them up now, because at this point-Christ had accomplished the victory on the Cross, became the Advocate for man's sin, and could now boldly proclaim that victory, and open the way for all that would-to come to Christ, and receive the free gift of salvation. Now, all who would, could now come to Christ and receive this wonderous miracle of grace, and forgiveness. This, is the greatest manifestation of the Love of God, that the devil could not destroy, though he worked feverishly to do so from the first sin of Adam and Eve in the garden. Now, Paul proclaims the defeat of Satan, and the victory of Christ, for all who would receive it.
No One Is Righteous
Rom 3:9 What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
Rom 3:11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
Rom 3:12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
Rom 3:13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
Rom 3:14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
Rom 3:15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
Rom 3:16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
Rom 3:17 And the way of peace have they not known:
Rom 3:18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
Rom 3:20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Cross references-See also: Rom_3:23; Job_14:4, Job_15:14, Job_15:16, Job_25:4; Jer_17:9; Mat_15:19; Mar_7:21-22; Mar_10:18; 1Co_6:9-10; Gal_5:19-21; Eph_2:1-3, Eph_5:3-6; Col_3:5-9; 1Ti_1:9-10; 2Ti_3:2-5; Tit_3:3; 1Jn_1:8-10; Rev_21:8, Rev_22:15
Now, these passages blow away every delusion, and man's pride and pomp, and leaves him standing before God with no hope, no way to pay for his sin, no way to barter with God, no excuse. So, what is the answer to this hopeless situation? Read on, God's answer is clear, profound, and simple; for those who will receive it.
The Righteousness of God Through Faith
Rom 3:21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
Rom 3:22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Rom 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
Rom 3:24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Rom 3:25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
Rom 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
Rom 3:27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
Rom 3:28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Rom 3:29 Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
Rom 3:30 Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
Cross references for your study- which is: Rom_4:3-13, Rom_4:20-22, Rom_5:1-11, Rom_8:1; Php_3:9
unto all: Rom_4:6, Rom_4:11, Rom_4:22; Gal_2:16, Gal_3:6; Jas_2:23
and upon: Isa_61:10; Mat_22:11-12; Luk_15:22; Gal_3:7-9
for there: Rom_2:1, Rom_10:12; Act_15:9; 1Co_4:7; Gal_3:28; Col_3:11
There's been times when people have said to me that they do not respect me, I've never asked for people's respect, nor do I expect it from those of this world. What I have desired, and received from God, is His mercy, compassion, forgiveness, and adoption into the Body of Christ. There's nothing greater, or more important than that. I know who I am in Christ, and no one can do anything about that. The love of Christ, outweighs everything else. The opinions of those of this world, mean nothing when you know the love of Jesus, and walk in His presence. Nothing can replace the knowledge that I am a member of His Kingdom, that there is a place prepared for me in heaven, and when I get there, it will be my eternal home. No one can match that. The peace He gives within, and the solid, stable presence of the Holy Spirit gives me the strength and joy to get up each day, and do the best I can, knowing I'm doing my daily tasks in His will. He is my Father, Christ is my Redeemer, and my Savior, I have more than anyone could wish for, or want. Whatever He's allowed me to have, I receive with gratitude and am thankful for His constant provision-He's never failed me. I've never lacked anything I've needed, and have abundance, and able to give to other's, I'm His child and know the blessings that comes with that place in Him.
How can you know this position in Christ? How can you have the solid assurance of knowing your sins are forgiven, and you are covered by the precious blood of Christ, and have become His child? The pathway is described below. Read the information, humble yourself, pray a simple prayer to the Lord, repent of your sins, and ask the Lord Jesus to come into your heart and life, in faith. He answered my prayer in 1978-he will answer yours as well. If you have done this-welcome to the family of God. Now you are His child, and through adoption, He is your Father.
Get a King James Bible, and start a routine of prayer and study of His word, and develop your relationship with Him. He loves you, and wants you to know Him, and learn His ways. You can only get to know Him, by studying His word, and as you pray, you'll find His presence will ever increase in your life. You'll begin to know His will, and He will guide you. His word is the lamp for our feet, and the light to our path.
May the God of Peace, be with you, and lead you to Himself, and reveal to you the depths of His love for you. This world holds nothing in comparison to Him, and the more you seek Him, the more you will come to know the truth of this.
In this page there will be devotions/poems
music and inspirational material
The Lord Will Pour Out His Spirit
And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions:
And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit.
And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.
The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
But this is that which was spoken by the
And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:
And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: