When we are first saved, every Christian enters a battle ground, and until we reach heaven, it is warfare against the powers of darkness. Before we got saved we belonged to Satan but were ignorant of it, our eyes are blinded. When we are saved-we are now on victory ground; but we have to learn to apply the word of God, and allow the Holy Spirit to mold us and change us, in order to walk in that victory, and be an overcomer.
As we grow, and study the scriptures we can get out of balance, coming against demons, rebuking them in everything, and come away discouraged, and even lose faith because we don't see a change in the situation.
There are times when demons need to be addressed. But, many times it is the transforming power of the scriptures applied to our everyday life, and our conduct that gains the victory over Satan in our lives.
The enemies we combat are;
The world: James 4:1-4- "(read text) Our hearts are exposed by the things we chase after, and think are so important. The desire to consume, to be important, to be rich, is the fuel the devil uses to drive us to envy, jealousy, and an evil heart. If we refuse to repent, and allow God to help us change, it leads to greater sin such as murder, and war. 1John 2:15-17 clearly tells us "Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abides forever."
Flesh: 1Peter 4:1-4, Col. 3:5-11" -(Read text) Those of us who have been saved from addictions, such as drugs and alcohol see the truth of these scriptures. It is in these addictions, that all other evil is fed and grows to the point that we do not have control of ourselves. It takes the transforming power of the Lord to get us back on the right track. If we are serious about wanting to change, he will reach out to us, and has the power to set us free. I can testify to that.
The Devil: 1Peter 5:8 "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks 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. But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
Principalities and Powers of darkness: Eph. 6:12 "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." The demonic forces that come against us in this life are very serious, and have one main objective; to destroy you, and ultimately have you join them in hell when your life here is over. They will do whatever it takes to try to steer you away from Christ, and back into darkness. It takes discernment to see the difference between sins of the flesh, and when someone is also bound by demonic activity, both originate from the devil. However, there is a difference between someone who is being sorely tempted, and one who has allowed demons to oppress them consistently and allowed them to attach themselves to the persons soul. This is an area where a lot of Christians get out of balance. But, if you sincerely go to the Lord in prayer, and study His Word, the Holy Spirit will give clear direction.
The Conduct of the Soldier of Christ
We are given clear guidance on how to wage this war; our victory hinges on our obedience to the Word of God. Walking out our faith in obedience to the scriptures is the greatest weapon against anything we face. Our warfare is directly the opposite of the devil's, we are now promoting peace, light, and righteousness in a dark world, where once we were partaker's of that darkness. It is absolutely necessary to line up our conduct with what we are saying with our mouths. Confessing the word of God is useless if we aren't walking the talk. Prov. 20:11 tells us "Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right".
These instructions are:
Avoid worldly entanglements, and endure suffering, avoid arguments: 2Tim. 2:3-14 In this text we are given clear instruction on what to avoid to live at peace with other's as much as possible. No one likes to be misunderstood, but there are times when it is best to just stay silent rather than try to force someone to agree with us, or prove we are right. There are some people we should avoid, the ones who we ran with when we lived in sin, sometimes even our relatives.
Be sober, watchful. 1Cor. 16:13 "Watch ye, and stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. "1Thess. 5:5-8 "Ye are all the children of the light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, or of the darkness. Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober. For they that sleep sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night. But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for a helmet, the hope of salvation."
Put on our armor, and pray. Eph. ch.6:10-18 (read text) This is a study in itself, but we only have time to touch on it now. I highly recommend you take the time to study this chapter, and do some cross referencing. If you do, the Lord will open to you the power of these scriptures, and strengthen your spirit.
How Do We Gain the Victory
God doesn't expect us to do this warfare alone, and in our own power. We are given an arsenal to equip us and win the battles in life. We need to know what our weapons are, and how to use them:
11 Cor. 10:3-5 tells us, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
God's Word- Heb. 4:12 "For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." If we allow it, the word of God will expose what is in our hearts to us, and will work with us to purify, and bring us out of darkness.
Faith- 1John 5:4-5 "For whatsoever is born of God overcomes the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcomes the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? " Heb. 11:6 "But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that comes to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him."
Christ's promise-John 16:33 "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." This passage tells us much more than it seems at first glance. Let's break this down; Jesus was fully man, he experienced and suffered all the tribulation and temptations we do, and overcame them. He did this by the help and power of the Holy Spirit. He showed by example that we can be victorious if we keep our eyes on Him. When he was driven into the wilderness by the Spirit, and tempted by Satan, here we are shown how to win our battles also. Jesus answer to the devil was "It is written."
The word of God, rightly used will put the devil to silence. As James 4:7 tells us "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." Every time we win a battle of temptation, our spirits become stronger, and more able to stand against the next one that comes at us.
Jesus Christ- Our Spiritual Authority
Authority is delegated power; In Luke 10:19 Jesus tells us "Behold, I give unto you Power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you."
The value of the authority rests on the power behind our authority. The devil and his forces are obliged to recognize our authority. The believer who thoroughly understands that the power of God is backing him can exercise his authority and face the enemy fearlessly.
Example: A policeman who directs traffic during the rush hour just raises his hand and the car stops. The man doesn't have the physical power to stop the vehicle if the driver chooses not to stop. But, they don't use their own strength to stop traffic; they use the authority invested in them by the government they serve. The devil's recognize the power and authority behind the name of Jesus Christ, it is His authority that they submit to, that has been delegated to us as believer's.
In Matt. 28:18 Jesus said to the disciples "All power is given unto me in heaven and earth. This is the same as authority. When Christ ascended, he transferred His authority to the Church. Christ's authority has to be perpetuated through His Body, which is on earth. Christ is seated on the right hand of the Father, the place of authority, and we are seated with him. To sit on the right hand of a king means authority. When we received Christ as Savior, we died with Him, and are raised with Him.
The source of our authority is found in the resurrection and exalting of the Lord Jesus Christ by God.
Eph. 1:18-23 "The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church."
Eph. 2:5 "Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ (by grace you are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus."
We need to realize that the authority that belongs to Christ belongs to individual members of the Body of Christ and is available to us.
The elevation of Christ's people with Him into the heavenlies clearly points to the fact we are to sit with him; sharing his throne, and also his authority.
Romans 5:17 tells us " For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ."
We are not just to reign with Christ in heaven, we are to reign in life by Jesus Christ now. Throughout history, whatever the king said was law; he was the last authority. In the same way, we partake of the authority that Christ's throne represents.
Why do we not see this authority used as it should be in the Church?
ack of knowledge: Hosea 4:6 says "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge." This verse says "my people", not unbeliever's. The authority vested to us is almost never taught today in the churches. But, if any person is hungry to learn the truth, Jesus is ready and willing to teach you, in John 8:32 he tells us" And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free."
Authority is abused: The misuse of this authority results in defeat. God is not obliged to honor us if we try to use this authority to promote ourselves. Authority over the devil is successful when we know how to use it, the same as well trained policeman, who knows who his boss is, and works with integrity.
Lack of Faith: In order for this to work, you have to know who you believe, and what is yours without reservation. The devil knows if we really believe what we are doing or not.
When circumstances don't change immediately, some people become discouraged and slip back into the natural; They talk unbelief and defeat themselves. They give the devil dominion over them.
Smith Wigglesworth often said, "I'm not moved by what I see. I'm not moved by what I feel. I'm moved only by what I believe." We have to stand our ground. The authority is ours whether we feel like it or not. Authority has nothing to do with feelings, but we must exercise it in order for it to work.
Pastor's and Leaders fear those who would get out of balance: Unfortunately, I've seen many Christians get very out of balance, and not able to discern when to use the authority over the devil, or when to take the matter to prayer, and faith. It takes careful observation to know when something is a problem of the flesh, or a spirit behind the problem. We need to learn the difference, and the many ways God has to deliver us or other's from bondage. God is patient with us as we learn.
For example: The spirit of a rebellious person is only set free by honest repentance. All the rebuking and casting out in the world is not going to work, until the person is truly sorry for their sin, and makes up their mind they want to change, no matter what they have to do. God can and will help this person, and reach out to them in power to help them come out of darkness, into the light. I am a testimony of this.
Nothing ever really changed for me until I became honest with myself and with God. The power of God to deliver me was there, but He would not force himself on me. I had to open my heart to Him, and take hold of him and his promises to set me free. When my heart changed, he revealed to me several demonic spirits that needed to be dealt with, and showed me how to cast them out. This did not take a long time, and I knew when they left. The compulsive desires I had were gone, and I knew the difference. I knew I as free.
We are not to pray the devil out; but speak to him and tell him what to do: It is a waste of time to pray to the Lord to deliver us or someone else. Jesus has done all He is going to do about the devil. He has won the victory when he rose from the dead. The authority has been delegated to us, and we are to speak to him, and take dominion over his attacks on us.
Luk 9:1 Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.
Luk 10:17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name.
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
Luk 10:19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.
Luk 10:20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Important point: The delegated authority over evil spirits and devils is of no credit to ourselves-and we are to take no credit. The gifts of the Holy Spirit can only be appropriated through the man/woman who knows their identity in Christ, and has the faith, and discernment to exercise the delegated authority correctly -with a right heart and spirit. If we be found with unrepentant sin, pride, monetary gain, or self-achievement; any effort will be futile. Simon the sorcerer found this out in Acts ch. 8:18-24:
Act 8:18 And when Simon saw that through laying on of the apostles' hands the Holy Ghost was given, he offered them money,
Act 8:19 Saying, Give me also this power, that on whomsoever I lay hands, he may receive the Holy Ghost.
Act 8:20 But Peter said unto him, Thy money perish with thee, because thou hast thought that the gift of God may be purchased with money.
Act 8:21 Thou hast neither part nor lot in this matter: for thy heart is not right in the sight of God.
Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.
Act 8:23 For I perceive that thou art in the gall of bitterness, and in the bond of iniquity.
Act 8:24 Then answered Simon, and said, Pray ye to the Lord for me, that none of these things which ye have spoken come upon me.
When Simon saw, etc. - By hearing these speak with different tongues and work miracles.
He offered them money - Supposing that the dispensing this Spirit belonged to them - that they could give it to whomsoever they pleased; and imagining that, as he saw them to be poor men, they would not object to take money for their gift; and it is probable that he had gained considerably by his juggling, and therefore could afford to spare some, as he hoped to make it all up by the profit which he expected to derive from this new influence.
God knows our hearts, our thoughts, and our motives-nothing is hidden from His sight. If people really knew the truth of God's presence, and omnipresence-they would learn to use caution in their words and deeds. Everything we say, do, and think will be brought to account on Judgment Day:
Heb 4:12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
Heb 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Psa 139:2 Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
Jer 17:10 I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.
Eph 5:13 But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
We have delegated authority over the devil in our own lives and household, but not over someone else's. A believer can break the power of the devil anywhere in their own life, or their immediate family, they have authority there, but not in someone else's. Spiritual authority is like natural authority. For example: I don't have authority over someone else's money unless they give me permission to use it. I don't have authority over someone else's children.
You can make the devil desist in some of his maneuvers in somebody else's life, but you can't always cast him out, because you don't have authority in that household. Only through intercession can you exercise spiritual authority in another person, or somebody else's family."
The exception to this is when someone comes to you, and speaks of a problem they're having, and think they have a problem with being tormented with a demon-and asks for your assistance to be freed from it-then God can use you to help them get set free from a demonic bondage, because they've given their consent. Then seeking God for guidance, and how to proceed is the next step-the Holy Spirit will give the needed direction, and freedom will come for them, if they are sincere and really want to be free.
Joh 8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
"Final Important point"-When you get out beyond the written word of God, you've gone too far. Stay with what the Word says about the matter, don't add anything to it.
(2008 teaching for Teen Challenge)
Strategies of Satanists in the Endgame
The Age of Deceit
We now stand two thousand years after the coming of Christ the first time, and events unfolding in the 21st century are described for us by Jesus throughout the gospels; it's clear we are in the days he layed out and warned us would come to pass-as the last days.
This is the age of deceit, the day when everything you see and hear is upside down, and a lie. You need to have a real desire for truth, to discern the layers of deception the world is in now.
Who's to blame for the chaos and persecution escalating, and globalists taking over the nations? We are. We've allowed it, and even participated in our own demise-though most by ignorance, and blindness. The atheists and Satanists around the world have been relentless in practicing their demonic rituals, celebrations and sorceries right in our faces-and we've swallowed it hook line and sinker. If you doubt this, watch some reruns of halftime football games in the last 25 years, and especially the last 10-and pay attention to what the people on stage say, and do. Also, this video of Satan Worship at the Gotthard Tunnel 2016, the celebration of the world's longest and deepest rail tunnel running through the Alps has officially opened in Switzerland, after 17 years of construction work. The entire thing was a Satanic ritual- https://youtu.be/P_4yjAD9MJw
What does God's word have to say about this?
Pro 16:4 The LORD hath made all things for himself: yea, even the wicked for the day of evil.
Jer 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?
1Ki 8:32 Then hear thou in heaven, and do, and judge thy servants, condemning the wicked, to bring his way upon his head; and justifying the righteous, to give him according to his righteousness.
Pro 1:31 Therefore shall they eat of the fruit of their own way, and be filled with their own devices.
Jer 2:19 Thine own wickedness shall correct thee, and thy backslidings shall reprove thee: know therefore and see that it is an evil thing and bitter, that thou hast forsaken the LORD thy God, and that my fear is not in thee, saith the Lord GOD of hosts.
Isa 3:9 The shew of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.
As said above, for many years in this country-the football and sports events have made their half time entertainments Satanic ritual magic-and the stupid crowds love it-they become part of the demonic sorcery, and the devil has won this nation by a corrupt atheistic school system run by Satanists. They allow the devil in schools, but not God. This is the generation Jesus rebuked in Revelation ch. 3-the Laodicean church:
Rev 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;
Rev 3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
Rev 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.
Rev 3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Rev 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
Rev 3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.
Rev 3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Rev 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.
Rev 3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
The governments are ruled by demonic forces, principalities and powers of darkness, and Satanists, and they are busy carrying out agenda's that they've been scheming to put into place for many years. It is steamrolling, and snowballing now; and there is no turning back on what they have planned. However, they are playing right into God's hands. At the end of all this-they will find Christ coming in His glory-and themselves thrown in the Lake of fire.
If you have a desire to learn from a reputable bible teacher, the details of what we are facing right now, and watching unfold in this country, and the world-google Chuck Missler, and watch his series of teachings on Eschatology-The Four Horses of the Apocalypse. He gives an excellent presentation of where we are in the book of Revelation now. I recommend all of his teachings-he is an excellent teacher, who stays strictly to the word of God.
This warfare is real, and it's to the death. The entertainment industry has used every means at their disposal to lure you, deceive you, brainwash you, and hypnotize you into slumber, apathy, and mold you into blind cattle that will follow them wherever they lead you, and it's into the devils lair.
But, the child of God is given weapons in the word of God, that help us overcome and gain the victory in this life. Another to explore-is the power of prayer.
There is a certain prayer that moves the Lord, if done by one who believes Him, and can bring changes to circumstances, and in some cases, to change His mind. This is called INTERCESSORY PRAYER. He desires this from any who will seek Him, and any whose hearts trust Him. verse: IITim. 2:15, 23-24
Intercession: The definition of Intercede is "To act as a go-between for two parties. To plead on behalf of another. A mediator, or the act of mediation." To carry this further, to mediate means to: settle a dispute, or carry out a process. A lawyer is a form of mediator, and we can see the correlation of a lawyer standing on behalf of their client before a judge. This is the picture of an intercessor. One who stands as a lawyer, or mediator for someone or on behalf of something that needs to be acted on or brought into being before the Lord, and using all the skill they have to argue the case for them.
As believer's we are all called to intercede for other's, our families, our church, those who need to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth.
However, there are some in the body of Christ who have been called to a life of prayer and intercession, as a service to God.
We are given burdens in the Spirit by God for individuals, churches, cities, nations. Many times the Holy Spirit will give specific instructions on how to pray. As we grow in our walk, each experience teaches us to get better at it, and able to hear the voice of the Lord more clearly. Becoming a mighty warrior of prayer, and an adversary of the devil to be reckoned with doesn't happen over-night. We are called to go down on our faces before God on behalf of people, cities, or nations, to stand in the gap for them, repent of the sins and evil they have committed, when they won't do it themselves, to save them from the judgment they deserve. (Such as Abraham when he interceded for Sodom and Gomorrah)
In heaven, we will be surprised, and humbled to be shown those who prayed for us in silence-without our knowledge-and how we were spared many times from accidents and schemes of the devil-by answered prayer by people we never knew.
The following scriptures will help comprehend the importance and impact of this kind of prayer.
1. Isa. 55:6, 8-9
"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found. Call upon Him while He is near. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts higher than your thoughts."
Interpretation: Before it is too late, start asking Him.
2. "Oh the depths of riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out. For who hath known the Mind of the Lord, or who hath been His counselor?"
Interpretation: Expand deep study before getting answers. Rom. 11:33-34
3. "And the Spirit of the Lord fell upon me and said unto me: Speak....for I know the things that come into your mind, every one of them." verse Ezek. 11:5
Interpretation: Expect the Lord to be ready to answer.
4. John 15:26 "But the Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in My Name, he shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance, whatsoever I had said unto you."
Rom. 8:26-27 "Likewise, the Spirit helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit Itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, And He (Jesus) that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God (The Father).
Interpretation: Pray any way, anytime, anyway. The indwelling Spirit will correct any mistakes in our petitions or worship.
5. John 14:23 " Jesus answered and said unto him (Jude) 'If a man love me he will keep my words: and My Father will love him and we will come unto him and make our abode with him."
"I am the Vine, you are the branches: He (God) that abides in me and I in him, the same brings forth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing." "I have called you friends, if you do whatsoever I command you. You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you....that you should go and bring forth fruit.... that whatsoever you shall ask of the Father in My Name He may give it to you."
Interpretation: Jesus promises fruit, If we abide In the Vine. He then guarantees God's assent, because it is in His Will Already.
Summary: The Lord asks that we seek Him diligently although no man's mind would be totally able to comprehend His immense wisdom. He states that He knows our problems in advance of our prayers, and has provided His intercession on our behalf. We are reassured of fruitfulness IF WE STICK CLOSE BY "ABIDING IN HIM". More descriptions of God's eternal nature: 1Tim. 2:5; Heb. 12:24.
Does God ever change His mind?
His eternal Nature:
6. Mal. 3:6 "And fear not Me, says the Lord of Hosts. For I am the Lord, I change not...."
Num. 23:19 "God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man that He should repent; has He said and shall He not do it? Or has He spoken and shall He not make it good?"
Rom. 11:29 "The gifts and calling of God are without repentance."
Ps. 110:4 "The LORD(GOD) has sworn and will not repent: Thou art a priest after the order of Melchizedec."
Interpretation: The nature of God cannot change, righteousness and omniscience are immutable.
Expanded study: A REPENTANT FATHER OF MERCY Isa. 16:5
7. Jer. 18:8 "If that nation against whom I have pronounced, turns from their evil, I will repent of the evil that I thought to bring against them."
Jer. 18:10 "And if it do evil in my sight, that it not obey My voice, then I will repent of the good, where with I said I would benefit them."
Jer. 42:10 "If you will still abide in this land,.... I will plant you and not pluck you up; for I repent Me of the evil I have done unto you."
Josh 10:12-14 "Then spoke Joshua to the Lord...and the sun stood still in the midst of the heaven and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves...and there was no day like that before or after it, that the Lord harkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel."
20 Jonah 3:9-10 "Who can tell if God will turn and repent and turn away from His fierce anger that we perish not? And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil that He had said He would do unto them; and He did it not."
1Sam. 10:11; 1Sam. 31:6 "Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel, saying 'It repenteth Me that I have set up Saul to be King; for he is turned back from following Me, and has not performed My commandments.' So Saul died, and his three sons..."
11Sam. 24:1,16 "And again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel....and when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the Lord repented him of the evil, and said....'It is enough.' "
Interpretation: God clearly discloses in these verses that His UNCHANGING NATURE INCLUDES BOTH MERCY AND ANGER, THESE ARE THE INGREDIENTS IN HIS JUST JUDGMENTS. He alters decisions to fit the circumstances. Only His LAWS are fixed in stone, not HIS LOVE. HE ALONE IS GOD WHO CAN LOVE SINNERS. Ps. 136; 1John 3:16; John 3:1
The ancient account of the time of Noah is another illustration of when God elected to change His mind. The anguish of God's heart shows through this pain-filled decision He was forced to make. It foretells that He saw you and me "down the line" by sparing Noah; we too could experience His grace much later.
8. Gen. 6:5-7 "And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the LORD that He made man on the earth, and it grieved Him at His heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created. But Noah, found grace in the eyes of the LORD."
EXPLANATION: Although God's nature can never change, His DIVINE VERDICTS CAN CHANGE. Although God is the same "yesterday, today, and forever: as regards to His person, yet His Book reveals that He can and does change His method of operation to fit the changing situations. Heb. 13:8
SUMMARY: That is where prayer comes in. Prayer changes things, God is moved by it. His hands are set free by our prayers to accomplish His will, His words are set free to accomplish their goals. His Spirit is directed by the Father to convey (yes, or no, or sometime), and to explain (teach) them to the petitioner. John 6:38, Isa. 55:11
That is why Jesus prayed and taught His disciples to follow His example. That is why He was upset at their failure to pray with Him at least "for an hour" before His arrest. That is why St. Paul repeated the admonition to "pray without ceasing". That was the reason Paul prayed behind prison bars all night. GOD DOES HEAR, HE DOES REACT. HE EVEN ALTERS HIS PROCEDURES WHEN HIS PRIOR APPROACH FAILED TO GET THE JOB DONE. Luke 22:44, John 5:30, Matt. 26:40, Acts 12:5, 1Thess. 5:17, Acts 16:25, Deut. 12:28, Mark 7:14
DOES INTERCESSORY PRAYER WORK?
1. Who can call on the Lord for answers? Joh 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
Jesus is the open door-that no man can shut. Anyone who calls on Him in faith, He will hear, and answer-for salvation, and answer to prayer. The walk of faith, and prayer deepens each day-if we abide in Him.
2, Why would God answer? (His love) John 3:16
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on Him should not perish but have everlasting life."
3. What is the Answer? (His gifts) John 16:23-24
"Whatsoever you shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it unto you. Hitherto you have asked nothing in My Name; ask and you shall receive, that you joy may be full."
4. How is it possible? (faith) Mark 11:22-23
"Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, that whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt that those things which he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith."
5. When Is The Answer Received? (Now) Mark 11:24
"Therefore, I say unto you, Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you shall have them."
6. Why Is The Answer Not Received? (asking amiss) James 4: 2-3
"You lust, and have not; you kill and desire to have, and cannot obtain: you fight and war, yet you have not because you ask not. You ask and receive not, because you ask amiss, that you may consume it upon your lusts. (idle pleasures)
7. What Is The Bottom Line? John 14:1
"Let not your heart be troubled: you believe in God, believe also in Me."
Luk 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;
Luk 18:2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:
Luk 18:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.
Luk 18:4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;
Luk 18:5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.
Luk 18:6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.
Luk 18:7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?
Luk 18:8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?
Here, in this parable Jesus gives us the answers to all the questions above-if we can hear it. But, the most important thing to my mind is-he ends it with a question, and we should take it seriously. When
He comes again-will there be any faith on the earth?
PAULS THOUGHTS ON INTERCESSORY PRAYER:
"I exhort you that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks, be given for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceful life; in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God,
Our Saviour." 1Tim. 2:1-3
"Without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers." Rom. 1:9 "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they might be saved." Rom. 10:1
"For this cause also we....do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding...being fruitful...strengthened in all might...giving thanks unto the Father." Col. 1:9-12
I thank God...that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day."
CHRIST OUR INTERCESSOR
The prophet foretold of one of the Messiah's ministries, which Paul would later expound upon; our intercessor.
"The Messiah made intercession for the transgressors." Isa. 53:12
Paul speaks of his unshakable reliance upon Jesus' dependable intercession for us before the Father.
"It is Christ that died, yea rather that is risen again, Who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creation shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord." Rom. 8:34-39
Hebrews speaks to us of of Jesus' Authority to be our intercessor:
"But this Man (Jesus) because He continues forever has an unchangeable priesthood." Heb. 7:24-26, 28
"Wherefore He is able save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for them, for such a High Priest became us, Who is Holy, harmless and undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens...the son Who is consecrated forevermore."
Heb. 4:15 "We have a High Priest which cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we, yet without sin."
John also reaffirmed Jesus' role on our behalf:
1John 2:1-2 "If any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the Righteous: and He is the propitiation (reconciliation) for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world."
THE HELP OF THE HOLY SPIRIT IN OUR INTERCESSION
Rom. 8:26-31 "Likewise, the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit itself maketh INTERCESSION for us with groaning which cannot be uttered (put into words). And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is in the Mind of the Spirit, because He (The Spirit) maketh INTERCESSION for the saints according to the Will of God....What then shall we say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us." See also Acts 2:1-5, Acts, 19:6, 2Cor 5:2-4.
The baptism of the Holy Spirit equips us with a prayer language-born from heaven, and gives another level of power in prayer to God the Father-unhindered by our own infirmities, or the devils interventions. The more we yield to the Holy Ghost and pray in this prayer language, the deeper our prayer life will become, and by it, the gifts of the Spirit become more evident in our daily life, and in use in service to the Lord. The gifts, and their proper operations are taught in 1Cor. ch. 14
James tells us "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God that gives liberally...but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering."
Jas 1:6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.
Jas 1:7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.
Jas 1:8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.
When Jesus was on the earth there were times when he could not do much, and times he was told to leave-he was not welcome. Among his own family and town of Nazareth where he lived:
Mat 13:54 And when he was come into his own country, he taught them in their synagogue, insomuch that they were astonished, and said, Whence hath this man this wisdom, and these mighty works?
Mat 13:55 Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?
Mat 13:56 And his sisters, are they not all with us? Whence then hath this man all these things?
Mat 13:57 And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house.
Mat 13:58 And he did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief.
In the account in Mark of healing the man with the withered hand-they took counsel to try to have him killed.
Mar 3:1 And he entered again into the synagogue; and there was a man there which had a withered hand.
Mar 3:2 And they watched him, whether he would heal him on the sabbath day; that they might accuse him.
Mar 3:3 And he saith unto the man which had the withered hand, Stand forth.
Mar 3:4 And he saith unto them, Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath days, or to do evil? to save life, or to kill? But they held their peace.
Mar 3:5 And when he had looked round about on them with anger, being grieved for the hardness of their hearts, he saith unto the man, Stretch forth thine hand. And he stretched it out: and his hand was restored whole as the other.
Mar 3:6 And the Pharisees went forth, and straightway took counsel with the Herodians against him, how they might destroy him.
It's the same today. There's many times the wonderful things God wants to do in a community, is never achieved. Not because of failure of the preacher or servant called; but because of unbelief, and rejection. See also- Mark 6:5-6, Luke 4:25-29
But, as I read these accounts of what Jesus dealt with, it calls to mind the verses:
Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
We can learn these truths from them:
Seeing then that we have a great high priest. As has been shown Our high priest now makes intercession in the true Holy of Holies.
For we have not a high priest, etc. A high priest must be in sympathy with those for whom he ministers. Christ, who took upon himself our infirmities, is such a high priest. He was tried and tempted as man, but remained sinless.
Let us therefore come boldly. Because our high priest can be touched by our infirmities.
The throne of grace. The Jewish high priest interceded before the mercy-seat. We may come boldly to the mercy-seat, knowing that our loving Elder Brother is our high priest in the heavens. Hence we may always have confidence when we ask for grace to help in time of need.
Now I'll touch on a subject most do not like to hear, and it always causes different reactions. I'm just going to speak what I've learned, in a nutshell on this subject-and let the reader study it more, if you are serious about becoming a skilled prayer warrior.
God loves to hear from us, and tells us many times to come to Him, and His eyes and ears are open to our cries, petitions, and wants to answer them. But, God is holy and he tells us we are to be holy, as He is holy. Without salvation in Christ this is impossible. If you don't know Jesus as your Savior, that is the only prayer God will hear, until you've taken that step. Once you've come to him in repentance, and had your sins forgiven, now your washed clean by His shed blood on the cross and you can come boldly to the Throne of grace. But, if we practice sin after we've been saved, we've hindered our prayer life again. When King David sinned and took Bathsheba, he sinned greatly; he committed adultery, had her husband killed, and because of this-God chastised him, and David lived with many consequences the rest of his life. Nathan the prophet came to him, confronted him, and revealed his sin to him-David repented, and God forgave him, and restored him. His prayer of repentance is in Psalm 51, it's there for us as an example as well, when we fail and need forgiveness.
But, there are also accounts of those who fell into sin in the bible-who did not repent, and God stopped listening to them, and they died tragic deaths-King Saul is an example; his story is in 1Samuel; many lessons can be learned studying this account. He was jealous of the call of God on David's life-and pursued him for years, trying to kill him. By chapter 28, his soul was so dark, and had turned from following God, and sought a medium at Endor. He has her call up the prophet Samuel, but it is a death sentence for him. He is killed as Samuel said, along with his three sons and his armor bearer. It's a fearful thing, to fall into the hands of the living God. Today, sadly, there is no fear of God in many, but death comes to all-and then the judgment.
Heb 9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
How do we know when we've sinned- It tells us in the ten commandments - don't lie, steal, bear false witness against anyone, don't practice idolatry, don't envy anyone, don't covet what someone else has or owns, Don't Take the Name of the Lord in Vain-stop using His Name as a swear word. This is very serious in God's eyes. Read Exodus ch. 20
In our walk with the Lord, we may stumble, fall, and do things we should not even after salvation. Our flesh is a battleground all our lives. But, if we have a heart and desire to serve God, if we love Him, our hearts will desire to do right, and live right. If we willfully practice sin habitually-we need to ask for forgiveness, and the power of the Holy Spirit to stop the sin-and walk right with the Lord. If we don't, and just keep going our own way, God's word is clear on this-we will not be heard, nor will we see any answers to our prayers. I'll leave some scriptures to emphasize this, there are many more to be found in the bible, if the reader desires more understanding on this.
Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Job 27:8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when God taketh away his soul?
Job 27:9 Will God hear his cry when trouble cometh upon him?
Pro 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Pro 15:9 The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the LORD: but he loveth him that followeth after righteousness.
Pro 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
1Pe 3:10 For he that will love life, and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile:
1Pe 3:11 Let him eschew evil, and do good; let him seek peace, and ensue it.
1Pe 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
Walking in righteousness does not mean being perfect-we strive for right living, to be holy in His sight because we love Him, and have a heart to please Him-this is a person He opens His ears to.
Jas 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
1Jn 1:6 If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:
1Jn 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
WEAPONS OF OUR WARFARE
STRATEGIES AGAINST THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS OF DARKNESS
For the seasoned prayer warrior, we learn to wage war in the heavenlies against the rulers and principalities of nations and regions. We learn the strategies of the devil as he works through witches, sorcerers, and magicians. Doing in-depth studies on the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy, Samuel one and two, Daniel, and of course the life of Jesus, the book of Acts, and Paul's epistles will equip you with a lot of understanding on how to deal with these demonic forces-and do it effectively. It's a lifelong study.
Paul gives a statement that helps us understand how to wage war in this realm:
2Co 10:3 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
2Co 10:4 (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;)
2Co 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
2Co 10:6 And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled.
Let's break this down. What we are taught here is:
1. Since these were not carnal, their might is not in human strength, but in God who gives the power to overcome the strongholds of sin.
2. The demolition of evil. “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” And that must be ours too.
3. The world must be regarded as the scene of universal strife and rebellion against God.
4. This gospel is still to be the instrument of the spiritual conflict. In order to wage this war effectively you must know what and WHOM you believe-know how to appropriate the gospel-and do it without compromise. The devil does not play games-the Christian can't afford to either. We walk in victory, only when we learn to walk very close to Christ, learn to understand His ways, and His guidance, and apply it to our lives. The victory the Christian has is this:
a. The empty tomb-Christ is risen from the dead-our God is not dead, nor a statue of stone, wood, or iron-we serve a God who has conquered death, hell, and the grave-and He is coming again. This truth was the fuel that moved the disciples in the book of Acts-and why they witnessed with power and boldness-they had seen the risen Christ-and knew WHO they believed.
b. The Atoning power of the Blood of Christ against sin-it's power in our lives, and against the forces of the devil
c. the Gospel proclaimed - not in enticing words-but in uncompromising boldness, and faith-
1Co 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:
1Co 2:5 That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.
In order to be an effective warrior in prayer against powers darkness of this level-you need to know the truth of this verse:
Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
And then move on to put this into practice as described in these:
Heb 11:32 And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets:
Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
Heb 11:34 Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
The conclusions to our study:
1. Prayer can and does change God's mind
2. Prayer re-aligns our minds to conform to His
3. From our point of view He seems to change; but our prayers actually change us.
4. As we pray, we draw nearer to His Throne of Grace, bringing light and proper perspective to the perplexities of our prayers. Rom. 12:2
5. Prayer changes our needs. As we approach the Throne, the size and nature of our burden seem to lose immensity and importance. Prayer in faith-opens our eyes to who God is-and who we are.
The thing being prayed for becomes small in perspective to the God who created this universe, and maintains it.
Dan 3:28 Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king's word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.
Dan 3:29 Therefore I make a decree, That every people, nation, and language, which speak any thing amiss against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, shall be cut in pieces, and their houses shall be made a dunghill: because there is no other God that can deliver after this sort.
When we finally allow His finger to touch our load, things change: not God's position, just His posture; not our petition, just its purpose. We see His answer unfold, which was prepared in advance for a better result, than what we had envisioned.
Question: How long does it take?...
Answer: As long as it takes.
The answer may be seen before you finish praying...., and it may take many years. We will find out as we persevere, and keep praying for the thing put in our hearts and spirits-and don't give up.
Study the promise given to Abraham- God promised him a son, it took over 20 years to see the fulfillment to that promise. Gen. 17:16-21
Another example: Gen. 18:20-33 Here we see an example of intercessory prayer when Abraham goes before God for Sodom and Gomorrah. Here we see some interesting points about this. Abraham humbled himself, referring to himself "but dust and ashes". It is good for us to go into the presence of God and get on our face before the Lord. James 4:8 tells us "draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh to you. God is not going to make you humble, you must humble yourself.
Abraham continued to intercede on behalf of the cities, until God agreed to spare them for only ten's sake. I've often wondered, if Abraham had continued instead of stopping at ten, if the Lord would have spared those cities even for only one. This world would be in a worse mess than it is, if it wasn't for praying, believing Christians.
Summation: Intercessory prayer is a powerful weapon, and tool given to us by God in order to "occupy" (Greek for "go to work", "get busy"). It is our connection with the Father, at His Throne, where we are promised an open door, and authority to wield this weapon with assurance and power, by the leading and direction of His Spirit within us, guiding us as we pray.
Every answered prayer becomes fuel to our spirits, strengthening us, and compelling us to increase our faith, and boldness, and we become a powerful adversary against the powers of darkness around us, and effective servants of our Lord.
Hearing the Voice of God
From the first page, to the back of the book the Bible is full of people who have heard God speak to them, and give them direction and guidance. God does not change. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. He still speaks today, but few have the desire to align themselves with Him, or His word, to be able to be tuned in to his frequency-it takes a sincere heart, desire, and saying goodbye to the world, in order to bring our spirits to a place of knowing, and hearing his voice.
Jesus says this about knowing his voice:
Joh 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
He tells us that if we seek Him diligently we will find Him, that He will guide our steps, and at times we will hear his voice in that guidance. Yes, most of the time it will come through scripture, but the Holy Spirit within the believer is also our source of guidance. Ananias was spoken to and told to go and pray for Paul, in fear Ananias questioned the Lord, but when he heard the Holy Spirits direction that Paul was a chosen vessel; he obeyed. Ananias was an everyday person like you and I. God put that in there for a reason, to show us He is no respecter of persons. He will speak to anyone He chooses. There are numerous accounts of the disciples and Paul receiving direct guidance from the Lord, by the Holy Spirit within them. In chapter 14 of 1 Corinthians, Paul spent the entire chapter teaching on learning to know the voice of the Holy Spirit and the unction of the Spirit in worship. John and Peter also give instruction on testing the spirits to see if they of God, which we do by going to scripture and seeing if what we are hearing bears witness with it. This is not taught in most churches anymore, because most of them are in unbelief. Most do not believe that the word of God is the final authority; and if you are in unbelief, your mind is already closed and God will never force himself on anyone.
You can't teach something you haven't allowed in your own life. Like I said, there is a lot in the bible that no one ever hears of, or is taught. This is why it is so important to read your bible for yourself, spend time alone and dig into it, and talk to God about what your reading; it will change your life, and you will come to know the God of the bible intimately. However, you will also find yourself swimming upstream against a tide of those who will mock, scorn, and you will be accused of many things; including mental problems. I take it into consideration that they treated Paul, Peter, and the disciples the same way. We have to be willing to pay the price for the level of faith we walk in. Answered prayers of the past, gives encouragement and feeds my faith to keep striving to see the hand of God move, and hear His voice, as He directs me.
As we spend more time in God's presence, we come to realize-we want to be near Him more; we're drawn as a moth to the flame. The sense of His great presence, and intense love, is fuel to our spirits-and we want more. Then, another realm opens-standing in His presence-unable to speak, pray, or move; enveloped and saturated in a love never before known-unexplainable; but becoming frozen, not wanting this to end. At times, laying prostrate-as Daniel describes, unable to look up; His presence is too powerful, and great.
God directs his people as He chooses. Many people do not want to hear God's voice, and have told me so. Other's say they know His guidance and hear Him through circumstances. The account of Gideon testing the will of God for him is an example of God speaking-without an audible voice. How and why He does interacts with people, is in His hands alone.
The test of whether you may be hearing the voice is by the Holy Spirit is:
The Holy Spirit always directs us to, and glorifies Jesus Christ-if the voice leads and directs you to anyone else-it is a devil.
Does it align with scripture - He will never tell you to do anything in direct opposition to His word-He has placed his word above His name:
Psa 138:2 I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
God will never tell you to harm or abuse anyone; either mentally, or physically.
He will never tell you to lie, steal or influence anyone else to do evil.
He will never tell you to deceive someone.
He will direct you to be involved with someone who is practicing in the occult, witchcraft, sorcery, or any sexual sins. God has not changed His mind on morality-it's society that's gone the way of Sodom and Gomorrah.
If your given direct guidance in a situation, it will come to pass without manipulation; the doors will open and the situation will unfold, the presence of God will be in it.
As a watchman-the Holy Spirit will give greater discernment with the exercise of use-and we will be able to see spiritually people's motives, intentions, and agendas in situations. Daniel is a good example of this.
It takes being willing to risk making mistakes, and learning a deeper, more meaningful relationship with the Lord. It is a life long journey, and it equips you for eternity. You will have had a full life of faith lived, to prepare you to meet the God you walked with by faith, down here.
The Whole Armor of God
Text- Ephesians chapter 6
To engage in the battles we face as Christians, it's of utmost importance to understand how we are to clothe ourselves, and why the armor of God is necessary to overcome the whiles of the devil, overcome, and gain the victory. I urge the reader to take the time to read and study chapter 6 of Ephesians and ask the Lord to help you to learn to apply it to your life, it's a study that you'll find, goes on for a lifetime.
In this section of study, several things will be brought out, that I've learned over the years, that may be of help to the reader.
1. Don't try to win your battles with somebody else's armor on. This could be an entire study in itself. But, the essence is-in your life, your trials, your battles, your daily opposition is unique to you. The only One who can give you the needed equipment to fight your battles and help you win them, is the Lord Himself; and the only way your going to find out what you'll need is to be in daily contact with Him, and be seeking Him for your guidance. I can assure you, He will, but if we don't ask we will flounder around, waste a lot of time, and likely fail, because like Saul-there's no shortage of people who would like to give you advice, and sometimes equipment that looks like it should work-but God's not in it. When God isn't in it-you can expect the same response as David-when he tried to wear Saul's armor-and found he couldn't use it. You'd find it very interesting to read the entire story of David standing against Goliath. It's a great faith builder.
1Sa 17:38 And Saul armed David with his armour, and he put an helmet of brass upon his head; also he armed him with a coat of mail.
1Sa 17:39 And David girded his sword upon his armor, and he assayed to go; for he had not proved it. And David said unto Saul, I cannot go with these; for I have not proved them. And David put them off him.
1Sa 17:40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd's bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.
2. When we study to show ourselves approved of God, it also equips us to know how to use the word of God in the appropriate times, when answering those who oppose our faith, that will either silence, or bring conviction.
There's times when the best thing to do is say nothing, and walk away from meaningless conflict. This is not running from a spiritual battle-it's knowing when to draw the "sword of the Spirit"-and when to keep it in it's sheath. Many in this world who are enjoying their life of sin-are blinded by sin, unteachable, and cannot be reasoned with. There's a time to preach the Gospel-and then leave, and let the Holy Spirit use what was said to bring conviction. We are the Lord's servants, and once we've spoken out on an issue, it's important to use discernment to know when to stop. God never forces anyone to believe. Paul emphasizes these points in the verses below.
2Ti 2:14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
2Ti 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2Ti 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
3. There's many ways to be a witness, and be an effective soldier in the battle against the forces of darkness-one very important way is to be uncompromising in your daily life and walk. What you choose NOT to do is a loud witness to a world of sin. When you choose not to go to movies with friends, not get involved in violent, and often sexual video games, not participate in dirty jokes-get away from the TV. When you start appropriating what the bible teaches into your life-you'll draw the attention of your unbelieving friends and relatives without saying a word, and the battle now will escalate-and the temptation to return to the world's ways to be accepted by them will rage in your heart. This is a spiritual battle that goes on until you die. It's the power of the word of God, prayer, and seeking the presence of God, that will bring the victory-and help you say no to the world, and the old life you once lived in. Your armor will get harder and your heart more cloven with the Lord's-as you get deeper into His word, and cling to him each day in prayer.
If you make unwavering stands on life issues-you will be attacked from every angle-in and out of the churches. Get used to it.
2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
2Ti 2:4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
4. Don't expect the acceptance from the world-it will save you a lot of heartache. Learn to know the Lord and his viewpoint of you-and learn to be satisfied with His presence-and not lean on the need for other's. They may praise you today-and curse you and slander you tomorrow. Learn to not depend on man to give you a sense of worth. Know your worth according to God's word, and how it says He sees you.
There is a great divide among believer's today. The big mega ministries are some of the greatest deceiver's-because they teach that if your truly walking in obedience, and in the blessings of God-the money will start coming in, and people will like you. But, pick up your bible and read it for yourself, read what Jesus teaches about this, we are not guaranteed what they are preaching. God promises to be with us, and give us what we need, but not what we covet. There's a big difference between meeting our needs, and greed and gluttony. I've listened to many in their realm of the prosperity gospel-and caught them twisting scripture to mean what they want it to mean, to condone and excuse their lifestyles of excess. I made up my mind, never to go that route. I remind myself often that one day I will stand and face the Lord-I don't want to have to answer for that kind of false teaching.
Before he went to the cross, he taught the disciples the night before, at their last supper together to expect the same treatment he was getting. He gave them words of comfort of his love, but did not minimize the truth of the worlds' hatred of Him, or those who would follow Him.
Joh 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
Joh 15:19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
Joh 15:20 Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
Joh 15:21 But all these things will they do unto you for my name's sake, because they know not him that sent me.
5. Along with our dependence being only on God-we need to find our peace-and the ability to walk in that peace-saturated in it, which comes from His presence-regardless of the circumstances we may find ourselves in. This is a very important weapon of warfare not spoken of much by most Christians-but one the Lord has given me insight of through my years walking with Him. Matt. ch. 10:12-13
Mat 10:12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.
Mat 10:13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.
In these verses Jesus is speaking of the interactions with people as we witness, visit someone's home, or church. But it also speaks of the important abiding presence of God in these interactions-present in the believer who is conducting himself as a servant of the Lord.
Example: Perhaps your out in a community doing business, and find yourself in an atmosphere of hostility, and can see and feel it. The presence and peace of God will remain on you, but will also act as protection from the spiritual attack your surrounded by. You may feel a strong urge to leave the situation-heed the warning and go, when the opportunity comes. This is God's hand of protection and guidance for your well-being. As I've studied the life of Jesus, it's very interesting to see how many times he left the crowds, and got away from them. It's also sad to read the many accounts he was told to leave-what was done to him-you can also expect.
In this warfare, if you lose your peace, you've lost an important weapon in this battle. It's one I pay special attention to, because when you've lost that solid peace in your soul that only God can give, the devil is right there to fill you with every manner of torment, and temptations. When peace is restored, the strength and wisdom to deal with the problems renews. I won't say the trials will become less, or the attacks from many angles-but you'll be better equipped to deal with it.
There's a great deal more to learn concerning the strategies of warfare in this life; as the soldier of Christ moves on, this verse needs to be put before us.
For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. 1John 5:4
"Peter was kept in prison: but prayer (instant and earnest prayer) was made for him" (Act_12:5, margin).
Peter was in prison awaiting his execution. The Church had neither human power nor influence to save him. There was no earthly help, but there was help to be obtained by the way of Heaven. They gave themselves to fervent, importunate prayer. God sent His angel, who aroused Peter from sleep and led him out through the first and second wards of the prison; and when they came to the iron gate, it opened to them of its own accord, and Peter was free.
There may be some iron gate in your life that has blocked your way. Like a caged bird you have often beaten against the bars, but instead of helping, you have only had to fall back tired, exhausted and sore at heart. There is a secret for you to learn, and that is believing prayer; and when you come to the iron gate, it will open of its own accord. How much wasted energy and sore disappointment will be saved if you will learn to pray as did the Church in the upper room! Insurmountable difficulties will disappear; adverse circumstances will prove favorable if you learn to pray, not with your own faith but with the faith of God (Mar_11:22, margin). Souls in prison have been waiting for years for the gate to open; love ones out of Christ, bound by Satan, will be set free when you pray till you definitely believe God. -- C. H. P.
Emergencies call for intense prayer. When the man becomes the prayer nothing can resist its touch. Elijah on Carmel, bowed down on the ground, with his face between his knees, that was prayer-- the man himself. No words are mentioned. Prayer can be too tense for words. The man’s whole being was in touch with God, and was set with God against the powers of evil. They couldn’t withstand such praying. There’s more of this embodied praying needed. -- The Bent-knee Time
"Groanings which cannot be uttered are often prayers which cannot be refused." -- C. H. Spurgeon
Source-Streams in the Desert
Down through the generations, there's been many teachings on John the Baptist. This is a compilation of what I've gleaned in my years of studying about him. It only scratches the surface of this man's dynamic character, and strength of spirit. In what I've learned of him so far, I can see why Jesus spoke of him in such high regard.
John was a Nazarite from his birth (Luke 1:15, Numbers 6:1-12). He spent his early years in the mountainous tract of Judah lying between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea Mat 3:1-12).
He was the "forerunner of our Lord." He was of priestly descent. His father, Zacharias, was a priest of the course of Abia (1Chron 24:10), and his mother, Elisabeth, was of the daughters of Aaron (Luke 1:5). The mission of John was the subject of prophecy (Mat. 3:3; Is 40:3; Malachi 3:1). His birth, which took place six months before that of Jesus, was foretold by an angel. Zacharias, deprived of the power of speech as a token of God's truth and a reproof of his own incredulity with reference to the birth of his son, had the power of speech restored to him on the occasion of his circumcision (Luke 1:64). After this no more is recorded of him for thirty years than what is mentioned in Luke 1:80.
He came to be a witness:
Joh 1:6-8 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe. He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
No one of the old prophets is so frequently referred to in the New Testament. The priests and Levites said to the Baptist (John 1:25), "Why baptizest thou, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias?" Paul (Romans 11:2) refers to an incident in his history to illustrate his argument that God had not cast away his people. (James 5:17) finds in him an illustration of the power of prayer. (See also Luke 4:25; 9:54) He was a type of John the Baptist in the sternness and power of his reproofs (Luke 9:8). He was the Elijah that "must first come" (Matt 11:11,14). Even outwardly the Baptist corresponded so closely to the earlier prophet that he might be styled a second Elijah. In him we see "the same connection with a wild and wilderness country; the same long retirement in the desert; the same sudden, startling entrance on his work (1Kings 17:1; Luke 3:2); even the same dress, a hairy garment, and a leathern girdle about the loins (2Kings 1:8; Matt 3:4)." His entire being was a witness against the hypocrisy and corruption of the Pharisees and Sadducees of his day.
John's baptism was the voice of God to Israel, and the believing remnant responded (Matt 3:5). It was an act of righteousness on the part of Him who had become, as to the flesh, an Israelite, to take His place with this believing remnant.
His greatest mission was to usher in the One, whom he said he was not worthy to loose his shoe latchets.
John is a problematic figure in the Bible for many modern preachers today. He has been described as unloving, uncompromising, and rigid. These verses give an example:
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
Mat 3:1 In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judaea,
Mat 3:2 And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
Mat 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.
Mat 3:4 And the same John had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leathern girdle about his loins; and his meat was locusts and wild honey.
Mat 3:5 Then went out to him Jerusalem, and all Judaea, and all the region round about Jordan,
Mat 3:6 And were baptized of him in Jordan, confessing their sins.
Mat 3:7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?
Mat 3:8 Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:
Mat 3:9 And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.
Mat 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 3:11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost, and with fire:
Mat 3:12 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner; but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.
You can imagine the hackles going up the back of the necks of the Pharisees and rulers of the Jews when they heard messages like this that could singe their hair.
If John were here today, I doubt he'd find a church that would allow him in, he'd have to do what John Wesley and George Whitfield did; preach in the open air, in the fields and street corners.
John the Baptizer
Joh 1:26-27 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not; He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe's latchet I am not worthy to unloose.
Jesus was now to receive His anointing with the Holy Spirit (Matt 3:16) to enter His threefold office of Prophet, Priest, and King. In the Levitical order Ex 29:4-7, the high priest was first washed, then anointed. While Christ's priestly work did not begin till He "offered Himself without spot to God" Heb 9:14 and His full manifestation as the King- Priest after the order of Melchizedek awaits the kingdom (See Scofield "Genesis 14:18") yet He was then anointed, once and for all.
It's to be pointed out that John did no miracle or any sign during his ministry:
Joh 10:41 And many resorted unto him, and said, John did no miracle: but all things that John spake of this man were true.
Joh 10:42 And many believed on him there. And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. Then many came to Him and said, “John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true.” And many believed in Him there.
John also gave no foretelling prophecies of any future event or person. His calling as a prophet was one of proclamation, rebuke and exhortation. He was called and privileged to baptize Jesus, and usher in his ministry.
Mar 1:6 And John was clothed with camel's hair, and with a girdle of a skin about his loins; and he did eat locusts and wild honey;
Mar 1:7 And preached, saying, There cometh one mightier than I after me, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to stoop down and unloose.
Mar 1:8 I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.
Mar 1:9 And it came to pass in those days, that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptized of John in Jordan.
Mar 1:10 And straightway coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon him:
Mar 1:11 And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.
After baptizing Jesus, he proclaimed him as the One to come, Jesus-the Son of God:
Joh 3:26 And they came unto John, and said unto him, Rabbi, he that was with thee beyond Jordan, to whom thou barest witness, behold, the same baptizeth, and all men come to him.
Joh 3:27 John answered and said, A man can receive nothing, except it be given him from heaven.
Joh 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.
Joh 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom's voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.
Joh 3:30 He must increase, but I must decrease.
Joh 3:31 He that cometh from above is above all: he that is of the earth is earthly, and speaketh of the earth: he that cometh from heaven is above all.
Joh 3:32 And what he hath seen and heard, that he testifieth; and no man receiveth his testimony.
Joh 3:33 He that hath received his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true.
Joh 3:34 For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.
Joh 3:35 The Father loveth the Son, and hath given all things into his hand.
Joh 3:36 He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.
And many believed in Him there: Despite the influence of the Pharisees who were blind (as shown in John 9) and were bad shepherds (as shown in John 10), many people still came to Jesus. God’s work goes on, despite the opposition of man. David Guzik comm.
John the Troubler
However, John made enemies because of his burning exhortations:
Lu 3:18-20 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people. But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip's wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done, Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.
Herod had John beheaded in prison; as he promised Herodias' daughter before she danced for him. He greatly regretted it, but gave her what she wanted, because he feared the people.
Mr 6:21-29 And when a convenient day was come, that Herod on his birthday made a supper to his lords, high captains, and chief estates of Galilee; And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom. And she went forth, and said unto her mother, What shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. And she came in straightway with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that thou give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath's sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought: and he went and beheaded him in the prison, And brought his head in a charger, and gave it to the damsel: and the damsel gave it to her mother. And when his disciples heard of it, they came and took up his corpse, and laid it in a tomb.
Their plots and schemes succeeded in getting rid of this wearisome troublemaker; with his rantings and reproof's.
John rebuking Herod
Dancing for the Devil
It is interesting to note that when John sent messengers to question Jesus if he indeed was the "One who was to come"; Jesus answered him this way:
Lu 7:19-23 And John calling unto him two of his disciples sent them to Jesus, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? When the men were come unto him, they said, John Baptist hath sent us unto thee, saying, Art thou he that should come? or look we for another? And in that same hour he cured many of their infirmities and plagues, and of evil spirits; and unto many that were blind he gave sight. Then Jesus answering said unto them, Go your way, and tell John what things ye have seen and heard; how that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, to the poor the gospel is preached. And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me.
Some interesting things to point out concerning John's imprisonment are:
1. John did not ask Jesus to help get him out of prison, and Jesus did not attempt to get him released.
There are appointed times that God allows events to take place, for His eternal purposes, that can seem hard to understand, and may look like God can't or won't intervene. There were times in Jesus' ministry when people tried, but failed to kill him. The time for him to die had not yet arrived, and God restrained them, and kept his life. This proves that God has power over wicked men to control them, and to make them accomplish his own purposes.
Joh 8:20 These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come.
2. Jesus never attempted to go and see him, he continued on in his own ministry.
John was now beginning to live out his own words: He must increase, but I must decrease. Joh 3:30
3. Jesus did not upbraid or rebuke John for his question.
Jesus had this to say of John:
Mat 11:7 And as they departed, Jesus began to say unto the multitudes concerning John, What went ye out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken with the wind?
Mat 11:8 But what went ye out for to see? A man clothed in soft raiment? behold, they that wear soft clothing are in kings' houses.
Mat 11:9 But what went ye out for to see? A prophet? yea, I say unto you, and more than a prophet.
Mat 11:10 For this is he, of whom it is written, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee.
Mat 11:11 Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist: notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.
Mat 11:12 And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.
Mat 11:13 For all the prophets and the law prophesied until John.
Mat 11:14 And if ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.
In the book of Luke, it tells of the people and those who John baptized believing Jesus' report of John, but the Pharisees and lawyers rejected him, and God's counsel against themselves:
Luk 7:28 For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.
Luk 7:29 And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John.
Luk 7:30 But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.
Luk 7:31 And the Lord said, Whereunto then shall I liken the men of this generation? and to what are they like?
Luk 7:32 They are like unto children sitting in the marketplace, and calling one to another, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept.
Luk 7:33 For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine; and ye say, He hath a devil.
Luk 7:34 The Son of man is come eating and drinking; and ye say, Behold a gluttonous man, and a winebibber, a friend of publicans and sinners!
Luk 7:35 But wisdom is justified of all her children.
"And when all the people heard Him, even the tax collectors justified God, having been baptized with the baptism of John: Those who had repented in preparation for the Messiah by receiving John’s baptism found it easy to receive what Jesus said. But those who would not repent rejected the counsel of God for themselves.
We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we mourned to you, and you did not weep: Jesus points out the hypocrisy of these hardened hearts who criticized both John the Baptist and Jesus Himself. “If the message is unwelcome, nothing that the messenger can say or do will be right.” (Maclaren)
These truths are just as relevant, and proven today, as in John's day-perhaps even more so.
Some closing questions and thoughts to ponder:
1. What was John's main focus, and why?
2. What do you think the church culture would think of him today?
3. What does his life tell us of our own witness for Christ.?
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Luke 10:18
Over the last several years one thing has been a great burden to me, that I'm seeing so much of in preachers/teachers of the scriptures-using the word of God deceitfully. It grieves my heart, and is a heavy weight on my soul-because there is so much of it today, and it goes all the way to the top, to those making billions/to those of every category in-between. It is not going to get any better, but I'm beginning to get a glimpse of the seriousness of it, and what God thinks of it-because in these past few years, He's put it at a very important place in my soul, and prayer. I'll give just one example with these scriptures:
2Jn 1:9 Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son.
2Jn 1:10 If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed:
See also: 2Jn_1:11; Rom_16:17-18; 1Co_5:11, 1Co_16:22; Gal_1:8-9; 2Ti_3:5-6; Tit_3:10
2Jn 1:11 For he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds. See also John 15:6, John 7:16-17, 1Jn 2:22-24
If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine: If someone comes to us, denying the true doctrine of Jesus, and promoting a false doctrine of Jesus, John says we should give no hospitality, no aid, to the ones who promote their own false version of Jesus. To do so is to share in his evil deeds. (comm. excerpt)
Now, the question we have to ask ourselves as ministers/leaders/preachers is; does God mean just what He says in these verses? and if so, will we heed these warnings, and purge ourselves of everything that we see that is profane, blasphemous/and anyone who is preaching/teaching false doctrine, no matter who they are, and no matter how they may present themselves...the answer must be yes.
Yes, we have to take into account that all believers are at different levels of faith, and understanding of the word of God. But, that's not what God has had me centering my attention on. It's those WHO DO KNOW HOW TO RIGHTLY DIVIDE THE WORD, AND USE IT PROPERLY--BUT CORRUPT IT WITH SUBTLE CHANGES AND OMITIONS ON PURPOSE, IN ORDER TO CREATE A DOCTRINE, OR MAKE A DECLARATION, TO PROMOTE THEMSELVES AND THEIR SO-CALLED KNOWLEDGE OF THE BIBLE, TO GAIN AN ADVANTAGE WITH THE PEOPLE OF GOD, AND DECEIVE THEM INTO FOLLOWING THEM. This is what I'm seeing so much of today-that truly sickens me in my stomach, and my soul.
These people can use the bible along with other texts written by people to make it say anything they want. But, if the scriptures are rightly divided, with only TRUTH as the motivation-the Holy Spirit will open the eyes, and the spirit of the person, to receive the wisdom that ONLY COMES FROM GOD.
The Lord has had me wrestle with this a great deal over the last year especially-because the rise of false doctrines, and teachings especially on TV, the internet, and Youtube channels, is off the charts now, and Satan is delighted to have a multitude of idolatrous, lustful, and attention seeking wanna-be's, who strive for numbers of people to follow them, and applaud them-and very few have any idea how to test the spirits or go to their bible's to "see if these things be so"-as a Berean should.
As I'm writing this, the Lord has put Galations 1:8-9 in front of me-and His Spirit is making it clear-this is my answer to the dilemma in my soul over this:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
God is testing me again-to see if I'll stick with His word, or be swayed by the temptation to "go with the flow". These battles never end, until we leave this world of sin, and finally are home, and at rest with Jesus.
God has shown me this matter will be a big subject of prayer in my service to Him, as the end-time events unfold.
For several years, I've been watching and listening to a couple of people on Youtube that have a teaching channel together-and their content concerns me a great deal. Their teachings are a mixture of scripture with a lot of ancient texts added, to present doctrines they've come up with, that do not hold to sound scripture.
For example-are there 5 Satan's? Is Lucifer a Nephilim, and not Satan, as scripture describes him in Isaiah, and Jesus describes Him? These are just a few examples of the troubling doctrines I've heard by these people, but they have a large and growing following-who do not study the scriptures themselves enough to realize the distortions being fed to them. And, these two examples below, are also only an example of the flood of false teachers on the internet, and across the world today-these are the end times, and we are in the age of deceit, and very perilous times. Only those who study seriously, and stay in prayer will be able to discern the truth from error.
In regards to the false doctrines I see in the videos below, I'll give some reasons why I cannot receive these teachings:
1. Jesus Christ, who is the greatest teacher come from God to this world, never referred to five Satan's- he only spoke of one, and only confronted one in the wilderness, and defeated him with the spoken Word of God.
Mat 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
Mat 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.
Mar 1:12 And immediately the Spirit driveth him into the wilderness.
Mar 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered unto him.
See also Luke 4:1-13
In Isaiah, Satan is also referred to as Lucifer
Isa 14:12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
Jesus referenced seeing Satan falling as lightening from heaven:
Luk 10:18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven.
I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven. Various interpretations of this statement are given, but it is probable that Christ refers to the original fall of Satan (Isa_14:12; Jude 6). Comm. reference
See also: Isa_13:10, Isa_34:4; Eze_28:13-17; 2Pe_2:4; Rev_12:7-10
If there are five Satan's, Jesus would have taught his disciples this, and spoke of it clearly, and we would hear of it from His own mouth. Jesus makes NO reference to any more than one Satan, even when he speaks of Him, referring to him in the beginning of creation, and Adam and Eve in the garden.
2. None of the disciples ever referred to any more than one Satan, and that our adversary is the Devil-and his fallen angels. That there are many principalities and powers and rulers of darkness, and there are many levels of them. I'll let you do the research and prove this out.
3. The Apostle John saw Satan thrown down, and defeated by Michael thrown down to the earth in Revelation chapter 12, not five of them.
Rev 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels,
Rev 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
Rev 12:9 And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
I do not hold any animosity toward anyone, and have nothing personal against any of these people, but, I can't listen to this, and not speak up, and give what I believe Jesus Christ, and His word teaches. I believe I will be held accountable if I remain silent on this, and am not willing to take the chance that God would look at me and say "why didn't you speak up about this"?
Lastly, I highly recommend using a King James Bible, it is the most reputable version of scripture. Most of the others have had verses omitted, or revised, which changes the meaning of the text.
The videos below are put here as examples of what greatly concerns me, you can listen, study, and pray about them, and come to your own conclusions. I know now, that I've sounded a warning, and have delivered my soul on this issue.
I'll leave this with these scriptures, they are warnings for our benefit:
1Jn 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.
1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
Comment: I have also watched a teaching from these men, that there are seven Satan's, so, it's difficult to follow the changes that they come up with, as they mix scripture-with many ancient texts that I would not refer to for absolute truth.
Midnight Ride - The Five Satans - Investigating the Hierarchy of the Angelic Realm
LUCIFER a NEPHILIM not SATAN (Fiery Flying Serpent) | Jon Pounders | David Carrico | Midnight Ride
Watching and waiting are subjects taught about much in the bible. There's types of watching- for the morning, watching in prayer, vigils over cities, nations, and the coming of Christ. Jesus talks about those who find themselves unprepared, and the consequences.
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
Then, lastly, and 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 of. 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. (Devotional sermons)
Psa 130:6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
I laid it down in silence,
This work of mine,
And took what had been sent me--
A resting time.
The Master’s voice had called me
To rest apart;
"Apart with Jesus only,"
Echoed my heart.
I took the rest and stillness
From His own Hand,
And felt this present illness
Was what He planned.
How often we choose labor,
When He says "Rest"--
Our ways are blind and crooked;
His way is best.
The work Himself has given,
He will complete.
There may be other errands
For tired feet;
There may be other duties
For tired hands,
The present, is obedience
To His commands.
There is a blessed resting
In lying still,
In letting His hand mould us,
Just as He will.
His work must be completed.
His lesson set;
He is the higher Workman:
Do not forget!
It is not only "working."
We must be trained;
And Jesus "learnt" obedience,
Through suffering gained.
For us, His yoke is easy,
His burden light.
His discipline most needful,
And all is right.
We are but under-workmen;
They never choose
If this tool or if that one
Their hands shall use.
In working or in waiting
May we fulfill
Not ours at all, but only
The Master’s will!
Frances Ridley Havergal
The Journey of Renewing Our Minds
As we begin this journey as a believer in Christ, there are evaluations and decisions we will have to look squarely at, and make up our minds about, as the Word of God illuminates places in our lives that need correction, where we need to repent, change our minds about, and change our pattern of living.
Over the years these decisions have been put before me in my mind, and I've had to wrestle with them in my soul, and ask the Lord to help me to put into practice, in order to align myself with His will, and come into a meaningful relationship with Him.
Tonight I will share them, and hopefully God will be able to use it in your lives, and the Holy Spirit will be able to show you area's in your life that need adjustments.
To make up my mind to take control of my own body, and take authority over it. (Advise them to study Proverbs)
Pr 16:32 He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city.
Pr 25:28 He that hath no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls.
⦁ My mind-what I chose to think about, and allow to come into my mind.
⦁ My body-what I allow myself to eat, my actions, my responses, my appetites
⦁ My spirit-what I choose to believe, what I allow to affect my spirit (video games, violent movies, pornography, drugs, alcohol, etc.)
⦁ My emotions-Realize I DO have control over them, and can subdue them if I really want to.
To honor the past - we don't live in it.
Php 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ:
Php 3:12 Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I was laid hold on by Christ Jesus.
Php 3:13 Brethren, I could not myself yet to have laid hold: but one thing [I do], forgetting the things which are behind, and stretching forward to the things which are before,
Php 3:14 I press on toward the goal unto the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Lu 9:62 But Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
⦁ We can do nothing to change it.
⦁ The solution is to open our hearts and receive God's forgiveness.
Forgive ourselves, and other's who may have hurt or abused us in the past.
To live in the present with our eyes on the future.
Php 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therein to be content.
Php 4:12 I know how to be abased, and I know also how to abound: in everything and in all things have I learned the secret both to be filled and to be hungry, both to abound and to be in want.
1Ti 6:8 but having food and covering we shall be therewith content.
Heb 13:5 Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.
⦁ As Paul came to the place of being content in all things, this is our goal
⦁ However, remain in faith to the possibilities of change
Realize God will even use the bad experiences in our lives to work for our good, if we will let Him.
To see past events - successes and failures - as stepping-stones not stop signs.
Ro 5:3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
Ro 5:4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
Ro 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
⦁ Each experience good and bad of our lives can be used for our advantage.
Every successful person has had their share of failures, and setbacks, do not allow yourself to think your the only one, or that failure is impossible to overcome. (Ex. Abraham Lincoln failed over 30 times in the Senate before finally becoming President. Edison failed year after year for many years before finally creating a light bulb that actually worked)
To not allow people to define who I am, but only the Lord himself, and His Word.
⦁ Evaluate yourself by what the bible says about you and your life, not by people's personal opinion of you.
⦁ Let the Holy Spirit be the one to show you where you may need to make changes in your life, or any sin you may need to repent of. He will lead you, and bring light to your spirit by the scriptures to show you any area that He may be dealing with you about.
To pursue learning in order to be transformed, not learning in order to know. The world is full of people with great knowledge-but not all of it is true, nor of any eternal purpose. Wisdom to know the difference is found in the Bible, sadly, most of the world ignores, and rejects God's word, and we see the effects of it in the lawless condition we are in today.
Joh 6:28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Joh 6:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
Jas 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.
Ac 4:8 Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel,
Ac 4:9 If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole;
Ac 4:10 Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole.
Ac 4:11 This is the stone which was set at naught of you builders, which is become the head of the corner.
Ac 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
⦁ Our motives for learning should be to know for the sake of illumination of our minds and spirits to come into line with the will of God.
There is nothing wrong with striving for excellence in a field of employment, or education. However, knowledge can become another idol, and people can become arrogant, and puffed up in pride and superiority. It is a good idea to check our hearts as we are learning and gaining knowledge, and humble ourselves if we allow this in our lives; before the Lord humbles us.
To be a person of engagement not observation.
⦁ Joy and fulfillment will come as we actively engage in the good wholesome activities and employments God has blessed us with, and using our talents as the Lord opens the doors for us to do so.
As we walk with the Lord and pray for opportunities; we will become aware when the doors do open, and as we line ourselves with His will, we will begin to see His favor in our lives. Even when obstacles come, or trials, we will still know the abiding presence of the Lord, His peace, and see His hand of protection on us. When we become aware of His guidance and direction in our lives; it becomes fuel to our spirits to keep seeking Him, and His will for our lives. Becoming aware of His active presence in our lives also builds our faith, and encourages us along the way.
To focus on what could be, not on what is or has been.
2Co 5:7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:)
⦁ Looking back too much to our failures, and mistakes can cause us to despair, to lose faith
We can become hopeless, and eventually totally paralyzed to the point that we will refuse to try anymore. This is the work of the devil. His whole mission is to "kill, steal, and destroy". We must believe Jesus words to us "I have come that they may have life, and life more abundantly".
To not be limited to the four walls of a building or organization. Our influence is not restricted by location, or structured by a denomination - not even the nations are out of bounds. The commission given to us in Matt. by the Lord was to go "to all the world and preach the gospel."
Mt 20:28 Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Lu 18:34 And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.
Lu 18:35 And it came to pass, that as he was come nigh unto Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the way side begging:
Lu 18:36 And hearing the multitude pass by, he asked what it meant.
Lu 18:37 And they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by.
Lu 18:38 And he cried, saying, Jesus, thou son of David, have mercy on me.
Lu 18:39 And they which went before rebuked him, that he should hold his peace: but he cried so much the more, Thou son of David, have mercy on me.
Lu 18:40 And Jesus stood, and commanded him to be brought unto him: and when he was come near, he asked him,
Lu 18:41 Saying, What wilt thou that I shall do unto thee? And he said, Lord, that I may receive my sight.
Lu 18:42 And Jesus said unto him, Receive thy sight: thy faith hath saved thee.
Lu 18:43 And immediately he received his sight, and followed him, glorifying God: and all the people, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
⦁ When Jesus was here, he walked the highways, and byways, and ministered to the people wherever He went with his disciples. He showed us by example how to live out our Christian walk, among the people, wherever we find ourselves at the moment.
⦁ As soon as Jesus spoke in Matt. 20:28, in Luke 18:35-43 the story continues, and he heals the blind man to make the point that "He came to minister, not to be ministered to."
This He did to also emphasize that this is to be our example.
To raise up world changers - not tour guides. To train disciples and servants, not committees.
As you study the book of Acts, you see the disciples preaching and ministering everywhere they went. They were not concerned with buildings or creating new rules and laws to try to keep. Their entire focus was on the great news that Jesus died for their sins, and rose again to life; to give them that same life. They could not keep silent, their joy was too great.
To be a people of destiny, not of our history.
Ps 37:23 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Ps 37:24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.
Ps 145:14 The LORD upholdeth all that fall, and raiseth up all those that be bowed down.
Pr 24:16 For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Job 5:17 Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty:
Job 5:18 For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.
Job 5:19 He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee.
Job 5:20 In famine he shall redeem thee from death: and in war from the power of the sword.
Job 5:21 Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.
Job 5:22 At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.
Job 5:23 For thou shalt be in league with the stones of the field: and the beasts of the field shall be at peace with thee.
Job 5:24 And thou shalt know that thy tabernacle shall be in peace; and thou shalt visit thy habitation, and shalt not sin.
Job 5:25 Thou shalt know also that thy seed shall be great, and thine offspring as the grass of the earth. Job 5:26 Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age, like as a shock of corn cometh in in his season.
⦁ No matter what we have done, or how old we may be; it is never to late to decide to change.
⦁ Our true destiny begins to be lived out the day of our salvation, and our obedience to the Lord from that point on. As pilgrims and strangers here, we are looking for an "eternal city, whose builder and maker is God". Our destiny is heaven, and our eternal home.
To decide that it is better to fail while reaching for the impossible that God has planned for me than succeed settling for less.
1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
Col 3:17 And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.
Col 3:23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;
Col 3:24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
⦁ Advise: take time to seek God for His direction for your life.
⦁ Ask Him to reveal His goals to you. Ask the Lord to open doors of opportunity for you, and watch things begin to happen.
To have decided that nothing short of His Kingdom come, His will be done in my world as it is in Heaven will satisfy.
Mt 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Mt 6:34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.
Php 4:19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
We can allow God to rule in OUR LIVES AND HEARTS, AND ALLOW HIS KINGDOM TO REIGN IN US, RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW, REGARDLESS OF WHAT ANYONE ELSE DOES. When we do, we will experience a level of peace, self control, and steadfastness of faith that we never thought possible before. His abiding presence in our lives will become stronger and stronger as we yield ourselves to Him and His Word. This is what is called "being transformed by the renewing of our minds." If we have any questions about any situation, as to whether it is the right thing to do or not, simply ask yourself "what does Jesus say about this," and obey.
To have decided that I will not be satisfied until our world cries out "Those who have turned the world upside down have come here too."
Ac 4:12 Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
Ac 10:42 And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead.
Mr 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
Mr 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
Mr 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
Mr 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
Mr 16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
Mr 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
⦁ It takes time to even begin to think about this decision-we begin to think on these terms and make these kinds of decisions after we've reached a level of maturity. Some believer's who are called out for ministry begin to make these decisions early, other's takes time. A desire begins to develope in us to see other's saved, to come to know Christ. We are no longer content to just be assured of our own salvation; we look around us and see a world in darkness, and realize without Christ these poor souls are headed for hell, as we were before we were redeemed. We aren't content to just live for our own pleasure; this is the work of the Holy Spirit in us, growing us up in God. We begin to see that our labor in this life can't be just for this life alone, and for our own selfishness. A desire to bear "eternal fruit", begins to develope in us, to see other's come to Christ and receive His free gift of salvation. Many christians struggle with this desire a long time, and some bury it because it causes them discomfort, and they allow this desire to die, because of laziness. The decisions to obey the prompting of the Lord in service begin to create multiple struggles in our spirit, it always boils down to just one thing really, "do I really love the Lord, and will I chose to obey, or not."
⦁ The decisions to "make a difference" for Christ in our lives continues to grow and develop more as we continue to walk with Jesus and truly come to know Him. The love and forgiveness He has poured out on us becomes to heavy to keep to ourselves, and we must share it with other's.
When we come to this place of decision we also begin to realize that we are "called and chosen", just as the first disciples were. We become aware of the great privileges God has given us, to work alongside with Him in the harvest fields. To have our eyes opened to this degree is an honor, a privilege, and greatly humbling. I pray that each of you will come to this place in your walk with Christ.
These are some of the decisions that should define who we are as believer's in Christ.
These decisions are not destinations - but rather journeys - journeys along an ancient path - we have not found some new way - but rather rediscovered the path as old as Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The same path followed by Moses, Joshua and Caleb - Paul, John, Peter. The path followed by the first century church - a church that revolutionized the culture of the first century and beyond.
It is a path that will impact the world we live in today. It is a path of Bold Faith - believing that what God says is really true and acting on it; Outrageous Generosity - giving our life away in order to demonstrate His Kingdom; Radical Love - loving God with everything in us and our neighbor as ourselves.
It is a path of liberty, freedom, and healing. On this path you find significance, purpose, and destiny.
This is a path less traveled – however - it is not a path only available to a select few - but to whosoever will - may come. It is for people of every nation, tribe and tongue -for those in any occupation or vocation.
No matter where you are in your life journey - there is room on this path for you. There is room at the cross for anyone who comes to realize they are a sinner, in need of a Savior, and is willing to humble themselves, and come to the cross and receive the redemption only Jesus Christ can give. He's the open door, and the only way to salvation-may all who read this, hear His call, and come, simply, as you are. Jesus came into the world to save all who would come to Him, and all who come to Him, He will in no wise cast out. Then, the journey of renewing our hearts, minds and souls takes on purpose and meaning. May this be the case for you.
(2008 Teaching for Teen Challenge)
One of the signs of a crumbling society is the increase of crime, decline of moral standards, and lowering of conduct and manners. It's prevalent in society here in the United States now. The bible defines this decline as sins, and works of the flesh:
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.
Jesus said that these works of the flesh come from out of the heart of man-who is born in sin and rebellion.
Mat 15:18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.
Mat 15:19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Mat 15:20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.
James goes further, and describes how those who live in the flesh, and walk according to the course of this world will speak and do the things that their emotions, and lusts desire:
Jas 3:3 Behold, we put bits in the horses' mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body.
Jas 3:4 Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth.
Jas 3:5 Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth!
Jas 3:6 And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.
Jas 3:7 For every kind of beasts, and of birds, and of serpents, and of things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed of mankind:
Jas 3:8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.
Jas 3:9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.
Jas 3:10 Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.
Jas 3:11 Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?
Jas 3:12 Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.
Jesus went on to say we will be held accountable for our words:
Mat 12:36 But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.
Mat 12:37 For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
We will also be rewarded according to our deeds:
Ecc 12:14 For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil.
2Co 5:9 Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
2Co 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Rev 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.
This is a very sobering truth, but a very sad one, because the conduct, and pattern of life for the vast majority today-do not believe this. They don't believe they will ever stand before God and be shown the account of their life-and will reap the rewards for them. They live as an animal, because they've been taught by both their parents, and schools that they've come from a swamp-are nothing but another life form, with no soul, and no God to answer to. At the moment of their death, they will meet the God they've been told doesn't exist, and will either enter into heaven, or drop into hell. I watch with sadness, the masses of people living with no thought of this at all, and continue on living lives of vanity, selfishness, or doing good works to try to earn God's blessings. It will not work. The only way to heaven, is through the cross-admitting your a sinner, in need of a Savior, and asking for His forgiveness, mercy and turning to Him for salvation. Jesus Christ is the door to eternal life, there is no other way.
Many cities in the country are crumbling, with homeless camps and drug addicted, mentally ill people living on the streets, and the problems are enormous. The filth, squalor, violence and crime on the streets is becoming a problem that can't be ignored, but leadership has no solutions-because it's rooted in immorality, and the debasement of a society that has lost it's sense of right and wrong. Like Jesus said-out of the abundance of the heart....comes every evil work.
Below is a visual compilation of the works of the flesh, which is an ever-increasing situation throughout the country now.
The Hall of The Flesh
1Co 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of
themselves with mankind,
1Co 6:10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners,
shall inherit the kingdom of God.
Definition of vulgar
1 a: lacking in cultivation, perception, or taste : COARSE
b: morally crude, undeveloped, or unregenerate : GROSS
c: ostentatious or excessive in expenditure or display : PRETENTIOUS
2 a: offensive in language : EARTHY
b: lewdly or profanely indecent
3 a: generally used, applied, or accepted
b: understood in or having the ordinary sense
they reject the vulgar conception of miracle
— W. R. Inge
the vulgar name of a plant
5 a: of or relating to the common people : PLEBEIAN
b: generally current : PUBLIC
the vulgar opinion of that time
c: of the usual, typical, or ordinary kind
COARSE, VULGAR, GROSS, OBSCENE, RIBALD mean offensive to good taste or morals. COARSE implies roughness, rudeness, or crudeness of spirit, behavior, or language. found the coarse humor of coworkers offensive VULGAR often implies boorishness or ill-breeding. a loud vulgar belch GROSS implies extreme coarseness and insensitiveness. gross eating habits OBSCENE applies to anything strongly repulsive to the sense of decency and propriety especially in sexual matters. Profane, barbaric, lewd.
Definition of rude
1 a: being in a rough or unfinished state : CRUDE
d: SIMPLE, ELEMENTAL
2: lacking refinement or delicacy:
a: IGNORANT, UNLEARNED
b: INELEGANT, UNCOUTH
c: offensive in manner or action : DISCOURTEOUS
d: UNCIVILIZED, SAVAGE
e: COARSE, VULGAR
Definition of vain
1: having or showing undue or excessive pride in one's appearance or achievements : CONCEITED
2: marked by futility or ineffectualness : UNSUCCESSFUL, USELESS
vain efforts to escape
3: having no real value : IDLE, WORTHLESS
4. archaic : FOOLISH, SILLY
Definition of vanity
1: inflated pride in oneself or one's appearance : CONCEIT
2: something that is vain, empty, or valueless
Definition of vainglory
1: excessive or ostentatious pride especially in one's achievements
2: vain display or show : VANITY
When the Flesh Rules the Heart and Conduct-Brutality and Cruelty Often Results
Definition of cruelty
1: the quality or state of being cruel
2 a: a cruel action
b: inhuman treatment
3: marital conduct held (as in a divorce action) to endanger life or health or to cause mental suffering or fear
Definition of brutality
1: the quality or state of being brutal
2: a brutal act or course of action
The bible has the answer to every problem man faces-if they would heed it.
Jesus said it in one simple statement-the golden rule-do to other's what you would want done to you.
Mat 7:12 Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.
How do you desire to be treated? Do the same to those you come in contact with, and interact with during the course of a day. Speak to them in the same manner you'd want to be spoken to, and don't spread stories, gossip and exaggerate-which is lying. If you want to be treated with respect-treat other's in the same manner. If you have an issue with someone-go to them and deal with them in person; not behind their backs. If you come across an elderly senior, treat them with the respect your going to want-when you become one yourself; and I can assure you-you're not far behind them. If you witness someone being abused in any way-have the courage to speak up, and intervene to put a stop to it, if you have to. Courage, and empathy is something very important, and lacking today; many would rather turn a blind eye, walk away and say nothing. I couldn't live with myself-I gotten into trouble more than once, standing up for an elderly person I saw getting abused, and I'd do it again.
Going further, Paul warns in Colossians to put off the old man with it's deeds:
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
The temptations, lusts, and attacks from those who live in the world and love it, will be with the believer until we are called home. We may give in to anger, we may stumble, we may fall and say or do something wrong-repent right then, don't let it fester; don't let the devil use it to torment you. Repent immediately, and recover your ground in Christ-then just walk on with Him. If we love Jesus, we'll want to do right, and live right. Our righteousness doesn't come from the good we do in itself, but why we are doing it. We are His servants, His chosen, and the work given to us, is a privilege.
As we yield our bodies and minds to the Holy Spirit, He cultivates our minds and spirits and strengthens us-and develops the Godly traits deep within, and it strengthens our armor against the wiles of the devil, and the evidence of this is the fruit that develops in our life and conduct:
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.
The increase in technologies has it's advantages, but also many disadvantages. I've watched the rudeness, coldness, and callous behavior increase tremendously since hand held phones, and devices have come on the scene-at times people are rude intentionally. When I see this, it just causes me to feel sorry for them, they are wasting their time with me.
I try not to pay any attention to it anymore, because it's gone too far now. But, it's a sad development to watch. Another aspect to the new technologies is the ability of people to intrude into other peoples private lives, when they have no right to-that's another detriment that has no solution now-except to endure it, and try to find ways to get rid of it out of my life-if there's any way to do it. Again, this has developed a mentality in many people that think they have the right to hack into every aspect of your life-and don't see why it's ethically wrong-and most don't want to see they're doing wrong, because they enjoy it-so sin rises another notch in society. I'm ready to get off this planet, whenever the Lord says it's time for me to go home.
As this darkness continues to worsen, believer's are having to find ways to deal with it, and strengthen their souls to stand against the tide of evil. Jesus said it would be this way, and to look up, our redemption draws nigh. As I wait, I go to the verses below often, for instruction, and encouragement in these dark days-they are food for the soul:
Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.
Col 3:5 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:
Col 3:6 For which things' sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience:
Col 3:7 In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.
Col 3:8 But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.
Col 3:9 Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds;
Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
May God be with His people in these trying days-and abide with us as we journey to the finish line, and home; to dwell with Christ, free from this world of sin.
In Closing: If you died tonight, where would you go? Are you ready to meet Jesus? If not, the gospel message below can help you and guide you to just open your heart, talk to Him right where you are, and admit to Him you are a sinner, and ask for His forgiveness, believe He has died and risen again to forgive your sins, and ask Him to come into your heart and be you Savior and Lord. He will do it-and when He does, He'll start renewing your mind, and heart.
Then, start reading the bible, and talk to Him every day, and ask Him to guide you and help you live for Him. Start applying the word of God to your life and pray every day.
If you do this-Welcome to the family of God.
May you find a source of sound spiritual food for your soul and
Jesus Christ is Lord
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto
I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.
In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
All the kings of the earth shall praise thee,
O LORD, when they hear the words of thy mouth.
I had rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.
Easy Access to Important Teachings
The Weapons of Our Warfare
Satan's Directed Energy Weapons
UNCOVERING THE CULTS
Works of the Flesh
John - The Voice in the Wilderness
The Lord's Prayer-Thy Kingdom Come
Finishing the Course
JESUS THE SON
Bringing Down The Walls